Games Workshop's official Golden Demon competition has been running since 1987 (in the UK) and you can see all of the winning miniatures from all countries (!) for all categories (!!) in one place.
The site is arranged by country and then by date within which you can browse the individual categories which (currently) are :-
- Warhammer 40k Single Miniature
- Warhammer 40k Squad
- Warhammer 40k Vehicle
- Warhammer 40k Monster
- Warhammer Fantasy Single Miniature
- Warhammer Fantasy Regiment
- Warhammer Fantasy Monster
- Large Scale Model
- Lord of the Rings Single Miniature
- Young Bloods
- Open and finally
- Best of Show (Forgeworld) and greatest of all...
- the SLayer Sword winner !
I have visited this site many times and was after some more pics of Matt Parkes amazing Empire Giant attack diorama which won him the UK Slayer Sword in 2010. Then I realize, that people who aren't already aware of this website might actually appreciate it if I told them about it's existence because, strangely, I don't think it's that widely publicized !
Anyway, below is a small sample of what the site has to offer (and why I like these particular miniatures / dioramas). It's quite an awe inspiring site to visit really and is a great place to get some modeling and painting ideas. (pic above is GD Aus 2008 Large Model 2nd place - Sebastian Archer's Squig Hopper)
click to great enlarge any of the images, they're all worth a closer look !
Italy 2009 Warhammer Monster 1st place - Matteo De Franceschi
I love this Ogre Mercenary / Adventurer. The miniature itself is 100% fantasy and reminds me of Warhammer Fantasy Roleplaying games I used to enjoy - when I had unmarried friends with no kids and lots of free time !
The backdrop really makes this miniature. What an unusual setting, where is he ? how did he get in there ? who's he with and who's he fighting ?
The setting has so much humour in it too. I mean who the heck paints a portrait of a dead or more likely undead Estalian (?) noble on the wall - a grieving Vampire wife maybe ? Check out his Bretonnian coat of arms / patchwork quilt-like knee patch - lol :) who sowed that on for him ? His mum :) ?
The other thing I really like about this model is that it would look great in a display case under the lights. There are lots of vibrant colours and they work well together. Sure it's a really fun fantasy miniature diorama but it's not silly over-the-top fantasy - if you know what I mean ?!
Anyway, moving on...
BTW, I'm not listing these miniatures in any particular order, they're just some of the ones that caught my eye.
Next up - slightly disturbing Chaos weirdness... the Slaanesh Siren Song
Germany 2010 Warhammer Single Miniature 1st place - Georg Damm
This miniature really stood out for me because of the subtle use of colours and the truly exceptional application of them. On top of that you have a remarkably inventive and imaginative miniature conversion playing a deadly looking "violin" while gliding across the undead who almost look like they are arising especially for the music. Yuck ! horrible chaos stuff - but an amazing miniature and deserving winner of a 1st place.
Below you'll find a similar model but a completely and utterly different painting style and colouring...
Italy 2010 Warhammer Single Miniature 1st place - Angelo di Chello
Next up we're off to Spain to see a couple of incredible miniatures that put the Fantasy into Warhammer Fantasy Battle ! I'm pleased I wasn't on the panel having to decide which of these was going to get 1st place.
The below 2 entries are really what it's all about for me; pure full-on fantasy wrapped up in a single no nonsense model. The miniatures are brilliant in themselves but when mounted on simple but effective bases like these and painted like they are they turn into mini works of art. I'd place the Vampire in my top 10 of best miniatures ever - but then I have been known to answer to the name Count Sigmar.
BTW, I like the fact that the artists have really used completely different styles when painting these models. It just goes to show that there's no "one size fits all" approach that you have to adopt. Just choose the painting methods to achieve the final look and feel that you want to.
Spain 2010 Warhammer Single Miniature 1st place - Albert Moretó Font
Spain 2010 Warhammer Single Miniature 2nd place - Juan Carlos Ávila Ribadas
And now for something completely different which surprisingly didn't win 1st place ?!
France 2005 Warhammer Diorama 2nd place - Matt Cexwish
Personally, I love the creativity behind this. A Steam Tank under going repairs - a brilliant idea and very well presented. There are a load more close up pics of the intricacies of this Steam Tank diorama here.
It's great to see so many entrants injecting a bit of humour into their offerings. BTW, this entry was named "Leonardo DiMiragliano´s Heritage!"
Back to Italy again...
Italy 2010 Warhammer Battle Scene 2nd place - Davide Rapazzini and Carmine Giuliano
I'm not sure what's going on here, the goblin looks none too happy and the squigs even less so ! There could be trouble ahead....check out the saddle on the floor - someone's not happy !
Awesome diorama and great to see even more humour and this time a bit of mystery too. Also, this is the first time I've seen a collaborative entry by more than one modeler / painter.
The above one didn't won because the below one did - as you can see, the standard in these competitions is rather high ! It's a zombie outbreak in an Empire town - they're even crawling up from the sewers.
Italy 2010 Warhammer Battle Scene 1st place - Raffaele Du Marteau
Australia 2007 Warhammer Regiment 2nd place - Jamie Downward
I really like this unit because it's simple, brilliantly painted and expertly based and they look like the sort of unit I would actually like to show off on the battlefield rather than in a display cabinet. I have to say though, I'd be keeping them out of harms way so I didn't have to take them off the table too soon !
Bright and beautiful and back into the more cartoony side of fantasy battle - a very "tooled-up" Troll with his snotling mate - with a nasty attitude (I think it's a snotty, although it could be a gobbo).
I prefer the bright and bizarre models because I feel they stand out more on the battlefield. "Realistic" models look great on close inspection but I equate that kind of painting more with LoTR and sometimes it's better to be bold when it comes to painting regiment minis for use in battles.
USA Atlanta 2007 Slayer Sword ! - Todd Swanson
Anyway folks, I think that's about it from me for now. I could go on forever but hopefully this give you a taster of what tat site has to offer. As always, let me know your thoughts...
Oh go on then, one last picture because I've featured so many "baddies" above, let's go for a noble decent fella :) ...
Australia 2008 Warhammer Large Model - Mark Carlisle
Damn it ! Some gobbos sneaked in at the end before I pressed "post"... sorry about that.
The Goblin Diorama won the Italy 2008 Warhammer Regiment category - Fabrizio Russo
Images are © Games Workshop. All rights reserved. Used without permission.
Strewth, I almost forgot. Below is the Slayer Sword winner that I was looking to share with you all along ! Doh...
It's a bit late now so I might have to come back with my commmentary another time, for now just enjoy the pics. Don't forget to click for a much larger close up.
United Kingdom 2010 Slayer Sword ! - Matt Parkes
And finally, one last diorama that I just can't leave out...
I thought this one would have been unbeatable but it actually got 2nd place ?!
Italy 2010 Warhammer "Open" category 2nd place - Massimiliano Richiero
Images are © Games Workshop. All rights reserved. Used without permission.