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Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Report: Monte San Savino 2013

Report - Monte San Savino 2013: Ciao Ragazzi!

Rusto's Best of Show Entry
sculpted by Joaquin Palacios
First things first - pics or it did not happen

Master Painting (561 photos)
Award Ceremony (72 photos)

Official Results (Thanks to Baldinoart!)

The miniature painting event year so far...

If you don't follow us on Facebook yet, I think this is a good opportunity to do so! We report from events. A LOT. :)

We have been to a lot of events this year. Some great events such as Painting Crusade (no report), Spring Angel, EuromilitaireHussarGD US, and to somewhat less exciting events such as GD Germany, GD UK and GD Italy. 

So I think it's fair to say that we see a lot of different shows. I would separate this year's shows in two groups: On the one side we have expensive Games Workshop events, which sadly turned into a pure sales-marketing-disaster (with the exception of US) and thus are struggling to attract, well, anyone, really. 

No saving throws for Games Workshop in 2013
Smaller events show them how it's done!
On the other side we have free or very cheap events that are run by nerds like you and me. People that love the hobby more than anything else. Pure commitment. 100% nerd essence. Events, where the hobby comes first and business tactics have to stay outside.

Monte San Savino 2013 - Best Event of the Year?

'Best of Show' awards, 'Slayer Swords', Gold, Silver, Bronze - there are very few events where there is no discussion on the judges' verdict. 

Similarly, the 'Best Show of the Year' award, which we just made up, would be a very subjective award. Also, we don't want to be hasty and give Le Fimaje 2013 in Antibes a chance - the last event of our event calander which we will visit in on November 23rd.

But it is hard not to congratulate the organizers of Monte San Savino Show 2013 for the best show that we had the pleasure to visit this year so far. 

Recipes for success: #1 - La Familia

Leaving Castello Gorgonzola for Monte San Savino
We arrived at our weekend residence, the Castello di Gargonza (which we lovingly called "Castello Gorgonzola"), on Thursday evening in our trusty Fiat 500L. In contrast to popular opinion, the 'L' does not qualify for 'large' but for 'lento' (which means slow) :D

After storing our bags in what we can only describe as dream-apartments, we went straight down to downtown Monte San Savino to sample some of the incredibly tasty Italian Cuisine. 

We left our car and by pure coincidence bumped into some organizers, friends and helpers of the show at the Restaurant 'il Cassero'. We would return to the same place a total of four times. It's pretty good :) 

And within minutes at the restaurant it dawned on me - the secret ingredient #1 for a good experience at a show: we have hardly arrived, no-one knew us (well, they knew Ben, but not Mati and me), and we became family right then and there: We felt welcome. Just that.

Ingredient #2: An awesome location

Monte San Savino is, ... well ..., in the middle of nowhere. Located between Florence, Rome and Sienna it is definitely not the most accessible venue that we went to this year. 

But flights to Bologna, Rome and Florence are not so expensive and rental cars aren't that bad either - so we flew into Bologna and drove down to Monte in about 2 hours. Without a car we would have been screwed, as the Castello di Gargonza is 9km out of town and taxis are not to be found in this small but incredibly beautiful city. 

Organized by Gastart and LegioPictorum, the event is held in a beautiful ceramics museum right in the middle of Monte San Savino. Restaurants, Cafes and local stores selling food and drinks that will make your mouth water can be found throughout the city. 

Junior and Standard Painting hall
The venue itself consists out of two main halls - one for the Master painting categories and one for Junior and Standard. 

On the top floor you can visit workshops which run throughout the event - and if more room is required, presentations, such as by the famous character creator John Rosengrant, the local and incredibly beautiful theater of the city was used.

Secret recipe ingredient #3: Awesome people

No English? No problem! Cin Cin!
Dino's and his home-made Grappa :) 
Well, if you follow our event reports, you pretty much know that miniature hobbyists are among the finest people in the world one can meet. Everywhere we meet, we are having fun - birds of a feather flock together!

Now imagine awesome, nerdy, talented and friendly hobbyists and put them into the body of an Italian. Still awesome, nerdy, talented and friendly. On average slightly better looking but now he will dine with you, drink with you, invite you to be family. La Dolce Vita. 

The hospitality of our Italian friends cannot be overstated! You had to be there to believe it! 

