Tabletop Thursday: 2020 Resolution Edition (or, The Importance of Composition)

It’s 2020. Which means I haven’t been posting minis, or even painting minis, for… one year (Shit, my last miniature post is Liborkty Prime, and that isn’t even finished yet!)

But new year, new resolutions, and a good time to start putting paint to grey plastic again. My resolution this year is to finish a model, unit, or project each month. (Watch me crash and burn hahaha) And together with that, I’m hoping to make regular miniature, modelling and painting posts again.

To start off, I’m going to be working on some of my backlog on thoughts. Like I wanted to do a recap of the painting competition held by Gamersaurus Rex during SGCC, but I never got around to it. Well, one month later, it’s finally time!

So what Gamersaurus Rex did was hold a little bit of a raffle type competition. Each of the participants would get a randomized GW model, and we’d have to paint it to the best of our abilities. Minimal conversions, no giant scenic bases/dioramas, but a plinth was accepted. Then the vote would be by passers by in the event, eventually narrowing down to top 3 and of course 1 being crowned champion.

From the picture above you can see who were the top 3. I placed, together with my friend Russ, and Mike did a really great job and eventually came out on top.

You can also see how poorly lit the place was.

It’s an issue for any sort of expo setting. Between that and the fact that the first cut was kind of by passersby, it was really important to really grab the eye in the first few seconds.

However, in looking at the other models in the same setting (interspersed throughout this post), I think you can see how much lighting could make or break these models. Similarly, I think at times like this, muted color schemes, gritty paintjobs or smooth blending may not put in as much work as something that really popped.

I want to compare my model (Lotann, the Octopusy guy above), in expo lighting setting, and in better lighting.

Same camera, same model, much better lighting.

Russ’ and Mike’s models were the same. But one thing with each of our models, was that even in not great lighting, each of us tried to grab the attention of the voters, with Russ and Mike going with very nice plinths (and the added benefit of height), and me trying to wow people with a partly transparent base. All three of us also tried to use the composition to tell some sort of story with our bases and plinths, and considering we all placed, I would like to think our efforts paid off.

Other models may not have been able to grab the eye of the voters. I have some other pictures here, and where possible, I have a better lighting version, to show how different the model looks.

Some may have looked better in the expo hall, but I think it’s safe to say that most didn’t.

Part of me also wonders if the fact that this is a random popularity contest explains why the fantasy models won. I think in general floaty octopi and armored mages may be more popular than gribbly death guard.

Perhaps one of the most depressing things though was Spindoc’s model. His model was beautifully painted, but sadly enough I don’t think many people noticed. The lighting just didn’t do him justice. Just look at the better lit version below.

Those scales on his tabard just jump off the screen! And look at that NMM gold! All things that couldn’t be seen in the context of a dimly lit exhibition hall.

So all in all, I was reminded of how painting targeted at professional judges, with proper lighting can be very different to painting targeted at people just walking by.

Regardless, the painting contest did what I wanted it to do. It got me to paint a model that I would never have had the opportunity to try (I’m all grungy with my orks and dark mech after all). And it got me excited to paint again.

Which is why my painting resolution for 2020 is to finally clear some of my painting backlog. At one model, unit or project a month, look forward to me trying to get rid of some of my painting backlog, and if I manage to swing it, maybe even participate in AOP 2020 after a year’s hiatus!

About kakita

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Singapore’s resident Press Ganger, that is, the man to go to for Privateer Press’ WARMACHINE, and HORDES. Kakita also dabbles in Games Workshop’s WARHAMMER FANTASY and WARHAMMER 40K lines.

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