Monday, November 30, 2015

Do Not Miss: November 2015

Remember, remember, do not miss November!

This edition filled with lots of contests and miniatures all over the world!


Articles and Tutorials

New Releases

Events and reports

Wednesday, November 11, 2015

My opinion on Monte San Savino 2015

The Decennial of Monte San Savino has proven to be an irresistible magnet for the greatest names of our little painting community. As usual, it was easier to feel the magnitude of the artists gathered by counting just the names of those who missed the event this year. It was a total blast, believe me.

MSS is cool, and you know it!

And as usual, the organization has worked inmensely to make sure everything ran smoothly and perfectly so that everyone could have the best experience possible. This is no simple task, I can assure you that!

Taking photos of all miniatures was a titanic task

From the first to the last, Francesco, Luca, Fabio, Elisa... many many names that are behind the curtains and make everything possible. This is all done out of passion for the hobby, all for this little (huge) creature they have created throughout these amazing 10 years. This creature is now, without a doubt, the most important gathering of miniature figure artists in the world.

The people in this line are Silver winners in Masters Fantasy creation (take that!)

How has this happened? This is probably one important question that comes to the minds of many participants, some even organizers of their own contests from different parts of the world. Well, it's something hard to explain, really. It is something that has happened for many reasons. It has been a snowball that has been growing bigger and bigger each year. The legendary artist names participating in every edition have served as a beacon for other painters to spread the unavoidable call of Monte and help them decide to make the trip each November.

Raúl Latorre in his painting demo

Bests of Bests

The difference between Monte and other contests is not the location for example. Monte San Savino is a beautiful little town in the Tuscany that you most certainly would like to visit with your family or friends. However, this is something you can also find in other contests. Just this past weekend for example we witnessed Soldat de Plom, held in the wonderful city of Girona in Spain, which is not only as beautiful as you would expect of Monte, but also bigger and better communicated.

The traditional Friday idromele baptism

The show at a calm time of the day

The difference between Monte and other contests is not the quality of the lighting and situation of the exhibits for example. It actually is a contest where you may find one of the worst lighting sets you can think of, no cabinets, not enough space for the pieces in show, difficult accesses and small rooms for the huge amount of participants. So if MSS is not good at this, then what is the difference?

The main difference between Monte and other contests is that the painting community has picked this event, and no other, to meet every year as the mandatory date in the calendar. This has created something which is much more than a community, it is a family. And this, of course, is thanks to the titanic effort of people like Francesco or Luca, who work like crazy every year to make this happen. This, we cannot stress it enough, means that Monte San Savino is the community, made by the community and for the community.

Happy watching of the award ceremony

And now, in this Decennial more than ever, the problems that Monte San Savino has always had are excruciatingly evident. The amount of participants and visitors has grown inmensely, the community is bigger than ever, and the quality level of the entries is something never seen before. But the event is still as great as it was three years ago, and this is not enough. The community is outgrowing the event and I am worried that Monte San Savino may, at some point, die of success. Our family has grown very much in size and the house is no longer big enough.

In my opinion, it is now, just when the contest has turned ten years old, the perfect moment when the community has to step up and finally help consolidate this yearly gathering. We need to make MSS something bigger and make it level up to help it grow into an even greater event.

Maximum use of the space available

Awesome stuff in the corner without any lights at all

There is of course a full year until the next edition of Monte San Savino, more than enough time to recommend sensible improvements to the organization. But we cannot rest in our laurels! I propose gathering a set of good ideas and criticisms so we can make a proper list of things to improve, and help our friends in the MSS crew make the transition into something that is sustainable for the future.

For this purpose, and if you want, I will personally gather up all your ideas and comments to make a consolidated list of the important things that need to improve, and then send them all to Francesco and the crew. It's the least I can do to help the contest. What do you think?

Best of Fantasy prize made especially for the occassion by Francesco Farabi

Therefore, what would you think needs to improve in Monte San Savino? If you have something to say please send your comments via facebook in my Facebook page, the comment section of this blog, or send them to my e-mail. Rest assured that I will read them all and when the list is complete, I will post it in the blog for you all to read. I will be accepting your ideas up until the end of November.

It's now the time to step in and level up! Have a say and be heard!

PS: The photos in this article have been slaughtered mercilessly from the Facebook sites of John Keys, John Harrison and Davide Rainone. Without their permission, but with all my cheek and good will. Please refrain from legal prosecution! :)

Tuesday, November 10, 2015

Monte San Savino 2015 my personal Bests

There was much more in MSS 2015 than just the bests that I shared with you yesterday. So many beautiful pieces that I'm sure no one had enough time to see them all. Such incredible display would require months for anyone to admire in all its glory.

