A very Massive Bembel Review

by Petrelka

Hey Jungle!

This is Andy, David and Petra bringing you a massive Bembel review! From 09.03.2024 - 10.03.2024 some of us ventured to the first ever edition of the Bembel Miniature Cup in Rodgau near Frankfurt, Germany and we'd love to share our review of this event. So let's dive in!

The Bembel Miniature Cup logo


What a beautiful event!

A whole weekend meeting friends who share the same hobby is always nice. Because the Bembel Miniature Cup took place just a 2-hour drive away, participation was quickly clear. All that was left to do was packing up the miniatures…

What I brought to the contest

All in all, in my opinion, the first Bembel Miniatures Cup was a complete success! The organizers did a great job and the ratio of the miniature exhibition to the sales area was on point. I was impressed by how many vendors and miniatures were displayed - after all, it was the first time and no one could have estimated how many people would come. The venue was very accessible, had plenty of parking, and also the attached bistro was perfectly organized and a nice place to take a few minutes break.

Colorful galleries of miniature art


I limited my shopping to brushes from various brands and a few bases from Dino ;)

My haul

About the competition: Medals are absolutely unimportant to me, I paint to balance my job and mainly for myself - but it's always a nice, refreshing thrill to submit something! I've had a bit of a motivation problem since Monte and no creative energy, but a week before the Bembel I decided I didn't want to go there without something new. What better way than to tackle a item that had been on my list for this year, anyway, and paint one of the hipster heads I sculpted some time ago? No sooner said than done and it was actually a “3 evening project” in which the Viking-inspired version of the hipster was created. While painting it, I noticed that the sculpt had a few weaknesses, which I might try to correct.

The first version of my sculpted Hipster - now with color!

Anyway, back to the competition - as always, I didn't expect anything from this quick project that was submitted in the Master Technical category and well, there was no medal for it either. :D

In the Master Storytelling/Atmosphere category I submitted the same pieces as for the Monte San Savino show last November, for which I received a Highly Commended - in Monte it was a Bronze in Master Storytelling.

Was I hoping for bronze as confirmation? - sure. Am I disappointed? - absolutely not! It was a really tough competition and the judges did a great job. Different judges value different things and that is ok – Thank you so much for your work and time.

Hansrainer and his team did an amazing job and during the award ceremony he showed his anchorman qualities!

The Bembel orga

I'll be back next year and I'm really looking forward to hopefully meeting some of you there.


Last week, I had the great pleasure of visiting the first ever Bembel Miniature Cup with some of my jungle brothers and sisters and close painting-friends. And: Wow, what a first this was! The organization-team, including MV's very own Hansrainer and Petra, outdid themselves in putting together a fantastic new miniature event in Germany to proudly walk in the footsteps of the sorely missed Herzog von Bayern show (R.I.P.).

In terms of organization, from setting up the well-structured and visually pleasing homepage to laying out the exhibition, the vendors area and the little bistro (including a small but sunny place to enjoy a drink outdoors), the team really outdid themselves in ensuring that all was well-planned and ran smoothly. This made sure that show participants and visitors (who had to pay no entrance fee!) could focus solely on shopping to their heart's content and enjoying the amazing mini-artistry on display.

People admiring miniatures

Speaking of mini-artistry, I think it was a very interesting experiment to break up the classical division of "historical" and "fantasy" painting categories - as well as including sculpting together with painting into the same categories - and have judges evaluate all this work together in one of three categories: "technique", "expression", and "gaming". While I heard some participants expressing doubts whether that would work well, I think it's good to try out new approaches and bring some fresh ideas into the way miniature exhibitions and competitions are set-up. In my eyes, including gaming pieces into the competition was a great idea to open up the event to new and broader audiences, i.e., to those who mainly paint minis (albeit to very high standards) for the gaming-table and are not interested in sticking their pieces to unwieldy plinths. Finally, I especially liked that there was a dedicated "out-of-competition" category for those of us (like me, currently) who would like to show some of their work and contribute to the event without interest in participating in the competition.

What for me truly set the first edition of the Bembel Miniature Cup apart, however, was its cozy and inviting atmosphere. Even more than all of the miniature-related events I have visited over the last few years, the Bembel-Cup really felt like a big family-meet, and a wonderful get-together of some of the many people I have met in my now 12 years of painting.

Good stork company at the back of the venue

So, I want to end this little review with congratulations and dealing out a big Thank You hug to the organizers of the Bembel Miniature Cup 2024. You truly did a terrific job in putting this one on the tracks and running it so successfully - so please be proud of yourself! I am already looking forward to the Bembel, 2025 edition!


