Hello Reader!

 

This is the article everyone could see coming from a mile away, but it ended up taking me more than a year to write this. It seems I’m perfecting the art of taking a while to write articles here on the blog.

 

Joking aside I do have a gestating period when it comes to writing articles like this. While some are born in the spur of the moment and seem to write themselves in a flash, others take their time inside my head, and this apparently is one of the latter.

I did mention on the first article of the “Visiting Britain’s Lead Belt” series I was travelling to Nottingham in order to visit some of the miniature gaming companies based there. Having already written articles about visiting Mantic Games and Warlord Games it was high time I addressed my visit to Games Workshop’s Warhammer World.

 

Founded in 1975 in the city of London in England by three game designers, John Peake, Ian Livingstone and Steve Jackson (not to be confused with the homonymous American game designer), of which the last two were pretty famous because of their “Fighting Fantasy” series of books, Games Workshop was born as a company that produced boards for other games, and soon after became the importer and distributer of the famous American Role Playing Game “Dungeons & Dragons”.

 

Games Workshop’s first store in London – Photo by Mark32 2000 at the English language Wikipedia [GFDL (www.gnu.org/copyleft/fdl.html) or CC-BY-SA-3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0/)%5D, via Wikimedia Commons.

I don’t think anyone would predict back then how big the company would become, but in time Games Workshop left its original activities aside to focus on the production and development of miniatures for their popular wargames, Warhammer and Warhammer 40.000, whose IP belonged solely to GW. With the growth in popularity of its games GW saw the need to relocate to bigger premises and in 1997 consolidated all its departments in a single place in the city of Nottingham where, to this day, its corporate HQ, design studio, White Dwarf editorial offices, distribution centre for all of Europe and online sales centre are located.

 

Games Workshop’s offices in Nottingham – Photo by David Lally [CC BY-SA 2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0)%5D, via Wikimedia Commons.

It was only natural that with 40 years of history and huge premises at its disposal Games Workshop would dedicate some room to celebrating the success of the hobby it constructed and the products it makes, and that’s exactly what GW does at its Warhammer World.

 

Described as a visitor centre Warhammer World has evolved into an attraction on itself receiving visitors from all over the world that go there not only to attend tournaments and events held by GW (like its Throne of Skulls), but also to shop, play pick-up games, gather with friends for a drink in the in-house pub, or even just immerse in the atmosphere while admiring one of the largest, if not THE largest, collection of Citadel miniatures gathered in a single place. If you’re into the GW hobby there’s bound to be something for you to do there.

 

I had already visited Warhammer World with my friend Ivan, but that was more than 10 years ago. Thinking about it what we did back then was pretty stupid and had we planned accordingly we would have had a much better time, however, planning was the last thing we did, so we ended up taking a train all the way from Exeter to Nottingham early in the day, getting there in the early afternoon and heading back on the 7PM train. We spent more time travelling than actually enjoying the place, and we still had a blast.

 

The result was that I left that first visit wanting to come back one day, and that’s why having the chance to go there 10 years later I jumped at the opportunity, but this time around I’d make the trip count.

 

And that’s how I found myself on a train station to once again travel all the way from Exeter to Nottingham. The trip took a lot longer than the 4 hours it was supposed to last as I had to take a bus to Taunton, as the train lines linking the two cities were flooded by the pouring rain back in January 2014. Adding insult to injury our departure from Birmingham was also delayed as a train broke down ahead of us, so we had to wait until that was removed in order to continue the journey.

 

I got to Nottingham early in the afternoon and after checking into my hotel I wasted no time and took a taxi ride all the way to Willow Road, Lenton. There’s no mistaking the place as the huge Imperial Eagle on the front of the building proudly proclaim’s the place as Games Workshop’s HQ. I had arrived and by now I couldn’t hold back a discreet smile.

 

Before heading into Warhammer World I checked into Games Workshop’s reception. I did that 10 years ago and wanted to see what was different, and I wasn’t disappointed as they had some incredible armies on display there, the Blood Angel one having been featured in White Dwarf and later on the cover of a book that compiled the best armies shown in the magazine.

 

 

A Necron Tesseract Vault.

 

 

An Eldar Crimson Hunter.

 

The fantastic Blood Angels’ army on display at the reception desk.

 

Some Tartaros Terminators. Is that Dante?

 

A Spartan.

 

A pre-heresy Land Raider (as you can tell this army mixes pre-heresy Forgeworld models and GW kits for an astonishing look).

 

The army’s leaders.

 

A Storm Eagle and a captain in Terminator Armour from the box of the latest Space Hulk game.

 

An army of Chaos Dwarves.

 

Another picture of the army. Chaos Dwarves used to have their own army list back in the day, and after a period of seeing no love from GW got a second chance through Forgeworld’s army list and models (we can always hope for Squats right?). This army features some units of Hobgoblins using GW’s old (come would call them classic) models for them.

 

Yup, those were the models on display at the reception. You can tell by now what we’re getting into right? Well, leaving the reception it was time for Warhammer World, and in order to get there one must cross the parking lot and that’s when the discreet smile turned into a grin as I came across a real life sized Ultramarine’s Rhino. From that moment on it was hard to hold the fanboy in me in check.

 

OMG! That’s a LIFE SIZE ULTRAMARINE RHINO!

 

It looks just like the plastic kit, and this one was painted to include squad markings and all!

 

Incredible attention to detail. The weathering on the vehicle looks better with each passing day.

 

I couldn’t he myself and sang some litanies to appease the encased Machine Spirit.

 

Trying hard to overcome the excitement and the shock (Holy Moly, that was a RHINO back there!!!) it was time to get to Warhammer World.

 

After the first LoTR movie was over Lurtz found himself a job as door guardian at Warhammer World.

