Painting Contest

The CaptainCon painting competition is open to all entries regardless of manufacturer or game system so long as they meet the entry criteria for the category they’re submitted into.  We intend to showcase the best artistry of the tabletop gaming hobby and the artists that create it at CaptainCon.  

Basic Rules:

  • All entries must have been painted by the person entering the piece(s) in the competition and not by a third party.  
  • Entries may not have placed at “honorable mention” or above in any previous publicized contest nor published in any commercial media.  Commercial media is defined as retail box art, game book artwork, gallery or store images on a game company or retailer website, or in a magazine or trade publication.  You CAN submit entries that were painted on Twitch stream, FB Live video, YouTube, posted on your own website, or similar regardless of if you derive revenue from that or not.
  • Complete re-paints of models from pre-painted lines are acceptable, we’ll take your super-detailed X-Wing entries so long as you painted them.
  • You may only submit one entry per category but you may enter all categories if you wish and are able.
  • Entrants agree to provide all entries, at their own risk, to CaptainCon for the duration of the competition for the purpose of display, photography, and judging. Entrants understand and agree that their entries will be handled by the judges and CaptainCon staff.  Though we will be very careful in moving and handling entries, CaptainCon accepts no responsibility for damage to, or loss of, entries during the competition.
  • Entrants agree to have their entries photographed, videoed, or otherwise recorded by CaptainCon. Such recordings shall be the property of New England Privateers LLC and CaptainCon  and shall be used in whatever manner we see fit without further reference or payment to the entrant.
  • All rules subject to last-minute changes if we hit conditions beyond our control, but we’re pretty sure that won’t happen.


  • All entries must be submitted in person at the CaptainCon registration desk between 1pm and 6pm on Friday or between 11am and 4pm Saturday.
  • Entries are limited to the capacity of our display case – once we’re out of room, we’ll take no more entries.  
  • Entrants are responsible for the transportation of entries to/from the competition. No storage space for transportation materials will be provided.
  • Judging and photography will take place Saturday after 5pm with winners announced as soon after that as judging allows based on volume of entries.
  • All entries will remain in the case until pickup on Sunday morning, so plan your schedule accordingly – don’t enter a model you’re counting on for that tournament or RPG session on Saturday afternoon.
  • Entries must be picked up by contestants between 10am and 4pm on Sunday.  Please make sure you have a photo ID with you when dropping off and picking up your entry.
  • Any entries left unclaimed after 5pm on Sunday evening will be considered abandoned and become the property of CaptainCon/New England Privateers LLC to be used as prize support or in any other way we see fit. We are not responsible for storing or shipping entries that are not picked up.  Please don’t put us in that position.


Single Figure.  A single model (a mounted rider is permitted in his category too) 40mm scale or smaller no taller than 75mm on a base up to 50mm across.

Bust/Large Figure. A single model of the head and shoulders/upper torso of a person/character/monster or a single figure in larger than 40mm scale no taller than 300mm

Monster/Vehicle.  A single model of any scale on a base of 300mm diameter or smaller (freestanding models without a base are OK too) and no taller than 300mm.  This category includes vehicles/large mounts with riders as well as single vehicles/monsters without a base.

Diorama or Scene.  Two or more models of any scale affixed to a base up to 300mm across and up to a maximum height of 300mm.  Entries must be a single piece or mounted in such a way that it can be moved as a single piece.  The piece should ‘tell a story’ as it will be judged on narrative quality as well as artistic and technical skill.

Unit or Group.   Between 3 and 10 models of any scale mounted separately and submitted on a movement tray or display base.  The base is not considered in the judging. Excessively large trays may be refused entry.

Chibi Style.   Chibi or related disproportionate style models may be entered in any of the above categories.  Such entries will be eligible for this award in addition to the category for which they were submitted.  This is a single award across all of the above categories.

Young Blood.  Young artists (age 14 and under) may enter any of the five main categories (single, bust, monster, diorama, unit) as normal and compete.  This is a separate award in addition to those categories to recognize the best young artist from across the others.

Judging and Prizes:

  • All entries will be reviewed by the judges with no names attached.
  • The judges, as a group, will make a “first cut” for each category narrowing it down to a group of entries with the potential to win or place.
  • All entries that make the first cut will be photographed and then reviewed and scored by each judge individually on a scale of 1 to 10 on Technical Quality and Artistic Quality. Diorama entries will also be evaluated on their Narrative Quality.  Each criteria will be given equal weight.
  • Total scores (across all judges) will determine model placing in each of the categories. Ties will be broken by discussion of the judging panel.
  • Judging criteria are:

Technical Skill:  This includes all skills used in constructing, painting, basing, and finishing the entry such as model preparation (removing mold lines and flash, visible glue, gaps, grainy primer), conversion work (does it blend with the model), painting (consistency of style, smooth paint, etc.), and presentation work such as basing.

Artistic Quality: This criteria  encompasses the aesthetic and creative decisions made in the entry including color palette, blending, contrast, shading, focal point and color choice to draw the eye, sense of unity and cohesion, and the general “harmonious” and “expressive” feel of the piece.

Narrative Quality:  This criteria is only for the Diorama or Scene group.  The narrative element and composition of the piece will be judged.  Does it tell a story?  Does it lead the viewer’s eye from element to element? Do all the figures in the piece interact with one another. Can the viewer visualize what will happen next in the scene?

With apologies to our 3rd place Unit and 2nd place Monster/Vehicle winners that were picked up before photography could take place, here are the 2020 winners for your viewing enjoyment.


Comments are closed.