- where we learn to be a better painter!

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Kickstarters: Shut up and take my money!

Kickstarter aka "Shut up and take my money!"

The story so far

Creature Caster kicked of the Kickstarter Season 2014
Greetings, folks! For a couple of weeks now awesome crowd-funding campaigns chase each other. The season started with the massively successful Canadian Kickstarter for Creature Caster by Jeremy Glen (324,511 CAD, 1487 backers).

42 hours before the end of her Pinup Kickstarter I told Liliana Troy from Hangar 18 Miniatures that I would be surprised if she would not go over 42,000$ (the Kickstarter had just passed 30,000$ at that point). She thought she reached 46,621$. I informed her that it was 42,000$ + 4,200$ + 420$ +1$. The power of 42 compels you! :D

Not everyone is going for massive amounts of money: For example Ben Jarvis' Etch-Master brass-etch IndieGoGo campaign obliterated their funding goal by 1674%, raising 8,368$ and finding 217 supporters. 

Current Kickstarters: Overview

I am watching the miniature scene every day - but honestly, even for me it is getting tough to keep track of everything that is going on right now. 

Big and small Kickstarters fight for your support and getting involved in all of them means dishing out some serious cash. 

I think it's fair to say that it becomes close to impossible to support everything you want to (at least at max pledge level :D).

So let me give you a quick summary of the current onlsaught of Kickstarters, but let me give you a fair warning first: 

 Rated Tripple-W: Much Want, Such Win, Very Wallet discretion is advised!

Arcane Factories Season 1: 6 days to go

Arcane Factories and the team around Justin Tan from Vancouver have already successfully funded their first season of miniatures. Their Kickstarter currently stands at 15,449CAD with only 6 days to go. 

The team members are all animators and 3D artists and many of their designs have very dynamic poses full of expression.

Next major unlock: 20,000$ Redemption Engine (which I want so much :D)

JoeK Minis: Paul Bonner's Trolls of Trudvang: 11 days to go

Not a game, not masses of miniatures but this time the chance to turn an artwork of legendary artist Paul Bonner into a collectible and paint-able diorama! 

Having raised £3,481 so far, I am sure that Joe wouldn't mind you heading over to his Kickstarter to help him start his business! 

We all know the internet is controlled by trolls. And if you cant pwn them, then you can at least own them.

Own 'em real good!

Legion of the Cow Ltd. - Minx Studios:
14 days to go

OK. First of all a company that is called Legion of the Cow Ltd. deserves your support. That should be reason enough for any nerd. 

But if you would like to see more 'substance' head over to Alex Nemes' Kickstarter and check out his RPG Fantasy Miniatures. He's got some serious skillz and helping him start his company is probably not the worst you could do! 

Who let the cows out? 
Moo, moo, moo, mooo!

Don't Panic Games - Drakerys: 
28 days to go

Our good friend Mohand already has experience with massively successful Kickstarters. Do the words 'Eden' or 'Escape' ring a bell? Yes? Exactly - that's the guy. 

Seriously, a company named "Don't Panic Games"... What's not to like? Other than the fact that I can't use that name for our own line of future games anymore :D

Mohands latest project is Drakerys, a miniature game with lots of everything. No surprise that they were funded within minutes. 

Currently 400 backers have elevated the game to $87,307 and I am certain that this will be a massive success. There will be much mo' hands grabbing these for sure!

You want mo'? Don't Panic! Heeeere....

Scale Games (Scale 75): Fallen Frontiers
This Friday Night, 9pm GMT / 10pm CET / 3pm EST

I'm calling it now: Fallen Frontiers is going to be a MASSIVE success. Having had the pleasure to sneak-peak their Kickstarter page already (unfortunately I can't pledge yet :P), this is exactly my cup of tea, early gray, hot. 

What's so special about this game? All I say is plastic injection molding! I expect stunned silence in the forest of Sherwood.

Beautiful miniatures set in a dense, fluffy atmosphere (I want the trailer video to become a full feature Hollywood movie already!). 

