As the final bars of the Queen track crashed to their conclusion, Stuart and I cruised our uncertain way up a rural lane. The SatNav interrupted the late Freddie Mercury to tell us that in one hundred yards we would reach our destination. To be honest, we didn't really have a clue where we were going. Then, a solitary sign, and one I was not expecting to see, emerged from the curve in the road and we knew that the SatNav was correct - an Oldhammer sign cheerfully directing us through the gates of Stoke Hall and towards the Foundry premises.
Parking by the church, Stuart and I disembarked from the car and strolled down the muddy path towards the imposing entrance that leads into the converted stables where the new Foundry complex is situated. We were greeted by the sight of a white marquee and hubbub of Oldhammerers in conversation. Pushing through the canvas flap of the marquee, our Oldhammer Weekend began.
Over the two days I took a huge number of photographs and spoke to many, many people. I shall be chronicling some of these events in more detail is the coming days but for now I thought it appropriate to publish an overview of SOME of the things that happened on the day, and the day after. Using the medium of photography is probably the best bet so here goes.
Painted dwarfs on show at the Foundry till. No pretentious aspirations here, as they were housed in what looked like a glass cake tray and stuck in place with Blu-Tak. These models really show off how vibrant the colours in those Foundry paint pots are. Needless to say, I bought more later on.
The wonderful Kev Adams was on hand to talk us through what was on show as well as share a batch of his latest greens including an incredible standard bearer model. After the fiasco with the goblin with her boobies out at Salute, its was amusing to see plenty of 'topless' orc ladies showing their menfolk (or should that be orcfolk?) how to do 'da bashin'! These greens will be part of a future Warmonger release or possible Kickstarter in the coming days - but more on that later!
Stuart starts shopping immediately, and begun to rummage around in many of the special offer trays that had been put out by the cashier station. Kev was keen to show off his latest work but I was far too terrified of dropping the greens to handle them much. The Goblinmaster was looking really well after his recent injuries and was in fine form.
This is the interior of the converted stables that make up the new Foundry store. Considering that the place has only been going four months, the facilities were excellent and were much more welcoming than the previous site. The familiar tables build by the Ansells for last year's Oldhammer event had been moved inside and provided a very pleasant environment for browsing and gaming. Kev Adams, Claus Kliplev, Marcus Ansell and Tony Yates can be seen lurking in the background.
These are just some of the blisters available now from the Foundry shop. Most of the stock is housed in what were the old stalls for the horses. Bryan Ansell told me he plans to include miniature cabinets along these walls, place between the hanging stock, to show off many more models from his personal collection than he can at the moment. Not far from here is a far larger room that he intends to convert (if possible) into a main gaming room. The ceiling there is much higher and mooted plans suggest a second level and staircase.
This photographs is a shot from the second day of the gigantic siege game. Have you ever seen so many Mighty Fortresses together? This really was an epic struggle that I kept popping over to check out and was easily the biggest game of Warhammer Third Edition in over twenty-five years! Of note in this shot are the awesome visages of Erny (Oldhammer t-shirt) and Snickit (green t-shirt) whose collections made up a very large part of this spectacle.
A closer look of the some of the many models that made up the siege game, including the amusing bottom of a giant. There was a great range of models on offer here, from many periods and manufacturers, which just goes to show that Oldhammer doesn't need to be expensive vintage Citadel!
One of the gaming areas inside the stables a few hours later. Packed with gamers playing a multitude of systems. LegioCustodes (chequed shirt) and his team play epic Space Marine at the back of the photograph. Garth (Warhammer for Adults) ponders over which units he will use to crush my chaos forces in the foreground in a manly pink shirt.
The unmistakable form of Chico rises from his pit of darkness to get stuck into his Judge Dredd game. Plenty more pics are to be found on his blog. Oldhammer veteran Paul Golgfag shows us how to throw a die.
LegioCustodes and his team warm up for their massive epic battle on the Saturday. These old epic scale models were welcome sight at this years BOYL, with fantasy and RT predominating the community. I expect to see a great many more games of epic in the future, and I predict a growth in the part of our community in the coming months, largely due to the efforts of Legio and his excellent blog, Oldhammer 40k.
A shot of the packed out Marquee taken at lunchtime on Saturday. Hot and cold food, drinks of varying strength and quality service was provided by Diane Ansell and her staff on both days, all at very reasonable prices. And to think, she fed over a hundred battlefield walkers as well as us! I am sure that many other attendees will agree with me when I say the food and drink on offer was the best I have even seen at a wargaming show or event, so thank you very much!
Inside the marquee on the Saturday. A Chaos warbands game was fought out surrounded by old school homemade scenery. I spent quite a bit of time photographing the models here as the range of painting styles and miniature choices was broad and exciting. More from this game in a future post. Some of you may well recognise this board, it was the one we used for the warbands game last year, as well as the game we played at Blog-Con.
Kev Adams brought out some of his latest greens fresh from his workstation to share with us. Here we have a close up of one of the female orcs he is producing at the moment. These are great, great fun and will no doubt make up many a regiment when they are released.
Bryan brought out a real curiosity on Saturday, the metal version of the Mighty Fortress. Each weighs a ton and really is a sight to see. Mr Ansell went on to explain a little about how it was produced, being built from wood, with the detail sculpted on by Trish Morrison.
Tony Yates, whose blog is always worth a visit, as also on hand to talk about his work illustrating and creating miniature concepts. He had some interesting illustrations of elves to share and was happy to sketch pictures for all who asked. He did a quick chaos warrior for me which I shall share shortly.
Somebody (please up date me so I can put the correct name here) brought this hand made Heroquest board, complete with laser-cut character boards. By all accounts a great game was had using this. We discuss the game with Bryan later and he spoke about the game selling over TWO MILLION copies back in the late '80s. And as someone quipped, the next time you see a BIN version for sale you can inform the seller just how many were made and sold.
Bryan also brought out many of the more recent miniature concepts designed by himself and Kev Adams for forthcoming Foundry fantasy ranges. These were very interesting to see as they were often sketches and ideas rather than the high concept work we are used to seeing. We spoke about beastmen at length and tried to persuade Bryan to produce a range with a greater emphasis on variation and mutation, rather than just the generic 'goatman' norm. Hopefully, we will see such a selection from the Foundry in future years.
The Mighty Avenger also brought out recently discovered greens and communications between himself and a range of sculptors. Like the concepts these were fascinating to look at and were from all kinds of ranges and places. The Tim Prow robot was perhaps the highlight of a very impressive selection.
This figure was given to me by the Foundry for winning the 'Best Army' award at the event. This was a fantastic touch and a quite unexpected one. As some of you will know, there was a painting competition on the Saturday, judged by Kev Adams and myself. We decided on three categories; 'Group', 'Single' and 'Large' and I must say it was a very, very difficult decision. One of the winners was Graham Applerly. Each of these got to select unreleased Marauder models as part of their prize. It was very humbling to be selected for a similar prize for my Chaos armies, alongside Garth from Warhammer for Adults, and I had the very difficult task of choosing a model from the unreleased selection. In the end, I chose this unreleased Citadel/Marauder? wizard the Bryan says was sculpted by Aly Morrison of all people.
A fine physical reminder of a fantastic day.
There is plenty more BOYL coverage to come from me in the coming days, just as I expect there will be on many other blogs in the Oldhammer Community. If you don't blog, and you have a great photo to share from the day please do email me at email@example.com and I will include it in one of the forthcoming articles.