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ReaperCon Painting Contest

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There are plenty of online painting competitions for people who cannot make Cons. I don't mean that in any snarky or condescending manner. ::(:

 

Snarkyness ignored. I just thought I would give this a shot anyway.

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I have all sorts of bad words to say to this. I've been saying for several years that I need to make it to Reaper Con and now this... somehow I have to find a way to be able to make it to Reaper Con AND Gen Con next year. With almost no vacation because I recently started a new job. So darn you all! To heck even!!! (hmm, I wonder if I can get those two dates permanently put into my contract...)

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Re: Jabberwocky's idea of layering the previous entire competition in--the point was to simplify and shrink the number of categories. Otherwise you get the same old problems with some categories being very strong and hard to win and others being very weak and the Sophies going to models not of the caliber we would like to see. ::): Now, what we ARE considering (Rastl this answers your post too) is giving special awards for things like "Best Warlord Unit"--either a small trophy or unique medal or certificate prize, maybe even paired with a Reaper gift certificate award as a thank-you for supporting our game. ::): All this is still under discussion, but it is a good idea that would give more incentive to paint Reaper stuff, and Warlord in particular!

--Anne

 

Thanks for the reply! That works well for me. I do think this process will allow for supporting the budding painters out there by giving them a benchmark to work for, i.e, going for the next level, be it certificate or gold. It also will reward the competitive painters that are going for the Sophie--there can only be 3 in each category and only one golden Sophie. I think this also manages to be Reaper-centric (Sophies only for Reaper minis) without snubbing those folks that want to bring other manufacturers to the party.

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Well, this is interesting.

 

Kind of makes me cry that this may be the only way for me to win anything in a painting contest these days. :unsure:

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Just a quick reply to Gus's reply to Dargrin (heh), yes, Gus is right on. The other thing keeping us from accepting entries which are third party or mailed in (which would certainly happen if we relaxed the rules in this manner, it's the natural next question) is the horrible liability. What if the piece arrives broken? What if something happens to it at the Con? What if the person never gets it back from the person who is responsible for it and they blame us? What if someone brings someone else's entry but enters it as their own--how much of a pain would it be to track this?

 

Also, to be perfectly honest, the point of holding an awesome painting competition is to give people an extra motivation to attend the Con, in all its glory. ::): I am very sorry (and I completely understand, as someone who has often been flat broke!) that it is impossible for all the people who would love to enter to come to the Con. I completely feel your frustration--I mean, I REALLY want to go to the World Expo next time it is held in 2011, but the venues which were being discussed are either Greece or Switzerland, and that is going to be expensive on a level that probably makes it impossible--again--for me. ::(:

 

At any point, at this time rule five stands; all entries must be entered by the painter in question. In fact, this makes the possibility of allowing a waiver for local painters to have their friends drop off their piece null and void, too...so I guess people will just have to drop it off Thursday or take their chances on space for Saturday morning.

 

--Anne

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Umm this kinda sucks for us who want to make a diorama but don't do massive conversions or scratch building.

Also it seems that the painters category is for single figures only.

Also one would assume if someone is entering a paint competition they should have the skills to prep and refine the mini they are working on, not just be judged on execution of it on a poorly cleaned ill prepped mini, if the whole point is to encourage growth, then painters category should be worried about mold lines, and while not flashy basing, basing makes the model look done.

 

Just want to reiterate that we are altering this rule slightly, so that any entry, even a diorama or a scratch sculpt, which you want us to judge ONLY on the painting should go in the Painters category. If you want it judged on basing, composition, sculpting, and creativity, then it goes in Open. ::):

 

On the subject of being scored on how well you prepped your mini: as stated by others here who have judged many painting competitions, choosing a sculpt with as few flaws as possible and prepping it appropriately is part of painting for competition. Though how well you cleaned up flash, pitting, and mold lines is not the major part of your score in any category, it is certainly important enough to drop you from a gold to silver or even bronze if you choose to leave obvious flaws you could have fixed!

 

All models must be based. Basing in the Painters and Ordnance category must be present, as stated. Simple is fine. No you will not be judged on your basing in Painters or Ordnance, but something still must be there and finished. ::): In Open, basing is of tremendous importance as it affects composition and overall effect, and is an expression of your sculpting and conversion skill as well. ::):

 

--Anne

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At MMSI we are asked to think of basing as not part of the judging in our Painters Division--unless it detracts from the model. Bare plywood or spotty painted styrofoam just don't get the job done and judges couldn't help but bring you down for that. A nice simple base done well will do just fine. Now remember, I'm applying this to what I know of MMSI, not ReaperCon! It's up to Reaper to decide how they wish to handle things.

