Golden Demons 2012: Clash of Slayer Sword winners

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

Photo: Golden Demons 2012: Slayer Sword to kill other slayers (16)

Photo: Golden Demons 2012: Slayer Sword to kill other slayers (15)


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.

Matt Cexwish

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!!

Photo: Golden Demons 2012: Slayer Sword to kill other slayers (17)



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.

Matt Cexwish

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

Photo: Golden Demons 2012: Slayer Sword to kill other slayers (14)


Photo: Golden Demons 2012: Slayer Sword to kill other slayers (13)


Photo: Golden Demons 2012: Slayer Sword to kill other slayers (12)


Photo: Golden Demons 2012: Slayer Sword to kill other slayers (11)



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.

Matt Cexwish

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

Photo: Golden Demons 2012: Slayer Sword to kill other slayers (10)


Photo: Golden Demons 2012: Slayer Sword to kill other slayers (9)



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.

Matt Cexwish

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

Photo: Golden Demons 2012: Slayer Sword to kill other slayers (8)


Photo: Golden Demons 2012: Slayer Sword to kill other slayers (7)



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!

Matt Cexwish

:)… 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

Photo: Golden Demons 2012: Slayer Sword to kill other slayers (6)


Photo: Golden Demons 2012: Slayer Sword to kill other slayers (5)



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!

Matt Cexwish

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

Photo: Golden Demons 2012: Slayer Sword to kill other slayers (4)



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.

Matt Cexwish

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

Photo: Golden Demons 2012: Slayer Sword to kill other slayers (3)

Photo: Golden Demons 2012: Slayer Sword to kill other slayers (1)



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.

Matt Cexwish

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…

Your opinion?

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!


Next step: Mona Lisa – Scandal at Golden Demon Australia?

Just as most of you probably know, Golden Demon Australia 2011 was held in Sydney on October 1st. And as some of you know, there was something wrong with one of the entries. I mean the dreadnought which won gold in Warhammer 40K Vehicle category, and you surely guessed it already.

Dreadnought Twins

For those of you who are not familiar with the subject, let me explain that after the Golden Demon some photos of entries were published on the internet. And somebody spotted a suspicious photo… “Hey, isn’t it Bohun’s dreadnought?”, he said. And yeah, he must’ve been right!

Photo: Scandal at Golden Demon Australia 2011 - Bohun's Dreadnought
Dreadnought entered at Golden Demon Australia 2011

The dreadnought in question looked exactly like the one Bohun showed on our miniature painting forum a few months ago. He even posted some WIP pictures, so we had no doubts he actually painted that one. So the new one had to be either painted by Bohun himself or a perfect copy of his paintjob.

Of course it’s possible to commit a forgery that can’t be disclosed, but it’s very unlikely in this case. Bohun‘s style is quite unique, and we recognized the paintjob with ease. We immediately contacted a few people, who could be interested in it – including Bohun. He thanked us for spotting the issue, because he wouldn’t even known about it.

Photo: Scandal at Golden Demon Australia 2011 - Bohun's Dreadnought
Bohun’s Dreadnought (official photo by Bohun)

The plot thickens…

Most of you probably know that at most Golden Demons there is a rule that one must be present at the Golden Demon to enter his works in the contest. And I mean personal presence, or otherwise they should be disqualified. It works a bit different in Australia because there is no requirement of personal presence, and there’s store and regional qualifying instead. We knew Bohun didn’t go to Australia and we know him as a painter who doesn’t need to do something as wrong as asking somebody to enter the miniature for him to win yet another Golden Demon while risking his reputation and good name. So we could be quite sure that it wasn’t entered by him or on his behalf. This was a commissioned job, so it was very likely that the customer who bought the miniature decided to enter the miniature in order to try to win a Golden Demon.

Unfortunately similar things happened before, too. Some people entered purchased or commissioned works before, and while some wanted to make a nice surprise to the authors and credited them as authors of the miniatures, some entered them as their own. Well, Bohun had bad luck of having the latter kind of customer. The person who entered the miniature, entered it as his own work. Now that’s really bad conduct, isn’t it?

