Things to have in mind for miniature contests
General things
Plan in advance
Probably the most important factor for several reasons :
  • it enables you to have a coherent entry (take the time to sketch up your futur project; if it's a big diorama, a paper mock up can be very usefull to think your composition in advance and plan the volumes);
  • it gives you time to order parts;
  • you won't need to pull all-nighters.
Don't take shortcuts
Your entry will be under close scrutiny by the judges and they won't miss a thing
Add a plinth to your entry
It doesn't have to be scenic, but it makes life a lot easier for the judges when they hold your mini (and it'll prevent accidents ;)).
Thinking out of the box
Can be great or overkill. So many great ideas have already been applied, coming up with an original idea is sometimes daunting. Over-complexifying the scene is often a time consumming mistake that can knod on the tasteless or goofy side.
It's a dark place
Often, miniature conventions are badly lit places. Miniatures with dark color schemes can easily by missed by the judges. But that doesn't mean your miniature has to look like a carebear either ;).
Industry sponsored contests
Some manufactoreurs will organise contests just to showcase their miniatures and leave the art side ... aside. In doing so, rumor has it, some will previledge whatever they have in their newest range ... be it true or not, if you accept to enter such contests then you accept to deal with it, otherwise you're wasting your time, and there are plenty of other independent contest out there.
Online
Photography is the key element to this type of contest. It gives you full controle on how you want your entry to be seen :
  • There are a lot of online tutorials on how to take good pictures of minitatures. Most of it amounts to : good lighting and rigging your camera correctly;
  • Composition is also taken to the next level. A lot of people post a whole bunch of pictures at different angles. I agree for detail shots; but for global shots, I'm a firm believer of the one frontal picture that shows your entry best or four at 90░ variations. Also, backgrounds can be very helpful to add to the mood;
  • Digitaly preparing your pictures : cropping and color balancing are the final wow factors (don't overdo them).
But of course ...
As you've probably guessed it, I've made most of these mistakes (if not all of them once or on multiple occasions). Life, shit, loss of motivation, loss of focus, procastination, ... all of that happens. And sometimes, you'll want to do something just for the fun of it, and the judges won't get it ... but that shouldn't take the fun out of the hobby ;).