It all started at the back end of April when Gary and I restarted our Blood Bowl league. I ditched the rest of my gaming activities and concentrated on getting the models and dedicated blog ready. We then played our first game and I wrote up the game report here.
At around the same time, on the 20th April to be precise, Newcastle United played one of the biggest games of their season; at home to Sunderland. It was a hell of an occasion and I took a few photos, one of which I've blogged below.
When I arrived at my seat there was a black card attached to it so I held it aloft at the appointed time. You can see the effect in the photo as the whole stadium showed it's black and white stripes.
The tension was palpable, as at that time both sides could still be relegated. On the way into the ground we passed the incoming Sunderland fans. I took a video on my digital camera.
Michael Owen scored the first goal for us after just three minutes, then Sunderland played their way back into the match for the rest of the half. They couldn't get a goal, though, and that meant that when Newcastle were awarded a penalty right at the end of the first half we could all but secure the game if Owen scored. I took another video clip of the action.
Despite the goalkeeper getting a hand to the ball, it squirmed in and put us two ahead. The second half saw no more goals so Newcastle won the game and bragging rights for me!
Since then, both Newcastle and Sunderland have avoided relegation so there are two more derby matches to look forward to next season.
With the Newcastle Sunderland derby match out of the way my attentions turned to my upcoming holiday to Rome. This was a romantic anniversary trip with my girlfriend, Sam. We got in late on Sunday night, then got up early on Monday morning to visit the Vatican.
The architecture was simply stunning, as were all the artworks on display. The Sistine chapel lived up to all my expectations as one of the crowning achievements of Western art and a soaring symbol of the heights that humanity can reach.
While I was in there, some bastard stole my wallet.
We spent the next three hours of our romantic trip making statements to the police who really couldn't have cared less about the plight of two stupid English tourists. I had to cancel all my credit cards and then rely on my girlfriend to pay me through the rest of the holiday.
We didn't let it spoil the trip, though. On the second day we saw the Colosseum and the Pantheon, the Trevi fountain and the Spanish Steps and the Villa Borghese, and then went out for a romantic meal. Are you feeling the romance yet?
Day three saw us picking through the remains of the Roman Empire on Palatine Hill and at the Forum, then we climbed up to the top of the Vittorio Emmanuel II Monument to get spectacular views over the whole city. We flew home exhausted but happy.
There was no time for rest. We were back home for one night then out on the road again.
We drove up into Scotland for a family wedding. This was a very posh affair in a beautiful location. The church was in St Monans, clinging onto the cliff face above the sea and the reception was at Kellie castle, a pretty National Trust property a few miles inland. We were incredibly lucky with the weather which had been forecast rain but stayed dry until the Sunday when we made our way back.
So today is Monday and that's what I did on my holidays. What does this have to do with Games Workshop games? Not a right lot but it does explain why I haven't been blogging lately.
Some of the things I did while I was away might have an impact on my gaming though. I got a good deal on a new digital SLR (Olympus 410) so expect to see a sharp jump in the quality of my photographs once I get to grips with the beast.
The sheer cost of my excursions should force me to start e-baying my unwanted stuff very shortly, especially if I want to buy any new models. Remember that my New Model Fund is in deficit at the moment!
My experience of walking around Rome, and especially the Vatican, made me really want to start a 40k Cities of Death board based on a Cardinal World. I'd love to recreate some of the marble and brick colours and textures I saw, and I've never seen this approach taken before so I might come up with something unique.
That's a long way off. I already have a lot to do in the immediate future. I plan to get some games of Blood Bowl in and update the Blood Bowl blog with the rest of my old content. I have a ton of books I have read but not yet reviewed and a lot more books to read. I also need to complete my Chaos Space Marine and Apocalypse models.
I have made a little progress on the painting front, though. Before I went away I got a couple of hours painting time and I decided to make a start on my ancient Slaanesh Greater Daemon model. The colour scheme was inspired by the latest issue of White Dwarf (UK 341). It is relatively subtle and uses a very small purple/black palette.
I took these pictures with my new camera and a harsh flash because the light is so bad, so they are quite unforgiving. Nevertheless, you can see where I'm going with this model. The skin was the biggest area so I started with a mix of Hormagaunt Purple and Dheneb Stone then added more and more Skull White to each successive layer.
Next I drybrushed the armour with Boltgun Metal, did a Black Ink wash and then a light drybrush of Mithril Silver. In retrospect I should have done this stage first so I wouldn't have had to worry about damaging the skin.
The claws and horns were a mix of Hormagaunt Purple, Liche Purple and Chaos Black, with Bleached Bone added for the highlights.
I may add some gold or brass for the rest of the decorations and then some grey highlights for the black cloth and then this little lass will be ready in time for Codex Daemons.
Phew, that was a monster blog entry, probably the longest I've ever written. I'm off to the Newcastle Chelsea match this afternoon and then I'll be back later in the week.