The Squad / Unit Catagory
The painting competition was split into three catagories: Single, Squad / Unit, and Large model. I'll start with pics and thoughts from the Squad / Unit catagory, as it had the least number of entries. (and it's just before bedtime as I write this).
There were a few rules involved with this catagory, but most noteworthy was the footprint. The entry could not take up more than 10" x 10" x 10" in space. We only had the three display cases, after all! They also had to number at least 5 models, which we forgot to take into consideration until just before the judging, otherwise we may have reminded a few of the entrants upon accepting their entries. Sorry about that guys.
Jeremy Fleet entered a fantastic Blood Angels Terminator squad from the Space Hulk boxed game. At first, there was some confusion, as he entered a similar squad last year, and contest rules state that entries can not have been entered in a previous competition (not just GottaCon either). However, things were straightened out before judging, and I went ahead with examining his models.
Some very nice blending. Strong contrasts (although a bit more shading / blacklining would have made me happier). Red is a tricky colour to highlight, as too much highlighting often comes out looking pink or orange. Jeremy could have pushed the highlights a touch more, but probably not much more than that. The metals were nice and smooth, but some matt black blended into the recesses would have made them more striking. Not to mention a touch of bright metal highlights would have thrilled me. Still, a super solid entry, with nice attention to detail, amazing brush control (precision all around), and only a complete nitpicking a$$hole like myself could come up with anything bad to say about this squad.
Will Hellebrand entered a fantastic Cryx battle group. The first thing that jumped out at me was the nice paint chipping... everyone knows I'm a sucker for weathering. Other than that, painting was solid. Bases had lots of beautiful texture and interest, although an extra bit of edged highlighting would have given the rocks a touch more definition and depth, and a tiny tiny bit of vegetation (dead or alive) would have been nice too. If you look really really closely (and I mean up super close) at the overall highlighting, it seems like they were layered on a bit thick, with little to no blending or transitions. The bronzes could have also used one or two more levels of highlighting too. Not obvious until you bring the model right up to your eye, but that's what a painting judge will do with any painting finalist. At this quality level (and Will's models were of very nice quality), judges tend to look specifically for imperfections. Anything we can find will make selecting the final three a little bit easier.
Aaron Kehler's swamp goblers were also very nicely done. Very much competition quality, and easy on the eyes. However, contest rules state that the entry must be 5 or more models, and I only saw two. Sorry about that Aaron.
I've got a few more entries to go over, but I've run out of typing time tonight (gotta get up early tommorrow, and I'm keeping the wife awake). I'll finish off this catagory first thing in the morning, after breakfast and some coffee. Apologies to anyone reading this late tonight... please check back in a few hours, okay?