Now that was a superb event!
Toosh, MrDee and I all took Friday off work and made the long and arduous journey all 200+ miles up to Manchester. We arrived at about 14:30 and decided to try and find the studio the day before the event to make it a much easier morning on the following day....
Having met a number of the guys at the studio a few times before, we cheekily descended on the Golem Painting Studio a day early. Fortunately we were well received and Tommie gave us a guided tour of the building. The Golem Studio is situated in a lovely old red brick cotton mill which has bags of character and the most wonderful atmosphere, just what you need for a days creative work. There are a number of floors of the old mill dedicated to artistic endeavours - sculptors, painters (canvas), t-shirt printers, clothes designers - an eclectic mix which really added to the vibe.
Once we had stopped pestering the Golem guys we decided to head to our hotel which was in the middle of the city. We wandered along a lovely renovated stretch of canal and through the centre of the city (picking up a tasty burger from the farmers market). I was very impressed by the City to be honest... you always hear horror stories about Manchester, and I didn't really know what to expect but I really liked it! It was big enough to be a proper 'city' but still small enough that all the best bits are in walking distance. I'd probably spend another day there next time to experience the city a bit more.
We met up with Phill AKA Puppykicker (another of our Devon 'crew') and his wife Jules for the evening and went to a highly recommended (thanks Tommie) Korean restaurant called 'Koreana'. It ROCKED. The food was great, the company second to none, and to top it all off, they had a large TV screen in the restaurant and Gangnam Style was the last video we saw before we left... a true Korean experience!
I suppose I should really talk about the actual event... it started at 9:30 on the following day with a round of coffees and a cookie (after a full English at the hotel), and a brief introduction by Tommie. Very quickly we were building a Sanguinary Guard from a selection of parts on the tables, and applying paint in the first of Tommie's techniques and it was onwards and upwards from there. The "Rule of Jewel" was the morning's task... Painting NMM using principals very similar to that of painting a gem. Sounds straight forward, but how that is then applied to cylinders and spheres can get very complicated. Certainly too complicated for this post... Lunch was some home made lasagne and a baked spud which was veeeery tasty (thanks Mike!) and we were back on to the painting with the "Rule of Real" (using the room's lighting to determine placement of highlights/shadows) and the "Rule of Cool" which is how handle the technique to ensure it looks good when the other two rules reach their limits.
Three simple rules, but it will take me a little while to really get to grips with it! I have brought my sanguinary guard home and will have a go and make sure I share with you guys. There is also a thread over on Platoon Britannica where hopefully, people will post shots of their WIPs and how they progress... you can find it here.
I hope you have enjoyed my ramblings, and I'll post some pics of my attempt soon... (I have now posted my WIP - check it out)
In the meantime, here is a view of what MrDee has done with his Sanguinary Guard: