- where we learn to be a better painter!

Thursday, March 28, 2013

Important Paintingbuddha DVD update (english)

Important paintingbuddha DVD Update

It has been very quiet on masterminis in the last two weeks and people start to worry about what's going on...

In the interest of full transparency, below you will find a very detailed description of the current status of our Paintingbuddha Season 1 project.


Our first 'mockup'  product design from our shop
We began working on our 'REVOLUTION' in November of last year. On December 23rd we revealed our first revolutionary project – a painting DVD set including 2 DVDs, two miniatures (plus base) and all of that in a nice box.
Our goal was to offer you something truly revolutionary – a top-quality product at an incredibly low price.. 

Many of you have trusted us 'blindly' and have pre-ordered this set without really having seen exactly what you would get.

We are truly grateful for your trust and your support!

So you will be glad to hear that our product has 'grown' and it has become even cooler and 'hoopier' than even we had originally planned. And we wanted to surprise you with the 'added' content on April 1st - no joke ;)

But, as so often in life, the good news sometimes comes with some bad news...

The upgraded DVD set - Part I

So let us look at the good news first, the 'upgraded' set:

Inside the collectors box, we protect the miniatures
from damage during transport in this metal jewlery box

  • Instead of the advertized 2 DVDs you will receive 6 DVDs full of painting instructions.
  • Instead of some standard plastic DVD-boxes you will receive a high-quality 6-page-foldout DVD-Collectors box.
  • We upgraded the wooden box to a stylish, hand-made collectors box with magnetized locking mechanism.
  • The miniatures will additionally be packed in a fancy cushioned metall jewelry box in order to protect them from being damaged.
  • All the other 'goodies' such as collector buttons, raffle tickets and so on will of course still be included (among other things, we are giving away stuff such as 42 painting armatures by Stephan Rath, free workshops, Season 2 DVD sets etc.). 
  • All of that still at a low price of 42€ for the budget box (includes minis and DVD box) or 84€ for the supporter's box (includes everything)
Since we could not keep the March 1st release date, we quite literally worked day and night, fought Murphy and his hard drive crashes - but everything was still lined up to be delivered in the first week of April - all of the component's delivery dates (collector's box, metal box, shipping box, DVD-Box, DVDs) are confirmed (and on their way as we speak).

All material has been edited, cut, enriched with cool graphics, menus and informative overlays.  All manufacturing tasks were running on time. Basically, we were ready to go, ready to surprise you with an awesome, bigger and better product in the first week of April.

So far, so good.

Murphy's final act
Example of DVD Menu, color picker and artist cam overlays
Then Murphy tossed us a final curveball in the last step of the production process and after consulting all involved artists (Ben, Stephan and Mati) – I stopped this last step - the production of the DVDs – quite literally in the last second.

Everything turned out so much cooler than we could imagine back in November. The quality of all the components exceeds everything we originally envisioned.

Everything – except for the DVDs.

What happened?

When we received the 'release DVDs' in the final approval process about two weeks ago, we had some rather mixed feelings. Most of the chapters looked awesome. But some rather important chapters (detailed shots of the face, NMM details etc.) looked 'average' at best. The conversion of the HD material to DVD of these detailed sections did not look good at all. 

Example of our color wheel picker from the DVD

So with our suppliers we feverishly started analyzing the problem (which is why it has been so quite here in the last two weeks).

In short, it turned out that some of the early material we shot back in November and December caused some problems in the conversion process.

Unfortunately, there was no easy fix in sight.

Quality is everything

Ultimately, I am responsible for what we ship to you, our supporters, and basically, I had two choices: 
  1. Ship the product 'as is' in the first week of April or 
  2. 'fix it'
'send as is': (the easy way out)

  • We send you the product beginning of April and hope that you don't mind the quality issues of a few of the DVD chapters. After all, everything else looks great - it's still an awesome deal, even though these DVD parts are not perfect.
'fix it': (the hard way)
  • The miniatures and the training video are our core product. Having a great packaging does not change issues with some of the videos.
    We would need to retake some videos, scrap a few hundred hours of editing work and deliver a product that truly deserves the title 'revolutionary'. This would cost us time and money – but it would get you a product that we think you deserve.
As far as our DVD products are concerned, we believe that quality is everything and must not be sacrificed no matter what. We want you to have an awesome value for your money.

Having said that, I decided that we 'fix it'.

The revised release schedule

In the last two weeks we rescheduled and shifted some of our next tasks around and came up with a 'fix it' plan:

- Re-filming is scheduled and will be completed in the 2nd week of April. 

- Production will be finished 6-8 weeks after filming (only DVD box and DVDs are left 'to do').

- The product will be shipped out right away.

Our biggest challenge in planning the reshooting of the material was that Stephan Rath will not be available for filming until the end of August due to his work schedule. 

So we decided that he will 'swap places' with none other but Rafa Garcia Marin aka 'Volomir' for our first DVD set. Most of you know Volomir not only as one of the top Spanish painters, but also as one of the world's best painters - and as an awesome guy! (CMON, Volomirs blog).
Volomir was already scheduled to be here for filming of the Season 2 content beginning of April and will now be Ben's partner for Season 1.
Stephan will be back for a later Season with filming in August of this year.

Volomir's finely detailed painting style is definitely on par with Stephan's style, but where Stephan only uses brushes, some of you may be particularly intrigued that Volomir uses an airbrush on some parts of the miniature. I know that I can't wait to see it myself ;)

We are sorry - so let us make it up to you!

We know that some people will be disappointed about the additional delay. We are 100% committed to the best quality product we can make – especially since this is our first DVD set.

And we are truly sorry for the additional delay.

So as our apology to you, please accept the following additional items of our final product:
  1. EVERYONE who already has or will order the DVD set will receive a stylish limited 'Season 1 Paintingbuddha' T-Shirt for free. (supporters box only)
    If you have already ordered the DVD set, we will send you an email asking for your shirt size in the next two weeks.
  2. FREE Season 1 DVD
    in Q4 2013 for all
    existing Pre-Orders.
    Everyone who has already PRE-ORDERED the DVD prior to March 31st will receive a FREE DVD with Stephan Rath's painting of the Season 1 diorama as soon as we can refilm it (expect shipping in Q4 2013). For you, Season 1 will therefore include three top painters: Rafa Garcia „Volomir“ Marin, Ben „White Rabbit“ Komets and Stephan „Derwish“ Rath. (all boxes)

    And finally, as our apology to you, everyone who has already pre-ordered the DVD set will receive a personal letter in about two weeks with a little 'gift' that we are currently producing for you. We are grateful for your support and hope you accept our sincere apology. (all boxes)
We know that extra 'goodies' cannot undo the disappointed some of you must certainly feel.
But we hope that it shows our absolute committment to a great product, high quality and all of that for an incredibly low price.

Let us know what you think
So this is it for the moment – I know it has been a long text, but I wanted to explain the situation to you as detailed as possible. If you have any questions, queries or would just like to blow off some steam, please send me an email to paintingbuddha < at > gmail < dot> com.


Michael Bartels
aka Zaphod Beeblebrox

Wichtiges Paintingbuddha DVD Update (German)

Wichtiges Paintingbuddha DVD Update

In den letzten zwei Wochen war es verdächtig ruhig um uns und die ersten Leute haben schon sich sicherlich schon gefragt, was los ist...

Im Folgenden gibt es also das lang erwartete season 1 DVD update - eine sehr detaillierte Beschreibung des aktuellen Stands.


Our first 'mockup'  product design from our shop
Wir haben unsere 'REVOLUTION' im November begonnen und am 23. December unser erstes 'Produkt' enthüllt: ein Ein Mal-DVD set mit 2 DVDs, zwei Miniaturen (plus Base) und alles in einer schicken Box. 

Unser Ziel war es, euch etwas wahrlich 'revolutionäres' anzubieten - ein Top-Produkt zu einem Top-Preis. 

Viele von euch haben uns 'blind' vertraut und unser Projekt durch Vorbestellungen dieses Sets für den damals geplanten 1. März 2013 unterstützt.

