This weekend I attended the NOVA Open Wargaming Convention in Crystal City, VA. I bought a day pass for Saturday, and tickets to two seminars. I also entered several works in the Capital Palette painting competition. I had a fantastic time, both meeting and talking with other hobbyists, and learning from the pros.
The first seminar I attended was Freehand Painting, taught by Chris Dubuque (aka Jawaballs), a middle school art teacher and award-winning miniature painter. He showed us how he freehands some common wargame emblems, then handed out primed cardboard for us to practice on, giving us tips, answering questions, and showing us anything else we wanted to see. I painted a scroll, angel wings, and a skull. I really took a lot from this class, and look forward to applying it to future projects.
The next seminar was Basing Miniatures, taught by Justin McCoy of Secret Weapon Miniatures. He talked about how to do various effects, showed us the best (and worst) basing materials, and stepped us through construction of an urban display base. Then he walked us upstairs to the Capital Palette display case to talk about composition. Again, it was a terrific learning experience, and well worth it.
I returned Sunday night to pick up my entries and attend the Awards Ceremony, which covered all the gaming tournaments and Capital Palette. There were three divisions, with three categories in each, with prizes for the top three in each category. I came away with a gold, two silvers, and a bronze:
I won some really nice prizes, including a Grex XN Airbrush, a Secret Weapon Miniatures gift certificate, a 6-disc DVD set of Jawaballs instructional videos, rare earth magnets, resin bases, a t-shirt, dice, palettes, and brushes, plus a beautiful trophy shaped like the Washington Monument.
I managed to get this one photo of the mini that won Best in Show. It was beautifully painted!