Jungle on the road

by Roman aka jar

Massive Voodoo is on the road to
Scale Model Challenge 2017.

We are looking forward to see many good friends and make new ones!
Safe travels everyone!

Fehur, the Treeman - Peter´s Version

by Peter aka Baphomet

Hey jungle!

today, I want to share my version of Roman´s beautiful Fehur with you.

It´s a very interesting bust and painting it was quite the challenge. Due to it´s unusual surface with almost no plain areas, I had to develop my usual way of painting. It´s a hard task if you want to create a "smooth blending" here, you are rather forced to work with the color in a very rough way. For me, it was a true eye opener and I have to discover this way a lot more :)

I can only recommend to give the bust a try and allow yourself to have fun with color (without any inner borders/rules/limitations)... you can check back with Mr. Lee's Minis booth this upcoming weekend to get your self a copy! Your Fehur-painting-journey awaits you!

Enjoy it:

Fehur, the Treeman
Mr Lee's Minis, 1/11


Review: Private Coaching with Nicolas

by Roman aka jar

Hello Jungle,
today it is time for another private coaching review.

This time Roman got visited by Nicolas from France for some happy painting teaching. Nicolas said something so beautiful when he showed up in the MV studio:

"I decided to come to you for private coaching as I want to become a happy painter first, before I will grow to a better painter!"

Roman & Nicolas

Nicolas visited the MV studio back in summe 2017.
It was quite hot in the MV studio and all paints on our wetpalettes had to be stored in the refrigerator due painting breaks.

Nicolas wanted to learn on how to paint more atmospheric influance in his figure projects and after some mails to clarify the topic and decide for a figure we meet up for tons of theory first.

Just a beatiful happening during the coaching ...

Nicolas decided for a figure with base and we started our atmospheric paintjob on the base as it plays a really important part when you want to create a strong atmosphere.

Nicolas, painting and focused.

The basework continues.

We are also taking care of the figure for the global overview and let everything grow together.

We painted on and on and put the theory lessons we had to the figure. It was really enjoyable to see Nicolas' project grow and his joy in painting rise. Additional to the steep learning curve we also enjoyed nice talks about life and more.

Thanks, Nicolas for
putting your trust in my teaching skills and your will to travel for this coaching.
It was my absolute pleasure!

Keep on happy painting. Nicolas!


You want to support Massive Voodoo? 
If you like to support or say thanks the monkeys of Massive Voodoo in what they do, please feel invited to drop a jungle donation in their direction via paypal or check their miniatures they got on sale here.

Feel free to contact me for your private coaching!
Right now I am fully booked with two day MV private coachings until the end of the end of February. All requests from now on will be planned from March on.

Tip of the week

by Roman aka jar

Good Morning Jungle,

today tip of the week is again about MV's challenge that ends this week.
It is more an information post on how this challenge ends this week and gives you all information you need to have a good feeling while taking partor when the challenge is over:

- Sent your entries in until October 19th 2017, Thursday (this week)
as soon as the calender hits the 20th on Roman's time (located in Augsburg, Germany) entries are not accepted. You will recieve a confirmation mail once your entry was checked. Please write your full name and adress to the email. We need this in case you will win a prize or are lucky concerning the random price pool raffle.

- Will I recieve a confimation mail as soon as I sent my email?
No. We do not have a monkey sitting in front of a screen and waiting for your mails to show up. Roman will regularly check his emails and as soon as several entries arrived and he finds time, he will check back with them and sents out confirmation mails. Please be patient on this. You might even find some confirmation mails going out on Friday. If your entry arrived in the given timeframe and we might encounter and issue with photos or such, we will inform you and it will still be valid, even when you recieve your confirmation mail on Friday.

- Can I show my photos of my final entry after October 19th?
Yes you are allowed to. Starting on October 20th everyone is allowed to show his final entry whereever he/she wants to, forums, blogs, galleries, facebook, events, etc.

- When can I expect to see the full gallery of entries?
As we are heading towards and back from the SMC over the upcoming weekend we ask a little patience. As we gave you time to finish your entries give us time to organise everything in the background. Estimated time table to show full galleries are the two weeks after the SMC. We have more information for you at this point. So stay tuned.

- When will MV announce the winners?
Well, as soon as we show the full gallery we already showing you all winners, as everybody who took part in the challenge is a on a big win. You took the challenge, succeeded and learned something new and fun. Of course we will announce the challenge winners and also the random prize pool winners, but this is happening after we showed the full gallery and took our time for proper judging work.
We keep you informed.

- When will MV sent out the prizes?
Well, step by step. Everything. We will keep you informed, but as Roman is handling these things on his own - beside everything else he has to do - it will take a moment or three. Easy. We tell you.

- How many entries have you recieved so far?
Today, Tuesday, 17th October, 09:12 (bavarian local time):

Waterbase Challenge: 12
Infinity Challenge: 18

You want to support Massive Voodoo? 
If you like to support or say thanks the monkeys of Massive Voodoo in what they do, please feel invited to drop a jungle donation in their direction via paypal or check their miniatures they got on sale here.

Nikola Tesla

by Roman aka jar

Hi Jungle,

recently I have finished a comission work for Infamy Games, a beautiful bust of Nikola Tesla.
This bust really has some challenges and the biggest one is the dynamic lightning situation going on. I made plenty of thoughts on how to tackle this and really enjoyed the result. Hope you like it too?

Nikola Tesla
Infamy Games, 1/12

If you want to see more photos of Nikola, check back with
or romanlappat.com.

I also made a photo of the bust in my hands for scale:

If you are interested, some of the progress can be seen on my Instagram profile.
I did quite a lot of photos to one day write an article about my painting steps and thoughts on this bust, but at the moment I have around 50+ articles that I could write without finding the time to write it :(

This bust is not for sale as it was a comission work for a box art, but if you want to check back with miniature project I got for sale, feel invited to check back with my PDF cataloge.Thank you for your support in my work, art and passion.

Keep on happy painting!

Soviet Sergeant Yakov Fedotovich Pavlov

by Peter aka Baphomet

Hey jungle,

some weeks ago I received a nice parcel from my friend Thomas,
who runs Stoessi´s Hereos.
You can already find a Miniatures Unpacked of these
cool historical wargame figures here in your jungle.

