It was my singular pleasure to spend the last weekend at Games Day in Cologne. Alongside fellow Studio members Dave Thomas, Mike Anderson and Alex Boyd I travelled out to meet with the German hobbyists, talk about miniatures and rules and generally celebrate the Games Workshop hobby for a day. And what a day it was.
Together we chatted with friendly hobbyists about what they collect, what hobby projects they are working on and about what it's like in the Studio. As battle-hardened miniatures designers Dave and Mike showcased their talents, actually sculpting faces throughout the day and offering tips and insights into how miniatures are made, Alex took along his incredible portfolio, allowing guests to get a close up look at some of his original artwork. I chatted to scores of hobbyists from as far afield as Mexico, the USA and, of course, just down the road in Cologne itself. Throughout the day we answered questions about rules, gave ideas for conversions and even posed for some photos with fellow gamers (a special shout out to Alex, Stefan, Felix and Marcel of the Rolling Bones club for making us feel so welcome). When you're next at a Games Day, make sure you stop by the Studio area and chat with the guests there. We're always delighted to meet new friends and share our enthusiasm for the hobby, and there are few ways better to wile away an afternoon than to partake in a few stories and ideas.
My favourite highlight of any Games Day is to take a wander around and see all the amazing games on display, along with all the unusual sights (there was even a pair of hobbyists dressed in utterly brilliant homemade costumes, who it was a pleasure to chat with). Of course, the crowning glory of every Games Day, for me at least, is to see the fabulous entries to Golden Demon and Armies on Parade - and our German friends did not disappoint.
Now, Dan tells me that the rest of the Golden Demon winners will appear either here at games-workshop.com or in White Dwarf in the near future, but for now, here is a picture of the Games Day Cologne 2012 Slayer Sword winner - a phenomenal Duel scene by Raffaele Picca. The quality of all the Golden Demon winners was incredibly high and everyone gathered was delighted to see such a worthy claimant to the illustrious Slayer Sword - which Raffaele brandished with pride to the jubilant cheers of the crowd.
Armies on Parade was also a hotly contested competition, with hobbyists from across Germany and beyond entering beautifully painted collections of models on lavishly detailed scenic bases. The overall winner was this delightfully wacky Ork army by Rainer Blechinger. It's been a while since I've seen anyone focus on a Goff Ork rokk band and it obviously caused some enjoyment on the day to scoop first place.
Anyway, that's enough from me - thanks to everyone I met, both Games Workshop staff, and fellow hobbyists alike. Games Days are always a highlight on my hobby calendar and it's only a month and a half until Games Day Birmingham, my second of the year. I can hardly wait. In the mean time, I'll leave you with some pictures from the event...