Epic fail

Fortunately the guys from Australia (Sebastian Archer and Kyle Morgan) took care of the whole thing very seriously. Thank you guys, you did great job! They investigated the case and when they received pictures of the original work by Bohun, it was obvious the miniature at Golden Demon was not a copy but the same model as on Bohun’s works.

Photo: Scandal at Golden Demon Australia 2011 - Bohun's Dreadnought
Comparison of both photos.
Slight adjustments in colors made to recreate studio lighting conditions better in order to make comparing them easier.

But then yet another attempt was made, (un)fortunately a failed one:

Somebody signed up to our miniature painting forum and posted such a message and signed it as INTHEKNOW. We can’t be sure if it’s the same person or not, but let’s quote the message:

@ Angora and posters this my apply to.

I has come to my attention that there are accusations being made not only on this forum but on others. I would be very careful about making slanderous comments in public without proof. I can assure you this matter has been fully investigated by the event organisers and they have been in contact with the people who are actually involved.

While the Dreadnought in question was based on Bohun’s painting style, and a tuition and feed back was given by him, it was not painted by Bohun.

To save any controversy, and with the agreement of all parties involved, the Demon for the Vehicle category was was handed back, and given to 4th place.

As he had not cheated he was able to retain all other Demons won. The person at question will also be able to enter next years GD without limitation.

However, if this isn’t enough information for you I suggest that you either get in contact with GW AU directly or I’m sure you can contact Bohun by sending him a PM or finding the email from his site. Failing that please feel free to PM me.

So what is wrong with it? Why do we call it a failed attempt?

Just a day before this message was sent I had a chance to meet Bohun in person. We talked a bit at Hussar 2011 and even had a chance to visit him again and to see his works. And Bohun denied having given the person any tuition or feedback about how to paint such model. Now the real shame is that he could have chosen to say he was unaware that entries had to be sole works of the entrants, not just owned by them. Although still difficult to believe, this explanation would be more credible than his. But he still claimed it’s a different model…

Now take a moment and compare these two models. Take a little adjustment for different lighting conditions at the contest and in a photo studio. Don’t they look like the same miniature? To me they do. These small swirling patterns look exactly the same on both minis. One would have to be a fantastic painter to replicate this pattern with such perfection. Then look at those stains on both bases. Identical, aren’t they? And if he has such skills, why didn’t he enter his original work but a copy of Bohun’s dreadnought?

Next stop: copying Mona Lisa

Kyle nailed it with his comment at the OZ Painters forum:

I have to say…. if this guy is did infact manage to copy the original Dreadnought, so much that it even came down to getting the battle damage and rust in the exact same spots, then he is truly entitled to winning that Demon…. Hell he should have won the Slayer Sword for being able to copy the original to a tee…. I mean why paint minis when this person clearly has the skill to copy any artwork…. next stop, copying the Mona Lisa!

You still don’t believe?

According to a post from the OZ Painters forum, this was not the first time he was disqualified for playing unfair and breaking the rules. As member difsta writes:

Hi all, I’m new to Oz Painters, but not new to [him]. I used to me “mates” with this guy. That was until he was caught cheating at tournaments with loaded dice. The same dice he used against me in friendly matches, at my house, while drinking my beers.

I was involved in catching him out with the dice as well as catching him out with the Golden Demon issues. For ages [he] used to send me photos of models that he had supposedly painted. When this all came out I provided photos which he sent me, which were found on places such as cool mini or not as well as bohun’s galeria (some of which you have already seen). he didn’t even take the photos, he just sent me the photos that the actual painter had taken. Here is an example.

Then he posts pictures to prove his point. I will leave it up to you to judge by yourselves.

And justice for all

Eventually the entry was disqualified, and results corrected. And justice for all…

Oh really? For all?
He won more trophies on that day, but he was only disqualified from this one category. Fair or not? Let’s leave the judgement to you, but that’s what the rules say. There’s no reason to disqualify him from other categories.