They create very nice characters for 28mm wargames with a WW II background. While having a nice chat on last SMC, I offered him to take one of the miniatures and put some more effort into the paintjob in order to inspire the gamers.

Today I present to you: Soviet Sergeant Yakov Fedotovich Pavlov

I was not too happy with the crooked position of the original sculpt and also thought to place him in another enviroment. At the same time I was eager to experiment with water effects after having read Josua´s great tutorial.

So, I decided to have Yakov and his team sneak through a small river and prepare a deadly ambush. I´m quite happy with the result and I hope, that the paintjob inspires some of the wargamers to invest a bit more time into their paintjobs. You can do it :-)

You´ll find more pictures on Putty&Paint.


Important Clarification

by Massive Voodoo

Here is a short clarification
of our post about competitions from yesterday.
First of all we do not say competitions are bad or should be removed and of course we do not want to harm any show. We love them all, visit them and participate at them. Go and take part in competitions. It's fun and exciting!

Maybe our post was too long and too personal.
We would love to see an open mind towards out-of-competition. Combine competition and exhibition. It is possible, happening here and there already in a very small scale and if it would grow bigger everyone would benefit from it. Competition is less crowded, exhibition can have its own place as an own category in the same area. Visitors can enjoy a competition and an exhibition at the same time.

Painters can decide on their personal preferences where to enter.
To compete or not to compete, but the decision would be open to everyone and if both happening in the same spot all projects can be looked upon with the same equality, no matter if they are made for competing or not. People have their own reasons to enter competitions and have their own reasons to not enter competitions. They might differ from person to person.

All of the shows nowadays are based on a competition (with very few exceptions). So if you want to show your work in real life and meet other artists, you basically grow into a competition scene wether you like it or not.

Imagine you have 10 figures,
only one should take part in the competition, but you want to show them all. Or you don't want to compete at all. You are forced to place your work inside a arena where it has to compete.

A dedicated area inside the show room for out-of-competion would be a simple solution. Nothing fancy but maybe with name signs. Or even project signs. Everyone had this moment during a show where you thought, awesome work but who made this?! Respect the artists and don't hide them in the crowd. Of course in our case we do not have a problem with paying our cuts of fee to enter the competition/exhibition and we will do as we would like to support the event.

Long story short:
Some more alternatives to exhibit instead of competing, would be great. We are NOT saying fckcompetitions, we are saying we wish for more variety to let everyone decide for himself.
Is this a bad wish?

Change can be good.
Open for discussion as we have the feeling that many people take us for devils or evil spirits now and this is absolutely not our intention :)


by Roman aka jar

Corax - Primarch of the Raven Guard

by Peter aka Baphomet

Hey jungle,

another primarch ist finished!
After Angron and Horus, Corax is the third Space Marine Lord I painted for my customer, only fiveteen more to go. The next one is already on my table and I will soon share pictures on my Instagram. After so much black, I will enjoy the blue colors ;)

But now, let´s have some pictures:

You´ll find more pictures on Putty&Paint.


Tip of the week

by Roman aka jar

Do not forget to enter your entries for the actual
Massive Voodoo challenge.

All easy,
you still got time to continue with fun on these two so different topics.
We are so much looking forward to your entries and we are very happy to have recieved so many more in the last days. These will be some great galleries to exhibit your amazing creations. See your emails answered confirmed during this week as I am catching up with my mails soonish!

Sent your entries in until October 19th 2017,
as soon as the calender hits the 20th on Roman's time (located in Augsburg, Germany) entries are not accepted. You will recieve a confirmation mail once your entry was checked. Please write your full name and adress to the email. We need this in case you will win a prize.

You want to support Massive Voodoo? 
If you like to support or say thanks the monkeys of Massive Voodoo in what they do, please feel invited to drop a jungle donation in their direction via paypal or check their miniatures they got on sale here.

Competition? Mmh ... no!

by Massive Voodoo

Hello Jungle readers,
today we have a very adult conversation going on here in the usually so childish jungle.

OK, the headline is a bit provocative and maybe not true. But here we go.
Some of the Massive Voodoo members decided to not enter competitions anymore and push forward the idea of exhibitions. It is a very personal decision and everything we write here is just our very own believes, thoughts, brainfarts, wishes and dreams in concern of our beloved passion. In no words we mean any offense, if you think you found some please do not hesitate to contact anyone of us for talking.

We hope you enjoy the read and tell us your oppinion on the topic via the comments section.
If you find this topic interesting do not hesitate to share it.


For a few years I am a bit annoyed by competitions.
Everybody claims he does not care about the competition still they enter in competitions – including myself
. Everybody wants positive feedback and maybe a reward in form of a medal. If you deny it you're a liar. And that's totally fine, but we don't need competitions for that.

But why are there competitions in our hobby anyway?
The following lines are no offense to historical painting. I love historical figures.

I assume it comes from a time where figures were mostly all the same. Not really conversions, creative bases, freedom of color choice or different styles of painting. The only difference was the quality of the paintjob and historical accuracy. So it was easy to compare the figures and even made sense.

But it's not like this anymore.
Figure painting has become very artistic and creative. Artists became very bold and tried the weirdest stuff in the last few years. Is this still comparable? Should we even try to compare such creative artworks? I don't think so – at least not as we do it now.

On one hand a lot of artists wish figure painting to be recognised as a true art and not just a nerd hobby, but on the other hand they compete each other like jealous kids.

Have you ever you seen any other art where artists compete with their artworks with totally different styles, mediums and contents? Sure there are musical competitions like rap battles, but they do not compete with their regular artworks or fine art exhibitions that award a few outstanding pieces.

So a completely different thing would be figure painting aimed for competition with strict rules. I am not saying competitions are complete bullshit. At most shows only your best piece is judged, so why not entering only that project in the competition.

Or even better: have a true exhibition
without an old fashioned figure painting competition giving away hundreds of medals, but awards for a handfull of amazing projects. All figures by one artist in one display, maybe with a name sign. Visitors would greatly benefit from it and would instantly know who the artist behind those works is. And hey, maybe it’s a new buyer of your art.