Wir sind euch allen für diese Unterstützung 
zutiefst dankbar!
Es wird euch also freuen, wenn wir euch mitteilen können, das unser Produkt über das seinerzeit 'beworbene' Maß deutlich hinausgewachsen ist (nur der Preis ist gleichgeblieben). Wir wollten euch am 1. April mit der Auslieferung des 'neuen Pakets' überraschen - und das sollte kein Aprilscherz werden...

Wie so oft im Leben, kamen dann zu diesen guten Nachrichten, die schlechten gleich mit dazu...

Das DVD-Upgrade - Teil 1

Schauen wir uns erst mal an, was aus unserem DVD-Set geworden ist:

Inside the collectors box, we protect the miniatures
from damage during transport in this metal jewlery box

  • Anstelle der 2 beworbenen DVDs bekommt ihr 6 informationsgeladene Mal-DVDs
  • Anstelle einfacher Plastik-DVD-Hüllen bekommt ihr ein 6-seitiges, ausfaltbares DVD Collector-Booklet
  • Die Holzbox wurde durch eine stylische, hand-gearbeitete Sammlerbox mit Magnet-verschluss ersetzt. 
  • Die Miniaturen werden zusätzlich zu der Sammlerbox noch einmal in eine schicke, gepolsterte Metall-Schmuckdose verpackt, um vor etwaigen Beschädigungen zu schützen. 
  • Alle anderen 'Goodies' wie Sammler-Buttons, Lose (u.a. könnt ihr 42 Malarmaturen, Workshops und zukünftige Produkte gewinnen) sind natürlich auch weiterhin vorhanden und erweitert worden.  
  • Und alles wird immer noch nur 42€ für die 'Budget Box' ('nur' Minis und Collector's DVD box) bzw. 84€ für die Supporter Box (beinhaltet alles)
Da wir den 1. März als Release Datum nicht einhalten konnten, haben wir sprichwörtlich Tag- und Nacht daran gearbeitet, den 1. April 'zu schaffen'. Alle Lieferanten haben uns die Auslieferung für die letzte März/erste Aprilwoche bestätigt und selbst Murphy's wiederholten Versuche, uns aufzuhalten schienen mit dem Zieldatum April uns nicht aufhalten zu können. 

Das Videomaterial war geschnitten, editiert, mit informativen Grafiken, Menüs und Video Overlays verziert. Alle Hersteller waren auf der Zielgraden. Kurz, wir waren bereit. Bereit auch Anfang April mit dem Produkt zu überraschen. 

So weit, so gut. 

Murphy's schlägt erneut zu

Beispiel für Menüführung, Color Picker und Artist Cam
Und dann wirft uns Murphy einen Stock zwischen die Beine, der es in sich hat.

Nach Rücksprache mit allen Beteiligten Künstlern (Ben, Stephan and Mati), habe ich den letzten Schritt in der Produktionskette – das Pressen der DVDs - sprichwörtlich in der letzten Sekunde stoppen müssen. 

Alles war so viel besser geworden als wir selbst geträumt hatten, so viel cooler. 

Alles - bis auf Teile der DVDs. 

Was war passiert?

Im letzten Schritt des Freigabeprozess der Produktion hatten wir sehr 'gemischte' Gefühle, was einige Teile der 'Release DVD' anging, die wir vor 2 Wochen erhalten haben. Größtenteils sah  alles super aus - so wie es sein sollte. Aber einige (recht wichtige) Kapitel, wie z.B. Detailaufnahmen des Gesichts oder eines kleinen NMM Teils) sahen bestenfalls 'durchschnittlich' aus. Die Umwandlung des Materials von HD auf MPEG-2 DVD der betroffenen Kapitel sah nicht wirklich gut aus.  

Beispiel für Color Picker Overlay und Artist Cam

Also haben wir fieberhaft mit dem Produzenten begonnen, das Problem zu analysieren um eine Lösung zu finden, bevor 1000 DVDs gepresst werden (das ist der Grund, warum es hier so fürchterlich ruhig war in den letzten zwei Wochen). 

