- where we learn to be a better painter!

Monday, September 30, 2013

Games Day UK 2013 - Report Part 1: Pics, pics, pics!

Games Day 2013 - UK

Gorgeous gamers, cunning collectors, precious painters and hoopy hobbyists!

David is the Goliath of
Miniature Painting!
Games Day 2013 UK is over. WOW, it was an event that we will be talking about for a while, I think. For many reasons. 

Having traveled to GD US, GD Germany and now GD UK, it is time to finalize our popular mini-series about "The Future of Games Days and Games Workshop" - and I can tell you right now that the future will look different from what you may remember from Ye Olde Games Days of days gone by. 

(Part 1 of that series is here, followed by six more walls of texts - and will be concluded this week, I think).

Sleep or else...

I just came back from GD a few hours ago and after sifting through, cropping and color-correcting 742 pictures, I am about to fall asleep at the PC. 

Alas, I will now go and meet Ben, Matt and Katy (from Russian Alternative) for a drink or two :D For the greater good!

So the big report will have to follow tomorrow!

The best part of GD UK 2013 was
meeting dozens of Bruddhas!

THANK YOU ALL for your support!
As for today, I offer you nothing less than efficiently organized photo albums of my very personal Games Day UK 2013.
As always, you can use all the pictures in any way you want - our motto is SHARE & ENJOY!

There will be a very interesting Games Day Report following some time tomorrow - with a lot of inside information, rumors and future developments of Games Days. I would recommend not to miss it. 

How? Best by liking us and following us on Facebook! You won't miss any of the exciting miniature action ever again :)

Picture & Link Collection

If you have pictures on your blog/site/wherever and you want to SHARE & ENJOY them with the community, contact me on Facebook or just simply put the link in the comments below, I will then link to your ressources here: 

Masterminis Albums & Links: 

- Pre GD Dinner (Picasa, 21 pics)
GD UK 2013 - Event pictures (Picasa, 109 pics)
- Armies on Parade (Picasa, 116 pics)
- Golden Demon - Non-Finalists (Picasa, 235 pics)
- Golden Demon - Finalists (Picasa, 213 pics)

Your Albums & Links: 

- Conrad Mynett's Album (Picasa, 354 pics)
- Slayer Sword Winner David Soper's Blog (strongly recommended!)
If you like your own blog/album in the list, just leave it in the comments below or contact me via Facebook


What would be a report without a chance of winning something?

Nothing! That's right! 

So we give away a Games Day Only Marco Colombo miniature and not one, but TWO Painting Buddha T-Shirts to a total of three lucky winners!

In the comments below just write how you liked GD UK (if you went) and if you didn't go, what you think about GW/Games Days in general. Why didn't you go?


Friday, September 27, 2013

Painting Buddha Season 1.1: DVD VIDEO REVIEW by Ichiban Painting!

Wow! Simply WOW!

Painting Buddha Season 1.1 - Target Identified video review 
by Ichiban Painting Studio, Japan!

Review by Hugo Matte, multiple Golden Demon and recently Slayer Sword Japan 2013 winner!

I have been a follower of Ichiban Painting Studio for quite some time now - I discovered Hugo first about two years ago on his awesome Youtube channel. Hugo lives in Japan, which was even more reason for me to follow him. 

Hey, can I do a video review?

A few weeks ago, Hugo asked me whether it would be ok if he did a video review of our DVD set - well, of course it was OK :D

I did not know what to expect, but I can honestly say that I was more than impressed with the video when I saw it last night. What made the experience complete was that, in true style, I was viewer number 42. Bazinga!

So Hugo had a 'pretty good day' last Monday: His son tried standing up for the first time, his Paintingbuddha Supporter Box arrived AND he won the Slayer Sword Japan with an awesome Ghazghkull Mag Uruk Thraka (yes, that is is full name) paintjob. I'd call that a good day any day! Make sure to follow him on Facebook and Youtube - he will have a Games Day Japan report up soon! SHARE & ENJOY!

Oh, and Hugo accepts painting commissions!


