Juan Navarro – La Fabrica Roja Crystal Brush Qualifier!


March 15th, 2012


The Road to the Crystal Brush continues…

Our recent series of interviews have been focusing upon the Best in Show painters who are headed to the Crystal Brush…but we are just as interested in how the miniature sculptors winning convention accolades around the world feel about how they got to their victories, we at Cool Mini or Not have been tracking down the qualifying winners and asking them for information they’d like to share with you…our readers!

Today we are talking to Juan Navarro, the Crystal Brush Qualifier who won Best in Show:Sculptor out at La Fabrica Roja in Spain, asking for his thoughts and opinions about his part of the Crystal Brush experience so others might be able to join him on the winners’ stage someday!


Cool Mini or Not: Hey there Juan! Congrats on your big win out at La Fabrica Roja. How did it feel when you were handed the victory?

Juan Navarro: Surprised! It is quite unusual that one unpainted miniature wins a painting contest, I did not expected it, whatsoever.

CMoN: Well, sculpting is as much part of the final miniature production masterpiece as the paint job, so I’m happy to see such a talented sculptor be victorious. What exactly was your winning entry? Why did you choose that particular miniature?

JN: It is a 54mm miniature called by everybody “jungle’s sorceress”. I called it just “sorceress”. I liked the general feeling. It shows a sensual figure (a 35-40 year old woman) but it has a challenging and a bit aggressive attitude.


Navarro - Sorceress Navarro - Sorceress 2 

CMoN: Do you have any other pieces of your work that you’d like to share with us? Anything that you are particularly proud of?

JN: I am very lucky to work as freelance for some companies (all of them have amazing, amazing concept artists) Anima Tactics, Corbus Belli, Rackham….. But in my personal work I can take more time, even if the concept is not as cool as a professional one. (CMoN: Although we understand you hope to release some of them soon in Secretstudiominiatures.)


Navarro - Spartan Navarro - Triton Navarro - Bust 

CMoN: How long have you been sculpting miniatures, competitively or otherwise?

JN: I have been sculpting professionally for the last six years, and I feel like a begginner when I see the work of some Masters. I started to sculpt, as everybody else, making small details in my first miniature army. One skull here, one extra pocket there…..customizing “my warriors”. That was ages ago.

CMoN: Do you have a particular methodology to how you sculpt a show model, or anything else for that matter?

JN: Try to get as much references and support material as possible (you never have too much!). Try work in a base (that wire skeleton that has the pose of the miniature) until it has the feeling of the concept. And try to do not lose the general look of the miniature during the sculpting process. That last is the most difficult thing, sometimes before I go to sleep I watch the miniature I am working in and I think “you did it!”. Next morning I watch the same miniature and think “FAIL!!!”, it is easy to get a wrong impression of what you are doing while you are doing it.

CMoN: As an average sculptor myself, I totally understand what you mean. What is your favorite model you have ever sculpted, and for what reason?

JN: The first one that I did as a professional. It took me an entire month to finish it! but when my boss told me “finally… ready to go molding” I could not believe it.


Navarro - First Sculpt 

CMoN: Well, it really is a great miniature, as is the rest of what you’ve showed us here. I cannot wait to see what you have planned in the future! How excited are you to be headed out to Chicago in April for the Crystal Brush?

JN: This is like a roller coaster for my humble and monotonous life as a sculptor. Challenges are exciting, and, to be honest, it is a crazy challenge to participate with one sculpture in a primarily painting-based (crystal”BRUSH”) contest of this (the higher) level.

CMoN: One last thing. Do you have any mysterious hints or foreshadowing that you can give us about what you are entering for the Crystal Brush finals at Adepticon?

JN: I did not make the concept, it is an old work of an artist that now is a friend. When I saw that illustration for the first time I was not a professional sculptor yet, but I promised to myself to make it some day. I am working on it NOW and I wonder if it is beautiful or terrible.

CMoN: I’m sure it will be truly a work of art, Juan. Thanks for chatting with us, and I can’t wait to meet you in person coming up in April!

  • Chungd75

    I would really like to see most if not all of these available for us collectors. Fantastic work!