It sounds confusing for many people what I will write now as some people will definatly think it is easy to say for me that awards are not important as I have won my cut. I already said this when I started my very own journey as a painter. Of course I take part and took part in competitions and when I look inside myself I still am and always was excited about it. Over the years I learned to not be too excited on winning a medal, more on presenting my work to an audience as their feedback and a person's very own impression of my creation is what its all about and what I am interested in: communication through colors, technical aspects, compositions, stories, art.

Seeing and showing the beauty, variety and passion behind this lovely thing called miniature painting. This did not change, even I have won awards and medals. They are not what I am striving nor painting for. I paint for myself and to grow on my journey as a figure painter. And I have the feeling I am still at the beginning in terms of learning about painting. This is wonderful. It is a neverending journey.

Please do not get me wrong here.

I do not say competitions are a bad thing. They can motivate to great achievements and push you further, can make you finish something that you never expected, but at the end of the day you are only competing against yourself and will learn about yourself from the full experience a competition can bring you, personally. Every individual is different and people enter competitions for different reasons. Some to win, some to be better than others, some for fun, some for the joy of painting, some to see how big their wiener is, some to see where others would rank their skill and so on. This is all good. Nothing bad with it, but everyone also has to find his personal place inside this competitive world and how he deals with it. I see many painters paint figures for relaxation, to get away from the competitive world of their jobs and all the pressure coming from there. A very good thing.

Competitions can bring back that pressure for some and I have seen painters who think they can not paint after a competition where they did not win what they expected or hoped for without understanding the fact of acceptance where you are at on your journey of experience as a painter. 

I recently enjoyed a great interview
of Dmitry Fesechko in the last Figure Painter Magazine. If you did not read it yet, I can only recommend it. He is speaking about good points on the actual figure scene, not only on competitions, more a global, future way of thinking of this passion we call figure- or miniature art. Since I got these thoughts on my chest for a long while now his words triggered me to finally write my words on this particular thinking of mine. 

There is no perfection.
Over a decade now I am taking part in and judge competitions worldwide. I always enjoyed judging more as I am able to take my time to have a closer look on creations of others with even holding them in my hands. It is amazing also to learn from it and at the same time I can try to be the best judge I can be and do wonderful teamwork with other great judges. In the end we are a committee that judges on our agreements. I really enjoy it everytime I do, but what I learned is that there is no perfect figure. There are figure or model projects that work really well for the major audience and of course also for the eyes of judges. This depends on the skillset and personal journey of the particular painter and what the audience, including judges are looking at, but I never found perfection in a figure project. So far I only found perfection while observing nature. I found things that work perfectly or stand out in a great way, but the strive for perfection can kill someones joy in growing as a painter. It is good if you paint a lot, then you will grow a lot in your skillset and will understand why some aspects on figures work well and others won't.

 I just recently found this in a very good book:

Still I am not saying awards or competitions are something bad.
This is important for me that you understand what I mean. I had a really good talk last year in Monte San Savino with my friend and talented painter Roman Gruba. We talked about how awards can influance your sales as a full-time figure painter. We not only share the same name, we also share the same job. They can do yes. I said I personally do not like to see medal photos after a show without at least the model on it which has won the award. Showing only the medal is somehow only: Look how great I am. In my eyes is just a dick challenge and showing how big your nuggets are. Some people are like that and also this I accept. I usually do not take photos of my awards ever since, even they are beautiful and they do have meaning for me: Good memories of an event, interesting days of painting time to finish a project, great chats, too much drinks on an event and so on. This is what I connect my medals with.

To my brother in name, Roman Gruba I said that you decide who is interested in your figures: a) collectors who buy from you because the model has won an award or b) collectors who buy because they like your personal vision on this model. Of course you can have both and so on, but you are the one who is deciding this with how you offer your art. It is just a personal thing in the end coming down to painters, collectors and journeyman painters who might admire a painter they like and follow and his/her behavour. It is a thing about personality how you deal with medals. It comes down to what everyone personally admires and names as an achievement. And there is nothing bad with it, again. People are different and so are their goals in life.

Where I see my point why I decide to stop entering competitions:
Having a closer look on the overall miniature scene/community/development of this niche I can tell from the last decade it is growing. A wonderful thing. More people are joining the joy of figure painting, more and more people help others to improve or be inspired on their own ways as a figure painter, more people start collecting and supporting artists, more companies and brands see birth with great ideas. It is growing, definatly.

BUT I also see that this scene is just carrying itself. 
Only people interested in it and knowing what it is about go to such events like shows, tournaments, competitions. We all have different reasons to go. Very often it is a mixture of meeting up with friends, enjoying creations, buying supplies and also competition. I wanted to make the experience last year at SMC to enter as many pieces in the competition as I was able to and so I did with 44 entries. I was told by close friends I should consider only entering my favourite or best to be able to compete better. My answer was simple and straight forward: I do not enter to win something, I enter to show how much fun I got while painting figures and I can show this reason more precise if I show up with what I painted. I will never do it again as packing and handling made me crazy, but experience was made.

Last year in Monte San Savino Show
I already thought about entering out of competition at last years show in Italy. Not because I think I am better than others. Just because I want a change for me personally. I was approaching the organisators of this wonderful show, asking where I do find the out of competition area and had the feeling that they felt a little bit offended as I would not appreciate the work they put in to set up the competition. This is not the point for me and I realised that more words about this have to follow first, before people will understand the "why" behind this decision. That is why I write now and explain.

While I organised and enjoyed my first art exhibition
this year I was amazed by comments and chats I had with people who have never seen miniature painting before. Old and young ones. It was an open talk about the exhibitioned pieces. A free talk about subjects, techniques and impressions. No piece was better than another piece I presented there. They were just differently recieved in terms of what impression they made on individuals. It is also my personal way to see art. If something has an impact on me I consider it art, but this - again - is a personal thing.

On the other hand I had chats with people, who have never seen miniature painted before and going to a figure event and are absolutely confused about all the war, anger, weapons, hate, chopped off heads, tits and butts presented in our figure world. Of course I love a Space Marine who looks and acts like a wargod as I am a proud geek and this just rocks, but it is not presenting the beauty behind this art form in a very good way to be recognized outside our community. With the normal-non-geek people.

