Photographer: Nyymix

Miniature Painting Contest 2023:
Competition categories and rules

Competition categories and rules

The contestants can participate in the contest with a miniature they have painted. The miniature can be anything as long as it counts as a miniature and follows the restrictions of the category in which it is submitted. Person, animal, tank or fantasy creature, anything goes. 

You can enter a single entry in each of the categories. Your entry doesn’t have to be painted exclusively for this competition – any piece is eligible as long as it hasn’t placed in previous Ropecon painting competitions.

In categories 1-8 the top 3 entries are awarded. There are also additional awards for the people’s choice, best theme-inspired piece and the best in show. Guest of honor, Roman Lappat, will also be presenting the special Massive Voodoo Most Creative award to a piece of his choice.

Commendations will be given out in all categories to exceptional pieces, and the purpose is to mark all the finalist pieces that made it past the 1st cut. Winning pieces will be picked from these commended entries. The commended entry cards will be placed with the pieces on the showroom table by Sunday morning. If your piece has a commended entry card alongside it on Sunday, please come to the award ceremony!

2023 Contest Categories

Category 1: small miniature

Imperial fist, painter Ville Viitasalo

All miniatures with a height of up to 54 mm measured from the lowest to the highest point of the miniature’s body. The miniature may have a mount/small vehicle and/or small decorative miniatures (e.g. animals, robots, familiars, ghosts, etc.) as long as the miniature itself is in the focus.

  • Examples of acceptable miniatures: most D&D adventure characters, most of the Infinity and Warhammer infantry

Category 2: large miniature

Quetzalcotlus, painter Sini Haapanen

All miniatures with a height of over 54 mm. Otherwise the rules are the same as with small miniatures, i.e. a mount/vehicle and small decorative miniatures are allowed.

  • Examples of acceptable miniatures: big dragons, Ghazghkull (8th ed.), tanks, various giant creatures, miniatures of a larger scale

Category 3: group

Badlands Ballers, painter Valtteri Lahtela

A cohesive group of three to ten (3-10) miniatures.

  • Examples of allowed groups: Kill Team, fantasy football teams, board game miniatures, RPG player character miniatures

Category 4: diorama

Barsoom warrior, painter Ville Viitasalo

Works that center around storytelling, atmosphere and interaction between characters. The size is not limited, but the judges have to be able to move the work around safely. 

  • Examples of allowed dioramas: duels, scenes, framed dioramas

Category 5: bust

Mandalorian, painter Olli Väre

Busts in 1:8 scale or smaller.

  • Examples of allowed busts: busts from Spiramirabilis and FeR miniatures

Category 6: speed paint

Miniature that befits the small miniature category and is painted within the time limit. One cannot submit their work for this category in advance as the painting will take place in a separate workshop during Ropecon.

Category 7: beginner

First time in Ropecon painting contest? This separate category is open for anyone who is taking part in the painting competition for the first time or otherwise considers themselves as a beginner in this field. Any single small miniature, large miniature, or bust is allowed, as long as it is the centerpiece of the work. Mounts, vehicles and small decorative miniatures such as butterflies are allowed.

Category 8: junior

All under 16 year olds can participate in this separate category. One can bring any single small or large miniature to this category. The miniature itself has to be the centerpiece of the work. Mounts, vehicles and small decorative miniatures such as butterflies are allowed.

Additional Prizes

Massive Voodoo Most Creative Award

Guest of honor, Roman Lappat, will present his own award celebrating creativity. Winner will also receive a surprise gift from the guest of honor!

Best Theme-Inspired Work

In addition to the categories listed above one can also sign their work up for the additional category for this year’s theme-inspired works. This year’s theme is Past and Future, and the work that best embodies this theme will be awarded.

People’s Choice

Audience can award their favorite work by voting.

Best in Show

In addition to all the categories listed above the best work of the entire contest will be awarded.


Ropecon miniature painting contest will also this year have judges who evaluate the contest works. The judges will select the winners with mutual decision based on critical visual inspection and discussion. Each submitted contest work will be judged as an entity, so mastering only one area of the workpiece does not guarantee a victory. Any specific painting style is not expected or consciously preferred. The judging can never be fully objective in and of itself, but the judges will do their best to evaluate the contest works from as many points of view as possible, striving to disregard their own preferences.

The judges will at the very least take the following details into consideration:

  • Smoothness and technique of the painting style: each part of the work has been painted meticulously from every side and there is no texture visible in disturbing amounts in the layers of the paint itself. There is no noticeable carelessness in various painted sections’ outlines in the miniature.
  • Meticulous miniature and base assembly: The paintwork has been prepared with care. Traces of mold lines and printing supports among other surface defects that do not belong to the miniature or the base in and of itself are not visible. Possible conversions have been made in high quality, so that it is difficult to distinguish them from the original miniature.
  • Arrangement and composition of elements: the arrangement of the physical parts of the work have clear purpose, and thought has been put into them. The miniature and the elements of the base function as a clear entity and compliment each other, guiding the viewer’s eyes to the centerpiece of the work.  
  • Artistic expression, storytelling, originality: the colors of the work are harmonious and further help to convey a distinct theme, emotion or story. Thought has clearly been put into the choice and composition of colors and it supports the entity of the work together with the miniature and other parts of the base. The work one way or another conveys a new or otherwise original idea.


If you are not sure which category the miniature you have chosen belongs to, you can contact us by e-mail at The judges can rule to move an entry to another category if it is considered that it has been submitted to the wrong one. 

Note! Although Ropecon’s volunteers strive to treat the miniatures with care, Ropecon is not responsible for any possible damage occurring to the miniatures or stolen contest entries. By entering the contest, the contestants agree that the work will remain in the open space for the night.