Crystal Dragon

Cancon 2016

Crystal Dragon Rules


The format for the Crystal Dragon Painting Competition is referred to as the “Open System”. Increasing in popularity, the Open System is very common among the Historical Painting Community and is a more objective competition that inspires competition with oneself instead of competing against the other entrants in the contest.

Instead of there being three ranked awards per category (in the form of First, Second and Third Place) there are three standards of painting the judges will be basing their decisions on: Gold, Silver and Bronze. There is no limit to the number of awards that can be given out. If out of 25 entries in a category, 15 are of a Gold Standard then they will all be awarded with Gold Cards. Same for Silver Cards and Bronze Cards.

We have decided on this format to encourage painters to constantly improve their level of painting, their creativity and to foster a more cooperative and less competitive painting community.


Medal Certificates
Anyone awarded a Bronze, Silver or Gold will be awarded a business card sized certificate with a wax seal of the corresponding medal color and hand written date. These are easy to store for travel as well as display nicely with your miniature in your case at home.


There are three top prizes in the competition in addition to the Medal Certificates in the form of Crystal Trophies. In addition to the crystal trophies each winner will also get a prize pack from our sponsors:

Judges’ Choice Award: This is the best entry in the competition in the judge’s opinions. This is based on composition, presentation and technical execution.

Peoples’ Choice Award: Everyone who enters the competition is given a voting ballot. Everyone must vote for the entry they like the best in the cabinet by 8pm on Sunday. The entry with the most votes wins this award. This is a great way for peers to judge each other and vote for something they think is cool rather than being all about technical execution.

Hatchling’s Best in Show: The best entry out of the Hatchling’s Category as decided by the Judges.

The Golden Space Marine: This is a sub-category award for the person who comes up with the best use for a Space Marine. Meg doesn’t care for Space Marines over much but realizes a lot of people love them. And it’s actually become a bit of a joke with her and people who follow her on Facebook and Twitter. So she decided to give a Golden Space Marine (literally, a golden painted Space Marine as a trophy) to the person who comes up with the best use (read humours, funny, side splittingly hilarious akin to Mark Soley’s Demonette in a Bath Tub that won a Golden Demon at Games Day) of a Space Marine. This is not a separate category but instead a sub category award. That means you can enter your piece in Single Figure, Large Figure, Hatchling’s, Diorama, or Army as long as it follows the guidelines for those categories. This winner will receive a Golden Space Marine trophy and a prize pack from our sponsors.

The Judges

There will be a Committee of Judges made up of Meg Maples, Mark Soley and one Special Guest Judge. Meg and Mark will invite a different person every year to participate as the Special Guest Judge. It will be someone who has demonstrated themselves to be a high caliber painter. Meg and Mark are the organizers for the painting competition and hope to provide an event that will encourage painters from all Australian States and New Zealand to participate. Their aim is tomake the CanCon Painting Competition the largest painting competition in Australia with the best turn out of talent. They want to encourage painters of all levels to compete and inspire them to improve each year.

Meg Maples

I am a former Privateer Press Staff Painter and owner/artist at Arcane Paintworks. I have traveledall over the world teaching 2 day intensive workshops and I paint for private collectors such as Dave Gross of Pathfinder Tales fame and George R. R. Martin, creator and author of The Song of Ice and Fire novel series and HBO’s Game of Thrones television series. I have won over 20 awards since 2007 and am best known for my 2014 Golden Crystal Brush for Knight Model’s 70mm Magneto.

Mark Soley

I paint miniatures as a hobby but I have been interested in constantly growing and pushing myself as a painter for the last few years. I won the last Australian Slayer Sword at Games Day in 2012 and have competed in several competitions including some abroad. I have taught classes around Australia and hope to continue to teach at conventions such as CanCon and Adepticon.

