I didn't win a Golden Demon & WarhammerFest 2023 Review

Golden Demon

As predicted in the previous post I didn’t win a Golden Demon. I made a good go of it despite losing enthusiasm fairly quickly.

I “finished” Fire Support the day before submitting it. After a crunchy fortnight beforehand. Photos below:

Diorama in the GD display case

Under the nice lighting of the Golden Demon display case I thought it looked quite good. I didn’t feel like I had let myself down.

Jungle King

I named the tank Jungle King and gave it a serial number. Stupidly I painted the name on the side you can’t see in the display case.

A Catachan lad

I was very pleased with the Catachan Jungle Fighter. I’m proud of the “blending” and it’s got the 90s vibe I was aiming for. I say this all the time but I love metal models. The level of detail they have gives them a huge character. Especially when they were sculpted by hand. It’s not CAD perfect and I love that.

Official GW Photo

I made it into an official GW promo photo which was nice.

A summary of how I built/painted it:

  • The base was made with standard foam and MDF
  • Texture was added with a multitude of things like sand, flock, texture paint, ground scatter, and bark. Then painted with Vince Venturella’s method
  • Foliage was from AliExpress, which I then painted
  • I went for a NATOish camo on the Imperial Guard and Hivefleet Leviathan for the Tyranids
  • Weathering on the tank was with oil paints
  • Minis and trees got a blast of Tamiya varnishes to unify the finish
  • Flames were made with a cocktail stick, clump foliage, and loads of glue. Painted with inks.

It took way longer than planned, mostly because I completely lost interest in it. I built the tank and base frame very quickly but then sat around waiting for the foliage to arrive from China. Only in the final fortnight did I get into gear and do some Deadline Driven Development.

There are some things I’d like to improve on in future models:

  • A more square and smooth job on the base
  • More weathering on the tank, use some powders, make the mud look more damp
  • Embed the miniatures in the terrain better. I pinned/glued them to the base after the based was finish which gives them a little bit of a floaty appearance
  • I’d make the flames more yellow-orange rather than deep red. I tried using inks over an under-shade but I think I could do better with regular paints
  • More low level foliage. Longer static grass and some paper ferns to make it even thicker

WarhammerFest 2023

Golden Demon took place in WarhammerFest2023 so I should write a little about the event.

A deeply underwhelming convention in a very classic Games Workshop way. I bought a three day ticket and went to two days of it. The first day to drop off my diorama and secure the event exclusive mini. Then the again on the third to pick up my entry and have another look around while it was quieter.

There was so little to do there. Golden Demon, some video game demos, 10th Edition demo, a very separate tournament, and some main stage talks. Everything had huge queues. We’re talking 3 hours in some cases to demo 10th edition. I went with a friend who had booked onto a painting class on Non Metallic Metals which seems to have been quite beginner level. During this 2.5 hour lesson I managed to play the video games and have a nice chat with the Titan Owners Club (more on that later).

To buy my exclusive miniatures I waited in a 50min queue to get to the till. They were going as fast as they could with 8(?) tills. Queues for the video games were shorter thankfully. I didn’t end up playing 10th edition which I’m not too bothered about.

I looked around the cosplay displays. Some nice work there but fundamentally not something I’m interested in.

The best interaction I had was at the Titan Owners Club display game. One of the players explained what they do (play Adeptus Titanicus with big boy Titans), how they got started, what modifications they’ve made to the game, and the general vibe. Really pleasant.

The week before, I’d been to Salute which was a much better event in my opinion. They had so many small retailers showing stuff I’d never seen before, with discounts, and friendly chat. Tables and tables of participation games. A painting competition. And talks on a main stage. Entry was about half the price IIRC.

You might have heard me moan about it before but I’m increasingly tired of GW’s hegemony over wargames (or at least their attempt to be that. Warlord Games also call it the “Warlord hobby” which also feels Not Great). I love the creative small outlets, pushing the envelope in games and miniatures. With a friendly and approachable face. I’m less and less interested in interacting with, or having my socialisation mediated through, A Faceless Brand.

I don’t think I’ll be going to another WarhammerFest. If I ever recover from this Golden Demon attempt I’ll attempt a competition that has less restriction on miniatures.

I also picked up some Convention Plague and have been feeling quite under the weather since the Monday.