Huzzah! I finally have pictures of my winning entries from ReaperCon. First up is my Dark Sword “Hunting in Mosswood” entry. You may have recognized her as the featured mini from the Miniature Monthly contest they had not too long ago. While I didn’t finish her before the end of the contest, I finally finished her for ReaperCon.
Her outfit was loosely-inspired by Rey’s outfit from The Force Awakens. I liked the idea of a beige tunic with brown leathers for her belts straps, boots, and arm braces. I entered her in the Reaper MSP Open “Painters” division and she won gold :)
I do regret that I didn’t paint the vegetation with more interesting colors. I’d also like to add some ferns and/or resin water effects, though I didn’t want to risk a brand new technique that could compromise the base.
“Hunting in Mosswood” - Dark Sword Miniatures
I’m pleased that she won a Gold in the Painter’s Division. Unfortunately, this one didn’t win one of the Dark Sword manufacturer award, though the winning entries for those who did win were spectacular!
This was one of my first attempts at freehand on a cloak. While the scale of the pattern is still quite large, it allowed me to practice painting gold embroidery out the outside of her cloak. I imagined gold threads that would reflect differently as the cloak folds billowed behind her.
I used Reaper’s Gold NMM Triad to paint this, along with some extra-bright titanium white to really make it pop.
In addition to the freehand pattern, I took the liberty of giving her a bowstring (one of my personal pet peeves since wooden bows look incomplete without them) I shredded some dental floss until the proportion looked right.
In the final pictures on the right, her bow has been accidentally bent a bit and the bowstring is touching her arm. It shouldn’t be like that— the string should be pulled away from her arm brace just a bit to look more natural. I’m only noticing it now that I’m writing this blog post :)
I have to say, the freehand took FOREVER. Ugh.
“Blending In” · Bombshell Miniatures
First Place Golden Maelee Manufacturer Awards
I had a lot of fun with this! I researched different “graffiti alphabets” and chose a style I thought would translate well on a miniature scale. I cut a smaller piece from a Reaper “Jersey Barrier”, to mimic a concrete traffic barrier you often see in the cities, dividing opposing highway lanes without grassy medians.
I penciled it in first, outlined it in liner, and then filled in the letters. I used the purples and pinks to really emphasize her camouflage-patterned gun holster and rollerblades. One thing I’d do differently next time is to give it some more weathering— chips, paint scratches, dirt– to make it grungier. Otherwise, I’m happy with how it turned out!
Honestly, I’m very lucky I placed at all in the Bombshell manufacturer awards. There was a bit of confusion as far as the deadline for the painting contest entries at ReaperCon. Long story short, I knew I had to enter these pieces before teaching a 3-5pm class. A little after 1pm, as I was about to glue my Bombshell entry to her base and turn her in, someone approached me at Artists Alley and wanted to chat. I apologized that I was just leaving to turn in my entries since I had class close to the deadline. “Oh don’t worry, the deadline isn’t until 6pm. It says so in the program.” Oh! Well in that case, I do have some time to spare :) One discussion led to another, and I found myself planning to turn my minis right after my class ended at 5pm.
Fast forward to me gathering up my class supplies at 5pm, when I find 5+ missed texts from a friend asking why my entries are still on my table and that I’d missed the deadline. All I could think about was how much time and effort I’d put into these miniatures and how it was all going to be wasted. I can’t even remember who the person was who told me the deadline was 6pm, but I swear I remember seeing it printed that way. Yes, the deadline in past years was 5pm, but I assumed it had been changed this year. NOPE! Supposedly, someone came by Artists Alley to remind everyone that the deadline was 5pm, but I honestly don’t remember hearing that (maybe I was in a class?). In a panic, I slapped some glue on the miniature base and half-ran my entries to the entry table at 5:07pm. I was certain they were going to turn me away! [Begin the circus music]…
One of my friends asked if they could help carry anything, and I handed them the Bombshell mini while I entered my other two miniatures. However, I failed to mention that I didn’t pin her arm and as they held her tightly and pushed her down into the slowly-drying glue, her arm came off. Hoo boy. So now I have a miniature that isn’t attached to her base AND her arm/gun has detached at the elbow AND a pissed off person behind the contest entry table, as I babble about hearing about/seeing a 6pm deadline printed somewhere. More friends came to the rescue with a bottle of glue and I held back tears of embarrassment as she was patched back together. I couldn’t believe it: I was THAT person who waited until the last minute and inconvenienced others due to their poor planning. And I was so ashamed since this was my first year of being a full-time instructor— to me, that was absolutely unacceptable. I’m incredibly grateful to my friends who helped save the day, and I vow never to be that person ever again.
Important Note: Now before anyone thinks someone gave me bad information, intentionally or otherwise, the person WAS correct— the deadline was listed as 6pm in one of Reaper’s printed handouts and 5pm in another.
Luckily, my entries were accepted! Having worked 8+ years proofing printed material for retail companies, you’d be remiss not to honor a big misprint like that. I used to work with sale flyers proofreading products and prices— people get really pissed off if their $6.99 lb Animal Welfare Rated, Grass-Fed Beef Short Ribs are actually $8.99 lb. Trust me. Part of me wanted to offer my content/proof-reading services to Reaper, but I figured that would come across as insulting. However, I genuinely would love to help correct typos and inconsistencies, especially if it can save folks a headache or two (me and the entry table reps). Also, funny story— my name card at Artists Alley had my last name misspelled. Not a big deal, as I was able to correct it with some subtle Sharpie/paper patchwork). While there’s so much that goes into a convention, you really can’t catch 100% of errors, but it never hurts to have an extra pair of eyes on the important printed information materials :)
Pin your damn contest minis, even if you assume you’re the only one who will be handling them directly.
Double-check the deadline. Always. Never take someone’s word for it.
Never wait until the last moment to turn your contest entries in. Even if you’re 99% done like I was, finish it and turn it in early, especially if you’re an instructor. You’re expected to be available to the con-goers, not hiding in your hotel room panic painting (I didn’t do that, I promise!)
In other news, I entered a Reaper miniature in the MSP Open— one of the 25th Anniversary miniatures– that wasn’t chosen as my strongest entry in the Painters division to be judged. I’ll write about that finished miniature in a separate post, since I want to add a few more elements to her base before I take the final photos.
I’m very happy with the outcome of the contest, and I intend to continue incorporating freehand into the next few miniatures that I paint :)