Hussar 2011 was recognized by most Polish painters as the most important miniature painting contest in Poland in 2011. On October 22nd we went to Warsaw, participated in the event, and managed to prepare this Hussar 2011 report for you.
For those of you who are not familiar with the event, let me explain that the contest is a successor to Slayer of Daemon, which was organized by Polish miniature painters when they learned that there will not be no Golden Demon contest in Poland anymore. After the first edition of Slayer of Daemon some changes were introduced, the connection to Games Workshop‘s event was cut off and a new name was chosen in order to add a Polish touch to the contest. And so Hussar was born.
This year’s contest was the second edition of Hussar (or third if you count the Slayer of Daemon) and the event was anxiously awaited by Polish painters. Although there are a few miniature painting competitions in Poland, Hussar remains the most important one and is the place to be for a Polish miniature painter. Not only because of the contest aspect of the event but also because of the opportunity of meeting fellow painters and spending some enjoyable time with them. But this year things changed…
Hussar has its own trophies, the Hussarettes, which are awarded to the winners. They were sculpted by Robert Kurek and represent a female warrior with hussar’s wings attached to the armor. Hussar 2011 introduced another trophy – a beautiful sabre, which was more related to the Polish martial tradition than a sword would be. But it’s not all…
Cool Mini Or Not sponsored a fantastic award to the overall winner of Hussar 2011: The winner would get a return flight ticket to the Crystal Brush miniature painting contest. Needless to say it was a generous offer, but also a great opportunity to participate in the Crystal Brush. If you don’t know about the contest, it’s enough to say that the overall winner wins $10.000 as their prize, and the next two also win some money. So it’s something to fight for…. Unfortunately for us Europeans the contest takes place in the US, so the trip is a bit too expensive for most of us to afford. But now there was a chance to get a free flight and a chance to win the big money. Now that’s some big news!
Hussar 2011 took place in in Warsaw, on October 22nd. We hoped some foreign painters would show up in attempt to win the big prize, but (fortunately for the grand winner) it remained a national contest only, even though we informed many foreign painters about it. Well, maybe the next time?
The whole event was prepared by the same crew as before, with the same man being responsible for the event. Huge thanks to Janusz Rosłan for making it all possible. This guy’s enthusiasm and hard work guaranteed that miniature painters in Poland have a worthy contest to compete in.
This year the event attracted new sponsors and partners, including Games Workshop and Cool Mini Or Not. We at Chest of Colors provided our support, spread the news about the event, and offered our forum for the official discussions about the contest. We also took photos of all the entries, gave miniature painting classes, and participated in judging.
As you already know, the contest was not the only attraction offered at the event. There were sculpting classes with Robert Kurek (the author of the Hussarette) and painting classes with Camelson (who showed how to paint damage) and Ańa (about painting faces). It was fantastic to see so many people interested and involved in these classes. It was a great opportunity to improve one’s skills and to learn from some of the best sources in our country.
Those classes were not the only pastime for hobbyists present at Hussar. Warsaw Team prepared an entertaining speed painting contest, and many hobbyists chose to spend the time socializing, joking and talking about hobby matters. After all it’s one of the rare opportunities for many of us to meet the others.
The most important part of the whole event was still the miniature painting contest – Hussar. There were four categories: Single Fantasy Model, Single Sci-Fi Model, Large Model and Diorama. The last category included not only dioramas but also units and groups of miniatures. It also put additional emphasis on story and interaction between models, not only quality of painting. After all it’s what dioramas are all about.
This time I wasn’t a judge in the contest. I couldn’t declare if I would be able to be there for sure, and didn’t want to cause any trouble with my unreliability, so I suggested that it would be excellent if Przemek Wałęga “Przemo” would become a member of the jury. He is the person who won the Slayer of Daemon and Hussar 2010 contests, so he would be the perfect choice for a judge in a miniature painting competition. I was very happy to hear he agreed, and so the judges were: Bogusz “Bohun” Stupnicki, Filip “Nameless” Marković and Przemysław “Przemo” Wałęga. Fantastic guys, who stood up to their task, and took the responsibility of judging in the competition. I can confirm how responsible job it can be, because you have to judge works of your friends and leave all sentiments behind. These guys did the job so fine, that we should all be proud of them.
It must be mentioned that Bohun would surely have a serious chance of winning in the contest and grabbing the free flight to Crystal Brush, but he didn’t change his choice and remained in the jury. It shows what kind of a person he is – true man of principles. Huge respect for this!
One complaint that was heard quite often was about the lighting. Unfortunately the lamps were placed in such a way that miniatures weren’t presented in an optimal way and many people couldn’t see the entries well. Judges had easy access to good lighting, but most visitors could only see some miniatures in dim light or even in shadows. Something to take care of in the next year. Fortunately some of the works (especially those awarded ones) were brought to the afterparty, so whoever was present there could see them from close distance and any angle.
There were 69 entries in the contest, which is more than in 2010. The general consensus is that the overall quality was also better than in the previous edition of Hussar. Even if the quality of the best entries is still comparable, the quality of others is better than it used to be, which is a positive sign of progress in our hobby community. It seems that there are more and more better hobbyists, or maybe at least more involved ones.
