by Petrelka

The love / fear relationship of intimidating projects

by Petrelka

Hey Jungle!

this is Petra writing today. And I'd like to tell you a story of my life: I saw a new mini on the market and bought that shiny new grey miniature. Of course, I'll paint that ...

... when I am more experienced! Raise your hand if you have ever thought - or even said that. Rest assured - you are not alone. But let me start from the beginning. When I came back to the hobby after almost 10 years of hiatus during my study times, I bought a lot of minis (those I liked a lot were based on their looks and not a specific genre or game). I started my addiction with my first Lucas Pina (Spira Mirabilis) figure: the three witches.

Three witches by Lucas Pina
This was Lucas' second release back then, when you still needed to pre-order via email and hopes were high that you could grab one of the number limited minis.

And when the three old ladies and their buddies arrived, I was full of joy, unpacked them and then put them back into the box and on the shelf. I got intimidated by the beautiful and - in my eyes - perfect sculpt. Back then I thought that with my current (very, very rusty!) set of skills, I would never be able to do that piece of sculpting art justice. I was in love with the three gals, but at the same time afraid to ruin all the work that Lucas had put into sculpting by putting any paint on them.

And yes, while writing these lines and proof-reading them - and with my current accumulated knowledge and view on life - it feels and sounds ridiculous to think that some paint could ruin a sculpt. Still - most of us have had this thought one or the other time: I will tackle this project when I have more knowledge, more experience, more proficiency, and have gotten better (in whichever way imaginable).

So, what happened between then and now ? I finished my studies, I started earning money on a regular basis, I bought minis in all shapes and sizes (because I could ), grew my army of opportunities very fast to a level where I needed to keep track with an Excel file (because I also am a living up to my German ancestry of being well organised *cough* 😂). And guess what? Almost 90% of those purchases were accompanied by the thoughts of "needed progress" to enable myself to actually start putting paint on things.

Boxes on a shelf
It's all about the organisation... whatever is snugly tugged away won't look like I am a shameless hoarder of grey resin (or hobby supplies).

If you can still relate to this situation upon this point: I salute you, you are still not alone. We all have our love / fear relationship to more complex and / or intimidating projects. And this sometimes also petrifies us to the point that we only hoard more and more instead of actually enjoying the process of choosing colours and thinking about schemas and ambience, imagining a story for the project to be told, and the most important tasks of starting, enjoying and finishing something. 

I do believe that this has to do with our primal instincts of "what if I suck at doing this" - back in the days when a hunter would need to fear starvation if they are not good enough at hunting, this thought could have kept us from extinction; even though I guess that hunters actually allowed themselves to suck at hunting from time to time, and just never gave up trying. In today's world, where we are a performance driven society and everyone only shows their glamour high reels on Social Media, it can even get more intimidating - because almost no-one shows their failures anymore, but only the very easy looking glorious results.

I got stuck into this spiral of hoarding (and not starting), for quite a bit of time and actually only started thinking about it after participating in a workshop with my great friend and teacher Meg Maples. (If you have lived under a rock and don't know her: she's an Australian based painter and artist - and if you have the opportunity: join one of her workshops!) So I went to a workshop she held in Berlin, and another participant actually mentioned a very similar thought about being afraid to ruin or destroy the mini. Meg's very wise and thought-provoking answer to this was along the lines of: " The only way you can destroy or ruin a miniature is by setting it on fire and letting it burn to ashes ."

Learning about paint attributes
Tip: Learning about the different capabilities and attributes of colours also helps to lower the hurdle to start a new project - because you will know how your colours behave.

There: it clicked. This was my personal eureka moment: If I actually cannot ruin a miniature by painting it - I wouldn't need to wait until I get better or am good enough. I can just start exploring the story of the miniature one brushstroke at a time, and do this right away. No imaginary need to wait anymore to gain proficiency. No self-imposed pressure of a vague, not graspable and even more fuzzy gut feeling. I understood that this unclear "when I am more experienced" information from my brain actually did not tell me anything about the exact point in time when this was going to happen!

It opened up all the creativity again and removed this self-created hurdle. So, what to do when these thoughts will emerge again, as it of course is sometimes not as easy as just switching on a light bulb. Nowadays, I get more easy with myself and ask: "what exactly is the very concrete thing that I want to get better at before starting the work?" Is it the topic of "smooth blending" or "human skin" or "non-metallic metal" or "ambience"? What steps do I need to do to get a better grasp of this topic? What exercises should I try out? What do I want to achieve with the paint job on this miniature? What steps do I need to take to achieve my goal of starting?