Um es kurz zu machen - im Ergebnis verursachte das Format einiger der frühen Aufnahmen aus November und Dezember das Problem bei der Konvertierung.

Und eine 'einfache Lösung' war nicht in Sicht.

Qualität ist alles

Letztendlich bin ich dafür verantwortlich, was wir euch als Produkt rausschicken. Und im Grunde hatte ich zwei mögliche Alternativen: 
  1. Das Produkt 'so wie es ist' Anfang April rausschicken oder
  2. das Problem 'richtig' zu beheben
'so wie es ist': (der 'einfache' Weg)

  • Wir senden alles Anfang April so raus, wie es ist und hoffen, ihr verzeiht uns die Qualitätsprobleme bei einzelnen DVD Kapiteln. Alles andere sieht gut aus, die Box ist prall gefüllt, es ist immer noch ein super Deal - auch wenn die DVDs nicht perfekt sind.
'Problem beheben': (der 'steinige' Weg)
  • Die Lehrvideos und die Miniaturen sind unser Kernprodukt. Eine tolle Verpackung bringt nicht viel, wenn es beim Inhalt Probleme gibt.  
    Wir müssten einiges an Videomaterial nachfilmen, ein paar hundert Stunden Editing-Arbeit wegwerfen um euch im Ergebnis ein Produkt zu liefern, dass den Namen 'revolutionär' auch wirklich verdient. Das wird uns noch mal etwas Zeit und Geld kosten - aber es wird euch ein Produkt garantieren, dass ihr - wie wir denken - verdient.
Wir glauben, dass Qualität über allem steht und wir wollen diese nicht opfern, nur um einen Termin einzuhalten.

Ihr ahnt es schon - wir haben entschieden, dass wir das Problem 'richtig' beheben...

Der neue Release-Plan

In den letzten zwei Wochen haben wir mit allen beteiligten einen belastbaren, neuen Release-Plan erstellt.
  • Das Nachfilmen ist geplant und wird in der 2. Aprilwoche beendet sein.  
  • Editing und Produktion der DVDs wird dann 6-8 Wochen später abgeschlossen sein - alles andere ist dann bereits geliefert.
  • Das DVD Set wird sofort nach Fertigstellung rausgeschickt. 
Eine größere Auswirkung hat dieser neue Plan jedoch. Stephan Rath steht arbeitsbedingt erst im August wieder für Video-Aufnahmen zur Verfügung. 

Also haben wir entschieden, seinen Platz auf DVD 1 mit niemand anderem al Rafa Garcia Marin aka 'Volomir' zu tauschen. Die meisten von euch wissen, dass 'Volo' nicht nur einer der top spanischen Maler, sondern einer der Besten Maler der Welt ist (CMONVolomirs blog).

Volomir war für die Aufnahmen für Season 2 bereits für  April geplant und wird nun kurzerhand die Minis der Season 1 bemalen. Stephan wird dann für eine spätere Season im August wieder bei uns sein. 

Volomir's unglaublich softer Malstil ist auf dem gleichen Niveau wie Stephan's, aber er erreicht diese Qualität auf anderen Wegen. Während Stephan ausschließlich seine 'Sniper'-Pinsel benutzt, benutzt Volomir an Teilen seiner Mini einen Airbrush. Ich bin selber schon ganz gespannt ^^.

Es tut uns leid - lasst es uns 'wieder gut machen'. 

Wir wissen natürlich, dass einige von euch ob der neuen Verzögerung enttäusch sind. Ihr dürft uns aber glauben, dass wir uns zu 100% zu der besten Qualität verpflichtet haben, die wir erstellen können - insbesondere, da dies unser erstes DVD Set ist.

Und uns tut die neuerliche Verzögerung wirklich leid.