 

Dioramas are usually left up to the entrant...put in Painters Division, it's judged primarily on the painting. Put in Open, it's judged on it's effectiveness as a diorama, whether the models are stock or not.

 

So Painters division isn't just for single models. Open isn't just for conversions. Entrant doesn't always determine which category...judges at MMSI move things to the best advantage of the entrant, for instance, would moving a diorama from painters to Open gain them a Silver there, whereas they'd only get a Bronze in Painter's?

 

So really, the job for this Exhibition is the same for any competition...do your best, make it good from start to finish, push yourself and have fun. None of that changed, only now you can display it all nice and pretty and not be biting your nails over "who" won, just what level did the judges place you at. Doesn't matter how many entries you put in each division, you'll only get one medal per division basically.

 

Exactly what Sue said! And as she's most probably going to be one of our judges, you should probably listen to her (and start formulating bribes now... :lol:). ::):

 

A note on Sue's last paragraph. This very thing is what will help to keep past competition entries in check. Even if Jeremie brings his whole display, the most he could do would be to split it between Painters and Open (unless he had a vehicle somewhere in there that I missed...) and take one medal in each category. Yes, he could take a Best in Show award too, but as stated before that is up to you, the entrants. If you feel he deserves it, then why the hard feelings? And none of those models will be able to enter the following year.

 

As for the Sophies, let me tell you something. The painters who work for us, who are part of the Reaper Team, are not just chosen because they can lay down an awesome paint job. We chose them also for attitude, something that is hard to define. The people who we continue to invite to teach at ReaperCon have integrity. They have a sense of fairness and objectivity. They are intelligent, and willing to put themselves in the shoes of others when they try to reach out and connect with you in their classes and with their amazing work. They love the hobby above themselves--it is not a matter of promoting their own work, but of promoting painting and modeling, to benefit everyone, not just them. Not everyone can make it onto or continue to remain a part of the Reaper Team. My point, which you've probably all seen coming, is that these people are not the kind to bring in a bunch of their past work in an attempt to sweep Sophies or money away from everyone else. If they bring their A-game and create an absolutely amazing set of works, now, that's beyond our control (and you have to admit you love to see their stuff!). But I expect not to have to worry about past prize winners taking Sophies when it comes to my team, who I am continually proud to know and be a part of. ::): And now I'll shut up because I'm getting maudlin...

 

I thought about this a lot last night, as it's a change of heart for me, and more and more I just thought, "If the model deserves it, then that's that!" No, I still don't like people falling back on past entries, but I think that most people will stick to the spirit of the competition even without that clause in the rules.

 

--Anne ::):

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On Lunchbox's thoughts:

 

1. Is it the painter's responsibility to seek feedback or the judges' responsibility to provide it?:

 

Both. Neither. ::):

 

I think most people understand that they are allowed/encouraged to ask the judges for feedback on their piece after the judging, and some do, but usually only a small fraction of the entrants. Why? Some feel they understand themselves what the weaknesses and strengths of their models are. Some just enter because they want to help support the competition, and don't really care what score they get. Some would like to know, but are too shy or wary of non-constructive criticism to ask. Some just feel the judges are too busy and don't want to bother them.

 

Whatever the case, the judges can't very well seek out everyone after the show to make sure they've got no questions, nor is that their responsibility. Yes, this system will give you a better idea where your skills fall without even asking a judge. If you want more precise feedback--to find out, if you got a silver, how close you were to a gold, for example--then yes, it's your responsibility to ask a judge. As I mentioned, we may be able to make more specific (numeric) results available at registration table or perhaps I will keep them for reference, but that will depend on how many entries we've got and how much chaos is reigning at the moment!! :lol:

 

2. Re: the Open system being a "you're all winners" venue:

 

I think there is some truth in this, but not as much as you'd think. For one thing, there is definitely a prestige attached to winning a gold medal which is not there when you take silver. There is the same prestige attached to winning a bronze after getting only certificates the years before. And there will be some entrants who walk away with no award--if we really wanted to do the "you're all winners" then all participants would get a certificate.