With the next words I do not say events are not a good and great thing. I am saying something else. I even would go this far to say that as long as the figure painting community is often mainly about competition, who is a master and who is not, what is masterclass and what is not, who is the greatest miniature painter, who has won money awards, who is a better painter than the other and so on, we will never have a a chance to be accepted as an artform. We will always stick on technical judging criteria to find out who is better than the other in his craftmanship as this is all you can put down as criteria for judging in the end. Of course we have much more criteria for good judging work, but often all is coming back to this one point in competitions and that is why judging with me sometimes can take a while as I try to see and explain other aspects too. More global, concerning different aspects that lead to a "figure project that works wonderful" or actually missing some points in the wide variety of judging aspects.

So why aren't there more public exhibitions?
Free, public exhibitions could open up this community to a broader audience. No super-medal-excited geeks, an atmosphere of envy and unhappiness over awards (this does happen) scaring away visitors. What I would love to see on exhibitions: Talks of deep technical analyse of figure projects, explanation of personal impact from non-figure painting visitors. No comments about comparision, no envy, no unfullfilled expectations, just the pure joy of seeing different creations and stories being told. This is already happening slowly, but still medals and grand prizes do dominate our figure painting scene and commitees are handing out criteria what they want to judge good or bad. It slowly changes and the more changes appear the more such long-established commitees are scared and push harder on their will. This sounds a little too harsh if you compare it to reality, but in some points I am right as I made experiences. I do not blaim commitees at all, without them and whitout what people do for our passion it would be much smaller today. I appreciate everyone who puts heart in our community and cherish when people come together. I just think some of the long-established ways on thinking should change with what miniature painting is today. It is not the same anymore like twenty years ago. I also do not blaim painters who find their motivation in painting for competition, it is just not my way.

I think this change could attract more people

in the far future to the beauty and passion of figure painting, people who might never have heard of it before. Maybe more appereance in newspapers, more attraction to visitors who do not know about how to do the hobby at all and maybe start themselve in the future. More kids to join the fun, more future for the passionate, enjoyable hobby that figure painting is. More future in the variety of sculptures in small scales, more teachers, more students, more techniques, more thoughts on painting, more future for artists working in this field, more possible sales for brands and companies, more growth in the variety of painting styles and painters themselve.

I would love to see more and more figure teachers teaching for beginners, most of the teaching nowadays is on superhigh-quality and everything is named 'masterclass'. This will help painters for sure to increase their skillset to win more medals in competitions or reach the next step of their painting wisdom faster. This is something good, but if we continue like this we will not have many people following up on their personal journey as figure painters in thirty years. We will have superold 'masters' who think back to the old days of glory, long gone and forgotten, because the figure community is still carrying itself and dying a slow death.

I know that this all sounds rebellish
and I know that I am standing on a front line concerning what I say in here, but I do hope that some of you can see my point why I decided to enjoy this years SMC without entering the competition at all, rather putting my models in exhibition (out of competition) with my name sign on it. Of course I am also willing to pay the competition or exhibition fee to support the event itself. No fear from organisators needed on this point. I will keep this attitude for future events I will visit I am pretty sure. Maybe I will enter a competition again, when the moment is right and I have finished a piece that I want to compete in a system and stand the criteria of the commitee. I will not blaim anyone who does think differently and hope to be not be blaimed by anyone for what I think.

Thank you for reading through all of my emotional confusion.
I hope I made my point clear on this, at least I tried :)


I´m very happy to have painting miniatures as my hobby. Over the last years it has been an unstable relationship: sometimes I hated it, somtimes I loved it. BUT, it was always a part of me and will hopefully be for many more years. As this hobby (wargaming and painting) is a trustworthy companion on my journey through life since I was 14, my view on it changed as did my view on life itself. This is nothing bad, it is a natural thing: At first, it was simply a realm of fantasy where I could dive into my own world, but over the years, it became more and more a way to connect with people who had a similar mindset, to meet people who think differently (positive and negative). We are all geeks in some way and I see this "way of geekhood" as an expression of uniqueness and a (slight) expression of being a non-conformer. I met many great persons during those years, who changed my view on many things and most importantly shared their experiences with me. The MV-guys are only a small part of this group and most of those people eventually don´t know or care about their impact on me. In short: the most important thing I get from painting today, is a unique way to develop and to have great people in my life.

Contests have always been a part of this hobby.
I fought myself through wargaming tournaments and attended decent miniature shows. They were a fixed part in my hobby, but I realized more and more that especially the painting contests had a bad impact on my mood from time to time. There have been the shows, where I was not happy with the results or put a lot of pressure on myself before the show, in order to achieve a paintjob
at least adequate to my "best pieces", e.g. Theseus´ Destiny.

Many of you will know this kind of pressure or the black hole you sometimes fell into, when you did not get the award you thought you´d "deserve". As I work fulltime, I only have a limited time frame for painting and so, it is simply impossible to invest as much time into improving my skills as a full time painter, who makes his living out of it. Of course, I alway understood this point, but could not accept it deep in my heart and so, I went through one black hole after another.

Over the last two years I started reviewing my life.
Am I happy? Do I have a enjoyable life? Are there things that prevent me from having a positive view on life? Maybe these are questions you start asking yourself when you overstep the 30th birthday, but to make things short: there are some major constructions sites I have to take care of, but I actually do. One of these was/is my view on my hobby. As written above, it is something special for me and I get a lot of power out of it, but it´s also a factor whit a high potential of pulling me down. 

After gathering my thoughts, I realized that I actually enjoy painting. I´m not the best painter, but I think of myself as an experienced one with some quality. I can implement my vision of a bust/miniature on a good level and so, I´m happy with it, and, if I am not, I can learn to do better. In the end, things come down to (self-inflicted) pressure. Sometimes this can be a good thing. It helps to finish a piece and give it the last perfect brush strokes, but it can also crush your potential freedom right at the beginning. The basic question remaining: What is the motivation for pressure? I would say: To impress other people, is a major motivation for painting, and it´s a good one. But I realized, that I did it very often to compare myself with others, a fact I can also see in many other painters (evil recognizes each other). 