Allow yourself to suck at art
Another great read

I have a journal, where I can put these points down. And sometimes, when forcing myself to answer these questions, I find that I don't actually need to take any additional steps before starting a project. That way, I have freed myself of the stress and pressing thoughts about being good enough -  and just try things out on the actual model. I started allowing myself to suck at making art and not getting the perfect outcome on my first try. After all, this is a journey, and we learn more from trying new things and making mistakes than by doing the same thing over and over to avoid mistakes at all cost.

Ultimately, the question it boils down to is: what could possibly go wrong? I won't be able to set the mini on fire by plainly painting on it. And good news, everybody: neither can you.

You (and I) are ready to paint this miniature NOW; we'll get better by painting, not by solely contemplating about painting. We are already good enough. And if we do not like the outcome, there's always the possibility to strip the paint from the miniature and start all over again. Or to look at the paint job, nod at it, thank it for teaching us an important lesson, and put it aside as a "finished, not perfect" example on our very own, intimate and wonderful way of seeing things and enjoying life.

Which long pushed away project will you start?

Looking at my pile of opportunities, I've taken my three old ladies out of the box and am currently waiting for them to tell me their story and guide my brushes.



by Petrelka

Review: The Art of ... Volume 03 Ana Polanšćak

by Hansrainer

Hello and welcome back dear jungle readers,

This is Hansrainer and I welcome you to the review of the third Volume in the Series "The Art of..." - by Dave Taylor Miniatures. This book is all about the Croatian artist Ana Polanšćak, a household name in the grim dark scene. In contrast to many other sucessful miniature artists, Ana has no professional background in the worlds of arts and crafts and is wholly self-educated in her impressive skill-set of illustration, painting, photography etc. Before she authored this book, she had already a prolific output in her blogging activities, that culminates in her current website and older entries can still be found on her now inactive blog.

Ana has what I would call a profoundly integrated approach to painting miniatures, crafting her art and illustrations, gaming and telling stories. This approach and her very unique style are what makes this book very special. Again, before I go into the nitty-gritty details of the review, I need to disclose, that the book was lent to me by my friend Maren, who herself enjoyed the book tremendously. 

The basics are completely in line with the other books of the series: Silver embossed writing on the matte hardcover, it is well bound with a thread binding and includes a cloth ribbon page marker. The pages are high quality paper and the print quality is excellent. As mentioned in the past, the layout could be a tad more adventurous and the slightly marbled and speckled page background can at times be a tad irritating.

As with previous books of the series, Volume 03 has a certain biographical touch, the author providing us with a good insight where she is coming from and where here interests and focus lies. The first section "where I come from and where I'm going" gives a brief overlook and mentions many points and steps that will be covered more in depth later in the book.

 "World building" is the title of the second section and takes up roughly a third of the book. Ana gives us a good insight into her work processes and the factors and motivators that drive her. It becomes absolutely clear that pretty much everything she creates is embedded in one of many rich and flavorful settings she has and keeps crafting as a major part of her work, sometimes collaborating with other artists following a similar approach. The second very interesting thing is her strong tie into narrative gaming - and the emphasis is on narrative here. She introduces us to a series of small projects and warbands, created to fit seamless into worlds, locations, and stories. The pictures that illustrate that part of her work make that particularly obvious: They are all about telling a story, conveying atnosphere, generating a feeling - nearly not at all about showing off the painterly prowess of her work. In fact, the painterly aspect seems very subdued and relegated to serving the narrative. Unfortunately that impedes the photos a bit - for my taste they tend to be quite dark and it's hard to make out much of the painted models, unless it serves a narrative purpose.

The third section, "Gardens of Hecate" introduces Ana's own world, where the work on several warbands and concepts lead to the creation of compelling fictional world. Atmospherically, I would compare her work to what we see in games like Diablo, but with a clear focus on the small world: counties instead of countries - the scale stays relatable. I have to admit, that at this point I realised that the book was not at all what I expected, but that I enjoyed it reading it, nonetheless. Ana does a great job laying out her creative and thought-processes, which approaches proved to be successful and which lead to problems in the settings consistency further down the road.

"Dark Age of Sigmar" is the fourth section of the book, where we see where her journey took Ana past the Gardens. Again we are introduced to new Warbands and Factions and several small settings she created. But here the focus lies more on how she created multiplayer narrative events in these settings, the challenges she encountered and the tools she used to overcome them.

