Greetings from the dark and musty pit that is the Grimdark Compendium studio. Welcome to the Grimdark Compendium’s painting challenge for the month of June! Are you ready to showcase your painting skills and compete for awesome prizes? This month the Grimdark Compendium wants to test your understanding of the Grimdark style itself… We want to see the best work you can muster, a work that shows an understanding of what makes a miniature grimdark. Whether you’re a seasoned veteran or just starting out, this is the perfect opportunity to show off your creativity and talent. To participate, simply build and paint a single miniature to the best of your grimdark abilities and share it on Instagram with the hashtag #grimdarkchallengegdm. The winner will receive a special prize from Grimdark Compendium and Dark Ages Workshop and have their miniature featured on their pages. So what are you waiting for? Grab your bits and paints, brush up on your techniques, and get ready to show the world what you can do!
Official Rules Summary
- Post one WIP and one Final image (1000×1000 pixel) of any miniature or miniature terrain that has been built and painted by your own hand. Use #grimdarkchallengegdm and mention @grimdark_compendium in the description.
- Miniatures created for this challenge should be built and painted with the sole purpose of showcasing what you think makes a miniature grimdark and how to appropriately depict a character from a dark and dystopian world.
- Kit-bashing will be mandatory and will be highly valued in the judging criteria.
- Models must be modeled painted in the grimdark style.
- All submissions must be posted by June 30th, 2023. It is highly recommended to email high-resolution images of your final submissions to firstname.lastname@example.org to guarantee your submission is considered.
- Eligible miniatures – Any brand of miniature bits may be used in the building portion of this challenge, including figures outside of Games Workshop’s product line.
- Submissions must include a clear and well-lit photo.
- Have fun, spread the word, push yourself, and encourage others!
- By entering this challenge you agree to allow the Grimdark Compendium and Dark Ages Workshop to use your images in social media posts and video content related to the Grimdark challenges.
Submitting an Entry – READ CAREFULLY
The first-place entry will win a painted miniature from Zatcaskagoon Miniatures and a LifeTime Premium access membership to the Grimdark Compendium.
Judging Criteria –
JUDGING CRITERIA AND POINTS – Point Values may change with each challenge.
Modeling – 20 Points
For modeling, I am looking at one’s ability to build, clean, kitbash, or sculpt parts of a model. Creative kitbashing or sculpting will always be valued higher if done well. Of course, things like mold lines, poorly rendered poses, and not drilling gun barrels, will lead to point deductions.
Painting – 40 Points
It goes without saying that painting will almost always be the highest-valued category for our challenges and the Grimdark Style is what we are looking for! To put it simply, Grimdark is a realistic or, at the least, believable representation of figures that are derived from the lore of Warhammer, Warhammer 40k, Age of Sigmar, Mordheim, Necromunda, and so on. The lore of these dystopian or dark universes is brutal, to say the least, and has well-defined aesthetics that you can pull your inspiration from. Eavy Metal, Box Art, and Highly Stylized painting styles will be utterly disregarded for these challenges.
Basing – 20 Points
Basing is a crucial element of the Grimdark Style. Usually, the environment has almost everything to do with determining the weathering palette to be used in a miniature project. Take the basing of your miniature as an opportunity to tell a story and add substance to your figure art!
Photography – 20 Points
Usually, Photography is a 10-point category, but in the last few challenges, the pictures that I am receiving are not up to snuff. A well-lit, in-focus, and well-composed photograph on a black or white background is what we are looking for. Take the best possible photograph you can for your final images and email full-resolution copies to email@example.com.
3rd Place: TrixxyPaint – Penitent Engine
Modeling Score: 17
I would have loved to have witnessed some gruesome grimdark tropes kitbashed onto this model! Skulls on spikes! Chains! Something! Nonetheless, from what I can tell, the modeling looks well handled.
Painting score: 35
While I do like the subdued nature of this paintwork, I would like to have seen a bit more tonal variation in the black and surface finish variations throughout the mini. The finishes are consistent throughout the miniature. All of the different metals, clothing, pipes, rivets, and hoses, all have the exact same finishes. Surface Finish Variation is such an easy concept to understand and technique to render. TRY IT!
Basing Score: 10
The Basing here is your typical over-simplified, soulless thing that you glue your mini to. Looks as though very little effort was put into this base.
Photography score: 15
As for the Photography, well, let’s just say that WIP looks better than the final image. There is such a thing as too dark for grimdark photos (we’ve all done it!). There is just too much missing info in the final image.
FINAL SCORE: 77
2nd Place: Ipaintminis – Ork
Modeling Score: 19
There are some pretty good modeling elements going on here! The sword arm is always cool and gives the figure a bit of a story. Chains are always welcome! On the downside, the fur has to go or at least be modified in a way that gives it the look of actual fur. The banner is a bit weird, too. I won’t take any points off in the modeling category because I think what is throwing me off has more to do with the painting of the banner.
Painting score: 37
Overall, this model is painted very well. There are a few things that stand out as distractions to me: As previously mentioned, the fur and the banner are lacking the same level of detail as the rest of the paintwork. Particularly the banner looks unfinished and is a lot cleaner than I would expect an Ork Banner to be. Sadly, the fur looks like rubber in paint and finish and the tusks are a bit stark. Perhaps moving them toward Ivory would be more appropriate.
Basing Score: 18
Well done on the basing! Lots of different textures and elements! Love the web! The execution could be slightly better but no real complaints.
Photography score: 15
The photography here is decent. There were several final images sent to me and only two of them were useable. A lot of the detail photos were blurry/out of focus. I feel like we haven’t seen the “golden angle” for this miniature and a bit more experimenting is needed to find the best possible angle to shoot the miniature.
FINAL SCORE: 89
1st Place: rockpaperboltgun – Chaos Knight
Modeling Score: 18
Very little modeling was rendered onto this miniature. I see some UHU work, which is fabulous, but the points gained from that are entirely negated by the barrels not being drilled and the separation in the plastic on the upper leg!
Painting score: 39
A fantastically painted Knight! Grimdark in every sense of the word. The Mottling is superb! How elements of this paint scheme tie into the basing and even background lighting is expertly handled. There are a few spots of weathering that get a tad sloppy, however. Remember the reductive technique offers excellent control so we should be able to make sure everything is just right before calling it done. The edge highlights around the eyes need work and make sure to seal those decals in before weathering! Some of the weathering in crevices is too saturated and consistent. The Painting Score might have been a tad lower but the snow/ash rendered on the miniature easily earns extra points. It’s handled so well and looks very convincing!
Basing Score: 18
The basing is handled well enough, indeed! The snow effect on the base and the miniature indicates a fresh, light snow has begun to fall over a desolate battlefield! Narrative. It adds so much!
Photography score: 20
Perfect. I can see everything. Neutral light from the front. A bright cold light from the back and sides reinforces the snow effect and brings the atmosphere to life.
FINAL SCORE: 95