Monday, April 30, 2012

Do Not Miss: April 2012

This is the most interesting stuff I've seen in the internet on April 2012:

  • Knightmodels new releases: Another amazing batch of new miniatures from Knightmodels. This time, opening the new line from DC with the Joker, an Ewok in 75mm and another droid for 30mm.

  • The Joker, by Alfonso Gozalo:The sculpture of the Joker is absolutely astonishing. Check it out, it's just exactly like Heath Ledger! The painting by Alfonso Giraldes (Banshee) is really amazing too.

  • Tachanka, by Jorge Jaldón: A new piece by Jorge Jaldón, once again, an impressive way of understanding modelling. I'm beginning to love more and more pieces like this one, filled with dynamism and movement. By the way, check out Rafita Coll's blog because with the coming of the Spring he has decided to change its look.

  • Sherlock Holmes, Scale75: The company has just started a new line based on book characters. This is the first miniature of the series, Sherlock Holmes, beautifully modelled by AÁngel Terol and painted by Roberto Ramírez. A luxury kit with great attention to detail, no doubt.

  • Secret Studio Miniatures: Juan Navarro, very famous for his works in Infinity and other miniature companies internationally, is starting his own personal line. This project is called Secret Studio Miniatures and here you will find his first set of proposals. I specially like the concept behind the Mermaid Hunter, quite a twist!

  • Nocturna Models/Historic Art new releases: This new batch of amazing figurines have two absolute marvels. Check them out in Rafa Coll's blog! Alice and Merlin are absolutely wonderful. Modelled by Alfonso Gozalo and Pedro Fernández, painted by Jesús Marín. Delicious!

  • More Knighmodels new releases: At last, Knightmodels releases the first miniatures of their two new licenses, Lord of the Rings and DC comics. To start off, the amazing 75mm of Boromir, Gandalf and also Superman and Batman in 35mm. Another absolutely wonderful batch of miniatures. This time though, I'm absolutely in love with Boromir. Oh my god.

  • Gandalf, the green by Alfonso Gozalo: Check out the photos of the sculpture of Gandalf. The face is just amazing. It looks just exactly Ian McKellen!

  • How to display miniatures for real artists: This is an article by Matt Cexwish in Massive Voodoo on his thoughts about displaying miniatures professionally for real artists. Very interesting and inspirating!

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Painting with... Matteo Murelli

Matteo Murelli is 2011 Italian Slayersword winner, a trophy won in a very interesting edition, considered by many the best GD in 2011 because of the level of the participants and their entries. Let's talk with Matteo for a little while and see what are his thoughts on this hobby of ours.

    Volomir: Matteo, tell us something about yourself for everyone who doesn’t know you. Can you tell us a bit about your painting history?

    Matteo: I began to paint miniatures in 1995, my first miniature were some 28mm from a range of Ral Partha that were possible to find in stores at that time. I came to know about those after I received a precious red box of Dungeons and Dragons. A few years later I started to see the first few miniatures of Warhammer and I started to collect lot of undead and chaos. In 2000 I take part in the opening of the first official games workshop store in Milan where I could improve my technique on miniature painting by receiving suggestions from various other guys that already had experience from UK. I've worked there for about 2 years and in 2004 I won my first slayer sword at the third edition of our Italian Golden Demon. Since that time I kept painting and starting to learn a few things about sculpting as well, without any bigger purpose than the necessary to customize existing models to fit better my imagination. On suggestion of my recently met friend Fabrizio Russo I also began to participate in other contests, including historical ones, with him. This broadened my vision on miniatures and I started to give more attention to other wide ranges of miniatures that were not necessarily GW. Even so, Citadel will remain as my "first love". Now, on our last GD edition I presented my second nurgle supercreation because I still consider GD as a big objective, probably one of the most important contest about fantasy miniatures and in Italy painter community has grown so much because of it,the level has risen a lot here since 2004 so even though I was already satisfied when I returned from World Expo in Montreaux, I can't conceal that receiving my second slayer at a Golden Demon together with the Best of Forgeworld made me definitely happy.

    Volomir: Have you learnt to paint and sculpt all by yourself, have you attended courses, or do you have some sort of personal master?

