Monday, August 3, 2009

Why, oh why, do they keep on trying?

Quick post today to say "Aaaaaaargh!"

It has now been confirmed that the guy that entered the great Chaos Lord that I linked to in my last post, the guy that collected the Gold trophy, was not, in fact, the guy who painted the freakin' model!

To make matters worse, this guy walked away from Games Day with THREE Gold trophies, for models not painted by him!

To make matter even worse, the painter must have been in on the scam as his CoolMiniorNot pictures were updated immediately with their trophy status!

So, Marc Schmelze (the collector who entered the pieces as his own work in Chicago) and Karol Rudyk (the original painter), I wish you nothing but unhappiness in your future toy soldier endeavors. You sully the hobby. While the painting may be spectacular, the spirit is so false it makes my skin crawl!

Congratulations, however, to those folks who will now take their rightful place among the trophy winners!

Edit: perhaps I was overly harsh on Karol. I'm not sure.



  1. Sad indeed..

    All entries must be personally handed in by their creator and registered at Games Day on the day. We will not accept any entries on behalf of competitors who are not in attendance at the event. All entries must be collected from the show stands at specified times by the entrant in person. These times will be published in the Games Day program and will be announced over the PA system on the day. All models should be the work of a single hobbyist. All work on models entered into the Golden Demon including but not limited to painting, modeling, converting, after-market sculpting, and basing must be performed entirely by the entrant. Neither models obtained from someone else in any state of completion nor collaborative efforts may be entered. Anyone found violating this rule will be immediately disqualified and forbidden from entering future Golden Demon painting competitions.

    Its not hard to read the rules really.. Is it?

  2. Well, they got a fake demon, and ..."Anyone found violating this rule will be immediately disqualified and forbidden from entering future Golden Demon painting competitions." So theyve both shafted themselves from winning any legit ones in future. Its a shame that people act in this way, they are completely undeserving of any worship...

  3. That is very unfortunate.

    I hate when anyone tries to claim credit for a model another person created/painted.

    GW should instate a policy that forces entrants to submit a progress photo along with the model. Granted it will not eliminate the problem, but it may deter it a little.

  4. So they get an in progress photo from the painter and send it in..

    What solves it is asking people the day of the read this you understand it? The good sign you name.. Found later to be caught cheating and you will be dealt with severely.

    Sad, but you can'y buy Golden Demon love.

  5. Still might not solve it Jeff. Sneaky bastards will always be sneaky bastards. We just have to rely on the original painters being as praise- hungry as I am ; ) If the original painter isn't interested in fame or glory, then pics may never reach the interwebs.

    As long as they keep posting their models online, we'll keep catching them out!

  6. Unfortunately I don't think there is very much GW can do to police this on the day other than rely on competitor honesty.
    I am just glad that they were exposed after the event, but it is still unfair on the by far greater majority who enter Golden Daemon in the spirit intended.

    Ask yourself this though, how low self esteem do you have to have to pass off someone elses work as your own in a miniature painting contest. Looks like they have now gotten all the attention they deserve, though perhaps not what they craved?

  7. Anybody watch South Park? Have you seen the Imaginationland episode? What I want to do to those guys is what the evil little forest critters did to Strawberry Shortcake.

    For those that haven't seen it: I find these guys to be vile cheaters.

  8. Dave, this is unfortunate. I really hope you pick up the posthumous gold now. What categories did this guy win in? I now know that they elevate one of the first cut entries up to bronze (they took pictures of all first cut entries apparently).

    Or do they not elevate them up? As I was taking my model from first cut the staff made a big deal about making sure they got a picture of it just in case something like this happened.

  9. Outrageous! You deserve that Gold!

    Such dishonestly makes me sick.

  10. Hi guys

    The judges usually have a good idea of the "runner-up" models and I think that GW has already sorted these out in this situation. The deserved winners will get their trophies! Huzzah!

    Will they go to me? Nope, and that's fine, because the new winning models were better than mine. In some cases, MUCH better!


  11. What pieces of crap.
    I do not think there is much that can be done to stop it.
    At least he got caught so everyone knows he SUCKS.

  12. Utter bull shit. I can't believe people would use a commission piece to enter Golden Demon....sad indeed...I am surprised James Bell didn't have a heart attack if he new the truth.

