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  • 2004: A Year In Miniatures

    In this article I will try to make an overview of the best miniatures here
    on CoolMiniOrNot in 2004. But before I start I want to explain how this artcile
    has been compiled. Because there are tens of submission to CMON each day, it
    was impossible to browse through all the images of 2004. Therefore, I have chosen
    to filter those miniatures which scored higher than 9 points. From the remaining
    500 pictures I have made a small selection of paintjobs which I thought were
    ground-breaking and exceptional. Of course you will find some personal favorites
    of mine here, but in general I've tried to give an objective overview.
    Part 1: January - March
    A lot of people will agree with me that the first three months of 2004 brought
    a lot of great minis, but the public's favorite will be Cyril's amazing Widowmaker
    from Privateer Press
    . Another high-scoring mini, although less impressive,
    was thomasdavid's Games Workshop
    Dark Elf
    Talking about Games Workshop, some of their new armies did quite well on CMON,
    especially the beastmen (for example Dragon
    Ogre Shaggoth by Micro Art Studios
    and the regular Champion
    by Prri
    ). I think together with Celestine the Living Saint, the Beastman
    Champion was one of the most popular GW model among painters last year.

    2004's number three submission: Games
    Workshop Dark Elf by thomasdavid
    Another popular GW army were the new Brettonians. With lots of room for freehand,
    it's no surprise that paintjobs like Micro
    Art Studio's Standard Bearer
    scored very high. And although Goatman lost
    his first place on CMON at the end of 2003, he only uploaded a few pictures
    this year, for example this Brettonian.
    2004 was a year of change. A lot of new stars have risen, you could see their
    paintjobs in the top 10 7-days every few weeks. Ex-Rackham painter Arkaal amazed
    everyone with his smooth blendings and subtle freehand details, for example
    the Griffin Magistrate, Guerrier
    de Sang
    and Sin Assyris.

    Arkaal's Griffin Magistrate

    Another rising star from France is Thomas. In february he already made heads
    turn in his direction with his very nice Nurgle paintjobs (for example the Nurgle
    and his amazing Green
    Knight conversion
    , but his best piece of work still had to come...
    With some amazing releases by Games Workshop and Rackham, the smaller miniature
    companies still had to wait a bit longer to have their newest releases picked
    up by the public. But to conclude this first part of the overview, I want to
    show everyone the second-best Privateer Press miniature from the first part
    of 2004: Fluffy's Menoth Paladin.

    Fluffy's Menoth Paladin

    Part 2: April - June
    April kicked off with last year's most amazing conversions. Germany's finest,
    Holger Schmidt, combined his painting, conversion and scenery skills to create
    a small, dynamic diorama with Eyriss,
    Mage Hunter
    in the center. Holger's fellow countryman Goatman also showed
    his conversion and painting talent with his Sisters
    Of Battle diorama
    Russian painting goddess Alexi_Z was almost unknown in the beginning of 2004,
    but pieces like her Ork Shaman
    On Brontops
    , Dragon Ogre Shaggoth
    and Slaanesh Champion were
    about to change this in no-time.

    One of the most original submissions of 2004: Eyriss,
    Mage Hunter
    by Holger Schmidt
    Many consider Games Day France to have the toughest Golden Demon painting competition
    of them all. French masterpainter Cyril clearly shows this with his golden demon
    winning Nurgle Champion and
    silver Gretch Tank. Some other
    top painters from France include Allan C (Nurgle
    Troll Unit
    ) and Guillaume (Daemonus
    Ex Machina
    ). Another gold winner: Bragon's
    Inquisitor Diorama
    , which probably includes the best freehand from 2004.
    France is also the home of miniature manufacturer Rackham, and they gave the
    fans some more fantastic minis to work on. The Elemental
    Of Darkness
    appeared numerous times on CMON, but none as awesomely painted
    as Bitbull's. Other painters that submitted top-Rackham minis are Sandman (Master
    Of Carnage
    ), Minos (Hybrid
    ), Manumilitari (Dwarf
    ) and Trovarion (Hybrid

    Elemental Of Darkness by Bitbull
    Shortly after the release of Games Workshop "Celestine the Living Saint",
    great paintjobs started appear, like this
    one by Rolljordan
    . And a GW miniature everyone should have seen last year
    is Cyril's Space Marine.
    Other miniature manufacturers were also honoured with some amazing paintjobs.
    Fluffy once again took her brush at some Privateer Press lead to paint his version
    of Goreshade and Sythis. Steve
    from Spyglass produced his best figure so far: the 54mm Anastasia.

