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Reapercon 2019 Class Reviews

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Here’s my feedback on classes from a first time attendee.

 

Reaper U: Beginner Blending (Cocanour) -  I wish I had had a class like this when I first started out painting.  I spent so much time watching YouTube videos to try and understand how people got such nice transitions of color, etc.  I get it now and am most appreciative.  The instructor was great and he broke the concept down to a degree I could finally understand it.  He demonstrated it and then went around and spent time with each person showing them how to smooth out their transitions, etc.  It was so worth the money spent.  I wish it had been longer and I think I would have liked a handout.

 

Reaper U: Layering Basics (Beckley) – I have nothing but good things to say on this one too.  She was fantastic and made the rounds to everybody to make sure we were understanding.  Mojo snoring through the class at her feet just made the class even more spectacular.  I wish it had been longer.  Well worth the money. 

 

Reaper U Night Owl: Fun with Shiny Paint! (Cowles) – After having watched OneBoot paint her shineys in her WIP threads on the forums I was excited to get a spot.  I think I expected it to just be a fun class with painting metallic but I got a lot more out of it and learned more then I realized.  I came away with a better understanding that the base color beneath the metallic might actually be more important than the metallic itself.  Who knew?  I didn’t.  Loved it and would definitely take it again.  Useful handout!

 

Reaper U: Foolproof Non Metallic Metal (Rodriguez)  - Great basic class for someone like me.  I had a hard time seeing his demonstration with everyone crowded around him (I’m super short) but we had plenty of time to practice.  I do wish he had gotten up and went around more to each of us instead of us having to come to him.  I found myself delaying going up to him with questions because he had a line of others and then I’d forget what I wanted to ask him.  It was still a good class and worth the money to attend.  Useful handout!

 

Reaper U Night Owl: Intermediate Basing for Miniatures and Models (Stahl) – Like the others who have left feedback, this one was a disappointment to me.  I was in the class less than an hour and left feeling disappointed.  There was some conversation on tools and items to buy for sculpting, but that was really it.  It felt rushed and there just didn’t seem to be any effort put into it.  It definitely wasn’t an intermediate class at all.

 

Reaper U: Blingin' Out Your NMM (Lovejoy) – I was excited for this one and then majorly disappointed.  It didn’t feel like this guy wanted to be in the class at all.  He spent a lot of time talking but with no handouts (emailed after class) it just became hard to follow.  It felt to me like he wanted to be anywhere but there with his lack of interest in what was going on.  He made quick passes down everyone painting, but that was it.  I don’t feel like I accomplished or learned anything.  I would not take the class again and I don’t feel like it was worth the money.

 

You win some and you lose some.  Overall I was happy with my first Reapercon (even if I'm on day 10 of the con crud)!  

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Might as well throw in my own experiences:

 

Reaper U: Skin Deep (Thursday) (Hartwell): Erin/@Corporea is still among my favourite teachers to listen too (put her with Bob Ross, and I could meditate through a zombie apocalypse). I know others already mentioned it, but her taking us out of our skin tone comfort zone really was amazing. Thick bands of Dragon Red as skin shadow, what sorcery is this? I will also make good use of her handouts as it points you towards good online resources. Having a large figure like Yephima made it less intimidating. It's a credit to her that when I did the Hobby Hijinx Speed Painting event, I was already putting the knowledge to practice while doing exposed skin.

 

Reaper U: Bones Mashup! (Jackson, Van Horne, Wiebe): This is pure guilt free fun of slicing and dicing literal bucket loads of Bones, gluing them together and having new creations, from new scifi robots and spaceships, to Eldritch abominations, to comical combinations, to pretty impressive creations that would garner respect around the gaming table. After a few minutes, you get a good feel at how to cut up and glue everything and then start getting into specific parts for those bursts of inspiration. Tough results aren't perfect, most of them can easily be refined with the appropriate amount of green stuff. They make good candidates for the painting contest Open category. This is a class I would recommend anyone to take it at least once. At the same time, after doing it twice, and still haven't painted any of my monstrosities, I've had my fill and will give up my spot in the following years.