But to show you a different approach to the subject, let me quote the rules of Hussar competition:

2.1. Submitting an entry breaching the rules will cause disqualification of all works of the painter.

2.2. Submitting a team work or work of other painters will cause disqualification of all works of the painter and ban for all future editions of the competition.

2.3 Disqualification can happen after the results announcement, if evidence is found.

It doesn’t pay to cheat, does it? 🙂

Space marine’s regret

Unfortunately it was not the only time such things happened. We only know about a few more, which involved us in some way, but there have surely been more. Let me give a few examples.

Many years ago somebody entered Irkuck‘s and Demon Color’s models at one of Golden Demons in the US. Fortunately for all parties involved those models didn’t win anything and we never learned who did it. We simply spotted these painted miniatured on photos of entries in one of photo reports from that Golden Demon.

Then in 2007 we received an email from one of our customers, informing us that he won a Golden Demon with miniatures painted by Ana. He entered them as his own and to his misfortune, they won a silver Golden Demon in Warhammer 40.000 squad category. He apologized about it and even sent us the trophy, but it still felt a bit unfair because Ana was not there and would surely be unable to afford a trip to Canada. It was the first Golden Demon won by any of her works, so some people might suspect she was involved in it, so we tried to resolve the issue with Canadian Games Workshop, but we only heard that they didn’t help us much beyond telling us they’re glad to know the winner passed the trophy over to the author of winning miniatures. Well, nevermind… Not the best way to get your first trophy, nothing to be proud about. Yet all the lists of GD winners, like the Demon Winner site, credit the person who entered the miniatures for his winning entry.

Photo: Scandal at Golden Demon Australia 2011 - Bohun's Dreadnought
Squad entered at Golden Demon (photo from GD gallery)
Photo: Scandal at Golden Demon Australia 2011 - Bohun's Dreadnought
Obviously the same squad. Official photo from Ana’s gallery.

Fortunately the guy really regretted what he had done and in 2008 entered his own work depicting a space marine asking for forgiveness. Nice touch…

Kindness of strangers

Ana wasn’t very lucky when it came to such situations. It must have been in 2009 that her Dark Angels command squad was entered by the owner of their miniatures at Golden Demon in Baltimore. This guy was fair enough to enter it as Ana’s work and credit her for the entry, but the miniatures… win a silver trophy again. Unfortunately it was done without Ana’s consent

Photo: Scandal at Golden Demon Australia 2011 - Bohun's Dreadnought
Yet another victim of kindness of strangers…

Some people congratulated Ana, some said it was a pity they didn’t have a chance to meet her at the Golden Demon. Generally the social reception was very positive, but we didn’t want to go the unfair way and contacted Games Workshop US about the case, asking the customer to do the same. We asked them to decide how to resolve the problem, because Ana wasn’t present at the GD, and it’s required by the rules to be there. We suggested it would be best to give the silver trophy to the winner of bronze, and to give bronze to the next person in the line – unless it’s impossible or too difficult to do. Fortunately things went just the way we suggested and the owner of that Dark Angels command squad didn’t object to returning the trophy. We believe he only wanted to do Ana a favor and win a trophy he thought miniature painting deserved. But we were happy to know the trophies went to people who won them abiding by the rules. You can see the corrected list of winners to see that things have been addressed properly.

There are plenty more fish in the sea…

Maybe you can share some suggestions how to deal with such problems? We are aware that Games Workshop cannot know the authors of all the works entered in Golden Demons. That’s where the international community of painters steps in. It’s us who can spot such cases and report them to the responsible persons. Hopefully they will act as promptly and efficiently as some of the examples above prove.

And what is your experience with this subject? Did you have similar problems, or do you know somebody who did?
It surely is more of a problem for people who paint for others, as they lose control over their works after they’re shipped to their new owners. That’s where our “community watch” is most useful and necessary.

