Archive for the ‘Warhammer’ Category

This blog post is well overdue. My only excuse is that I have been finishing off a novel and that tends to be a very intense closed- in that type of activity, which precludes writing blog posts. Work, family and university studies probably also take away my blogging time. Okay, I can add up that’s more than one and only excuse, but that’s enough excuses from me.

I’m writing this blog now because the Internet is been down in the vague hope that it will come up again, and I can lodge this blog post. Obviously, my optimism was worth it as you are now reading this online.

We went off to Gamesday again this year (September 9) . It went off smashingly well. The night before social gathering didn’t take place with the broader group, who had come out from the UK. Instead, Matthew and I managed to grab dinner at the pub with Anthony Reynolds and friend. We’d turned up to the Sydney city store to catch up with people and meet Gav Thorpe. It was pretty busy with his presentations and signings, so I caught up with Mal Greene instead. Mal and I were table buddies last year. (This year no table for me so I got to check out the place).

Hanging in the store, we managed to check out the new releases. Dark Revenge and it’s a new starter pack for those wishing to start playing. It has very cool chaos army figures. They looked pretty cool to my untrained eye.

I’m not sure what Matt is holding.

We retired to a hotel after arranging to meet with the gang to catch the train over to Redfern  to the Technology Park (Locomotive workshop). I’ll save you the pictures I took last year of the contraption I nominated as the Dweeb-catching machine.

However, I took some shots from inside, Victorian machinery/steampunk. very inspiring.

Lathe,which was used to sharpen wheels on trains?

A machine used for maintaining trains or extracting brains.

We got there  before and Gamesday opened, walking past the queue. There is something very cool about getting in the before all the people do. After grabbing coffee and stuff for breakfast, as the cafe we intended to have breakfast at had been shut, I took a little tour of the play tables, with very impressive dioramas and amazing constructions. Here I will put up some photos. During Gamesday due to the crowds and people playing games, it is really difficult to get a good view. In Birmingham Gamesday a few years back, I had no idea what was on the tables as people were crowded around sometimes several people thick.

A close up of the detail of those statues. Awesome stuff.

Close up of statue on previous construct.

That last contraption is a Stompa!

The writers and designers who were signing were all lined up in a pretty obvious spot as opposed to hidden away. Next to that staff were advertising the panel sessions. Apparently, that worked really well as these panel sessions were pretty full.

Here is a shot of James pretending to be Matthew at the signing table.

James pretending to be Matt at the signing table.

Of course is that the obligatory shot of us with the Space Marine. Apologies but I just had to put them up.

James posing with the Space Marine guy

Matt and the Space Marine Guy

Me and the marine

The most exciting moment is when the door is about to open and there is a countdown ten, nine, eight….one. People spill inside, rushing forward.  My photos of people coming in the door aren’t very impressive, so I took a shot of Matthew taking photos of people surging in.

Matt taking shots of the people charging through the doors. Excitement!

During the day it the boys were pretty busy signing books. I find Matthew is very dedicated. He doesn’t really stop for lunch and gets annoyed if I try and make him. So I just collected his lunch and slid it onto the table next to him. James and I managed a few forays to the tables during the day, just checking stuff out.

Here is a shot I took of the boys signing books.

Matt, Gav, Anthony in shot

I didn’t take a shot of my book haul, because Matthew raided it straight away. He stole my copy of Pariah ( a red hardback) by Dan Abnett. We did, however, get two copies of the Gamesday chapbook, which had a story from Matthew and Anthony. The two stories were linked. It was just very cool.

I think I went back to the black library stall number of times. I bought something from Gav, a bought a print, I bought the best of Hammer and Bolter among other things. James had come along to this Gamesday. He’s resisted geekification for a while now. However, as he was a little bit at a loose end so we joined the painting table. Both of us sat down and we painted Space Marines.

Here is a picture of our efforts.

