Corvus' Miniatures

Painted sf & fantasy miniatures by Gerrie Schenck

Top 10 of 2009

Hello and welcome to my top 10 of 2009. This isn't just about new releases or paintjobs, but simply everything hobby-related which I recall as a highlight of 2009.

I'm starting off with the top 10, then some honorable mentions and then the bottom 3, the things about 2009 I want to forget as soon as possible.

10: Julien Casses' tutorial
This is the most epic and detailed tutorial I've ever seen. Describing the project on his GD UK 09 diorama entry, this report counts 5 pages and hundreds of pictures.

9: My Drune Red Karnagh
Without any doubt the best thing that came out of my paintbrush in 2010 :) Check out the original blog post here:

8: Mantic Games
Mantic Games is a new company with a great concept: cheap, high quality plastic miniatures which can be used with any existing games system. Of course their line (currently only High Elves) is targeted to Warhammer players in the first place, but I think we will see their new release, Skeletons, appear in more places. The sprues come in cases which can also be used to store and transport the finished miniatures. There's an intelligent base design which allows you to place them on round or square bases and the sprues are full of extra bits and details. I think we can expect quite a lot from this company in the future. Their website:

I also had the chance to try out some preview sprues weeks before they came out. The result is this unit of Elven spearmen:

7: Inspirational painters: Angel Giraldez, Static Painting, The Vanus Temple

I was very much inspired by the following three painters:

Angel Giraldez, for his great work on Infinity figures (he's the studio painter at Corvus Belli) as well as some other figures. His blog:

Static Painting, a blog owned by Finnish Painter 'Nomad' which is the studio painter of Studio Miniatures. What I like about his paint work is the very high contrast and very rough way of directional highlighting. His blog:

The Vanus Temple is the site of Tim Davis, Warhammer 40k gamer and avid painter. The Deathwing unit I'm currently working on is inspired by his work. Check out his website for a lot of cool pictures and articles:

6: Rosemary & Co's brushes

I bought a Rosemary & Co brush for the first time in 2009 and I'm loving it. I've always been using Windsor and Newton Series 7, in my opinion the best brushes in the world, but Rosemary & Co does a great job also. I still think W&N is a little bit better, but this is mainly caused by the thicker handle and the impression that they take a tiny bit longer before they start to wear out. But what beats it is the price. Even with shipping included the Rosemary & Co is still only 75% of the prize of a W&N brush.

I've been using the Rosemary & Co Series 33 #1 for a while now and it's a great brush. I'm going to order some more very soon. I also bought some more Windsor & Newton brushes last year: the Series 7 Miniature, which is basically the same as the normal 7, but with a shorter tip. I have a #1 and a #00 which I only use for freehand and detail work.

The Rosemary & Co online store can be found at

5: My new paint stadium

I cleaned up and reorganized my desk in September. Main change was a bigger stadium for my paint bottles. There was quite some response on the blog post, and also in the forums where I posted the picture. Most people found my desk too clean, but it's simply the way I like to work.

Check out the blog post here:

4: Mini Art Con 2009

This event, held in Reken, Germany on March 21 is probably one of the best of its kind. A great atmosphere, good mix of traders and painting demos and a very nice painting competition made it a day to remember.

The bad news is that there, most probably, will not be a Mini Art Con in 2010. This is caused by the fact that Freebooter, the main organizer of the event, have other priorities for 2010. Also, the location of the 2009 edition will not be available this year. Fingers crossed for 2011!.

My report on Mini Art Con 2009:
The official Mini Art Con website:

3: YouTube

2009 was the year in which I discovered YouTube hosts a great community of wargamers, and even some painters. Well to be honest the painting quality overall isn't so high, since most of the people who make videos are gamers, but I watch the videos for inspiration and motivation in the first place.

Some of my favorite channels include 2paintminiatures, awesomepaintjob, bluetablepainting and SpuseMaroon.

And since a few months I also have my own YouTube channel: Not much there yet, but I might use it in the future for tutorials etc.

2: Vallejo: washes and pigments

Vallejo is on number two, you know why? Since they really changed the way I paint. There new washes are really fantastic, and their pigments are a great and less expensive alternative for MiG Pigments.

I now use washes on almost all of my gaming-quality stuff. The pigments however need a lot more practice to get right and are more suited for showcase figures.

I'm really looking forward on how they will keep on improving their paints.

1: Games Workshop

Most of the time you hear people complaining about Games Workshop: they're too expensive, they don't offer enough new stuff, the game system is broken, etc. Sometimes I agree, 2009 has seen some poor releases, one which comes to my mind right now is their basing kit with the resin bits. And remember the failed 'blastscape' scenery?

But overall I think there were some great releases. And there are two which made me choose GW to be number one of 2009: the Space Marine Drop Pod and the Imperial Valkyrie. The Drop Pod is perfectly engineered: when assembled right the doors really fit very well. The Valkyrie on the other hand is a real fun kit to build: I hope it brings a lot of classic scale modeling people to the wargaming and painting hobby. And both kits are quite affordable.

Some reader might remember I posted about both a Drop Pod and a Valkyrie here in 2009. Well, the pod is finished... it only needs some varnish and some pictures taken. The Valkyrie is still very much work in progress, but I hope to finish it in the first half of 2010.

Honorable mentions

These just missed the top 10:
  • Jenova: it was great to see Inge back in action painting. She's a very talented and motivated painter and a very friendly person overall. Too bad she's back in a painting hiatus again for the moment.
  • Twitter: I created an account there to tweet about my painting activities. It's fun to use and there's also a small community of painters there. But posting on this blog and tweeting seems to be a bit redundant after a while, so I don't know if I will keep tweeting in 2010. In fact I didn't log so much in the last two months.
  • The Army Painter: I bought some spray cans, basing material and brushes from them. All of it is good quality, reasonably priced... simply nothing to say wrong about the stuff.
The bottom three

These are the 3 facts which I remember as the greatest fails of 2009:
  • Rackham: the fact that they're still doing pre-painted plastics, their new logo, and former creative director (and big boss) Jean Bey departing make Rackham (once again) the biggest fail of 2009.
  • Crisis 2009 painting competition: this competition, held at the Crisis 2009 event in Antwerp, was actually quite good: nice competition, great entries. I didn't win anything, but that's not the reason why it's here. It's because of the fact that the organization kept the doors of the competition room closed for the entire afternoon to do the judging. Isn't a painting competition the best way to show the public how awesome our hobby is?
  • Mortebrume: ok, maybe my expectations were a bit too high, but the concept art of this new, French skirmish game made me think it could be the next Rackham. But when the figures appeared on the Salon Du Jeu in Paris I was a bit disappointed: the figures themselves looked clumsy and on top of that they were quite expensive too. We'll see what Jean Bey is up to in 2010, right? ;)
Thank you

Ok, so 2009 is now officially over. There's one more thing I want to share with you and that's a big thank you to you, the readers of my blog. In 2009 I've written about 60 posts. This resulted in 12.000 visits (of which 9.000 unique) and 25.000 pageviews. Most traffic was driven here by the previews of the Mantic Games sprues I did, but I'm sure it yielded a lot of visitors which will come back in the future.

Thanks again and be sure to comment if you want to give your opinion on 2009!



Batjutsu said... @ January 4, 2010 at 1:26 AM

Good list :-)

I pretty much agree, even with GW being no1 ;-)

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