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The Gen Con Report

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Even though I’ve been playing role playing games off and on since my college days in the 1980’s I have only been regularly attending Gen Con in Indianapolis for the past few years.  Even then I’m mostly interested in two things; various train games put out by Mayfair games and interesting classes on the subject of minis.

This year I attended a class on photographing minis.  I had already purchased a diffuser box, but the class helped me understand some of the finer elements of trying to photograph in low light that would be bright enough but without glare and shadows.

Just prior to Gen Con I saw an interesting photography article (Rule of Thirds by Andy P.) that suggested centering a photograph is not the best form of presentation.  The ideal would be off center by dividing the photograph into thirds horizontally and vertically and putting the focus on the intersection points or on the lines.

One interesting thing I learned in the class was that having something else besides the mini makes a better photograph.  Hopefully I will be able to combine these two lessons for the best effect.

Two minis and an interesting background.

I then went to two speed painting contests, one by Privateer Press and the other by Reaper.  The former mini was primed in black and the latter was primed in white.  I really was doing pretty good (for me) with the Privateer Press mini; I even had time for some freehand work … if only I had a good idea on the freehand work at the time.  All in all, I thought my mini was relatively average, which was far better than my speed painted mini of last year.  Perhaps in two years I might even make the finals.

The biggest purchase I made was some already painted buildings, which I plan on using for some gaming but mostly for a way to present my minis in a more “Christmas Village” style display setting.  I’m still waiting to get them in the mail.

Meanwhile back at home I appear to still be on a duck craze, this time with some duck people from Runequest.  They have been glued to their bases and primed in black waiting for a time when I have enough time to sit down and paint them.

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Painting and Modelling , Conventions


  1. skeeve's Avatar
    Well, while having something besides the mini *sometimes* helps I would have to say that the example you have is not the best. In fact, I am afraid it supports the opposite point of view that while taking picture of the mini you probably first of all want to show the mini (otherwise why bother taking pictures). In this example the background is overpowering. It is the first thing you look at and only after you realize that there are also some minies. I assume you combine background and actual images in the photoshop or something like this. Tone down the background image first, make it uniformly darker; then if you wish you can select just the face and emphasize it (or even just the eyes on the face). Make images of minies bigger, you are showing them, not the cute girl in the background.
  2. tzor's Avatar
    ... that was my quick and dirty photo taken in the hotel room and it's not the best background. For some strange reason, however, our logic and wisdom is being thrown out the window as we speak and it's getting a better score than the PP mini alone. (It's getting a 5 at the moment.) Proving I will never understand the mind of the voters here.

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