 

Reaper U: Painting Hair (Bender) (Friday): I entered that class like "Help me Rhonda. Help, help me Rhonda!" Hair is one of those things I knew I was doing wrong, and even after reading her blogs, it never clicked. Well, it clicked. From her handouts that showed where different highlights appear on different hairstyles, the counter-intuitive coloration of hair (like zero yellow in blond hair, unless you want it cartoony), to her hair colour recipes, and the hands on practice (blond), I quickly mastered the basics. Some surprises were at the end when we actually used a yellow and a purple wash to reduce the contrast of the blond hair. I'm confident enough now that I just put one of my lady minis (Andowyn Thrushmoor) through the Simple Green wash cycle so I redo the whole thing and give her nice curly hair instead of layers of glob.

 

Reaper U: Developing a Miniature Diorama (Kantor): This one was a mixed bag. No handouts, no hands-on, just Kantor giving a PowerPoint presentation (though many questions were asked along the way). The information was valuable, and in a sense, I sort of "knew" all of this, but with his experience, it put it all into far better perspective. From thinking about composition, to proper research, it made me rethink many ideas I had in the past into something far better. He had an almost step-by-step demo of one of his previous pieces (Vanity) of how the piece evolved from his original premise. Where he plans with Photoshop cutouts stacked together to give a general idea, up to the final product. Just so you know, one the examples he used to demonstrate also won the best in show (Daddy Issues) during the awards later in the evening.

Edited by ladystorm
Corrected Name
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2 hours ago, ironman1231 said:

I feel like coming back to this thread in eleven months is going to be incredibly valuable when I'm trying to pick which classes to take. 

 

That is part of why I started it! Not everyone divides beginning/intermittent/advanced the same way. Not everyone learns the same way. Things that make one person go 'Yay' might make another go 'Oh no!'

 

I was hoping that by reviewing classes and talking about them, people could make more informed choices next year.

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I love everyone mentioning blending styles expected for courses. Last year I was judged to be intermediate level by an actual judge/instructor (thanks @Kuro Cleanbrush), but struggled in most of my courses because i didn't know how to glaze and it was apparently expected for an intermediate course.

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I should probably chime in here.

 

I had three classes, two of which were actually on my original list. 

 

First one was Water Effects; and... dang. I enjoyed the hell out of that class, and learned a lot of useful things about doing water effects. Still inclined to think that Dave Cecil is a good teacher; he was well-prepared, and well organised, and I thought he did a good job of getting a lot of information across successfully. We made three bases; one starter (mine was upside down, due the way I tend to build my bases.. ), one mid-way, where we actually did a pour, and dreaded carrying un-cured resin back up to our rooms or other safe spaces (mine arrived safely), then finished a poured base. My bead-working background came in surprisingly useful; I'm well-used to threading tiny beads onto things. Fishing line and curved plastic... who'da thunkit?

... I did end up flipping my cork base over, just now, and I'm looking forward to finishing it and the other one, once I have some materials and specific tools to do it with. 

Overall; would recommend; @LordDave is good to work with.

 

Second class was with @Kuro Cleanbrush, eyes and faces. While I didn't really get much new out of it (turns out I already do eyes more or less the same way, but now I know why/how it works), I did learn some good tricks for making things realistically shiny. We didn't get a lot of opportunity to practice the face part, much less muck about with makeup, but the theory was floated, and I have an inkling how to expand on the concept. 

Definitely would recommend to others.

 

Last was Multicultural Skintones, with Mocha.

I honestly didn't get as much out of this class as I was hoping; although I was amused to find we share the same favorite skin triad (Olive Skin, hands-down my fav). I did learn a couple of things about getting some useful depth out of the golden/tanned triads, but not as much as I'd hoped. In retrospect, I wish I'd found the time to ambush her and talk some more on the subject; I'll have to make a note for next year, I guess.

I'd still recommend the class, even if I didn't get much from it. 

 

I was going to take a couple of others, but Growtix' ... interesting interface made that tricky.

