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Posts posted by Valloa

  1. "Maya it is still a competition but what a lot of people are failing to understand is that there are three layers to this competition. The first part of it is that you are being judged to a standard. You meet the standard then you are awarded with the corresponding medal. The second part is to look at all of the entries to determine who gets the Reaper Sophie Trophies. All of the Reaper entries are then compared against each other and the best ones win. (How is that not part of a competition?)The third is that everyone gets to vote for the best minis in the competition. Three Best in Shows are determined in this manner. This means that the con-goers choose which ones they like best and are comparing the entries against each other. (Again, how is this not part of a competition?)"


    I understand that perfectly. Perhaps you need to reread my post. :)

    "Also, knowing the judges being a basis for a complaint is silly. I met Doug before the judging was happening. So just because I know who he is and had a conversation with him for an hour means that he is going to judge me as being a better painter than the rest? Where is the logic in that. A lot of us know each other from conventions but I am not close friends with many painters who also do judging. It is not logical to say that just because you know someone (and know in what sense? having met for an hour?) you are going to come out better than others. Maya, you know some of the people who were judging don't you? "


    No it is the judges knowing you. And yes, having a conversation with a judge just before they go judge is suspect, duh. Now you are being deliberately obtuse. You know what I mean. As for knowing. Have I said a few words to anyone, yep. Would I say I'm buddy buddy with the judges, newp. But you know and visit with a few quite often don't you, get mentoring and the like? I believe you are missing my entire point and taking my original post as if I aimed it at you, which makes me say "Huh? What the..."


    Yes there is more than one way to paint a mini. I personally understand that there are different styles but what I don't understand is saying that you don't paint in the Reaper Style. What is the Reaper Style? Reaper Con attracts better painters, I'll admit that. Reaper Con is more of a painting than a gaming convention anyway. So shouldn't the paint quality be better? Everyone does have a different style--I tend toward the cartoony yet well blended look. I know that and heck that's even how I draw/paint in 2d.


    You have just answered your own question.


    I saw a lot of pieces that had different styles. Unfortunately I haven't seen pictures of the winners at Reaper Con yet so I can't say that there was one style over another for sure. But there were a lot of awards given out and they couldn't have all been done in one style. Not from what I saw. In fact I didn't see any two minis that looked alike to me in terms of style.


    If you had not, by your own admission, paid attention to the other winners you would have seen what won and what didn't. By your own admission you didn't see very much. No one who was there needs to wait until the pictures come out to know that the winners are similar in style, as they were last year, more closer to GWs style of painting. From Anne's original postings on the rules and open information all styles were supposed to be given the same weight when judged. This is why the complaints were there, because this was not the case.



  2. Yeah I agree with Chip on some points. Maybe having independent judges I can see that being a reasonable request but then who is considered "independent"?


    I put 40 hours into my Isabeau at least and another 25 into Capricorn--not speed paints for me at all and pieces I was darn proud of.


    Maya, I think a lot of your complaints are invalid. All of the things you saw were completely different from what I and apparently Chip saw. I thought it was well run--smooth getting the entries into the competition, smooth getting them out and everyone knew where to go to find the entries as well. The way they judge I can't comment because I'm not privy to what the judges say, think, or feel about a piece.


    I also don't understand the whole "style" comments. I feel like I have a very unconventional style--one that a lot of people don't like in fact. Yet I did well this year. Not a guarantee that I'll do well next year.


    Would it make a difference if people didn't know who's entries were who's? I think that's what a lot of the conversation is boiling down to--people being awarded for stuff because they are the "Reaper in-crowd". Anne could accept the minis from people and put them into the room with only ticket numbers and no names attached to them. That way people won't know who painted what for the most part. And the names should be kept secret from the judges? Would that make a difference to people?



    Hey Meg


    "Independent" would be someone who has no affiliation with Reaper, the instructors or any guest clubs. I'm sure Reaper could find many people who fit this description to come judge. Or even people who don't paint. You don't have to paint to appreciate good paint jobs. If you did, museums wouldn't exist. Most museum directiors have taken courses in management of museums not art course, yet are considered perfectly expert to judge what gets in their museum.


