Nothing gives me a kick to paint like looking at some nicely painted miniatures. Last weekend I had a chance to go to the Duke of Bavaria 2012 (or Herzog von Bayern 2012) contest in Germany. It was the 12th edition and my second I were at.
The contest takes place in Ingolstadt, a beautiful old city which is known for it’s Audi factory. The whole event is in old castle called Neues Schloss where the Bavarian Army Museum is.
Another benefit is that at the same time in the castle’s courtyard during the weekend is a local fest. So after many hours of looking at miniatures it is nice to sit on the bench, have a cold beer in 1 liter glass, called “Maß”, eat a Wieswurst with local music played live.
The Duke of Bavaria 2012 contest started on Friday and lasted for 3 days. Usually most of the people come on Saturday, that is when the deadline for entering miniatures is. The results are given on the next day, so on Sunday you can pick up your entires. So in general it is a two days contest. Each painter entering in the contest has to pay €10 fee.
You really can’t feel bored there because just to watch the entries takes 1 or 2 hours. They are all gathered in one big room. There are no display cabinets so the entries are just on the shelves. So you can carefully take them and watch from really, really close from each side. Great thing about the Duke of Bavaria is that you can talk to people how did they paint something and then they just show you on the model! You can learn so much from just looking and talking to those masters of brush.
There were also some classes (including miniature painting classes), each devoted to different topics…
… and display cabinets where judges show their own great works:
Also there were many shops, where you could spend some money. Plenty to choose from – little companies or big names like Pegaso.
The Duke of Bavaria 2012 contest
The form of the contest is very open and categories give that feeling:
- Junior Cup
- Standard Painting
- Standard Open
- Standard Flats 30 mm
- Standard Flats over 30 mm
- Fantasy Standard Painting
- Fantasy Standard Open
- Master Painting
- Master Open
- Master Flats 30 mm
- Master Flats over 30 mm
- Fantasy Master Painting
- Fantasy Master Open
For every category there are two classes: Master- and Standard-Class. You can enter only one for each category, i.e. Standard class Fantasy Painting and Master class Painting.
In each category you get a display place where you can put your entires that fall into this one category (the design of the display (Cloth, stairs, socket) is a freely selectable form, the standard size of the displays is approx. 30 x 30 cm). So if you have 3 single 32mm fantasy miniatures + 2 single 32mm sci-fi minis – they all go together as one entry into Master/Standard ‘Fantasy Painting’ category
Judging at Duke of Bavaria is also a bit different from what you know from other contests.
The judges give 0 – 4 points.
4 points mean GOLD
3 points mean SILVER
2 points mean BRONZE
1 point means RECOMMENDED
0 points mean NO AWARD
In every category there are 3 jurors, which means:
10 – 12 points GOLD
7 – 9 points SILVER
6 – 8 points BRONZE
3 – 5 points RECOMMENDED
0 – 2 points NO AWARD
So the rules are very unique and this is what makes Duke of Bavaria special. It means that there can be more than one bronze, silver or gold. The organizers motivate their decision about such formula that they don’t want painters to compete with each other – just with themselves.
There are also many special awards given from different clubs, i.e.:
- best painted Bavarian soldier (award given from the museum director)
- best native American miniature (from one of the judges)
- best creative entry (award from Massive VooDoo monkeys)
and many, many different awards from painting clubs around Europe (Belgium, France, Italy, Czech and Germany). What orginisers could do better, would be to write about those awards before the contest, or maybe it is supposed to be that way?
I have never been on a ceremony that lasts almost 1,5 hour. But it is in a wonderful chamber and all the winners’ entries are shown (so you know what they get medals for).
The key part of every contest, have fun watching them!
If you would like to know more about the contest, here is the oficial web page, and to see how was it last year and what great miniatures were there, just click here.