And with painters such as Elias Alonso Herranz, Rafael "Volomir" García Marin and Alfsonso "Banshee" Giraldes this will be HUUUUGE. 

Friday night. Don't miss it. Heeere: Facebook Link 

Are you a backer?

In the comments below let us know which crowd-funding campaigns you backed. 

What do you think about Kickstarters in general? 
What do you like, what don't you like about them?
What are you looking for in a Kickstarter campaign?
What turns you off?

You know what we backers say about crowd-funding campaigns?
"No 'paign, no gain!"


Tuesday, May 27, 2014

T-40: Operation "Infinite Improbability Drive" underway

T-42: Towel Day
It's good to be a nerd!

T-42: Two days ago, on May 25th (International Towel Day), I celebrated the life and work of Douglas Adams by carrying a towel with me all day. At least that day I really knew where my towel was.

For those who don't know yet (seriously?), everything we do is in one way or another connected to the Answer to the Ultimate Question about Life, the Universe and Everything - which we understand to be 42. 

Example: This video frame is 420 pixels wide. Why? 42!*
The video is 42 seconds long and so on...

*Disclamer: Why is not THE Question. Just A question.
T-40: A New Beginning

Season 1.2 & 1.3 shipping imminent

Season 1.2 and 1.3 are only a few days away from shipping now and all of our supporters will receive not only the secret stretch-goals with their order but also an email with all relevant information regarding the shipping process in the next couple of days. We are just waiting on one final piece of information before we can do so. 

Like you, we are currently patiently awaiting the arrival of the DVDs. With Season 1.2 and 1.3 our 'First Season' is complete - and 21 months of very hard work and much learning come to a close. 

21 months. We all know that that is only half the truth! Why? 42!

After Ben and Mati went on their much deserved vacation and everything is in production, we finally had some time to just sit down, stop panicking and think about Life, the Universe and Everything for a few days.

Workload Level OVER 9000! 

Sometimes we do silly things
to keep us (and you) amused.
Most of you would probably be surprised to see how much work goes into the production of our DVDs. Just to give you an example: The total work-time we spent on both season 1.2 and 1.3 is over 9000! 

Over 9000? What does that mean? Over 9000 hours are a little more than one year - and we have spent a little more than one person-year on the development of Season 1.2 and 1.3. (Luckily, we didn't spend over 9000 hours, but you know, the 'over 9000' joke had to be placed here somehow :P)

And even though we keep pushing each other's buttons all the time (which often are not labeled "Do not push this button), I am happy to say that we had tons of fun for pretty much most of the time. 99.42% at least!

The Ben, The Bad, the Beardy and YOU

Hindsight is often 21/21.
When we started planning what eventually became 'Painting Buddha' we sketched out a vision of what the ideal community-driven company, it's products and services should look like. 

We are very satisfied with what we have achieved so far - and without you none of this would have been possible. Period. We could not possibly thank you enough ever! 

But to claim that we achieved all of our goals would be a lie.

Actually, it would be bad, too, because there are many things we must improve on and after all - we want to achieve so much more! 

So this is what these 42 days - Operation "Infinite Improbability Drive" - are all about. Ben, Mati and I will have fun creating something new and exciting for you. And hopefully we can entertain you in the process. Our hope is that at the end of Operation "Infinite Improbability Drive" we will be able to implement our plans and launch 'Phase 2'!

So for the upcoming Mati, Ben and I discussed what we would like to do most. After few days of planning we decided on a project in which Ben and Mati can really do what they really would like to do most! As always, we will decide all details as a team! 

What both don't know is that I also promised myself I could do whatever I would like to do. So I decided that I would be Galactic President Zaphod Beeblebrox for the duration of the project. With official presidential seal and everything! How hoopy is that?

Ben and Mati think they got a good deal! MWAHAHAHAHA! :P 

And all of you who would like to have a say in what we do at Paintingbuddha are invited to tag along while we hitch-hike through our Universe! 

Grab your towel - boarding will start somewhat soonishly™. 