  13. I've actually seen a number of posts of Demon-winning entries over on CMON lately where the artist says in their blurb - and thanks to so-and-so who helped me build this, or many thanks to so-and-so for sculpting such-and-such on these models. Hrm...

    If I'm interpreting that part of the rules currectly, then I WAS correct in thinking that that wasn't quite kosher - and here's me concerned about even using pre-cast bases given to me by a friend with figures that I may eventually be able to enter in the GD's. Bah.

    As for this guy/these guys - I'm glad they got found out, and I'm hoping Games Workshop DOES actually keep a blacklist of names that they refer to in judging (probably wishful thinking, though).

    When we've found frauds in the past in painting/conversion contests over at the RelicNews Painting & Modeling Forum where I help moderate, we've outright banned them from the entire site - no "ifs, ands, or buts." I personally consider misrepresenting someone else's artistic work as your own, even in a website comp or something like the Demons without cash prizes, right up there with stealing, piracy, theft of intellectual property, etc. Yeah, not cool at all...

  14. I'm not sure if they already do this at the Golden Daemon contests (never been to one myself), but would one way of lessening this type of fraud be for the judges to ask every entrant specific questions about craft and such in regards to their models? You know, ask them how they achieved that particular effect on the model? How long it took? Which technique they employed? Why did they choose that way over another, etc. etc.?

  15. to make matters worse, the painter is a past GD winner.

  16. That sucks.

    Ona question....could I still enter a figure one one of Jeff's most excellent base's? Or use other after market bitz like teh West Wind heads?

    hmmmm.....that's actually two questions but who's counting.

  17. Someone said earlier that the painter was "in on it" because her CoolMini status had been updated to show the award. My first question is why would a painter agree to allow their work to be entered under a different name...what would they stand to gain from that? My second question is would it EVER be acceptable (not under current rules but in the future) for someone to enter work on behalf of an artist? What if someone couldn't travel due to severe physical ailment or other serious reasons? Could their work be entered, with their consent, as long as it was clear up front that the person entering didn't do the work?

    In my mind there is a big difference between entering surreptitiously and entering on behalf of someone if circumstances ever warranted. I ask because there is much hatred in the community for what these two have done (rightfully so) but I'm wondering if a situation might ever arise where it would be OK as long as it was above board? Thoughts?

  18. Interesting discussion, and have similar analogies to competitive sports like swimming and such. Over-regulation and rules are never a good thing, but if someone is prepared to do this in Golden Demon, I wonder what it says about their honesty and integrity in other aspects of life?

    Personally, if I can paint to a level where I can beat the person who is cheating or breaking the rules outright, than it will be a much sweeter victory than having second place turned into a first place.

  19. It turns out, based on a conversation with a friend who spoke with a friend who spoke with the painter, that the painter, Karol, did not know that Marc was entering his models under Marc's name. Apparently he thought the arrangement was that Marc would enter them under Karol's name.

    This is also against the rules.

    The rules state that the painter must hand in their own works in person. Regardless of the reasons the painter may not be able to attend the event (poverty, sudden illness/accident, laziness) no one is allowed, by the letter and spirit of the rules, to enter their models. To do so is cheating, be it intentional or unintentional.

    One other interesting thing is that Marco Schmelze also entered in Chicago last year and got an Honorable Mention in the Warhammer large with a Chaos Dragon, that was also painted by Karol Rudyk.

    It was not scrutinized last year because it didn't win a prize, so this is repeat behavior from Marc.

    I'll leave you to make up your own minds on the level of Marc's integrity.

  20. How totally lame.
    The whole point of these contests is to win with your own figures!

  21. That saddens me greatly.

    Seriously, WTF? You're entering someone else's models to win a prize? How freaking pathetic is that?

    It is very possible to catch cheating if you know what to look out for.

    I mean,'s illegal in the letter of their rules to enter someone else's work for them JUST BECAUSE THIS KIND OF CRAP MIGHT HAPPEN. The painter was in the wrong for getting someone to break the rules for him, but I think it's worse to lie and pass off someone else's hard work as your own.

    It's more amazing to me that the painter didn't know his buddy stole his work.

  22. So what does GW do? Have they even announced the winners yet? (Can't find anything on their website) Do they actually change the results?

