Another year has passed by and we are lucky to get some more great painted miniatures from painters who participated at Golden Demon contest organized by Games Workshop. If you would like to remembrance what entries have won last year, check here: Golden Demon 2011 Slayer Sword winners.
This year I have asked other great painter to share their opinion with us.
Slayer Sword France 2012: Bruno Lavallée – Empire griffin
Bruno’s entry is a wonderful monster, very well painted, to a level we would expect from Bruno. The painting detail of the skin in the demigyph is awesome, the composition is very well executed, with a nice ambiance and an interesting pose. The worse part in my opinion is the head of the rider, a poor sculpture which is only interesting for the hair, and the face is not up to the standard of the whole piece. Nicely worked base and terrain too! One of my favorites this year.
I have a bit of a mixed feeling with this one. It isn’t the 100% custom sculpted magic we’re used from GD France, but a slightly modified (head swap as far as I know of) Forge World model. It’s also difficult to judge the painting on the model, it’s hard to see on the pictures but all surfaces seem to be finely textured: dents in the armor, fur on the beast, etc. And of course the base is magnificent!
It isn’t the 100% custom sculpted magic we’re used from GD France
I like the overall composition, great base and color choice. Big mounted model with good paint job, I especially like the demigryph with his textures. The rider’s face and metallics are really great, also nice steam punk-look lance. The base is great itself.
Hmmmmmm… :)… Much more then meets the eye actually! I really dig the nice black cut out base that Bruno has created for his project…
The saliva and glossy looking beak and eyes really make the demigryph come to live… I also like the sharp metal reflexes and nicely worked out details on the skin and the base… All in all a very solid and strong entry, but again pretty out of the box… I think that it could have been improved by adding some more Detail that shows more of the Knights story like a little companion or some stuff he has cramped on his saddle…
The French GD has always been one (if not THE) most innovative Golden Daemon in the past and I am sure that there were a lot of amazing sculpts that were not considered because of the newly changed IP doctrine…
Slayer Sword Spain 2012: Pablo López – Board´em!!
Pablo’s entry is a good diorama, well executed and very well done in terms of GW lore and use of commercial bits and the idea behind is well thought. There are many bad details which make the whole piece worse, like the tree, the base in general, the painting level of the imperial crew, the poor level of the transformations… Overall is a very nice piece but not worthy of a Slayer Sword in my opinion. A lucky strike considering the competition!
well executed and very well done in terms of GW lore and use of commercial bits and the idea behind is well thought
Classic diorama’s like this which depict a scene which can come straight out of the concept art of the Warhammer universe are always a recipe for success. It’s also painted in a more classic way than the previous Spanish Slayer Sword winners, which were much more technical.
Classic diorama with really good execution. Pretty old school paint job, but nothing spectacular. Nice storytelling scene. I would like to see more details on Savage Orcs, for example tattoos or at least more work on their green skin, maybe some additional colors on their mugs or something else. Of course, author put in this piece a lot of work and I like the whole composition, but overall it’s not what I expect for SS winner in diorama category and I don’t like spongy trees.
For me personally, maybe the biggest surprise in this years Golden Daemon season… I am kinda intrigued by the general setup of the diorama, although I also think that paloji could have been much, much braver in his decisions, composition and conversions… As the sculpt of the Forge World land sShip lacks some Elegance and the additional, plausible Storytelling and Detail it is really a pity that no one has yet achieved to add it in the past…
I wished the sheer wild nature of the Feral Orks would show in a more natural way… the Orks could have been like a Monstrous Green Tidal wave, with hundreds and hundreds of them smashing into the side of the Ship and gradually tipping it over… It is this kind of detail that would have driven this Project to my absolute favorite this year, but like this I got the impression that something is missing and the whole scene remains extremely flat and bound to it´s Square base (although it is pretty clear that it´s converted and painted nicely…)… Also, I think that Paloji ended up in a not very pleasant situation as he has said himself that the giant from Marc Masclans was the better project… However, congratulations to you, dear Paloji, for your first Slayer Sword!
Slayer Sword Japan 2012: Christoph Blumenthal – Crisis Battlesuit
Cristoph’s is by far the worst of the Slayer Swords this year, obviously we shouldn’t expect the same level as we expect in Europe to the new GD in Japan. I like the choice of the idea and the basing and colors of the ground. The work on the Tau Armour is very poor and so is the overall painting. But again, it’s a new GD! I’m sure we will see the level rising in Japan soon.
I am not too keen on the idea of a unbalanced diorama and thus think that the goblin is no match for the suit
Let’s hope this is a warming up for the next Japan GD’s… This entry and the other winners all have a lot of potential so I’m sure we’ll see some amazing things coming our way in the next few years. My main comment about this particular piece would be the composition: there’s no real focus point here, and the grot has no added value in my opinion.