    Space Marine by Cyril
    Part 3: July - September
    The summer of 2004 continues with solid paintjobs of painters (and miniatures)
    seen before.
    It looks like everyone has been painting Celestine, The Living Saint. Albert
    Moretó Font dumped the gothic look of the miniature and painted a
    cool and high-tech looking version
    . This
    by Brokenblade also sheds a different light on the sculpt. On the
    other hand there are the classic gold and red paintjobs, like this
    one from RagingBull
    . Probably not worth mentioning: among all these masterpieces
    I also painted up my own version
    of Celestine
    , currently my highest scoring mini here on CMON.
    Cyril apparently kept discovering hidden closest filled with old Space Marines.
    Can everyone remember this guy?
    He is also starting his own Space Marines army, and this
    served as a test for the color scheme. That army is going to take
    ages to get painted at that quality level I think

    RagingBull's Celestine
    More great Warhammer 40K stuff appeared when Pega from Italy uploaded his award
    winning conversions and paintjobs: Daemon
    , Dreadnoughts, Space
    , Ultramarines and more
    Daemon Hunter related stuff, Pega
    has got them all. And if you look very closely, you will notice there is some
    metal or plastic underneath all that green stuff
    Victoria Lamb also did something similar with her
    Witchhunters squad

    Victoria's Witchhunters
    During the summer months it's always quite calm in the design studios of the
    various manufacturers. Rackham for example takes a one month break, but not
    after releasing fantastic new material such as Asura
    De Sarlath
    (painted by Arkaal) or this Giant
    (by RagingBull).
    Privateer Press launched their new Iron Kingdoms RPG miniatures line, containing
    smoe very original sculpts. The Nyss
    is my personal favorite. Their Warmachine skirmish game also got
    some new miniatures for the Escalation expansion, for example this (converted)
    . Both paintjobs by Fluffy.
    But the old Rackham stuff is always very popular among painters. Good examples
    of this are the Fire Familiar by Hot
    , the Rune Guardian by Alexi_Z
    and this Alahan Falconer by Haley.
    That's right, Jennifer Haley only submitted one mini last year. Altough her
    work is still quite popular among painters all over the globe, Alexi_Z's work
    makes me forget that Falconer very quickly . Her miniatures really look like
    scans from an unexisting Dark Age catalog: the
    , Field Medic, Toxic,
    and Firestorm
    are all masterpieces.

    Gazelle by Alexi_Z
    August 17th will be marked as the day 2004's top scoring mini was submitted:
    Magmatrax, Champion of Khorne.
    With no remarkable previous paintjobs, Silphid rocketed from nowhere to the
    third place in the top-10 miniatures.

    Magmatrax, Champion of Khorne by

    Part 4: October - December
    The official Rackham painting competition on the Monde Du Jeu event in France
    always attracts the top painters of Europe. The most remarkable category this
    year was Hybrid. No single minis here, but complete Dirz Laboratories like this
    by Gloubib and this masterpiece
    by Keldhar
    . Minos used those projects as an inspiration source for his
    own laboratory
    , which appeared a month later.
    More cool Rackham paintjobs appeared in the last part of 2004. For example
    this Viraë & Sinshera
    and Syd de Kaiber, both by
    Cheeba. Fluffy also tried her hands on a Confrontation mini instead of the usual
    Warmachine stuff. Her Shanys
    turned out great.

    Viraë & Sinshera by

    We've already seen 2004 number one (Magmatrax)
    and number three (Dark Elf
    by thomasdavid), both Games Workshop miniatures. And number two is also a GW
    paintjob: the amazing Grey Knights
    by nano. More top GW material includes the Witchhunter
    Retinue by EricJ
    and those
    two Space Marines by Kaple
    . And GW related: this
    Forgeworld Orc bust by Dirk Stiller
    Who needs a manufacturer anyway if you sculpt your miniatures yourself? Thomas
    proved this with his amazing sculpt and ditto paintjob called The
    Queen of Crime
    , finishing 4th in the 2004 hitlist.
    The last mini I'd like to include in this article is this Space
    Marine diorama
    by Kaple, one of the last 9+ scoring submissions in 2004.

    The Queen of Crime by Thomas
    Like I said in the beginning of this article, 2004 was a year of change. Lots
    of new stars have risen on the miniature sky. Together with the increased quality
    of miniatures by manufacturers like Privateer Press and Rackham it's taking
    the miniature painting hobby to a new level. I'm still quite amazed 2004 didn't
    bring us a new number one... So I'd like to ask everyone to start working on
    your top mini for 2005, and maybe we'll see it at the number one spot some day,
    or at least in next year's "a year iin miniatures article". Hope to
    see you again next year!
    Gerrie "Corvus" Schenck
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