    Matteo: I’ve mostly learnt by myself, especially because when I began there was not painting courses at all, not even tutorials on the internet to learn from. While working in the first Games Workshop store in Italy in 2000 I started improving my techniques by watching and asking for suggestions to other guys from the staff that already had some painting experiences in the UK where they made their training before coming to Italy to work at the store. At the moment I’m organizing regular courses of painting both private and with a maximum of 4-5 students at the same time where I try to share both techniques and passion for painting miniatures.

    Volomir: Do you think internet tutorials are enough to learn about painting or do we need something else?

    Matteo: Of course the new generation of painters receives huge benefits from the various tutorials they can find on the internet. Remember that when I began to paint the only way was learning through loads of mistakes. However I believe that even when they are well explained enough and wrote with simple language, tutorials can only resolve a specific doubt on "how to make" or "how to resolve" a certain circumstance, and they cannot be considered replacement of a master or learning through experience (which again includes making a lot of mistakes).

    Volomir: It is usually said that Golden Demon Italy is filled with entries containing a great deal of freehands and that is normally what the jury expects to give awards. What do you think about Golden Demon Italy? Is this really a trend you see there?

    Matteo: Yes and no. What disturbs me in general is the use of a banner filled with decoration and freehands which works mostly as an advertising for the miniature than something useful to complete the paintjob. Another bad side of the freehand is that seems used by few painters who don't care at all at about surfaces, volumes and atmosphere of the miniature. They use freehands mostly to mask a quiet flat surface, however those freehands are mostly what catch the attention of the judges so the trend seems to fill all entries with as much freehands as possible, at least for those painter believing that this is the only way to go for the Slayersword. In my opinion, freehands are awesome when they are complete and they add something to the miniature as well as they seem silly to me when they are just used as I said before, as an advertisement or a mask just for the contest. One of my students liked to call this use of freehand "ninja bomb".

    Volomir: Your miniature winner of the Slayersword in Italy 2011 is absolutely stunning. Did you prepare it to go for the Slayersword? Were you expecting the award?

    Matteo: It's quite an old project actually, in fact I started to work on the spawn from Forgeworld two years ago, but I put that project apart because I couldn't find any good miniature to ride it and I dusted it off recently when I saw that new champion of Nurgle that Games Workshop released a few months ago... moreover in plastic!! That was perfect. It's hard to say I was expecting anything recently, the level of the Italian GD has grown dramatically, but I worked hard on this project so I was at least expecting to place it on the podium if not to aim for the BOS (Best of Show) or the Best of Forgeworld since I decided to use a mix of their miniature and Games Workshop.

    Volomir: People often prepare great works to compete for the Slayersword. They consider all the aspects, such as size of the entry, trend topics, or commercial decisions. Do you think there is a specific formula to enter competition to aim for the Slayersword?

    Matteo: Not at all, I did it probably for a very short time, but I believe that when you paint something you really enjoy to paint everything comes alone without any kind of commercial consideration. This time for this specific entry I just wanted to show a different use of the "freehand" that could be an enrichment for the miniature and not a replacement of everything else, that probably was my only consideration about it.

    Volomir: Do you travel abroad to other contests?

    Yes, of course. I would love to do it more and often but nowadays the budget is limited and it has to be shared with holidays as well.

    Volomir: Who are the painters you most like or admire right now?

    Matteo: I don't have any specific name in mind there are a lot of them, I like to watch a wide range of works from different artists, and sometimes even very young painters can offer great ideas and suggestions.

    Volomir: Can you tell us something about your upcoming projects? Is there something as big as the Nurgle piece coming in the near future?

    I have a lot of things and ideas in my mind apart from Golden Demon. I would like to start taking some distance from the "fantasy universe" we are used to see nowadays. I would love to try and explore new ways; also I began an historical project together with 3 paleontologists, a paleoartist illustrator and a sculptor on dinosaur replicas which brings voice to a big passion of my childhood.

    Volomir: And finally, last but not least. I’m sure any painter new to the hobby is eager to hear some counsel from one of the best artists currently. Do you have anything to say to help someone who is starting now and would love to win a Slayersword someday?

    Matteo: Yes and it's quite simple, paint anything you like and do it with passion, enjoy every single brushstroke and do not think about the Slayer at all, especially avoid any kind of commercial approach to Golden Demon, don't try to make Games Workshop happy, do it for yourself!

Thank you very much Matteo! He threw some very interesting comments out there. I love his approach from GD contests and I find his words very inspirational. Please Matteo, keep up the good work! We hope to see more from you soon!