Here are all the winning entries from the competition. Pictures of those that got honorable mentions and remaining entries will follow later.
In the last days before the contest an active discussion took place both at the Chest of Colors forum and on Facebook. Many painters were sad to announce they would be unable to finish their works in time to use them for Hussar. We even joked that there should be a separate category for unfinished models, and it would be full of entries. Unfortunately this had its impact on the final results, because many good painters either decided to enter unfinished models (like Ańa) or not to enter their unfinished works at all (like Camelson, Tula or C’Tan). It’s a sad thing because everybody knew about the contest for many months already, but we know that sometimes life doesn’t allow things to follow any plans.
Fortunately for those who couldn’t see the miniatures in good lighting, better pictures of most entries have been (or will be) taken by their authors and posted to our miniature painting forum, so take a look there to see some better pictures, taken in better conditions.
The Grand Prix went to Maciej “Flameon” Banasik, so we are proud to announce that a member of the Chest of Colors painting studio won the ticket to Crystal Brush for his entry in Single Fantasy Model category. He also received a beautiful sabre and two Hussarettes (bronze in Single Sci-Fi Model category and gold in Single Fantasy Model category).
It was great to see many members of our forum community awarded for their works. Let’s just mention Ańa (silver in Single Fantasy Model category, silver in Diorama category and honorable mention in Single Sci-Fi Model category), Camelson (silver in Large Model category), Czlowiek.morze (honorable mention in Single Fantasy Model category), Marta (gold in Large Model category), C’Tan (gold in Diorama category and honorable mention in Single Fantasy Model category), Kacpero (honorable mention in Diorama category), Ignis and Loler (gold in Single Sci-Fi Model category, bronze in Diorama category). Plus others that I may have forgot about now…
A special mention goes to Jaśmina, the 8-years-old girl on the photo below, who won the Junior award for her cute diorama. Well done, start at young age and keep improving, so you can compete with adult painters in a few years!
Now here’s a “family photo” of all the awarded miniature painters, plus the jury. If you haven’t been mentioned or we made an error in the list of awards, feel free to let us know so we can update the text.
There were also some special awards for winners of the speed painting competition, and a very nice thing from Janusz himself. In order to show his appreciation to the people who have been cooperating with him for the last three years that he’s been organizing miniature painting contests, he prepared special Hussarettes as a sign of his recognition and gratitude. Thank you, Janusz. You should get a similar one, and I really appreciate the one I got. Such special Hussarettes went to me, Nameless, Bohun, Przemo, and one last to Warsaw Team. Fantastic idea!
For me it was a fantastic change to be able to spend some time with other hobbyists and socialize. Usually I had to spend such events behind the display cabinets, as I was a judge there. This time I had much more time for myself because I only needed to take and prepare some photos, so I could hang around and meet some of my old friends.
It was excellent to meet people like Przemek Jeske from MaxMini, old miniature painting friends like Miłosz Brendel or Alek Witkowski, and our the people we usually only meet on the forum: Sławol, Nameless, Bohun, Przemo, Zahor, Ścibor, Mr. Denial, C’Tan, Ignis, Tula, Marta, Rakso the Slayer, Kacpero, Loler, Longer Tom, Czlowiek.morze, Flameon, Camelson, Smok, Sadziu, Hacket, and more… We rarely have an opportunity to meet them in person, so it’s awesome to have them all in one place. Most likely I won’t meet many of them for like a year…
It seems I was not the only one who enjoyed the social aspect of Hussar:
Of course some enjoyed other activities, too:
Of course it was no problem, because they knew there would be an afterparty!
The afterparty was organized in a special place with a very (as Janusz called it) “vintage style”. In fact it was a seniors’ club, and it shows when you watch the photos below:
We even noticed a standard of fighters for socialism there:
The afterparty was a chance to see that Nameless can be friendly….
… and that Maru’s models actually look much better than his photos seem to suggest. And just like a Polish proverb says that a shoemaker has no shoes, the camera expert doesn’t have decent photos of his own paintjobs.
The best thing about the afterparty was that most of awarded contest entries were hrought there by their authors, so peole could see every detail, watch them closely, and discuss them with others. Such an opportunity of receiving first-hand feedback from people who saw your paintjobs in the flesh is priceless. People could also talk to the judges and hear their opinions directly from them. Such a thing doesn’t happen every day, so this alone could make a good reason to attend to the contest!
We already heard a declaration that there will be Hussar 2012. We all hope that some improvements (lighting!) will be done, and everything else will be as good as it was this time. Maybe sponsors offer as tempting awards as they did, and many painters will gather to fight for the grand prix (another return flight ticket to Crystal Brush?). We hope to see more foreign painters there, now you know what the competition is all about!
See you at Hussar 2012! But before it’s announced officially, feel free to share your memories from Hussar 2011 and your opinions about it in your comments. Tell us if you’re going to come to the next edition of Hussar, and if you want some more photos and opinions, check the English and Polish threads on our forum.