 

There are also defined top winners in this competition: the Sophies and the Best in Show awards. And there are no limits this year to keep pros sequestered in their own little nook. Heck, you could be in the same category with ME this year (not very scary, hmmm...okay, you could be in the same category with DEREK this year!! :lol: ). So I would argue that there is still a spirit of competition present. I know that at the Chicago Show the drive to pull a hat trick--a gold in each category--or a Best in Show is tremendous. Some entrants spend all year on that one fabulous diorama hoping for a BIS, or just trying to get a gold in Open, which is considered by most to be the category of highest prestige. So the spirit of competition is still there, but it is not as exclusionary.

 

When I consider these ideas--feedback must be sought, not expected to be freely given; winners must be severely limited to be meaningful--I see valid points. But I also see the residue of the very reason why the Open System has been adopted by more and more important venues over the years. And that reason is that we, as a hobby, can not afford to be exclusive, or closed. We are small, when you get down to it. We painters need to encourage and embrace and reach out, not wait for someone to approach us like some lama on a mountaintop. ReaperCon had started to stagnate. We are an out-of-the-way venue, and we were very specific. If this gets us up and growing again, spreading the good word about painting and modeling, I'm not going to complain, I'm going to cheer!

 

--Anne ::):

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I hear you, Anne. The more I think about it, the more it's starting to make sense. I have a hard time putting myself outside my own shoes. I'm a very competitive person, and I want to be the best. You have some idea of this, because I kept pestering you at Rcon 07, and paint nights. In a competition, I seek out everyone I can to get feedback from multiple vantage points. Other painters paint, and hope to do well, but it doesn't drive them to improve. I can definately see how entering "for the fun of it" would become...well...less fun.

 

So, I'm starting to think maybe this is a good idea, even if, and especially if, the overall outcome is a higher level of interest and participation.

 

Oh, and a side note here...Anne has been very "polite" about it, but I won't: Taking a mini on a "tour" of competitions is a wanker move. First, it makes the painter look like a tool. Second, spending a thousand hours on one piece to be you hallmark accomplishment is fine. Get an award, learn something, and move on to your next piece. The painters I know would never do this, and lose respect for those that do. I'm sure Anne, Sue, Aaron, Derek, and others will agree that the best part about these competitions is seeing people learn, grow, and accomplish new levels of excellence every year.

 

PS: Is being in a category with Derek really that scary? :poke:

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This is a good post so I've quoted it entirely. I'd like to clarify a few points on the process.

 

All entries receive a merit rating (certificate, bronze silver or gold).

Top rated entries compete for cash prizes.

Top rated Reaper entries get Sophie Trophies.

Best in Show receives a cash prize.

 

First, not all entries receive a prize. There will be entries which do not even receive a certificate. Remember Certificate is like an Honorable Mention award; it's a "You didn't quite score a medal, but you are on the right path, keep working on it!!" kind of thing. Also, it's not just a rating, there are actual Master Series Medals being given out. ::):

 

Re: the cash prizes, it's a little different because we are not setting up three top entries and saying, "Okay, now everyone vote on which of these is the best." Instead, everyone in the regular competition gets a vote for the model they think is the best--any model! Heck, they can vote for themselves if they want. They might even vote for a model the judges chose not to judge! And as the models have not been rated publicly at all at the time of the judging, a model may win BIS that didn't even get a gold (though would be a long shot; our entrants tend to recognize good painting! :;): ). At any rate, we tally those votes and the absolute model with the most votes gets overall Best In Show and cash. The next-highest-rated models, one which is Reaper and one which is not, both get runner-up Reaper or Non-Reaper Best in Show, and a little less cash. ::):

 

Yes, absolutely right, all Reaper entries go into the running for Sophies, just like in the old contest. ::):

 

While it's nice that all entries will get some feedback with the merit awards, I don't see that much else is changing. Pardon my cynicism, but I still see the same old top-rated painters sweeping all categories and "Best in Show" as a popularity contest that goes to the pro-painter with the most friends present.

 

You are well within your rights to be cynical! This is exactly the kind of input I was hoping to get. We need to hear as many different reactions as possible! Now I'd like to address the comments.

 

Re: Top-Rated painters sweeping all categories: I may be misunderstanding this. It seems to make it sound like the medals mean nothing. Is there a reason for that reaction? Anyone can win a medal if their work is good; there is not a limited number of medals and certificates. ::):

 

Reaper wanted to reward more people for their painting, but there is no way we could afford to present 100 Sophie Trophies a year. So we are channeling a great deal of planning, artistic, and production effort into coming up with some really COOL medal designs! If you are speaking of top painters sweeping Sophies, well, it is rather the point for very good painters to win top honors in a painting competition. ::): But that is why we decided to do both medals and Sophies, to attempt to attain the best of both worlds! And, of course, if they do not enter Reaper models then they can't win a Sophie.

