I have been a miniature painter for far longer than I should admit. For most of that time, I have been mediocre, aiming for just good enough to put them on a table and play games. Taking part in certain gaming tournaments encouraged me to focus a bit more, but I’m still more of a speed painter than an artist. Thanks to a few friends, some friendly Twitch streamers, and events like ReaperCon, I am slowly evolving.
What is ReaperCon?
There is a miniature company in Denton, Texas called Reaper Miniatures. They are the first company I remember that actually gave credit to the sculptor on the packaging. Over the years, I have garnered quite the collection and a large percentage is made up of their wares. Every Labor Day weekend, they run a convention focused on miniature painting. There are classes to take, artists to talk with, and games to play. They even have a vendor area that includes other miniature companies. This is about the love of the hobby with plenty of zany hijinks mixed in for the convention attendees.
I first attended in 2018. This year, counting the COVID-era virtual expo, was my fifth time attending. If you know me, you know I’m not exactly an outgoing person. The first couple of years were rough, but I’ve made friends, met a lot of great people, and now ReaperCon feels like a family reunion where I don’t know everyone, but the faces are familiar. And that is what keeps me coming back: The people. Talking to world-class painters and sculptors is cool. Catching up to old friends like the folks at DGS Games is awesome. More often, however, I am finding the random people that sit across the table right before the awards ceremony are just as fun. The only ice breaker anyone really needs is either, “What are you painting?” or, “Have you taken any classes?” The conversation builds itself from there.
MSP Open Paint Contest
This was my third year to enter the paint contest. Every year, I’ve managed to move up a notch. My first year was a certificate. My second year, I pulled out a bronze. This year, entering in two separate categories, I got another bronze and bumped up to a very solid silver! Take a few minutes to check out all the amazing entries from this year’s competition. The images scattered around this post are my entries. At the very top, my silver in the ordnance category. The final image below won a bronze in the open category.
I know this is a niche hobby, but if you enjoy miniature painting or are thinking you want to give it a try, I’d love to hear from you!