Any Questions? PLEASE post below :)

Sunday, May 25, 2014

The Future of Games Workshop - Part 13: RIP 'Eavy Metal

The Future of Games Workshop - Part 13
RIP 'Eavy Metal

I really don't feel like doing this. 

It was Friday night, we had a great day here in the Paintingbuddha cave, I skyped with nerdy friends in France, Spain and the US about future projects and I was finally looking forward to having a relaxing evening playing some LoL with my friends. Then someone linked me to a post on Facebook and I felt compelled to write about it here.

Coincidentally, the apparent genius that currently runs Games Workshop has been a topic throughout the day in our office and I told someone who asked me to continue our 'mini-series' about the Future of Games Days and Games Workshop that I don't even feel like talking about them anymore. We would see the bitter truth in their upcoming yearly report anyways. 

Store sales are allegedly down (according to some stores by up to 50% compared to last year), some 'creative' revenue-generating campaigns are being run for independent retails which are only aimed at moving as many sales into the current fiscal year as possible (creating an automatic 'bad start' into the next year), everyone in the US and the UK operations seems to have been fired - so cost should be down...  Same ol' story. 

A quick money grab with the rushed 40k rules was the straw we all expected and from what I can hear and read it has not been or will not be that successful. 

Games Workshop.... I begin to feel like I don't care anymore - but people asked me to report on the latest 'fan-base interaction' - so here we go. I'll make it short and sweet :P 

'Eavy Metal Facebook Page closes down

After GW slammed the door in the face of about 45,000 fans by shutting down their Forge World and Black Library pages (without prior notice), at least this time the admin of the 'Eavy Metal page gave us a two day warning before everything was gone. 

The first to report on this was Ben Kelly on Blogs of War with an article appropriately named 'Powder Keg'. Head over to their blog for some more detailed inside information on what was going on. 

So another 5600 GW fans shut out by GW's anti-social (media) efforts to estrange even their toughest hard-core fans.

At least there were about 2000 saved and invited to the new and inofficial 'Eavier Metal group.

I don't know - what do you think? Does anyone have an idea what GW is doing right now? If you do, please leave a comment ;) 

International Towel Day

So instead of ruining my Friday writing about this I actually ended up playing LOL with my friends until late at night and enjoyed the weekend by tearing off wallpaper and moving heavy oak furniture for a friend. Good times!

And now I sit here and waste the last few minutes of the 'International Towel Day' with yet another disappointing post about Games Workshop. 

I think it's time someone did something about them.

Meanwhile, at the center of the universe: 

Happy Towel Day, Everybody! 


Friday, May 23, 2014

MFCA 2014: Ben´s Travel Diary - Part 2

Ben's MFCA Travel Diary - Part 2(here's part 1)

Saturday 10th may

Dear Painting Buddha Travel Diary,
Today is Saturday. 
What a lovely morning when - contrary to popular belief - Matt and I started the day quite early. 

After having a nice breakfast we went for a small stroll in the nearby located National Historical Park .

Although we did not stay that long, Matt was a little late for his painting class. He still managed to showcase his teaching skills a little later that day.

So it was neither the free beer and liquor graciously offered to us in the hospitality suit, nor the shame about our lacking billiard skills but our almost boy scout like interest in nature and history that made us turn up late. For the greater good!

So after our quick stop over at the park we went back to the Show. As it was possible to register our entries until noon on Saturday we were free to roam around the cabin and enjoy all of the displayed works. 

Here are some impressions of the Show:

one of my favorites of the show..
the wonderful ligthbox "New York" by
Barry Biedige

This brings me to a subject that probably will be discussed a little controversially - and that is the auction.
The auction was a somewhat disappointing part of the MFCA Show. Now, don't get me wrong - The show is marvelous, but I have to share how I felt during the action of unique miniatures by diverse artist for the World Expo in Stresa.

And when I say 'unique' I mean awesome one-of-a-kind sculpts and paintjobs. Projects that probably took hundreds of hours to make.

These works were donated by the respective creators and auctioned off to support the World Expo Organization financially. 

As the name might indicate, the MFCA Show is international known to be one of THE “buyers”- shows, a show primarily targeted at collectors.