There are quite a few reviews of our first little DVD coming up - it's amazing to us to see how many of you SHARE & ENJOY our project, be it on Facebook, Blogs, Forums or your hobby clubs. Thanks to all of you! And stay tuned for reviews in Ravage (by Julien Casses), Figure Painting Magazine, Wamp/Portal and Brückenkopf Online

Before you watch the video

Here some quick little clarifications with regards to the video: The DVD Supporter Box costs 84€, the Budget Box contains not only the DVDs BUT ALSO the miniatures (not the base, nor any nerdy collector stuff, though). And last but not least: The DVD is in PAL format and will run on all PCs with Windows Media Player, VLC and the like. It will, however, not run on most NTSC systems. If you have any questions, give us a holler!

So without further ado (I always say that after some sort of wall of text, it seems), please SHARE & ENJOY Ichiban Painting's video review of Paintingbuddha Season 1.1: Target Identified!

And if you are interested in supporting our little start-up by buying one of the best priced miniature deals of this decade, check out our shop here

You might also want to follow us on Facebook to read reports about miniature events all over the world, take part in tons of hoopy Giveaways, read about my love-hate-relationship with Games Workshop, be the first to know about our upcoming Season 2, or simply to learn to be a better painter ;) 

While Supplies Last!

Games Day UK Report coming up Tuesday

I will be travelling to Games Day UK again this year - and as always you can expect a massive report with tons and tons of pics from the Pre-GD-Dinner to the After-Show-Party! I'll post the winning entries on Facebook the moment they happen, so stay tuned. As I will be in UK until Monday, I will post my report and pics on Tuesday, when I am back.

Don't miss it. 


Thursday, September 26, 2013

Games Day UK - Ticket & T-Shirt winners

This day is full of WIN, baby!

As announced in our Games Day 2013 UK 'Pre-port', we had three last-minute GD Tickets to give away! And since a piece of paper is not hoopy enough, we even threw in some Painting Buddha T-Shirts for you guys!

If you won and would like to join us for Pre-GD-Dinner, check out Sue's Facebook Event and join us for an evening full of nerdiness! I would give you your prizes then. 

Wear it with pride!
Congrats to the winners!
If you can't make it to the Games Day Dinner, I will be waiting in front of the main entrance of the NIA before the doors open. Please add me on Facebook and shoot me a message, I'll give you my phone number then. Also, I will need your T-Shirt size (T-shirts, especially the XL, XXL and XXXL are on the tight side, so you might want to go one size larger!)

So without further ado, here are the winners of our tickets: Thanks for SHARING & ENJOYING!

Congratulations to Dante, Phil Millar and Rob Knipe

You did not win? Check out our Euromilitaire 2013 report for more chances of winning hoopy stuff!

How can we keep handing out free stuff?

Since the launch of our little Painting Revolution on November 14th last year, we have given away mostly limited and rare stuff worth over 4200€! 

We can only do this because so many of you supported our incredibly priced Paintingbuddha Season 1.1: Target Identified. It's not too late for Christmas presents, you know, just sayin'... ^^


Tuesday, September 24, 2013


Games Day UK - Golden Demon 2013

Good Day my glorious Games Day geeks!

Games Day 2013 = Games Day 2012 - 6000 fans
I have not even unpacked my Euromilitaire 2013 suitcase yet and the next event, Games Day UK 2013 is already knocking on my schedule. 

Therefore I shall venture to the mother- and fatherland of miniatures again this Saturday, heading straight for Birmingham, where Games Workshop has rented out the NIA this year, significantly reducing the visitor numbers from the 8-10,000 visitors at the NEC in previous years. 

If you are going to Games Day UK, I would like to suggest that you check the Pre-GD-UK Facebook page that Sue has set up. We will be meeting the night before the Games Day for some food, fun and festivities - hope to see you there!