Our Jungle brother Hansrainer co-organized this great new show together with Frank from Frank Miniatures. The full organizing crew also included me, Gabi and Maren; which meant that during the show, I did what I normally enjoy most: working (and lingering) in the background and enjoying observing that our contest participants, visitors and vendors sparkled with joy over the show. When we opened the doors on Saturday, I welcomed our contestants together with my Jungle brother Johannes and Hansi from our painting community.

Little frogs outside, taking a rest

What filled me with great joy were all our first time participants, to whom we explained how the contest works and where they can place their minis. Soon we had to extend our space, as it was getting quite crowded in the contest area - which was wonderful to see! In the end we had over 500 exhibits to ogle our eyes at - so many great new minis from a whole lot of people who never stuck their toes into competition, it was breathtaking! I didn't find time to finish anything new, so I did bring a ton of old stuff for the "Out of Competition" area.

My "Out of Competition" entries

Even though I didn't find much time for deep conversation (I promise this will change next year!), I enjoyed meeting the monkey crew (Andy, David, Hansrainer, Johannes and Kilian), our pirate friends from Hamburg, the judges, the vendors, all those great artists from Germany and over 11 other countries. And I even did some very minor shopping - some bases from Dino was all that I was looking forward to, and then somehow some more things ended up in my shopping cart. :)

My haul

I can't put it into all the words this event deserves, it was great to finally have a painting and community event again happening in Germany. I am currently in the aftermath of preparing updates for the website & going through the pictures we have taken of the event to also show you all the entries of the competition. Hope to see you at our next year's edition of the Bembel Miniature Cup.

Mark your calendars for the next Bembel Miniature Cup!

22.03.2025 - 23.03.2025

Happy and tired (back at home)

Of course we also handed out our Most Creative Award at this show. It went to Gabi for her beautiful interpretation of the Spira Mirabilis bust of Merlin & Arthur. Congratulations again!

MV Most Creative Award went to:
Merlin and Arthur (Spira Mirabilis)
A happy monkey crew
with our MV winner Gabi

SBS: Puss in Boots' Today

by Daniele "Found" Trovato

SBS: Puss in Boots' Today


Hey there!

This is Daniele :-) First of all, I apologize if I don't write on the blog as much as I'd like, but I'm pretty short on time, and there are plenty of sculptures to sculpt! :-)

I'm excited to share with you the story behind my latest creation: the Detective Cat in a NOIR style from the '20s and '30s!

It all started with my deep love for the Puss in Boots sculpture I made at the beginning of 2023. 
The first one had this 18th-century vibe, chilling on an old armchair with those iconic boots. It got such a fantastic response that many folks asked me to make more sculptures in a similar theme.

This got me thinking: if Puss in Boots were a character in today's world, what would he wear?

So I wanted to create the exact same character. So the same attitude, the same face.

I pictured him as an undercover detective, somewhere between James Bond and Mission Impossible. ahahahahhaha

The inspiration for this new creation struck me while rewatching Martin Scorsese's "The Untouchables."

Before I dive into the creation process, let me emphasize the importance of references in art.

Picasso said, 

"Good artists copy, great artists steal."

But I believe there's another quote that perfectly fits art:

"Nothing is created, nothing is destroyed, but everything transforms."

Some references used

In 2023, art is all about evolving thoughts and continuous transformation.

Now, let's talk about how I brought this sculpture to life.

I used a simple cork as a base, and I inserted pieces of steel wire.

Normally, I don't use steel because molding it into a shape can be tricky (especially if I need to cut some parts), but for this project, I wanted something straightforward, something anyone could paint without much hassle.

Next, I covered the structure with Super Sculpey Original (that pink modeling clay).

When you're creating the initial masses in a sculpture, "block-out" is crucial, and speed is your best friend in any art form.

That's why I adore water-based clay—it's incredibly soft initially, and as the water evaporates, it takes on a different consistency.

After laying down the first layer, I baked the sculpture in the oven for about an hour at 120°C (250°F). 

I highly recommend using a good-quality internal thermometer to monitor the Fimo's temperature during baking. .

I used one from Steadler, but you can find plenty on Amazon. 
My suggestion is: never fully trust your oven's temperature setting.

Then, I added the first masses to shape the cat.

My mix has stayed consistent over the years: 

My recipe: 50% Fimo Professional, 30% Super Sculpey Medium, 10% Beesputty, and 10% Mix Quick Steadler.

Remember my rule:
Less sticky --> less Beesputty and less Mix Quick --> More hardness --> more details
More sticky -> more Beesputty and more Mix Quick --> less hardness --> perfect for first masses

To prevent the material from sticking to the table while working, I always place a sheet of paper underneath.

For smoothing the surface, I use either turpentine or white spirit.

Finally, I baked the sculpture again using the same instructions as above. 

I hope you enjoy the final result as much as I enjoyed creating it.

Thanks for joining me on this artistic adventure.