The last ten pages are dedicated to Ana's journey into sculpting miniatures and unique pieces. Again its interesting to follow her, and her depictions of mummifyed saints and reliquiae are terrifying to behold (at least to me).


The Good: This book is special - it's weird in a good way. If you like grim dark fantasy art, strong concepts with a lot of follow through - this is the book for you. If you like narrative gaming, maybe even Inquisitor or similar games - this book is likely for you. Even though I am personally into neither, I did enjoy reading it. Its the kind of "hm, interesting" book that opens a new world for some. On top of that it contains a chunk of good starting points and pages where one could start to look if you want to got deeper down that well. 

The Bad: The image quality varies - quite a bit. I was really intrigued by the scenic and narrative pictures and everything thats "within the narrative" so to speak. I was, however, not so happy with the "this is just the model" photos. I found them all very dark on the brink of underexposure - and from a painterly view, I'd have enjoyed to see more. I'd particularly have loved a bit more detailed, high level resolution views of the heavily converted models.

The ugly personal view on the book: For me its a mixed bag - I actually almost always enjoy books that deviate from the step-by-step, "this is how my model evolved"-template many authors seem to follow. I am really happy for a book and a perspective that basically doesn't really care that much about how different models where done and even the "why" is only circumstancial. It was actually a good read. On the other hand - I usually expect some reuse value from a book like that (and that might be a misguided expectation) in the way that I see myself go back there for advice "how to" or inspiration or such. In this case this is not likely for me, because its honestly not my cup of tea. Overall the style is a bit too dark, to sullen and gloomy for me. But as the header says: That's personal taste. 

Overall, had I bought the book for the full cover price of ca. 32€ I would not regret it. If you're into that art-style, its amazing. If you're into narrative wargaming its a really good read too. If you enjoy reading the views and woes of other artists - this is another valuable perspective.

I hope the review could interest you in the book or resolve some questions - I'll be back with volume 4 in a few weeks!




by Petrelka


by Petrelka


by Petrelka


by Petrelka


by Petrelka

Review: The Art of ... Volume 02 Christof Keil

by Hansrainer

Hello dear jungle readers,


this is Hansrainer welcoming you to the second review in my Series on "The Art of …" by Dave Taylor Miniatures. As with the last volume, I procured the review copy myself, again a friendly loan by a member of my local community, Oliver.

The second volume is at the same time the first that follows the by now customary format of the series: A monograph by a single artist - in this case Christof Keil, a miniature artist and blacksmith from Germany.

To be fair and as mentioned in the last article, the journey to review all of the "The Art of …"-Books started somewhere in early 2023, but then life happened. To be honest, Christof's book was the first of the whole series I saw and when I took a first look at it, I was not terribly impressed. While I am a huge fan of John Blanche and his Artwork, I cannot say the same for the style of dark and grimy miniature painting he inspired with the "blanchitsu"-Movement back in the day. This first impression wasn't helped by the fact, that the act of assembling and building models before painting (and in this vein kit bashing) is something that I loathe. So, from here on out, please take everything I am writing with a grain of salt...

BUT - in the end, you shall not judge a book by its cover and a monograph about the work of an artist not by just cursory leafing through the pages and looking whether you like the shiny pictures. And so, after quite a hiatus, I eventually sat down on a quiet afternoon to read the book. And what can I say - I read the 110 pages in one sitting.

Christof's work in this book is mostly in the realm of smaller miniatures (28-32 mm), more specifically it mostly focuses on Games Workshop - but given the huge impact those worlds had on many, if not most of the painters in the current hobby community, that's not necessarily a bad thing. And in fact, I would actually recommend it for most hobbyists interested in modding and building hero scale miniatures in that scale range.

The content

The book features roughly 110 amply illustrated pages, the quality (and size!) of the photos is mostly good to very good. Its printed on a high quality glossy paper, thread bound and with a good solid hardcover with some silver embossed titling - the production value is pretty high.

Beginning with a foreword by Tommy Soule and a short introduction, The Art of Christof Keil starts off with some clarifications of terminology and the basics of Kit bashing - including tools and a number of examples. 



