December 01, 2013


I want to show you a very impressive Music video from Pentatonix.

best regards


November 18, 2013

Our first trip to Monte San Savino

Last week the pumpkin crew set sail to Italy to visit Monte San Savino and the much-vaunted miniature contest. Our expectations weren't deceived! It was a great show and an especially great weekend as the whole pumpkin crew and nearly all our pumpkin crew supporters were able to travel down to Monte. We had a really great time and so much fun!

Monte San Savino is in Tuscany in the province Arezzo. It is a small Italian city with old buildings and the typical atmosphere of ancient times. The narrow alleys seem impossible to be used by cars but obviously not for Italian drivers.
The Monte San Savino Show took place in the ancient Rocca del Cassero, a 14th-century fortress in the city center of Monte San Savino. It was a great location for the minitures and created a special atmosphere during the three days.

Day 1 - Thursday, November 7th
The pumpkin crew met in Wolfsberg, Austria, to travel down to Monte together in a small coach. It took us 10 hours to reach our final destination in Foiana della Chiana, where we rented a house for all of us. But the long drive went by rather quick since we were all together and we had enough food and coffee on board ;)
After our sweet landlady showed us around we finally settled in and enjoyed some delicious late night pasta and an apple pie, which the landlady had baked for us.

Androsch: ... That lady didn't speak a single word of English, but she sure as hell spoke apple-pie! YEEEHAAA!

Day 2 - Friday, November 8th
On the second day the weather good meant well and we could eat our first Italien breakfast on the patio in the sun. Around noon we all slipped into our brand new pumpkin crew outfits and climbed our coach to drive to Monte. In Monte a lot of friends were already there, entering their miniatures and catching up with another. From the first moment the atmosphere was relaxed, open and fun!

It's a long way to the top, if you want a Best of Shoooow ;)

We entered our miniatures, which you will also see on this blog in detail, and had a first quick look at the other entries. Wow, what a great competition! At Friday noon there were already so many great entries, so many fantastic ideas and so many wonderful paintjobs :)

Androsch: To be honest, the painting level was so high that I was trying hard not to let my jaw drop to the ground. Amazing...

On Friday we also did a quick tour through the city center of Monte San Savino. We visited the Palazzo Del Monte with the beautiful gardens Giardini pensili in the back, which looked more like an ancient open air theatre. From there you have a fantastic few of the surroundings of Monte.

Colouristo: Due to business trip I had to join my Pumpkin Painter fellows one day later, and I was glad to have a special transfer service from them from firenze aeroporto. Thanks a lot! And to be honest during the whole week I was always thinking about Monte! I heard so much about it and they already informed me during the transfer about the plenty and the extreme high level of entries ...

Day 3 - Saturday, November 9th
Since we were told that Saturday morning would be crazy in Monte as all the remaining participants had to enter their miniatures until noon we decided to visit Siena. Siena is west of Monte San Savino and this city is famous for the Palio di Siena, a horse race on the Piazza del Campo which takes place twice a year. It is also said that Siena is the most beautiful city in Tuscany.

Siena really is a beautiful city with an impressing city gate and a lot of narrow alleys. There we also learned how Italiens park their cars in front of a wall. They just keep driving until the front of the car touches the wall. Then it is parked perfectly!

Colouristo: In the afternoon we spent some hours at the exhibition. It was my first time at Monte, and it was absolutely fantastic. The entire atmosphere is great. It was crouded with unbelievable artists. A dream for us painters and modelers. It takes hours to have a first look at all these great works, and at the end your mind is blowing. And this is Monte, once is not enough, this I realised right at that time ;)
In the evening we returned to Monte to join the other painters for a true Italian dinner. We ate, we drank, we talked and we made new friends :)

A cappuccino  ... what else !

Day 4 - Sunday, November 10th
Final day of the miniature contest! Unfortunately it rained nearly the whole day, but since the show was inside it was not too bad.
We did another tour around the exibition and took some more photos. We also had the chance to get a closer look at some of the projects and talk to the other painters about their ideas and thoughts of the projects.

At 4 pm we all gathered in the Teatro Verdi where award ceremony took place. The theatre was really great. The seats and the loges had red velvet padding and golden ornaments. From the ceiling hung a big crystal chandelier. Everyboy was excited and full of expectations about whether they will get an award or not.

The award ceremony was great except the fact that is was most of the time in Italian (which none of is speaks) and there were no pictures of the winners miniatures. It's always nice to have a connection between the people and their projects!

The pumpkin crew was also lucky. Colouristo received a silver and a bronze medal, Androsch also got a silver medal. Congratulations!
And for the rest of the crew applies the saying "The most important thing is not to win but to take part!". Maybe next years we will also be lucky ;)

Colouristo: Being there the first time, the ceremony at the theatre was a little bit hectic. And at the same time impressive. A theatre full of history and packed with those great people and friends! Something I would not like to miss. And it keeps you fit. Especially at the time you are lucky and rewarded a medal. At that time you have to jump and run full speed through the corridors to enter the stage in time and join your group, before the next group of winners is announced :)

Day 5 - Monday, November 11th
Another rainy and also stormy day in Italy, so we canceled our trip to Florence and enjoyed a peaceful day at our house and did nothing except some painting (we added new pictures to our miniature transport box! Maybe you will see them on our blog soon.), playing board games, eating and chatting.