Please consider to follow me on my site https://www.foundminiatures.com/


We could watch the newest TV series on Netflix, instead, we're here to write articles for you!!
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Tutorial: Miniature mounting system for transport boxes

by Andy

Hello everyone, 


it's Andy, again. The “Bembel Miniature Cup” is in sight and so that your projects arrive safely, I will show you today my concept for new inserts/trays in my transport box.

Before our recent trip to the Monte San Savino Show I thought a lot about how to transport my miniatures to Italy by plane. Security checks, hand luggage, and a wooden box with metal parts kept me awake. I needed a solution that could be presented during an security inspection without much effort and, ideally, required no tools for assembly and disassembly.

Just using Bluetac/Pattafix was too unstable for me and gluing it would have risked leaving residue. That's why I decided on fixing the miniatures (or better: their bases/plinths) to the carrier trays with screws. In order not to have to carry a screwdriver with me, I decided on a combination of screw-in sleeves, M4 set screws and knurled nuts (links as example). This means that the bases/plinths can be easily attached without tools.

Since time was running short before the trip, I simply used a wooden board and drilled holes (as you can see in the picture below). However, for going to the Bembel Miniature Cup, I will upgrade that to a wooden pegboard (hole diameter 5mm, spacing 15mm). One screw per base/plinth is sufficient for 28mm projects and busts. Multiple screws are only necessary for larger or heavier projects. 

A note on drilling

The fact that I had to drill holes into the plinths of finished projects for the trip to Monte made me a little uneasy. To avoid dust on the miniatures, I drilled very carefully and vacuumed while drilling, which worked very well.

For future projects, in preparation for screw-in sleeves, I will make sure to drill a hole in the base in advance if there is any chance that the miniature is to be transported. 


The security check at the airport was a breeze with very nice officials, the miniatures survived the journey perfectly and fixing and releasing them was very easy - all in all, the effort was worth it.

Thanks for reading and your interest. Feel invited to comment in the section below. 


A Happy New Year from the Massive Voodoo Crew

by David

Dear all,

the Massive Voodoo family wishes all of you and your loved ones a happy, healthy and colorful new year! May 2024 be full of positive energies, inspiration and projects that bring you happiness and satisfaction!

With the start of the new year, we thought to reflect a bit on what we would wish 2024 to be, hobby-wise. So, in the following, we outline our goals they relate to our beloved miniature-painting and modeling hobby.


New year, new opportunities ;)

I stopped making nonsensical New Year's resolutions years ago. Plans make more sense ;)

I'm still in my non-creative post-Monte blues when it comes to miniatures. I had finished a lot of things by then and the drive to start something new wasn't there until the end of the year. The creative energies will definitely come back soon and when the time comes, there will be a rough plan of things I want to tackle this year. Among other things, the following points are included:

  1. Start and finish 1-2 scale models (a diorama and a civilian vehicle)
  2. Painting a hipster head that brought me a proud bronze in sculpting standard in Monte
  3. Tackle a small-large secret project with my MV brother David

In addition, three shows are already firmly planned for this year:

  • the new Bembel Cup near Frankfurt in March
  • Kulmbach in August, and the
  • Scale Model challenge in Eindhoven in October

... maybe we'll see each other there, I'd be happy ;)


Last year was busy with life and not so much Hobby - this year might be busier with hobby, but before any ambitious painting project, we have a lot of work ahead of us to get our new, German miniature show off the ground: The Bembel Miniature Cup will take place on the weekend of March 9th and 10th in Rodgau near Frankfurt (you can find some Info already here https://bembelminiaturecup.com/, more after the relaunch that will happen soon, alternatively find us on Instagram or Facebook (https://www.instagram.com/bembel_miniature_cup and https://www.facebook.com/bembelcup). 

After the show is over, I really hope to find more time for my painting table and the energy to recover skill lost during the last 2 years of barely touching a brush. I am mostly looking forward to a number of studies in material, texture and lighting and maybe a class or two in the second half of the year!


Reflecting on the bustling year of 2023, my focus primarily centered around tabletop-related projects easily storable and effortlessly resumed due to long workdays. In 2024, I aim to shift towards more intentional painting with the following goals:

  • Artistic Expression: Explore diverse styles and mediums while concentrating on painting more animals.
  • Storytelling Through Art: Inject emotions and narratives into my pieces, placing a strong emphasis on crafting compelling stories.
  • Community Engagement and Teaching: Stay committed to attending local paint meetings, sharing my passion, and exploring the possibility of hosting workshops.

My artistic aspirations for the upcoming year involve a return to focused painting with a renewed commitment to experimentation, storytelling, and community engagement.


Hello jungle,

you haven’t heard a lot from my side and I am afraid this will not change in 2024. There are a lot of private changes and challenges coming to me and my family this year. So my Hobby goal for 2024 is really simple: just find time to paint once a week. Even if it is just for an hour, paint a bit, relax a bit and try to escape everything that is daily life and struggle.


