Friday, September 30, 2011

Rats Invading UK - PART II

We woke up around 5.45 am, had a quick breakfast and headed to Warhammer World where we'd jump in the Gamesday coach to Birmingham. We met John, his son and grandson around 7.00 am at the gates of the Games Workshop HQ. We felt both privileged and anxious to have a chance to talk with the master...

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.

Baneful banners.

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...


Thursday, September 29, 2011

Rats Invading UK - PART I

izeColt & okkiW @ Helsinki Airport

FINALLY. There we were, Mikko and I, sitting in the airplane, waiting for our 2-hours-late flight to take off to Gatwick, wondering what an adventure we were about to jump into. We were both silently going through our thoughts, every now and then throwing up in the air sentences like "Can you really believe that we're about to got to visit Nottingham and meet THE fellas?". Yeah, it was quite unbelievable thought about a year ago, but now it was about to become a reality...

After landing to Gatwick we jumped in a tube to London Victoria station, where we took a coach to Nottingham. It was around 2.00 am when we finally arrived to our guest house in Beeston, Nottingham. Getting off my Spanish boots from my sour feet was an unbelievable experience and I felt like I was in heaven when I was finally able to hit my face in the pillow and catch some Zs.


The next day, after ye' good olde English breakfast, we had a meeting with Steve at the Bugman's Bar, where we arrived after an hour of walking. We sat down on the terrace of Bugman's, had refreshments and talked about miniatures in a splendid company. Steve, as we expected, was an avid hobbyist and a down-to-earth top guy with whom you could spend hours and hours talking about miniatures and their inner life. True professional so to speak.

Steve studying Synthia and Captain Gaga.

Citadel Miniatures museum.

Steve was also kind to give us a little tour in the Citadel Miniatures museum where we spent a brief moment collecting our jaws from the ground for time and time again. Annoyance though, the meeting was short-lived as Steve had to get back to his place to finish his Golden Demon entry.

The day was still young and we decided to take a look at the inn Mr. Blanche had recommended to us. Ye Olde Trip to Jerusalem it was, the oldest inn in England, founded around 1200s. The place was awesome, full of character, not to even mention the beer which was perfect. We had to be careful though as it was going to be an early wake-up the next day...

Ye Olde Trip to Jerusalem.

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Day of the Daemons - Travel Preparations

So, the day of the Gamesday & Golden Demon '11 is getting frighteningly close. I'm so excited! I even managed to finish my entry to Golden Demon painting competition in time, even though I had my doubts. Thanks to Mikko for giving me the spirit to go on...

I've just finished packing my backpack, intending to travel light and fast. My trip to England will start tomorrow at 10:38 from Seinäjoki train station, where I'll jump the train to Helsinki and meet Mikko at the Helsinki train station. From there we'll head to the airport by bus, probably catching something to eat before the 3 hour flight.

We're planning to keep a log during the whole event and write down some sort of review on Spikey after we get back, maybe even during our trip, so keep tuned! I'm sure we'll meet many great comrades and have plenty of fun - and maybe couple of pints of beer with our new friends too...

See you there!

- izeColt

Who dares wins...

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Work Space & Ergonomics

Today i TRY to write about something that is also very important part of this hobby, although it is too often  overlooked by hobbyists. The subject is Working Ergonomics.

I have added some pictures from my personal facilities to work as bad examples here. I was inspired by Steve B's brilliant article about importance of proper working light (too often you see people trying to paint in this dark "cave like" enviroment of their rooms with single yellowish light bulb illuminating the space ) Im sure that i will buy that SAME lamp that Steve has very soon!

As my working with these green little men has started to take more and more time, i have been thinking about this stuff more and more lately. My own space is very bad example, since my desk is too low and the lighting is not the best available, the list goes on...

This is my working station...nothing too special just a desk and a stool and that green gym ball...yes i sometimes sit on that=)...iv' been thinking about buying saddle stool since it is said to be good for your back. New Desk would be great too...but im not sure what kind of desk would suit me best..I really need some answers, 'cause i want to built a work space, that would be ergonomic and something that would allow me to work long periods without neck aches and all those nasty stuff;)....

What whould be very COOL and usefull is that, if  all you Professional (or Pro- level) people out there, who are reading our blog here, would care to share us something about you own working habits. If you could tell us how you do it, what kind of eguipment you use, What is important and what's not, you know what im talking about right? You work all day long without breaking your backs;) who's really reading this blog eh? J.B, Steve B. Roman, JRN? maybe...Jess by any chanche?? Kev White??? i don't know

I think this could be very interesting and truly helpfull if you could share something here. If you have anything to say about this, i would be VERY happy.

and then little extra-

Something like a half an year ago Janzki was asking me to show some tools that i use when i sculpt, so here they are finally=)..quite minimal stuff really... some silicon Paint Shapers (i have all the shapes and grades!) i use them 90% of the jars hold the different putty components, some wire, X-acto..glue. Sculptors really dont need that much stuff!!!=)

Oh! and i'v been planning to take new step into digital realm of sculpting too in the near future.. I need to buy new computer, PowerBook i guess and some good Sculpting program MudBox or ZBrush havent decided it yet (nor i have the money needed;) i already have the Wacom tablet...


Monday, September 19, 2011

Spiky Rat Pack Goes Mordheim

A month ago i started a new job. 'been quite busy in there lately, but what is really worth mentioning is that my new working mates had this cool Warhammer-Gang going on there! Perhaps unsurprisingly im now new member of that "gang"=)

We just started new Mordheim campaing and i actually PAINTED a gang for that campaing! The Gang's called Spiky Rat Pack!

Here's few pic's of that gang (not the whole gang) -

 The Assassin Adept (got killed in the first game) and Thee Rat Ohgr

 Night Runner, Black Skaven (The new Boss Rat called Black Blood Pete ) and a Vermin

Nothing too fancy really but im pretty satisfied, that i actually made it, since i am a sculptor not a painter ;)

Saturday, September 10, 2011

HellCity Heroes

Whoa! what a day!

What made this day so particulary great? It was the fact that i met Mikael Silvanto today!

It feels so great, when you get a chance to talk about the hobby with a really talented and intelligent person who lives and breathes Warhammer! I felt that we really connected right from the start and had very fruitful conversation about miniatures and everything around it.  Thank you Miksu! Im full of spirit now!!! I also like to thank Toni Sokura, who was also present with some super cool true scale Space Marines he had made=)

Games Day  U.K is closing in day by day (izeColt is painting like madman to finish his GD entry;). People! I can't wait to get there and meet you all!!!

Keep Your Spirits High!


Wednesday, September 07, 2011



The DethSynth ended up more "organic" that i thought at first.
If you now compare the original sketches of Synthia and this sculpt right here, you notice, how close I actually got it ;)
Still lots of work to do in many areas of sculpting but once again that's another story...
Im out of words right now...