Androsch: Unfortunately the freaking weather was the reason why mine and Colouristo's plane didn't leave. We'll, to be more precise, Colouristo had to go to Bologna, to get a flight to Frankfurt and I stayed in hotel for the night, to drive home with my fellow pumpkin painters by bus the next day. Spending 8 hours at an airport wasn't exactly funny, but at least I got to know some nice people there. ^^
Colouristo: And we also improved our italian language skills - a phrase every real man will understand: "grande pForza miseria"
Androsch: Add this gesture....

Day 6 - Tuesday, November 12th
Back to Austria!
We had a really great time in Monte and we will return next year!

Androsch: I'll be back.

Colouristo: I would like to amend, ALL OF US will be back - it was a remarkable journey in every respect!!!!

November 16, 2013

Huntress of the Night

Hey everybody!

I finally finished my Huntress of the Night and I did it just in time to take her to Monte San Savino :)

I'm really happy with the result and also with my decision to change the color scheme. She didn't win a medal in Monte but that's okay. For me it's more important that she looks the way I planned to!

Painting this miniature wasn't easy. I really loved the mini from the first moment and I wanted her to be something special. For me the promotion paintjob was fantastic and it was hard to figure out a different color scheme that worked for her. Also the base and the general setting of the scene wasn't easy to find and decide.

In the end I used my favourite colors and gave her a dark night scene inspired by old streets in an English city.

I hope you like her too!

November 14, 2013

1001 nights


i´ve finished another project i was working on. It was one of my entries at the
Monte san Savino miniature contest. Unfortunately i haven´t got a medal but it was the first time that i´ve submitted in Master painting category at the MsS Contest. I think or it is better to say i hope that it was close.
I hope you like it.

best regards


October 23, 2013

The Inquisition...

...'ere we go!

This is the start of a new small commission army. 

The start is going to be a Repentia squad of ten with a Domiatris. I'm trying white armour and green cloth. Turns out to look a bit silly on the plate-bikinis of the Repentia but I hope it will work in the end. Started with NMM but painting all these little chains that way kinda makes me go crazy. Cast quality wasn't very satisfying but what can you expect from ancient models like these? ^^

Kind Regards,

P.S.: Inquisitorial Musica!

October 21, 2013

Dwarf Runelord

posted by Androsch


Here's a new addition to the Dwarf Army: A Runelord.

The model is from Avatars of War. Somehow it was a pain in the a** to paint. I still don't like it, but I declare it finished! ;)


October 16, 2013

Dessert Guard WIP


at the moment i´m working on my last project for the Miniature show in Monte San Savino
that is at the beginning of november. There is a lot of work to finish it but i´m confident that i will
manage it.

Here are the pictures, i hope you like it.

best regards

October 08, 2013

Dwarf Master Engineer

posted by Androsch


Yipee, it's time for Dwarves again! ;)

I finished the second Master Engineer. I tried some more colour variation in the metallics this time.


Autumn impressions

A walk in the park...

October 06, 2013

Pumpkin Painter Evening with Cat Women

Impression of our last Pumpkin Painter Session.
This time two cat women joined us :)

Morgaine working on her Monte Project and Cookie is deeply relaxed and observing the progress ...

Gipsy (in front) and Cookie are very happy with the result of our Pumpkin Painting Session!

I think now the purpose of a hoody is very clear :)

With best wishes

October 03, 2013

Some fun with Photoshop (with Tutorial!)

posted by Androsch


I tried some recently acquired Photoshop skills on some miniature pictures. I wanted to extract them from the background and did some general adjustments.

First one, Legolas:

In this case the adjustments turned out quite nicely. But I noticed I should have used a longer exposure, because their was a lot of noise in the original image (or maybe I just had a bad ISO setting.)

Second, Morgaines Huntress:

new (check last post for original)
Here I used Morgaines jpeg image. This is generally a bad idea, because every time you save as jpeg, you loose quality. Nevertheless I think Morgaine already used too much jpeg compression on the image. There are a lot of jpeg artifacts in it. The adjustments brought out the colours, but also increased the noise. I'd like to do that again on the final images. This is an exciting figure after all!

Here's a short tutorial for extracting images:

I used the hard way in this example, there are fancier extraction tools in photoshop, but this method is very exact. (I have a German version btw, so sorry for the expressions)

Use this tool in path mode (in German it's cald "Zeichenstift-Werkzeug"):

This should be on the right hand side of your screen.

zoom in and click your way around the border of the model. you can use SPACE + LEFT MOUSE to scroll.

Take your time here. ;)

With your last click, you must close the path. Now there's a marking around your selection:

Now right click and chose "generate selection". In german it's "Auswahl erstellen".

The next step might be the most important. Before you copy your selction you have to do a soft selection border or the picture will look flat. In German it's "Weiche Auswahl Kante". You can find it here (Maybe in English: Selection -> Improve Border):

Next, set your soft border. The right setting depends on the resolution of the image, but 2px is a good start.
You can set the colour of your background for a preview too. One more tip: If you want a black background in the end, use a dark background for your photograph! Otherwise you'll get a silly halo.

Click OK and cut or copy your selection and paste it into a new file (there's many way form here, but I like to do it like that). Your selection is a new layer now. Choose the background layer and make it black with the filling tool on the left.

Now you can use more filter and effect, crop the image and so on. But I'll talk about this some other time.
Oh, here's the final image by the way... ;)

(I did an unsharpen mask and rezised it to 600px wide)

Hope this was interesting for you,
see you next time!