New year, new me?

Nah, I'll be the same nagging person I was when the old year left the house (and it did for good!). But: I still want to try out new things and change things - because we all know: the only constant is change!

So, I actually want to get back to a topic that I followed for a bit a long time ago: I started reading self care books (yeah, I am now in "that age"), because I wanted to understand my brain better and why for the sake of it, am not able to work through a project start to finish, but get side tracked all the time. This always results in a huge pile of WIP miniatures (or WIP-any-other-project), which I then only finish when a new Show is around. But I finally also want to be able to have something finished *before* the week prior of a show. And this is mildly driving me nuts - as I know I can create decent art when I have time and enjoy; I also know I can cut it short when time presses and I sometimes work better this way.

However - a couple of years ago, I stumbled over the book "Refuse to choose" by Barbara Sher, which kind of described me in a nutshell: a multipurpose dilletante who gets too easily interested and invested in a ton of hobbies for a bit, but never really deep (or in her words: a "Scanner"). I really liked the first chapters, but when it then came to the practical part, I was super hyped but couldnt just get into the flow of following her advice on a regular routine. Back when I followed the first couple of chapters of that book, I even went all the way to creating and designing my daybook for her tips, my ideas and the follow up examples; even filled a couple of pages, and then put it away again - even though it helped!

So, this is my new years resolution: doing all the things, everywhere, all at once (and finally finishing stuff - a lot of it); but with more organisation in my brain. ;-)



2023 was a good painting year for me. I was busy teaching, painting and helping others to grow. I really enjoyed that. I also enjoyed to tackle some bigger projects, like framed dioramas that I was able to finish. Creativity and the muse was with me the last year with ups and downs of course, but I am grateful. I am never able to call these resolutions "Hobby goals" as my work is connected to my passion.

My plans for 2024 are:

  • Finish some WIPs that I am really eager to finish as I think they can turn out really cool
  • Less subconscious stress from social media. Working against it with clear social media time and meditation.
  • Finishing the work on my homepage to have a smoother workflow, FAQs and enrollment options for all my workshops, courses and coachings.
  • Enjoying and living happy painting while becoming a dad for the first time!


Looking back, I was really happy with my hobby-year 2023. While I did not touch brushes or colors for much of the first half of the year, I was productive in the second half and the hours spent on my projects were filled with joy, calm and relaxation. In the new year, I mainly plan to continue on that trajectory - but also have a few concrete goals. So, in 2024, I plan to:

  1. continue enjoying my hobby-time in the same relaxed way I did in (the second half of) 2023
  2. work on setting up a new Massive Voodoo website
  3. make sure to meet my MV brothers and sisters at least once in person
  4. finish at least one scale modeling project

How about you?

What are your hobby goals for this year? Did you make any New Year's resolutions? Let us know via the comments.

Best from the whole MV Team!

FIN: Deep One Pinup - 1/72

by David

Hey all,

welcome back to another look at a recently finished mini. This is a special project for me - a slight diversion from my usual historical stuff. I painted it for a little miniature exchange with Maartje "MaGie" Giesbers. I have always been a great fan and admirer of Maartje's wonderfully lively, colorful and clean paintjobs, so I was super-happy when she agreed to do a little mini swap with me.

At first, it took me a little to find the perfect miniature for the swap, but since her preference for painting strong female miniatures is well established (well, she even wrote a book chapter on that...), it was clear to me that it needed to look for a nice - and ideally playful - female sculpt. Add in that Maartje is a PhD-carrying marine biologist, and voilá: the idea to build a little scene of a female Deep One (Lovecraftian humanoid dwellers of the seas) taking a leisurely walk at the beach was born. And, of course, it had to be done in my favorite small scale of 1/72nd!

The original miniature is from the Fantasy Pin-up line by Artizan Guild and was slightly resculpted and printed by my jungle brother Andy (THANKS, man!). During painting I aimed to recreate the color scheme of white sharks and also emulate scaly, irregular skin. Pics were taken by Maartje - who, I am very happy to report - really liked the mini! :-)

The project is also on Putty&Paint, if you feel like leaving a vote.

Talk to you soon. All the best,



by Roman aka jar

 Good Morning Jungle,

it's been a while since I finished this framed miniature diorama, called "Cadia Stands!" and I just saw I completly forgot to show it here on Massive Voodoo. Here we go! It is a really intense diorama, filled with emotion. I created a video that gives insight and explains a lot about it. You can find it here.

Beside the words I explained in the video it does not need much more explanation. It is and was a painful project and was composed to transport this exact emotion. If you are interested in an in depth look of the build you can find a step by step tutorial here.

Cadia Stands!

Keep on happy painting!