    I have said nothing about your miniatures. However, speed painted or not, again time spent does not equal quality.


    My "complaints" are on the whole, mostly observations. Apparently you were not observant enough, since most of your time was probably spent socializing. I have been organizing events since I was 12 years old and it is a habit of mine to observe everything that goes on wherever I am. When asked I still consult on events and as such I observe everything from whats being run to peoples comments about what is going on. My post above was in answer to Anne's desire to figure out why people weren't happy. It didn't touch on what was right, because she didn't ask for comments on what was right. YES, take in was excellent and professional. Pick-up was easy, but not as professional. The boneyard was run extremely professionally all con. The discussions I had with certain Reaper staff were excellent, informative and professional. The auctioneer was professional. The helpers at the auction for the most part were, but there were instances where they were not. The behavior of one was extremely childish and reflected very badly on Reaper to many people at the auction. So Meg, this is not a dig at Reaper.


    Your comments about style...well have you noticed that your style is not unconventional? It is in the style that won last year and this year, even though there were much better styles available in this years showing. You live in Denton, go compare your miniatures to what won and what is in Reapers display cases. You will not see much difference.



    Would it make a difference if people didn't know who's entries were who's? I think that's what a lot of the conversation is boiling down to--people being awarded for stuff because they are the "Reaper in-crowd". Anne could accept the minis from people and put them into the room with only ticket numbers and no names attached to them. That way people won't know who painted what for the most part. And the names should be kept secret from the judges? Would that make a difference to people?"


    No it wouldnt make a differnce, in this case, because of the people who are judging. It is done that way in other contests if they use independant judges. Other painting contests that do that and don't use indepenant judges still have the same problems because you can spot a specific persons paintjob a mile away. For example, I knew yours across the room, I could tell Derek's entry, etc. All this without reading the tags. You can't have a properly judged blind contest if people know each other or how to spot others paintjobs.



  3. WOW! You came away with a totally different feeling than I did.


    I have to disagree, I want the pros and staff to stay in. Because when I win a Sophie, I don't want the "comments overheard at reaperCon" to read, "Well, yeah, Chip won a Sophie...because Derek couldn't enter one."


    To be the best...you gotta beat the best. And I can bet you the people that won Sophies and other awards didn't enter speed paints. I put about 12 hours into mine, and others have put far more than that in. Maybe that would be another category of speed paints, but I figure you'd have to do that there at the Con, otherwise someone could enter a mini with 30 hours of work on it and call it a speed paint.


    PS: I didn't understand your comment about not painting in the same style.


    PPS: Oh, and your comment of the judges showing preference to Paint Club...thanks, now I'm back to not believing in my skill. I've attended one PClub. Maybe that's why I rated bronze. (said in jest) GAW!!!!!!



    You can not "Beat the best" if there is no true competition. According to Anne this is not a competition. A comp is comparing peoples work against each other. Anne insists that this is an open contest in which you are judged against a standard only except for the competition for the trophies. Meg insists that it is a competition in her posts, which implies that you are judged against other people's work. Maybe they failed to clearly understand what the folks who invented the open system was trying to tell them. It is either all open or all competition, you can't have both like they are trying to do. You should have been able to enter the contest for the trophies and win one on merit. however, the winners were either judges, from the same group of close friends that were judges, or painted in the same style and knew the judges. Eliminating these people from the trophy contest, into a staff category does not reduce the amount of real comp you would get in a contest because there were some excellent entries from non staff or judges. What it does remove is the temptation to award your friends who paint in your style, that you know, who painted for Reaper and any feelings of obligation to award the paintjob Reaper paid for. You can't "beat the best" in the trophies if you have to compete with all of that.


    PS. If you don't understand the different styles of painting go to CMoN (cool mini or not) and take a look around the site. You will notice Games Workshops section tends to one method of painting, very broad highlights, not a lot of blending and designed to look good from a distance. Look at the winners in th catageroies at Reapercon this year, this is what I mean by the same style. This is different from others on the site. You will also notice historicals which look lifelike as well as historicals that look very hyper pigmented and "overdone" compared to what the average person looks like walking around. You will notice anime like paintjobs, etc, etc. All of these are different styles. There is more than one way to paint a miniature. :)


    PPS If you are in the local paint club to judges, there is always the temptation to award someone in your club more than someone else simply because you know that persons struggles, etc over someone you have never met.



