The Great Pirate Paint Off has finally concluded! Last week we awarded prizes to some of the great entries we judged as stand out work. This week we award winners for the People’s Choice categories. Voting has been happening over the past two weeks, starting at 10-12 top entries and slowly working down to the highest voted entry. Read on to see the entries that won by popular vote!
If your favorite entry didn’t win, remember that public voting is a wild business and can be just as much a popularity contest as anything else. But these are all outstanding entries and we hope that this public voting was fun and was a little higher in profile than otherwise.
And now, the winners of the People’s Choice categories of The Great Pirate Paint Off!
Best Commander – Stede Bonnet by Ryan Peterson
We had several awesome Stede Bonnets entered in the contest! Ryan Peterson’s version is crisp, fancy, and looks great on the dark background. Ryan entered an entire pirate crew with Stede at their head and they all look fantastic. Great work Mr. Peterson!
The prize for the best painted Commander is a dice tower engraved with the nation logo of the winner’s choice, donated by the Doubloon Lagoon blog.
The top 10 entries were:
- Stede Bonnet by Ryan Peterson
- French Commander by Michael Christiansen
- Bartholomew Roberts by Jerry Kegley
- Stede Bonnet by Jake Farris
- Spanish Alternate Pose Commander by Brent Devos
- Dutch Commander by Christopher Dobbs
- Juan Corso by Twan van Tilborg
- Captain Hook Pirate Commander by Kyle Arpke
- Caribbean Native American Commander by Kyle Arpke
- Spanish Commander by Jacob Vuzic
Best Character – Standard Bearer by Julian Nualt
Julian Nault entered a full force of French models and he did some amazing work. So good in fact, that at the end of the voting, people were voting for this Standard Bearer vs Julian’s Musician model! This is one of the soldier models, modified to carry the flag of the Compagnies Franches de la Marine.
The prize going to Julian for Best Character is a copy of the Kickstarter Box of Plunder Sprue to help with making more cool characters for Blood & Plunder!
The top10 contenders in this category include:
- Standard Bearer by Julian Nault
- Drummer Boy by Julian Nault
- Mission Priest by Ryan Peterson
- Ship’s Pilot by Jake Farris
- Captured Merchant by Ryan Peterson
- Master Gunner by Jerry Kegley
- Anne Bonny by Jerry Kegley
- Mary Read by Trevor Smith
- Drummer Boy by Ronald Lyse
- Standard Bearer by Ryan Peterson
Best Ship – Balandra by Erich Goebel
The prize for People’s Choice ship goes to Erich Goebel for his Balandra! Eric had a total of 12 entries, all worthy paint jobs!
For winning first place in the ship category, Eric has won a set of Balandra sails from Seamons’ Quality Sails (or substitute for Tartana sails).
The race was tight in this category! The top 10 contenders were:
- Balandra by Eric Goebel
- Light Frigate by Dave Jessup
- Bermuda Sloop by Trevor Smith
- 6th Rate Frigate by Garrett Swader
- Brigantine by Twan van Tilborg
- Bermuda Sloop by Robert McFarland
- Piragua by Oliver Kahler
- Bermuda Sloop by Larry McIver
- Balandra by Ryan Peterson
- Sloop by Paul Kingtiger
Best Unit – Compagnies Franches de la Marine by Julian Nault
This was a well deserved win! We’ve already seen Julian’s work in the Character category, and this is a great set of minis as well.
As a prize in this category, Julian Nault will receive a set of 3 Deluxe Metal Fortune Coins.
The top 10 contenders in this category were:
- Compangies Franches de la Marine by Julian Nault
- African Warriors by Tyler Carlson
- Braves by Evan Botkin
- Sea Dogs by Ryan Peterson
- English Musketeers by Jake Farris
- Enter Ploeg by Christopher Dobbs
- European Militia by Brent DeVos
- Enter Ploeg by Ryan Peterson
- Veteran Freebooters by Victor Hubenette
- Caballeria Lancero by Fernando Arteaga
You can see all the unit entries in this Gallery, and you can see just the photos of these top 13 here on the voting page.
Best Blood & Plunder Force – Pirate Force by Erich Goebel
This was a tight competition as well, with several pirate force vying for the top spot! Erich Goebel won with his Blackbeard pirate crew. Very well done!
Top 10 contenders in this category included:
- Pirate Force by Erich Goebel
- Pirate Force by Ryan Peterson
- French Army Force by Julian Nault
- Pirate Force by Trevor Smith
- Spanish Army Force by Fernando Arteaga
- Dutch Army Force by Christopher Dobbs
- Pirate Force by Wade W
- Native American Force by Kyle Arpke
- Spanish Army Force by Niguel Vega/Rufus DeVane
- English Buccaneer Force by Wayne Burton
You can see all the photos of these lists here on the voting page, and you can see all the Force entries in this Gallery.
Best Oak & Iron Ship – Ghost Fluyt by Erich Goebel
This Fluyt was a standout entry with it’s glow in the dark paint! The prize for this category is an Oak & Iron expansion of the winner’s choice.
Top 10 placing entries in this category included:
- Ghost Ship Fluyt by Erich Goebel
- 2nd Rate Frigate by Paul Kingtiger
- 5th Rate Frigate by Jake Farris
- 1st Rate Frigate by Bryan Namaura
- Galleon by Pawel Pinker
- 2nd Rate Frigate by Leon Keller
- 4th Rate Frigate by Paul Kingtiger
- 3rd Rate Frigate by Keith Jackson
- 5th Rate Frigate by Matthew Earley
- 4th Rate Frigate by Matthew Earley
You can see all the photos of these top entries on our voting page and you can look through all the Oak & Iron entries in this Gallery.
Best Terrain Piece – Hanging Rock by Trevor Smith
The terrain category was very diverse. The winning entry was Hanging Rock by Trevor Smith, complete with the cage for the corpse. The prize for this category is a set of Terrain Objectives from Tales of the Sail.
The top 10 entries in this category included:
- Hanging Rock by Trevor Smith
- Oak & Iron Islands by Jake Farris
- Modular River by Brent Devos
- Spanish Gun Battery by Tyler Carlson
- Farm House by Wayne Burton
- Three Story House by Jacob Zuvic
- 3D Battle Table by Peter Sikachev
- Warning Rocks by Oliver Kahler
- Caribbean Islands by Dan Mynett
- Farmed Fields by Guy Rheuark
You can see all the photos of these top entries here on the voting page, and you can see all the terrain entries in this Gallery.
The Plunder Den Flash Challenge – Farm House by Jason Klotz
Dexter of the Plunder Den did a special challenge, giving people a very cheap list of materials and a very limited time frame to build a specific project. You can see the details of his challenge on his YouTube channel here.
How can you not win with flower boxes outside the window? Great work from Jason! Dexter has some of his awesome scratch built terrain set aside as a prize for this category.
You can see all the entries for Dexter’s Terrain Flash Challenge here on the voting page.
Most Total Votes – Pirate Force by Erich Goebel
At 250 votes, this entry received more votes than any other in the contest! Congratulations to Erich for a great showing!
We hope you enjoyed the 2023 Great Pirate Paint Off and the open voting aspect in particular. If you haven’t already, make sure to check out the other award categories in this post. Thank you to everyone who participated! It was really amazing to see all the great miniatures painted up by everyone this Spring. Thank you for sharing with us and the Firelock Community!
All winners have now been contacted. If you didn’t receive an email regarding your prize, please contact us and we’ll get it off to you!
Did you enjoy the painting contest this year? Is this something you’d like to see us do again next year? Let us know!
The Great Pirate Paint Off contest is complete. Let the Summer of Plunder begin!