For this reason, I have gone through the inmense myriad of photos that I took this weekend, and picked up my personal favourites (apart from the already mentioned Bests) to share with you. Here they are!

Toni Nieto's particular vision of miniatures and art

Luis Méndez's hand and Palantir, insane creativity unleashed

Martin Goumaz and Patrick Masson, and the girl and the leaf knight

Roman Lappat's Masters Painting display compression

Damek's inversion of the story

Banshee's proposal to break with the established

Luis Gómez Pradal and the Pirate Orc colour beacon

Nakatan's works finally live in Europe

Raffaele Picca's fierce creations

Marc Masclans, the real painting giant

Patrick Masson, virtuosity in sculpting

Lucas Pina, the style that shook our world

I'm sure you enjoyed the photos... well, I tell you, they were much better live!

What were your own personal favourites in MSS 2015?

Monday, November 9, 2015

Monte San Savino 2015 Bests

The Decennial of Monte San Savino (MSS 2015) was celebrated this weekend. What a blast! Once again, a wonderful orgy of great marvels with a huge level, extraordinary participation and tons of artworks to remember.

I will write more than just this post about this year's experience of course, but let's tackle first what you guys are probably most waiting for. Photos of the winner miniatures!

In Monte San Savino, because the level is so high, and since the format is Open, there are many many prizes. The participation is huge and the level cannot be compared to any other annual contest (in the Fantasy section at least). For this reason, there are many medals in each category, and it is not rare to see 4 golds in the same category (the number of silver and bronze medals per category could very well go over a dozen). In addition to this, there are different "Best of" awards. We find the Best of Fantasy and Best of Historical, which is more or less common to other contests, and also the Best of Painter and Best of Sculpting, together with Best of Legio (especial award from the Legio Pictorum forum).

Let's see the Bests of Monte San Savino 2015 (some of these are photos taken from my phone which of course could be much better, I'm sure there will be better ones when their owners take better pics):

Best of Show: Antonio Zapatero (sculpting) / Gustavo Gil (painting)

This tandem of spanish masters take home the most important award, the Best of Show, with a completely scratch built diorama modelled by Antonio and painted by Gustavo. It is not a new piece since we already saw it live in Euromilitaire and Soldat de Plom, but it is indeed a beautiful creation and a worthy winner of MSS 2015.

Best of Fantasy: Michael Kontraros (sculpting) / Kyriakos Simos (painting)

Another wonderful creation of the greek master Michael Kontraros, this time with Kyriakos Simos. The piece speaks for itself!

Best of Figure: Joaquin Palacios

Joaquin Palacios takes home the Best of Figure for his sculpture of this Paul Bonner creation (a very famous illustration).

Best of Legio: Ben Komets

Ben Komets also known as the most prolific fantasy painter of late, takes the best of Legio for his extraordinary representation entered in the contest.

But these are not the only bests you could find in the contest. I do not have photos of them (sadly, so many miniatures in the contest, I did not have the time nor the energy to take pics of them), but they still deserve mentioning:

Best of Historical: John Rosengrant

Best of Standard: Davide Rainone

There are also nearly 400 photos of miniatures, all from the Master categories in the Fantasy section, that I posted live on my Facebook during the event. Check them out in Volomir's Facebook. Also, find out my personal favourites and more opinions and information on MSS in the next few days. Stay tuned!

Friday, November 6, 2015

Monte San Savino 2015 this weekend (Decennial)

Nothing but contests and events these days! Let's talk a bit about Monte San Savino this year! It is going to take place this weekend and I am looking forward to see many of you there!

It is a very special occassion. It's the tenth anniversary of this great event, and the organization has prepared some things that are going to be really really especial this time.

Poppy's Angels poster for this year

The list of guests and judges for this year is the following:

  • Painting demonstrations: Matteo Murelli; Roberto Ramirez Gutierrez; Roman Lappat
  • Sculpting demonstrations: Nello Rivieccio; Kostas Kariotelis; Antonio Guardini Zapatero
  • Special Guest: Raul Garcia Latorre
  • Judges: Fabio Nunnari (president), Mariano Numitone, Mario Venturi, Stefano e Pasquale Cannone, Massimiliano Richiero, Andrea Tessarini, Diego Esteban Perez, Pedro Fernandez Ramos, Stephen Mallia, Louis D'Orio, Steve Party, Anna Shestakova

Lots of miniatures and attendees are expected, so if you can't make it this year, make sure you are tuned to the appropriate channels (Volomir's Facebook, wink wink) to see every update available on the contest!

