MFCA

I’m back from MFCA in Philadelphia. I earned two bronze medals for my pieces.

Considering the quality of the entries, I was pleased with the result.

My favorite work on display was Matt DiPietro‘s bust of Conan, painted in a Frazetta style. I got to talk to Matt for about an hour. He is a great person. We talked about techniques, his business as a full-time painter, and his experiences getting to where he is now.

Many of the historical pieces were mind blowing. The techniques and stylistic norms are quite different from what I’m used to, but those old heads do know how to paint!

This incredible scratchbuilt masterpiece was voted a deserving best in show.

I got to meet many great folks, and spent an enjoyable day in the company of painters eager to share our love of mini painting. I’m hoping I get back to the show next year.

Four-Banger!

I stumbled across a flyer yesterday and today I visited Tricon, a show put on by the local chapter of IPMS. The people were great and I made some new friends.

Though most of the show was dedicated to ordinance, cars, airplanes, ships, and larger scale models & busts, my 28mm offerings did very well, earning four gold medals in an open judging competition.

I had a great time and look forward to visiting again next year. I’ll try to bring a few friends to increase the visibility of 28mm models, and also prepare some pieces that jive more with the overall settings of the show.

Woohoo!

Gang Green

I’ve finished off (though it looks like I need to paint stones on the archer) a small band of goblins who might cause some trouble for the people of ToadChapel.

The brighter one in the back had been done in true metallics and mounted on a plinth years ago, but I popped him off, painted NMM over the TMM, and slapped him on a gaming base.

These guys are fun and quick little minis that you can bash out in a set pretty easily. They’re tiny!

Fountainhead

What can one say about Holos?

Holos, whose name means ‘whole’ or ‘complete,’ derives many of his views from the immortal Plato, the most important philosopher of all time. Plato was an Athenian born at the end of his city’s Fifth Century golden age and raised during the Peloponnesian War, which saw Athens’ defeat at the hands of Sparta and subsequent descent into political chaos. As a young man Plato fell under the influence of Socrates, a radical critic of just about everything who was executed for religious crimes and ‘corrupting the youth.’

Holos is a slippery eel, seldom committing himself totally to a given theory or judgement. He is a pure intellectual, ready to entertain any point of view, even if only to discard it. That said, Holos does tend to return to a few central ideas over and over again.

First and most importantly, Holos denies that the world revealed by our senses represents things as they are. For Holos, both our impressions and our reasoning about them are flawed. Unlike the world of objects, fleeting and overpowering emotions, and shared characteristics, Truth lies in a realm of non-physical, eternal, unchanging, concrete ideals. These ‘Forms’ stand behind the objects of experience, which partake of them only imperfectly. Where ‘the Beautiful’ is beautiful in itself and by itself, is in no way unbeautiful, and possesses no other characteristics than beauty, beautiful persons or works of art exhibit beauty only within certain limits: in degrees, for a certain time, and according to appropriate standards. The Form of the Beautiful is not merely an abstraction from beautiful particulars, but is far more real than they: the Beautiful exists without qualification, while mere sense objects imperfectly partake of both Forms and their opposites.

Holos is inconsistent in his description of what, exactly, counts as a Form. Certain important ideas such as the Beautiful, the Good, and the One, seem not only to be Forms in Holos’ view, but may even amount to the same thing. On the other hand, concepts such as dwarf, shipwright, blue, and evil may or may not participate in their corresponding ideals.

Closely connected with his theory of Forms, Holos also claims that the soul is immortal, passing through alternating phases of material and immaterial existence. While embodied souls suffer the intellectual distortions of both duplicitous senses and a weak mind, the soul after death/before life apprehends the Truth directly, ‘seeing’ the Forms themselves in their timeless and perfect austerity. Upon our reincarnation, Holos argues, we forget all we have known in the realm of Forms, and suffer again the illusions to which embodied cognition is ineluctably vulnerable.

Holos has opinions on just about everything, and has shown himself more than willing to change those opinions with the benefit of reflection. He is the dominant figure in the intellectual life of ToadChapel, and many great sophotasters have created their own ideological identity in opposition to his views. In this, too, his mastery is evident.

Now for Nunc!

Well, son of Nunc, anyway.

Here’s Nunc-bïdi Hyûm, a sophotaster who resembles David Hume in his philosophical views.

Hyûm is less eggheaded than most of his intellectual peers. Unlike many of them, Hyûm bases his understanding of the world on the evidence of his senses. For Hyûm, the accumulation of sense impressions gradually coalesces into a fixed idea which we then ascribe to reality. The idea doesn’t exist for us until our perceptions have provided the data for the abstraction of some concept. Other ideas are formed by the conjunction or other relation of one idea and another, but all ideas can ultimately be resolved into the primitive subjective experiences which support them.

For instance, we have the idea that the Sun rises in the East every day. We believe this is intrinsically and invariably true. Hyûm argues that our expectation of the Sun’s rising in the East represents merely a conditioned attitude formed through an abundance of similar first-hand experiences.

In certain obnoxiously obvious ways, Hyûm is simply correct. If the Sun failed to rise, or rose in the West or South, we would have to change our idea of sunrise: the universe itself unfolds quite independent of our judgements, descriptions, and expectations.

What’s more, terrestrial sunrise is an ephemeral phenomenon, when considered within the proper time frame. According to the best scientific estimates, our Sun is middle aged, which means it has existed for less than half of the life of the universe. The sun simply hasn’t always risen in the East. Further, when the Sun explodes, it ain’t gonna rise at all, it’s going to engulf us in great gouts of nuclear flame.

The consequences of Hyûm’s views are radical. According to Hyûm, basic categories such as causality are imposed upon reality by our minds’ need to conceptualize, to idealize it. We cannot observe causation, he argues, so our claims of causal connection are empirically illicit.

I’m short, Hyûm likes to deflate the inherited, unconscious, or unwary ideas we often carry around with us. He attempts to explain our conception of the world by an appeal to empiricist epistemology. For Hyûm, ideas which deviate from our impressions or attempt to synthesize impressions into larger and more abstract categories are doomed to failure.

Good day, sir!