Thursday, 3 August 2017

CXXXIII. Agram Arena Summer 2017, Zagreb

The blog had a month-long hiatus, but now I'm back with reports of what occurred in the meantime.

Black Queen 

Hobby and Miniature Painting Competition

UMS "Agram"'s annual painting comp was held during the second weekend of the Arena, parallel with a Warhammer 40k tournament. I bring some new work to the contest every year. This time I managed to take home five medals and a bag of prizes kindly provided by the event's sponsors.

My entries that placed in the comp - the Tor Megiddo technobarbarians, the stag beetle duel, Space Marine Terminator Librarian (painted as a birthday gift for my brother) and the Moss Monster (not in the picture). And these are most of the prizes that came with my medals. Looks like I'll be painting some busts in the future.

Space Marine Librarian. I haven't shown him here before. A nice figure, even though I don't find Space Marines particularly attractive.

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AAS'17 Malifaux tournament

The third and final weekend if the Agram Arena Summer event we had a Malifaux tournament. I was happy that I managed to finish my entire Swampfiends crew in time for the tourney, complete with its display base and markers and tokens. The updates on that are included further below.

Along with the local players, this year we received participants from Austria and Poland, who came for the first time, and a party from Bulgaria that has been visiting the Arena for three years now. The tourney consists of six games played over two days, and traditionally begins with a pre-tournament get-together in a pub the evening before. The weather that weekend was not too great - I am not fond of summer heat, but we all pulled through successfully. The Austrians dominated the tourney, taking the first five places. I was in the lower middle of the chart, but my Swampfiends took home the Best Painted Crew award. They had tough competition to beat.

A pleasant Arena once more, had a good time.  

Above photos courtesy of UMS "Agram".
If you're interested in a more extensive report of the tourney, written from the perspective of our Polish guest, you can find it on his blog here: What The Faux

I played a few friendly games in the comfort of my own home, too. Pictured here: Zoraida's Swampfiends versus Rasputina's blue popsicles. The amount of forest scenery I put on the table worked too much in my favour. I need to add more variety in terms of terrain types when hosting games of regular Malifaux.


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Before the Arena I needed to come up with Scheme markers and Tree markers for my Swampfiends. Originally I intended these to be hand-painted, but my deadline was approaching and I was running out of time. Rather than rushing the painting, I came up with a quicker and easier solution that still looks good.

30mm Scheme Markers.
50mm Tree Markers. These are placed by the Waldgeists' Germinate action. If there is more than one Waldgeist in play it is important to keep track which pair of trees belongs to which Waldgeist. This is why I marked them with their faces and numbers, which match the ones on their respective stat cards.
The markers were made out of the figures' packaging. I cut out the parts of the boxes that had artwork on them and glued the cut-outs on MDF bases. I distressed the edges to cover up the imperfections of my cut. Hoarding those boxes has finally payed off...
The final set of models I was missing were the Gupp swarms. The official Gupps are rather cute, but too cartoony for my version of this crew. Once more I turn to the Hobbit goblin kit for bodies. The fish heads are copies of the fish familliar's head from WHQ Silver Tower. The number of heads poking out of the water indicates whether it is swarm 1, 2 or 3.

The display base I made is rather basic; not impressive in itself. But it does serve its twofold purpose well. It enhances the crew's presentation by framing it, and during a tournament I can use it as a tray to carry my models to the next table. Since it is flat it was not difficult to transport the base itself to and from the tourney. 
The base is actually a picture frame. I used MDF base extensions as slots for the minis' bases. This didn't work perfectly because MDF expanded slightly due to moisture from clay, glue and painting. The tight fitting bases no longer fit, so they needed filing down. I don't think my next display base will have slots at all. I had the display base in mind long before, so in advance I dressed the minis' bases according to their planned position on the display.

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The weekend after the tournament I went to see Trakošćan - a castle in northern Croatia. I had been there at least twice before, but that was 15+ years ago, so it seemed it was time to revisit the place. It left a lasting impression on me as a child; I was curious how I would perceive it now.

The castle stands atop a small hill, and the estate that surrounds it includes a park, a forest and a lake. It dates back to 13th century, when it was a small fortress. It was later upgraded with towers and improved defences, to sustain the fire of Turkish guns. Once it lost its strategic significance, Trakošćan was converted into a residence. For a long period of its existence the castle was in possession of the Drašković family. The name of the castle is thought to be a warped combination of Latin "draco" and German "Stein", which would translate to Dragonstone. Nowadays it is open to the public as a museum. 

It was not much different than I remembered it. There are plenty of rooms to explore, filled with furniture, paintings, arms and armour, trophies and other useful reference material for Castle Wayvode. However, photography is prohibited...   

Since I was not allowed to photograph the rooms, I was hoping to be able to buy a monograph about the castle or a catalogue of the museum exhibits, but I found no such thing at the site. I'll have to search elsewhere, it seems. The museum's website is nice enough, though. The EXHIBITION section gives a few lines about each of the rooms, and one can even take a 360 virtual tour.

I did take a couple photos in the courtyard.

Stone wall reference.
Rock reference.


  1. Nice to know about you again! And congratulations for the medals. You deserve them all!

  2. Congrats on the medals. Well deserved.

  3. Well earned on all your prizes! I wish I had even half of your prolific creativity! <3

  4. Congratulations on your (well deserved) awards!

    I quite like that swampy display base.

  5. Congratulations on your awards! You deserve them all!

  6. Very nicely done Ana. I would have been surprised if your minis weren't awarded for the quality of work you put into them.

  7. Congratulations! A well-deserved win, I think!

    Is there any chance of seeing a bigger picture of the Librarian, please?

  8. I hope there will be many more trophies to recognize your creativity and hard work. Congratulations!

  9. Thank you very much, everyone! Toby, I added a photo of the Librarian to the post.

    1. Thank you! He's really good. The colour scheme works really well with the base. The patterning on the base is great too.