After lunch and a confused first wander through the exhibitor’s hall on Thursday, I reported to the Reaper painting area for the Speed Painting competition.  Basically a big group of people are each given the same miniature, pair of brushes, limited set of paints, and just 45 minutes to produce the best painted miniature they can.  The end products are judged, the winner receives a free mini or similar, and the top two or three contestants are given passes to compete in the finals on Sunday.  I’ve never seen the finals myself, in the past I’ve always had to leave to catch my flight before then.  This year I had ample time, which of course meant I was doomed to not make it in.

Speed PaintingIn fact, for some reason the registration system screwed up and sent me two tickets to the event.  I was going to return the extra, when I remembered that BigFella had some trouble getting tickets to pretty much anything this year, so I offered it to him.  He gladly accepted, and then I realized this would mean we’d be going head to head in the contest.  Did I mention he’s a professional artist?  Doh!

Guess who won?  Yup, BigFella got a pass to the finals and yours truly did not.  I kind of figured it would go that way anyway, so I’m not really that disappointed.  I suppose it probably would have helped if I had painted a mini sometime in the past three months before the contest.  While it would have been nice to get into the finals and have another something to do on Sunday, I still had a lot of fun and of course I got to keep the mini, which is pretty darn cool.

Speed Painting EntryHere he is, the tiny Gandalf mouse.  This is the first year I’ve been given something other than a female adventurer to paint.  I actually really enjoyed painting him.  Jenn bought the entire set of mousey adventurers after the competition, which I think is great as they’re awesome figs and maybe, just maybe, it’ll get her back into painting.

Unfortunately he did get a little scraped up in transport home, so I might have to re-touch him a little before sealing him up.  Even though the limitations of the contest produce minis that aren’t really up to my normal standard, I like to keep them in their original state as best I can.  I’m not sure what I’ll do with this little guy — he’s not exactly something I’d expect to use in regular play.  Perhaps he will have to live on my desk here or possibly at work.

Next year, Reaper.  Next year I’ll get into the finals for sure.