Mike Brandt (aka Television super star Josh Radnor) is a good guy. His beautiful wife, Brittany Brandt, is his biggest supporter, right alongside his mother, Laurie Brandt. Mike really kicks ass at tabletop wargames. He's a sought-after game enthusiast whose vast tribal knowledge has allowed Mike and his volunteer village to successfully raise awareness about Breast Cancer Research, and funds for Doctors Without Borders to continue their good work. Among Mike's many achievements and inspiring passion for the good of mankind, he is also unabashedly talented upon the stage. Join us for our 10th Year Anniversary at the NOVA Open 2019! You'll have an opportunity to maybe meet Mike, celebrate with our Gamer Family, and jam out to some great music, all while raising money for more than one great cause. 


Based out of Houston, Texas, LightCraft Miniature Studios is the brainchild of long time Star Wars enthusiasts Eddie Cockrell and Jeffrey Bain. Created at the beginning of 2016, LightCraft has rapidly gained renown and a strong following for repainting and modifying ships from X-Wing the Miniatures Game.

Eddie has been drawing since she could hold a crayon, and has been creating art for most of his life. After falling in love with X-Wing TMG, he began to experiment with repainting Star Wars miniatures. In translating his experience with acrylic and oil painting to miniature painting, he developed multiple unique methods for creating striking and realistic models. Now, a year later, he has achieved notoriety in the X-Wing community for his WWII style nose-art, impeccable attention to detail and creative paint schemes. This is his second time teaching seminars, and he is excited to share his most asked-about techniques with fellow X-Wing painters. You can follow Eddie's work on his Instagram (https://www.instagram.com/lightcraftministudios/) and his Facebook Page (https://www.facebook.com/LightcraftMPS/)

Jeffrey Bain is the mechanical mind behind LightCraft, responsible for the creative modifications and sculpted ships that Eddie goes on to paint. He has designed 3D printed pieces that allow X-Wing miniatures to reach their full potential; fully folding winds, rotating cockpits, and powerful artillery replacements. He also designs fully 3D printed ships through Shapeways. Website: http://www.shapeways.com/shops/alien-luxury


Wes is a major in the army, a program manager and helicopter pilot, currently in a Master’s program. Wes manages 15 artists from Moscow to Canada, paints, works out and chases women looking for his future ex-wife. In the NOCF’s founding year, 2013, Wes contributed a Stiff Neck Studio (SNS) painted Necron Army to the charity raffles which raised nearly $3000 for The Fisher House Foundation, a non-profit best known for its network of comfort homes where military and veterans’ families can stay at no cost while loved ones receive treatment.  Wes and SNS are synonymous as he is personally involved in the contributions as both artist and owner of SNS.  


White Metal Games is a miniature painting commission service based out of Knightdale, NC. Website: https://www.whitemetalgames.com/  

Preston “Values” Bernard is an avid wargamer and hobbyist, and has been enthralled by the lavishly detailed miniatures and lore of Warhammer and Warhammer 40k for nearly 15 years.  Over this time he has amassed a large collection of miniatures from a number of lines painted in a variety of styles, constantly trying to push his work further with each new project.  Winner of multiple painting awards, he has been featured on Games Workshop’s Facebook page and the Forge World website.  Preston enjoys developing new techniques and working together with the exceptionally talented team of artists at WMG to create miniatures that stand out both on the table and on the display shelf. 

Andy “The Painter” Lingoes is one of our more seasoned painters, he is a machine built only for painting miniatures!  Andy has a self admitted plastic crack addiction that only we in the industry understand. He loves painting, kitbashing, and almost every detail of modeling miniatures (except for cleaning sprews!). His passion for the hobby is only exceeded by his passion for his family! Andy’s favorite hobby is killing Tau by the thousands! 


Matt DiPietro is one of the most prolific miniature painters working today. He started tabletop gaming as a young teen adventuring in the dank dungeons of the Hero’s Quest board game. Over the years that followed many great adventures were had but the biggest adventure was yet to come! In his early twenties Matt had the great opportunity to launch his career in miniatures when he landed a job at a small start-up company called: Privateer Press. Over the next decade he shaped the painting of both Warmachine and Hordes as the lead studio miniature artist. These days he makes his living teaching the next generation of miniature artisans, and creating miniature art for private collectors under the banner of Contrast Miniatures. As an award winning painter, sculptor, and industry professional Matt can speak about all aspects of our hobby. Recently, he has developed a unique “Sketch Style” designed specifically for gamers who want to create highly expressive miniatures in a fraction of the time. By teaching this style he hopes to help painters of all skill levels take their painting to places they never thought possible! 