    What categories did this guy "win"?

  23. Sadly, in all contest where there is a prize there will be cheaters.

    But now that he is getting totally flamed on the interweb he'll surely get his.

    Worst thing you can do to these guys is ban them at Games Day next year. Maybe that way someone will key his car at the show with a slayer sword.

  24. So I don't agree at with what he did, but does anyone know if this guy is from Europe? I ask because the rules for the GD are different here and it is quite legal to work in teams. The difference is that only one person can receive the award. So, maybe he didn't take the time to read the US rules and assumed they were the same as in some countries in Europe...

  25. Actually I just double checked the rules for both the UK golden demon, and the French Golden Demon. Their rules are identical to the US rules. All work must be done by one person, including conversion, basing etc. No team ups are allowed.


  26. I think everyone's being overly harsh on Karol. If he thought it was OK to have someone else drop off a miniature at a competition for him, he wasn't doing anything devious and evil. Sure you can say "cheating is cheating even if you didn't know" and yes he should have read and understood the rules, but that doesn't then make the person a scumbag a-hole that shouldn't be allowed to paint ever again. I think I'd personally even give him a pass if he (Karol) *did* know the rule but felt he'd never have a chance to actually get to a Games Day and enter his work. GD validation is something every painter would love to have and I could forgive a lapse in judgment. I've been a huge fan of Dave here for some years and I see his passion over these trophies so I know he understands that much.
    As for the fella that actually entered the contest using his own name, sounds messed up to me ;) Knowing the rule or not he went there in good faith to enter the models in Karol's name and then used his own, lame to do that cheating or not. but maybe he didn't find out about the rule until he got there and freaked out? Decided he should still enter the model for Karol but realized his badge said Marc so it wouldn't fly?
    No matter the true final story I think everyone needs to sit back and re-read their comments and think if that's how they want to judge strangers' actions. I know I wouldn't want folks to say such things about me if I made a series of stupid but (what I thought were) harmless mistakes or poor judgment calls. Life isn't black and white. You all drive 70-75 in the 65 zones, you know you're breaking the rules, you're all actively conscious about choosing to break the rule, you all continue to do it anyway. (for the gain of getting somewhere a minute earlier?) That doesn't make you bad people, you just decide "eh, 70 is close enough and I won't get stopped for it" which may well be similar to "eh, I'll have this guy bring in my models for me even though it says I have to do it"

  27. Q - you raise a good point, however, even if the circumstances are fairly "innocent", they still need to suffer the consequences - IE, banned from future GD competitions. Otherwise, the rules have no teeth, and the situation gets worse.

    To use your own speeding analogy - most of us drive 5 mph over the speed limit because we know we won't get stopped for it - the limit has no meaning if you're only going 5 mph over.

  28. @ Mike, I to checked the French GD rules and didn't see anything stating one person has to do all the work, it can very well be I missed it. I do know that it says nothing about single person having to do all the work in the GD Spain or Italy rules, the German GD rules pack even goes so far as to explain the procedure for submitting work done by more than one person.

    Again, I'm not trying to defend this guy, but

  29. @Q - Harsh, possibly so, but what is intense Nerd Rage without slagging off a complete stranger on the interwebs. For years I was unable to participate, now I can unleash Nerd Rage when the mood strikes. Fortunately that isn't very often. I guess I was particularly sensitive about this one as I congratulated Marc at the show, and he had the gall to actually receive the thanks and shake my hand. Also, your speeding analogy doesn't work here as there is no competition, no prizes when driving (except those we concoct in our minds).

    Shades of grey, there are certainly many. And when folks choose to enter those shades they set themselves up for judgement by others. Shades of grey isn't really an area that anyone should argue from. It can lead down some pretty dark paths

    Also, no-one said that Karol should never be allowed to paint again.

    Yes, I have always been passionate about the Golden Demon Awards. In this case I did not stand to win any more by my actions, by my posting on my blog, by calling out Marc and Karol by name.
    I just hoped that this will highlight a course of action that is unwise to try. The world is too small now. The world of competitive miniature painting is even smaller. Be aware of the rules, don't try to get around them, don't assume that they are the same everywhere, paint hard, and have fun!

