So Gamesday 2012 has been and gone. Charlie and I both survived multiple encounters with the more interesting characters that one inevitably bumps in to during such events (though I'm convinced that as I get older I am developing one those faces that says 'talk to me').
Despite the weather the queueing to get in was reasonable, though the people who were carrying massive Armies on Parade boards didn't agree. Much grumbling regarding the need for special competitor entrances could be heard by those toting their lovingly constructed boards. The competition itself was a good mix of modeling ingenuity (the floating Dark Eldar flyer was a real touch) and painting skill. The final winner came from the Cardiff store which looked as impressive as any of the others but walking around all the entries left us musing over how unclear it was as to what criteria we should use to judge the competition (each attendee gets a vote). I was looking for an interesting narrative whilst Charlie's eye was often caught by those entries which displayed particularly impressive painting.
Getting to talk to the guys in the Design Studio always fills me with a real enthusiasm for 40k, whilst also making me a little sad I won't ever be as good as them. Always surprises me that the artists work at two times the size of the final pieces. The art department have completely redesigned the way they are designing for the new colour codices. Had a great chat with Edgar Ramos regarding how to polish cured green stuff using a short bristled tooth brush pnce you've finished sculpting. He had kept himself busy by sculting giant sized marine heads whilst chatting to people!
Charlie's bord in all it's Chaos Glory!
The digital sculpting techniques were on display and one of the sculptors explained that they use a tool called Free Flow which was orignially designed for Dentist. Interstimgly since GW have been using it the developers have been adding more and more tools that GW need as they have become the main users of the program. A particularly cool feature of the program is that the '3D mouse' (not its real name) gives the sculptor pressure feedback so that they 'feel' they clay as they scuplt it.
Forgeworld seminar was a lot of fun, especially as we didn't have tickets and they let us in anyway. Really nice to get an oppertunity to see stuff that wasn't coming out for a while. Q&A turned up the fact that the Emperor will be made along with a set of rules. Forgeworld seemed to be the real driving factor for attendees and it was good to see the company step up to meet the demands of their customers.
Getting to stand next to the Rhino was cool, though there is no way Space Marines would fit in it!
Whilst I think these may well just be some of the test greens that the sculptors have to make as part of their training they make rather nice collection of models that GW should cast up and sell (I really like the 'Stealer Magus!)
Areas for Improvement:
I appreciate this is probably mainly a particular problem of mine but the shear amount of queueing required to participate in the interesting actfivities really frustrated me. I understand that as soon as you get more than two British people in a room they will form a queue but given that the event was less than five hours long having to spend most of your time queueing felt like a real waste of time. The Forgeworld stand was the worst for this, snaking it's way around an entire warehouse/air hanger size room. We stood in for 25 minutes then decided to come back at the end tmo chance our luck on there being anything left and have to congratulate the guys on still having Horus Heresy books available (though it was still a 15 minute queue), though I think that had more to do with the £70 price tag!
The security at tthe retail area was so poor that I would be amazed if there wasn't lots of little teenage hands stuffing plastic crack into their sweaty little pockets! The organisers probably expected everyone to mill around the different stands but with no discount or multiple purchase special the large wide spaces seemed like poor planning as people politely waited in the Frogeworld mega queue.
Whilst the prospect of lugging my models around during Games Day doesn't seem like a great prospect the small number of open play tables really frustrated me as I felt this was probably a good way to while away some of the time during the day, especially if you were meeting friends you hadn't seen in a while. This point coupled with the really short length of the event (possibly due to being a Sunday) meant that I felt GW were really missing an opportunity to take a lot of pressure off of the event if they held it over two days. I understand this would dramatically increase costs etc, but I just felt it would allow people to relax and participate in all the different activities available.
Overall it was a good day out but mainly due to having Charlie to go around with and the price seemed rather steep for what you got (the event model was an extra £12!).
The last image is for Rob as it reminded me of a conversation we had about using Dinosaurs as Marine vehicles!