 

Hopefully, I referenced all the right Forumites; I don't know if Mocha has an account here. ^^;

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1 minute ago, Sylverthorne said:

I don't know if Mocha has an account here. ^^;

She does. Her Forum name is:

 

@Mocha  

 

photo-thumb-13200.jpg  <= Avatar

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13 hours ago, Shadowphaze said:

 

Reaper U: Blingin' Out Your NMM (Lovejoy) – I was excited for this one and then majorly disappointed.  It didn’t feel like this guy wanted to be in the class at all.  He spent a lot of time talking but with no handouts (emailed after class) it just became hard to follow.  It felt to me like he wanted to be anywhere but there with his lack of interest in what was going on.  He made quick passes down everyone painting, but that was it.  I don’t feel like I accomplished or learned anything.  I would not take the class again and I don’t feel like it was worth the money.

 

You win some and you lose some.  Overall I was happy with my first Reapercon (even if I'm on day 10 of the con crud)!  

 

Hey Shadowphaze, sorry you thought I wasn't interested in teaching the NMM class, but I can assure you that was not the case.  Teaching is something that I really love to do and I am always open to valuable feedback.  If you have any suggestions for making my classes better, I am all ears.  Please feel free to email me at [email protected]  I appreciate your feedback!  Hope you feel better, con crud sucks!

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10 hours ago, Sylverthorne said:

I should probably chime in here.

 

I had three classes, two of which were actually on my original list. 

 

First one was Water Effects; and... dang. I enjoyed the hell out of that class, and learned a lot of useful things about doing water effects. Still inclined to think that Dave Cecil is a good teacher; he was well-prepared, and well organised, and I thought he did a good job of getting a lot of information across successfully. We made three bases; one starter (mine was upside down, due the way I tend to build my bases.. ), one mid-way, where we actually did a pour, and dreaded carrying un-cured resin back up to our rooms or other safe spaces (mine arrived safely), then finished a poured base. My bead-working background came in surprisingly useful; I'm well-used to threading tiny beads onto things. Fishing line and curved plastic... who'da thunkit?

... I did end up flipping my cork base over, just now, and I'm looking forward to finishing it and the other one, once I have some materials and specific tools to do it with. 

Overall; would recommend; @LordDave is good to work with.

 

Thank you for the feedback.  Im glad you enjoyed the class.  I do remember your upside down base, that would still work for what we were doing.  depends on your own preferences.  

 

Yep, I was so worried about people transporting the uncured bases to someplace safe.  From what I heard all of them made it back safely and were solid the next day.  I really enjoyed teaching that one and will be submitting the class for approval again in 2020.  I am going to make a few minor adjustments to the class and adding one small variant to how to do the foamy wave looks.  won't change enough for a retake, so come see me on the artist row next year and I will give you the quick scoop on that one new thing.  lol.  see you next year!

I have also figured out a better way to transport the uncured potentially messy bases for next year.  I am going to use cups with lids.  lol

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15 minutes ago, LordDave said:

Thank you for the feedback.  Im glad you enjoyed the class.  I do remember your upside down base, that would still work for what we were doing.  depends on your own preferences.  

 

Yep, I was so worried about people transporting the uncured bases to someplace safe.  From what I heard all of them made it back safely and were solid the next day.  I really enjoyed teaching that one and will be submitting the class for approval again in 2020.  I am going to make a few minor adjustments to the class and adding one small variant to how to do the foamy wave looks.  won't change enough for a retake, so come see me on the artist row next year and I will give you the quick scoop on that one new thing.  lol.  see you next year!

I have also figured out a better way to transport the uncured potentially messy bases for next year.  I am going to use cups with lids.  lol

See, now I'm regrettimg not takimg this class.  I have 2 projects that need waves (foamy and non-foamy) that this would have helped with.  I'll just have to do some reading/watching and experimenting.

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1 hour ago, LordDave said:

Thank you for the feedback.  Im glad you enjoyed the class.  I do remember your upside down base, that would still work for what we were doing.  depends on your own preferences.  