Als Entschuldigung und 'kleine Wiedergutmachung' haben wir uns also Folgendes überlegt:
  1. JEDER der schon bestellt hat oder noch bestellt bekommt ein limitiertes 'Season 1 Paintingbuddha' T-Shirt kostenlos 'dazu'. (Supporter Box)
    Wenn ihr bereits eine DVD bestellt habt, bekommt ihr in den nächsten zwei Wochen eine Email von uns, mit der Bitte um eure T-Shirt Größe. 
  2. Kostenlose Season 1
    DVD für alle Vor-
    bestellungen (31.03)
    JEDER, der vor dem 31. März bestellt hat. bekommt im vierten Quartal des Jahres eine kostenlose DVD mit Stephan Rath (Season 1 Diorama) -  Für euch beinhaltet Season 1 demnach Drei Top Maler: Rafa Garcia „Volomir“ Marin, Ben „White Rabbit“ Komets and Stephan „Derwish“ Rath. (Supporter & Budget Box!)

    Und 'last but not least', bekommt jeder, der die DVD bereits vorbestellt hat einen persönlichen Brief von uns mit einem kleinen 'Geschenk', das wir gerade extra für euch produzieren lassen. Wir sind sehr dankbar für Eure Unterstützung und hoffen, dass Ihr unsere Entschuldigung annehmt. (Supporter & Budget Box). Bitte gebt uns hierfür ca. 14 Tage Zeit, da die Produktion noch ein paar Tage dauert.

Wir wissen natürlich, dass ein paar zustätzliche 'Goodies' die Enttäuschung, die einige von euch sicherlich verspüren nicht aufwiegen können.
Aber wir hoffen auch, dass wir euch damit unser absolute Verpflichtung zu einem großartigen Produkt, hoher Qualität und vor allem einem unglaublich günstigen Preis zeigen können. 

Lasst uns wissen, was ihr denkt
Das wäre erst mal die Situation. Ich weiß, es war ein langer Text, aber ich denke, die Situation benötigt eine detailierte Erklärung.

Wenn ihr Fragen oder Anmerkungen habt oder einfach mal Damp ablassen wollt, schreibt mir gerne eine Email an: paintingbuddha < at > gmail < dot> com.

Ich wünsche euch und euren Familien schöne Ostertage!

Michael Bartels
aka Zaphod Beeblebrox

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Master of Imagination 2013 competition

Good morning everybody!

So you all were good miniature painters and painted tons of stuff during the cold winter?
Good! Here is your chance of entering them into an international competition, meet awesome people and see some awesome pieces of work. 

White Tree Miniatures invites all painters, sculptors, miniatures lovers and all those interested in games and wargaming to the fourth edition of the Master of Imagination miniatures painting and sculpting competition. This year we decided to change both the date and the place of the competition. This year’s edition of the MoI will be held in Radom (Poland) in June or July. The exact date and location will be announced at a later date, however, the rules of the contest have already been published.

We will of course keep you posted as to the final date and location of the event - but early notice is always a good thing.

The 2012 edition of MoI took place in Lublin, Poland, on November 24th last year. 

The standard was - as you can see from the winning entry in the Fantasy group - extremely high. 

I have reported from the 'other' Polish event, the Hussar 2012, last year (here the Picasa webalbum). 

It was an awesome event where I was able to meet some of my favorite polish painters - and of course Nakatan from Russia. 

I am sure that MoI would be happy about some international painters as well - so please SHARE this post and their event to all of your nerdy painting friends ;)



Monday, March 18, 2013

A perfect 10...

Good Monday, everybody!

...a perfect 10. 

Now this is a miniature related blog, so I guess there are two things that one could expect with this title. 

Most of you - especially the younger generation - would probably expect a perfectly painted miniature. One that is undisputedly a 10. Great skill, superb base, awesome color choice and no flaws whatsoever. Something we'd all agree on: It's a 10!

Some of you, especially if you are from my generation, secretly hope that I am talking about Bo Derek's 1979 movie "10". I don't recall when this movie was released in Germany, but at some point in the 80s we were 'interested enough' in this genre, that bad VHS copies of that 'comedy romance' with Bo in a bathing suit would be shared among friends that belonged to that kind of 'circle of trust'. How times have changed. 

Sadly, today's blog is not about either of that. Awww. 

Its about a guy called Murphy, who made a LAW that specifically targets miniature painters, who he hates.

