Friday, January 18, 2008

Enter the DRAGOMIR - Part 1

Well I have been promising this for months now and hope that you guys appreciate :) I am creating a new section in my friends folder for the work of Dragomir. One of the best parts of all of this is that he has allowed me to post not only finished pictures but WIP shots of many of his projects so that you can see and appreciate the enormous amount of work that goes into each of his incredible creations. This will be presented as a series of articles over the next few weeks. I hope you enjoy! ~James

Dragomir is a name that is held in equal parts respect and fear amoungst Canadian Golden Demon competitors. He is our First Canadian Slayer sword winner, a fierce competitor and above all else a highly original modeller of great patience and incredible skill. He also happens to be one of the most genuinely nice people I have met in this hobby.
I was lucky enough to meet Dragomir back in 2001 at the first Canadian Games Day by virtue of placing in the same category as him :) It was the first time I had competed in demons, the first time I had put real concerted effort into a model, and the first time I placed.  I earned a bronze in the open category coming in a distant third to the incredible work of Dragomir and a really sweet scratch built warhound Titan . There was a lot of tension in the air that day because the open category was not traditionally eligible for the slayer sword and yet as soon as it was unveiled there was NO doubt in anyones mind that Dragomir's huge scratch built Khorne Berzerker was by far the best model at this event. It was so shockingly superior to the rest of the entries in the competition, it was really awe inspiring. There is only one other time in all the competitions I have been to that it was so obvious that one model was above the rest and that was when Jeremie brought his slayer winning Ogre to Games Day Toronto in 2006 -  again this one was different though, as Dragomir was assumed to be ineligible for slayer and everyone was wondering who then would win?
As the saying goes, "When You make an assumption - you make an ass out of you and mption!" (or something like that). The judges discussed and made a descision that I hold in great respect to this day, and they awarded the slayer to clearly the best model of the day. For the years of work he put into it Dragomir walked away with both the Gold in open and the first ever Canadian Slayer sword.

Considering how long it took him to build the first piece I was amazed to see that the following year (2002) brought Dragomir back with another incredible creation! Once again Dragomir thought outside the box building yet another gigantic monstrocity - this time a wild Goblin Fanatic! This piece featured a huge ball and chain (which through the magic of modelmaking was self supporting), a pair of crazy boxer shorts, wonderful mottled skin tones and a truly incredible characterful face.

What impressed me about this model was the attention given to different surfaces - the cloth was soft the tongue looked wet, the skin natural, the eyes glassy.  Dragomir actually approached me on this day to say hello. Where I had met him the year before I had the privelage of getting to chat with him for a while and really get to know a bit more about him, his background in traditional military modelling, and his interest in the artistic freedom that model building in the GW universes presented. It was another good day on the competition front as he earned yet another gold in open whereas I moved up and placed a silver in battlescene.

Since that day Dragomir and I have communicated back and  forth a bit both at competitions and sporadically in between.  I consider him a friend and trust his opinion on even my most top secret WIP pieces for upcoming competitions. I really appreciate Dragomir for the very different perspective he has brought to our hobby and competitions here in Canada and assure you, fair reader, that you have seen neither the last nor the best from this great painter.

Tune in next week for some further examples of his incredible and continuously growing body of work.....


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