No new minis, all new report

As per usual, I have not finished any miniatures for this event - even though I had plans for 7 categories... But being as busy as we are right now, the one thing I get for starting a miniature company is not having time for painting miniatures anymore :P 

That being said, I will have 142% time available for an awesome inside report from Games Day UK (if they let me in, after all my posts about the Future of Games Day and Games Workshop :D).

Also, I will post live-pics throughout the day on our facebook page - including the winners. See it live as it happens! (I just need to remember to bring my charger this time :P)

WIN Tickets & Painting Buddha Shirts!

Want one of three free last-minute-Games Day UK Tickets and a free Painting Buddha T-Shirt? I'll hand deliver THREE TICKETS and shirts in your size straight to the entrance of Games Day UK! You will have to be there prior to opening, though! You'll find me - bearded, bald guy looking like a hobo in a Painting Buddha shirt ^^. 

All you need to do to be eligible to win is to SHARE & ENJOY this post with your friends on Google+ and Facebook. If you need a ticket, please additionally state so in the comments below! Some people who share this post already got one :)  

Ticket & T-Shirt winners will be announced on Thursday morning and I will get in touch with the winners via Facebook chat :) 

The Future of Games Days and Games Workshop

In the unlikely case that you have not read our epic mini-series about "The Future of Games Days & Games Workshop" yet, take about 2 hours off your schedule, grab a cup'o'Joe, tell your boss you are very busy, lean back and share & enjoy: 

Part 7 will be up after the Games Day UK report next week. STAY TUNED - and don't forget to


Monday, September 23, 2013

Euromilitaire 2013 - Report & Pics!


Euromilitaire 2013

Talking the show away

WOW! My first Euromilitaire - and what an event it was!

Meeting new and long time friends is just the BEST!
Imagine visiting one of the biggest miniature events, an event that in 2013 is in its 28th year. Imagine there are about 1000 absolutely world-class miniatures and models of every conceivable genre: Tanks, busts, historic, fantasy, light boxes, dioramas, vignettes. Imagine more vendors that you can throw money at: Miniatures, plinths, lamps, terrain, tools, lamps, books...

And now imagine a two day event where you meet many great people from all over the world - from Canada to South Korea, from Finland to Italy - in fact SO many that you almost miss the whole miniature exibition!

THAT was my weekend. 

28 years of miniature & modelling madness
"Bruddha" Scott & very nice lady posing in front of the
massive vendor hall. 
The show, without doubt the premier event in any military modeller’s diary for 2013, attract many of the biggest names in the hobby, both as competitors as well as demonstrators. 

There were over 100 trade stands selling a diverse range of products from across the hobby, including kits, paints and diorama accessories and much, much more. In addition, this year for the 28th time, Euromilitaire hosted one of the world’s biggest and most prestigious modelling competitions, attracting visitors from around the world to compete and display their work. Over 3000 visitors filled the halls during the two day event.

We will give TWO Nocturna miniatures away in this post!
Curtesy of and Nocturna!
Some of my favorite companies of the last few years, Heros & Villains, Scale 75 and especially Nocturna had their booths at Euromilitaire alongside long established fan-favorites such as Pegaso and new and upcoming small companies such as our friends from  JoeK Miniatures. It was simply overwhelming! It took a lot of self-control not to buy more than would have been good for me ^^. 

Talk talk talk

H&V's Fernando Ruiz had an ingenious idea: The QR code
on each of their boxes leads to a massive step-by-step tutorial
on their website! He is holding one of the Giveaway-prizes ^^
I had a really good talk with Jesús Martín from Nocturna and Fernando Ruiz from H&V talking about how we at paintingbuddha plan to grow the hobby, what our mission is and how we engage in charitable and community work from the profits of our company (you can read more about this here). 

They spontaneously offered to support us by providing giveaway prizes for today's blog and we will stay in touch to discuss ideas about some future cooperation. Stay tuned, the revolution has just begun!

When we took this picture, there were
still a few boxes left - that changed!
Our friends at Scale 75 got robbed. Well, not really, but at the end of the show their store looked like a battlefield! Their awesome new Scale 75 paints and many of their miniatures were all but sold out. Elias said "Wow - we thought we had more than enough product with us, but this really surprised us!" 