Were there more of such problems? Surely, but we don’t know about them.

Maybe you can tell us about the ones you know about?

Feel free to leave a comment to share your opinion with us.

— Mahoń

Hussar 2011 – Report from miniature painting contest

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…

Fight for the flight

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…

Photo: Hussar 2011 - report from miniature painting contest

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!

The event

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.

Photo: Hussar 2011 - report from miniature painting contest

Photo: Hussar 2011 - report from miniature painting contest

Photo: Hussar 2011 - report from miniature painting contest

Photo: Hussar 2011 - report from miniature painting contest

Photo: Hussar 2011 - report from miniature painting contest

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.

Photo: Hussar 2011 - report from miniature painting contest

Miniature painting contest

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.

Photo: Hussar 2011 - report from miniature painting contest

Photo: Hussar 2011 - report from miniature painting contest

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!

Photo: Hussar 2011 - report from miniature painting contest

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.

Photo: Hussar 2011 report - Gold in Single Sci-Fi Model category  Photo: Hussar 2011 report - Silver in Single Sci-Fi Model category  Photo: Hussar 2011 report - Bronze in Single Sci-Fi Model category

Photo: Hussar 2011 report - Gold in Single Fantasy Model category  Photo: Hussar 2011 report - Silver in Single Fantasy Model category  Photo: Hussar 2011 report - Bronze in Single Fantasy Model category

Photo: Hussar 2011 report - Gold in Large Model category  Photo: Hussar 2011 report - Silver in Large Model category  Photo: Hussar 2011 report - Bronze in Large Model category

Photo: Hussar 2011 report - Gold in Diorama category  Photo: Hussar 2011 report - Silver in Diorama category  Photo: Hussar 2011 report - Bronze in Diorama category

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.

Awards and winners

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…

Photo: Hussar 2011 - report from miniature painting contest

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!

Photo: Hussar 2011 - report from miniature painting contest

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.

Photo: Hussar 2011 - report from miniature painting contest

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!

The people at Hussar

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.

Hussar 2011 - report from miniature painting contest

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:

Photo: Hussar 2011 - report from miniature painting contest

Photo: Hussar 2011 - report from miniature painting contest

Photo: Hussar 2011 - report from miniature painting contest

Photo: Hussar 2011 - report from miniature painting contest

Photo: Hussar 2011 - report from miniature painting contest

Hussar 2011 - report from miniature painting contest

Hussar 2011 - report from miniature painting contest

Of course some enjoyed other activities, too:

Photo: Hussar 2011 - report from miniature painting contest

Photo: Hussar 2011 - report from miniature painting contest

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:

Photo: Hussar 2011 - report from miniature painting contest

We even noticed a standard of fighters for socialism there:

Photo: Hussar 2011 - report from miniature painting contest

The afterparty was a chance to see that Nameless can be friendly….

Photo: Hussar 2011 - report from miniature painting contest

… 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.

Photo: Hussar 2011 - report from miniature painting contest

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!

Hussar 2012?

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.

— Mahoń

Grey Seer 2011 – miniature painting competition report

We’re back from Grey Seer and must admit we had a terrific time there! The event is still pretty new but it already managed to make Gorzów an important city for every miniature painter in Poland, and hopefully also for foreign painters in the next editions.

Grey Seer – miniature painting competition

On August 13th we went to Gorzów Wielkopolski to participate in Grey Seer – a miniature painting competition being a part of Polish Team Championship in Warhammer Fantasy Battle. It was only the second edition of the painting contest, so we were prepared that something could go wrong and that the staff could be unable to arrange everyting right. So we were willing to forgive them some shortcomings, but fortunately our tolerant moods proved to be unnecessary.

Photo: Grey Seer 2011 miniature painting competition report

The first edition of Grey Seer was not very popular among painters, and many entries were entered by gamers who participated in the Championship. This year many popular painters declared they would be coming to the event, which showed that the contest managed to earn its place in Polish miniature painting community. Obviously painters were satisfied with the first edition and either decided to return for the next edition or even recommend it to others. This year only a few entries came from gamers, and most entries came from miniature painters. Does this advent a change in profile of this competition?