The first section - aptly titled "Kit bashing" consists of a number of short articles on individual projects of varying sizes, focusing on the concepts, ideas and the workflow behind the projects. It culminates in a slightly longer tutorial, in which the conversion process is shown in a lot more detail and step by step. For me as somewhat of a GW-Fan, most of the kits and parts mentioned in passing are familiar. However, that might not be the case for a more general audience - I would have preferred  a more detailed labelling of the pictures, maybe even with arrows for specific parts and how they looked before and after integration into the kit bash. I think its a missed opportunity - and if Christof does another book in the future, I would find that really helpful. All in all, the part was good though and it even got me thinking of a few simple conversions for future projects in the small scale.



The next section is on the Black Phallanx, essentially a love child where Christof really starts to put together a coherent, strongly individualized force with its own lore and background. And while a hardcore puritan GW-Fan might find the deviation from standard design patterns disturbing, I was really impressed what he designed and put together: Especially his HALO-strike team and the second big suit were really awe inspiring.



The third section deals with his foray into larger scale models, especially Busts and here I liked especially his elaborations on how he learned to sculpt, first in Busts and how that change of medium again helped him to improve to become more free on his smaller scale conversions.



Chapter 4 - Adeptus Astartes - is all about space marines, space marine conversions and his well known black templar diorama, inspired by the cover art of the 3rd Edition Box Set of Warhammer 40k. Again, he lets us participate in the thoughts and considerations as well as the limitations of the medium that informed and shaped the creation of this piece as well as a small number of other Astartes works.



The final chapter - Food for Thought goes into the depths of thoughts and ideas that had and have an impact on Christof's work. To be frank, these kind of introspective insights are usually what makes it worth spending the time and read a book by an artist. And he does not disappoint here.


Conclusion and judgement :)

The Good: All in all, the book provides some satisfying insights into the processes and considerations at the foundation of this artists works. Its not just that, it has its tutorial aspects, the pictures of Christof's work over the last few years and some solid ideas how to tackle certain aspects from a craftsmanship- or sometimes organisational perspective.

The Bad: My main criticism is at times the implicitness with which the author assumes a quite high level of familiarity with the world of Warhammer 40k and also recent and older kits. Here it would have been really helpful to be even more explicit in the selection and preparation of parts for the kit bash - although admittedly that might have been nigh impossible given the fluid nature of his process.



The ugly personal view: To me personally, it seems that the author got better and better in finding his voice as the book goes on. Chapter 1 can be a bit lengthy and somewhat repetitive but it definitely picks up from here. 

For me, this book is a clear recommendation if you are interested in:

  • Christof Keil
  • kit bashing tabletop models
  • in well converted Grim-Dark model
  • artists' work and thought processes
  • blanchitsu


Its not so much a recommendation if you are looking for:

  • loads of information on painting
  • painting instructions

I hope this review was informative and helpful - looking forward to reading Volume 03 - the Art of … Ana Polanscak.



Review: The Art of … Volume 01 Miniature Monthly

by Hansrainer

Hello dear Jungle readers,

this is Hansrainer with the first of a lengthy series of reviews on "The Art of..." book series by Dave Taylor Miniatures. Dave started this series with a first Kickstarter in April 2021 to fund the production of the first three volumes. He followed up roughly a year later with Volumes 4-6 and a third one with Volumes 7-9 last year. So far, every Kickstarter has been very successful with more than a thousand backers - doesn't sound like a lot but our community is not exactly gigantic - and so the result is pretty darn impressive.

I only learned about the series roughly a year ago, just in time to miss the last Kickstarter and I got access to the books via Oliver, a friend who was kind enough to loan me the first six books. Initially I had the goal to get the reviews done before the publication of Volumes 7-9 but - as it tends to - life happened. I had the reviews of book two and three completed quite quickly, but with this first one it was a bit tougher - I had read it roughly a year ago and unfortunately in this case time doesn‘t make the best editor.

After that time what stuck with me was that this book really delivered a unique view into painting miniatures from what we are used to in the diverse books and series in existence. Similar to "A Colourful Mind" this book contains descriptions of the personal journey of the three artists that were crucial in the foundation and running of the Miniature Monthly painting collective: Aaron Lovejoy, Elizabeth Beckley, and Matt DiPietro. The book is separated into three main Sections, one for each of the three.

Each section contains strong biographical parts that describe the way and development of the artists as well as personal views on specific projects, experiences, philosophies and thoughts that shaped their journey and development to becoming the artists and persons they are today. Each section also contains content more directly tied into the authors' specific ways of creating their content and miniature art, many examples of their work and ideas what to take for the readers own journey.

