On the 12th October, at the newly formatted Warhammer Fest, Golden Demon will be taking place, and yours truly will be going for the first time, and this is indeed an awesome thing. Ever since I was a little kid, reading about Golden Demon in White Dwarf, I’ve wanted to go along and though I came close last year (annoying story follows), this year I will be there for definite. The hotel and train tickets are booked, and now begins a few days of preparations. This is the first of a short series of articles about how I’m preparing for the big day, and in this post I’ll be looking at my expectations, my arrangements and my choices for entries. But first, here’s the reason I didn’t go last year…
2013 – The Most Frustrating Day
I woke up, not to the sound of my alarm going off at 6am as I could have sworn I had set it to, but with my phone ringing. On the other end of the line is Henry South (of 4gotowar.blogspot.co.uk fame) who was to be my travelling companion for the day.
“Dude, where are you?”
“Hgnuf? Wha? Muh.” looked at the time. It’s almost 9am. “Oh, f*ck!”
The train I had booked to Birmingham was leaving in minutes and I was an hour away from the station. Mr South went on ahead and I hurriedly washed, clothed myself and ran down to the tube station. Tube to Marylebone. Jump on train, still able to make it. I wasn’t submitting anything last year so didn’t have to worry too much about luggage or getting there too early, but 30ish minutes (if I recall correctly) out of London, I check my belongings and notice one rather glaring omission. I don’t have my Games Day ticket. I know exactly where it was. It was on my bedside table.
Another call from Mr South
“Where are you?”
I think I just growled down the phone.
Changed at High Wycombe Station, went back to London on the slowest train ever which decided to stop in sprawling suburbia for quite a lengthy break. I got back to Marylebone, and went outside for a cigarette (I was a smoker back then), only to realise that my cigarettes were no longer on me. They had probably fallen out on the train. As I walked, with a face like thunder, towards a little shop to buy some more, I stood in dog doings. It was at that point, that my brain just said ‘Frak this shiz’ (or something like that) and I went home, to bed, and was grumpy. That’s why I’m determined and prepared this year. This year, I shall make it to the promised land.
Golden Demon Prep: Bookings
I am once again travelling with the aforementioned Mr South but rather than struggle to move first thing on a Sunday morning, we’re heading up on the Saturday. We’ve booked train tickets for a sensibly timed train and have secured lodgings at a rather nice looking hotel too. That means we can wake up on Sunday morning, enjoy a cooked breakfast, steal some towels, and take a short taxi ride to the Ricoh Arena in Coventry where this year’s show will be held. What’s more, we get to spend Saturday evening enjoying the delights of Coventry. I know there’s a Cathedral of note and… well, actually, that’s all I know. But there’s bound to be pubs, and that’s the crucial thing.
I know why GW are holding this event in Coventry – it’s cheap. The Ricoh Arena used to host Coventry’s football team but after a dispute about rent, that team is now playing its home games elsewhere. This means that the Stadium is losing money and GW won’t have to pay the same sort of bills that they’d normally pay at the NEC in Birmingham, the event’s long standing home. I understand that, but I still really wish they’d hold it in London. It would make my life so much easier. But, like I said, this makes it cheaper for them and that helps the company, so I can deal with that. Onwards to Coventry!
Golden Demon Prep: What I’ll be Taking
I’ve decided to take three very different entries to the event this year, just to cast my net wide. Three different things in three different categories – here’s what’s coming:
Warhammer 40,000 Single Miniature – Eldar Farseer
Warhammer 40,000 Squad – Mortifactors Vanguard Veterans
Warhammer 40,000 Vehicle – Slaaneshi Knight, Dios Toros
These are the miniatures that I’m most proud of, and the posts featuring them here have been the most popular, so that’s all a good indication that they’ll be well received. The Farseer demonstrates my work with cloth and more organic colours, the Mortifactors show off a variety of skills from freehand skulls to the cracked bone effect that everyone seems to like, and Dios Toros is, well, a big, pink monster. If I’ve painted anything worthy of Golden Demon, these are the chaps for the job.
Golden Demon Prep: Managing Expectations
Now, I am fully aware that I am not going to win anything. There will be some of the country’s (and the world’s) best painters at this event, and I cannot yet count myself amongst their ranks. But that isn’t the point for me. I’m just happy to be in the mix. I’m happy that the judges are going to be looking at my miniatures. If I get a pin, I’ll be ecstatic. If I get a compliment on my work, I’ll be thrilled, and if I get sweet FA for all my troubles, I’ll still be happy because it was no trouble at all. I’m looking for a fun day out, maybe a bit of constructive criticism, and if anything does bum me out, I’ll just head to the Forge World stand and spank some hard earned pay cheque on some A grade plastic crack. Besides, there’s nothing that says I can’t mug the Slayer Sword winner afterwards and take his trophy (though mugging a guy with a sword is fraught with danger). 😉
In the next Golden Demon Prep article, I’ll show you what I’ll be doing to clean up and put the finishing touches on my entries and I’ll also discuss a possible, last minute addition to my offering too. Onwards!