March 8, 2012

Gamergrrrl’s Corner: SMARTMAX-Workshop with Matt Cexwish and Ben Komets

I finally got the time to write this piece. :)  So here it is:

As a regular visitor of the SMARTMAX Homepage 
I found an announcement several weeks ago  for a SMARTMAX painting workshop in Lüdenscheid, Germany from December 9th-11th 2011. Lüdenscheid isn’t too far from my home so I didn’t hesitate and immediately signed up for the workshop – actually it was already fully booked but I was incredibly lucky (I prefer to think I’ve got really good Karma and/or Mojo going) because somebody had just canceled, so I got in. YAY! :D
I even got a single room, which was great because I was the only girl (as was probably to be expected), and so I didn’t have to participate in all that “man fun” (whatever it was the guys did in their rooms– I wonder if I really want to know…). 
The workshop was hosted by Matt Cexwish and Ben Komets of, both of them winners of several Golden Demon trophies and 4 (yes, 4!) Slayer Swords. That’s really impressive, and to see some of their work in reality was even more impressive because their models look even better in reality than in the photos. But the best thing of all is that these two are such likeable and funny guys who are also very helpful and humble. A big part of the good atmosphere was due to them and their way to guide through the workshop. They were always willing to lend a helping hand, share their creative perspective on anything, show again how it’s done, come running when we called (“Benbenbenben!”), kid around, encourage the bloody beginners like me when it didn’t work out immediately… you name it. I really grew to like these guys a lot during these 2 days. The group was great too – everyone was so friendly and cooperative, always willing to help the others to achieve their goals to create something to the best of their abilities.
During the 3 days of the workshop we did a really special thing: everyone created his or her unique part of a Victorian street  - special bases which were created especially for the workshop by the instructors Ben and Matt - and a SMARTMAX mini to go with it. We were able to choose between Lord Holmes and Jeremiah Crow. I chose Jeremiah because I had ordered Lord Crow in my big SMARTMAX order anyway. (Special workshop price, great thing – I was able to add a lot of beautiful minis to my collection, maybe I’ll write more on that topic later).
On the first evening  we had a creative session where everybody tried to find some inspiration for the project with the help of photos in magazines. My idea had something to do with Jules Verne’s “Journey around the World in 80 Days”, more on that when I’ll present the finished model later…
Then we started preparing the model and the base. After applying the foundation in the next morning we started painting our minis and bases. We learned a lot of techniques for blending, painting wood, true metal, faces (for that most participants chose to give their model one of the several available heads by Hornet instead of the original model’s face with gas mask) and much more.  
Kind of depressing to see how fraking easy it looks when Matt and Ben do it. When I try it myself – “Valley of Tears”, as a fellow painter called it… Luckily Ben and Matt know something about motivating people – put some easier techniques, like painting leather, in between the hard stuff and everybody’s happy again. ;)

I didn’t quite finish my mini at that weekend, but that's OK, I didn't expect it. I wanted to finish it after Christmas but with a big performance of my other hobby, dancing, and training sessions almost every evening, I haven’t found the time yet. I’ll present the mini here after it’s finished, I promise. :)

I’m very proud of the work we did together as a group and individually. The skills of the participants varied very strongly, there were painters who were in Ben’s and Matt’s league (or close to it), beginners like me and everything in between, but the greatest thing was that everyone did his/her best. I had such a great time! Besides meeting lots of nice people and improving my painting skills I also learned funny new things: e.g., do you know what a “nerd’s skateboard” is? *lol* 
Thanks a lot to Matt & Ben for their support and to the other participants for the nice conversation and help (especially to Steffen for lending me all his stuff and to Vlado for letting me use his workshop photos for this blog - if you speak German you should totally check out his own blog - there’s also a painting contest going on at the moment where you can win a “Golden Vinci”:

Now isn't that the the cutest trophy ever? :)

XOXO Gamergrrrl

1 comment:

-Matt Cexwish- said...

Hahaha, Great View and Comment on the Weekend, we are really happy you enjoyed it so much as we did...:)...

Hope to see you around for the Next Workshop, too...^-^...

All the Best, have a Great Week!