    @Marshal - yep, team work isn't the problem here. Not following the rules is. I guess that some of this can be attributed to "lack of knowledge of the rules". That would be me creating a shade of grey for Karol to stand in. After all, English isn't his first language and it may be safe to assume that he didn't read the rules first.

    If this is the case, he has been sorely let down by his friend in the US.


  30. One question: Model been good for it's prize?
    If so, prize should go to painter in any case. He should been declared as winner instead.
    If painter will be stripped from well-earned prize thorough rules nitpicking, it's not a model contest anymore, it's layer's contest.
    Moreover, if prize painter will be banned from GD forever - it's will be look as petty disposing

    Foregn painters should have option of remote participating thorough representative. And verify that by e-mail/icq by photos, videos, e.t.s

  31. The rules state that you must be the one to enter your mini. Simple as that. should there be a stipulation to allow people to enter any contest, dunno, don't see why we would have as many games day and demons if i could just mail my entry to my buddies around the world... but that's neither here nor there, the rules state that you cannot, and that if you do ou will be banned from future comptetion. no grey lines.

  32. I think we're ignoring the fact that Marc and Karol have done this before, last year, but didn't get caught. I find it hard to believe the painter didn't know what his client was doing (i.e. taking credit for the work) when it had been done before. As for not knowing the rules, the painter is a recent (2006)GD winner himself, so he's obviously familiar with the questions asked when you enter the comp.

    I feel the painter deserves all the suspicion he gets.

  33. @ Marshal Argos, You are correct in stating there are descrepancies in many of the European GD rules..heck even Canada and the US had diferances up until recently. I do know that GW has been working hard to make sure that all the rules and categories are the same where ever you go and eliminate any of the "issues" that are out there.

    But simply stated this was a contest in the USA using USA rules.. no matter what they may be in France or Italy or where ever.. the US rules need to be followed and they were not. it is not difficult to read the rules..there should be no excuses.

  34. I can barely hold a paint brush properly let alone compete for a painting prize but I can see why the rules are there. If you can just send models of to be entered in all the different games days without actually going what is the point of having multiple games days. Just have 1 and have everyone mail in the entries to warhammer world.

  35. are you guys really all that serious about this? was your model better than his and yet still lose? I don't know about you guys but it seems your forgetting that regardless of who hands the model to the judge, it was still that model that was the best of the lot.

    so yeah, because of a rule that has absolutely no bearing on how well a model is painted the runner ups have technically been awarded as winners. I still say that anyone with a real competitive bone in their body knows that they got beat where it counts by the painter and no amount of technical rules issues changes that fact.

    if I beat out a better painted model than my own because of a rule on how the minis are entered I'd toss the trophy in the trash since I knew it wasn't rightly mine.

    what a bitter win for the runner ups...unless they're the kind of folks who'll take any win they can get.

  36. the problem is simple, and yes some people are serious about their competitions. the problem lies in 2 parts. 1 the guy who BOUGHT them entered them as his own.

    2 rules are there for reasons. there were several games days in the US this year, some of us didn't get to enter for various reasons (like that the one i LA was not done this year.)

    you are saying that it doens't matter that a rule was violated as long as it was better, so it's fine if a team of sculpters and painters make a single mini? or is it just rules you don't think matter? and how is it a bitter win if someone followed the rules gets advanced to the top, not the guy who brings in a mini that he didn't paint at all? (Karol didn't get teh award, the other guy did, it would be his name that goes intot the books)

  37. That's part of the point of the outrage I think. Everyone, except a very few, can except that there's probably a better painted miniature out there in the world than their current project. However, they enter anyway to compete in the competition in their area, to see how it stacks up. If you decide to allow painters to mail in their work, rather than showing up, you completely change the nature of the competition.

    I imagine one of the most frustrating things for the runners up is that their work has now been placed against something that shouldn't have been there in the first place. So now any award they should have rightly won will always leave a sour taste even if retro actively awarded.

  38. @Rida - seriously? Yes I'm serious about this. There is a rule, the rule was broken. End of story.

    It does not matter if the model was better than the others in the category. Hell, Kyle Morgan wanted to enter his exceptional models and took the time and money to come to Chicago from the other side of the planet, because he knew and abided by the rules. They were great entries, competed according to the rules and won well-deserved trophies.