Good for them. Awesome companies with fresh new ideas, great service and fantastic products like Nocturna, Scale 75 and H&V truly deserve their success. We are looking forward to working with them in the future.

And the best thing is - these are genuinely good guys: They don't do this for fame or profit alone - they absolutely and positively love the hobby. Like we do. 

Check out their sites and their awesome products!

New kids on the block

Luke, Joe and James - just totally hooby guys :) 
Next to the established 'bigger' players you could also find some really fresh, new companies at Euromilitaire - some just started their business (with or without the help of kickstarters) and all of them have one thing in common: 

Love for the hobby and absolute commitment to fresh ideas, highest quality and most importantly: FUN. I think our corner of the show tended to be the one bursting with the loudest laughter during the show :) 

Sorry for any inconvenience caused! ^^

Krisps & pints

Located in the beautiful Leas Cliff Hall, overseeing the channel we took breaks from standing at booths and talking by going outside, sitting in the sun, have a beer or two and - of course - continue to talk. I can't put in words how many interesting people I have met - it was an absolute blast!

The Leas Cliff Hall has a bar and a small cafe and to offer to anyone who needed a little break. Prices were very reasonable and the beer cold :D

Wait, what about the miniature competition?

Judge Dredd? No, Bruddha Conrad!
(Still a Judge, though)
This was probably the first time at any event that I almost missed the miniature competition completely. And that would have been a loss! 

On Sunday at 3pm I finally got downstairs into the showroom. And I was simply overwhelmed by the amount of entries I saw. After all, my plan was to take a picture of every single one of them and I took pictures to the very last minute. In fact, so late that I quite literally almost missed my flight by 1 minute. 

Running to the gate turned the Painting Buddha into a Panting Buddha :D 

In the end, I think I was able to take pictures of most miniatures. Some entries had already been taken away as people needed to travel back to wherever they had come from. 

At this point I would like to say that the level of competition was very high. Euromilitaire is known for not handing out medals easily - so catching one of the medals or even a golden one, presented on stage, is a great honor and a great achievement. 

My personal "Best of Show"
by Chris Clayton
With 30 categories, the judges had their hands full. And I can only say that they have done a tremendous job! This goes for the whole organization of the event, too. Behind the scenes you could see dozens of judges, assistants and organizers, making this event run smoothly towards one of the best organized shows that I have ever had the pleasure to attend. 

Pics or it didn't happen

I could go on and on and on. I could talk about Richard Poisson, Chris Clayton, Antonio Fernandez Lizaso, Iguazzu, Myeong-Ha Hwang, Man Jin Kim, the Volquarts & friends, David Zabrocki, Ernst Veingart, their charming wives, Mathieu, Scott, Luke,.... and the dozens of other awesome people I knew from Facebook but had not yet met in person. 

I am still overwhelmed.
And a little tired :D 

So here, without further ado is the link to my picasa webalbum. You can use the pictures any way you want - you know our motto: SHARE & ENJOY.

If you have pictures that you would like to share & enjoy, you can just leave a link in the comments below or contact me via email, facebook or carrier pigeon.

Mario's Facebook Album
Pekka's Facebook Album
John's Facebook Album

Asharimrai's Photo Bucket
*new* Cursed Monkey's VIDEO!

Euromilitaire 2013 Giveaway

First of all an apology to our last giveaway winners - the prizes have not been sent yet as we have simply been too busy. BUT I am confident that we can send them out this week ^^ We simply have to as the next few giveaways are already on their way!

Again thanks to Fernando from Heroes & Villains (he sponsored a Holmes & Watson bust set!) and to Jesús from Nocturna (who sponsored us his awesome Luz, New York!) for their sponsored prizes. And thanks to me (heheh) for buying two of Nocturna's pre-release Akelarre, the dragon enchantress. Soooo pretty! 

You can win these! How? Please read below :) 
How to win

Simply SHARE & ENJOY this post with your Facebook and Google+ friends! That's all. As always we will randomly draw our winner. This time, we will draw the winner after our Games Day UK 2013 report which should be in some time next week.

