Blog - Le 8 janvier 2015

Again, choosing a “TOP 6″ or “TOP 4″ between the twelve “best of the month” miniatures was not easy.

But after some time, I decided to cut the number in half for a sort of “first cut”.

At the end of that round, this are the six projects that stays in my mind for the “Best of the year : 2014″.
There is no order by the way.

- Roman Lappat : Undead king of the Ocean

This bust has a very nice atmosphere. The colors, the harmony, the overall feeling and the “moss” effect are very well done.
More, it’s the ambiant that gives a really nice touch to that piece.

- David Waeselynck : Gurka the red

David’s bust is clearly one of the best, or maybe the best painted version of Gurka, at the moment, and in my humble opinion. The tones, the colors, the execution are just perfectly chosen and made. It’ld have been a crime to not keep that miniature into the finals.

- Maxime Pastourel : Kaptain Grot’nout

I love Maxime’s work. I love the crazyness in his style, but more he is a really good technician : both in sculpture, design, and painting. Maxime is a complete artist, and keep a crazy level of creativity, even in his “army” projects.
His Kaptain Grot’nout is just an exemple about how he maintains some vibrants and brights effects, even on a big, really big miniature. Final touches : conversions, humor, and fun. Perfect !

- Nakatan : Havilan Tuff

I loved this miniature at the moment I saw it. And there is a REALLY big amount of work. Full sculpt, totally designed, a lot of very nice ideas, a great painting, a very very nice overall effect, a big technique… a very impressive piece.

- Ben Komets & Matt Cexwish : Horus

It’s not a secret, Ben is one of my favorite artist. Maybe my “favorite”. The touches he gaves to his miniatures, his style, the attention of detail he has, the global vision, the methods he uses… I wish to be able to obtain just 10% of what he achieves.
On that Horus (base done by Matt Cexwish), he really brings out the essence of the character. When you look at this miniature, you just think “DAMNED ! THIS IS REALLY WHAT HORUS SHOULD LOOKS LIKE !”. The armor, the details, the textures, the face (THIS FACE !!!!), the atmosphere, the light, there is a dark and powerfull ambiant in this piece.
I’m really impress about how a single painting can inspire such feelings. Maybe it’s just because I love Ben’s work, and because I love GW’s background a lot, and even if Simon’s Egan sculpt is crazy, this painting is for me an astonishing moment of the year. More when the Painting Buddha videos allows to see the process of painting.

- Bohun : Giant Robot “?”

Bohun have A STYLE. And a lot of PATIENCE. Even if I think that making again and again very similar projects (lot if lines, lines, and well… painted lines on a miniature) is a sign of mental illness (lol, I’m joking of course), the result is always breathtaking.
Here, the lights, the global aspect, the finishes, there is a lot of things that conduce to a great miniature, and to a great enty in this final TOP 6 of the year.


All this six miniatures are really awesome, and they have different approaches and styles.
To make a choice, the thing is to focus on little faults here and there, and try to forget all the good and crazy parts for a moment. Or just forget all of that, and be focus on the feeling that we can have with a miniature and her story.

- The Undead King :
The atmosphere and the colors are some very good choices. You can feel the environment of the character just by seing him.
But, the pure technique on the torso is not as good as others parts of the miniature. The face is great, but the “belly” or the shoulders, are not at the same level. BUT : the main effect is really impressive. And that is one of the most difficult and important thing to acheive when you paint a miniature.

- Gurka the red :
The painting is incredible, the light also, really, it’s difficult to find anything here. The purple cloth is just maybe too dark for my taste at some place, a little bit of highlight here and there could have worked, and at some spots, the sculpture of the beard could habe been, maybe, a little more precise. But at this point, it’s really searching for searching, nothing can be perfect, and for me, this painting, on this bust, is pretty close to perfection.

- Kaptain Grot’nout :
This is bright ! This is Orange :D ! Imagine a vehicule, that big, with some evils creatures on it, in your city, with that color ! You’ll not miss it, and when you’ll see the destruction it makes, you’ll fear it :D ! Here it’s just a matter of painting at some spots, BUT : this great miniature was made for an army. Yeah…. an army. Maxime plays with it. And ALL HIS ARMY IS PAINTED LIKE THAT. So what can be a “fault” here, is not one, because it was wanted. A big favorite.

