So, here's some of the potential competition pieces I'm going to work on.
Picking the piece to work on is an important first step. You want a good sculpt that's interesting and going to be appealing to the judges - which means 'good' is subjective, to a certain extent. You want one that was cast as well; if nothing else, it'll save you time not having to do a ton of clean-up on it. You want something that's going to work well with whatever techniques you plan to use, and plays to your strengths as a painter.
For me, I have practical considerations to keep in mind as well. Anything I take to ReaperCon will either be shipped there or flown there in luggage, so it has to be sturdy enough to survive packing and shipping. It has to be something I'm going to stay interested in painting for as long as it'll take me to finish it. And, since I'm pulling a lot of stuff from my box of pre-primed figures, it would be nice if it had a minimum of primer problems and/or things I overlooked when cleaning it up the first time.
So, let's take a look at the elf lady from last time:
I've painted over the green stuff patch under her arm, and solidified the base coat. But she has some issues. First of all, she's got Fuzzy Primer Syndrome. I've gone over the figure with brush-on sealer to try to smooth that out. It's helped some, but there's still texture there. Also, there are a couple casting issues. There's a few pits; a couple on the back of her left leg, one above her left knee. You can see that one in the front view. There's also a mold line on her left knee that isn't visible in the pictures. It's small, so it may not show...but it might. As far as pacakbility goes, she's got that skinny staff, but it's attached to the rest of the figure in two places, so I think when packed carefully it'll be OK. As a plus, she doesn't have any glued-on parts, so she won't have that instability, at least.
So, all told, she may not be my best choice. But I'm going to keep going for a while, mostly because I really like this mini, and see how it goes.
Next, a Reaper mini. This is for the little diorama I plan to make with the practice dummy (more on that later).
No fuzzy primer - it's brush-on. But she does have that arm and sword sticking out, and another arm that gets glued on. Still, the arms are pretty solid, so I think it'll be OK in transit. I also have shipped another instance of this figure successfully, so I have some confidence it'll work.
This thief is a fallback if the elf lady doesn't work out. Again, it's brush on primer, so it's not fuzzy. There might be a couple mold lines I have to worry about, but they don't show in the pictures. I like her, but I don't think she's quite as interesting a figure as the elf.
And finally, the practice dummy. I thought I was done. Turns out there's a pretty significant flaw in the last one I made. Here's the picture again...can you spot it?
There's no gathers in the cloth around where the tie is. So, it looks a little funny. I'll have to make another.