The more I thought about this last point, the more I realized how wrong this felt for me. There is nothing bad about a contest in which you compare something in regards to clear measureable aspects (the biggest cow, the fastest runner, the most efficient robot), but our community compares projects which have an artistic core. As there is almost nothing measurable about this, the remaining part must be a subjective decision. Of course you could argue about technical points like a "properly" painted color trasition (aka "blending"). But, have you ever realized that some painters use a more "rough" style to achieve the result they like? It´s always about the point of view. So, judging could basically be reduced to: Does the judge like my (way of) painting or not? Having these points in mind, I asked myself the most important question: Why should I be judged by anybody? Or, I could answer: Nobody has the right to judge me (or my paintjobs).

These two sentences were a very important realisation.
Don´t get me wrong: I´m always open for a good discussion and feedback, I also accept if somebody does not like my way of painting, but I can not accept, if somebody places himself above me because he (or somebody) thinks he is a "better" painter. There is no "better painter"! We are painters, that´s all. There are painters, whose work is liked by more people than the work of other (less known) painters, but this has nothing to do if a paintjob is "better" or "worse". There is no objective way to say "good" or "bad" about a painting or a paintjob, it´s always only the pure subjective view of the specator. Given this, I state that all painters a equal and the moral aspect of the work "to judge" is wrong to be used here. 

Hierachy in question.
At my job I always had a problem with a hierarchy in which I did not see the real achievement of the people on the "higher level". Over the years I often thought of my superiors as idiots (subjective!) which somehow had luck in their live or sat in the prior position long enough to get a promotion. But, I often witnessed that people with good ideas, a critical (positive!) way of thinking, the ones asking questions, are often blocked from rising in the hierarchy or simply burn out of it. I can live in an hierachy if my superiors have a bigger responsibiliy due to more experience and skill, but I can never except if they place themself above me, without having the rational better argument. Sadly, I see exactly this bad type of hierarchy develop in our hobby. Maybe it has been there all the time, but for me, it got more and more present over the last 3 or 4 years. I saw painters being called "master" and because of this given title developing an arrogant behaviour towards other painters.

I´m sick of this comparison between people.
To quote a friend: "We are just painting little plastic dolls (püppis)". And these words carry a lot of truth. I have seen some bad shit during my time in Palestine and Egypt. I have studied history and politics because I want to understand conflicts in the world and how you could prevent (too extreme) suffering. I am very much concerned about the things happening in the world right now, for example about the people who voted for the right-winged AfD in Germany. You could call me a idealist, but there is so much more important stuff going on in the world and we use some painted fantasy-space-soldier-berserker-monsters to rate each other? This is the basement for every conflict. I will not call upon you all in order to prevent a future "genocide" between painters, but I want to call upon you all, because I see this hobby as having so much potentail to create positive effects with almost no effort. I might not have the same noble ideals for our hobby as some others do, but I want to enjoy my hobby with people from all over the world and from different social enviroments. I want to share the positive (!) mood I had while painting with people interested in this hobby, by showing them my stuff. But I have decided, I will not put these (for me important) pieces into a contest anymore. I want to prevent myself from an "corrupting" pressure, which does certainly not mean the show in general or all these awesome people I meet there. Making use of the "out-of-competition"-areas will be good way to show my stuff and generate some kind of "art-gallery-atmosphere". SMC will be the first show to do this.

Contests in the future? Maybe!
This plea does not mean that I will never participate in a contest, again. Contests can be good things, if you enter them with the right distance in your mind. From challenge there can be progress. A lot of people invest a lot of effort in organizing a show and its contest, and I don´t want to give them the feeling, that I don´t appreciate them. These people need our support as they are responsible for our loved "family-meetings" and I will always help in the organisation of a show, if possible. But, if I participate in a contest again, it will be with a paintjob which was made especially for this occasion. Something which is made for competing, something which is not connected to my inner self, something "ready for the show-down".



Why I stop competing. For me a rather difficult thing to think about on one hand. I was only part of a real competition once till this day at this years Duke of Bavaria. I can agree with most of the things you are able to read from the other guys above my text. I will not write that much about how I see the whole situation of competitions as I had this experience only once so far. On the other hand I want to tell you what I have to say about a small part, a little facet of it and why I feel happy when it comes to this topic at the moment.

As Scale Model Challenge 2017 comes closer I was suddenly feeling a lot of negative pressure in my painting,  was constantly counting days that are left until I would travel to Eindhoven and was even feeling bad if I did not paint in my spare time.

The pressure I was putting on my self to paint

a lot of new and exciting stuff was so bad that the joy for painting got lost. 
Now lets recap what happened to me. Regarding the Competition I was putting that much pressure on myself that I lost the fun and relaxing part a hobby should have. Don't get me wrong, a lot of people need this kind of pressure to do great things and to achieve higher goals.

After recapping how pressure or a timeline could influence my work
I am able to tell you how I feel about it. Until a certain point a deadline of a competition can give you the power to push thruugh, to paint like a madman with a strong focus. For me there was a point where I felt this motivation to achieve was turning into pressure, pressure that I was putting on myself.

  • What will others think?
  • Is my work as good as it was at the last competition?
  • Will people see progress?

I was stressed regarding the thought of sharing my work at a competition.
Exactly on this point the other Massive Voodoo guys where talking about the topic of competitions a lot. I was first secretly starting to think about to enter into out of competition at SMC and as I thought this, I felt pressure falling off. Time continued and I was slowly starting to find the joy and happiness again. From there on I knew it would be the best thing for me to not enter into the regular competition this year.

Right now Iam happy to say that I found the joy to show my work and knowing that there will be no judging on it. What doesn't mean that I don't like to talk or get critical feedback about my work. And most importantly that I found the fun and relaxing part of my hobby again.

Now if you excuse

Ii hear my paints calling me back to the painting table. ;-)


What do you think about this topic?
Could you imagine just going to an exhibition without competiton?

Or do you think a competitive part is a must have?

Could both go hand in hand and still work?

What is your experience with competitions?