Monday, April 23, 2012

Crystal Brush 2012 Winners

Adepticon and Crystal Brush were celebrated this weekend in Chicago:

And we are proud to congratulate this year's winners:

Sebastian Archer, 3rd place:

Diego Esteban, 2nd place:

Jose Manuel Palomares (painting) and Hugo Gómez (sculpting), overall winners:

All of them good friends, with Jose, Hugo and Diego representing Spain! Congratulations to all!! Amazing pieces and very well deserved prizes. I'm very very happy for them all!

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Golden Demon Japan announced!


Great news! I just read in Chest of Colors that Games Workshop has announced Golden Demon Japan!!!

I am very excited to see what this event could bring us. I don't know much about Japanese painting community, could this be the beginning of another great event? Who knows...

What about attending? I've never been to Japan and I would love to go!

It will take place on August 18, Saturday (I just updated the events calendar). Check out information on GW official page:

Try this link without Google Translate at your own risk...


Monday, April 16, 2012

AMT Torrent 2012 results

So as you all may know by now, the traditional and probably most important Open event in Spain, AMT Torrent, was celebrated this past weekend.

There is not a lot of information still about it, just a few things we've heard on the internet. Apparently the quality of the entries in the contest has been superb, as usual, but there hasn't been as much participation as other years.

In the Fantasy section, always the most related topic to that of this blog, I have the pleasure to congratulate our friends of the south for winning this year's Fantasy Best of Show with "The Getaway", a piece I'm sure you must all have seen already:

Congrats to our friends Javier González (Arsies) and Antonio Fernández (Piquifl) for this award!

Torrent is also an excellent place for brands to present their future releases. This year, Pedro Fernández has presented his personal line of miniatures in this new adventure he called "Origen Art". The first minis from this new company are still not available, there were only a few limited edition copies for some fortunate few who could attend Torrent, but soon they will open their store online. Here you can get a few images from this new range:

Origen Art in Arsies Blog
Origen Art blog

We expect to see more photos soon!

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Confirmed: Changes to the rules GD Spain 2012

Yes, let's say goodbye to Large Scale and Bust category. GW has just published the rules for this year's GD Spain.

Bases del concurso Golden Demon España 2012 (in spanish)

So it seems GW has finally decided to unify every Golden Demon and there will be the same rules everywhere. Certainly good decision in terms of consistency for all. But I'm very sad for Large Scale, especially because I has something prepared for it this year (which I will be showing in the blog soon, no reason to keep it hidden anymore!).

What do you guys think about this?

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Announcing VI Encuentro de Miniaturismo San Lorenzo de El Escorial

While we are waiting on more news about changes in the rules to Golden Demon Spain 2012, I have the pleasure to announce another edition of the miniature contest in San Lorenzo de El Escorial, in Madrid. (VI Encuentro de Miniaturismo San Lorenzo de El Escorial). It will take place on this beautiful town on June 2-3.

It's become nearly a tradition in my calendar, as I was invited again (this is the fourth year in a row) to be part of the jury, with my friend Elías Alonso. We will presumably be in charge of deciding winners in the Fantasy section, which is again a very great honour for us. This contest is very cool, we see lots of great pieces every year, and the location is simply outstanding. We encourage you all to visit! You won't be disappointed for sure!

I've just updated the dates of the contest in my Events section. In the meantime, remember that this weekend the famous Torrent contest will take place. I'm afraid I won't be attending this year (again...) but I'm sure we will have tons of photos to indulge us with, and I promise I will do my best to give the contest the coverage it deserves. Good luck to all of you attending Torrent! You lucky bastards will have the opportunity to see lots of news from great miniature companies, and the long awaited new project from Pedro Fernández on its own!

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Incoming changes on GD Spain 2012 rules

I was obviously mistaken on my previous guesses about that misterious event from GW (which was only the presentation of the infamous new painting range). But I wasn't mistaken about the changes to the spanish Golden Demon rules!

Tickets are on sale right now but the rules are still not updated on the web (while other countries with GD being celebrated much later already have them).

I've just received news from GW Spain that GW HQ is going to send new rules for the contest. So obviously we can expect to see changes similar to those taking place already in GD UK.

It is sad but I'm afraid they are going to take out Large Scale from the contest! And it's sad because I had something prepared for it! Anyway, these week all our doubts will be cleared, finally. Let's see what happens.

Monday, April 2, 2012

This might explain a lot of things...

You might have wondered why the blog hasn't got as many updates lately...