Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Painting Comp and Traders at Euro Militaire

Ok .. now for the actual article concerning the competition aspect of Euro Militaire. The secondary reason for why we showed up to Folkstone ( the first being to meet and drink with other painters! ).

As you can probably guess.. there were a ton of people.. and a ton of entries.. oh and a ton of traders as well ( to which I spent some serious coin on! ).

Like wow.. quite a few traders here.. and more below me, beside me, and on the opposite balcony. Oh and at the entrance ( the proper one, not that sneaky one we used the other day ) is also crammed full of traders. Plenty of places to loosen the wallet, and gain something that looks good now and will probably sit on the shelf for a while to come ( not that I can complain to that much these days! ).

All the competition entries ( and traders etc ) can be found at this link here. I really did try to make sure I took photos of everything in the competition. And I mean EVERYTHING. I know a few ( Debbie, looking at you there ) commenting on my rapid fire photo style.. but hey.. I take photos like I paint.. quickly and without thinking.. wait.. that is not right....

Some of my favorites from the show are below...

Am always amazed at some of these builds and the level of details that they go into. Just wow on these Military Vehicles. In other categories I really enjoyed the below pieces..

Great pieces in the fantasy section, and a lot of controversy here as well. Many were surprised or not agreeing with some of the results. Honestly I can say that some of the comments make sense, but it is a bit off with regards to the fact that it was fantasy versus reality thinking. But the judges have their own criteria, and thoughts on the matter. And seeing the entries and the style of the show, I cannot comment on it further, nor would want to. Seeing as I will probably be going through the same questioning soon enough with the 5th-dimension scores to be released soon!

A couple of the dioramas that were put up in the military vehicle section.. again the few that really stood out to me here..

Some really amazing busts in the fantasy section also... most of the ones that caught my eye also caught the judges.. while some didn't fair as well. Though again the judges were up for discussing it further though as/when they were cornered ;)

The bioshock display lit up also! Which was pretty cool!

Some just truly amazing pieces in the historical bust section. Really impressed here and really looking forward to painting up more of them in the future with some of these as inspiration. Especially the crusaders ( larger ones ) that have all the little details thrown around and detailed out! The last 2 didn't do so well in the placing, but I still really enjoyed them ( and I love the sculpts ). One day I will need to pick them up and give them a go myself as well. I think they will sit nicely in my desk at work ( helps I work for a Japanese firm ;) ).

Some more little vignettes here.. not sure what category it was.. but it was quite enjoyable to see some of the little scenes being put on there..

The larger historical foot pieces ( over 65mm scale ) were impressive. There were others within this category that really stood out, but I am struggling to find appropriate photos of them! But that US Marine is a LARGE model.. more like a larger format action doll than a miniature, but I saw it for sale in the trader hall so I know it is a normal resin figure here... dammmmmn...

This was a tough category, as is the next one.. the normal or under 65mm foot historical figures..

I had difficulty photographing some of these as it was on the Sunday.. my back just gave out trying to stand and take photos any longer on the Saturday. And when I began to take photos on the Sunday many of the pieces were being lifted off to be photographed professionally for the Euro site I assume! But still some great pieces here and some fantastic ideas on setting a scene with minimal pieces..

These mounted pieces were just beautiful! The patience to paint such pieces.. astounding!

The civilian section.. just.. wow.. especially the Bruce Willis face ( whom I got to meet the artist for it.. nice guy who has been at this for quite some time now! Oh and passing the passion for painting onto his Daughter who is also an accomplished painter! ).

And finally the Fantasy vehicle category.. Just before leaving the house I was considering to bring my Dark Angels Flyer from 40k.. sooooo glad I didn't do that lol.. would have been very embarrassing to myself to do such a think compared to what was actually there! And these 3 above were all quality pieces!

So that was a the show.. the Best of Show piece was one that I had put on FB the Saturday night, and it was rightly deserved..

The level of details and work that would have had to have gone into this is just amazing. Sure there are a few spots that could be touched up maybe? But damn if you can find them so easily!!! Master level there!

As for me.. how'd I do? Well honestly a lot better than most considered I would do.. and a hell of a lot better than I thought I would do actually!

Out of my 9 entries, 6 got pins/medals! Prior to entering, I was informed that I should be wary of what I might actually be getting for rewards here as the judging is very tight and the quality is quite high. And it was but again I won't get into the details on the judging too much. I will just be thankful for the pieces that caught the eyes of the judges, but more so.. the advice and critique I received from the judges as well!

Biggest comment was about the texture of my pieces and making them more realistic to the material that I am claiming it to be. So for example, matting down the cloak of the Crusader. Making the sword sheath a bit shiney on the Ronin. Making his spear more shiny. Working the felt aspect of the Brekk hat a bit more, and reducing the glare on it further.

Also a discussion with Luke and Rob concerning freehand on the Ronin. Debated on this, and I think maybe I might try something on it in the future for perhaps Monte? But will see if I can find an appropriate pattern, and the right colors once more.

There were a well another comment like precision painting a bit more. Like making the sections on the Alien bust better ( the separation between skin and metalwork ) or the Fez on Brekk.

And then there was some controversy on the Ape bust. Not enough contrast or work on the blacks on it.. and could have more. So that is something to work on and maybe force a light source on the top of his noggin there as well.

As stated.. some really good feedback from the judges.. and really want to say thanks to them for giving me the time to go through some of the pieces in more details. And how to push my painting a bit further.. not because this is the first time that I received such information but it is the first time I can recognize it better and understand the points being made. And as one of my painting mentors stated to me.. my eyes for painting are growing.. which I think means I am beginning to see the smaller mistakes and making changes to them accordingly. :) At least I hope so..

Anyways.. yeah.. so there is the low down on the event to me.. at least the competition aspect of it, and some of the pieces that caught my eye for one reason or another. But for now.. I need to get back to the table and just get painting! Such as the current project that I am trying to create with all the techniques that I have learned this year and finding what works best for me!

Until then.. enjoy!


  1. Wow...those are some absolutely magnificent pieces. Thanks as always for taking the time to share the photos you took! That is quite the event! Congrats on your placement as well. Sometimes I think the feedback and comments are the most important part of these events. They really help you to grow as an artist.

    1. Cheers Greg. Yes, completely agree that the comments and critiques at the end were the best part and I am already trying to apply them to my projects moving forward.

  2. That best in show is.... nope, words fail me. I got nothing. Thank you for the pics Kyle, really looking forward to Salute now.

    1. No problem mate. Glad you enjoyed them.. and yeah.. that best of show.. dammmmmn... I suspect I will see it again soon at SMC or Monte though.. I hope anyways!!!!

  3. Getting feedback is most of the time a good thing. Very nice of the judges to take the time and do that.
    For the rest... Nice pictures and grats for the success! ;)

    1. Getting direct feedback is great. Especially when it is honest and clear enough to understand :) Sometimes I get things like.. more contrast.. but not really any more specific than that.. not as helpful as when it is stated, that this or that could be done and that this or that could be improved. And then the explanation behind it as well :) Very cool.

  4. I had no idea that you had so many pieces in the show - brilliant job!

    1. Thanks Michael.. I actually had 3 more also that were not shown in the photo above :) Really brought out everything with me to get some great feedback from the judges and other participants.


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