Mine is blue and James’ is red and blue

Anyway, what happened was that we both got very enthusiastic about painting Warhammer 40 K miniatures. So after a bit of parleying with James and Matthew, we visited the tables once again. We came away with a painting kit, a miniature for me as we had determined that Matthew had stacks of unpainted Space Marines going back some 10 or so years at home. However, I did drop a bit of cash. As we were sitting at the table painting the Space Marines, James looked over to me and said “You’ve turned me into a geek.” He said this with a rather long-suffering and defeated expression on his face. It was just inevitable James. You are surrounded by geekery and it was bound to crawl between your skin cells and infiltrate your brain eventually.

The boys (authors is the correct term) also did a panel session in which some very interesting questions were asked. Like how do you imagine being an alien? Matthew says he gets so alien at times in his fiction, people don’t get the story.  He was thinking of his story ‘Faces’.

Henry, Gav, Anthony and Matthew

So after a fairly long day, Matthew and James and I headed to the pub to chill with the gang. Then we began the long trip back to Canberra. I believe that plans are underway for next year’s Gamesday as this one was a big success.

Here is one last shot with Matthew and an Inquisitor.

Matt and the Inquisitor

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We’re up in Sydney for Games Day, which is the big hoo-hah get together for Games Workshop fans. In case you don’t know, Games Day is where fans of Warhammer and Warhammer 40000 miniatures games and related things like books from the Black Library are experienced and purchased. My partner, Matthew Farrer, is here to sign books during the even tomorrow.

We are staying near central. I decided that we would walk to the Games Workshop event in the City store, near the Queen Victoria Building, rather than catch a train. I felt like striding out after sitting in the car all day as we had driven from Canberra. My energy was bubbling and I wanted to experience the night. The three of us walked along (young James is with us) and I had this weird sort of experience. The sort of experience you have, I suppose, after rusticating in the country for many years and then plonking yourself in the middle of the CBD.

Sydney is my home town. There are places here I know in my bones and that have been here as long as I can remember from the early trips into town as a child. So you think that visiting Sydney, as I do on occasion, is no big deal. Well tonight I felt I was travelling along a time walk. Part of me, the inner part, knew the city, but felt disconnected. Another part of me was riding the now, the sounds, the sights, the people, effervescing along with the current and another part of me was excited and full of wonderment and yet not really there either.

I’ve been pondering those sensations these last few hours. At the time, I had words running in my head, a sort of blog narrative that I wanted to capture but I had no pen, no moment to scribe it down, no place to pause. I had to keep skimming the moment or I would lose my ride through time. I saw the old things, those icons of youth, the Town Hall, Woolworths, the line of theatres in George Street and a smattering of other buildings. Then I saw the new and the changing, the different food on display, the range of people crowding along the streets, like corpuscles being pumped through veins, some moving slow, some moving fast, some congregating and others randomly stepping out. The traffic, the lights, the confusion all crowding in, smothering memory and thought.

As I pondered this experience, I thought about the cities I have visited and why this experience seemed so strange. I’ve been to London, New York and Rome and they were intense and wonderful experiences. Perhaps that was because I’m not a part of them. I was only ever a visiting organism drifting in the blood vessel of the city, fleetingly feeling its pulse. There was no time travel slide, no sense of disconnection, no tendrils of me reaching out to anchor me on streets I once trod. It is not the city then that caused this frisson of feeling, this spasm of mind and heart, but a moment of time growing taut like a string pulled tight, surging me from the past to a present that is alien and yet not.

Once out of the streets and at the event, the feeling faded rapidly. Later, at the pub over dinner and conversation, the feeling receded further still. Walking back along George Street, I was there in the present, feeling like I belonged, feeling a part of it all. My trip to the city of the past/present had ended. I was no longer sliding between time, but firmly here. I remember wondering what Matthew was feeling or how James was taking it. Then I realised that their experience was going to be different to mine. I don’t think they came time travelling with me.

I thought I’d blog this because that is what was in my head at the time, although these words are nowhere near as articulate as those imagined ones. It’s something I want to remember and also an experience I might find useful one day when writing fiction.

I’m putting this post up now, Sunday morning before we head off to participate in Games Day Australia 2012. I’m sure it is going to be fun and interesting. After playing with fondant and food paint, I’m curious about painting miniatures now. I might give it a go.



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