Friday, August 27, 2010

Games Day Baltimore 2010 (part4-The Last)

Following my three hour stint at the Golden Demon Lounge I new I had to make up for lost time. I grabbed my stack of Dan Abnett books (the hardcovers at least) and raced down to the Black Library signing line. Not only was Dan there, but also his lovely wife Nik, and Gav Thorpe, Nathan Long, C.L. Werner, and Mike Lee! I was able to dash out of the line, buy a copy of The Sabbat Worlds, and get back in line to have Nik sign her story on the compilation and Dan sign "my stack".

After that I didn't have much time but was able to swing by the Jawaballs table again, say "G'Day" to a few old friends, spend far too much at the ForgeWorld stand and then start packing up my Blood Pact army. While doing the last bit I got the chance to talk to Jacob, the winner of the Storm Wardens army, and he is a really great guy! His love for 40K and enthusiasm about the project will, no doubt, see him taking good care of the army for years to come!

Anyway, all that meant I missed the award ceremony for the Golden Demons (they changed up the timing and location for it all, and I hadn't paid any attention to the new schedule), but was able to stand on stage for a brief second along with the other Gold trophy winners and see Todd Swanson awarded his FOURTH Slayer Sword! Boy, did he deserve it. A very beautiful Lictor indeed!

So, thats about it for my Baltimore Games Day experience. If it seems rushed and disjointed, that's because it was : )

I spent the bulk of my time doing what I love to, talking to friends (new and old) and having a great time with toy soldiers. So thank you to all my friends who were there for making it a great day, and congratulations to those who walked away with Golden Demon trophies too (Kyle, Kirill, Jeff, Yuri, Marc, Mathieu, Todd, Zach, Alex, and anyone else I may have missed!)

So here he is, my latest Primarch conversion - Night Haunter, Primarch of the Night Lords.

I hope you like him.

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Games Day Baltimore 2010 (part3)

The Uniforms & Heraldry of the Empire is a fantastic book. In my humble opinion, there should be more of these books, at least one for each army. Filled with interesting color schemes and "bonus" ideas for painting the regiments of your Empire army, it is a must-have for Empire players.

The best part are the vignettes by Dave Gallagher, there are about six or so of these sketches of Empire Troops in action. One of my favorites has always been Grundel's Defenders, a Spearmen regiment of Nuln who have never lost a cannon they were charged with defending (save a handful that have misfired or been taken out by sorcerous means). It was with this sketch in mind that I embarked on my Diorama project for Games Day 2010.

Grundel's Defenders took Silver in the Diorama category, right behind a very nice "Kroot in the Desert" piece and just ahead of a diorama by a fellow Aussie.

If you want to see a huge swathe of the Golden Demon Winners (and Honorable Mentions and other cool entries), then head to the website run by GW-collector and big fan of toy-soldiers Richard Hale. His website is Stuff Of Legends, and his coverage of this year's North American Golden demon can be found here.

Well, it's back to the pool for me. Don't forget to visit all the blogs in my blog roll for their great Games Day coverage. There are a lot of interesting takes on the show, and plenty of great photos (which I don't have because I forgot to take my camera).


Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Games Day Baltimore 2010 (part2)

So, last post I jumped straight into my Golden Demon entries, and left you hanging on the rest of my adventures at the show. Well, after dropping off my GD entries, I met Ron Saikowski (From the Warp), a fellow member of the Storm Warden Build Team, and we had a look through the Storm Wardens army and case : ) Very cool stuff. I then took it downstairs to the main hall to drop it off at the Jawaballs and Fritz table, ready for it to be picked up by Jacob, the winner of the army. While there, I helped Jawaballs with a quick video run-through of the army in the case and we were joined by Ross Watson (from Fantasy Flight Games) who had not only helped us out with some extra background on the Storm Wardens, but also provided a Tactical demi-squad and a signed copy of Deathwatch! Extra cool stuff!

It was then off to the Armies on Parade area, where I laid out my Blood Pact army in the hopes there'd be some nice response to it. Once that was dropped off, I was back up to the Golden Demon Lounge area for my shift at the table. Three hours of chatting to folks about painting toy soldiers, and catching up with old friends.

So at the top of the page you can see the Terminator Squad I entered for the 40K Squad category. I painted these guys almost two years ago, as part of my Ultramarine army that I started for the release of 5th edition 40K. I now have the entire 5th Company painted, along with about 65% of the 1st company and quite a few elements of the 10th.

This Assault Terminator Squad are my favorite 5 Termies from the army.

As well as entering Armies on Parade (and winning the Best Painted Army award), I also entered my Sanchez-pattern Crusader into the Vehicle Conversion Contest. It's a fairly straight-forward conversion, adding the Carnifex carcass to the top, along with other detailing and and trophies. The real kickers are the six twin-linked plasmas in the sponsons. This arrangement was suggested by a former colleague (Dureke Sanchez) and is so heinous it can take down a Carnifex in one round of shooting. It certainly didn't win, but the winner in that category was perhaps one of the most amazing things at Games Day. It was an Ork Pirate Ship, built from two Baneblades, seven Stompa kits, and about fifteen pounds of plastic sprue. Simply awesome. my friends and I dubbed the builder the "Hero of Games Day"!

More later in the week.

Monday, August 23, 2010

Games Day Baltimore 2010 (part1)

What a way to start my week-long family vacation on the beach than to have an awesome time at Games Day Baltimore! We had wrapped up Wargames Illustrated 276 (the October issue) on Friday, and I'd completed my Golden Demon entries on Thursday, so all that remained was to get packed for the beach and enjoy the festivities!