Sebastian Archer

I have been working professionally in the creative miniature industry as a freelancer since 2006, and as a full-time figurines’ sculptor since 2010. As well as founding and sculpting the entire Guild of Harmony miniature range, I have sculpted miniatures for clients such as Knight Models, Privateer Press, ‘Arena Rex’ by Red Republic Games, ‘Sedition Wars’ by Studio McVey, Mannikin Studios, Morland Studios, and the limited edition convention miniatures for Auscon 2011 plus the Sandgroper Cup 6 and 7.Among other achievements, I have won multiple Golden Demon awards both in Australia and the UK including 9 gold trophies and two best in show ‘slayer swords’ in 2005 and 2009, gold medals in the prestigious ‘master painting’ category at World Expo 2008 and again at World Expo 2011, two consecutive ‘best in show’ awards (2008 and 2009) in the international online Chick Challenge contest, two gold medals and the ‘best in show’ at the Auscon 2011 ‘Wizards of Oz’ competition, and two gold trophies (2012 and 2014) plus 3rd place overall at the 2012Crystal Brush competition held at Adepticon in Chicago. I have also been involved in the judging of multiple painting contests, and I was an international guest judge at the World Expo 2011 and Monte San Savino 2011 international miniature shows. I have also run painting and sculpting classes a the World Expo, Adepticon and Auscon events. I am currently very excited to be working as the creative director and in-house sculptor for Twisted, a new steampunk miniatures game project based in Australia.


There are different categories for people to enter and we hope the categories encourage painters of all levels to enter and try their hand at taking home an award for their efforts.

Single Figure

This category is for any figure that is smaller than 54mm in size. This includes fantasy, sci-fi, steampunk, and historical figures from any manufacturer. An example of this would be a single figure on a base. The base can be and should be scenic and easy for the judges to handle without touching the miniature itself.

Large Figure

This category is for any single figure that is 54mm or larger and includes busts. This includes fantasy, sci-fi, steampunk, and historical figures from any manufacturer. Single Vehicles, Large Robots, Colossals, Gargantuans, Gundam models and other large single figures are accepted into this category.


This category is for any diorama which is judged by story telling. The entry must have two or more models present in the piece but the most important aspect of this category is the story. Manned vehicles, Battle Engines or any other entry that has two or more miniatures are included in this category.


This category is for any army entry that is a playable force for the system it is from. The miniatures must be on game playable bases but can be displayed on a scenic tray that is painted to match the base work in the army. The armies will still be judged to the same level as the rest of the competition. Make sure to bring forward your best painted force!


This category is for young painters aged 13 & Under to compete. They can enter any miniature in this category-single 28mm, large figure, mounted, squads and armies. The only stipulation is the entrant must be 13 years of age or younger. They will be eligible to win the Best in Show andJudge’s Choice Awards.


1. There is a $5 submission fee per entry. This means you can bring us your pesky pocket change! Submission deadline is Sunday January 25th at 12:00pm.

2. Entries from previous competitions or work for miniatures manufacturers are not allowedfor submission to CanCon Open 2016. All entries must be original works by the artist for the purpose of competing in the CanCon Open Painting Contest.

3. All entries must be submitted by the artist who created them in person by the posted deadline. Only one artist can have worked on the entry, no team entries are allowed. Anyone to be found in violation of this rule will be permanently banned from participating in future CanCon and WinterCon painting competitions.

4. There is no limit on the number of submissions per artist in each category, however, only one entry from that artist will be judged and awarded per category.

5. No mail in entries are allowed or will be accepted. If you would like to participate in the painting competition you must be present at CanCon in order to compete. We have decided against mail in entries because we want to foster a more cooperative and tighter knit community in Australia. We want artists communicating in person, learning from each other and working together. Allowing mail in entries undermines this effort.

6. We ask that you keep the height and overall size of your display base to a reasonable size.We do not want to proscribe any size limitations in order to encourage the creativity of each artist and give them a lot of room to realize their vision. However, this doesn’t mean that we want to see huge bases with one tiny mini on it. Use the freedom for basing you have wisely. We expect to see some incredible bases and will consider basing to be as important as the painting and preparation of the figure it is framing.

7. By entering the CanCon 2016 Painting Competition you agree to let CGS and the Competition organizers to photograph your entries for use in galleries, ads and promotional items.

8. You will be responsible for picking up your entry by 3:00pm on Monday, January 25th 2016. Anyone who does not pick up their entries by this deadline will forfeit ownership of the entry and the convention will decided what to do with the abandoned entries prior to packing up.

9. Judges decisions are final and not subject to change. Entrants may ask the judges panel for feedback on their entry and receive a constructive critique. Arguing with the judges about a decision will not be tolerated. Anyone who decides to do so will be banned from future painting competitions.

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