How to support us

A question I got a lot when presenting our Painting Buddha Box (quote Jesús from Nocturna: "This is the best miniature product I have seen in my entire life!") is:

"How are you making profit with this?"

Starting at 42€? "Insane!" - the #1 resonse we get.
Well, we don't make a lot of it. That's the whole secret. Of course, we still need to pay our bills - so by supporting us with the purchase of one of the best deals in the miniature industry today, you can help us keep doing what we and YOU love in the future! 

We do everything for the community - that means we work for YOU.

Our thanks go to the over 300 Bruddhas who supported us with their purchase in only the first six weeks of our launch! 

Except for Antarctica, the Painting Buddha traveled to all continents!

Again, thank you for your support!


Thursday, September 19, 2013

Pre-port: Euromilitaire 2013

Pre-port: Euromilitaire 2013, Folkstone, UK

I am so not ready :D

Greetings, my most charming collectors, gorgeous gamers and pretty painters!

Tomorrow I will be heading out for what will be my only 'vacation' for this year - a three day weekend in Folkstone for my first ever Euromilitaire. I heard so much about this awesome event that I just had to go. And the week after that I'll hop over to Games Day UK. Painting Buddha on tour! :D

At Euromilitaire, I will not enter any miniatures, just enjoying the weekend, finally meeting some people I was looking forward to meet for a long time and talking to some long time painter friends. 

And of course, I will be taking TONS of pictures. There will be frequent updates on our facebook page with some of my favorite miniatures throughout the weekend, of course, followed by a big report on as soon as I am back in Germany next week. 

One of my favorite companies in recent months is Nocturna, who will have a new miniature out that will be pre-sold (sold before they are sold?) exclusively at Euromilitaire. 

If you are going and want to save some money, you'll find a coupon on Nocturna's FB Page for 5£ off of your purchase. 

If I can afford it, I will get two of these stunningly beautiful ladies and give one away on the blog next week :) 

But I am so not ready! Laundry ain't done, we have not even sent out the prizes for our last giveaway yet (I am SO SORRY), but our days are so busy that we kinda slipped up on that one ;) 

I promise that all prizes will be sent out next week! Including this little Nocturna gem (if I can get one, I mean two!).

I know there will be tons of workshop throughout the weekend and painters from all over the world will attend, including some of my favorite South Korean painters, which I can't wait to meet :) 

So, if you are attending Euromilitaire and you see a bald guy with the shape of a Buddha, a 9 month old beard and either a Paintingbuddha T-Shirt or my sweater, chat me up :) 

Looking forward to seeing you all! 

And if you can't go, make sure to check out next week for an extensive report! 


Tuesday, September 17, 2013

The future of Games Days and Games Workshop - Part 6

End of the line for Games Days & Games Workshop?
The Future of Games Days and Games Workshop 
Part 6 - End of the line?

Finally, part 6!

It's been two weeks since Part 5 of our popular little mini-series "The Future of Games Days and Games Workshop" received it's latest update. 

Many of you have sent me messages asking when the next part of this series would be posted and if you read these lines now, you KNOW! 

We have been very busy here at our paintingbuddha living-room office, filming Season 3 with Chris Octive, an incredibly talented and totally hoopy frood from UK. Season 3 is scheduled to be released in 2014 

Since there are a few hundred new followers on Facebook, I'll take the opportunity to once again say a few words about this mini-series. Well, if the walls of text I have thrown at you are any indication of the word 'mini', this is a fail in itself ^^

I describe myself as GW/FW Fanboy #1. And I mean it. The posts, especially starting with part 3 probably raised the question "Why are you a fanboy, if GW's business practices causes you to rage so much?"

Well, I guess that IS the definition of being a fan-boy of Games Workshop. You support them, no matter what. 