A native of Georgia, with a brief stint in upstate NY, Joe has been involved in the tabletop gaming community since around 2002. Initially it was supposed to stay small but as he looked in his garage…well, needless to say, he failed at keeping it small. In 2003 Joe got the painting bug while attending Adepticon and never looked back. Since that time he has traveled all over the country to play in tournaments and paint contests winning many trophies. Joe has won best painted more times than he can count and has a wall and cabinet full of trophies including Battle for Salvation, NOVA, ATC, The WAUGH, and a few GW GT’s. Joe even has a few Golden Demons collecting dust but still needs to work on getting that Crystal Brush to match Jawa (heh). He has made a lots of friends and has grown to really love the miniature community especially on the painting aspect side. Joe have known Dave since his Games Workshop days and had the opportunity to paint the Death Company in their Heroes of Armageddon army a few years back. Jawa and Joe have had a friendly rivalry with painting for a few years now but regrettably Joe doesn’t run into Jawa in the South Eastern tournament events. Most people know Joe for his clean paint style and his “Skittle” Salamanders army. “It’s an honor to be included on the team this year.” 


Justin is a hobby enthusiast who has been into painting and gaming with toy soldiers for 25 plus years. He has had first cuts at Games Day and is now fully immersed in the Art of Airbrushing. He worked for Games Workshop for 5 years where he learned to love teaching and coaching new hobbyists, as well as the art of “Speed Painting” . Justin is a Co-Host on “The Independent Characters” and “Lords and Heroes” Podcasts where he gets to inspire people with his Hobby Progress. Justin has joined the CK studios team and will now be able to share his years of Hobby Knowledge in person! “Come paint with him”! 


Seminar lead Joe Kopena has a professional background in engineering design research, and greatly enjoys the hobby aspects of miniatures wargaming. He has used 3D modeling and printing extensively for his own widely followed terrain builds as well as to make critical components for the innovative NOVA 40k Narrative, LibertyHammer 40k Narrative, Molokh Gambit X-Wing Narrative Campaign, and other projects. Check out these efforts and his tutorials on 3D modeling and printing via his blog at: http://rocketshipgames.com/blogs/tjkopena/ 


Oscar Lars is a multiple award winning army commission painter from Sweden. He currently works out of his own studio in Richmond, VA and focuses heavily on larger army projects. Most recognizable of his work is his Non-Metallic Metal Stormcast Eternals army that won Best Army at both Nova Open Age of Sigmar Championship and Warhammer World Age of Sigmar Grand Tournament Finals last year.  
Oscar has worked as a commissioned painter for over 10 years, and has been painting since the age of 7. He holds a Bachelor’s degree in Fine Arts where he focused on portraiture painting, color study, and art history. This has great influence on his work in terms of theme and color.  Website: https://nightsatthegametable.com/blog/author/nick/


Hailing from Wisconsin, I've been into the miniature arts for many, many, years. In 2009, I decided to enter my first painting competition and push my skills further. Fast forward to present day and I've racked up a few awards: 6 Golden Demons, 21 Crystal Brush awards, 8 P3 Best in Category "skull" trophies, 1 Gamma Hammer, 2 Dragonslayer Axes, 1 NOVA open best in show as well as 2 Best in Category awards. There are more but you get the point. My work has also appeared in White Dwarf, Ravage, and No Quarter magazines. You can also find me on: Twitch at twitch.tv/Samsonarts, Facebook, facebook.com/thefantasyartofsamlenz, Instagram, Samsonosmas, Blog, Blogspot.com/samsonminis 
Teaching this craft to others has been one the most fulfilling experiences of my life. For me, every piece is an experiment and there is always something new to learn. Join me and let's ride the chaos. 


Adam runs a YouTube channel called Tabletop Minions where, every week, he teaches people how to get into the tabletop wargaming hobby. Adam makes videos about painting techniques like “How to get started” and “How to paint faster”. He also makes more ‘philosophical’ videos about how to stay motivated in your hobby and how to think about your enjoyment of the games. Be sure and check it out


Gutier Lusquiños is a partner with Corvus Belli where he works as Chief Editor and main developer of the Infinity wargame as the writer for the fluff, rules, and scenarios. He also supports the developing team of the ‘Aristeia!’ tabletop game. Gutier would define himself as a keyboard professional in a world where concept designers and sculptors are the shining stars. However, with the support from a miniature and games company such as Corvus Belli, any game or model creating process begins with Gutier typing in a laptop and ends with extraordinary results.


I was found in the woods, as a baby, by a wild herd of forest shrews. They had grown to love the taste of baby flesh, only to realize their adorable little mouths lacked the strength to pierce human flesh. I was then force into to slavery, painting endless miniatures for the brood of tiny rodents. Their appetite for painted figures was insatiable. Luckily, after years of servitude, I saw my opportunity to escape. The massive mound of miniatures that had accumulated, finally gave way, in a beautiful avalanche of chaos. I bolted for the door, as their tiny screams could be heard from under the weight of their own greed. 

I now paint for fun, joy, profit, and love to teach other people how to paint, just in case they should ever find themselves at the mercy of malicious rodents. 



I'm a Professional 40k player and Coach. I've been playing 40k for 15 years and I love every aspect of it, from the gaming to the social. I've been on to the ETC representing Team America for 6 years, and I was the ITC champion in 2018. I love meeting people from all walks of life and learning from them, and I guess you could say my hobby outside of gaming is being social. I also love to travel. Website: https://nightsatthegametable.com/blog/author/nick/


Duncan is Warhammer TV's longest-serving presenter, and one of the best-known faces of the Warhammer Community Team. His token catchphrase "two thin coats" has achieved near-mythical status amongst Warhammer painters the world over, and the painting tutorials he presents have been watched millions of times.