Even though Joel Glass tried his very best to squeeze every penny out of the assembled crowd to support the World Expo, some of these unique pieces of art went for the asking price without any additional bids.

When I see incredible works of art - scratchbuilt - and paint by true masters go for 600$, my heart weeps. 

So here are some terrible pictures (I am a painter, not a photographer!) of some of the wonderful action pieces and the action itself..

shortly before the auction started

I might be wrong but my impression was that there was not really a lot buying going on during the contest/show.

So with these feeling I was left with the question: "Where is the collector's market going and what does that mean for professional painters like myself?"

Well I´m not sure, after all it was my first time at MFCA - and most likely not my last time… We will have a close eye on what happens in Stresa and what the European collectors market holds for us. .

As always, miniature collectors come and go, but it is good to see how committed collectors grow an enormous collection of wonderful works and how organizations such as the MuMi, the museum of miniatures, is slowly but surely growing their collection of the best miniatures in the world. 

For many professional painters the MuMi is probably one of the most interesting projects on the horizon - an initiative that could result in similar museums world-wide. 

Judges at work
The grand semi-finale..

Although I said earlier that it’s all about the people, I was still a little exited about how Matt and I would 'score' in the actual contest. 

We travel to a lot of shows, and it’s always interesting to see what the judges think about your work. 

We managed to grab several trophies, Matt got Gold in open/advanced, Gold in painting fantasy/advanced with his version of our very own Randalf. You can receive this miniature FOR FREE by pre-ordering our Season 1.2 and 1.3 DVD sets, btw!!!

I received Gold in painting fantasy/advanced with my Rackham Goblin Bust and silver for my “War Photographer” in painting historical /advanced level.

From our side congratulations to all other winners , and a big applause for new the "Grandmasters of the MFCA".

Here are some better pictures of our entries :

The grand final

Other than most - or actually every other show that I have attended so far - people stayed long after the end of the show. And I´m not just talking about an hour or two! 

Most of the exhibitors stayed over night, which allowed us to have a nice farewell party at the suite. Really a great opportunity to speak with so many incredibly talented people. Much fun was had, stories were told, times were good!

Sunday 11th may

Dear Painting Buddha Travel Diary,

Sunday: early morning checkout. We headed to the Mall to meet up with our French friends.Matt expected much from the largest mall in America. 

Only the stop-over at the Cheesecake Factory and the comic book store could comfort Matt for the disappointment that he missed the Vegas-style gondoliers ride that he expected from a mall like that :D

I got myself some fighting robots. BAM!
Having your cake and eating it too?
Piece of cake. 
Fhe French horde
After the Mall we continued our journey to Philadelphia .. and onward to New York.

Here are some impressions from the calm hours in Philly.

We arrived in New York late at night. Time Square by night with bulky miniature boxes and huge suitcases.... FUN! 

Monday 12th may

Dear Painting Buddha Travel Diary,

I am full of shame as I have to admit that although I travel quite a bit, I have never been to New York. New York is almost like Matt´s second home so he offered me a high-pressure New York infusion which I gladly accepted. 

and after 13 hours of sightseeing exploration we where welcomed with some nice cool drinks by our host Kevin, a friend of Matt, to whom I have to thank so much for the way he made us feel welcomed and at home in New York.

Tuesday 13th may

Dear Painting Buddha Travel Diary,

because I had only so little time in New York, Kevin was so gracious to give us an car tour to see more than “just” Manhattan. Its so good to be with local people to get and insight feeling for a city. New York is so full of inspiration.

Thanks to all of you who made this trip possible, and so much fun.

Matt is going to explore the West Coast and I´m sitting here at the Airport looking at my boarding pass with the seat number 42K while the sun sets over The Big Apple.

42. Of course. Back to the Paintingbuddha Cave! 42 is calling!

..lucky number
If you every have the chance to go to the MFCA take it - we hope we can be back next year! It is an amazing show with great people and a really high quality contest.

I hope you enjoyed my very first article for masterminis - But now it's back to the painting-desk!

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