|The scene of the action for the weekend|
|The action, itself|
|My tiny contribution to the Goblin Horde (left)|
|Phil Neuscheler and the Missus, Herself|
Iron Wind Metals, the company formed to take over the assets of the old Ral Partha, Inc. after it had been takenn over and then closed by RAFM - there's a long, sad story there, which I only know parts of - has relaunched the Ral Partha brand as a wholly-owned new division of the larger company; which, of course, happened a couple of years back. This is their local convention, so they put on a splashy show for everybody. One of the guys, an old friend, thought it might be fun to have me and the Missus show up as his personal guests, and maybe talk a little bit about Ral Partha and miniatures in general.
I am, supposedly, very well informed about little metal people and how to slap a coat of paint onto them. With this in mind, I was happy to take up the paint-and-take at the convention; this is a pretty simple idea - you sit down, pick out a figure from the box, paint it up the way you want, and then you take it home. An added feature was that you could also choose to add to the Goblin Horde; paint one of these, and it's stay with the demo army and you could pick another figure to keep.
All of the Goblin Horde figures got assigned an individual number, and all of the people who did one will be thanked on the Chaos Wars website; one can also follow the career of 'their' goblin on the demo tables, the idea of which people really liked.
The whole idea behind this event is to 'demystify' the often arcane business of miniatures for people. I talked to several hundred people, of all sorts, over the three days, and I told them all the same thing: You can paint miniatures, and do a good job of it, right now. Well over a hundred of them sat down and did just that; over fifty of them also added to the Goblin Horde. The amazed looks on their faces as they discovered that they really were able to paint miniatures was, if you ask me, a joy to behold and it made the long road trip all the more worthwhile. We had people as young as eight, and as old as me, and it was a grand time.
A very special treat for me was having Philip Neuscheler there with me; he authored the 'Dragonsmith' articles for The Dragon, and he's both a gifted artist in his own right and a true gentleman. It turned out that he and the Missus share a love of horses - Phil used to treat them - and watching the two of them carry on about their shared interest was truly wonderful.
I was able to get away for a bit at times - the restrooms are great - and I was able to visit the amazing variety of vendors at the convention. I need to shoot some photos, and then I'll be back with my next post on the treasures that I found.