Master Warhammer painter Albert Moreto Font won the 2023 Golden Demon painting competition on May 1 with his Lumineth King, a meticulously converted and painted elven lord. It’s the second time he’s taken the first prize Slayer Sword, which he last claimed 17 years ago.
Font tells Wargamer he began painting miniatures aged nine. He won the ‘Young Bloods’ competition for younger painters in 2001, before taking the Slayer Sword in 2006, aged just 18, with a Black Orc Warboss. Despite his skills, he paints as a hobby, not for paid commissions.
Font specialises in the single fantasy miniature category. “I’ve loved fantasy since I was a kid, and it’s the most accessible in terms of size of project. I’m a very slow painter so a diorama would take me thousands of hours”, he tells Wargamer. Because single figure categories are so accessible, they’re also incredibly competitive. “Everyone enters both fantasy and Warhammer 40k singles”, Font says.
Golden Demon 2023 attracted around 1,500 entries, with exquisitely painted models from every Warhammer 40k faction, Age of Sigmar army, Lord of the Rings movie scene, and more besides. Standing out from such a huge pack involves making every part of the miniature perfect. “I spent a month working every evening and all weekend on the base alone”, Font says.
With such a long tenure at the highest level of competition, Font has a long view of how the pro painting scene has changed over time. “The skill level has gotten so high. Back when I started you had to learn from White Dwarf magazine, trial, and error. It took ten years to get good. With all the online tutorials and sharing of knowledge online, new painters can get to competition standard in two or three years”.
Golden Demon UK remains one of his favourite competitions. “It’s one of the most prestigious”, he says. He also recommends the Monte San Savino Show. “It’s an open format competition, everything is judged by level. If something’s worth a gold it gets a gold, if it’s worth a silver it gets a silver”.
Font began work on the Lumineth King in late November 2022, working on it continually until just five days before judging. He says: “All I’ve been doing for the last month is painting. No Netflix, no comics, no watching movies. So for the next month I’m not going to paint”. He plans to return with another entry for Golden Demon 2024, but he’ll decide what that will be after he’s had a well-earned rest.
You can find more of Font’s amazingly detailed artwork on Instagram.