Games Day/Golden Demon Chicago – July 25th 2009

Report

Saturday July 25th, 2009 saw myself and my compadre’s Evan, Colin and Joe heading (in rather cramped conditions) up to the Donald E. Stephens Convention Center in Rosemont to hit up Games Day/Golden Demon 2009. To the uninitiated, Games Workshop have a huge event which has displays, speed painting competitions, Forge World and GW sales booths, costume contests, banner contests and the Golden Demon painting awards, all crammed into one, long, overwhelming day.

I think there was a definite suppressed excitement as we made our way down there, thinking about all the great stuff that we could pick up for our respective forces. It was obvious that the main highlight of this jaunt was the fact we could get our claws on lots of Forge World goodness, without having to pay shipping costs on a ridiculously overpriced product.

So, we are dropped off outside, but not after pointing out the other people on their way there who were obviously wargames players (are we that easy to spot?), and also wondering what else was running alongside Games Day. (Apparently there were some ’empowerment conferences’ going on, I later found out).

We head in, get registered and step into the hall, facing a rather large, inflatible Space Marine (a bloody Ultramarine, no less). The first thing I noticed was how empty the hall looked. Upon closer inspection, it was due to the fact that the hall was SO immense, that the hundreds (if not thousands) of people there looked like a small handful. Odd! I bumped into Dan, the manager of the Woodfield Mall store and chatted to him briefly, he was overseeing some super heavy tank battles, which, by the way, was the noisiest section of the whole venue.

It only took a matter of moments for us to scope out where Forge World was, and where the end of the line was to get in there, so, we wombled on over and got in line. Colin graciously offered to stay in line and hold a spot for us, if we wanted to go take a look at the sales booth. Evan and Colin hung back while me and Joe headed over to the sales stand. It’s certainly evident that Games Workshop are wanting to move fully to a plastic range, as all the eye could see where stacks of boxes on tables. It reminded me of a flea market. I had a look around at the stuff they had, which was just all the stuff they have in the stores anyway. With the exception of some ‘Direct Sales’ collector ranges, and the Games Day exclusive mini, there was little to get excited about. There were no price deals, or even things like ‘buy 2 get one free/half price’ affairs either, which all made it seem like an anti climax. Joe and myself did happen to see a table which had a ‘yellowshirt’ dump a big box of markdown blister packs onto a table, into which a ravenous horde of kids scrambled to see what they could get. It was essentially a bunch of crap they could’nt shift in the stores. I saw a lot of Warmaster and LoTR stuff in there, with a couple of 40K/WHFB bits thrown in for good measure.

I snagged a Chimera, Joe snagged some paint, and we headed off back to the line to rejoin Evan and Colin. I’d say we’d been gone about 30 minutes or so at this point, and the lads had only just got to the sectioned off part of the line. I lost track of time eventually in the Forge World line, as we were there so bloody long. It was a great opportunity to yap about anything and anything, and to also make fun of the awkward nerdy types that would go up to the young lady dressed as a Dark Elf and wanted to take a picture of her. Think of Princess Leia in her Slave outfit after listening to a lot of Goth, and that’ll give you an idea of the attire she was wearing. We also were eyeballing t-shirts, or display models or whatnot that we thought were cool, and devised many plots on how to rumble their respective owners to make off with their swag. This usually started with ‘i’ll create a diversion…’ Eventually, after what seemed like a millenia, we made it to the Forge World table. I already knew I wanted the Exorcist missile launcher upgrade kit for a Rhino (as I already have the pipe organ version). The lady who was helping me went and looked, only to find they were all out. Which kinda stumped me, as thats all I really needed at this point. So, to at least make the wait worthwhile, I asked for the Death Guard Terminator upgrades. Nothing. So, I asked if they Had any Blight Drones, which they did have. I looked at it, and it really is a beautiful (?) model, but at this point I couldn’t justify dropping almost $70 on something that won’t see the light of day for ages. Joe was standing with me and we were talking about inducted Guard/Marine forces for Sisters of Battle armies, to which the lady suddenly blurted out some bizarre piece of info that was clearly wrong. Me and Joe exchanged a ‘wtf’ look and carried on browsing the catalogue. nothing else was jumping out at me (that I could use). Heavy hearted I left the FW table empty handed.

Colin, on the other hand, emerged from the FW booth resembling what can only be described as Santa Claus on christmas eve. The bag of stuff he bought was HUGE, and I shuddered at the mere thought of what he just dropped in there. Games Workshop love this man. Evan snagged some very tasty renegade militia models, and the uber sexay ‘Blood Slaughterer’, which looks like a mechanized very angry bug. The detail on this thing is amazing, and i’m looking forward to seeing this bad boy on the field.

We had worked up an appetite at this point, so it was decided that we should go in search of food. We could’ve gone to the restaurant, but lets face it, conventions are notoriously expensive as it is, why would you go down that route? you’d probably have to re-mortgage your house or something for a plate of fries. so we hit the concession stand. We had been talking while in line about each of us entering the terrain building session, as you get to keep what you make, and that would sure help us out with our terrain selection we had. We were going to do this, until we saw the line, which was really, really long, and there was still an hour or more before the next session, so we nixed that idea.