Frakk you, Murphy!
Most of you remember the server crash that left our internet server down for almost a full month in January and early February.

Last Friday, something almost devastating happend.

Concerned about the security of our project and media files, we build a RAID 10 system with 8TB. For those of you that don't know what RAID 10 is: Basically you have redundant hard drives (at least 4) that - if one fails, you still can recover. 

In theory, no harm should have come our way. 

Except for the RAID controller going bananas and corrupting ALL data on ALL disks to the point that all disk drives were unsalvagable. 100% data loss, total desaster, end of show, go directly to jail kind of stuff. 

7 hours of trying to recover the RAID disks...
to no avail...
We do daily backups - and the last one was an hour before everything went south :) TAKE THAT MURPHY!

Still it took about 2 days to rebuild the machine.

So, how does this relate to miniature painting? Well, its a warning about Murphy. He strikes when you least expect it.

It reminds me of a story a painter friend of mine (she shall remain nameless) who had just finished a marvellous 70mm Knight of the Crusade on horse. With banner, Heraldry and detailed freehands. Her best work up to that point, hundreds of hours worth...

She wanted to protect her masterpiece with a thin layer of matte varnish. 
The room was dimly lit. She was tired. 
She grabbed the 'Chaos Black' basecoat spray... 

Yes, the image in your head is exactly what happened next...

On a much brighter note

The first prizes have been sent out to the winners of our REVOLUTIONARY 42 giveaway contest. There are still quite a few people who have not claimed their prizes! So make sure you check whether you have won or not.

The rest of the prizes will be sent out either this weekend or next monday.

I hope you all enjoy what the 'Easter Bunny' brings you right in time for the Easter vacation :) Happy painting/playing/reading/listening - depending on what you have won ;) DVD Set update

As we told you, our little project was not ready for shipping on March 1st. We are not very far off target, but we want to make sure that the final shipping date we tell you really IS the shipping date. 

And we are afraid of Murphy.

But we expect that FRIDAY THIS WEEK we 

a) will tell you what the final content of the DVD Set will be (its going to be awesome, we think),
b) will be able to show you some sneak peaks and finally
c) tell you when we will start shipping :)

To all of our supporters - thank you for your patience. We believe the wait will be worth it :)
And we can't wait ourselves... ^^

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Jérémie Bonamant Teboule Workshop in Berlin!

Greetings, my most excellent students of the fine arts!

He is back.

Jérémie just sent me a mail, informing me about his upcoming Workshop in Berlin. 

The workshop will be held at the infamous "Battlefield Berlin" store - and of course I am going to be there ;) 

Jérémie held the first 'professional' workshop for miniature painting in Germany in 2006 - and it  was the first of many workshops to come that I attended. 

The workshop will take place between July 5th and 7th. You will be able to book the workshop on Battle- fields website - right now there is no registration, so you might have to wait a day or two - or just give those guys a call. 

The workshop will cost 100€ and includes a Figone miniature. 

Seats will be limited, so Jack be nimble, Jack be quick! 

I strongly advise bringing loads of cash - because a true nerd will not leave this most buddhalicious store without at least four plastic bags full of nerdy goodness ;) 

I will post more information as soon as it becomes available. 


Monday, March 11, 2013

Happy Birthday, DNA!

Happy Birthday, Douglas Noel Adams (DNA)!

Douglas Noel Adams (wikipedia)
Today would have been Douglas Adams' 61st birthday. Born on March 11th 1952 he unfortunately passed away way too soon - at age 49 - on May 11th, 2001 in Santa Barbara, California.

Ever since, his life is celebrated by nerds and fans like myself on May 25th - with the annual 'Towel Day', as a tribute to his life. 

Of course, he is most famous for his 'trilogy' "The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy', his Dirk Gently series,  "The long dark tea-time of the soul" or his involvement with the Doctor Who series or with Monty Python.

