Coraline WIP 01

Next up is Coraline Thadington, a new Reaper mini that has not yet been released. It was sculpted by a dear friend of mine, Andy Pieper, who sent me the figure as a thank you for giving him feedback during the sculpting process. (And for those of you reading, Andy could use your prayers now for a special intention.)

I wanted the base to fit the Victorian era of the mini, so I thought a formal garden path would work. The block, brick, and border still need to be painted, but you get the idea.

I polished the mini using my Dremel with a brass-bristle brush. This saved me a lot of work with sandpaper, and didn’t damage the fine details at all. I still had to do some hand filing of a couple mold lines and sanding of a rough patch on her face, but overall it was a very clean casting. The arm was difficult to pin, but not the worst I’ve ever had to do.

I’ll use my Dremel again later to drill holes in the bottom for pinning her onto the base.

NCMSS Show 2013

On September 14, my family attended the National Capital Model Soldier Society annual show at the Northern Virginia Community College Annandale Campus. This year, both of my kids painted minis to enter in the Youth category, and I brought along four that I painted this year.

As always, I very much enjoyed seeing all the incredible artwork. Here’s just a sampling:

The display area was well-lit, and there were many painters there happy to talk about their work. My kids really liked a multi-level scale-model battleship that could be taken apart, deck by deck, and had moving parts and lights.

Here are Rebecca and John’s entries, respectively: The Fighting Solder, and Aslan the Lion

John won a Certificate of Merit, and Rebecca won a Platinum Medal. They were so excited, and I am so proud of them!

My miniatures won a few medals, too. St. Patrick won Best Medieval, Historical Gold, and Irish Soldier Society Medal. Inharmonious won Open Silver. Lanura Windsong and Titanium won Fantasy Gold (together as a display).

It was a long drive, though, and a long day. There are no classes, the vending area is much more focused on Historical collectors than gaming hobbyists like me, there was no children’s paint-and-take this year, and I much prefer product prizes over medals. I think I’ll probably skip the NCMSS show next year, and maybe go every other year or something.

NOVA Open 2013

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.

Official Photos of NOVA Open can be found here.

I managed to get this one photo of the mini that won Best in Show. It was beautifully painted!

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