    There are no doubt a number of great analogies to liken your comment to, but I guess you have no problems with Olympic athletes competing under the influence of performance enhancing drugs, even though there's a little rule that some nitpicker might bring up that says no, they can't do that?

    So, those sprinters that break world records while juiced to their eyeballs should keep their records? They were the fastest. Just not within the defined rules of that specific competition.

    Q inferred earlier that we should all stop throwing stones, because this is a grey area and we all "cheat" and break the rules from time to time. He used speeding to illustrate his point.

    My response, I'm not exposing the driving records of anyone. I speed on occasion, I did it today - 75 in a 65 zone. I have no moral highground to expose a speeder.

    Nuff said.

    I'll post something happier soon, so that we can all move on from this hornet's nest I appear to have stirred up.


  39. i speed, i get got, i get a ticket.
    they entered against eh rules, they got caught they get a penelty. simple.:)

    and yay to happier stuff dave:)

  40. Kudos to Dave for being honest and upfront about his model even if it didn't win it's still a great model and DAVE is deserving of the praise. Even though Marc may have "won" it's a hollow victory and everyone now knows he's a sham now that it's out in the wash.

  41. I'm just glad it wasn't a "layers" contest. ;-)

    It probably won't hurt the painters mercenary painting business, but neither of them are entering any more GDs and possibly local contests, I mean who wants these guys at their show on the podium.

    GW always takes pictures of the winner and his statue. There is also that website which is trying to have pictures of every GD winner ever...

    It is a lot harder to win now, but it has always been a requirement to attend the event, I know people who won GD that had to travel a long frickin' way...

  42. Man, I was hoping I was going to get moved up to Bronze, but James Wappel's Slann made it, which was also very good, so the sting isn't so bad. Still not sold on the Rat Ogre, though.

  43. I see.
    It's another case "Canada should have another Gold medal".

    With that policy any future contests will be tainted by suspictions like "Winner been caught with cigarette, therefore he cannot be winner"

    Prize should go to painter of winning model, or been nullified (1st place been tainted by cheating, therefore we omitted 1st place in this year)
    Descending prize on other model - it's no win, it's shame.

  44. so the people who followed the rules should get punished because someone else didn't follow the rules? i'm glad you arn't GW:)

  45. Yeah moving stuff up after a disqualification causes another whole grey area :(

    Dave and all... all I was trying to say is that there might be more to the story than we know and until it's all known we shouldn't all intarweb on them ;(

    It's also easy for the story to slowly slide in one direction or the other like a game of "telephone" if one post infers M & K did one thing then the next builds off of that and so on.

    Dave, I totally sympathize with the BS congratulations he took, not cool... and certainly sheds more light on the ordeal for me.

    I agree rules need to be followed, I was just rambling my way into saying "we're all human, be nicer about your anger" Hehe

    (I agree with the no Canada thing too though!)

  46. @ Q, fair point. I must admit that I'm very surprised that my anger has drawn quite a bit of attention (and more than ten times as many comments as my last blog post).

    Could my thoughts/feelings have been better conveyed? Yes.

    If I face this kind of "hot-button" topic in the future I hope I can approach it with the appropriate level of zeal, and keep some of the snarkiness out of it.

    I must ask though, what's the Canada comment about guys? I feel clueless (or incredibly forgetful).


  47. i'm guessing the Olympics with the gold metal in skating to them when it was found there was cheating involved.

    (i dont' usualy comment on your blog, just read it, but this topic dragged me up)

  48. I think you got so much response because you got a front page story on TGN.

    I'm just being goofy about Canadians, they travelled down here a bit to try to sweep some GDs and had built a "Team Canada", just teasing them :) Don't know what the first guy was talking about it for ;)

  49. Wow this saddens me. I really can't believe someone would do something like this for a trophy. The whole concept of the Golden Demon is to show off your best work, it's not really about the trophy.

    It's about letting everyone know how great this hobby is and what you can do with time, effort, and some immagination.

  50. There are two sides of this story - painter's and collector's.

    It is entirely possible that a)Karol didn't know that entry was made b)didn't know that proxy entries are not allowed in USA. From several sources it seems that Karol doesn't speak/read English very well so more then likely he didn't read USA rules. As far as I know in Australia, for example, proxy entries are allowed. The fact that his model entered a year ago also doesn't mean much: the collector in question owned it and didn't have inform the author. Unless you are very paranoid like me :), you would hardly follow all GDs in the world, especially models that didn't win.