 

Re: Best in Show as a popularity contest: You may be surprised to know that this has never been the case here at ReaperCon. Since our second year, when entrants got to vote for the winner of the Masters--the only category with cash prizes--I have never seen a year where the winners were not models I would have chosen myself as a judge. On every voting form we have a brief summary of what to look for in a good paint job, and apparently our attendees take that advice to heart, which makes me very happy. ::):

 

FWIW, I think it's great that Reaper folks have no prejudices against other manufacturers minis, but at Reapercon I'd really like to see Reaper minis painted. I can see the variety at GenCon and other shows. I go to Reapercon to be immersed in Reaper-y goodness for the weekend.

 

This, I'll admit we have undermined in the interest of promoting the hobby and of growing the Con and introducing more people to Reaper. However, all I can say is what I told the staff painters when I was asking them to pick holes in this. This is a contest run by Reaper, at the Reaper HQ, which gives out fantastic trophies for Reaper models, and special awards (yet to be announced) for Reaper models, with at least one additional special competition (the GRUDGE MATCH! Rules soon to be announced!) which is only open to Reaper models! Somehow I do not think there will be a lack of Reaper-y goodness. ::D:

 

--Anne ::):

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PS: Is being in a category with Derek really that scary? :poke:

 

The man won $1200 at Gen Con this year, with a diorama he scratch-sculpted 90% of, that he had been working on in at least idea form for two years. You tell me! :lol: Personally, my minis are begging not to be put next to Derek's entries, because they're telling me they'll look bad. Or Jeremie's. Or Jennifer's. Or...eh, let's just crouch over here in the corner and hope to pull a silver, guys... :lol:

 

--Anne, who has placed silver to Jennifer's gold at Chicago and considers striving for the gold to be excellent motivation to improve. :;):

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Being a devil's advocate again :devil:::D: because I just thought of something else. Without the large categories of Reapercons past, do you think we will see a drop off in the number of large figures submitted in favor of bringing smaller, possibly easier to paint, figures?

 

DRG

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Being a devil's advocate again :devil:::D: because I just thought of something else. Without the large categories of Reapercons past, do you think we will see a drop off in the number of large figures submitted in favor of bringing smaller, possibly easier to paint, figures?

 

DRG

 

Actually I think we have seen plenty of that even in past years--there are never as many people with the time to paint a large entry as there are with the time to paint a small entry. I suspect that, though we may see fewer large entries, as you say, the ones that we *do* see will be higher quality across the board--people will be painting them because they like to paint them, rather than because the competition isn't usually as stiff in the large figure categories. ::):

 

--Anne

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PS: Is being in a category with Derek really that scary? :poke:

 

The man won $1200 at Gen Con this year, with a diorama he scratch-sculpted 90% of, that he had been working on in at least idea form for two years. You tell me! :lol: Personally, my minis are begging not to be put next to Derek's entries, because they're telling me they'll look bad. Or Jeremie's. Or Jennifer's. Or...eh, let's just crouch over here in the corner and hope to pull a silver, guys... :lol:

 

--Anne, who has placed silver to Jennifer's gold at Chicago and considers striving for the gold to be excellent motivation to improve. :;):

 

Well...I'd take on Derek any day...and get my rear handed to me. He's awsome, and it's a bit daunting knowing my putrid display of inadequacy will be writhing in mediocrity below his masterful display of paint-stud-ness. Yeah...come to think of it, up against Jeremie, Jen, Marike (I know I messed up her name...sorry), Bender, and every other Master Series Paint-God...maybe I'll just do yard work all weekend!

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Well...I'd take on Derek any day...and get my rear handed to me. He's awsome, and it's a bit daunting knowing my putrid display of inadequacy will be writhing in mediocrity below his masterful display of paint-stud-ness. Yeah...come to think of it, up against Jeremie, Jen, Marike (I know I messed up her name...sorry), Bender, and every other Master Series Paint-God...maybe I'll just do yard work all weekend!

 

HAH!! Don't worry, we will stake out a "shelf of shame" where we can all hide...we will make them put all their stuff at the other end so that we look better!! :lol: Oh dear, that made me giggle. "paint stud-ness" indeed. Boy am I glad it's almost the weekend!

 

I'll take this opportunity to thank you guys for asking so many questions and bringing up so many good sticking points! I have a lot of good meat for a great FAQ now. Keep it coming, though, if you can think of anything else you're concerned or confused about!

 

--Anne ::):

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