Do you love them or hate them? Or both? Why?
Comment below or we'll release the baby!
And I know many of you share this love-hate-relationship. We love the hobby, we love the miniatures, we love the community, we even like most of the people at Games Workshop. We just hate how the GW management continues to needlessly fail on so many levels. And yet we flock to the stores, buy all the product we'll never need and turn GW profitable again. Just to get kicked where it hurts.

No wonder GW thinks they are doing everything right. Black snow, Baby! It's a fan-boy's life. Suffering for the greater good.

So, today, we will finally look at what caused this mini-series in the first place. A critical assessment of the recent changes to Games Days, how the frakk we got here and what I think the grim darkness of the future holds. 

Brace yourself for another epic wall of text!


The life of a nerd 2.0

In the grim darkness of the late 90's and early 2000's there was only work. And a lot of it. 24/7. Trying to wind down in the few private hours, I re-discovered my love for miniatures. In 2005, I visited my first of many Games Days in Cologne, Germany. 

I got my 'Mega Ticket' VIP thingy that would allow me to get in an hour earlier than the non-mega-nerds, who were only allowed in at 10am. "Well, let's be there at 8, so I am in front of the line!", I thought to myself. 

A full Games Day. Good ol' days - source: Lexicanum
Good plan. In theory. 

I arrived at the Gürzenich a few minutes past eight and headed straight for the entrance. The end of the line, which wrapped once around the whole building was a few thousand fan-boys & girls and a few hundred meters behind the entrance. 

Being a good German, I just cut in line and entered the venue as one of the first happy nerds. Bad, sneaky Zaphod!

Success! Error 37! 

Eight years and a few unbelievably 'successful' (oooh, I'm gonna give you successful! *rage*) marketing ploys later, at Games Day 2013, there were a total of 37 people waiting in front of the Gürzenich, waiting to 'storm' the venue. 

37. Thirty-seven. Even Blizzard knows that 37 is not a good number. 
It's not even 42, for crying out loud!

If you have not followed the rumors and leaked documents (courtesy of, I might proudly add!), back then there were two possible scenarios when Games Workshop announced its elaborate new International Games Day Codex rules (cancellation of GD Australia, France, Spain and to some extend Japan, increased prices and limited availability):

Either a) GW sells out the 2000 tickets within hours OR b) it would turn out to be a disaster. Well, GW sold just slightly over 1000 tickets. 1000.
Remember the black snow from Part 5? According to sources at Games Workshop, the Games Day Germany was a great success. I'd call it a successful disaster - or disastrously successful. Let me elaborate. 

Success and Failure are subject to definition

At 4.2 centimeter, it
just SUCCs.
There is only one way to know if you were successful or not. You have to set a goal, perform an action and check the results to see if it worked. (That's the kind of stuff you learn in first year University classes, go figure). 

So, let's see. 

As a fan, what would I think the goals for GW running an event like this could possibly be? Why does GW run these events? What's the purpose - or rather what should or could be the purpose?

First and foremost, a Games Day is a marketing event. It's marketed as a celebration of the hobby and its hobbyists. As we have seen in an earlier part, Games Workshop describes the hobby as gaming, painting and collecting of Citadel Miniatures. So far so good. As an additional fact, the community is geographically distributed and as such uses the Internet extensively. 

Time for a quick excursion into the wonderful world of marketing! In short, marketing is the kind of common sense they 'teach' you at universities ^^ 

Marketing 101

Of course, we all know what marketing is, but for the odd chance that some GW HQ management reads this, I'll give them this very ancient and basic definition from Wikipedia, so they understand the basic concepts: 
"Marketing is the process of communicating the value of a product or service to customers, for the purpose of selling the product or service. It is a critical business function for attracting customers."

Of course, since the days of Ford's Model T ("You can have any color you want, as long as it's black"), Marketing has evolved over the decades. I invite you to at least read the first page of the Wikipedia definition of Marketing, especially the section on "Earlier Approaches". 

It should be painfully obvious that, when it comes to Marketing, GW still lives in the grim past of the 1950s-1980s. 

This form of marketing is appropriately called "Selling" or - because it is so mindbogglingly basic - just "Marketing".