 

During my visit there were four main areas in Warhammer World (that’s about to change, but I’ll talk about that in tomorrow’s article): the store, the gaming hall. Bugman’s Bar and the Citadel’s Hall of Miniatures, and that’s pretty much how I visited them.

 

My first stop had to be the store located inside as that one was special. Different from other GW stores around the globe the Warhammer World store is special because it sits at the very same place where GW’s warehouses are thus ing it ossible not only to order “Direct Only” items on the spot, but also all of Forgeworld’s miniature line. Having said that it is important to place your order as soon as possible in order to give the attendants time to process our order which effectively means going into the back and fetching our models for us. Another nice thing about it is that it has a lot more models on show than your average GW store.

 

Imperial Fists.

 

 

Aurora Chapter Space Marines.

 

Chaos Daemons.

 

Necrons.

 

The heavy hitters from the Necron Army.

 

Models and bases to showcase the application of some paints from the GW line (technical ones).

 

Models showcasing the weathering techniques form the Masterclass book and the pigments from Forgeworld.

 

Some of the Horus Heresy character models available in the store.

 

Having sorted out my purchases it was time to finally get to enjoy the Warhammer World experience and I decided to do so by the HUMUNGOUS gaming hall. Few minutes made me want to emulate the flagelants from the Empire for not having brought an army with me, as the tables available begged to be played upon. I’m not over praising them when I use the word AMAZING, because every single table they had on display was that, amazing, and you get to use any available table, for free, to play on (or if you want to play on an specific one that suits your army, or your narrative, the only thing you have do is give them a call in advance and they will book that table for you, for the duration of your visit. Yes, break out the whip right?

 

Well, I quickly resigned myself to not being able to play, and spent some time chatting to the people who actually took their armies there, enjoying the beauty of the models and the tables while at the same time taking some photos to share here on the blog. There were loads of nice people to talk to, from the guys from the “HATE Club” (HATE actually stands for Hackney Area Tabletop Enthusiasts) to the guy pouring drinks at Bugman’s everyone I met on that day was pretty nice and willing talk about the hobby, so I couldn’t be happier.

 

Dan Harden, one of the writers of White Dwarf magazine that took some time to chat with me about the hobby. If you ever read this thanks a lot for taking the time to talk to a fan! That was really appreciated.

 

One of the great things about being in Warhammer World is that you never know who you might meet from the team. Bumped into Phil Kelly at Bugman’s! Great Chap!

 

A view from the gaming hall, seen here from Bugman’s door. You can see the local store through the arches in the distance. It looks like you’re playing inside a castle’s courtyard.

 

Some of the models on display at the gaming hall (yes, there’s models everywhere). Warhammer World often hosts workshops teaching hobbyists how to get the most out of their model kits.

 

They also host workshops on how to craft scenery. Yes, I understand the pain you feel right now looking at this and no it wasn’t a defective model.

 

One of the scenery pieces on display crafted from kitbashing a forest terrain kit and some Tyranid carapaces lefover from the assembly of the Mawloc/Trygon kit (who am I trying to fool here).

 

A scenery piece showcasing the customizing possibilities of a Games Workshop terrain kit.

 

Another shot of the Slaaneshi temple.

 

Yet another scenery piece crafted using the same Arcane Ruins terrain kit as a base. This one looks definetely Nurglish.

 

A statue made from an Empire model, a couple of wolves (from the Space Wolves miniature line) and parts from the Garden of Morr terrain kit.

 

A Throne of Skulls trophy.

 

The legendary Ghal Maraz hammer which once belonged to Sigmar himself, now adorns the walls.

 

Did I tell you about the gaming tables yet?

 

A Tau table. The paper on top of it shows it has been reserved.

 

An energy generator of some sort amidst the swamp.

 

A Tau building. Is this like their hab-bloc?

 

Another building and an automated Railgun turret.

 

Another photo of the table.

 

An ancient tower from a long vanished civilization is about to witness a fierce battle…

 

 

…between the Tau…

 

… and the Tyranid (great paint scheme).

 

Space Marines from the Red Scorpions Chapter battled the Eldar on a desertic planet (that looked suspiciously like Egypt).

 

THe Imperium is busily digging out some Eldar apparatus.

 

Another destroyed Baneblade (do they have a quota of models to ruin there?).

 

And a Valkyrie.

 

A destroyed Macro Cannon.

 

A turreted battle cannon.

 

A bridge…

 

… rigged to blow as soon as the enemy approaches.

 

But after having a late lunch it was time to finally visit the Citadel’s Hall of Miniatures, the high point of visiting Warhammer World according to some, however, to check out that part of my visit you’ll have to come back tomorrow for the second part of this article.

 

No, I’m not trying to save content for another article, but after talking with a friend, I took his advice to split the article into two parts so it wouldn’t be too long. Do come back tomorrow for more. I’ll tease a bit:

 

A Slayer Sword, prize awarded to the best model shown on a Games Day painting competition chosen from all categories, adorns the stairs to the miniature’s hall.

 

One of the dioramas on display – The Rock, modelled by Mike Mcvey.

 

Over and out.

Comments
  1. Corwen says:

    wow that looks amazing! Why don’t they release some of those terrain items as kits?

    • Gereth says:

      Hi Corwen!

      Thanks for stopping by and for taking the time to comment. Pretty much all scenery there are already kits sold by GW with a little or a lot of convertion work put into them. If you’re talking about the amazing Tau terrain, I TOTALLY agree with you, however, given their size, they’d probably cost an arm and a leg.

      Micro Art Studios has some nice Tau terrain worth checking out!😉

  2. […] The Painting Frog visits Warhammer World (Part 1) […]

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