 

Yep, I was so worried about people transporting the uncured bases to someplace safe.  From what I heard all of them made it back safely and were solid the next day.  I really enjoyed teaching that one and will be submitting the class for approval again in 2020.  I am going to make a few minor adjustments to the class and adding one small variant to how to do the foamy wave looks.  won't change enough for a retake, so come see me on the artist row next year and I will give you the quick scoop on that one new thing.  lol.  see you next year!

I have also figured out a better way to transport the uncured potentially messy bases for next year.  I am going to use cups with lids.  lol

 

... lids! I should have thought of that.

IIRC, I was one of the ones wanting that class in the first place, so I'm doubly glad I managed to scrounge a spot. For Some Reason (which may or may not include resin curing times), it's hard to find basing classes with very much hands-on practice. And I kinda need the hands-on work for things to stick, if you'll pardon the pun.

 

Do have one request for next time. Handouts! With material lists. I managed to take decent notes, but I suspect there was at least one person who did not. There always seems to be one; it's been me at least once.

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I'm starting to believe that next year's water effects class will fill up quite fast as I'm also very tempted by it.

 

@LordDave, don't be surprised if you're asked to give that class several times.

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Been meaning to post this; finally getting around to it.  Here's my reviews for my full list of classes.

 

This Class Is About Contrast (Greenwald), Thursday 1:00 - Already mentioned this one earlier in the thread, but it's worth saying again - this class was fantastic.  Highly recommend it for just about all levels of painters.  The presentation part went down to the wire, time-wise, so no actual painting.  Some hands-on time to practice what we learned would have been great, but honestly, since it would mean losing out on a portion of the lecture, I'd rather skip the hands-on part in order to maximize the info learned.  If Jen doesn't teach this class next year, it will be a tragedy.

 

Blingin' Out Your NMM (Lovejoy), Saturday 1:00 - This is probably going to sound harsh, following the Contrast review, but this class was disappointing.  There was a hand out, but it was emailed to folks after the class, and I think the class would have benefited from having physical copies at the beginning.  I didn't get the sense that Aaron wasn't interested in the class, as Shadowphaze did, but it did feel somewhat disorganized, and we didn't cover nearly as much as I'd hoped.  This is where I think having the hand out ahead of time would have helped - it could have served as a syllabus of sorts and helped to drive the class forward, because the hand out had more information than we got in class.  I have some experience with NMM, and I think I'm "ok" at it, but I struggle at times with where to place the highlights, and I was hoping this class would help with that.

 

Bangin’ Reflections - Achieving Convincing NMM Environmental Reflection Effects (Kantor), Saturday 3:00 - No hand out for this one.  This was kind of a weird class for me.  The first half was a presentation about theory and execution, and the second half was hands-on to put it into practice.  The presentation part was great, and quite informative, but I struggled with the hands-on part.  I think it's largely because the painting style felt so drastically different from what I normally do, I couldn't wrap my head around it.  Not a knock against Ben, but I think this technique isn't for me.  Having a hand out of the presentation would have been great.  I wasn't the only one taking a picture of the screen with my phone for every slide.

 

Object Source Lighting (Olds), Saturday 5:00 - I wanted to take a refresher on OSL, so I was excited when I saw that a seat had opened up in Drew's class.  There was no hand out, but the class was almost all hands on.  Drew did a good job explaining everything, and it worked pretty well for me.  We did a hobbit with a lantern, where the lantern was the only light source.  This was great as a jumping off point, but it would have been cool to see how to tackle situations where there's an ambient light source in the mix as well (i.e. the rest of the figure isn't simply painted black).  Maybe a section at the end of the class to discuss challenging situations that one might encounter?

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1 hour ago, Cranky Dog said:

I'm starting to believe that next year's water effects class will fill up quite fast as I'm also very tempted by it.

 

@LordDave, don't be surprised if you're asked to give that class several times.

I wouldn't mind that save for the fact that all of my other classes were also well liked.  Id have to drop something else to do this one twice.  I will leave that up to Reaper.  If 2 water classes is the demand, then so be it.  I also really want to do the realistic horror class again.  that was very fun to teach.  Time will tell.  hope you get in the water effects class next year.

 

 

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