Corvus' Miniatures

Painted sf & fantasy miniatures by Gerrie Schenck

The myth of limited edition miniatures

The Fourth Edition release of Space Hulk has surprised a lot of people, including me. "Wait, isn't this the same version as the 2009 release? Oh, there are four more missions in there, and it's more expensive...".

This made me think: what does limited edition really mean? Well, as a consumer, I'd say nothing. It might seem that smaller companies and indie studios benefit from limited releases (more on that later), but in what way does a behemoth like GW benefit from this? Maybe they want to limit the risk when releasing a stand-alone game like that, but on the other shouldn't this game be that good to earn a permanent spot in stores everywhere?

Another question I ask myself is: is this fair towards your customers? Call something limited and then releasing the same product again later on, with only small alterations? I'll give you another example further on.

On the other hand one can say that everything is limited. Everything will go out of production at some point. Take for example the GW starter sets (like Dark Vengeance for 40k). Of course they are bound to a version of the game, but the models in there will not be produced any more when a new version comes out. So why aren't they marked as limited edition? You could say, this is made to get people into the game. Well doesn't the same thing count for Space Hulk?

It's a bit of a mystery to me. Of course there's an entire market that thrives on the sales of out-of-print items. When the first news of the fourth edition Space Hulk came out I went to eBay and found loads of third editions on sale, like this:

Imagine buying a third edition set for twice the normal price last week :) But of course this isn't GW's problem.

I already mentioned indie manufacturers and smaller companies. They often offer limited edition miniatures as well, but this is indeed to minimize the risk, simply because they want to invest one time in the creation of a sculpt, master and mold. Molds wear out over time, so that's usually related to the number of miniatures which will eventually be cast.

I mentioned a second example. Remember The Barbarian Dude by Raining Frog Studios? It took the miniature community by storm and sold out in a very short amount of time. But what happens a few months later? A slightly altered version is offered, again in limited quantities. It looks a bit similar to what happened to Space Hulk but on the other hand I can understand this a lot better since it's probably just a guy who ordered a sculpt to be cast and selling it from his garage (hence the name of the company :). Can you blame him? No. Is it fair towards people? Maybe. Should a fantastic miniature like this be available in larger quantities? Absolutely!

Another company who did this quite often was Rackham. In their Confrontation line they had a number of limited edition minis, ranging from 1000 to 5000 copies. For example one of my all time favorite miniatures: Shanys L'Ombre (Shanys the Shadow). I got hold of two copies of the French version. But what happened the year after? The Confrontation game was released in German, and Shanys got another 5000 copies, this time with a German stats card :)

Shanys L'Ombre by Rackham, my 2005 version.
Luckily there seems to be one kind of limited edition figure that seems to hold true to its spirit: the exclusive miniature. Although technically not limited in copies, it still has the largest chance of never being produced again. For example the Confrontation model Phidias De Basarac, only available at the 2003 Monde Du Jeu show in Paris, France, with 1000 copies made. Below you can find my paintjob, dating from the same year. Ahhh the good old Confrontation days :)

Phidias De Basarac by Rackham, painted in 2003.

Another good example are the Games Day exclusive figures, some very good sculpts among those as well.

The Games Day 2010 exclusive figure, painted one year later.
That's all for this opinion article. I would really like to hear your thoughts on this subject, so please put them in the comments!

Video Tutorial: easy paint chipping effect

In this short video I will explain you how to achieve an easy chipping and/or scratching effect. Suitable for gaming quality and showcase quality paintjobs.

Impact Miniature Event 2014 event coverage

A while ago I got invited to book a table for painting demos at Impact Miniature Event in Uden, The Netherlands. I never really heard about the event, but decided to anyway. It's more of a gaming event than a painting event, but I had a good time there nonetheless. I had a table with Pascal Rooze and Maartje Giesbers (usually one of those is always involved in such an event :), next to us there were some members of Scale Model Factory and on the other side Peter Zuidgeest from Scar's Miniature Madness together with Michiel Coppens.

There was also a small painting competition there, which I didn't really plan on entering. But since all the other painters were entering something I decided to take on the challenge and to enter something. To my surprise my Project PC-MMIX won first prize in the regiment/diorama category! And on top of that I was also awarded a very nice trophee by Scale Model Factory, for the most creative entry.

Below you can find a picture of that trophee and then some pictures from the show. For the full gallery go here.

Showcase: Project PC-MMIX

Painting Crusade XI video

Small "mood-video" I compiled from a bunch of clips I shot last weekend.

Painting Crusade XI event coverage

If you are looking for a full photoset of the event, please check out the Painting Crusade XI gallery.

A youth house on the hillside of the small town of Champion near Namur was the place to be for the eleventh Painting Crusade. For the first time the urban scenery of downtown Brussels was traded for a more rural location at the forefront of the Belgian Ardennes.

Last year's edition was fantastic, the best so far (read my report here). When I heard the location was about to change my expectations were that it was to grow even further. But on the contrary, the youth house was much more cosy. The entire event was held in one big room, with the usual big painting table, a couple of second-hand tables, an "indie shop", a bar, and then in the back the painting competition, together with some display cabinets with work from this year's jury.

This year the jury consisted out of last year's overall winner Benoit Menard, sculptor Patrick Masson, and Denmark's number one painter: Jakob Rune Nielsen. Pretty big names if you ask me!

Here they are in the process of judging the Masters category:

Some of Patrick's sculpts on display:

What's so about Painting Crusade is that every year I get to see several legendary figures, like the Centaur by Jakob Rune Nielsen:

Other figures were on display as well:

And finally Benoit's amazing work.

I arrived just in time for Patrick's sculpting demo, which was held in a separate room. I'm not really into sculpting, but it was very interesting to see a pro at work. Patrick is also very good at explaining what he doest. Kudos to the Painting Crusade team for the camera and beamer setup.

After that I went back to the painting competition to check out the figures. Overall there were a lot less entires than last year, but the masters category was again filled with top-notch paintjobs.

Like every year there was a special edition category, with entries containing last year's event-only figure. I was very happy winning gold in this category with my project I finished the night before the competition. The hard work paid off :) Apart from that I also won bronze in the confirmed category with my Brood Master.

The other figure that won gold in the category.

It was really great to see those figures, which really are a blank canvas to unleash your inspiration upon.

Some pictures from the masters category. 

A very cool turtle by this year's overall winner: Maxime Corbeil.

Another legendary piece: War for Macragge by Julien Casses.

Remember you can see much more pictures in the Painting Crusade XI gallery. Finally here's a short "mood-video" I compiled from a bunch of clips shot during the day.

I went home with some mixed feelings after this Painting Crusade. As usual it was very fun, the overall level of the pieces on display was insanely high, but I was a bit surprised by the smaller size of this year's event. This all has to do with last year's edition I suppose, which was so awesomely good that it's very hard to do better. Personally I don't think this will be the start of a downfall for Painting Crusade, but rather a new start. All in all the organization has done a terrific job once again. Several big names in the painting scene still visit this event, proving this isn't your regular painting competition organized by a small painting store or club.

There is no doubt I will be there again next year!

Back from Painting Crusade 2014

Just got home from Painting Crusade 2014 with two trophies! Bronze for my Brood Master and gold for my PC-IX figure which I finished yesterday evening and which was entered in the special edition category. You can see a quick smartphone snap of the figure below, expect good pictures soon, as well as a full report on Painting Crusade later this week.




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