On the personal part, I have to say I have not completed any miniature to show off this year. My life is a bit of a rollercoaster and I did not have the time/strength/motivation to create something unique for the contest. However, the odds are changing lately and I might recover my usual painting self in the next few weeks. I am so looking forward to it!

Anyway... prepare once again for the poisonous embrace of idromele, the mountains of delicious pasta and the scent of fresh roasted porchetta. To those who are coming, I will definitely see you all there, and those who don't... well, we will tell you all about it when we return! ;)

Meet your painting heroes and embarass them! (can't get tired of this image, sorry bRo-man!)


Wednesday, November 4, 2015

III Goblin Painting Awards in Madrid - November 15

Even if we are in the week between Soldat de Plom and MSS and everyone is excited about this weekend, I cannot forget to make an important announcement that will affect especially those painters living here in Madrid.

Goblintrader Store in Madrid is organizing the third edition of it's annual painting contest. It will be celebrated in their new store in Madrid (calle Marqués de Lerma 7) on Sunday November 15th.

I will be part of the contest again this year. Believe when I tell you that this is probably the most interesting contest you can attend because of the huge amount of prizes that the store gives to participants. You cannot miss this opportunity! I want to see you all there!

Don't hesitate to go to their facebook page where the event is described:

And for your convenience, here I leave the legal terms of the contest (bases and stuff). In Spanish of course, if you need translation let me know ;).

    • Inscripción y Celebración:
      • El concurso se celebrará el día 15 de Noviembre Domingo. La Recogida de miniaturas empezará el mismo domingo 15 a las 10:00 de la mañana, finalizando la misma a las 14:00 de la tarde.
      • Las inscripciones al concurso podrán presentarse en nuestra tienda en Madrid Norte (C/ Marques de Lema nº7, 28003 Madrid).
      • La inscripción deberá mencionar la categoría por la que se compite, así como los datos personales del pintor, y un correo electrónico o número de teléfono de contacto.
      • La inscripción tiene un coste de 4€ por miniatura, 6€ dos miniaturas y a partir de la tercera miniatura la inscripción máxima que se abonará será de 8€ por todas las miniaturas que se presenten, pudiéndose presentar un máximo de DOS miniaturas por categoría, y cualquier cantidad en el concurso.
    • Jurado y evaluación
      • Las miniaturas serán evaluadas por nuestro jurado desde las 14:00 horas del domingo 15 y la entrega de premios ser celebrará a las 18:30 del mismo día.
    • Grupos de categorías
      • El concurso se divide en dos grupos de categorías: Maestro y Estándar.
      • Al nivel Maestro puede inscribirse voluntariamente cualquier participante, si bien, el nivel Estándar también es de inscripción voluntaria, los jueces pueden decidir desplazar miniaturas de nivel Estándar a nivel Maestro si lo consideran oportuno.
      • Se podrán presentar miniaturas de cualquier marca de miniaturas, o de creación propia.
    • Categorías:
      • Deberá haber al menos 3 miniaturas en una misma categoría para que ésta se evalúe. Las miniaturas que no completen categoría, irán al grupo Miscelánea.
      • Se podrá participar en las siguientes categorías:
      • Mas de 54mm. Miniaturas de tamaño 54mm o superior.
      • Menos de 54mm. Miniaturas de tamaño inferior a 54mm.
      • Duelo. Dos miniaturas de cualquier tamaño en una sola peana.
      • Diorama. Tres o mas miniaturas de cualquier tamaño en una sola peana.
      • Escuadra/banda. Cinco o mas miniaturas de cualquier tamaño. Las peanas pueden ser independientes
      • Monstruo/vehículo. Cualquier miniatura asociable a esta categoría, tamaño sin definir.
      • Bustos: Un busto de cualquier tamaño en una sola peana o plinto.
      • Miscelánea: Cualquier miniatura que no pueda concretarse en ninguna de las categorías mencionadas. Esta categoría también absorbe las miniaturas que no completen categoría.
    • Premios:
      • Toda la recaudación será destinada a premios.
      • Se otorgarán tres premios por categoría: oro, plata y bronce.
      • Los premios consistirán en productos o vales canjeables en la tienda sin caducidad a definir según participación, así como una miniatura-trofeo conmemorativa.
      • Según recaudación podrá haber sorteos para participantes no finalistas.
      • Las aportaciones de nuestros patrocinadores se entregarán como premios extras también sin computarse dentro de la recaudación.
    • Premio especial “Best of Show”:
      • El jurado seleccionará de entre los ganadores del premio Oro de cada categoría una miniatura para otorgarle el premio a la mejor miniatura del concurso o “BoS”
    • Premio especial “GTS”
      • Los trabajos finalistas del premio Best of Show serán fotografiados y subidos a nuestra página web de Facebook para que los seguidores puedan votarlos mediante el sistema “me gusta”, la miniatura que obtenga mas “me gusta” en nuestro álbum de Facebook desde las 14:00 a las 17:00 horas del domingo, será el ganador de dicho premio.
    • Jurado
      • El ilustre jurado del concurso (repitiendo por tercer año consecutivo!!) estará presidido por los pintores:
        • Rafael Garcia Marin, Volomir.
        • Samuel Pérez Sánchez.
        • Pablo López Jimeno, Paloji.
    • Facultades de la Organización:
      • Goblintrader como entidad organizadora del Concurso, se reserva el derecho a modificar las bases, o tomar decisiones, si fuera necesario, que no se reflejen en las mismas, así como solucionar cualquier conflicto en su interpretación.
      • La participación en este Concurso supone la aceptación total de las bases, así como la decisión del jurado y la renuncia a cualquier reclamación legal.

