Sunday, 8 September 2013

Open Day 2 - a good day too

WW1 Germans advance!
Our second open day was a lot of fun! We had a good number of visitors, including a bucket load of families with young children eager to take part in our Make and Take a Tank offer. Ok, they were not going to become members of course but they had a great deal of fun and it was a great piece of PR for us. Next year we will expand this part of the event and provide some paints and, given the number of girls taking part, we will also provide various tubs of sparkly things and glitter....something several of the young girls took great pains to tell me we needed! When a four year old girl looks you squarely in the eye and tells you that she wanted to colour her tank with pink pots and golden glitter but there wasn't any to use what else are you to do? Nothing like some feedback is there? Our thanks once again go to Tracy at Armourfast for providing the kits, very generous indeed.

Mark has painted up a couple of very cool Belgian armoured cars....this one got a little shot up!

We had plenty of more wargamey visitors too, Ian Barber of the Shepway wargames club, Clint Burnett from the Twydal wargames club and fellow blogger (Anything but a one) and Bob Cordery of the popular wargames bog 'A wargames Miscellany' who has already posted a very positive review of the event. It was great to see everyone and we did indeed have a chance to chat and put the wargame world to rights! Of course our good friends at the Maidstone wargames Society were already at the show running a couple of great Sci-Fi games. Annoyingly, I really wanted to see the Star Wars fighter game they were running but by the time I had found time they had started something else! Still, it will give me an excuse to chat with them all again :) We really appreciated the Maidstone boys coming along and supporting our event, they are a lot of fun and always put on interesting games.

The Maidstone boys play Starmarda!

Bottom line, did we gain any new members? I think we did. One visitor had never gamed before but had an interest in naval games, mainly from reading Alexander Kent books. He was impressed by the various games on show and that we were able to run a Napoleonic naval game at our next meeting. He was also an Iwade resident and so it looks good so far. We meet on Tuesday so we shall see. A young couple, also new to Iwade, came along looking to find a new club. They play Warhammer and Flames of War, a few card games for good measure, and also look to become active members. They are to bring along a fantasy game to the next meeting so more positive news here.

The Rapid Fire game was as popular as ever, Simon runs a very cool game!

Another view of the Rapid Fire game...note the burning vehicles!

 On the subject of Warhammer - it seems that we as a club may be missing a trick by not being as all embracing of non historical game types as we could have been, this is something we are looking to actively change. If we are to grow as a club we need to look at ourselves from the ground up and make some grass-roots changes to accommodate alternatives. This does not mean that everyone needs to rush out and buy a bucket load of Orcs of course, we have the space and resources to open ourselves up to a wider audience. The Open Day is something that has really brought this to our attention, having the time to actually talk to visitors rather than just say hi as you rush past from one issue to another at Broadside makes a difference; we can learn a lot more and make some great connections.

The Open Day has become a firm part of the club's diary, hard work but very much worth the effort.

Greek Phalanx shoving Persians off the table edge!

Darius ( in the chariot ) encourages his troops...good man that.

A closer view of Darius.

The game had some awesome cavalry clashes too

Thursday, 5 September 2013

Skaven Rat Ogres

Oh, dear reader. I have wandered from the one true path and muddied my feet in the evil, stinky pond that is Warhammer :(

No, I do not know how it has happened. I was minding my own business one sunny afternoon without a care in the world when BAM!
'What the hell was that'? I said.  
You are now the proud owner of some warhammer figures, said a disembodied voice from the middle distance.
'Bloody hell', I said, 'how did that happen?'
All rather too quickly....Mr Fantasy Boy!
Nooooooooooooooooo, I cried.....but it was true. I was now a Fantasy Head....oh the shame.....and I had been so careful too; always washed my hands after talking to a warhammer player and everything.

It seems that I now play Skaven, a warhammer race of rat people....lots of violent psychosis
and cute twitchy noses. Annoyingly, this army is made up of lots of small fairly weak rat people so you need loads of the bloody things to make an army.....and me with all those nice Maori War figures just screaming to be painted too. But, given the club open day is approaching, I wanted to have a few to use in a display. I have now painted up a unit of Skaven Rat Ogres, mutant, bio-engineered, giant, junkie rat things. I used my usual methods, block painting with a judicious coat of Strong Tone Army Painter; although some areas of the figures depicting fur were given highlights prior to the application of the dip.

I think they have come out really well given fantasy is really not in my comfort zone at all. Once again the dip has been key, it created good shading, depth to the main colours and actually worked really well on the areas I had highlighted with dry brushing. I love the effect the dip has given to the are of bandages/tape on some of the figures. The main colour is GW Komando Khaki simply blocked in, the dip has done the rest. I am not quite so concerned about painting the smaller rat things now, it seems my technique will work well on them too.

Wednesday, 4 September 2013

Open Day nearly here!!!!

Our club open day is just days away!

Saturday 7th September, 10am to 5pm. Iwade Village Hall, Ferry Road, Iwade, ME9 8RG

There is a lot of rushing about behind the scenes, game details being finalised with the odd figure being painted up to complete the last units, food being prepared, local press being contacted......I am even to be interviewed by local radio station Swale FM to help spread the word. I have done a few radio interviews before, usually in relation to my work in Local History and Heritage, and they can be very helpful. You never know who is listening and when you are a club looking for new members such an opportunity is too good to miss. If you happen to be about around 11.30 to midday on Thursday 5th September why not tune in (you can listen on line too) and see what a twat I sound like...or how much rubbish I can gibber on about; should be a laugh and break up your day if nothing else :)

We are hoping for a good number of visitors this year too. We advertised the event on the back of the Broadside 2014 flyers and spent an age pushing local press. We have some visitors coming all the way from Suffolk! I have emailed all the regional clubs and interested parties...even had my hair cut...what more can an anthropomorphic personification do?

As a club we will be running three games, a WRG 6th edition Ancients bash, A Rapid Fire WW2 game based around the actions in the Falaise Gap and a WW1 skirmish using 'To the Last man' rules. Our great mates at the Maidstone Wargames Society will be running a couple of different Sci-Fi games and we will have a trader, small club bring and buy, great refreshments with not just cakes (although their will be cakes so do not panic), parking, a kiddies 'Make and Take an Armourfast Tank' table.

We invite you all to come along if you can and say hi, perhaps join in with a game or two?

Failing that, just listen to me on the radio and see what a mess I can make of things!