- Havilan Turff :
Here it’s the sculpt that have some faults here and there… BUT it was one of the first attempt of full sculpt by Nakatan. Or maybe the first one (i don’t remember). And with this level of accomplishment, I’m sure a lot of us, me include, could be really jealous. At the end, it’s more the grey parts, like the jacket and the knee pads, that are a bit “simple” in terms of painting. The blue setting is maybe be also a little flat and a bit more of definition and contrast could have been nice. On the other side, the global result, the charism of the piece, her size, and the crazy space drawing are just insane. It’s clearly a piece that you cannot forget after seeing it.

- “?” Giant Robot :
Bohun is a master in his own style. But after watching some step by step he mades, and of course all the nice pictures he takes, I found the result maybe a bit repetitive and not particularly “technical”. It’s a nice airbrush base, lot of drawing and then some colors by airbrush or brushes here and there, some defition to clean and make the result readable, and “finish”. I don’t say that everyone could do this. NOT AT ALL. Even making those drawing is not that simple. You need to be very good with a brush, have a nice tool, and be very precise with it. Being precise at that level is really… really…. NOT THAT SIMPLE. More, being patient at this stage, to make lines and lines and lines and lines… not eveyrone could do it. It’s “madness” at some point. And I really cannot do it myself.
It’s just that, by decrypting the method, I don’t feel pretty enthousiast about it. The method itself, not the result. More when it is being repeat again and again on every projects.
BUT : and this is a big BUT : this is just a personnal painting feeling, as it’s not the way I’m painting myself, and perhaps also, not how I see painting. THIS CANNOT TAKE AWAY THE IMPACT, AND THE LEVEL OF THIS MINIATURE. It’s clearly a kind of Best of show miniature. Just because the level of patience and precision it takes is crazy, and because the overall result is really impressive. Not my cup of tea, but objectively very very well done and crazy. And of course, definitly one of the best miniatures of this year.


It’s the emotional impact, both with the great sculpture of Simon Egan, and the painting of Ben and Matt, that lead me to choose it for the BEST OF THE YEAR : 2014.
The painting is also impressive. We have a black armor, but a vibrant one, and colored. The Gold are darks, malicious, the face is incredibly painted, smooth but with charism and attitude, the demonic and glowing eyes, the red OSL… subtle but that contributes to the overall effect.
Ben Komets has a unique style. The painting is technical, lights are well done and placed, the blendings are done, the colors are well chosen, and between the blendings, he keeps some nervous touches of painting and textures here and there. Everything contributes to an astonoshing result.
Here, Horus is clearly the vision that anybody have of him. Powerfull, evil, dark, charismatic, dangerous.
It’s not maybe the most incredible mini of the year. There is no big scenery, just the official base painted (very nicely) by Matt Cexwish. There is no extra compositon, just the miniature.
It’s not a big diorama, it’s not even the most technical painting of the year, it’s just a miniature that is perfectly done from A to Z, and that respect the essence of the character by the painting.
The way Ben makes it, with his brushes, brings to reality the essence of the character, and this is for me an impressive feat, that I don’t saw on all the numerous others versions of this miniature.
This miniature has LIFE. And that is the final goal in our hobby. The hardest to obtain.

It could have been Horus, it could have been his Jules Vernes project (that I don’t succeed to have any pictures at the right time for the Best of the Month category), but for me, Ben was this year the most impressive painter. You can follow his work on Painting Buddha. For Horus, and as I said in a previous article : GO CHECK THIS SERIES OF TUTORIALS !!!. It’s heaven in 720p. (Or 1080p if you subscribe to the Paiting Buddha academy)
Congrats Ben, Congrats Matt. And see you for the next best of the months…. and maybe why not for the Best of 2015.

But for the moment, again, congrats for this miniature full of life and character.

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3 Comments to BEST MINIATURE OF THE YEAR: 2014

  1. morbäck

    Salut Julien,

    un grand merci d’avoir nominé mon Kaptain Grot-Nout dans tes 6 meilleurs projets de l’année!
    Ça me fait très plaisir, et c’est cool de voir un peu d’armée au milieu de toutes ces figs d’expo :-P
    Blague à part, un grand bravo à Ben et Matt pour leur pièce d’exception, il font honneur à ce personnage emblématique de l’univers de 40k.

  2. Cyril

    J’aime beaucoup ta sélection !
    Elle m’ a permis de découvrir les superbes pièces de Nakatan et de Bohun, qui sont super créatives.

    bonne peinture, hâte de voir tes nouvelles pièces ! (carnaval ?)

  3. admin

    Carnaval il est dans les oubliettes et y restera à vie je pense. J’ai plus le temps pour les conneries de ce genre, puis de toute façon y’a plus de GD français :D

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