  4. Hey Anne,


    Sorry you got bummed out reading Pandora's post, but perhaps you should not take it personally (which from the tone of your post you are) and listen to the critics. If there are that many people being overhead with complaints...then your contest does not have the right format for the venue you are using. Please do step back from the emotion while you read this post.


    As one of the people who have problems with the contest, I will address your post with my viewpoint. It won't be popular on these boards, as there is a hardcore Reaper following here (it is Reapers board so that's obvious).

    ""Has anyone ever won a Sophie that wasn't a pro-painter?"

    "Yeah, before the new system pros painted against each other."

    "Wait, did anyone who wasn't a pro get a gold medal?"

    "I think they should just do away with Sophie's, they're basically just a contest between the pros anyway."



    These are all valid points. Anyone who won a Sophie who wasn't a "pro-painter" under the old system doesn't apply here and that is what folks are picking up on. However, focusing in on the "Pro-Painter" issue is deflecting and/or masking the real problems seen with this year's contest, and by what you have said, will be seen again next year.


    I went in with a preconceived notion of the contest based on the observation of the winners of last year and the format and sadly, I was proven correct in what I thought. The ReaperCon contest is style and group based. If you don't paint in the same style or part of the groups/clubs that do, then this really isn't a competition where other styles get recognized to the same degree. People are picking up on this. Before you write me off as sour grapes, I knew what I was entering and almost put display only on my pieces for several reasons. 1). I don't paint in the style you folks who are judging (and I'll have stuff to say on that in a few) . 2). All my entries were speed paints, just for fun and to clear off my painting desk and the cobwebs off my brushes. On that note there were a lot of darn good entries in other styles that didn't get anywhere near what they deserved if they had been judged to a standard of their style or other styles than the one style being judged.


    I don't think that the statement "Our staff painters aren't out to "take away" awards from anyone else." is a valid or realistic comment. This is a small con sponsored by one manufacturer. OF COURSE painters who are commissioned or work for reaper who enter aren't going to be looked at as fair by the rest of the con goers, because it isn't. Nor will paint jobs done for Reaper entered into Reapercon's contest be looked at as fair when they win trophies because it isn't fair to the con-goers. Reapercon = limited number of trophies = Reaper contract/hired painters entering = Reaper commissioned or to be owned paint jobs entered/ = those winning trophies = some of the trophy winners also judging.... It's a no brainer why folks don't think this is fair. Compounded by the "open system" which with the above taken into effect, does come off as a way to "feel better" about awarding the trophies while throwing others a bone. No one want's to play if they have no shot at winning anything but a token prize, no matter how good. That is what people are complaining about there. There will always be people who complain about pros entering any contest but if its FAIR, which is the key word here, then those complaints will go down drastically, especially if you cut out the unfair parts mentioned above.


    If you REALLY want to make it fair, give the staff people (Reapers) and the folks they contract for commissions their own category, period AND get INDEPENDENT JUDGES!!!! - Ones that can judge in several styles, not just one. I say independent because contestants shouldn't be judging, period. Nor should a small group of individuals with a vested interest such as instructors at ReaperCon be allowed to do so. For gods sake, I heard several of the judges talking about your top picks being already decided for the trophies BEFORE the entry period was even closed!!! Bad enough for that crap to be done at all, but out in the open in the con just takes the cake. That blatant, I wouldn't be surprised if other people there overheard similar things throughout the con as well. So again, the trying to be fair to all, not taking away from others, etc doesn't fly.


    "I don't think that anyone should be barred, personally."


    This is why you are hearing about most of this from things overheard. People, me including, don't think you folks will care (for a variety of other reasons I'm not going into for the same reason) or look at why people are upset and various other reasons which makes the point of bothering to say anything pretty freaking mute. If that's the reasoning that holds up throughout all of the valid complaints people are voicing, I AM voicing because frankly I find the "but you just don't understand", "you are just whining". "We hear your complaints but don't think they are valid because we worked so hard on this" crap to be getting old.