Thankfully the line was virtually non existant at the foodstand, at which I purchased a slice of cheese pizza and a >small< pop for $8. Colin did the same, and Evan picked up a hot dog, at least thats probably what it wanted to be when it grew up. I honestly don’t know how these people can look you in the eye and charge you those prices, as the food was crap. The pizza was like a piece of rubber attached to a piece of very hard, overcooked/stale wood. I couldn’t even bite through the crust! argh!

We floated around the painted army section, and voted for our favorites, then ambled over to the open gaming tables. There were some very nice setups that gave me a lot of inspiration for terrain. From there we went over to this small table that had examples of changes through the ages of various GW games, like the WH40k formats, Space Hulk etc etc. It all seemed a little half-hearted really, like they had found a few bits and pieces and decided to throw together a display. Even the Golden Demon Entries seemed sparse, but i’m not sure if that was maybe because they were scooping up the minis’s to photograph them. There were some truly stunning entries though, which made me want to take a hammer to all my stuff. ๐Ÿ™‚

We decided to call it a day after that, as there really was little else to do. I think we were all a little disappointed by what seemed to be a lacklustre event. We all (well, nearly all) achieved our purchasing goals, but it would have been nice to see a little more going on, and a little more for people to check out that weren’t there to play a game. It seemed pretty unanimous that we wouldn’t be returning next year, although I am considering maybe putting an entry into Golden Demon, just to see where I can get ๐Ÿ˜‰

And thats that! I do have pictures, which I will upload and put here, but I wanted to get the blurb up first.

Flamers! Fisting! and a whole lotta 40k…

My love/hate relationship with Ebay…

Ebay can be great, you can find that elusive bargain, that useless bit of crap, or that last item you needed to fill your collection. For wargamers, it can be a mecca of a site to find deleted or OOP minis or whatnot.

I both buy and sell on Ebay, and for the most part its pretty plain sailing. I have had a couple of people in the 7+ years i’ve been on there flake on me, but whatever. I’m a pretty easy going chap, and i’ll always strive to be a quick and efficient seller, and always pay promptly when i’m a buyer, usually as soon as the auction ends. I suppose I expect the same of other people, but alas it is not to be.

I found a back issue of White Dwarf magazine on there that had a cool illustration of a Battle Sister on the cover, and apparently had SoB tactics in one of the articles, so I went in for the kill. I won the auction, paid promptly and waited patiently.

You can imagine my surprise when I received a brown envelope in the mail a week or so later. I wasn’t sure what it was, as it was quite light, and had no return address on it. Seeing the UK postage mark on it, I thought it was something from my dad. I flipped over the envelope only to found out it was open, and empty. I was still baffled as to what it was when I saw that it was mailed from Leicestershire, then I knew that this was (at least once) home to my WD issue I’d won.

A mixture of wonderment and anger as to wtf had happened, obviously someone had helped themselves to my magazine, maybe thinking it was a Hustler or something, then just disgarding it when they found out otherwise. I’m not too sure how many wargames enthusiasts work for the PO, and any that did, the chance of them opening my item and thinking freakin’ xmas had come early. I did notice that it was one of those envelopes that has that tacky stuff under the lip, so you just squeeze it shut. The problem with these is that you can open them and reseal them with no problem. The seller hadn’t even bothered to seal an envelope with tape for an international sale!

So, long story short, I took some pictures right away and contacted the seller who was vague at best about what to do. So, after 3 attempts I decided, ‘no more mr nice guy’ and i’m currently slogging it out with PayPal to get my moolah back, as the sellers irresponsibility had left me without a magazine and down some cash. We’ll see what happens.

On the plus side, I did just score a Tomb Kings Screaming Skull catapult for less than 50% retail price – take THAT Games Workshop and your ever inflating prices! ๐Ÿ™‚

New Forum created – Chamber Militant is online.

Yes indeed. I decided to have a go at hosting a forum, for all you gamers and hobbyists out there to come together and talk about anything hobby related. The page is only a couple of days old, and is still being moved and tweaked here and there, but please stop by, register (it only takes a minute) and join in!

Forces of the Imperium – Ave Imperator!

I have, indeed, been working behind the scenes, and I wanted to post some finished pieces instead of all the WIP posts that have peppered WCF recently. I have set myself monthly goals, with certain minis to be completed in one month. This is the minimum, and if I can get more done, well, thats obviously a bonus. If I can complete my quota per month, then I reward myself by taking me and my long suffering girlfriend out for a sushi dinner. A fair trade, methinks? ๐Ÿ™‚

This month’s objective was to complete any 3 Sisters of Battle and 5 random Cadian troops which are to be inducted Imperial Guard in my SoB forces. I decided against the usual green/brown scheme for the Cadians, and opted for an urban camoflage scheme that befitted the cityscapes that me and the lads usually fight across. They will get insignia on the shoulder pads, but i’m waiting for the new Imperial Guard Codex this weekend before deciding on what to have.ย  As we have already seen with my other Battle Sister, the colors for The Ancient Order of the Exalted Saint Boudicea is purple and cream. I completed 2 heavy weapons and one bolter Sister. I decided on this self imposed monthly ‘quest’ a couple of weeks ago, so I had limited time to complete them. Hopefully in the upcoming months I will be able to finally knock some sizeable holes in my ‘to do’ list. See what you think, and, as always, c+c are welcome!