Well, the first GD in Japan is history! Congratulations to organizers and participants, I hope next year GD will be better with better entries and especially the main prize – not paper. As for the winner – for me too few shadows, that’s why model looks really flat. I love weathering and whole scene, the base and the lamp.
Well, besides getting the notorious, very First and World Exclusive Paper Slayer Print, Christoph did a decent job on his combat suit… I was waiting for a long time to finally see a Japanese Golden Daemon and it was pretty obvious that the first will be rather small and humble, yet this entry shows some advanced ideas regarding the textures and setup of used elements (like the nice lamp post and the general post apocalyptic feeling to it…)…
I am not too keen on the idea of a unbalanced diorama and thus think that the goblin is no match for the suit (also, he is shooting him in the back… which doesn´t make it any better…)… Maybe a classical “David Vs. Goliath” theme would have worked with switched roles (e.g. a very strong goblin against a somehow weak, elegant, fragile suit…)… But then again, this doesn´t really seem to fit with the idea of the Tau… Hhhm, difficult start, but a start at least! :D… Very much looking forward seeing the 2013 GD Japan entries!
Slayer Sword US 2012: Todd Swanson – Wood Elf Lilith Hesperax
Todd’s Lilith Hesperax is a very interesting piece. Quite a conversion and a very nice idea in general, and the painting is very correct. However there are things that you cannot ask from a conversion work and I think Todd tried hard in making the conversion believable but the right leg is absolutely broken, and the little faerie thing (whatever that is) in her hand is funny but completely unreal and out of context with Lilith’s pose. Great base also, tiny but filled with interesting details!
painting miniatures out of the box without any modifications seems like a much more sure way to win a trophy, but it also leaves less space for imagination
The conversion of this 40K model left it with some odd bends in the legs, or is this due to the Finecast? The skin, which makes up most of this model, lacks contrast and the heavy black lining is something you don’t see that often anymore these days. But in general it is quite an impressive conversion and the base looks great.
Hesperax is a nice chick, but her right leg… Simple paint job, but very clean and smooth. Good skin tone, tattoos, I like especially the face and hair. Nothing mind blowing and special for a SS winner, but it’s a nice model and very good conversion and of course very good base.
Again, much more then one could think at the first glance… Todd´s Project is just meticulous and insane! He has filed down each and every single piece of cloth and armor on a pretty filigrane miniature and managed to create some new, unique and very well fitting additional pieces… In a time when Games Workshop tries to strongly encourage work displaying their own IP as a means of advertisement, painting miniatures out of the box without any modifications seems like a much more sure way to win a trophy, but it also leaves less space for imagination, new, fresh ideas and finally interesting entries and inspiration for both the hobbyists and the production studio…
I think it´s a great way to start converting miniatures as Todd did here with a lot of subtle, yet extremely effective and well chosen additions to still get the attention with the judges it really deserves… I like the outcome and think that it´s much better in hand then it is on the pics (since they are magnified a good 10 times at least…).. Very nice Job, Todd!
Slayer Sword Germany 2012: Raffaele Picca – Untold Honor
Untold honor by Raffa is one of the best Slayer Swords this year too. I like the idea, the dynamism, the colors, the work on the base, the level of detail, the painting work, nearly everything. I specially like the way he managed to get the characters to be floating in the air. The only thing I do not like that much is the composition of the piece. There is too much protagonism in the base, and at first sight you don’t see the dwarf that well. I believe he could have been better off with less height on the terrain. Apart from that and the water splashes not being very realistic, I absolutely love it.
Only the best can achieve this kind of “aesthetic corrections” and Raffa is certainly one of them…
I had the luck of seeing this piece in real life a couple of times this year and it’s truly breathtaking. Custom sculpted figures and an over the top, Massive Voodoo style base make this my number 2 for this year’s Slayer Sword list.
Well, I can go talking and talking about this diorama long time… Masterpiece, I love dynamic scene, my beloved race from fantasy world – Dwarf, great terrain and of course fantastic paint job. Picster is one of the most talented painters nowadays and here is the another proof. Well deserved SS! Amazing job!
:)… Jungle Brother Raffa is like a living warranty: Whatever this crazed chimp spits out after working hard on it, it will be great… :D… I have seen this piece in person as I was in the jury of the German Games Day 2012 and – boy – he did it again! The most astonishing part is surely not the setup, which we all have seen a couple of times (a fearless hero jumping head first into a brutal and violent monster / enemy… meh), but the way he has achieved this piece is really something extraordinary…
The dwarf is completely sculpted and one would not expect how SMALL it actually is… Painting wise, Raffa has really succeeded in something that becomes more vital in these days of 3D enhanced modeling: To paint the scales of the troll in a more naturalistic, smooth way then the sculpt would suggest… It really speaks highly of his skill to see that he has managed to turn a flaw of the sculpt to something you end up noticing as something very well painted… Only the best can achieve this kind of “aesthetic corrections” and Raffa is certainly one of them…
Slayer Sword UK 2012: Karol Rudyk – Vampire Lord
Karol’s Vampire Dragon is absolutely stunning. A great work, amazing choice of colors and very well executed job on the red of the wings, a very risky choice which turned out beautifully. My biggest concerns on this piece are the position of the rider, saddle and banner. I don’t like how the rider is leaning to one side, with the banner making an unreal diagonal and without any sensation of weight which it would have in a position like that one. The painting is superb though, one of my favorites this year.
