Sunday, September 9, 2012

I Won a Painting Competition at the Grand Opening of Drop Zone Games


     I attended the grand opening of Drop Zone Games here in Maryland (I'll tell you more about the store in a bit).  They had a painting competition as part of this event.  There were three categories: Unit, Single Character, and Large Model.  I entered one in each.  I put my old warboss on a bike into the Single Character, my newly finished Valkyrie in for Large Model, and my Cadian Command Squad in for Unit.

Here's the Command Squad
     I won first in the Unit category and amazingly I won best overall!  I got a sweet plaque for the category win and a sword... I'm going to repeat it because it's awesome... A SWORD for winning best overall!  I couldn't freaking believe it!  This is really only the second painting competition that I've ever entered.  Looking at the other models in those cases, I felt like I didn't really have a chance to take any of the categories.  There were some absolutely amazing works of art in there.  I have some pics and I'll share those in a bit too.  One of the cherries on top of this was that Dave Taylor was one of the judges, and Andy Chambers picked the overall winner!  I've been following Dave Taylor's blog since I got started in the hobby about three years ago, and if you don't know who Andy Chambers is, then you should know that he is an amazing game designer that has worked on nearly everything GW and since leaving them he has worked on a lot of awesome things like Starcraft 2.  I still haven't met Dave Taylor, I keep just missing him everywhere I go around here.  I just want to shake that dude's hand and say what an inspiration his work is to me.  Some day, perhaps.

Drop Zone Games

     This place is incredible!  You can find their fledgling site here where you can get their address, and check out any coming events.  This used to be the Glen Bernie Battle Bunker for Games Workshop.  When they closed the store and moved it south to Bowie, I don't think they made a great change.  The new store has really high ceilings so the place can get loud.  While the bunker certainly does have nice tables in quantity it was always a bit of a pain to drive there.  Drop Zone has plenty of tables, good terrain, and capacity to have large events without a problem.  The staff is extremely charismatic and they're all veterans in this industry.  They really put the average GW store to shame with the volume of knowledge they have in the hobby and community.

     After having played in GW stores only since moving to Maryland, it was a huge treat to take in the sights and sounds of non-GW games being played.  The store carries nearly every major table top game I could think of trying, along with a huge amount of 2nd party conversion bits, decorative bases, and hobby supplies.  They also have PROPER hobby area with swivel lamps, nice seating, and tons of area.

     This all might sound like a commercial, well it sort of is.  This is exactly what I want in an independent gaming retailer.  It's not a comic store that has a few tables made of cheap plywood, with little terrain that has been bashed to hell, and a very limited selection of actual table top wares.  This place isn't that.  This place is exactly what you'd want near your house.

     Even though it might not be near your house, you'd not be doing yourself a disservice to travel a bit to get here and check this place out.  I'll be gaming here every chance I get until I move.

The Competition Models

     As I mentioned, there were some amazing models in this competition.  Unfortunately I didn't get a chance to take pictures of the other category winners, which is a shame.  By the time I got done shooting the shit with some of the other fine folks there, grabbed my gear and made some purchases, it slipped my mind to go back and get pics.  The large model winner had already left and had taken the model with him.  But there were some other very strong entries and I got some pics of them for you:

Freebootaz!  Love that model.

An AMAZING Kommando Nob with very impressive night vision goggles

Kommandos to go with the above Nob.  This guy won Large Model with an awesome Ork aircraft for Aeronautica

Dust has some crazy models.  This one is almost disturbing.  Love the rusty look.

It's kinda disgusting, but also awesome.

Dust, as I said, has some strong models.  The vehicles are the strongest.

I have a huge crush on everything Soda Pop Miniatures does.  These Super Dungeon Explore models are rad.

Arbites?  Whatever they are, they're great.

Another Dust unit.  Great camo details.

Harlequins are always awesome to see painted up.  I should have gotten a shot of those Incubi on the right side as well.

     Since I mentioned Dave Taylor, I noticed that Dave had a diorama in the case.  It's one that he had submitted for Games Day Chicago 2012, and it was a finalist.  It's an amazing piece and you can check it out at his blog.  There's some nice details in this thing, here are a couple of close-ups:

     I hope you've enjoyed looking at some fantastic models, and join me next time where I'll be bringing some progress update on my Blitza Bombah!  I refuse to spell it "bommer" as that doesn't seem Orky enough.  Cheers!


Dai said...

Deserved wonderous win.

Congratulations sir. :)

Sam said...

Thanks! I really appreciate it! This win has really got me inspired to try even harder on my next model. I've purchased some supplies that I've been meaning to try out (P3 mixing agent, Vallejo drying retardant) so I'll see if that helps me raise my game a bit. Again, thanks for the kind words.

Anonymous said...

Agreed with Dai - great work mate and well deserved of the win - and the competition was top notch - that A10 looks nuts.