We (I, Ańa and Kacpero) arrived shortly before the noon and immediately met our friends from Warsaw. We recognized Camelson (and congratulated him on his success at the German Golden Demon), Smok, Edwin, Mr. Denial and Przemo. Maybe there were more of them but these are the ones that come to my mind now. A moment later we were greeted by Sławol, who organized the whole event. Then we went to say hi to the rest of people who were already there, including Gildor, KeraM, Bizon, Szary and Nameless. Most entries were already there so I immediately started to take photos of entered miniatures for the puropose of this report, while Kacpero and Sławol took care of all the people submitting new models for the competition.

Later we went to see the gaming tournament and it was pretty impressive. There were like 180 players playing Warhammer Fantasy, and some of them entered their miniatures for the contest. They received special card placeholders to stand in for the miniatures they submitted, so they could continue their games in the tournament.

Categories and entries

There were five categories: Fantasy single model, SciFi single model, Large model, Diorama or Unit, Open. There was also an additional prize for the best junior. The nice thing was that there were not only diplommas and trophy plates/badges but also models and bases for the winners. Not that it wouldn’t be good without them, but they surely were a nice touch and I know that the winners really appreciated them.

Eventually we received like 40 entries. Of course it’s not the same number that you can see on an important competition like Golden Demon, but compared to other Polish miniature painting contests the number was really satisfactory and larger than a year ago. Bearing in mind that it was only the second edition of the contest and the first was not really popular in the miniature painting (not: gaming) community, receiving this number of entries was a very nice surprise. There was also one historical model: Sahariana, that you will be able to see on a photo later.

Photo: Grey Seer 2011 miniature painting competition report

In comparison to the previous year’s edition, this time the overall quality was much higher, which was confirmed by both the participants and the judges. It was nice to see that the entries attracted attention of gamers who had a break between their battles. The only problem at this stage was the lack of protection for miniatures (glass cases, cabinets, or at least glass screens), which had one advantage: people could see the painted miniatures better, but at the cost of increased risk of damage to the entries.
Fortunately no disaster took placeplace and models survived the competition undamaged.

Judging and winners

Judging was done in two stages: the first cut which separated the finalist from the rest, and the finals during which the winners were chosen. Then the best junior painter was chosen and the grand prix was assigned to one of the winners of all categories. As you will be able to see in a moment, some of the entries were really impressive and it wouldn’t be a shame to enter them even at large international contests.

Here are photos of all the winning entries:

Photo   Photo   PhotoPhoto   Photo   PhotoPhoto   Photo   PhotoPhoto   Photo   PhotoPhoto   Photo   Photo

And here are the remaining entries:

Photo   Photo   PhotoPhoto   Photo   PhotoPhoto   Photo   PhotoPhoto   Photo   PhotoPhoto   Photo   PhotoPhoto   Photo   PhotoPhoto   Photo   PhotoPhoto   Photo   PhotoPhoto

Painting classes

During the competition painters could participate in miniature painting classes run by Ańa, Camelson and Przemo. Przemo explained his take on color theory, Camelson showed how he paints (focusing on painting skin) and Ańa made a presentation about painting and designing freehands. She used a computer to provide additional examples and demonstrations. It was a great chance to meet experienced painters, learn from them and ask them questions.

The atmosphere at the event was fantastic. I am very envious that others managed to spend more time together when we were judging, but it doesn’t mean we didn’t have a good time. Man, we did! And we even managed to sneak to the back of the school in which the event was held, to taste some delicious food served there by a little barbecue crew. Thanks guys!


