- where we learn to be a better painter!

Monday, May 19, 2014

MFCA 2014: Ben´s Travel Diary - Part 1

Thursday 8th may

Dear Painting Buddha Travel Diary,

What a day!

I met with my friend Matt Cexwish in New York at the Penn Station, because he was already staying a couple of days in town, to travel to Valley Forge via Philadelphia.

My trusty company phone was super-charged and I was able to take tons of pictures throughout the whole trip. 

Here are some impressions from the road:

Friday 9th may

Dear Painting Buddha Travel Diary,

Welcome to Valley Forge! 

It's my first day here–well, actually, we got in SUPER late last night, but after the long travel, starting from Berlin to New York via Philadelphia to the Valley Forge Casino Resort where the MFCA is hold.

Btw. Valley Forge is the home of the MFCA for nothing less than 73 years!

After an early breakfast with my friend Matt, we went to explore the area a little.

The Venue is located in Valley Forge, King of Prussia, funny as we are from the heart of Prussia... Berlin :D

Valley Forge was the site of a camp of the American Continental Army over the winter of 1777-1778 during the Revolutionary War located northwest of Philadelphia. And beside the largest malls of America it also got a nice and rather big National Historical Park, illustrate the historic war sight.

The MFCA  , Miniature Figure Collectors of America Annual Show and Mart is THE big open Contest in the USA , slowly attracting more and more international fantasy painters, since the added a fantasy Category two or three years ago.

The first thing you see when you enter the venue which is located in the lower level of the Casino is the huge Mart, similar to some of the big shows in Europe such as the Euromilitare or the Duke of Bavaria.

Anything a true nerd could desire you would find it here, reaching from flat figures, historic figures, busts to pre-painted Miniatures of all sizes and epochs and even fantasy figures ;).

Beside that, free Masterclasses where offered during the whole weekend, with such great artist such as Matteo Murelli, Philippe Gengembre and my good friend Matt Cexwish.

Thanks to Joel Glass and his Crew for inviting us to such a marvelous event. 

The painting contest is located in the Back third of the Hall, it’s a rather big show with a high Level in all three categories, which where Historical, Fantasy and Ordnance all divided into two levels: Beginner and Advanced.

One really interesting feature of this contest is that each contestant had to fill out a form for each entry, nothing new so far, but beside the usual information (name, project title and manufacturer)you also marked the projects that are for sale. So you could actually see what the market is like for your own works!

And it was really astonishing that even big works like the insane Stalingrad diorama by Dan Capuano are for sale….Only the zar knows what you have to pay for something like that.

Check of some of Dan´s works here :

sculpt by Michael Kontraros
Best of Show - Fantasy / MFCA 2014
concept & sculpt by Michael Kontrarospainted by Chris Panagiotou 
Diorama by Dan Capuano
concept & sculpt by Christian Hardy

As always, more important than a good vendors area or an amazing contest is to meet the people. We experienced so much hospitality, met good old friend and made a lot of new ones!!

It’s funny that it take a trip to the US to get to know our talented Greek friends better, we somehow missed each other the last two times in Monte San Savino.

Another thing I love about America is that the people are always interested in a good story - and boy we had some good stories to tell. Turns out that we are much better storytellers than pool players .. which we proved in the first night in the hospitality suite.

And with some pictures of this evening will sum it up better than 1000 words ;)

the pool Zen Master Poissons

End of Part 1
to be continued... 



  1. Thank you for coming to the MFCA show. It was a pleasure to meet you there this year.

  2. I was trying to get there this year. Alas, to much work prevented it. Let's hope next year. Looking forward to more reading.

  3. Very great diary, thanks for showing!


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