    "Reaper has put an awful lot of hard work and support behind this competition format. Think about it...medals, trophies, certificates, printed entry forms, and the staff to manage the whole thing--not only near to forty hours of my own time during the convention, but bringing temporary staff in to be my invaluable helpers. Not to mention the competition room itself, outfitted specifically for the event, with the shelving and security cameras...and the person on-duty to make sure no one walks off with a model. AND the cash prizes for Best in Show, even for non-Reaper models!"


    Not to sound too callous here, but so? I love that Reaper has a paint contest, I just wish it was run better and fairer. Your time doesn't matter. 40 hours? I've done easily double that on some of Nathan's contests and FAR more than that when I've co-run live events with 100-1,000+ people. As a Reaper employee your time doesn't really, and shouldn't, factor into peoples thoughts about the end result, any more than spending 100 hours on a figure should mean you get instant kudos, fame and riches. Time does not equal quality, nor is it a good emotional blackmailing point for anyone with valid complaints who doesn't agree with how the contest ended up. If someone produces a bad product they don't get off from the consequences or critic of the consumer just because they devoted so much time to it. Same principal here.

    "because it is great publicity for ReaperCon and for Reaper."


    This is exactly why you should be taking all these complaints seriously. There are always more people who think the same than ever bother to come forward. And there's both good and bad publicity, unless you are of the school that all publicity is good.


    I know it affects Reapers bottom line, even if it's just a little bit, as I personally heard one comment on Sunday saying they weren't going to buy the miniatures they had planned on because they didn't like how the contest was done the night before.


    "So if you feel like you aren't anywhere near to being able to take a Sophie...take the classes at the Con, and apply what you learn in them! The only way to improve is to start new projects incorporating what you have learned, and to learn from each model you paint. Approach people you respect for honest feedback, and listen to what they say even if you don't agree with it at first. Study the winners--try to figure out how they get the effects they do. And NEVER give up. NEVER say that you just can't do that. It's not true. But you have to care enough about it to make it happen--it's not just something you can stumble into. If it was, people wouldn't care about it so much."


    This is only valid if all the above that I've mentioned wasn't an issue. If you want this to be an "our style only" contest, then make it one. THEN people taking classes at Reapercon to improve in that style is a valid recommendation. Not everyone likes to paint in that style or cares enough for that style to learn it just to win one contest. :)


    "Prestige, absolutely, I would love to see the Sophie become a truly prestigious award. "


    To make it desirable and change the above mentioned. No one is going to think a contest is prestigious if staff come away with the majority of the trophies, unless of course, you're staff!


    "Last I checked, Games Workshop was NOT about rewarding great painting and encouraging up-and-coming artists--it was about politics and winning. "


    Sadly, that is exactly how this year's ReaperCon contest came off.



    "You won't find those politics at ReaperCon. This year, we used different judging teams for all three events. Five judges for the medals; two different judges for the Reaper Sophies; and then all of you judging the Best In Shows. That's as far as you can get from politics! If you notice that some models won in all three sections of the competition,"


    If you truly believe that, I've got a bridge to sell you. Seriously, deciding the winners of the Trophies before all entries are submitted isn't political? While some of Reapers commissioned/to own paint jobs were lovely, there were plenty of other paint jobs there just as good, if not better, even in the same style. With the group judging, the paint clubs, the instructors, staff painters and a very niche tight group of people in charge of things, of course it is. The patterns of winners and everything mentioned in all above should have been easily seeable by anyone neutral paying attention and running an event properly.



    "Whoever told anyone that 54's are easier to paint needs to try to paint one.....

    Ordnance is a weak category, but we want to keep it because it is a part of the classic Open System format that we are using. What we do need to do is to actively encourage people to paint tanks, jetbikes, trebuchets, war golems--whatever!--for next year so it gets a good showing like it did last year. "


    I agree with you on the 54 mms, however just because a category is part of an "open" system doesn't mean you should keep it if it doesn't fit well enough. I would keep the trophies as people would actually have closer to fair shot at one in that category!




