Monday, 5 November 2012

Crisis Antwerp 2012, a short story


Last Saturday, the highlight of my hobby-year came round: the Crisis Convention at the Waagnatie Hall in Antwerp. It was in several ways a "first-time" experience; for one the convention moved from a one hall exhibit to a big two hall location. Secondly we were travelling in a larger company then last year since apart from my brother Lars, our designated driver, and Mark, both of whom joined me last year, we were accompanied by Albert-Martijn from Groningen who had come to stay with us for the weekend.

Before I start with a smallish report of how the visit went, I'll start with my goals for the day. Did I have any? Yes I did, they were rather Limited but all the same here they are:
- I wanted to get some new brushes preferably  Kolinsky's
- I hoped to pick up the Freebooter 2012 Limited edition figure
- I wanted some MicroArt Discworld figures
- Don't shoot me but some GW space marines to finish off my DA's were on the list as well
-I secretly hoped to be able to get a box of Zombicide as well...

We set out around half past nine o' clock in the morning and arrived around eleven, Lars was able to park the car literally in front of the hall's entrance. I can still kick myself in the head for forgetting to make a group-photo of the four of us but what's done is done. We entered the hall and I must say I was caught up in the buzz of the event right away. Orientation was rather difficult because the traders were situated around the demotables and therefore I got distracted immediately when I was at a vendor's booth by a table or vice versa. I started of by going to the Crush The Kaiser table to say Hi to Paul and Ian and see the Marines I painted for them in action in the flesh. Lars kindly made a picture of the 3 of us and I made some shots of the marines in action.

                                                 3 poppies in a row ;-)

That's when the batteries of my camera decided to quit on me and none of the others had taken a camera along so for a picture report I have to refer to others Pijlie and Peter have some up on their blogs.

Paul and Ian did a tremendous job on the scenery as you can see and I think the marines are not too shabby themselves so one hell of a great table to see in the flesh. Supplied with a signed edition of the new ruleset I went on to see the rest of the hall. The first purchase I did almost set me off in the wrong direction: I own the Italeri Norman Church and want to use it for the Peninsular War, the biggest conversion I need to do to be able to use it hence, is to replace the slate shingles for Normandy with Spanish tiles. At a French-speaking vendor I found sheets of plastic with the right scale of tiles. Due to my poor abilities regarding the French Language I ended up paying €24,- for 6 measly sheets of the stuff...

Oh well onto the rest of the show. At most of these conventions the diorama's and demo-tables are of varied quality, let's be honest we all know this to be true. But this year at the Crisis all tables were at least of a very high average quality at the least. While I saw some shabby ones last year still, now everything was in very good order indeed. But there was nothing there, apart for the mentioned Dixmuide table, that really got to me like the Abyssinia table or the Nosferatu game did in recent years. 
That brings me to another point, upon completing 3 rounds of the two halls, we all felt we were ready to go home, it was by then 14.30. A very surprising fact considering we did 5 rounds last year and stayed till closing time... I have had the pleasure to speak to loads of hobby-friends while at the Crisis loved some of the games and demo's, for instance I now know that while I love the appearance of the new X-wing game, I will not start playing it because there's way too much paperwork involved, yet still I was completely happy to leave before time. The atmosphere of the new hall just was not cosy enough I guess.
I missed out on seeing some friends I knew would or should be there as well, Peter should have been around but I didn't see him, Sidney was sadly missing and I missed Tom (of CW toys) who should have been there with a stand as well completely I hope to see you next time mates!

What did I buy in the end?

- Four Kolinsky brushes: two 3 x 0 and two 5 x 0
- 6 sheets of overpriced plasticcard
- a spray can of brown basecoat
- a combat squad of space marines (in the secondhand fair for €10,-)
- 3 Discworld mini's: Granny Wheaterwax, the luggage and Death (who was missing his scythe, Micro Art has been mailed)
- the Freebooter Limited edition mini W00T!
- some 20mm WW1 Frenchies
- a KR Kaiser 1 bag with content foam.
- Opsprey's MAA ANZACS for WW1

Quite a nice haul I'd say and I am happy at that.

I will try the Crisis next year round and try to get more accustomed to the new setting.

Cheers Sander

P.S. Oh yeah I almost forgot: since my brother is not really in the hobby and was only there for the enjoyment of the trip it's not surprising he didn't buy anything, but Mark on the other hand did not, I repeat NOT buy ANYTHING! What wrong with you my friend? :-P You thought I'd forget to mention it right?

Listening to: "History Lessens" by Skyclad