Miniature Painting Open


The MPO is a brand new, global, online painting competition. Ever wondered how your painting stacks up against your peers from all over the world? Well let’s find out! With categories for both veterans of miniature painting shows and brush wielding newcomers, a live streamed awards ceremony and community support, the MPO is a celebration of hobbyists’ very best works. A transparent and detailed judging system lets you get to hear exactly why a piece was awarded it’s prize. And there will be a people’s favourite award, ‘cos what do those judges know anyway!?!?


Entering the MPO is about more than just winning. Being part of a successful event is something to be proud of. Sharing your work for others to enjoy and be inspired by is a great thing, it gives you the opportunity to meet folk that are as obsessed with painting tiny figures  as you. Perhaps you’ll get to meet up with them at future in person events, perhaps you’ll discover a new style that you’d like to try, perhaps someone will love the piece that you entered so much that they reach out and ask for some advice. One thing is guaranteed, you will be a better painter for being part of this.

We understand the importance of in person miniature shows, and accept that seeing an image on screen will always be different to seeing that miniature first hand. We want to focus on all the benefits an online competition can bring, there is no elite club, your geographical location and finances have no effect on your ability to enter. The last 12 months have shown us all the wonderful things the online community has to offer, and how connected we all can be even when we can’t meet in person. Let’s celebrate that, share photos of wonderful pain tjobs, inspire each other and have some fun on the way.


The MPO is a collaboration between Cult of Paint and The Miniatures Compendium. They are leading voices for the championing of painting miniatures, talking about painting miniatures and helping others enjoy painting miniatures. 


MPO is an Open Format competition.  What is an Open Format? It means that if the judges feel multiple entries are of equal level to place as Gold, Silver or Bronze then they will all receive that award. You may enter up to 3 pieces in a category. Should multiple entries of yours place highly you shall only be awarded the prize for your best. E.g. your work is considered to be worth a silver and a gold by the judges, you will only be awarded the gold. 


  • Category 1 – Single Miniature (up to 54mm in Scale)
  • Category 2 – Unit
    • 3 or more models (e.g. Space Marine Outriders, Ironjawz Brutes, Imperial Stormtroopers etc)
  • Category 3 – Large Scale & Bust 
    • Figures More than 54mm in scale, busts of any scale.
  • Category 4 – Vehicle/Monster
    • Models that are larger than “4” inches in height (eg AOS Giant, Gordrakk, Mortarion etc) the judges will move models from single miniature if they believe they should be in this category.
  • Category 5 – Sculpture – Any Scale (to be submitted unpainted)
    • Traditional Sculpts (Green Stuff, Milliput etc)
    • Digital Sculpts – must exist in a physical form (e.g 3D printed) a render will not be accepted as the final submission but can be included in the image submission.
  • Category 6 – GrimDark – This category will take into account the atmosphere and creativity of a piece as much as the technical painting skill displayed. This category consists of single miniatures, warbands, dioramas, large scale, pretty much anything goes!
    • This is a themed category with a special guest judge.

We are keen to see new and exciting paint jobs for the MPO. With that in mind any miniatures that have previously placed (Gold, Silver or Bronze) at any painting event are not able to be entered. Whilst we want to see new paint jobs, this does not mean you can’t enter already completed work, just not work that has already won awards. Feel free to post WIPs of your progress, it is not a secret squirrel.

Competitor Entry Levels

We will be running this painting competition at two levels, Standard and Masters. This gives painters of varying experience levels an equal footing of skill. On the entry form you will be asked which level you are entering, this relies on a certain degree of trust. But rest assured we know who is who and who has won what, if you enter the wrong level you will be moved!

Standard: The Standard category is for your every day painter and painters who have never placed in a painting competition before. Bring the work you are most proud of and see how you fare!

Masters: If you have ever placed at a painting competition previously you will be entering at Masters Level, this will put you up against painters of a similar experience level to battle it out for who is the best of the best!

If you are unsure of whether to enter masters because you may have won a local store painting competition then contact us and we can help you decide which category is best suited to you. 


Stage 1: All entries submitted before the deadline will feature in a public voting gallery for each category and each entry level. For 7 days the public will vote for their favourite in each category with the most popular then going through to Stage 2. You will only be able to vote once per entry in each category so make it count!

Stage 2: After the public voting has ended the top group of miniatures voted on by the public will then be assessed by our panel of judges! If the judges feel a piece is worthy of consideration, even though it may have significantly less votes than others they will use their discretion and include it with the finalists. The judges’ say is final.

How to Submit?

Entry is done through Google Forms, you will need a Google Account to upload files.

Front View: This is the image that you want to be displayed in the main gallery.

Alternative View: These images can be uploaded but only one image can be displayed in the voting gallery. Alternatives view will be used for the miniatures that make it through to the Judges stage.

Image Photography

The images you submit are key to having your miniature viewed how you wish it to be!

  • Neutral Background – white is a good choice. Avoid using a cluttered background as it distracts from the miniature!
  • In focus – no one likes a blurry image!
  • Bright! Having a dark moody image can be great, but not so much for drawing attention to it. Keep the image bright!
  • It goes without saying, unaltered. We will reach out to the artist if we believe the image is doctored and request another image/video to verify. Photoshopped images are easily spotted and any entered will be removed and disqualified.

Live Stream Awards

This whole project is about uniting, and championing the miniatures painting hobby. We want to engage with the entrants and not just slap up a post saying “hey here’s who won!”. All winning miniatures will be announced live on a stream with all the judges present. The miniatures will be presented, their place shown and judges comments given!

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