A visit to the 2013 Euro Militaire

It’s been a long time since I visited a Euro Militaire – years, in fact. At one time – before the web took off – it was really the only way of getting access to the full the range of figures on offer; including those from Europe. I always spent far more than I should and came back laden down with kits. There was always a slight disappointment factor though because this was (and still is) primarily a military show and I’ve never been a military buff. Perhaps that was why I haven’t been to one for so long – plus the schlep down to Folkestone.

Stuff to buy

This time was slightly different however. For a start I had another reason to attend – even though I was going to go anyway – because Jon had agreed to display my benches on his table (see the post before this). I’d also made up my mind to stick to a budget and not to overspend – although you always hope there’ll be something new, some discovery you haven’t seen before.

In the event it proved quite easy to resist spending too much. There were lots of my favourite ranges on display like Scale 75, Pegaso; and good dealers like El Greco (no Andrea unfortunately, or fortunately from a budget viewpoint) but no outstanding ‘show-only’ deals to tempt me. (Thirty to forty pounds seemed to be a standard price range for many kits – quite expensive!) I did find some nice busts from MDC which were quite reasonably priced and succumbed to a whimsical vignette of a little girl and a monster.

But no ‘feeding frenzy’ this time.¬† It would be nice to claim that was because I’ve become a bit more mature in my attitude but probably it was because the web made a lot of the merchandise seem more attainable – you can basically obtain any of it quite easily online these days.

Stuff I bought

GirlMonst

Dead Spaceman2Processed by: Helicon Filter;Zombie Highwayman

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Stuff to look at

Of course it would be a bit sad and more than a little geeky to go just for the shopping so I did check out the competitions too. A few outstanding pieces in the categories that interested me (see below) and some well executed versions of standard figures. There were even a couple of beautiful scratch-builts.

Looking at them, you do tend to be conscious however that they’ll look a lot better in photographs than they do in the ‘flesh’ – this is especially true of smaller scale. I’m coming more and more towards the feeling that small scale figures are not for me – particularly 28mm and 32mm. They don’t ‘read’ or display well as models, even though some are admittedly very beautifully sculpted. I have been seduced into buying a few recently because of great photos and amazing paint-jobs but I shall try and resist future impulses.

The other thing that always strikes me is that I don’t actually like the very precise, almost cartoon-like, way that many prize-winning figures are painted, often using over-saturated colours. The other extreme is equally bad too: muddy tones, chalky colours, but I do prefer the middle ground realism that you really only get when you go above 54mm in scale.

Once upon a time there was a clearer divide between a low-contrast ‘military’ and a high-contrast ‘fantasy’ style; exemplified by the so called ‘Golden Demon’ standard. Now it seems that high-contrast is gaining ground, possibly because acrylics have become the more popular medium to paint with. But acrylics don’t have to be laid on in such a jewel-like, perfect way; the techniques of painting with them have advanced a lot since the 80’s.

My own personal style is quite messy, and doesn’t photograph particularly well, but I still prefer it to this kind of precise painting. (I’d also like to start experimenting with oil paints at some point – I’ve had some for ages – but I get so little time to paint unfortunately and they take so lo-o-ng to dry!)

My favourites in the competition

serpent2

Thanks to Barke02 and Marta on planetfigure for the photos

Beast giant

 

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