What many do not know is that he was also a great conversationalist, speaker and environmentalist on behalf of endangered species. The lemurs of Madagascar, mountain gorillas, black rhinos or Yangtze River Dolphins (which he 'hunted' with a condom covered make-shift underwater microphone) are just a few to mention. His friend, Biologist Richard Dawkins, said that "Science has lost a friend, literature has lost a luminary, the mountan gorilla and the black rhino have lost a gallant defender" upon Adams' passing. 

Douglas Adams is probably the biggest influence in my life. Throughout my life - from teenager to 'professional' business monkey, wearing analog watches, I felt a deep connection with the way Douglas' mind works. and are 'brands' of my company (which most don't know is called Manabu (japanese for 'learning'). Not only did I dedicate my company to Douglas Adams, but the company's interior workings, its goals could pretty well be straight out of the HHGTTG universe. 

Since I can remember - and well before the time of HTML 0.x, when the internet was still white text on black (or amber or green for those of you who can remember) - I am known on the internet as 'Zaphod Beeblebrox', with email address and all. This probably constitutes the fact that I am slightly more crazy than the average crazy person. 

It is actually quite earie to see how many similarities and intersections seem to connect my life to his. For once, of course, we both liked tea. I just recently found that his favorite song was the same as mine: "Wish you were here" from Pink Floyd. On Douglas' 42nd birthday, no other than Pink Floyd invited him to perform with them at a concert at Earls Court in London where he played the lead guitar for "Brain Damage" and "Eclipse". He also picked the name for the album "The Division Bell" - the collectors edition of which I 'coincidentally' gave away during our crazy 42 giveaways. 

It is no coincidence (as I - among other things - don't believe in coincidences) that I re-started my life and started our 'nerdy miniature company' at the age of 42. This was something I had planned since I was 28. A dream 14 years in the making (which coincidentally is 1/3 of 42).

Can you see the answer?
For many years I have jokingly contemplated what the Question to the Ultimate Answer about Life, the Universe and EVERYTHING could possibly be. Well, we all knew The Answer is 42. 

It seems, that I just accidentally happened to stumble upon The Question, baby!

This was as surprising to me as to someone who finds himself floating in mid air as he forgets to hit the ground while falling. Belgium, man!

Thank you Douglas - For Life, the Universe and Everything! 

Wish you were here.


I just realized, this is my 242nd post on the blog. Thank you Douglas for NO COINCIDENCES! :) 

Friday, March 8, 2013

Laughing = Awake = Motivation


I have done something that I have not done in like 20 years. 

Yesterday, after a combined 4 hours of sleep in two days I went to bed BEFORE 10pm... This is an outrage!

And as I got up this morning, I did not feel particularly awake nor motivated to do anything but hop straight back into bed. 

And then a friend added me on FB and posted this. 

It made me laugh. That woke me up. And now I am motivated :D

Have a great day everybody - wherever you are, whatever you do!

I sent this message to my dislexic friend - he didn't get it: A dislexic guy walks into a bra. :D

Now, everyone, leave a joke in the comments. Just for shits and giggles ^^

Thursday, March 7, 2013

Painting Competitions

Good morning, my spring-inspired, defrosting friends!

The winter comes to an end - I declared the season open by celebrating my first 'topless' cruise in my convertible :D Just a quick trip to a local hobby store, but hey - I soaked in all the sunlight I could get ;) 

During the winter time many of us have painted miniatures. They are all finished, you are more-or-less happy about it... Now what? 

Why not enter them in one of the many ongoing online miniature painting competitions? 

I will start the list with two that I can remember from the top of my old head. Early in the morning. With only 2 hours of sleep. Oh - and no coffee yet :D

If you know about more online comps, let me know in the comments - I will add them to the list! 

1. Golden Vinci 2013

Win some awesome trophies with this awesome online contest.
Due date: April 14th
(english rules, german rules)

2. Smart Max's Winter Painting Contest

Win Smart Max minis of your choice!
Due date: March 20th
(FB Event / Rules)

3. WAMP's Wyrd Painting Contest

Deadline: March 24th
(Wamp forum thread)

4. Studio McVey painting competition
Due Date: April 23rd (April 30th for Wamp supporters)
(Wamp thread)

And remember, if you want want to win something just by clicking your mouse, subscribe to this blog (50+ giveaways in the last, uhm.... 8 months? woops!) OR hop over to Wamp's PORTAL Facebook Page, Like them and win a free Army Painter set! We got them 24 new likes. This clearly is a mistake and was meant to be 42 likes! So head over there! 

