Friday, November 14, 2014

Monte San Savino show Review!

Monte San Savino. What many claim to be the end of the year, a restart button for competitions and conventions in the miniature community. The be all, end all show to go to, and see how your year was, meet up with both old and new friends, and in general just see how things are and what is happening all around.

I have to say that the above has to be quite true cause the entire weekend felt like a reunion. Even if you were there for the first time, it still felt like you have been there a million times before due to the hospitality put on from everyone within.

But what is it all about? The miniatures of course! Normally when going to a competition ( like Duke, Euro or SMC this year ) the trader hall was massive and overshadows the painting competition area. So not the case here at Monte. The miniatures take center stage, and the traders ( who do exist ) are kept to a minimum. Mostly old time favorites that have been coming for years and year!

And the above photos are just of the Master's main categories! This doesn't include the other hall of the same size that was filled with all the Standard category entries and Masters overflow!

Considering that I took over 1100 photos at this event ( and some are even not blurry! ) can tell you that there were a lot of entries, and many things going on!

Arriving early is highly highly recommended to this event though! I know many who showed up on Thursday, where we showed up mid-day Friday after a very early start in UK.

As John can show above, the road was long, but in the end we got to our destination with our miniatures intact and ready for the event. Having the ability to enter on the Friday also meant that we did not have to worry about bringing the models in on Saturday after the Friday night celebrations! I can only cringe at thinking at how much pain some were after the amount of "Monte Holy Water" that some drank on the Friday night.

Tasted like Honey mixed with some alcohol really in the end.. but decent enough I guess :)

As far as the competition and the entries to the comp went.. the quality was insane! Coming from the rest of the competitions throughout the year, the Fantasy section here is probably the largest and of the highest quality! Not to be confused with other comps where the quality is still high, just not as many pieces sitting in the same place as there were here!

After seeing the Rocco's painted up and in person, I really need to get on with painting mine! Even if it is looking like it was cast by a 5 yr old.

2 great Dwarf busts that I would like to get my hands on! Hopefully I can find them online at some point!!!

Easily a contender for best of show overall. Such a great sculpt, but also the painting and scene with it is just amazing!

And finally the best of show piece! Such a great concept and nicely executed here. The contrast between the smooth and clean baby head compared against the darker, dirty fairy(?) that sits on its head. Very nice job there, and very emotional for Diego who won with it!

I am very humbled that I got the honor to stand on stage a few times through for some of my works. A silver for my Ambient Standard display, an honorable mention for my Ronin in Historical Standard, and a nice prize from 27rosso for my Alien bust and the rest of the busts display which they considered to be Best Display in Standard! Will show off that prize in a separate post ;) I am disappointed that my busts didn't do better in the actual competition, but then again looking at the standard paint category I am not really surprised. The quality level was insanely high there and I just need to step up my game for next year.

Though I also need to not look like a complete dork while on stage while standing next to others..

And this is the most flattering photo out of the bunch to be honest! There are a lot more less flattering photos of me on stage with Nil from Spain! If you see any others of me on stage with her, and they don't look at flattering as this photo.. it is Photoshop'd. That is all I am saying on that subject!!

While in Monte I had the chance to stay with the Massive Voodoo crew in a nice villa only 800 meters away from the center of town! And when I say 800 meters I mean closer to 2 miles ( or thereabouts! ). But the view on Saturday morning.. fantastic!

Much better than our Sunday views..

But still a great place to visit, and one that I will have to come back to again in the future. And the main reason for that? The people.. so many of them, all happy, and willing to take horrible selfies!

Yeah.. pretty exhausted still from the event.. and still reeling from the adventure itself. But the motivation to paint is uber high. The want to create is more present than ever. And the desire to go back next year and enter it again. Meet up with others once more. Drink the honey liqueur while seeing whom else I can lift up and over my shoulders :)

But most importantly... go back for the Gelato! Really was a highlight that some might overlook :) Until the next time.. enjoy the weekend while I begin more work on the Viking bust as well as my display for the following year!


  1. Wow great photobombing at the end!
    Looks like a great event. Did everyone enter something or is it for us mere mortals also possible to visit events like this? Considering that SMC and Monte are nearly the same distance for me and Duke is only few hours drive... Joining without entering something would make a "only mini" event pretty interesting.

    1. So much photobombs here! Tried out for king of the selfies.. but I fail at selfies it seems...
      Not everyone entered something. I know a few people who came just to see the models and meet up with others. Definitely something to look into and come to one of the events at some point. Euro/SMC/Monte are top of my list for next year.. hope to see you at one of them!

  2. Thank you again for your precious point of view, will help the staff have an objective analysis on the whole thing (we gotta enjoy some rest and then get back to work).
    And please take care of the oil and Jack :)

    1. Many thanks for the great organization of the event! Cannot fathom how much work goes into this.. And the Oil is in good hands. Mrs Lee is looking at recipes for it as we speak! And Jack is taking up some space on the shelf.. waiting for inspiration to strike!

  3. Congrats on the silver! Some of these models are beyond awe inspiring. The lizard/dragon's eye is pulling me through the computer into a fantasy land.

    1. Thanks Greg. There were a ton of great pieces.. so getting the chance to be on stage.. overwhelming for me! Looking forward to next year already!

  4. Congratulations on your awards.

    But that babies head and dark fairy is a stupendous piece of modelling and painting.


    1. Thanks Tony, but the people and environment are much more better than the awards there. Already looking forward to meeting up with everyone again next year!

  5. Reading your review just made me wish I was there. Besides the amazing miniatures on show, this has to be one of the best miniature show around - the people, atmosphere, environment. Looks like an awesome show. Congrats on your first MMS show. :)

    I will attend MMS in future even if not competing.


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