Monday, March 30, 2015

Todd Swanson is SICK! (In a good way)

He may be quite healthy, but Todd's awesome award winning Nurgle models are the epitome of sickness decay and rot.

 I have made no secret that I admire the work of Multi Slayer Sword  winner Todd Swanson - looking back through my blog you may also have seen that he contributed something AMAZING to a special project of mine (check the "With a little help.... " label on the right) that got put on hold for a bit when I moved but which I am looking to return to in a big way this year!

Now Todd is looking to share a bit of his talent and give people some of the very things we have been so envious of all these years. Todd's First offering under the moniker Black Swan Miniatures is a ket to recreate the actual base from his Golden demon winning Mortio Grulgor Model from 2011 (seen here on the right ===> )
Yeah, For real.

This base is being sold through our equally amazing friend Chris Borer's FULL BORER Miniatures.

 He has really one upped himself though by offering it as a resin kit with two different base sections and a few extra parts so that you could very easily use it to base multiple hero models for you chaos or industrial style models with some real variety! 

This is intended as the first in a series of releases should it sell reasonably :) I for one SERIOUSLY hope it does because the possibilities offered by Todd's incredible skills and imagination are endless and awesome!

The pieces are super detailed and the casting is crisp with virtually no mold lines. Unbelievably good!

Look to the tiny key on the left hand base if you need any convincing as to how cleanly cast this is.

Awesome stuff - Do check it out, spread the signal far and wide and cheer Todd on! If you buy one of these and use it send me the pics and I will happily show it off here at LITW!

Until next time!

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Congrats on Crystal Brushes and a deal from Painting Buddha/Masterminis

This past weekend saw the annual extravaganza known as the Crystal Brush painting competition. Hosted at Adepticon and advertising a hefty TEN THOUSAND DOLLAR first prize it really draws some of the finest painters from around the world. This year the winners included many of my friends and several acquaintances/facebook friends. The works presented were marvelous and I really want to send out the best of wishes and mightiest of congratulations to all who were involved!

3rd Overall By Jessica Rich
Some of my favorite pieces/people involved included Sam Lenz (1st in Sci Fi AND Steampunk/fantasy figure AND Steampunk/Fantasy Unit!), Drew Drecher, James Wappel, and Matt DiPietro as winners. Many other amazing artists I know and admire made the "cut" as well including Mary Profitt who had 4 (!) pieces make cut. The Overall winners were Kirill Kanaev (AKA Yellow One) whose sculpted large scale freehand covered space marine was simply amazing. From early on it was clear from the internet buzz that this was going to be a serious front runner. The other piece that would clearly give it challenge was by one of my favorite painters - Ben Kometz. His diorama was clever, intricate and beautiful. 3rd went to Jessica Rich (YAY JESS!) who created a Kingdom piece layered in symbolism and interesting conceptual design with a direct nod to her love of pop surrealism and Mark Ryden in particular. Super cool stuff.

There were even a couple of surprises that made me super happy.

1. Joe Orteza - I have never made it a secret that Joe is the reason I became a competitive painter and is the artist to whom I really owe the greatest debt of gratitude in helping me to develop my interest and my voice in this hobby/aspect of my artistic life. He showed me that my hobby could BE the artform that I had spent much of my life searching for.  This year Joe placed in the crystal brush competition with a really incredible group of models that I had no idea were his until after the voting.

I am really impressed with these and thrilled to see him working at this level again after what seems like a long hiatus. He is a true friend and this was genuinely one of my favorite pieces in the voting - So hats off to him!!!!  :)

2. The Chibi Category - These are figures that I wasn't sure what to think of. I have been interested by the idea of models in this style - I did kickstart Super Dungeon explore and do have a set of Rivet Wars - but I wondered what entries in this category would look like when really pushed by excellent technique and with solid design concepts to push the sculpts further. I had seen one that Mathieu Fontaine did for fun a while ago that left me thinking this could be really great - but it was seeing the ones by Sam Lenz and Mark Maxey in the Crystal Brush that really made me smile and made me very excited for this relatively new addition to the North American miniatures modeling scene. These were just really cool!

Anyhoo These things aside I would also like to plug something that Buddha are up to. For any who don't know these guys are offering amazing lessons for miniature painters and working hard to support the artistic mini painting community come together in new and interesting ways using social media and the video. So here is what they have put on offer:

With our featured artists Kirill "Yellow One" Kanaev and Ben "White Rabbit" Komets taking first and second place at the Crystal Brush today, it is finally time for YOU to 'BE a BETTER painter': 7-day-special - The Crystal Bundle:

Anyhoo - looks to be a good deal - if this was something you were on the fence about trying out - this may be the time for you :)

Until Next time!