    We try not to begin by looking for flaws in the Open System judging. Shep Paine (who created the system, of course) and Doug Cohen were very explicit in explaining to myself and others about the change of mindset in the judging. You place the models on a shelf in your mind: gold level, silver, bronze, certificate, by looking at what is well-done with the model. For myself, flaws come into play when dealing with a model on the verge of one rating or another, though the rule is to always give the painter the benefit of the doubt where possible. The point behind the Open System is to reward, not to censor. We do look at both well-done sections and flaws when an entry might do better in another category, in order to decide whether to re-place it. That said, yes, I agree that in our end of the mini-painting competition world, it is hard to get out of the "look for flaws" mindset because we've been judging in that manner for so long.




    That's another problem. If you aren't counting flaws in cleaning, prep, painting technique very heavily at all, then you should have had a ton more higher medals. I didn't see much rewarding there, which just makes the entire staff/unfairness problems show up that much worse.




    IMHO I think Reaper needs to either have a pure display or completely have the contest done by a group that is not in-house, not instructors, not Chicago painters, and not any of the close knit groups who have members affiliated with Reaper in-house and/or commission painters, Con instructors, or Chicago (and Colorado) painters. "Independent Judges" should be Reaper's mantra.




  5. i am just starting out to paint figures, you would do shadows all over then skin in most of the areas and then highlights for nose chin and cheek bones forhead



    I used to do just that (Shadows, skin, then just the highlights in areas that you mentioned)for a long time and on some miniatures I still go from shadow up. On some I find it easier to do skin then shadows and highlights. Since you are just starting out, I would go for the shadows/skin/highlight road first because it will be easier for you to get the feel of painting and still have a nice result. Basicly makes it a bit easier to concentrate on learning to get used to painting without having to fight the paint too. Once you've gotten used to how the paint feels with your brush and feel comfortable applying that paint then I would experiment and see which way you will prefer to do it.



  6. Well that would depend on how you like to paint. Some folks do shadow, skin, highlight. Some do skin, shadow, highlight, etc. If you are just starting out the easiest way would be to do the shadow first, then skin and then highlight in progressively smaller areas where face highlights would occur.




  7. It's pretty close to Reaper at that hotel and very easy to get from one to the other. When I was there two years ago the rooms were nice and clean and it was a pleasant stay.




  8. Hi Everyone, last year my older twin daughter, who is now 7 became quite a sophie fan after discovering my Reaper Catalog. Since then she has asked all kinds of questions about sophie (like where she lives and if we can go visit and is she REAL) and has been nagging me to turn in my Swag points to get her some free sophie attire and take her on a trip to Hell for a visit with Sophie. The other day while I was painting some figs, she sat down next to me and drew out this sophie. I was pretty proud of it so I thought it would be fun to post it here.



    You have quite the good little artist there. :)




  9. I used to have Citadel's brush-on gloss varnish, but it's dried. Either I am incompetent, or just unable to find it, but does it still exist? What are some other brands? I don't want spray, because I just want to use it on areas that I want to appear wet. Thank you in advance.



    Vallejo makes a brush on gloss sealer. Several online retailers carry it including the warstore, which has fast shipping if you need it quickly. Game Color Gloss Varnish




  10. so true so so true here in metro Detroit the radio stations started cramming Christmas music down our throats barely a week after Halloween and we were seeing ads for Christmas sales in September

    people are forgetting what Christmas is about



    Lucky! Here they started the Christmas stocking, advertising and stuff on the first day of July. :huh:

  11. I have no problems shipping out from here but when I get the chance I'll also not mail from here and prefer the neighboring town or the major hub 30 mins away. Receiving packages can be really fun if they don't fit in a mailbox. Depending on the carrier delivering I either get stuff just fine or they will not have it on for delivery at all and *maybe* I'll get a "come pick this up" notice or they have it in the car but don't bother to come to the door and notices are hit and miss if I get one left. If it doesn't have tracking that just makes it even more fun. After this past week I'm going with UPS or FedEx from now on when I have the option for stuff mailed to me. :/




  12. where would i get that?



    If you are in the states any good hobby store will carry the dullcoat (Michaels, Hobby Lobby, etc). Check the model car/kit areas for it. They will also carry a range of gloss coats for you to pick from (I like the testors gloss or Krylon).




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