Idramele makes your hair grow back - it's true!
Secret ingredient #4: Fun, fun, fun 
- and 'Idramele'

When you visit MSS Show for the first time, you will be made an official 'legionnaire' in a ceremony that involves nerds and a giant jug of 'Idramele'. 

Idramele is a home-made honey mead with loads of tasty spices (cinnamon, apple, pepper and more). And it's pretty strong :D

One by one (I got the honor of being the first!) the 'new guys' had a sip from the jug. Well - some of us didn't have a sip, but a giant gulp. Or even two or three. To bravely drink what no nerd has drunk before :D I think it is save to say that the 'Pij, nie pierdol' from Hussar 2013 has now turned into a MSS tradition as its chant echoed through the narrow streets of Monte until late into the night. 

No-one got injured, only a coat got soiled a little. What happens in Monte, stays in Monte. :D

Ingredient #5: Miniatures, miniatures, miniatures!

We have reported from a lot of events with a massive amount of top-level miniatures. But quite frankly, nothing could have prepared me for the MSS Show 2013!

Over 1000 pre-registered miniatures were joined with a couple of hundred works that showed up during the event. And the quality of the works was incredible. I have not seen this many masterclass minis at a single event ever. Period. 

Robot Repair Shop - Interactive miniature by Picster

Our friends from the Massive Voodoo crew are always good for something spectacular. This time Raffa reactivated his electric skills and created an insane MP3-playing, video showing, picture taking Robot Repair shop and received the coveted "Best of Fantasy" award. 

The judges had a pretty tough job and did it very well!
Speaking of insane - check out Kirill's busts to the left. One might think these are photo-shopped soldiers where someone had just cut off their abdomen and put a display pole into them... The one on the left got Yellow One the "Best of Painter" award - a great honor. 

It's impossible to write down all the names of everyone who turned in masterpiece after masterpiece...

In the end, my personal favorite for best of show, Fabrizio Rusto's paintjob on Joaquin Palacios' sculpt from famous Brom's artwork rightfully won the "Best of Show" award. By the way: Did you know that 'Brad' from our Season 1.1 DVD set "Target Identified" was inspired by the same artwork? 

Check out all of the pictures of some of the most incredible sculpting- and paintjobs 2013 had to offer in the links provided at the beginning of this article. You won't regret it!

Final recipe secret: Make everyone addicted and screaming for more!

Everyone who attended Monte San Savino Show 2013 was a winner.
These guys just got a prize on top of that.
Monte San Savino 2013 - what a show! Francesco Farabi, Luca Baldino, Fabio Nunnari and the countless helpers and supporters on and off stage created an event that makes you want to stay there forever. Words cannot describe what we all experienced in Monte and I can only say one thing: 

Grazie! Grazie mille!

Thanks to everyone who attended this year's MSS 2013 - I am sure we will all see you again next year!

If you have your own pictures / videos / reports and would like to SHARE & ENJOY them with us, please post links in the comments below or message me on Facebook. I will add them here, then. 

Federico Sorgi's photos

Shameless marketing plug

If you like these kind of reports, why not support our cause by checking out our miniature painting instruction DVD set? We give 42% of our profits back to the community, 42% will be re-invested and 16% go to charity! We LOOOOOOOOVE miniatures! :)  

Spoiler Alert: You SHOULD REALLY follow our facebook page and this blog very closely in the next couple of days as the Painting Revolution turns 1 year old! Stuff will be revealed, other stuff will be given away and even more stuff will be going on!



  1. great report and great event, i'm proude to be italian for 1 time tnx :)

    1. and some photos here

  2. so proud to read you'll never forget your ceremony for idromele and... to be honest... you ARE a part of the family. we were just waiting for you to notice!
    thanx again and auf wiedersehen!

    1. It was great meeting you :) Ah, so much fun. I am STILL exhausted :D

  3. My horrible photo reportage :v

    1. Thanks, Bruddha! I'll update the links to the article as soon as I got the time - there's quite a few. That's what happens if you log off from the Internet for three days ;)

  4. Really great report, captures the essence of the event. I am 50% inspired and 50% jealous. Hope to drink that mead myself next year!

  5. IG photocontest is here:
    your vote is welcome! spread the news...


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