We are looking forward to your comments and talks :)
Your MV-Monkeys

You want to support Massive Voodoo? 
If you like to support or say thanks the monkeys of Massive Voodoo in what they do, please feel invited to drop a jungle donation in their direction via paypal or check their miniatures they got on sale here.

Review: Nova Open 2017

by Roman aka jar

Hi Jungle
and welcome to a big review of a wonderful event,
the NOVA OPEN 2017.

For those of you who do not know what the NOVA Open is about,
here is a great article by shapeways:

Non diary photos in this article are under copyright by the NOVA Open. Thanks to the great team of photographers for taking awesome shots of the event and for lending these for the cause of this review.

Let's zoom in ...

This year I was travelling alone to the NOVA Open 2017

without my buddy Raffaele Picca. I was missing him all through out the event as it is always great to see and be with Raffa. I was also missing Mr. Justin McCoy from Secret Weapon who so far has been a major part in my Nova experience. I really missed them and I know others did too, but let's not start this review with bad emotions. There were so many good ones as the NOVA Open every year holds its promise:

To be bigger, better, more amazing and cool than the year before.
No shortcuts
I will write this review in form of a travel diary. For some this might be too much to read and for this I can only tell to this article: there is no shortcut through it. If you are interested why I decided to pledge my heart to the NOVA Open until it beats you have to read through this. I will mix it up with impressions from the NOVA Open, photo credits see above.

NOVA Open 2017 -
introducing staff

Alpha Mammoth, Mike ;)
- Alpha Mammoth: concerning the amount of weight of heart he puts in the show.

True Beast, Dewey
- Beast: concerning the amount of brain and muscle and heart and energies and fierce muscle power he puts in everything that has to be organised at the NOVA Open.

The mighty Owl, Owen
 - Owl: Stealthy he is always there when you start thinking "Let's ask Owen". He arrives silently at your shoulder putting solutions to small questions and is a major vene for the running blood system of the Nova Open.

The amazing Falcon, Nick
- Falcon: A bird of prey that breathes organisational superpowers during the Nova Open, strikes down on small or bigger issues to solve. Does this sharp, superprecise and in a way of friendliness you just can believe.

The Lioness, Laurie
- Lioness: No word of describtion would meet the truth on what the NOVA Open means to Laurie and to what Laurie means to the NOVA Open.

Not to forget Dave on the photo with Laurie, but now I start missing to explain everybody else. This introduction of the NOVA staff is just the tip of the iceberg. Just can not write everyone down now as my heart would explode and I do not have a full week to do so. Excuses to everyone I did not mention here.

My Nova Open 2017 diary #01:
"Jetlag, movies on a plane, friends, Nova family, unloading trucks and peanut butter M&M's."

I did not take many photos during the Nova Open 2017 as the great photographer team behind Chris Michaels was all over the place. More about this in my MV review. I took some whenever I had the time to search my full pockets for my phone. Here is the first batch plus some words from my heart. Will split that diary up in parts cuz it is too heavy to unload it in one post.
Saw some movies on the plane, I do not go the cinema often, always waiting for this plane ride to catch up with things. Logan. Lost City of Z. And one I want to make stand out in this group was called "Silence", medieval japan. Amazing Movie.

Thanks to B for picking me up at the airport even preps for Nova reached a peak of insanity and for the good conversations we had. Also for being such a reliable and awesome bartender.
I am learning to control jetlag. Second day is worst for me so I flew in two days prior to the show. So far so good. Still i do not like jetlag. Thanks to my friend John who spontanously decided to take me to a ride to the IWO JIMA Marine Corps Memorial. One of the few things I wanted to see in DC and missed so far. In his Ferrari. Sadly the Memorial was under construction this day and no chance to get close or see anything. At least we made a selfie. Thanks for the awesome ride and the beautiful spots you showed me in DC in that beatiful car. Great talks about life all over. Just too cool.
As my heart is pledged to what Nova Open is I asked if i can be of any help and quickly found myself unloading trucks together with amazing people. A good way to ignore jetlag on the first day. Another day in paradise.

It was so awesome to see such a big show rising up in an empty hotel and amazing to work together as such a team of friends.

More about this soon.
Day two of my jetlag was arriving and I will tell a little more about it, soon.

My both cats trying to come with me ...

Flying out with United. Showing a plane on this photo.

Waiting time at the airport.

Jetlag woke me up at 3 am could not fall back to sleep even with a sleeping pill. Great. Started drawing the Massive Voodoo Most Creative Award for the Capital Palette.

Finally. Sunlight.

The IWO JIMA Marine Corps Memorial construction site with my friend John. John says hi @Erik :)

That sound and view ... unbelievable. Jetlag was forgotten for a moment.

Thanks for the great ride and time, John.

wrrrrooommmmm wwrrooommm.

Cabinets. More than last year. 
Made some small suggestions here and there on what we could improve for this years edition in the subjects I am involved in and NOVA overexceeded my expectations all over.

Nova Open rocks and will rock even more in years to come!

A face that unloads trucks for hours and is super happy with it because of being part of a family. Dewey in charge of everything that mattered and a superhuge gang of Nova staff and volunteer helpers. Just amazing working with this flow. Another truck? Pfffttt!!

Fruits and nuts

waiting for me in my room. Lovely. A good thing to fight jetlag with. Thanks Laurie  you are simply the greatest and i am happy to call you a friend (and Mother of Geeks). I am sorry that we somehow did not find to say proper goodbye yesterday after the show with all the post-convention symptoms. Even a little sad. Not sad in a bad way. Melancholic. Next year my friend. Properly.

Soon followed by tons of penaut butter M&M's. We do not get them in Europe so I was happy to have friends like Lea  and Mitchell. Not only amazing friends because of Peanut butter M&M's.

Nova Open means: Gaming and Painting Love!

My Nova Open diary - day #2:
Well, my second day was all about jetlag. Woke up way too early again, tried a sleeping pill at 3 am, local time, 9 am at home. Didn't work. All I remember this day is meeting more and of my wonderful Nova friends, seeing the hotel fill up with more people for the show (in the end over 2000) and placing a thousand and more TABLEWAR gaming matts together with fabolous Mike Brandt who is the mammoth (or another very strong animal) behind the show and a bunch of great helping hands in the 40k hall before jetlag knocked me out again. Several cold showers achieved keeping my body walking around, but not much more. Great gaming matts. So cool. Met the guys from Forgeworld and Games Workshop. Really cool gang and really happy they made it to the Nova. Show was close to happen. More tomorrow. There was Pizza too. Charity Bar at night. Had a full drink in my hands all the time, even i knew next day my seminars would start at 8 am. At least this is what I thought ... :) ... more soon.