On Friday night I spent some time hanging out with old friends at the Pratt Street Alehouse (formerly The Wharf Rat), drinking a few beers and chatting about the past, the present, and the future. Good times all round!

On Saturday I woke up nice and early, discovered I hadn't had too much to drink the night before (thankfully) and went about the business of getting my butt down to the Convention Center.

First order of business was to get my Golden Demon entries handed in. Always worth getting this out of the way early. This year I entered seven categories, three entries painted for the show, three I've painted in the last two years or so, and one long shot from five years ago!

They were:
• 40K Single - Night Haunter, Primarch of the Night Lords (new for the show)
• 40K Squad - Tyrannic War Veterans of the South Gate (from my Ultramarine army)
• 40K Vehicle - Locust, Chaos Vector Fighter (from this post here)
• Warhammer Single - Grey Seer on Bell (new for the show, in this post below)
• Warhammer Regiment - Minotaurs of Karnak (as seen above and in the post here)
• Warhammer Large - Grug Longstrider, Ogre Hunter (from my old Ogre army, seen below)
• Diorama - Grundel's Defenders, Spearmen of Nuln (new for the show)

I can tell you now that I picked up a Gold in Warhammer Regiment for my Minotaurs, and a Silver in Diorama for my Spearmen. VERY, VERY, happy! : )

Since the release of the Skaven Screaming Bell, I've been mightily impressed by it all. Particularly the Grey Seer on top, such a dynamic model. So I decided to paint him up, even though I'd have no real use for him on top of the complete Bell. Here he is on his chopped down bell. I'm very happy with the way he turned out, as were some of my friends. The judges felt he was good enough for first cut, but not for the prizes. I agree, the winning models in this category were awesome!

And here's a shot of my Ogre Hunter. I converted and painted this guy about five years ago for my Ogre army. I really like the pose and simple scheme, so I figured I'd put him in the competition. He made First Cut, and again, there were quite a few entries that blew him out of the water.

Anyway, I'm about to jump in the pool with my daughter. Have fun, and I hope to get a few more posts up this week.


Wednesday, August 18, 2010

It's almost time...

I know I've posted a lot about the "Great Storm Wardens Project" (just check out my July posts if you don't believe me). Well, this Saturday is the day we hand it over to the winner, Jacob.

Jacob is coming down to Baltimore Games Day and is really looking forward to being the 'warden' of this army (and meeting a lot of the guys who were involved in the project.

Anyway, the Battlefoam bag arrived today. I was so excited about seeing what Romeo had donated to the project I had to immediately put the army (and other goodies) into the case and take some photos. I hope you enjoy a tour through the case and the army.

A few people have been asking me how many points the army is, so I thought I'd add it all up. These points values typically take into account the lowest possible for the unit, and the total is:

Almost 3,100 points!

Adding some extra armor and items of wargear could easily push this army over 3,300 points. Awesome stuff. And you'll notice too that there's plenty of room to add more units, like more bikes, or assault Marines, more Terminators, and more Rhinos and Landspeeders.

See you on Saturday at Baltimore Games Day when we hand it all over : )


Tuesday, August 10, 2010

The Admirable Humility

So, at the end of last Thursday's post, I promised to tell you about the final day of gaming at WarGamesCon.

Apocalypse game four! After racking up a satisfying total of 1-1-1 for the first day, we entered the second with great enthusiasm. Despite losing our Plague-ridden friend Cargill, we gained two allies in the form of Andrew and his Kroot Mercenaries, and Ben and his Eldar. This created perhaps the most motley of collections manning that final Vraksian "palace" - Traitor Guard, Orks, Eldar, and Kroot. Our opponents (Dan, Eric, and Jason) were joined by Rex and his vast amount of mechanized Blood Angels.

We were allocated a Warhound and a Reaver Titan, whilst the Imperials were able to add a Reaver and a Thunderhawk to their arsenal.

To make things a little easier, we divided our forces to defend each end of the palace complex, my Blood Pact focused on the North Gate, and Pat's Ork Walker Horde focused on the South Gate. Ben's rapid Eldar played the counter-attack role, while most of Andrew's Kroot hunkered down on the objectives.

Despite a slow grind of really abysmal shooting at the North Gate, we held quite well, as the Imperial shooting was just as cursed. Outside the South Gate, Pat had to deal with plenty of IG and fiendish Black Templars, and things looked grim for a few minutes there.

The crowning moment of the battle though was when the Thunderhawk, that had just deployed Templar Terminators, was chopped up by a Kroot Shaper Council, and apocalyptically exploded (Strength 9, AP2, 15" radius)! Despite the bold move by the Imperials, this devastation prevented them from seizing any of the objectives and it was called a victory for the anarchic forces of destruction!

Sorry, no pics : )

What I do have though, are pics of a terrain piece I built for a friend of mine for a big Apocalypse game he ran on his birthday recently. Built from 3 Bastions, 1 Shrine of the Aquila, 1 Citadel Hill, 3 cool weapons from Quantum Gothic in the UK, and a bunch of plasticard and some bitz from Cities of Death buildings.

Named "Admirable Humility", the structure really is anything but, standing two stories tall, with a dozen heavy bolter emplacements, three massive weapons of destruction, parapets to shield other defenders, and the blessing of both the Emperor and the Omnissiah.

The striking paint job was aided immeasurably by John Shaffer, who helped me out by laying down the fade from black to red, building up airbrushed layers from Scab Red through to Blood Red. A beautiful effect.

I know my friend really liked the piece (using it to claim victory in his birthday bash), and I hope you do too.

More updates later this week.