Our minds were blown away when John handed his art book to us and showed his latest converted/painted miniatures while the coach was bouncing towards Birmingham. With shaky hands we browsed the most amazing paintings of John's, each better than the other, trying to get as much out of them as we could get in the short time we had on the road before the terminus.
It's unbelievable how much passion and skill John Blanche puts into his art. Seeing his work, in real life, was a tremendous experience, one of those that - and I'm sure I'm also speaking from the behalf of Mikko too - we will NEVER forget... His enthusiasm towards the hobby should work as an example for all of us.
|Mikko is admiring Mr. Blanche's masterpiece...|
For some odd reason the time seemed to fly by... We arrived to Birmingham in about an hour or something, ready to launch our raid to Gamesday '11. The happening was almost like we expected it to be; Intense, loud and exciting. Most of our time we were just hanging around the Design Studio stuffe, trying to learn as much as possible from the pros, discussing about techniques and things like that. We thought about buying ourselves couple of copies of The Emperor's Will art collection book from the Black Library, but the queues in the front of the shopping area were insanely long and so we had to give up for that idea...
It was nice gesture from John to introduce us to Jes, with whom we had tons of fun talking about the miniature designing, sources of inspiration and many other things. I believe I won't be telling lies if I say that the world would be quite marvelous place if there were more guys like Jes around, such is his spirit to what he does and how friendly he is. It was a true pleasure to meet such a splendid fella!
|Great galactic crusade hit Birmingham. For the Emperor!|
|John Blanche showing his artwork @ Gamesday.|
|This guy just looked like someone whose hand you had to shake.|
Just kidding, it's Mr. Goodwin, obviously!
|Mikko is bombing the studio staff with questions|
regarding the sculpting secrets.
|Jervis signing the millionth rule book...|
|One of the latest Games Workshop's hit, Nurgle Lord, in three-up.|
I managed to survive the first cut with my entry in Golden Demon, but didn't get any further than that. Got myself a nice pin though! Steve did better and got a third place in the open category with his entry. Way to go mate, congrats!
With tired feet (again) we made it back to the coach and started our journey back to Nottingham. There, at the GW HQ, we ended up joining Gamesday afterparty in Bugman's with John and Steve, had a couple of pints of Hobgoblin and shared the fun. What a great ending for a great day indeed!
Had a very mild hangover, nothing too much to handle though. Got away it after another great English breakfast. Last night, at the afterparty, John had asked us to join him and Steve for lunch at the Bugman's and so we did took another trip to Warhammer World.
Later on Jes joined us too for a brief moment. We missed him at the Gamesday afterparty and therefor it was really great to have a chance to meet him yet again. What a blast it was to listen to the troupers discuss about the very essence of the miniature hobby and sharing their insights with us common mortals.
After lunch we went outside to terrance where John asked if we'd like to take a couple of shots from the miniatures painted by him and post 'em on our blog! What a shame it was that we only had our iPhones with us and not any real camera... Despite that I think we managed to take quite decent shots. We'll be posting 'em in our next post, maintaining the excitement you know...
But yeah, as the blasts usually tend to be, this was a brief one too. We shared all the bestes with the gang and split. Mikko and I still had the rest of the day planles and decided to go and buy our souvenirs, hopping in the Ye Olde Trip to Jerusalem on the same trip for the last time, as it was kind of along the way to our guest house...
|This particular little corner of Ye Olde Trip became our permanent spot...|
The trip back to Finland went as smoothly as it could, if we just ignore Mikko's major hangover and the fact that we almost missed our coach from Nottingham to London. Flight was on time and we crashed Mikko's place in Helsinki around 1.00 am. At 2.00 am I once again hit my head into pillow with tired but happy feeling...
|Tired but happy...|
Mikko told me that I should try to keep the story short and sweet, but I found it hard to comply. Sorry. Our journey to the heart of the hobby was just too damn cool to keep short; We had the best of time, all the time. We met a bunch of great guys who welcomed us with open arms. Perfect trip indeed, just like I hoped for!
From this day on the hobby will be nothing like it used to be. For me, it has reached a new level, evolved and made me really think what I want to get out from it.
But now, I'll let Mikko tell his thoughts regarding our journey...
Over and out.
What a Trip! I mean, honestly! Those four days that we just spent in England were some of the best days of my life! We, two keen hobbyists from Finland, had this amazing VIP treatment through the whole stay. We got several great opportunities to talk with our idols about the hobby and more!
There were so many things that we were allowed to see - original artworks and original sculpts, amazing stuff altogether! There were so many things that I learned - Tips & tricks from the true masters of the craft!!!
Whoa! I'm speechless! all I can say at this point is thank you John, thank you Jes and thank you Steve!! I had the time of my life!!!
I think I'll have to post another blogpost just to clear my head more about my future plans, 'cause its about to burst right now!!! So stay tuned...