What is Smashbash?
Anyone familiar with the AoS28/Inq28 scene on Instagram has probably encountered Smashbash in one way or another. For those uninitiated, Smashbash is an on-line miniature kitbashing contest hosted by the incredibly prolific kitbasher @totally_not_panicking on Instagram. It just wrapped up it’s second year.
This year’s Smashbash featured expanded categories and unique prizes. Categories were napoleon complex, middle children, titanic terrors, and apprentices. These covered small, medium, and large entries as well as a category for those who are just getting their toes wet with this kind of thing. Trophies for the winners were made by the sculptor Hanes Rhodin (@hannesrhodin on Instagram). Prizes included MDF terrain by Brutal Cities, unique conversions by Chris Jingles and miniatures by free-lance sculptor Lux Thantor. As an added bonus Ana Polanšćak (of Gardens of Hecate fame) sculpted some awesome miniatures for the event available in the Smashbash shop.
My Bash Journey
The urge to turn a pile of broken toys into some kind of twisted abomination has always been strong with me. My submission this year was started two weeks before the entry deadline, so it became a sprint to get something done on time.
The bulk of bits I used came from a broken Astra Militarum Sentinel missing the top of the cockpit and most of its feet, and a broken Soulblight Dread Abyssal, missing its front arms. Inspiration for the build direction came from the Dread Abyssal’s torso, it reminded me a little of shape of a Chaos Wardog when the rib cage was turned on its back with the bottom open forewords. This was about the time that Games Workshop was previewing the new Wardogs, and I thought turning this think into a Daemonic Wardog Stalker would be cool. Throw in some leftover bonereaper Gothizzar Harvester bits, and whatever other random stuff from my bits box and we’re in business.
Overall I like the way it came together. My favorite part is the heavy stubber gunner fused into the top of the machine. This was the first time used jewelry chain, and I think it could use more. The single strands hanging down look a little too delicate against the chunky figure. More of them hanging and also looping back up would add some visual interest.
Here are this year’s winners along with judges comments. Judging this year was done by @totally_not_panicking, @gardensofhecate, and @nickygrillet. Some of these entries aren’t done justice with one picture alone, so I’ve linked their names to their respective galleries on the smashbash site.
“Wonderful color palette, which comes off like a watercolor. Sumptuous. Feels almost like an old golden demon entry from a bygone era. Many interesting things to look at, subtle nods to other great kitbashes (and kitbashers), plenty of detail without being overly busy. Has a strong narrative focus. Wonderful work.”
“Super clever use of bits and flow of the model. Love the bloodshot eyeball, and the grime & slime are ace. Great color and textures overall. The muted model inside lends an air of mystery and it feels like you’d have to wash your hands after picking it up. Yuck. Amazing work.”
“The presentation with scenic elements and backdrop elevates the work’s impact. Subtle, with good story, restrained but interesting. The character feels like coming out straight of the old books’ art works, and the backdrop gives it a nice atmosphere. A great Vignette that conveys scale in a clever way.”
“Excellently done putty work on this. Harmonious paint job, with combination of blue and orange/brown. Metallics also look beautiful. Asks a lot of questions of you. Striking. Beautiful.”
“Exquisite painting. Awesome textures, slime and hair. Strong thrust which invites you to keep searching for details. A well worn concept, excellently delivered – peak cronendark. Aspirational.”
“What stormcast should have been all along. Fascinating conversations and paintings. Nice nods to older work while still being unique in its own right. Moody, characterful, loose and wonderful.”
“Immense attention to detail in this build. The model represents civilian life in a dark future, which adds to its relatability. An amazing piece and lesson of storytelling and texture mastery! Admirable! You can feel the heat and smell the filth.”
“Imposing in its sheer size, and rich with small stories going on in its many nooks and crannies. So much happening, and it feels like there are a lot of hidden gems around each corner of the build, just out of sight. The kind of thing I think we’d all love to see in person and turn around for an hour, brilliant!”
“Pleasant color choices, and skillful modeling and paint job. Industrial and renaissance themes are well blended together! The dynamism of composition is enhanced by the variation in elevation of natural terrain, and basing materials. An inviting scene, that plays out long after you stop looking.”
“One mini rescued from one piece of garbage, skillfully constructed, painted and executed. Wonderful flow and composition with nods to the original form. Playful, fun, grimdark. Excellent work.”
“The painting is super clean and everythings reads well. The hood is crude and contrasts wonderfully with the rest of the mini.The bright whimsy and attention to detail really set this piece apart.”
“Steve’s small diorama style base really works to sell a scene. The characters are distinct and interesting, detail is highlighted well with tone and it has a wonderful forward thrust to it that leaves you wondering where it’s going to go.”
Final Thoughts from @totally_not_panicking
“This years smashbash was excellent! The minis, judges, and community,are a true delight through and through. What I get excited about is supporting the people out there who are trying to find a place for their creativity. Smashbash is an opportunity for people to try something new and not be so constrained by the rules the mega corporation puts in place around creativity.
This year, we had categories for small, medium, and large creations. We also had a place for first timers. Next year, I’d expect something similar, but I might add in a theme of some sort – maybe in it’s own category? It’s always a bit up in the air until it comes together, usually a few weeks before I start. The most important thing is that Smashbash stays DIY and accessible. If there’s something you think this endeavor would benefit from, drop me a message on instagram.
I just want to give a big thank you to everyone that participated, judged, made art, donated prizes or sculpted them. Thank you. And to all the people who entered – seeing it all come together is a delight. Tell your friends and have them enter next year. Keep it weird out there. Nazi punks fuck off.”
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