    Now, that being said... I have no doubt that the collector has a perfect command of English language. His actions are inexcusable. However, let us think for a second why such behavior is so common in the North America. Seriously, over the last five years I remember 2 documented cases in Europe (neither got above HM), here, however, we have incidents like this EVERY year. Twice this year alone. I am just wondering what motivate people to do things like this… they teach starting from 5th grade what plagiarism is.

  51. I am pretty sick of reading people coming to the defense of Karol Rudyk over the last few days. Ignorance is not an excuse. Karol claims the he didn't know his "collector" was entering the miniatures under the "collectors" name. Yet Karol was tagging the photo's on CMON a golden daemon winners within hours of the results being announced,and even has Marc's name posted on the pics as the owner of the pieces. Karol has entered and won GD's before. Marc has entered Karols work under his own name before. All of this is documented. Both of them are culpable, The "collector" for being such shallow piece of trash thinking it's ok to buy himself 3 GD's and Karol for being an idiot at a minimum or 100% complicit in the deceit at the worst.

    As someone who aspires to create a piece good enough to enter the GD's this is a sucker punch to the whole process. Despite Karols obvious talent, these two deserve all the grief they are getting and more, The US GD's rules are clear...not following them merits immediate disqualification..their actions in perpetuating this fraud and the fact this isnt the first time deserve worse.

  52. If this is allowed in some GDs (even if not the US ones), it's very possible that it was just an oversight by Karol! I think people are coming down too hard on him (and Marc) without having all of the facts. What if they simply didn't read the submission rules? You can say "tough cookies" but it means they committed a silly mistake, not a heinous act of subterfuge. And since they will pay the penalty (a stiff one), there's really no need to attack them as people without knowing if it was simply an error.

    I especially think that this blog post was too harsh:

    "I wish you nothing but unhappiness in your future toy soldier endeavors. You sully the hobby. While the painting may be spectacular, the spirit is so false it makes my skin crawl!"

    We're acting like a judge passing down a sentence, without a jury or a trial... (my wife had jury duty yesterday, so maybe my mind is on this). Just my $0.02!

  53. Is this really such a big deal?

  54. I know I am responding to this pretty late, but I just found about this whole thing. As a person who won a bronze through someone else's disqualification, I can sympathize with those painters whose entries were elevated to a winning slot. Although in my case, the circumstances were different because the entrant in question was not attempting to claim credit for the entry. Regardless, this situation brings important issues regarding our hobby to the surface.

    The two persons guilty of cheating have taken away from the integrity of our hobby. I have no doubt in my mind that this was an intentional act and that the intent was to commit fraud in order to generate a higher selling price for the model.

    The majority of us don't participate in the hobby because it pays the bills, we do it because we love it. We devote our precious spare time and money to the hobby and enjoy sharing our creations with other hobbyists. We are very fortunate that GW spends so much time and energy providing a venue for hobbyists to showcase their work for other hobbyists to enjoy.

    Bottom line is that the spirit of the Golden Demons is to showcase the work of hobbyists and to grow and enrich the hobby. When I was a kid and just getting in to this hobby, I was so inspired by the Golden Demon coverage in White Dwarf that it made me aspire to constantly improve my painting. Now 16 years later, I have a bronze demon on my shelf.

    I didn't go on E-bay and sell the squad, it's not even in my house. The squad sits in the display case at my local game store and I help run the same informal, friendly painting clinic every wednesday. I helped run the the painting clinic before I won anything and I will continue to help run it until my fingers fall off and my eyeballs rot. I'm not the only award-winning paniter at the store, and i'm not the best, but I am the only Golden Demon winner in that group. Which brings me to my last point.

    The Golden Demon is arguably the most prestigous painting competition out there. These two and others like them drag the reputation of the event through the mud. I only hope that these two have tarnished the reputation enough that it takes a bite out of the value of trophy-winning pieces on the collector market.

    It's not about winning a trophy, it's not about money, it's about having fun and growing the hobby.

  55. So what was the ultimate fall out of all this? Any life time bands from competition, any deletions of CMoN accounts, any public heckling at local game stores?

    Eternal Damnation?