Great Pirate Paint Off Painting Contest – Update #4

There are two weeks left in the Great Pirate Paint Off contest for Blood & Plunder and Oak & Iron! Let’s check out the latest entries, give out some Spanish silver, and review the remaining timeline for the contest.

If you’re just discovering the contest, this is a low-key painting event for the Firelock pirate community. The goal is to get inspire each other to get those minis painted! There is a variety of prizes to be handed out during and after the contest for various community members and sponsoring vendors, so great paint jobs count for something, but the main point is to share our work and inspire each other to build up our new minis and get them ready for the table!

You can find complete details and rules for the contest here on the Great Pirate Paint Off home page.

(Note: in the interest of some level of anonymity for the final voting later in the Spring, we are not including painters’ names on photos going forward, except in the case of various prizes awarded during the contest.)


At our last update we had just hit 144 entries and as of today we are at around 180. There’s two weeks left! Get those projects finished up! There’s lots of time to get more models painted, and even time to get a ship finished. Our ambitious aim for the contest was 200 entries and it appears we will surpass that target.

So far 52 different participants have entered ships and minis for the contest. If you haven’t entered yet, it’s easy! Main rules to be aware of are 1) it needs to be Firelock minis/ships, and 2) it needs to be a recent paint job, complete this year. We would be thrilled if we could get to 75-100 contestants! If you have a local group, share the contest with your friends.

Types of Entries

There are several different categories to enter in this contest. Right now the Unit and Commander categories have the most entries while the Oak & Iron and Terrain categories are pretty light so far!

  • 74 Units
  • 61 Commanders
  • 14 Characters
  • 12 Ships
  • 9 Forces
  • 9 Terrain
  • 5 Oak & Iron Ships

One of the categories that really got a boost this week was the Terrain category. This is a huge corner of the hobby that could be a contest of it’s own. In fact, Dexter Heide over at The Plunder Den is hosting a quick “Flash Terrain Contest” as part of the Great Pirate Paint off, so check out his YouTube Channel and Facebook Page right away.

I think he’s working up a simple, but awesome project for everything that might be interested!

No Oak & Iron entries this was week at all! If you need a new Oak & Iron ship, check out the new English Anne 3rd Rate in SiOcast from Firelock Games! I have one half painted on my painting desk.

Nations Represented

The national rivalry that is part of the Summer of Plunder starts now! Pirates and Spanish look to have good momentum so far!

  • 34 Spanish
  • 28 English
  • 17 French
  • 16 Dutch
  • 3 Native American
  • 35 Pirate

The Natives NEED HELP! Just a reminder, there will be one winner from each nationality at the end of this contest, selected by this year’s Summer of Plunder Commanders! You have a better chance to win with Natives, French and Dutch than Spanish right now! The winners will receive a nice Blood & Plunder accessory storage box with their flag emblem engraved on the lid, provided by Things From the Basement. Find more details about them in our last update!

Random Prize Winner

This week Julian Nault Wright has been selected as the random winner to receive a little “mid contest prize” of a restrike of a 1731 Spanish 8 Reale coin. Check out Julian’s take on the Drummer Boy character!

A random entry of all the entries received between updates will be chosen as a winner about every two weeks.

Contest Sponsor Spotlight – Dead Man’s Chest

In every update, we’d like to highlight one of the contest’s sponsors. If you haven’t yet, you should really check out the Dead Man’s Chest blog! Devoted to Firelock Games various wargames, but focusing most on Blood & Plunder, Dead Man’s Chest is written by Tyler Stone, previously one of the hosts of the Tales of the Sail podcast.

Tyler has been producing high quality articles on Blood & Plunder, Blood & Steel, and Blood and Valor so far. If you’re prepping to build your sloop from the Blood & Plunder starter set, make sure to read through his article on that project. He nicely outlines the differences between the Balandra and Bermuda Sloop complete with detailed pictures, and more than enough humor to get you to the bottom of the page.

He also have a recent article on building a scratch built gun emplacement if that’s your thing.

The Dead Man’s Chest has made some really awesome loot for the prize for the best painted Force in this contest. Entries for this prize must have at least 25 models of the same nationality/faction. This is a fun “capstone entry” if you’ve been painting over the course of this whole contest. You can use all those units and a commander you’ve already entered, combine them into one shot, and enter them all as a group!

The entry that wins the public voting for best force will receive this custom carrying case.

In this case, you can fit 30 models, you’re rulebook, dice, cards, markers, and all you need to play! Check out his full article to see all the details! It’s a great prize so make sure to enter your best recently painted force to be eligible to win.

We want to thank Tyler for his huge contributions to the Blood & Plunder community, ranging from his time on Tales of the Sail, to his work hosting tournaments at various conventions and venues, to tirelessly demo-ing for Firelock at the booth at Adepticon this year, to starting this new blog!

Final Thoughts

This has been a fun contest so far! As a reminder, it runs through May 14th, then there will be a two week time for some public voting for the top prize.! Then a couple weeks after that, our Summer of Plunder campaign event will begin!

Once the SoP campaign starts, you’ll want to be spending more time playing games than painting, so get those minis pigmented up now!

Thanks for participating and supporting the Firelock/Blood & Plunder/Oak & Iron Community!

Here are the new entries since last week. If you want to see all the entries so far, check out the complete gallery.

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