Aaron Lovejoy


Aaron's section is the one most closely tied to Miniature Monthly's history - no wonder given that it was him who created  Miniature Monthly in the first place. We learn about the challenges of working in the miniature industry for a living - this in and by itself very interesting inside view is already a very good argument to get the book for everyone interested in venturing down this path herself. 
He goes the whole nine yards from the challenges and pitfalls to things that work and also how to stay relevant and alive from an artistic as well as economic point of view.
He addresses many interesting points, like the different challenges different kinds of art for hire projects deliver - army painting vs. display, box art vs creating online content, how he balances personal and business projects, how to learn and incorporate new skills like airbrush or digital sculpting and 3D-printing. The last few pages are dedicated to a few of his favourite pieces:

All in all its mostly the documentation of a personal voyage but there is a lot of wisdom and experiences to be taken from that.

Elizabeth Beckley


The second section is written by and about Elizabeth Beckley. It starts again with a biographical chapter that starts with her upbringing and background and then focuses on her by now lengthy career working in the painting business. Starting out as a private commission painter, not unlike Aaron before, then quickly graduating to work for companies like Impact Miniatures and later as a studio painter for CoolMiniorNot and finally working freelance and founding her own small company as well as joining Miniature monthly and painting for many more companies.

After this section she dives more into the practical aspects of her career and I personally really enjoyed the parts where she connected her classical fine art background with working on miniatures. She connects aspects like composition, colour selection and how to use specific details to create and lose focus. She repeatedly goes back to the importance of using references, especially when it comes to the human form and creating specific results. 

The final note is a page with direct advice for aspiring miniature artists, drawn from her experience in teaching as well as creating art. All in all a very interesting take again and I have to admit I love the whimsicalness of many of her works - would love to get to meet her one day and see her work in real live!

Matt DiPietro


The final section of the book is by Matt DiPietro, the third pillar of the Miniature Monthly team. Beginning with the biographical part, I still find it very interesting how many of the great miniature painters have at least some family roots in the fine arts - and Matt is not the exception it seems. The biography starts with his youth and then moves into his career as a professional artist, starting out in the warehouse of Privateer Press and then slowly migrating over to the studio team with Mike and Allie McVey and Ron Kruzie and finally taking over the position as lead painter later on. Eventually he started his own studio - Contrast Miniatures - and joined the Miniature Monthly team in 2017, as of the writing of this book, he spends his time creating content, teaching and creating art.
Like the other two authors of the book, Matt by now has a very strong focus on teaching and this shows in the more practical parts of his chapter. He puts a strong focus on sketching and underpainting: Be it for purposes of defining Lighting and Drama, establishing material properties like reflectivity or texture or even more vivid skin and other materials be creating a lot of variance using (sometimes multi-coloured) underpaintings.
In a very interesting, though brief, foray into the more artsy aspects of miniature art, he addresses some inherent conflicts many aspirants of hour hobby face as time progresses: The struggle between technique and expression, dealing with the limitations of the medium, painting against sculpts, deviating from traditional or seemingly "right" colour compositions for certain subjects and finding ways to express ones own voice. 
The final pages of the chapter are dedicated in more detail to three specific works of his and conclude the book.

My Impressions and Conclusion


The Good: The Art of Miniature Monthly is an impressive first entry into a series that we now know has been going strong for quite a while now.  With Volumes 7-9 just released and the Kickstarter for 10-12 on the near horizon, there is no end in sight. The concept of the book being more of a biographical thing with large bits of knowledge sprinkled in between is very attractive to me as a reader: I like reading about people and the art they create. I love the fact that the book isn't yet another "how to colour-theory" and "how to volumetry" thing.

The Bad: If you are looking for the typical "this is how you paint X" or "this is how X-Skill/Technique works" kind of book - this is NOT for you. In hindsight and with the knowledge of how much deeper this can go, if each artist has a whole book to expand in from the follow up books in the series, it feels like it falls a bit short. Some, if not many of the pictures could be a bit better - but that's owed to the biographical curse of "dammit I should've taken wayyyy more pictures"…

The ugly personal view: I think this is a book worth buying and reading. If you are interested in the hobby business, if you are interested in any one of the three artists, if you care for their view of the world: get this book. If you are interested just in shiny pictures and looking for that one pro-tip to level up your painting: There are other books for you - and we in the Massive Voodoo jungle have a growing selection of reviews on numerous such books.

I think I will actually pick this one up, even though I have already read it now (actually close to twice) and that's saying something.

See you for the the next review!

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