Wow, what a hectic week! As many of you know we had an superb selection of figures for the 'Vehicles' bonus round with entries ranging from wagons to canoes and from camels to spaceships. The voting was incredibly tight as well, with a half dozen participants see-sawing up the roster throughout the week - a point gained here, a gap opening there. Everything seemed to be unfolding at a measured pace winding its way to the finish. Well, until the last hour. Then all hell broke loose when the poll was deluged with several hundred votes from two specific newsgroups. Now, while I'm delighted with the prospect of my unprepossessing painting duels have garnered some wider interest but I was soon dismayed by the violent changes these last minute votes made to the established standings. It was suspect and just didn't make any sense. (Is there such a thing as 'Poll Bombing'?)
Anyway, I decided to resolve the situation by simply using the voting numbers that I had logged about an hour before the poll closed, which was around the same time as when the hunnic voters appeared on the horizon. I think this is fair and sensible as it maintains both the spirit of the event and the voting 'trajectory' of the of the bonus round.
So, moving right along...
While the votes for first and second place were fairly comfortable, the race for third was very close indeed, with no more than 30 points separating five entries. So in this spirit I'd like to bring to attention those who were running up to 3rd.
Lord Hill's grim but poignant casualty cart leaving Waterloo,
Christopher's hauntingly beautiful Indians portaging a waterfall,
Martin's wonderfully rusted and begrimed Daimler armoured car,
... and my quasi-festive (not) 1812 French Retreat snow sledges.
Nevertheless, Anne began to pull away during the closing weekend and so seized 3rd place with her wonderfully realized and amazingly painted Monkey-Piloted Flying Carpet (those mushrooms just kill me btw). Anne will get an additional 25 points added to her Challenge tally. This will be her second podium finish in the thematic rounds AND will give her enough points to meet her Challenge target. Congratulations Anne!
For 2nd place MichaelA created this marvellously whimsical gypsy caravan. I think many who visited the gallery loved the attention to detail he put into his entry, from the scrollwork around the doors to the cat and hedghog lounging below the axles. A wonderful piece that will give Michael 50 points to add to his roster. Well done Michael!
Finally, in first place we have an entry which, much like my previous 'Winter-as-Villain' entry, challenges the interpretation of the week's theme. In this Andrew describes his imagination itself being his 'vehicle' and as such composed a fantasy diorama depicting a brave hero duelling a monstrous spider near her webbed lair (why do we always think of spiders as being female?). The painting is simply superb with the entire scene telling a story of derring do. Fantastic.
For his efforts Andrew will receive 75 points along with this fitting vignette from Westfalia Miniatures. ;0)
So please join me in congratulating the winners of our latest thematic bonus round. Well done and bravo to Anne, Michael and Andrew!