My Nova Open 2017 diary #3 - day 3, convention day #01:
Day three - for me - was all about starting to teach seminars and I woke up with quite the hangover from a cool night at the Charity bar. Well, not so cool in the morning, especially if you are a german teacher. I was thinking my first class would start at 8 am, but it did not, it was starting at 11 am and I was just too - well out of focus with my eyes - to see this on my schedule plan. Great start :D

At this point I want to say a big thank you to the NOVA Open Staff as I had the feeling all the little suggestions to improve seminars at NOVA were taken care of. In a great way. Everything was better, bigger and cooler! Nova, Dewey and Nick, thank you so much to create a wonderful environment for the guys holding the seminars at the NOVA. I bet I might come up with some smaller suggestions here and there and others might too, but from all I can say it was absolutely wonderful to teach at the NOVA again.
Secondly I want to thank Mitchell for being as smart as Tyrion Lannister and being my right hand during the seminars. I was thinking coffee and you already had me one. Big hugs!

Thanks to all the people who made it to one of my seminars, long or short ones, thanks for the great fun we had and thank you for tolerating my not perfect english. Had a great time with everyone! Happy painting and see you next year!

Went to bed kind of sober, to recharge from the night before. Thanks to B - one of my favourite bartenders on this planet earth - again for being my shield of protection and of course to everyone who bought me a drink or offered me one. No offense. Just can not teach when drunk :)

A great gift by my friend Val. Will be framed and hung up to my office at home. When I first saw this drawing by him I fell in love as I read so much in it. Thank you for your wise words!

Wonderful armies all over the place. This is just but one from many. This one is by John and I am always in awe when I see a fully painted army. I never was able to finish my plans on gaming armies. Never. Seeing this and others is just so impressive for me you can not imagine.

Results of my students from a four hour color theory class. Learning to see, understand, analise colors and remix them from primaries. Lots of fun.

Convention Agenda.
So amazing. Helps so much, if you can read it properly

NOVA OPEn is about people, elevator traffic jams and fun.

My Nova Open 2017 diary #4 - day 4, 2nd convention day:

Well this day was all about teaching. My day started with another one hour seminar called "Introduction into display painting", a lecture class where I tried to show everything that you need to know if you would like to step from tabletop gaming to display painting. A preparation class to help painters more about the specific words and meanings when they enter an advanced seminar. Loved this class and as its charge was at five bucks, unlimited seats it was often a really full class. Thanks to all the cool FAQs we had in this class.
After this class it was time to start my first eight hour class I would ever teach at Nova. Two were planned this year and my first one was painting a bust in atmosphere. Seats were limited to ten and there were plenty of people on the waiting lists. To go more advanced in the topics of a seminar you need more time. Time also for the students to put things to a test and make their experience hands on in what I was explaining them. We painted a bust that I sculpted myself, an Ogre, which btw. is available via Mr Lee's Minis here on facebook. I am saying this because the models were sponsored for this class.I really enjoyed the class and what everyone achieved, but I found some points were I can save on time to have even more painting time in the end. Thanks to all my students for the fun we had. Great group and a funny priming session :D
Still I got to say, if you are not used to air conditioning you might freeze. I did so in my seminar room somehow. It is better to paint in the cold though than painting in the warm, just because colors dry slower, but still if I would not have my beard on me I might have been an iceblock.
Again I want to point out Nick and Dewey for being available anytime, anywhere when organisational questions popped up. Mitchell, again for being my helpful assistant through everything.

On a tabletop convention with over 2000 people we slowly encounted elevator traffic jams all over the place :)
It was Friday and I knew I had to go to bed earlier than the days before, just because I knew Saturday will be my longest day on the show. More about this soon!

Explaining what I mean. I can do this best with brush in hand.

Again, wolves, but this time painted in a certain atmosphere to understand what is going on with light and ambience if you go for a strong atmospherical paintjob.

I stole these photos bluntly from David, who is not only a great guy, but made some photos of the class. I did not take any. Long classes rock, just because there is more time to learn things and from a teachers point of view you get to know your students far better :) ...

David's "speedpainted" Ogre during the class. Next year in this seminar we will have about one more hour to paint. Or even two. I missed that, but will come with an even better time frame for this class.

Selfietime with Melissa and Val ... forgot about when this happened :)

NOVA OPEN means painting,
Capital Palette and seminars.

My Nova Open 2017 diary #5 - day 5, 3rd convention day

Well, I want to start this diary entry with saying big thanks to everyone I've met during the show. So many nice people, so many nice chats. Thanks to my old friends and new ones. Saturday, after most of the jetlag emotions were gone I started to realise how happy I am to be at the NOVA Open 2017 even when I was hiding away in a seminar room most of the time.

I mean how could I have missed this??? So sad me is ...

Well, another thank you goes to everyone who supported my classes and helped with material or organisational help. Grex Airbrushes, Mr Lee's Minis, PK-Pro, CMON and everyone else I might forget to name. Big thanks to the NOVA staff once more to made my Roman Nova Open teachers box even greater than last year.

Saturday started for me with another one hour "Introduction into display painting" class. Followed by an eight hour advanced basing seminar. This was absolutely fun and I was amazed on all your results and proud to see them down at the Capital palette area for out of competition display. John and David, you forgot your bases down there. Contact Nova staff to see them sent to you.
After this class I ran to my room and ironed some clothes to be on point at the Nova Open Charity Artist dinner, which like every year is summed up in wonderful talks with wonderful people and tasty food and drinks. Drinks for those who do not have to judge Capital Palette afterwards. Only one glass of red wine for me during the dinner.