That’s what I see in my head when I think “Slayer Sword”. Big model with a lot of details and fantastic composition.
My favorite of this year, thanks to the overall dark and evil atmosphere together with the razor-sharp painting. I’m speechless…
For me Karol’s work is the best SS this year. That’s what I see in my head when I think “Slayer Sword”. Big model with a lot of details and fantastic composition. It reminds me of another work – 1st place in Monster Category at GD UK 2003 by Matt Parkes. Karol did a very rich diorama with lot of details and mood. I love the blood, dark atmosphere, banner, the base…
What more can I say? Vampire on the Zombie Dragon is my number one in 2012!
I met Karol 2 times already and I always knew that he will strike it big one day as his miniatures are something genuinely special! The finish is so smooth and Matt, you would not expect it… His freehands are amongst the absolute best in the miniature world… He is amongst the few that have a genuine graphical talent and you can clearly see it in his masterpiece, the Vampire Lord + favorite pet… The only flaw I can spot is the lack of dynamic in the Banner (which should be pretty ragged and moved by the wind actually…), but that´s nitpicking on a very high level… The smoothness of the paint job and the nearly photo realistic NMM metallics are really something special…
I am so glad that Karols Oddysee to the UK ended up so successfully and that some people that did not want to allow him into the competition had to think again afterwards… Also, I want to thank him for the stir he has made selling his China Slayer Sword afterwards, showing as much respect to it as he had felt when he was awarded with it… You got to stay true to your principles…
Slayer Sword Australia 2012: Mark Soley – Nurgle Lord
Mark’s Nurgle paladin is very well painted, beautiful choice of colors overall and I really like the detail of the corpse in the water which he maintained transparent so that we could see what’s happening inside. The biggest flaw for me is that the miniature is nearly an out of the box project and probably not enough for a Slayer Sword in my opinion, a little miniature with a painting not that mind blowing to be a Slayer Sword without anything else, but is is always difficult to judge from photos.
The biggest flaw for me is that the miniature is nearly an out of the box project.
All serious Golden Demon contestants know the “gaming base rule” is quite a silly one. Some entries almost make fun of this rule by building a huge diorama on top of a 25x25mm base. This entry does it in another, extremely creative way. A good conversion, great painting and flawless water effects, wow! My number three of the list.
Another single model with big base. It’s a thin line between single model and diorama and some of the GD rules about bases would be verified and/or changed. I like the paint job and the overall idea. Maybe another nurgle champion is boring for some people (like me), but I have to say, it is painted on a high level. I like color scheme and very limited palette.
I have seen so, so many versions of this miniature that it gets me a little bit tired… Here, I like the base most, as it is more complex and quite challenging from a technical point of view… The nurgle warrior on top is nearly completely replaceable with any other fantasy miniature and that´s why I think that more modification or a bolder use of wicked colors would have worked better… Besides that, the whole paint job is a little bit too flat, but it does transport the message of a rotting nurgle warrior pretty nicely and subtle…
Slayer Sword Italy 2012: Luciano Rossetto – Ork Warboss
Luciano’s Ork is amazing, a huge piece with an outstanding work on conversion, modeling and sculpting, filled with little details that tell lots of stories, dynamism and superbly painted to the highest standard. A very well deserved Slayer Sword in a GD which was swarming with good pieces and again, one of my favorites this year.
Makes you wonder about the true nature of the Orks, like a dance on the very thin line between ferocious wildness and murderous fun…
Not really appealing to me but a flawless, very dynamic piece. Well deserved.
Nice, dynamic model, great skin, freehands and the reds. Nothing amazing for me in 100%, but I think this Ork deserved for 1st place in his category.
Forte! :D… I was lucky enough to see this in person at the Monte San Savino Show 2012 in the Tuscany and was amazed by the size and details! Definitely, a highly personalized and condensed entry… The balanced, nearly dance like posture of the heavy, wild Ork evokes the impression as if he is gently swaying through the enemy lines, which is unusual and interestingly done!
Also, it´s pretty evident that Luciano has painted quite a few historical miniatures before (if you look at the smooth blending, the texture on the armor, the nice metals…)… Makes you wonder about the true nature of the Orks, like a dance on the very thin line between ferocious wildness and murderous fun… Thanks for creating that and sharing it with us…
As always your opinion is important, so what do you think about those entries?
Which one do you like best?
Where Golden Demon has the highest standard?
Vote, share your opinion and comment here or at our forum!