I should probably have written this up last month, when the show was fresher in my mind, but December has a way of discouraging me from doing very much at all. Also, I bought Elden Ring and have been a little distracted.*
Anyway, back at the start of December, the Ely crew went down to London to check out another show, this one run by Guideline Publications, which produces the very good Fantasy Figures International magazine. As usual, pics before the real meat:
It wasn’t a massive show, and clearly of much more interest for shopping rather than the competition, but there were some genuinely interesting pieces. In particular, it was quite cool to see civilian vehicles rather than just another table full of tanks. There were also a number of scratch builds (one took best of show – the Tsar tank). A few dioramas were more than just a bunch of soldiers doing something with a vehicle, which is always nice to see.
While I wouldn’t say that the level of painting was terribly high in general, the show was clearly focusing a lot on the broader elements of ‘modelling’ – rewarding scratch building and the work involved in customising models, for instance.
What actually made the show really enjoyable was the location – it was just down the road from Camden, so once we’d entered our models, had a look at some of the other stuff on display and done a circuit of the trade stands, we headed out to be reminded why we don’t live in London. Which is actually quite enjoyable every now and then. It’s much too busy a place for my liking, but the fact that you can wander around and find five shops selling different variations on the same hat that I wear is pretty cool. I normally have to order my hats online because I’ve only ever seen them in markets a couple of times.
As a model show, I’d put it on par with a small IPMS show (except that you don’t need to be member to take part!), but as a location I’d give it a solid 8. Easy to get to, and easy to find things to do nearby while the judging is happening. And if you’re looking for something to do with your painter mates for a day that can include heading to the Big Lights and having some beers, it’s a pretty decent choice.
I believe this year it will clash with a show I’m keen to support over in Cardiff, but otherwise I’d probably try to get the crew together again for a fun day out in London.
Oh, and the results. Previously, the show gave out golds, silvers and bronzes in what seemed to be an open format, but this year it was first place and three or so commended certificates per category. I don’t recall what Martin and Joey picked up (I think Martin got at least one first place, possibly two), but I nabbed three commended: fantasy (Apophys), vignettes and dioramas (snowball fight) and miscellaneous (POP).
* On Elden Ring: I’m not even sure I like the game much at all. The exploration is excellent, but it’s wilfully obscure, the writing is appalling, the gameplay is frankly silly (it relies on the fact that you’re briefly invincible during specific moments of certain actions, like rolling or getting on your horse), and would it kill them to include a pause button instead of relying on a weird hack so I can take a leak?