Sunday, April 30, 2017

Nerdcation Part 2 - All Around the Warhammer World!

After the fun that was Salute, I trekked across the wilderness to the untamed North of Nottinghamshire in search of my next quest - a trip to Games Workshop Headquarters and a tour of Warhammer World. I fell in love with Nottingham on this trip - such a walkable and interesting city. I met some online friends in the real world, made some amazing new ones and experienced a proper English pub and tackled a Sunday Roast. Sadly, I couldn't conquer all the roast; but like a good American I finished all the beef and left mostly only vegetables remaining!

Stomach full, the next day I set out to Warhammer World!

The Bunker where all the magic happens!
One of Sigmar's own guards the car park.
Some Ultramarines of the Second Company have arrived before me and taken the best parking spot!
Some ugly jerk in the entrance to Warhammer World. I mean, that marine IS ugly!
The gaming hall at Warhammer World.
I thought this was pretty cool - but what was to come put it to shame.
I'd have loved to be playing on this as a kid!
This is the kind of table to play Shadow War on!
Pure toy soldier porn.
So tall!
The exhibition begins with a retrospective of Warhammer models. This is the little box that started it all for me.
I still wish I had my copy!!!!
This lovely diorama was by the man John Blanche himself.
The Warhammer Quest diorama that you could spend hours looking at.
Undead vs Wood Elves by Mike McVey.
Horus against the Emperor - another McVey classic!
Genestealers against the Deathwing - noticing a pattern of who was doing these?
A Thunderbolt ready to launch long before there was a  model of one. Dave Andrews if memory serves me.
The cathedral in The Rock by Mike McVey
I remember the step-by-step of this in White Dwarf, but the artist escapes me.

This conquistador v Lizardmen diorama always thrilled me.
For the Lady and Honour!
Then, it was onto the main exhibition. The first part dealt with Age of Sigmar in all its glory.

All my games look like this. Don't yours? Hahahaha!
Stormcast hold the bridge to nowhere!
Love the floating island here.
Such a massive display really gave me scope for the new game.
Orruks march to war!
Battling it out with filthy Sylvanth!
I really like how a lot of the displays incorporated natural elements. 
Dwarves vs Skaven in the depths of the world. This one was hard to photograph because it had so many cut-throughs and little vignettes, but it was amazing.
Check out that glowing orb in the Skaven tunnels.
More Clanrats march to war.
As Dwarf miners try to find a way around them.
Slayers hold the bridges, pushing the Skaven back.
This display was perfection in style and color harmony. Every element was distinct and worked together.

Papa Nurgle's forces march to spread woe and despair!
And more vileness pours forth!
Amazing stuff!

Next, I proceeded to the far future of Warhammer 40,000 - but I'll save that for part 3!


Saturday, April 29, 2017

Nerdcation Part 1 - A Yank at Salute!

So this year for vacation I decided to cross a few things off the ol' bucket list and got tickets for the Salute show in London. Salute has had this near mythical status in my head for years - the pictures online always display a lot of work and love of toy soldiers done by local clubs. I'd also get to meet some people in the industry that I've known online for years that I'd otherwise never get the chance to meet. With tickets secured, I boarded an airplane and set off half-way around the world for one of the best toy-soldier shows anywhere!

My first jet-lagged day there, I spent seeing the Tower bridge and the Tower of London itself.
I was tired by 2 in the afternoon. This trip was a mess with a 9 hour time difference and wrecked
havoc on my internal clock.
Relaxing and then doing some touristy stuff was first, but Saturday was the big dance. Salute was a massive show - not quite on the scale of GenCon - but bigger than most others I've been to. It was stacked with vendors ranging from the big boys at Forge World to the little guy casting in his garage and everyone in between. It was fun to see what they had to show, but my main interest lay in the displays and games put on by the fans and clubs. I was not disappointed. No half built, un-primed models playing on green felt here. Only 100% certified awesome was on display. Let's take a look!
This massive display of a fort on the coast of New Sweden was the first thing to greet me
when entering.
Loved the ship readying its landing parties!
Love all the little details on this board. It really brings it to life!
Indian war parties patrol the shore!
Im sure the nearby village was concerned with the thunder of guns the fort and ship
were exchanging!
A display for Wild West Exodus built by my buddy Rob Hawkins at the Rob Hawkins Hobby Blog.
It was awesome to check out this massive Dropfleet Commander dropship in person.
Check out all those ships ready to descend on a hapless planet.
Germans vs Soviets in the snow.
I really liked the winter paint on the German armor.
Life finds a way in this Jurassic Park game!
The raptor section really needed to be run by woman so that when she beat you, the
proper response would be "Clever Girl!"
I was happy to see no sign of Chris Pratt.
A game of "To The Strongest" being run by its writer, Simon Miller of The Big Read Bat Cave blog.
All those pikemen in 28mm were giving me a bit of the vapors. So sexy!
Who'd think this was played on grid? So cleverly hidden.
This board was the Fall of Saigon and packed with models!
Again, full of lovely little touches.
The Japanese column brazenly advances!
With a little air support, of course.
Great looking 1st World War trench table action.
Some ACW action ready to occur.
I think them Union boys gonna have a looooong walk over to
them fences.
I think a War of Spanish Succession battle? Anyway, that town in
the back was great!
I think that's a LOT of robots by anyone's standards.
An evil genius' derrick lair for a game of 7TV
This fantastic game of Napoleonics was a scaled up version
of Command & Colors Napoleonics.
Even in 15mm, this was a huge board.
Giant Robits fight it out in this Wolsing display.
A lovely game of Sharpe's Practice put on by the fellas from Lard Island.
Some hot Pike and Shotte action on this table.
Some great D-Day action here!
This whole table oozed with details. One of my favs there.
I really loved the buildings.
This table for Mierce Miniatures was fantastic. I got to watch it grow on Twitter
and the end result was fabulous!
And a shot from the other end.
Some 15mm Napoleonics using the new "General de'Armee" rules, I believe.
This Infinity table was full of vibrant colors!
And probably cost a fortune!
Loved this little board for samurai skirmishes.
Battlegroup Tobruk by Ironfist Publishing. 
They do great work with materials anyone can get.
This amazing castle and town by Oshiro Models was another show highlight.
Those buildings are just wonderful!
I loved how many boards incorporated water and boats into their design, and this was
no exception.
A line of samurai and their troops make their way up to the castle!
More 15mm Naps! That town in the corner was just the best.
All hand made, from what I was told!
Some far future action from Halo Ground Command over at Spartan Games.
This Pelican model almost made me want to play this game. Almost.
Great looking Frostgrave table.
From another angle.
More Frostgrave action. I think this was a display by Sarrissa for their laser cut range.
I really dug the mountain shrine added.

I ended up making only a few purchases at the show. I was most enthused by some more Time Robbers figures from Northumbrian Tin Soldier and scooped them up as quick as I could!

Kevin completes the crew! And Og as a pig is just icing on top!
"I would have started with Micro Chips, the Laser, DAY ONE!"
I never pass up on a model that gives me the chance to use a Sean Connory voice!

Aside from a few bibs and bobs, that was my Salute. It was a fantastic show and everyone there was so kind to me. BUT! That wasn't the end of my Nerdcation - I figured while I was "close", a trip to Nottingham and Warhammer World was in order. That's part 2 later this week!