Event Report: World Model Expo - Stresa

by Massive Voodoo

Hey Jungle Painters,

it’s been a while since Matt posted the review preview for the World Model Expo 2014 in Stresa. But like Rome wasn’t build in a day, it took a little longer until everyone of the Jungle Crew who visited Stresa (i.e. Valérie, Andrea, Ben, Matt, Oli and Phil) contributed to Max’ little report. Finally, it’s done and we all very much hope you enjoy it!

Now let's jump in Max's brain and thoughts on his trip to this great event:


There it was, finally. After a two hours trip, mostly along the shores of Laggo Maggiore on narrow and adventurous Italian roads, we (my girlfriend, my brother and me) arrived at the wonderful city of Stresa where the 2014 World Model Expo was held. The World Model Expo is held only every three years at different places and gathers some of the most amazing miniatures and models from the greatest painters and modellers from all around the world.

Official flyer of the World Model Expo 2014

One could not have imagined a better place for a World Expo than Stresa. An old Italian city right at the Laggo Maggiore, not too big but with a good variety of nice accommodations and restaurants.

Matt describes it perfectly:
“For me, it was the very first World Model Expo after consciously avoiding the last one in Montreux 2011 due to high costs and other reasons... I think that a World exhibition should always be convenient to reach and well worth the travel, offering some great accommodation and interesting landscapes affordable for everyone... Stresa offered all of that! The region at the Lago Maggiore is an absolutely incredible place with the view on the Alps and marvellous historical buildings... Other than that, the Stresa Convention Center and the surrounding structures were a good place to organize a big event like this...”

One of the marvellous hotels of Stresa

Perfect view on the Laggo Maggiore and the Isola Bella

View over Stresa – in the middle the Stresa Convention Center

Our hotel was an old villa run by a tremendously friendly family, and it was only a five minutes walk away from the Convention Center. Probably, like most other hotels since Stresa really is of manageable size. Once the car was unpacked, I directly headed to the Expo to enter my miniatures into the competition. I had pre-registered for it online, which facilitated the whole process a lot. Interestingly, for each display a photo of one of the miniatures was taken by the staff. However, I never figured out what for since I did not see any of these photos later on.
The exhibition room were the displays had been prepared was quite impressive as to its size and the fact that it was fully packed with the displays – which at the time of my arrival were mostly already filled with miniatures and models. And it blew my mind straight away. And not only mine:

Phil says:
“For me it also was the first World Expo. I have never seen that many models in one place. All types of models, from huge figures to small tanks. I couldn't walk more than 20 minutes in the showroom bacause it was too much input for my brain. It was great to get the opportunity to see many of those top notch projects you know from the internet.
My favourite miniatures were the busts by Kirill Kanaev and all those busts Benny by Nuts Planet brought all the way from Korea!

Oli says:
“The World Expo Stesa was really a great event. There were so many fantastic entries in the figure competition and in my opinion the overall painting and converting level of the hobby increases from year to year. It is good to see the hobby living and growing.”

Valerie puts it to the point:
“Sooooo many minis to see, coming from everywhere, and such a high level of quality… Guess all the bests minis of the past were here. :-)”

One version of Rocco, and one of the best

Official numbers speak of over 900 (!) modellers and of far more than 4000 (FOUR THOUSAND!!!) models and miniatures which were entered into the show. This is purely awesome. The jury's task was hardly doable, and I definitely did not envy them – but they really did a great job. Only sad thing about the mere amount of entries was that you just did not have the time and the capacity to marvel at every single one of them. The time-per-miniature ratio was way too low...

Ben says:
“It was a great honour and pleasure to have been judge for the Fantasy Master categories. It probably was one of the biggest challenges I ever faced as a judge due to the impressive number of incredible displays. The overall level of quality was way beyond most other shows, and we did our best to value each and every model the way it (and the modeller) deserved.”

The exhibition room in preparation – still empty

The exhibition room soon was packed – with miniatures and modellers

Weird but beautiful

Childhood memories…

When checking the various photo galleries, I discover so many miniatures which I just missed.
The Convention Center was big enough for a myriad of manufacturers and retailers offering their products at their booths. Miniatures, models, basing materials, DVDs and anything else you can imagine, want or need. It was a hobby wonderland. A lot of manufacturers offered their latest releases, some of them straight from the mold so that they did not even have a boxart. Also, you could marvel at the previews for some of the future releases or the creative ideas behind the projects.

Phil was particularly impressed:
“My personal highlight wasn't a miniature. No, it was a folder full of sketches by Stefano Moroni, the concept artist of Aradia Miniatures.”

The sketch folder for Aradia Miniatures

Pegaso’s latest Fantasy release – a stunner by the master himself Andrea Jula
(Thanks to Rafa Coll for the pics!)

Right when entering the Convention Center, I met the first familiar faces. And it only took a few more meters up the stairs to meet the next ones. And from that point on, it simply was a big meeting of good old friends, and very soon of new good friends as well. For sure, this is the best thing about any convention: the people you meet there, you have a chat with, you have a good laugh with. This is what makes a great show.

Phil agrees:
“People from all over the world were there. And the longer you are in the hobby the more you know. With each event more friends. I love it. But I missed some of my monkey friends.”

Matt says:
“It was incredible to meet some good friends that we regulary meet at other events, but on top of that it was even better to meet new and old friends that I have not seen for many years... The World Model Expo is not a simple painting competition or miniature event... It is a showcase of the very BEST miniatures of the last 3 years... Impossible to miss! That combined with the fact that it runs for three full days gives many opportunities to meet, share and laugh with like-minded people... Thanks for this great event!”