Completed! the AoBR Dready!

By the Emperors Y-Fronts I thought this thing would never get finished! I estimateย 10-15 man hours spent on this, from sprue to the finished item. It totally made me sure that I would NEVER want to paint another AoBR dread, EVER!

So, here it is! C=C welcome!

WIP – AoBR Dreadnought – Black Templars

I have started working on my Black Templars Dreadnought. I had already painted the one arm, but was not happy with the highlighting, so I went over it all again last night. I only painted a small part to get a feelย  for the black highlighting process. Now that I have a formula I am happy with, I will continue with the rest of it. In the meantime, here is what I have done:

I’m pleased with how he’s looking so far. However, that being said, I don’t think i’ll ever want to paint another AoBR dready, as there is something about it that makes it feel like a toy more than a model. The plastic its made from seems harder and more unforgiving than the regular boxed sets. More to come!

Paul

WIP – Black Templar Assault Terminators

Yes, you read right, yet more work in progress! The reason for this, and the lack of my painting right now, is simply due to time, the holidays and all that jazz. Now that I am getting back into my routine, i’ll be slapping the paint on as well! Hurrah!

I was more than a little wary of dropping $50 on a set of 5 plastic assembly figures, and I still can’t believe I did, but it was xmas money, so I don’t feel so bad I guess. I had a bunch of the Forge World Terminator upgrades for xmas too, which consisted of 10 shoulder pads and 5 bad-ass looking shields.

The actual figures were very easy to put together and fit together great. The poseability of them really is incredible and puts the old skool ones to shame in their similar poses and limited convertability. The addition of the Forge World parts really makes these Terminators pop, and I am really excited about getting them painted. They have a sort of medieval air about them, which is perfect for these zealous troops.ย  I am thinking that the shields will be split colors, down the middle, with whatever combination their ‘livery’ will be in, adding to that ‘olde worlde’ flair. See what you think:

Needless to say I have been left with a bunch of spare Terminator parts, lightning claws, a hammer, shields, shoulder pads and some assorted bits and pieces, so I’ll probably be putting those up on the bay, for anyone who’s interested ๐Ÿ™‚

Fight till the end, whatever the challenge!

Nurgle Chaos Terminator Lord – WIP

Indeed, another project I managed to squeeze in when I had a spare few moments. As I mentioned earlier today, I picked up the Chaos Terminator Lord, and I have to say, it is a beautiful and spectacularly decadent mini to put together. I wanted him to be bombastic and looking ready to deal out some serious pain. I was having a hard time deciding what weapons to give him, as I loved all the combinations. In the end I decided on giving him lightning claws, as I figured the prospect of getting up close and personal with this guy would be truly terrifying. I added the cape and the spikey racks to add to the general air of malice that exudes from every weeping pore. Why not put him on the over-the-top chaos rubble base too, to add some extra height? so I did! it also allowed me to position him so it looks as though he’s about to jump over and start leathering the poop out of some poor, unfortunate sap. I was thinking that if it was any good, maybe even entering it into Golden Demon next year. Anyhoo, check out the pictures and see what you think!

Song of the moment: ‘Utopian Blaster’ By Cathedral ๐Ÿ™‚

Quick update – December 30th

Wow! what a busy holiday break! I think I need a vacation….

Added to the already swelling ranks. Newest additions to the mini collection are:

  • Box of Black Templar Sword Bretheren
  • Chaplain in Terminator Armor
  • Black Templar upgrade kit
  • Box of Sternguard Veterans
  • Forgeworld Death Guard conversion set
  • Forgeworld Apostate Preachers of Nurgle
  • Forgeworld upgrade kits for Black Templar Terminators
  • Forgeworld Black Templar Venerable Dreadnaught

So, plenty to keep me busy into the new year and beyond! I also picked up a Chaos Terminator Lord, the plastic boxed figure, and have already assembled it, and GS’d it too! He is now a grim and bloated Chaos Lord of Nurgle. I’ll post pictures up soon. I need to get on board with all my other projects!

Thats it for now, have a great New Year!!

Paul

Quick update – Nurgle Rhino WIP

Hi all!

The work on the Nurgle Rhino is finally done. and ready for priming! In total there is about 5 hours work on this, and thats after the basic body was built. I finished the GS-ing last night, with the addition of the Nurgle icon eyeballs, and a couple more patches of goo. I added a couple of patches of sand as well here and there, which will be painted up like some sort of crusty disease when I paint it.ย  The only thing I need to do now is glue a spike on the (ex)Death Korps chap…

eyes to despise...