I've had a few questions regarding several aspects of the Challenge, so I thought it may be helpful if I did a little Q&A for the benefit of all the participants. If you have any other questions please don't hesitate to comment or send me an email.
Q: 'How do I submit my entries? Or, Gee whiz Curt, I liked it better when I could just email them to you to take care of.'
A: Back in the early years of the Challenge (I make it sound like the Tour de France or something) the lower number of participants allowed me the time to receive each entry and post them, one-by-one, to the blog. Now, with more people participating (which I'm always delighted to see), I found it necessary to streamline the process, and have the participants submit their own entries to the blog in draft form. This makes the Challenge much easier to administrate, thereby allowing more people to participate and a bit less midnight oil being burned in my household. :)
With this process, each participant will be provided 'author' access to the Challenge Blog. (In fact those who participated last year will find that they still have access to the blog and so will not require a 'new' invitation from me.) During the next three months, once you have finished an entry and photographed it, you can log into the blog, write-up your description, upload your (resized) photos and send a notification to your Adjudicator that your draft is ready to reviewed, scored and officially published to the blog. Again, I remind all participants, please do not click the 'Publish' button and post your entries live to the blog. Let the Adjudicators take care of that for you.
I will be sending out the invitations for 'author' access within the next day or so.
Q: 'How literal are you regarding the Theme Bonus rounds?'
A: I want the theme rounds to be as fun as possible, so I've always allowed participants to exercise a great degree of imagination in how they interpret them (A certain Blue Spider from a previous year comes to mind, ahem.). For example, this year we have a theme 'Defensive Terrain' for which I've received a lot of inquiries. Well, this theme originated from a perennial request to allow terrain entries in the main Challenge. While I would love to accommodate this, I've always been reticent as I know terrain entries would be very difficult and time-consuming to score fairly. Anyway, 'Defensive Terrain' can be any terrain feature you can dream up that is defensive in nature. For example it could be a Hittite war wagon, a humble infantryman in a foxhole or a log blockhouse from the French & Indian Wars. I leave it to your imagination.
Q: 'For the 'Nostalgia' theme it seems pretty darn subjective. Depending on the person it could really be anything.'
A: Precisely. Again, I leave it to your interpretation. I only ask that you explain why your entry makes you feel nostalgic or represents a type of nostalgia.
Q: For the 'Nautical' theme, can I use models that are smaller than the usual 15mm limitation?
A: Yes, but if you want to submit something smaller than 1/600 it will need to be more than one model (i.e. two 1/1200 scale Napoleonic ships, three 1/2400 Dreadnaughts, something like that.)
A: Yes! Sorry, I forgot to put that in the participant package. Starting on the 20th of December and running to the 3rd of January everyone can make submissions on any day of the week. Also, running in to the close of the Challenge, from the 13th of March to the 20th, participants can submit to their hearts content.
A: Lord only knows, Virginia. I suggest you do as I do, nod, smile indulgently and don't make any quick movements...