Poland didn’t have luck for Golden Demons. After two editions Games Workshop decided to announce that there would be no more Golden Demon competitions in Poland. But as our national anthem says “Poland has not perished, so long as we live” – Polish hobbyists didn’t give up there and organized their own miniature painting competition!
Slayer of Daemon
The first replacement for the cancelled Golden Demon was Slayer of Daemon, held in Warsaw in 2009. The event turned out to be pretty successful despite lack of support from such a major force that Games Workshop is. But we, the hobbyists, wanted to make it even better, even more separated from its Golden Demon roots and even more Polish. To make it the biggest miniature painting competition in Poland.
This way the Hussar was born.
The next edition of the competition wasn’t named Slayer of Daemon again, but something more related to Polish tradition was chosen for the name. Inspired brainstorming resulted in choosing Hussar for the name of the competition. Also a new trophy was designed and sculpted for the contest. It depicted a female warrior in plate armor, with hussar’s wings on her back. It was a nice change from the previous trophy depicting a dwarven slayer.
The first edition of Hussar took place on October 23rd, 2010 in Warsaw. The competition was a part of a larger fantasy-related event with some gaming, music concerts, painting classes and other attractions.
Despite the number of participants was lower than a year before, the overall quality of entries was much higher. This fact was noticed and confirmed by most people who came to see the miniatures entered in the contest. The big surprise and breakthrtough for us was seeing a foreign painter – Pandadosmares – who came to Warsaw from Portugal to enter the competition. It’s not common for a new competition to attract foreign participants, unless the rank of this event is as high as Golden Demon’s to justify the effort. This makes Pandadosmares’ visit even more surprising and hopefully inspiring for other painters who might come to Hussar in 2011.
The categories were more relaxed than they areat Golden Demons. The idea was to depart from the concept of a competition tied to one manufacturer and limited to his products. We wanted Hussar to be more of an open miniature painting competition, and it seems we achieved our goal, as the contest and its rules inspired quite a few other Polish contests and their rules.
Enough talking about the categories! Here you can see the winning painted miniatures from the competition:
Judging and results
Judging was done in the same way as during Polish Golden Demons and Slayer of Daemon: First the judges made the first cut, with those entries that made it becoming finalists. Then every finalist was checked with great attention and winners were chosen.
Then the Grand Prix was given to one of the winners of all categories, and an additional Best Junior award was given to the author of the best entry chosen from all entries by painters younger than 16. It was different than at Golden Demons, where there is a separate category for youngbloods. There was no such category at Hussar, so the Best Junior still had to compete with other adult painters.
Just like in 2009, the first edition of Hussar was won by Przemo and his excellent diorama depicting kids facing a cyclops. The Best Junior award went to Wojto, who not only won that trophy, but also won silver in the Diorama/Unit category. So this young painter was not only better than other young painters, but also better than most adult painters in his category. He lost only to… Przemo, the winner of the Grand Prix. Of course he might not fare that well in a single model category, but in dioramas he came up second.
As I wrote already, the contest was not the only feature of the whole event. There was a nice and fun speed painting competition organized by Warsaw Team guys, who managed to give people something to do while the judges were examining miniatures entered into the contest.
There were also painting classes that used a camera and a large screen that allowed people to see everything in detail even if they didn’t manage to sit next to the people who ran the classes. Unfortunately there were some technical glitches and imperfections which reduced usefulness of the video presentation, but for the first attempt it was good already.
After the contest
After the awards ceremony we went to a bar nearby to spend a few hours talking, joking, and showing miniatures which weren’t entered in the competition. It was a fantastic chance to spend some time with our friends who share the same hobby. Pandadosmares remained with us and served fantastic tremoços – one of the memories which will always come to our mind when talking about the first Hussar. The afterparty was not big but very friendly.
When we returned home we were very happy to see that the general reception of the contest was so positive!
People congratulated the staff on good organization of the event, people thanked for the painting classes, commented on higher quality of entries (compared to 2009), liked the nice trophies, and wanted to see the event organized again in 2011.
So be it!
And the voice of the people was heard and Hussar 2011 will be organized. We will announce it very soon and you will be able to learn much more about it.
But if you happened to be present at Hussar 2010, why don’t you leave a comment below to encourage new people to come to Warsaw for the next edition of the biggest Polish miniature painting contest!