Friday, August 23, 2013

My 2013 GenCon Miniature Painting Competition Entries

This month has been a blur; late nights working on projects getting them ready for GenCon, and then an eight hour trip to Indianapolis and the hobby gaming nirvanna that followed.  It was awesome, and I can proudly say that my GenCon virginity is no more.  Four straight days of games and hobby, and more miniatures than my wallet could possibly handle (Dark Sword took almost $100 from me at their booth).

I took a few offerings for the painting competition too, sadly I didn't place, but it was still rewarding to have given it a shot and I want to share some of the pics with you.  Let's take a look!

This was one of my single mini entries, a Pathfinder Legionnaire with a Max Mini Black Lotus Tribe shield, and a custom made arch and base.  All told I put in about forty hours creating and painting this piece and it was a first serious attempt at non-metallic metal (I don't often do NMM for commissions as it takes a long time to create the effect and is therefore pricey).  

I dropped the stock shield that came with the model for this fantastic Max Mini Greco-Roman one.  The details on the shield are perfect for NMM and offer a lot of reflection areas and places of shadow.  In hindsight, I should have pushed the highlights higher.

Army Painter's poison ivy made great climbing ivy for the arch which was fabbed out of four pieces of 1mm plasticard, cut, glued, and filed to shape.

After looking at the top models in the category, I feel that the base is the weakest part of this model and would have benefited from more color variation and could have done more to make the model pop.  Another aspect of the winning models was total light source shading, correct shadows and shading from top to bottom which don't rely on natural light and shadow.  Forty hours of work isn't going to cut it in single mini, time to plan on eighty plus for next time!

I entered two models into single mini (GenCon allows two per person per category) and this is my second offering.  It's a Freeblades Bladesister, again utilizing NMM on metal portions.

I topped out at twenty hours on this piece and primarily wanted to use it for more practice (I knew it would be a long shot to place!).

The base is cut plasticard filed to a spiral stone pattern.  I did run out of time on this one and couldn't fit in the designs and braidwork on the back of her coat I wanted to include.  I had planned to do the three stacked horses of her hometown Karadel and some knots and trim running down its length.

These horrors were a revisitation of a squad I completed two years ago.  I wanted to update their paint jobs and create a movement tray that tied the group together.  The tray was created and painted in two days and the horrors were touched up on the third day.  Three days to create a squad entry!  Madness!

An initial layer of Apoxie Sculpt was sculpted on top of a Gale Force 9 movement tray to rough up the smooth surface and add variation.  A 1:1 mix of Apoxie Sculpt and green stuff was used to make waves and ripples and pure green stuff was the basis for all bubbles, eyes, teeth, and horns.

My favorite thing about demons is all the "gribblies," the nasty eyes and teeth popping out of nowhere.  My absolute favorite is the elder horror (light pink in the foreground), his base, and the accompanying eyes and teeth on the movement tray.

This demon has manifested three eyes, a mouth, and some tentacles!  One eye has a tri-pupil and another has two!

Two entries were revisitations of past projects, and Kairos was the second.  You might remember him from last November, when I showed off his completed model.  Kairos was essentially me throwing my hat into the large mini ring while sticking to a strict time budget, I only had time to update the edge of his base with dark red...  

I like this Kairos model, but he was definitely outclassed by the dedicated competition pieces entered into his category.  So much more needs to be done to bring him up to speed: detail on his nails and horns, shading on the fish, better detail on the book, updates on his highlights...  I wish I had had the time to do it all, but it was still fun seeing him in the case and crossing my fingers for judging.

The painting competition was just one part of my trip to GenCon and I had loads of fun perusing the vendor hall and playing games day and night.  It was humbling and an honor to have my pieces judged alongside the other entries and I have a lot of respect for those who entered and especially for those who placed, great job guys!

It's time to get back commission work and turn out some minis for my clients, I have some super cool owl bears I'm working on now that I'm excited to share with you next week!

Until next time, good gaming and happy hobbying!


  1. Can't believe you didn't get a place or show for any of them. I know Indie has a lot of folks though.

    All looks very good to me!

    1. Thanks Aaron, the entries that placed were really well done. I'm already shooting for the next one!

  2. I thought those horrors looked familiar when I was looking over the case at GenCon! Bummed that you didn't place, I loved them!

    1. Thank you Mordian, I'm glad you got to see them in person! All the categories had some fantastic minis, it would have been awesome to place with the horrors.


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