Ropecon 2023 dragon trophies sculpted by Carlo Borella, the model on the left is used for the painting competition.

Text: Erkka Marttio, Antti Vuento ja Kalle Lähteenmäki

Find the rules in Finnish here.


As a change to previous years, this year’s contest is held using the open format, in which the amount of entries and awards is not limited as before. Instead, considering the overall quality of entries in the category and the competition, all pieces deemed worthy of prizes are awarded rather than just the best three in each category.

A contestant may enter each category with one or more pieces. These pieces together form the contestant’s display for that category. A display doesn’t necessarily have to be a cohesive combination of models, as each piece in the display is judged individually. Every contestant will mark their own display from other contestants’ works using small sticks available at the contest area. As a loose guideline you should keep your displays between 1-5 pieces each, due to the restricted space of the contest area.

A contestant may have one display in each main category (1.-6.), not including the special categories (7.-9.), the restrictions of which you can find under the details for those categories.

Contestants can participate in the contest with a miniature they have painted themselves. The miniature can be anything as long as it counts as a miniature and follows the restrictions of the categoryto which it is submitted. Fantasy, sci-fi, historical or modern, anything goes. 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 accordance with the Ropecon rules, entries cannot showcase any symbols which do not align  with Ropecon’s values, or which incite hatred against marginalized groups of people without specific permission from the organizers of the event.

Entry to the contest is done online ahead of the contest. Entering online helps everything go smoothly on the contest day and helps the competition organizers assess the need for space. It is however also possible to enter your entries at the competition area if for some reason needed.

Contestants are awarded commendations and bronze, silver and gold trophies. A contestant may only receive one award per category – either for the single best entry in their display or for their whole display if all of the pieces entered are deemed to be on the same level by the judges. Additional awards include the Best of Category awards in categories 1.-6., the Best of Theme award, the People’s Choice award and the top award of the entire contest, the Best of Show award.

Like previous years, commendations will be given out to pieces with commendable merits to mark all the finalist pieces that made it past the first cut. Winning pieces will be picked from within 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 next to it on Sunday, please come to the award ceremony!


Main Categories:

1. Small Figure

Olli Väre / gold, Ropecon 2023

All miniatures with a height of up to 54 mm measured from the lowest to the highest point of the miniature’s body (which means that taller protruding pieces separate from the body, such as banners or the height of the base are not counted). The miniature may have a mount/small vehicle and/or small decorative miniatures (e.g. animals, robots, familiars, ghosts, etc.) as long as the figure itself is the focus of the piece.

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

2. Large Figure

Mikko Leivo / silver, Ropecon 2023

All figures with a height of over 54 mm. Otherwise the rules are the same as with small figures, i.e.  mounts and small decorative miniatures are allowed as long as the figure itself is the focus of the piece. 

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

3. Vehicle

Attsorbi / silver, Ropecon 2022

All kinds of vehicles in all scales, not including figures with small vehicles, where the figure itself is the focus of the piece (for example bikes and jetbikes).

        Examples of allowed vehicles: All kinds of scale models in all scales, planes, ordnance, cars, Dreadnoughts, Titans                and  other walkers, Legions Imperialis vehicles.

4. Group

Joni Tuomisto / bronze, Ropecon 2023

A cohesive group of three to ten (3-10) miniatures. The group doesn’t have to be “game legal” within any system.

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

5. Bust

Pietari Jukarainen / silver, Ropecon 2023

Busts in 1:5 scale or smaller.

           Examples of allowed busts: busts from Spira Mirabilis and FeR miniatures.

6. Diorama

Ville Viitasalo / silver, Ropecon 2023

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

           Examples of allowed dioramas: duels, scenes, vignettes, framed dioramas.

Special categories:

7. Beginner

Tuomas Kahri / bronze, Ropecon 2023

First time in a Ropecon painting contest? This separate category is open to anyone who is, for example, taking part in a painting competition for the first time, or otherwise considers themselves a beginner in this field. You can enter with a single entry, or a display consisting of multiple entries allowed in any of the other categories. For example, a contestant could enter a display consisting of a small figure, two groups, a bust and a diorama all made by the same entrant. 

People entering this category are not allowed to enter any of the main categories 1.-6., instead they must place all their entries as a single display in this category.

8. Junior

Aarni Karjalainen / gold, Ropecon 2023

All under 16 year olds can participate in this separate category. You can enter with a single entry or a display consisting of entries allowed in any of the other categories. For example, a contestant could enter a display consisting of a small figure, two groups, a bust and a diorama all made by the same entrant. 

People entering this category are not allowed to enter any of the main categories 1.-6., instead they must place all of their entries as a single display in this category.

9. Speedpaint

Christian Von Bonin / gold, Ropecon 2023

This category requires a  miniature that befits the small miniature category and is painted within the time limit. This category does not accept entries in advance,  because the painting will take place in a separate workshop during Ropecon.

The rules and miniatures for this category will be revealed later. Note that in this category only the top three entries are awarded, and also those taking part in the beginner and junior categories are allowed to enter this category separately.

Other Awards:

Best of Theme

Eetu Tarkamo  / gold (diorama) & Best of Theme (Past and future), 2023

Out of all the categories, one piece best embodying Ropecon’s theme of the year is awarded the Best of Theme award. 

The theme for Ropecon 2024 is “Monsters”. 

People’s Choice

Olli Väre / commended entry (diorama) & People’s Choice, Ropecon 2023

All convention-goers can vote for their favorite piece and which will then be awarded the People’s Choice prize. The voting happens on Saturday after entries close and before the contest area closes. In case of a tie, the judges will vote for the winner between the tied entries.

Best of Category (categories 1.-6.)

Kari Hernesniemi / /gold (group), Ropecon 2023

The best entry or display in each of the main categories 1.-6. is awarded the Best of Category award

Best of Show

Lauri Heiskanen  / gold (bust) & Best of Show, Ropecon 2023

In addition to the other awards, the best entry of the entire competition is awarded the Best of Show award. In the category from which the Best of Show is chosen, the Best of Category is awarded to the runner-up instead.


The contest has a panel of judges, who evaluate all the entries. The panel of judges consists of experienced painters with several awards from both national and international competitions. Contestants have the possibility of asking the judges for feedback on their entries during a dedicated time slot on Sunday. The panel of judges in 2024 consists of:

Kalle Lähteenmäki

Antti Vuento

Erkka Marttio

Visiting Guest Judge

The judges’ panel is once again completed by a visiting guest judge to be confirmed later.

Judges panel

he judges will select the winners with mutual decision based on critical visual inspection and discussion. Each submitted contest work will be judged as a separate entity, so mastering only one area of the workpiece does not guarantee 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 and as fairly as possible, striving to disregard their own preferences.

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

  • Paint application and technique: each part of the work has been painted meticulously and purposefully 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 email at coldtonessociety(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. 

The contest is organized in collaboration with Ropecon by actives from Cold Tones Society, an open community focused on developing the display miniature painting scene in Finland. Our aim is to get all of the most important information on the official channels of Ropecon, but for additional information, news and content related to the contest we recommend keeping an eye on the Cold Tones Society website and social media (

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.