    Two biggest surprizes of Grey Seer were:

  • Neuroshima Tactics miniatures are actually much better than we expected. Guys, you really have to do something with the way you’re trying to present and sell your miniatures. It can be done so much better. On our forum we constantly thought the miniatures are no good, but it’s not true. We saw one of them in person and it was much better than we could ever expect. So Neuroshima Tactics miniatures are not bad, just terribly presented.
  • Fantasy single model winner (Wurzag) was painted by KeraM, who’s only 14 years old. Guys, you will really need to try harder if he continues to improve at the speed he did so far. Not long before he was less than a mediocre painter, and now he’s not only beating adult painters in a normal painting competition (not a “youngbloods” category) but also becomes the best of all awarded junior painters I’ve seen so far on all Polish contest. Keep it up, KeraM, and don’t stop improving. You will soon give older painters a sweat if you keep entering such good works in miniature painting competitions.

Awards ceremony

The grand prix went to Ańa for her fantastic group of Tzeentch characters. We’ll try to provide official photos of these models which still haven’t received studio photos, but believe me, each of these models could easily be a serious entry (and possibly a winner) as a single model, and here we received four of them. It was really well deserved win here, which gave Ańa this nice trophy:


Now here are photos of all the winners and finalists:

Photo   PhotoPhoto   PhotoPhoto   PhotoPhoto   PhotoPhoto   PhotoPhoto   PhotoPhoto   PhotoPhoto   Photo


When the award ceremony was over, we helped Sławol clean the hall in which the competition took place. We talked and laughed a lot, and the painters exchanged honest and in-depth comments about their works. It was a fantastic chance to see the works of others and to get some first-hand feedback on your painting from some of the best miniature painters in Poland. The discussions continued later during the walk that we took to the restaurant in which we had our afterparty. We found Gorzów a very nice city, and will surely try to return there to spend some more time sightseeing.

Photo: Grey Seer 2011 miniature painting competition reportPhoto: Grey Seer 2011 miniature painting competition report

The afterparty was very entertaining and relaxing. We spent the evening in a Turkish restaurant, eating delicious food and drinking, talking and joking with our friends. Our friend Irkuck joined us during the party even though he wasn’t present at the competition. He was responsible for those nice trophies that were awarded to all winners, and everybody liked the trophies. My personal favorite was the one which went to the best junior painter, as it had a nice steampunk or post-apocalyptic feel.

Photo: Grey Seer 2011 - miniature painting competition report

The man behind it all

I must say that Sławol amazed us all with his ability to organize such a great event. He organized the painting contest almost single-handedly, and the only problem I could see was the lack of protection for entries. On the other hand there much more positive aspects of his work: great coordination, arranging sponsors, announcing the event in the internet, preparing the awards, participation in judging, arranging perfect place and equipment for the painting classes, booking the place for the afterparty, and much more. He was our host there in Gorzów, too, and he did his job really well. He even managed to give certificates of gratitude to everyone who helped him. Huge thank you, Sławol!

Could anything be improved? Sure. There could be more painters and more entries. But with so well prepared second edition of the contest and so satisfied participants, there will surely be the next edition and even more people will participate. There could be awards for random participants – it always encourages more people to enter, even if only because they hope to win the random award. There could be some kind of protection for entries. Not necessarily closed glass cabinets, but at least PVC screens to stand before the entries and visitors. Fortunately this time nothing bad happened, but you can never be sure. Additionally, there could be some foreign painters participating in the contest…

Going international?

But can I have your attention for one more short moment? Thanks!
I was told that in 2012 the European Team Championship is to be organized in Gorzów! It’s going to be a huge event, with players from whole Europe playing Warhammer. It’s a great opportunity to come there and enter the miniature painting competition. So maybe you could come to Poland in the next year? I can wholeheartedly recommend coming to the Grey Seer contest. Even if it’s not a huge competition, it’s a very friendly and interesting event.

And what are your thoughts on this event? So who’s coming to the next edition in 2012? Who’s still thinking? What are the pros and cons? What are your doubts? Don’t be shy and come to Grey Seer 2012! 🙂

If you noticed any mistake in this report, if you are (or know) the author of some unsigned works here – just leave a comment and we will amend the text. Thanks for reading!

— Mahoń