Tuesday, November 3, 2015

Soldat de Plom 2015 report

What a great weekend this has been! We've attended Soldat de Plom 2015 in Girona (Spain), and it's been a blast. Another amazing reunion of great friends of old, plus the wonderful introduction of new ones, in a city that serves as the perfect frame for a contest of this sort.

Let's talk first about what interests us all the most, the pieces in the contest. I made many photos of the Masters Fantasy section (Master painting and Master creation) as well as a few pics of the Standard Fantasy section, and the miniatures in the Judges and expo cabinets in the event. You can find them all in the album I created for this purpose in my facebook page. I uploaded them during the weekend, therefore, don't forget to like Volomir's facebook page and never miss its updates!

Here's some pictures out of the Fantasy section I picked up for you so you get a glimpse of some of the best miniatures in that category.

Toni Nieto's Best of Show (Fantasy) - "Creativity is intelligence having fun. A. Einstein"

Marc Masclans Gold in Master Painting (piece is scratchbuilt by Joaquín Palacios)

Marc Masclans Gold in Master Painting (Giant is Allan Carrasco's)

Bruno Llavallé Gold in Master Painting

Sergio Calvo Silver in Master Painting

I had the privilege and the enormous responsibility of being part of the judging team in the Fantasy section, together with my friends and masters Alfonso Giraldes (Banshee) and Jose Palomares (JMPN). It was a great task as usual, and very tough. It was a great pleasure to see friends like Toni Nieto and Marc Masclans take their awards. In this case especially Toni Nieto because his works are absolutely unique and something we would like to see developed further in our little world of miniatures. Congratulations again on the BoS, Toni! Well deserved!

Also, I did not make many pics of the Historical section, but I want to congratulate Juan Carlos Ávila on his Best of Show Historical, for his great display in this category. Congratulations Juan Carlos!

But the contest was not the only thing we could enjoy this weekend. As part of the show, there were some additional exhibitions you could see, such as a Star Wars custom made toy collection, and painting demos from masters Banshee and JMPN (together with Sergio Calvo as part of Big Child Creatives), or the sculpting demo by Antonio Zapatero (which I unfortunately missed because I was judging at the same time).

Alfonso Giraldes during his painting masterclass

Jose Palomares explains and Sergio Calvo executes, Big Child Creatives painting masterclass

And the thing that makes Soldat de Plom unique is it's environment. Girona is a truly beautiful city, with great sights and food to feast upon. The contest is held very conveniently the weekend when the local festivities take place, so there's lots of life, party and fun. You can witness many traditional events from Girona!

Traditional "Castellet" in front of the cathedral and the venue where Soldat de Plom takes place

Lunch with great friends

And of course, beware the plans during the night, or you may miss the early hours of the event during the day...

Nightlife is tough during Girona's local festivities... with Marc Masclans

I want to thank very much all of the people from El Baluard, the association in charge of the event organization, for their wonderful hospitality and kindness. It's been a great pleasure to be able to collaborate with them this weekend, and it's been very fun. I am especially thankful to Ignasi Tor and Josep Maria Blanco (Kalpurgis) for treating us so well. Josep Maria is also a wonderful speaker, you should have seen him during dinner on Saturday!

If you want to see more stuff about this great event, don't forget to check in at El Baluard's facebook page. You should certainly consider paying them a visit next year!

Until our next meeting Girona (next year most probably)!