Ben finds some personal words:
“Besides the awesome contest, the world expo was a prime example of why I love this hobby: its the people …
So many amazingly talented, friendly, open and funny people meet in one place for a weekend of pure nerdiness. And last but not least I want to thank my incredible judging team... My friends we where the BEST team ever!!  Love you guys ;-)”

It was just a pity that you can never have the time which you would really like to spend with everyone.

Ben spending the evening with the talented Korean guys from NutsPlanet

Valérie says:
“It was a very big event, at a big scale, so it really looked like walking floors and stairs like mad and meet many people. The place was so big that it looks like I did not manage to meet everyone there in the end, or sometimes only very quickly! :D”

Friday evening passed with a lovely dinner with some close friends at a typical Italian restaurant, the Papagallo. La dolce vita… After a night of well deserved sleep and a relaxed breakfast, it was time to get to the Convention Center again to be at the painting workshop with Fabrizio ‘Rusto’ Russo.
The workshop was a highlight for me as Rusto is a great painter and, above all, a great person. He introduced us to his way of painting which, at least for me, was very different to my usual style. But it worked out pretty well considering the limited time and the model we had to paint. There were other workshops and demonstrations by several artists which all were interesting and very informative. Phil attended Alfonso ‘Banshee’ Giraldes’ workshop on Sunday, and was amazed by the load of input. Same applies to the painting demonstration of Danilo Cartacci, one of my all time favourite painters. Also, there were some nice events such as the stupid painting contest which was held by our lovely monkey sister Valérie:
“I was helping out the organisation team with the workshops and demonstrations, so the World Model Expo passed even quicker this way. Had a lot of fun holding the stupid painting contest - it was very, very stupid, hehe. ;-)”

Phil and Feanor closely watching Rusto (thanks to Rafa Coll for the pic!)

In deed, the Expo passed way too quickly. Three days, over in the wink of an eye. And maybe this is the right time to find some honest words and name some points which might have been organised slightly better. But to be clear, the organisation team did a wonderful job.

Matt says:
“In my humble opinion, only some things could have been organised slightly smoother: I loved the highly sophisticated voting system which allowed to quickly register, vote and display all the miniatures. The way the pieces were displayed was amazing, yet I think that safety might be an issue with some projects stolen or damaged... To be fair, I think this is something that cannot be avoided at an event this size.
About the award ceremony: obviously, the ceremony stage room was not big enough to fit everyone who wanted to hear the results, so, many had to leave the room before the end. The organisation of an event of uncertain size is always a challenge, but e.g. a livestream to an outside location would have been more satisfying for everyone. All in all I think that the team did a great job organising everything!”

Oli admits:
“Sure, there were also some things that could have been better, for example a bigger competition area, a price ceremony hall that has enough space for all participants, maybe some more booths which offer 32mm figures and bits. And the delivery of the figures was a bit complicated and took me two hours.”

Quite obvious, too many people for too few seats

The very nice medals which were also too few for all the well deserved medalists…

However, we all agree that it was a splendid event which we will all keep in best memory. It has raised the bar for any other big show in the future, at least for the next World Model Expo in 2017. Rumours have it that it will be held in the United States, but this is still to be confirmed. To resume the 2014 World Model Expo:

Valérie says:
“I will keep a very good souvenir of this World Expo! Big event, and great travelling gang, too! Was great being there… ☺”

Oli says:
“Overall, it was a fantastic event with really fair prices. When I think on the prices in Montreaux 3 years before, 75 Euro to enter in the competition, 30 euro for a salad or 35 euro for a one day parking ticket. Ok, maybe I am just a poor guy ;-)
People from all over the world travelled to Stresa and you had the best opportunities to buy a lot of new miniatures or sockets. I had a great weekend and tanked a lot of motivation and ideas for new projects.”

Matt sends out his thanks:
“All in all, I want to thank everyone who succeeded in the nearly impossible, sysiphossian task to organize an event of this proportion. Thanks to everyone I could share a drink, a smile, some food and a handshake. Thanks to all the Massive Voodoo Monkeys and their amazing projects. Thanks to my good friends Ernst and Inara for traveling and saving me from many, many "adventures". Now that I know what it means to attend a World Model Expo I am very much looking forward for future editions...”

Bottom line: You really missed out on something if you have not attended this year's world expo. Although not everything might have been perfect, it was a weekend to remember. Big thanks to the hosts of this fantastic show.

Thanks to the charming hostesses – always kind and very helpful

The Best of Fantasy by Joaquin ‘Freeman’ Palacios and Fabrizio ‘Rusto’ Russo

Best of Historical by Maurizio Bruno and Danilo Cartacci

Best of Show by Kostas Kariotellis

Although we have to wait for the next World Model Expo until 2017, there are some other great shows ahead offering the opportunity to spend time with other enthusiats and miniatures. So, the final words belong to Phil with a simple invitation:

“Monte guys, Monte!”

If you want to know more about, and in particular see more of, the World Expo, check out this splendid galleries and reports from the World Model Expo:
Sergeant Blackart’s report 
Rafa Coll from the Cursed Monkeys with an eleven parts report: 
Masterminis extensive report (with lots of links to other reports and galleries; Thank you, Michael!):
Pekka Nieminen’s FB gallery (free for all)
Matt’s photo gallery
Great pics on Platoonbritannica.com

More reports and galleries:


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