Hardscape Challenge 2020 Winners

Tim Harrison

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Finally, we can share the top 3 prizes…

1st The Gates of Malaiesti by ralphmanning
2nd The Garden of Eden by Nigel95
3rd A Forest Pathway by Konrad Michalski

Congratulations to our winners and to all who took part, it's been an excellent contest.
A big thank you to the UKAPS moderating team and especially Paulo @LondonDragon without whom none of this wold be possible.

And of course a big thank you to the judges George Farmer, Dave Pierce, and Stu Worrall.
All of whom have done an excellent job and who have also commented on their favourite scapes below.


The Gates of Malaiesti by ralphmanning
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The Garden of Eden by Nigel95
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A Forest Pathway by Konrad Michalski
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Judges Comments


George Farmer
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Dave Pierce

1.
Country: UK
UKAPS nickname: ryan thang to
Tank Size: 60x30x36 ada 60p
Title: Drift away

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Overall Impression:
Positive first impression, great sense of direction and flow with use of wood, rocks and fine branches.

Composition, Balance, Use of Space:
Good composition, opening/path offset to left side. Path and open space draws the eye and adds depth.

Selection and Use of Materials:
2 large pieces of structure wood work well the way they are positioned - complemented and enhanced by use of finer twigs/branches to add extra detail and interest.
Additional finer details with stones in the foreground.
Wood and rock choice works well together.
Brightness to the scape brought by use of light coloured cosmetic sand and bright background.


2. (Joint with The Gates of Malaiesti)
Country: UK
UKAPS Nickname: Konrad Michalski
Aquarium Size: 90x45x45
Title: A Forest Pathway

Overall Impression:

Excellent sense of depth, and I could image it would gain even more depth if effectively planted.

Composition, Balance, Use of Space:
Tunnel style created with clever use of wood and stone. Bright opening at the end of the tunnel will add depth.

Selection and Use of Materials:
Great use of wood, larger textures and branches at the front and smaller at the rear adding to a great sense of depth. Good use of cosmetic sand and finer rock chippings for details and enhanced scale.


3.
Country: The Netherlands
UKAPS nickname: Nigel95
Tank Size: 45x27x30cm
Title: The Garden of Eden

Overall Impression:

High impact layout which grabs your attention straight away. V shape created with upper rocks.

Composition, Balance, Use of Space:
Used much of the footprint with rock work. Rocks pointing in different directions gives an explosive effect. Rocks on right side larger to give better composition. Smaller stones seen to rear horizon to increase depth.

Selection and Use of Materials:
Excellent selection of materials that work well together both colour and texture. Finer small stones/chippings match the sharpness of the main rocks. Lighter sand path to contrast and enhance scale.


4.
Country: UK
Ukaps nickname: cbaum86
Tank size: 90 x 50 x 45cm
Title: Fractal

Overall Impression:

Attractive and striking Iwagumi style with high number of rocks used. Good positive impression upon first look.

Composition, Balance, Use of Space:
Good composition, although I would like to see the main stone a bit bigger on the right side. Clear V shape created with layout of stone which can be enhanced with planting.

Selection and Use of Materials:
Great choice on the light bright cosmetic sand path, narrowing towards the rear. Contrasts rocks well. Pebbles transition between rocks and sand, but different in texture to Seiryu stone.


5.
Country: UK/Japan
UKAPS nickname: igirisujin
Tank Size: 36cm (Mini M)
Title: Outcrop

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Overall Impression:
Peaceful and zen like vibe, effective use of just a few stones that work well together in the layout. Simple but striking, gives a nice peaceful feeling.

Composition, Balance, Use of Space:
Good positioning of rocks, main stone and supporting stones to give a good composition.

Selection and Use of Materials:
Simple rounded type stone, with nice lines in some rocks. Layout more about positioning of stones to form an attractive Iwagumi style, which has been done well.


6.
Country. UK
UKAPS nickname piotr88
Aquarium size 90x55x53
Title: Darkness

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Overall Impression:
Complex and Labour intensive build, must have taken a long time to create. Hardscape layout creates lots of shadows and light spots, like the sun beaming into a cave.

Composition, Balance, Use of Space:
The two openings draw the eye and balance the busier more crowded rocky areas.

Selection and Use of Materials:
A very high number of small dragon stone pieces used to form one larger cave like structure. Finer twigs and branches used to look like dangling roots to enhance scale.




Stu Worrall

1.
Country: UK
UKAPS nickname: ralphmanning
Tank: 60x30x45cm (ADA 60-H)
Title: The Gates of Malaiesti

I guess i'm a sucker for stunning rock scapes looking at my top 3 and this scape pips the post for me. Stunning rock work all put together in such a natural setting. The title fits the scape so well with a hint of Lord of the Rings look whilst being linked to another area of the Bucegi mountains. The minimal hair roots fit it well without being overpowering and the grading is excellent along with the angling of the rock to provide dark shadow when lit from above. My favourite out of them all.


2.
Country: The Netherlands
UKAPS nickname: Nigel95
Tank Size: 45x27x30cm
Title: The Garden of Eden

I really like the tension in this rock scape with the rocks justin out to the sides. Not too much of a sand path up the middle to distract the eye and lovely grading with the fine slate matching the Seiryu. I think the only thing I'd personally change is the regularity of the distant rocks in the back which seem too equally spaced. It would make a lovely scape when planted with some small nano plants.


3.
Country: UK
Ukaps nickname: cbaum86
Tank size: 90 x 50 x 45cm
Title: Fractal

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A very nice rock scape with a nice balance of aquasoil for planting versus the sand for giving some brightness to balance the shadow of the well placed rocks. I think the only reason this scored lower than the others was because the grading of the gravel could have been better up the slope. Some smashed up seiryu would have worked better than the rounded pebbles but that's my only criticism. It would look great with the contrasting green of the carpet when planted up with some detail plants. The sizes, choice and positioning of the rocks work really well.
 
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Tim Harrison

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Congratulations @ralphmanning well deserved a beautiful hardscape and congrats to the runners up hopefully we can do it all again next year make a anual thing out of it
Cheers Jay
That's the plan Jay ;)
 

LondonDragon

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Congrats to the winners and everyone that entered, 30 entries in short notice was great, see if we can make something out of this on a regular basis and give more heads up :)

Congrats to Tim for putting in the hard work on making this possible :clap::clap::thumbup::thumbup:
 

Tim Harrison

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Messages
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Congrats to the winners and everyone that entered, 30 entries in short notice was great, see if we can make something out of this on a regular basis and give more heads up :)

Congrats to Tim for putting in the hard work on making this possible :clap::clap::thumbup::thumbup:
Thanks Paulo, it wouldn't have been possible without your support and that of the team :)
 

ralphmanning

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Joined
5 Mar 2012
Messages
3
Location
London
Thank you very much! Congratulations to Nigel and Evita for 2nd and 3rd. 👏 Was great fun to take part -- hope to see it return next year.

Thanks Tim, Paulo and the judges.
Nigel and Konrad for 3rd I mean, though to congratulate EvitaL on "The Dragon", probably my favourite. Incredible wood and wonderfully pure in execution.
 
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