Judging started around 10 pm, with my wonderful colleagues James Wappel and Dave Taylor. Thanks for the great communication and good teamwork, gentlemen. Even it took us to 4:30 in the morning. It was worth it. And we cleanse the memory of the vacuum cleaning guy in full please. Capital Palette painting competition blow through the roof this year and I was happy to see NOVA provide more cabinets this year. The capital palette area looked lovely filled up with wonderful entries. Painters really do enjoy the open format system we invented last year and we already have plans to improve it even more for next years addition. Thanks to everyone who entered a piece or more in the competition. Thanks for your time you invested in your beautiful projects and thanks for joining an unstoppable force of painters who show how much fun painting miniatures can bring. I think we can even expect more entries next year. So happy to see this grow.

Somewhere in a moment on this day I was able to finish the Massive Voodoo Most Creative special award. A drawing of a Gorilla. A cold one, maybe a white walker kong :) ... it was won by Matt DiPietro with his amazing Sci Fi fisherman bust conversion.

Then I fell to bed at 5 am. My dad called at 6 as he forgot that I am still in the states. Called four times, woke me up, dead rising and did not answer the phone when I called him back. Usually when family calls four times when you are away this is not a good sign. Wrote my dad. He did not answer. I could not sleep anymore. Great start into a wonderful sunday. In the end it turned out that my dad had forgotten that I am still in the states, by accident called four times and forgot to answer me back that it was not important at all. Great! Love you, dad!

Capital Palette area. So many fine models.


Photo credits by Janet. Bluntly stole it to see how my class looked while running. Smiling faces in the beginning, before building brick walls.

A base from my seminar about creating a display base with in depth composition rules and it was simply called "Display basing" ... sadly I was not able to take photos of all of them. This one is by David Powell and seems like this gentleman is all around my photos. Photo credit is also Davids :D

Next photo credit: CJ Kinder
A good chat with some of my favourite people Kat and Caleb of CK Studios during the Charity Artist dinner. Thanks for all the good vibes and talks during the NOVA with you guys! Owls!!!! :D

 NOVA Open means
NOVA Open Charitable Foundation

My Nova Open 2017 diary #5 - day 6, 4th (last) convention day

Well, with about one hour of sleep behind me I went enjoying the show on this sunday morning. As not much was planned until noon. It was good having some talks with friends, enjoy breakfast and walk around and talk.

I did judging for Secret Weapons Weathering trophy in Justin McCoy's name, judged the MV Most Creative Award and the Grex Speedpainting Airbrush entries. All cool work and supersmooth due the nice staff team of NOVA.

I started to teach my final seminar for this years issue of the NOVA Open at 11 am called "Learn to paint Object Source Light" and we had some three hours filled with tons of fun and light sources. Thanks everybody for joining. As said this was a class that I thaught for the first time ever, but I was really happy to see it work well.

Then Capital palette award ceremony at the elevator's "R" button. So many wonderful models in this competition that was judged in an open format. Well deserved medals all around, but also some plans to change some things for next years edition to have even a better experience for everyone attending. The judging panels suggestion would be splitting the contest in two main categories of "journeyman" and "master". And a kids category is needed. Thanks for the fun we had during the award ceremony even I wasn't dressed properly, as I came running from a seminar.
Followed by this was lunch and some moments to rest. Then to the big award ceremony of the full show which is always supercool.

Followed by an amazing cool down and shut off in everything I am. My biological computer shut down and I learnt pretty much about my vocabulary once again. For three hours I told everyone who asked me how I am that I am "happily wasted". I meant tired, exhausted, dead walking. Everybody thought I was drunk. Nice.

Sometime I fell to bed and slept happily.

Next photo credits: CJ Kinder

Next photo credit: Cathy Wappel - Soulmate Jedi Painters :)
It was great having some deeper talks with James Wappel finally.

Judging with James and Dave was really cool!

Some photos of the Capital Palette Award Ceremony ...


Some random Capital Palette 2017 entries. Photos again by CJ Kinder. See more of the entries here:

 Presenting Capital Palette Awards at the big stage ...

My Nova Open 2017 diary #6 - day 7, Flying home
Monday after the NOVA OPEN 2017. The day to fly home and say goodbye to everyone who did not leave sunday night already. For me everything on this Monday happens in slow motion. Brainwise. Post convention symptoms. Starbucks around the corner, fellow convention friends also in need of masses of coffee. I was able to sleep in a little bit, caught my brain and packed my two pieces of luggage for the flight and hotel check out. Many thanks for all the great gifts I recieved by so many of you. Sadly I was not able to say a proper goodbye to everyone I would have as time was so - well - fast gone.

Big thanks to Robert, who took me to the airport. Thanks for the good talks about life and everything. A little waiting time there, listening to fine music to calm down and understand what happened the last days: A wonderful convention, named the NOVA OPEN, edition 2017. I am thankful to be a part of it since three years now and I am looking forward to be there again next year. Thank you for everything, NOVA Open and everyone involved. I recently got asked by several big US conventions if I would show up and teach, but somehow I decided to do this trip only once a year. I pledged my heart to the NOVA Open and as long as it beats I am trying to be there. It is a show like no other and I found out for myself it is in the title already. It is an open event. Open minds, open hearts, old and new friends, a feeling of family for me and so many things that go to charity that it just feels like the right thing to be at. If you are looking for a seminar by me in the US you know where to find me now :)
Flying home went smooth. Good company by a 77 year old ex-olympic athlete from DC and his wife, good talks, red wine and fun with a broken table and some sleep that was urgently needed. We really had some interesting things to speak about life in general and flying on plane. We even came upon miniatures and they both will try to show up next year to visit the event of NOVA Open. Also watched the new "King Arthur" movie and enjoyed it. Finally a powerful fantasy movie again with tons of humor and great pictures and animations.

Arrived safely in Munich, where the wonderful team of Bavaria shuttle service took care of me. Again, nice talks with another guest in the shuttle. Arrived home. Felt energised for 20 minutes. Tried to tell everything that happened to my girlfriend, kinda felt like I was speaking too fast. Then fell asleep and do not remember when I woke up to jetlag again.

See you next year NOVA OPEN!
I am already looking forward!

PS: Soon I will answer the feedback mails for Capital Palette.
Thanks for getting in touch everyone.

Keep on happy painting!