Review: Scale Model Challenge 2019 - Three MV perspectives

by David

Every year, 

on the third weekend of October, a little town in the Netherlands called Veldhoven is home to one of the world's most amazing exhibitions/shows/contests/meetings: the Scale Model Challenge (SMC). On 19 to 20 October 2019, the SMC returned with full steam, seeing hundreds of participants from dozens of countries, who brought with them close to 2,000 models, figures, dioramas and vignettes to enter into a tough but friendly competition judged by some of the most prominent people in the hobby,

MV at SMC be like...

And, of course, the Massive Voodoo jungle was there - if not in full strength, since Josua and Roman could not make it. To give them - and all others who could not be there (or those who went but want to read a third-person perspective) a little insight into what they missed, Daniele, Hansrainer and David present in this little article their own thoughts about their experience on this weekend.

... but without the other jungle brothers, it felt like...

Of course, we also provide some pics of pieces that we found interesting, that portray what SMC is, or that moved us in a particular way. There is no way we could do justice to all of the exhibition pieces, so if you want to see a huge picture report, check the official SMC website!

So, without further ado, here goes...

Lots to see!

Here I am, finally, I have the opportunity to tell you about my personal experience of the SMC 2019. Initially, I wasn't supposed to go, but in the end, I was very happy to have done it. Together with Monte San Savino, I consider this show probably one of the most important in the world and in my humble opinion, I believe it is a unique event. Thousands of models, all of the highest level, from some of the greatest artists and modelers from all around the world. But, the thing that surprised me most about this event was certainly the commercial space. I didn't count them, but I think I've seen hundreds and hundreds of stands, miniature producers, colors, and much, much more.

But the most incredible thing is not the number of stands, but the fact that they are all stands exclusively dedicated to the miniature's world. In short, a real paradise for all miniature lovers, painters, sculptors, and collectors. While talking about the organization, I think it was really impeccable. Everything perfect, everything on time, a rare event. Really.

As always, the best thing when you go to an exhibition are not the models on display (which were incredible anyway) but always and only the people you meet and know. I was lucky enough to meet personally my friends and MV brothers  David and Hansrainer with whom I shared some really pleasant and amiable time. Unique people that make our hobby even more beautiful to practice and follow. Thanks, friends, I had a great time.

Personally I brought my small display,  which I won a Silver Medal in the Green Fantasy Category, but honestly, I didn't even disclose it, because medals are always the last of satisfactions. The real prize was getting to know more and more people who have the same passion as me, who sacrifice time for this hobby, who dedicate love and passion behind this wonderful art.

What can I say .... see you next year! Thanks, SMC!

Daniele "Found" Trovato


To me, SMC is probably my favorite event in the painting year. I love the venue, where everyone is together in the same conference hotel and where the exposure to the other painters and artists is the most intense.

This year was only my third time going there, but it was again a great weekend: From the classes one can attend (I had the pleasure of learning to paint from Andy Wardle and to learn a lot about self organisation and project handling from Tue Kaae) over the amazing commercial area where one can get lost perusing each of the dozens of booths and vendors of great art, miniatures, paint, brushes and all the other little things the painter and hoarder in me loves to the extremely high level contest with hundreds of exquisite models for every taste imaginable.

But there is more: Beyond the aspect of just being a show, the fact that everyone is huddled together in such a tight area is very conductive to meeting new people and forging bonds. Especially if you are a bit on the shy and insecure side of communication (as I tend to be), this is a great opportunity. 

My personal highlight this year was the Karaoke-Night in the bar on saturday evening - it brings people from all corners of the show together, be it painters, scale modelers, hobbyists, manufacturers or organisers of the event.

I am fan and I am looking forward to WME next year in Eindhoven!


There was a scale model of the WTC, built by a teenager over the course of three years...

... it even included LED lights and a little waterfountain!

It was a fantastic weekend, jam-packed of incredible pieces of miniature art, inspiration, lots of laughter, joy and inspiration. I did not participate in the contest, having focused on expanding my unlimited assembly line of WIPs in the last months. But the contest is not what SMC is about for me. Most important are the friends I have made since I started this painting journey, both in the real world and over the wonderful channels that the internet provides. And SMC provides the chance to meet friends, old and new, all sharing the same interest. Be it in the exhibition room talking about the incredible paint-jobs, chatting over a cold one in the constantly packed bar, or participating in the legendary Karaoke sessions in the basement bar on Saturday night, there is so much time and space for exchange with friends from near and far. And, of course, the show also is a chance for MV to get together. Since Roman and Josua could not be there, it was all the cooler to finally meet my jungle brother Daniele for the first time in person.

Really cool display: Ducks of the World

But, of course, the show is - also - about the huge shopping area, and of course the exhibition pieces. I was extremely impressed to see the super-high technical standard and the complexity of miniature painting in the Fantasy figures category. However, I personally feel a bit overwhelmed by the development towards greater technical brilliance, larger and ever more complex minis, so I found myself spending more time with the historical figures area - and: the scale models. That's something I enjoy a lot at SMC, that it's not a figure or scale model show, but has both. I enjoy looking at greatly built model kits of planes, ships or tiny scratch-built motorcycles. And, as so often, I found that the pieces that left the biggest impact on me were dioramas and small vignettes, often in the historical section and including a scale model or two.

Telling stories in miniature: sweet and funny ones ...

... as well as touching ones ...

... dramatic action scenes ...

... depicting life itself!
So, next time around, I will bring a few new projects! For one thing, these shows wouldn't work if people didn't bring their models. For another, I realized that I missed the tingle of excitement on Friday evening before the show and Sunday morning, when the prizes are announced. And: I will not only bring painted miniatures and the odd vignette, but I will also bring a scale model: a 1/144th scale airplane. Not sure yet which one it will be, but it will be there.

Some scale model goodness...

... and some fantastically painted soldiers in David's favorite scale
And that's another nice thing: next year the show will be back - if not in the classic SMC format (see below) - and I am already looking forward to it!


Well, my second year without being at the SMC. Sad. Really miss all my friends and painting family there and I am always in a little grief if I can not make it. Unfortanetely until the Studio Move is settled and through I am holding a little tight on the money I got available for travelling to painting events, but good news is: I will be at the World Expo next year ...



While the SMC is a yearly event and has been run by the fantastic team around Robert and Margot Crombeecke for many years now, 2020 will not have a "normal" SMC. Instead, the SMC-makers will host the World Model Expo (WME) in Veldhoven on the first weekend of July (3rd to 5th), 2020. This will be like the SMC on steroids with even more people, more models, more minis, and more awesome! The MV crew will be there for sure - and if you want to go as well, we strongly suggest you arrange for lodging somewhere in the Eindhoven area asap - hotel rooms at the WME venue (the same hotel where the SMC takes place) were booked out within the hour after registration opened. But if you can't make it to Veldhoven in July 2020, don't fret. We will write a report worthy of the WME summarizing our experiences; and in 2021 you might be able to make it - the SMC makers promise that the SMC will be back as we know and love it in October 2021!

All the best, the

MV Crew.


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