Here we go! First part of Spring Angel 2013 review!
The Russian Alternative is a very small miniature company started a few years ago by Sergey Pavlov and Ekaterina Garina, (Katy and Sergey), a beautiful Russian couple who happen to be very succesful Russian business people and also very very passionate miniature hobbyists. Their passion for the hobby is such that they are probably some of the world's top collectors of fantasy miniature masterpieces and also wonderful tabletop level painted (and not so tabletop level) armies of all kind. Their house is a dream come true to any miniature enthusiast.
The auditorium for the masterclasses before the battle... scary!
But going back to the point (I will show photos of Katy and Sergey's lair in Part two of this review), The Russian Alternative produces very nice metal 28mm scale fantasy miniatures. As part of their project, they founded The Russian Alternative Contest in Moscow, the first one called The Winter Angel 2012, corresponding to the fact that the event was held in the winter of 2012. They invited three top world class painters to be judges of the contest, Jose Manuel Palomares, Ben Komets and Matt Cexwish. The first edition was a great success, and a big call to brushes for many many Russian painters.
Contests of the world: is it that hard to put the right lights? Learn from the Spring Angel
This year the initiative continued growing, and The Spring Angel 2013 was announced, again with the same judges, but with more motivation and even better organization.
Feasting for free in The Spring Angel 2013
This was the timetable of the event:
- 09.30 - 11.30 Contestant and guest registration
- 09.30 - 11.30 Coffee break
- 12.00 - 14.30 The main exhibition of contest works review
- 13.00 - 14.30 Lunch
- 15.00 - 18.00 Master classes
- 18.00 - 19.00 Awarding ceremony
I tried to tease the audience into singing in Russian... I failed
Obviously all I mention is living proof of what I said earlier. Paraphrasing Michael Bartels, this is "The Champions League of all Painting Contests". Without spending a single cent, you get free food, free masterclasses, free participation in a top world class contest with top world class judges. [irony on] I missed some free massages of beautiful Russian ladies but I'm guessing that will be added next year! [irony off]. And even with this incredible prospect, there weren't so many painters attending. Why? I simply don't know. A contest like this in a country like Spain would summon so many people that they probably wouldn't fit in the hotel, for starters. Just the calling for free food would call in hordes of attendees wishing for some nice complimentary food and beverage all day long. I can't stress enough how lucky the Russian painting community is to have this outstandingly generous couple to organize such an event, all expenses paid and covered from their own pockets. I know of no place in the world to hold something similar to this, and I will probably never see anything like it elsewhere. If you are Russian and you are reading these lines, you should be starting on your minis for next year, because if you are missing any other Russian Alternative Angel, you deserve nothing else than dry paints for the rest of your life.
So these were the categories:
- Fantasy – SteamPunk 28-35 mm.
- Sci-Fi 28-35 mm.
- Sci-Fi Vehicle.
So in the end I am really really happy with the outcome of the contest. I was able to share podium with some of my most admired miniature artists of all time, and that, my friends, is something that I will cherish in my memory for years to come. Did I already mention that Kirill is probably the best miniature painter in the world? :D
I grow small compared to these Titans of the Brush (Kirill Kanaev "Yellow One" and Stephan Rath "Derwish"
My words are not enough to describe the magnificence of The Russian Alternative. Make sure you check out the posts and photo galleries of the following links. You won't need any more reasons to attend next year, but they will certainly make you drool some more.
- Masterminis report Part 1
- Masterminis report Part 2
- Michael Bartels Picasa
- Dmitry Fesechko (Best of Show) site
- Hope River's Valley (Nadya's blog)
- Irina's Flickr Part 1 People
- Part 2 Awards
- Part 3 Masterclass
- Anna Shestakova Facebook Album
- Sergei Gusex Facebook Album
- Yaroslav Bobrov Blog
Stay tuned for Part 2 of the Russian Adventure!