And if you don't know which real-life event you want to attend with all the Games Days cancelled - or if you prefer CASH prizes over trophies - STAY TUNED. 

Spring Angel 2013 - Moscow. June. AWESOMENESS. 
Read all about it on - soon(tm).

Oh. And yes - we will be going - and reporting from this event, too!

Subscribe to this blog or our Facebook Page and you won't miss this event ;)

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

ReWAMPed - Portal 30 available

Greetings, my most excellent enthusiasts! 

Brett Johnson, founder of WAMP and the freely downloadable online magazine 'Portal' has just informed me about the successful relaunch of the Portal magazine. The fully loaded Issue #30 is available! And of course, all previous issues are available for download as well. Did I mention FREE? :D

Issue 30 comes with tons of hoopy articles: 

- Guide To Contrast Tutorial
- Kabuki,Reaper and Studio 38 Reviews
- The Wamp Awards 2012 Results
- Army Painter give-away
- Studio McVey Contest Details
- Red Box Games winners
- News,new releases,and gallery
- Mini Radar and Socialise
- Romance inspired minis
- Random Musings
- Interview with Alex Huntley (Warploque)

But the good news does not stop here. If you hop over to the Portal FB Page, you can enter to win an Army Painter MEGA PAINT SET. Colors, Brushes, shiny box... They got it all! 

Right now the portal FB page has 420 likes. 420! That's like 10x42! This is NO coincidence! Who do you think was 'liker' number 420? You guessed it right ;) BAZINGA! Presman style.

So, hop over there, like, Share & Enjoy! 

Portal will be released on a monthly basis and issue #31 will be available on April 16th. 

Oh, and while you are feeling all happy about liking and sharing stuff... Why not hop over to our own FB Page and like it too! Makes you all warm and fuzzy and tingly inside :D


Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Nerdcamp 1337 - AMV modelling

Good morning my most excellent painters!

What a week! For the last 8 days I had between 1 and 6 people at my place with some serious hard-core nerdcamping going on. It was a lot of fun, but for a man of biblical age and beard like myself very exhausting :D

No flu, no cold, no late pizza delivery could stop us! Well, I myself have not painted anything as I was busy working on our final touch-ups on the Paintingbuddha Season 1 DVD. And it was well worth it. 

Like the incredible Hulk, my friend Martin "Farbfanatiker" turned into the incredible brush-berserker. Wielding every how-to-paint-AFVs book and video ever created (they are all part of my extensive library), he manged to not only paint one, but two tanks in the course of this week. 

Martin and I have decided that 2013 will be the year we turn into vehicle-painting-pros. I always loved the realism found on historic tanks and already dabbled in applying some of these techniques in the past. Over the years I have collected dozens of magazines, books and DVDs. As always, I almost nearly painted one complete tank :D

Among the best books out there are Mig Jimenez' F.A.Q. books. The first edition is very hard to come by as it was sold out very quickly. The second edition is still available in stores. 

The main difference is that the first F.A.Q. is not specific to any particular brand when it comes to paints and such, F.A.Q. 2 is basically an advertizing book for AK International products. 

Now there is nothing wrong with this, as all of the AK products are explicitely tailored to make vehicle painting and weathering as easy as humanly possible. Whether you need to buy a bottle of 'AK filter' or mix it yourself with oil and thinner is up to you, of course. They do have some nifty little helpers - and Martin has ordered some of them for his next projects. Subscribe to his blog to read more about it ;) *hint hint*

Are you interested in painting models and weathering at all? Would you be interested in a comprehensive review of some / all of the materials I own? 

If so, leave a comment below ;) 

And here Martin's video of the two tanks he finished last week. All kinds of techniques were tested here, both are with acrylics and oils. Video shot by yours truly ;) 

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