Duncan will be at NOVA Open again this year to share top tips, as well as his love of painting, with new and experienced painters alike.



Founder, CCO Mat is responsible for the overall leadership of Steamforged Games’ creative teams. He owns defining the overall creative vision for products and establishing the design quality expectations for all products and across all creative teams. Prior to SFG, Mat produced and managed video game development at a senior level for the last decade or more. With deep experience of both internal and external development, Mat has full lifecycle Senior/Executive Producer credits on titles such as Heavenly Sword [PS3], Enslaved [PS3, 360, PC], Pigsy’s Perfect 10 [PS3, 360, PC], DmC [PS3, 360] and Remember Me [PS3, 360, PC] on his softography.


Founder, CEO. Rich is responsible for the overall running of Steamforged Games on a day to day basis, ensuring the vision and company ethos of the board is met at all levels of the business. Over the last 4 years Rich has worked tirelessly in ensuring stability through the rapid growth of the company along with upscaling activities across the board to meet the ever-increasing demands. His background in Product Development and Design has enabled SFG to have extremely aggressive delivery timelines and some of the highest quality end products not seen or experienced within the board game world until now. Due to all of this and the work of his team, SFG is now seen as one of the market leaders in the tabletop sector. 


“I am 33 years old, love peanut butter pretzel nuggets, energy drinks and probably lick my paint brushes too much.” Erik started building and painting scale models at a young age, beginning with model cars and then Gundam models. About 10 years ago a friend of Erik’s introduced him to Warhammer 40k because he knew Erik liked building and painting models. Although Erik no longer plays 40k he still likes the models. Erik didn’t start traveling for miniature painting competitions until 2016. He won his first best in show at Lock & Load 2017 with a bust (his first time painting a bust), and has quickly become his favorite category. Erik also won best in category (bust) at NOVA Open 2018 in the master’s tier, it was his first Open competition and the level of work was something to behold. “I feel like every miniature I finish is a milestone as I try to learn something from every piece I paint. Even if it is only a ‘tabletop’ paint job, there is always something to take away from the experience.” Website: https://www.instagram.com/erik_swinson/


Austin is a long time hobby veteran. He started painting miniatures and creating scenery for his RPG sessions at 12 and continued to hone those skills over the intervening decades with many stops along the way. In 2011 Austin began to dabble in creating painting tutorial content on YouTube under the name Brush4Hire which landed him a position as content creator for Miniwargmaing in Canada.  From there he founded a painting studio of the same name taking on commissions to paint armies and terrain.  In 2016 he founded Death Ray Designs to create game terrain and accessories which has grown into a multi-person operation.  He continues to chase his passion for the miniatures hobby as the lead designer for all of Death Ray Designs' products. 


Vincent Venturella is a passionate hobbyist and instructor. Vince has been involved in all things nerd related since first reading the Lord of the Rings in 1989 and seeking out fantasy worlds and games to explore. He first got involved with tiny plastic figures in 1997 with Warhammer Fantasy and that has led to a 20 year passion for painting. Vince hosts Warhammer Weekly every week and is best known for his Hobby Cheating video series. Vince has won awards at many conventions for his work including Fan Favorite at last year's NOVA Open. Vince's main hope is to help everyone take their next step on their own personal hobby journey. Youtube Channel: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCgptSaRLvd1QH0SURdQNYgg 


WH40kCouple is a brand created and led by Ethan & Amanda Voce. Ethan & Amanda have been married for six years and started painting and playing Warhammer 40000 at the onset of 8th edition. Never doing anything simply, they decided to create a YouTube channel to chronicle their experience. Each week, they produce a show that brings you in to their conversation around the latest Warhammer 40000 news and releases. Their mission is to create content anyone can relate to, keep things casual, and spread a message of positivity in the wargaming community. 

YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCb1_fi30Ps3sZ82OaEof_rw 
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/wh40kcouple/ 


Caleb Wissenback has been miniature painting for 9 years. He began competitively painting in 2010 and has managed to win a few Golden Demons and Crystal Brushes in that time. He also worked as a commission painter in his spare time. His armies have won best of show at many tournament events and his work has been featured in White Dwarf. His Work can be found on CMON and Putty and Paint under the username CK Studios. In 2016 Caleb teamed up with Kat Jackson to found CK Studios and began teaching weekend workshops across the US, Canada and into Europe. Caleb brings this experience, knowledge, and his abilities to his classes with the goal of increasing the students confidence and abilities. 


Joe is relatively new to tabletop gaming and painting in general.  After striking a deer while cycling in 2015, he looked for something to occupy his time while recovering.  Being a lifelong Star Wars fan, he found the Imperial Assault miniatures game and a series of YouTube tutorials.  Being a former Army soldier, he followed each step meticulously, for dozens of hours.  Joe found that the hobby aspect was more appealing than actually playing. Joe went into full time commission painting in 2018 after a career in non-profit teaching.  He has been able to transition those skill into teaching painting for beginners. 

Please see our seminar store for these and other great seminars!