So Adepticon 2016 has now finished and I’m back home and sitting here trying to figure out how to write up the experience. I was just going to do an update as part of a Weekly Waffle but I thought it needed a little bit more to really do the trip justice.
The trip started with disorganised chaos at Manchester airport where it took took about two and half hours to check in and get through security. Which didn’t leave any time to have a pint before getting onto the plane. The flight itself was totally uneventful and we landed on time, which meant that we took off at 12:00 and landed at 15:00 which the body clock didn’t agree with. Once we landed there was more chaos with another two hours to clear customs so by the time we picked up our bags and got out of the airport we were a bit fed up and looking for a beer. The trip into Chicago was really easy on the El (Elevated Train) so it only took about another hour to get to our hotel. One of the things that we wanted to do was to get a proper Chicago pizza. The hotel recommended Giordano’s so that’s where we went. Now I’m firmly in the thin crust camp when it comes to pizza so I wasn’t really up for this but once it actually turned up I was converted. This was the best pizza I have ever head. By 21:00 we were all dying on our so it was back to the hotel for some sleep.
The plan for Wednesday was to get some sightseeing done in Chicago before we headed up to Schaumburg. I would have loved to be able to spend a bit more time in Chicago but we did get a chance to go up the Willis tower and stand on the glass floor looking down at the city below. I’m not going to go over all the things we did other than to say we had a really good time. We finally got up to Schaumburg at about 16:00 and got checked into the hotel before having a bit of a look around. I was surprised at how much was actually going on to get things ready for the event. Wednesday night so us pick up our passes and goody bags then it was back to the bar for a few beers. One really weird thing that happened was that Al was updating twitter and Greg (@3dgreg) was also at the bar. When he saw the tweet he actually recognised Al from his Twitter image and he came over to have a chat. I thought that was fantastic and it really goes to show just what social media can do. A group of people who only know each other on line actually meeting up quite by chance.
Thursday was the first full day of the event and we all had different things that we had booked in advance. I can’t remember what everyone else got up to but the morning saw us having a good look round the venue. The show was spread over two floors of the convention centre and made use of all of the main hall and lots of other rooms. My main event for the day was a class with Justin McCoy titled ‘Light, Colour & Composition – keys to display’ which I found absolutely fascinating. It was all theory but in essence it was about what makes one image or model stand out form another and focused on telling a story. Even something as simple as where you place a miniature on it’s base can change the story side of things. As I said I really enjoyed this class and I’m certainly going to try and think about what I learned in each miniature I paint going forward.
I didn’t have anything booked for Friday until the evening so I took the chance to have a go at a few demo, and pick up games. I had a game of Flames of War which is something that a few of the people in the club have played but has never really drawn me in. I really enjoyed the game but whilst the miniatures are really nice they jus don’t inspire me so I don’t think it’s a game I will be picking up. I also got in a couple of game of Guild Ball which were really good fun. The guys from Steam Forged Games were on the same flight out as us and they seem to have been really busy so far with lots of interest in the game. I took part in the Wild West Exodus Big Hitters game in the evening which was really good fun. They had a special scenario set up where you had two bosses, but one was in jail and need to broken out. As things turned out I got an absolute pasting with one of my bosses being killed in the first turn due to some appalling dice rolls. And things didn’t get much better as the game progressed. But one of the reasons I love the game is that it is such a cinematic game that even getting when you are getting a tubing you can still enjoy it. Or at least I can. I had a really good evening, playing against a really good opponent, which is what this sort of event is all about.
Friday also saw the Crystal Brush cabinet filling up with some of the best miniatures I have every seen. I’ve been to a couple of Golden Daemon’s but this really is another level. Not taking anything away from Golden Daemon but I think it’s jus the fact that there is so much variety here that really makes it stand out for me. I’ll include some pictures I took with the phone at the end of this post but if you really what to get a look at the true quality of these entries have a look at this link that will take you to the Crystal Brush page. I guarantee you will be impressed.
Saturday was airbrush day for all of us. Sitting in a classroom learning all we could about airbrush’s. Now I’ve been using one for some time now and really wanted to learn how to get more out of it and this was probably the most enlightening day of the whole trip, and the most disturbing. I say disturbing because like most people I used places like YouTube to try and learn how to use use and look after my existing airbrush. It turns out that I’ve not really been looking after it at all. One of the things that Ken from badger was saying was that you should never need to take an airbrush apart to clean it and under no circumstances should you use any type of brush to clean it. A lot of what was covered is available on You Tube and this is the link that he gave us. So if you don’t want to make the mistakes that I made have a look at this link. It’s well worth it and whilst this guy runs Badger this is really a generic guide so will apply to any brush out there. Overall this was a really good day of classes and I now have a much better understanding of what is possible with and to best use an airbrush so I will be doing a lot more with it in the future. I’d also planed to pick up some parts for my existing brush and possible get a new finer brush whilst I was here. Badger had a stand at the show and were offering some really good show deals so in the end I picked up a new 105 Patriot and a 2020 Sotar with quick disconnects and hose for $150 which I think was a fantastic deal and you can expect to see some minis painted with these very soon.
Sunday was something of a lazy day. I didn’t have anything pre-booked so I just had wonder around seeing what everyone else was up to and generally just chilling out. It gave me chance to have look around a few areas I’d missed up to that point to chat to loads of people who had come from far and wide for the same thing. The event itself fished at about 16:00 and we then went along for the Crystal Brush presentations. It started with an award for the young painters which went to a 5 year old who had painted a really nice Chibi model, who will be someone to watch out for in the future. The rest of the awards can be found at the Crystal Brush page and their images are a lot better than any I was able to get so please do check them out. There was a bit of do for anyone who was still around on Sunday night which consisted of board games and beer. A really good way to end off what had been a really good event.
The trip home was completely uneventful with it only taking about 15 minutes to book in and get through security in Chicago and then a similar amount of time to get through customs and collect our bags back at Manchester.
So all in all this has been a really good week and I would highly recommend AdeptiCon to anyone who is thinking of attending an event in the future. It’s not as big or manic as Gencon which was a bonus for me. It’s big enough to keep you interested for the duration but not that big that you feel overwhelmed. Or in goldilocks terms it’s just about right.
And finally here are bunch of images from the Crystal Brush cabinet and from some of the gaming tables.