Holistic Marketing? Relationship Marketing? Social Media Marketing
Everyone judge for themselves. I don't sense any of that new-age-crap inside GW.

Branding? Yeah, maybe, but seriously GW: you're doing it wrong! Branding is not protecting your IP at all cost - and neither should you brandmark your customers. Not a good idea.

Everyone, just ask yourself: When was the last time you felt that Games Workshop as a company did something FOR you, just because they appreciate you as a customer?  

Marketing 420

1980s: Painting Nerds in a undisclosed Painting Revolution Camp
Now let's leave the early 80s behind. For lack thereof, I feel offended by the disgraceful display of lush hair anyways. Let's enter the 21st century and how marketing should be done. Listen up, GW! 

So we are a community of nerds, gamers, painters and collectors that use the Internet to share & enjoy our hobby. I guess we can all agree to that. 

GW does not offer anything to this effect. No community platform, no more free hobby articles, no engagement with the community. Well, that is not entirely correct. 

At some point the Marketing and Legal department seem to have fused and now the only interaction we as fans seem to enjoy from GW are 'Cease and Desist' letters and DMCA shut-downs of our favorite sites. 

Price increases, Finecast, deserted Games Days. The social backlash for GW policy's impact on the community, aka Shit-Storm, forced GW to shut down their Facebook Fan Page. Even comments on GW Youtube videos are disabled by default!  

Seriously?fan-community based company of internet-savy consumers has to shut down all communication channels? SERIOUSLY? Does anyone else feel there is something wrong here? 

No, of course not. It's a success. At least that's what GW will tell you. 

Black Snow. Oh, lawdy! How I hate black snow. Ain't nobody got time for that!

As far as social media and online community management is concerned, GW is pretty much non-existent. 

Success Stories: Back to Games Days

So, other than enjoying the Online Shop or going to a GW store, what is the one and only form of real community engagement Games Workshop still had left to their name? 

"Games Days!" I hear you say? DINGDINGDING! We have a winner!

Speaking of Marketing:
Target Identified: Shameless plug!
So, let's see if we can't totally FRAKK that up, too!
(I'll have a few nice things to say in part 7, though!)

Many lines ago, I asked the question about measuring success. Let's look at the Games Day again. 

Target: Gamers, Painters, Collectors. 

Mission: Engage as many consumer as possible with an awesome show and create a long-lasting, loyal fanbase to spread the word and secure future sales. In the words of Wikipedia, 
communicate the value of a product or service to customers, for the purpose of selling the product or service.

Marketing in good and bad times

I believe that it was the first or second lecture in Marketing at university where I heard that it is important to use marketing tools when you are not doing so hot business-wise. But what I won't ever forget is that marketing is vitally important in times where you are doing great

Because if business turns south again, the customer will not forget.

Games Workshop is writing good profits again. They also skipped the introductory course in my Marketing class. 

The P-word

Stress and nervous tension are now serious social problems in all parts of the galaxy and it is in order that this situation should not be in any way exacerbated that the following facts will now be revealed in advanced:

- Marketing events cost money. If done right, profits will follow

And to further alleviate that nagging feeling that speaks from a rarely used portion of the manager's psyche, the 'common sense centre' I shall also reveal this little secret: 

- Don't you ever try to make profits by running a marketing event or you'll frakk it up

Having said that, what is the one word that seems to drive everything at Games Workshop? Wow, you guys are on fire! Yes, it's PROFIT! The P-Word!

Learning from the Pros

If you are a painter, and you visited Games Days to enter a miniature in a contest, you may have indulged in the consumption of a gummy-bear-like tasting, sugary liquid to help you finish your projects. That liquid that you consumed comes in small, but expensive cans of 100% pure marketing concentrate. Let's call it "Red Bull"

Red Bull makes money by giving stuff away for free.
They don't charge you for looking at the car (or the
ladies) only to sell you a can at full price.
What is Red Bull's business? From the looks of it, they are in the business of making funny Minis with large Red Bull cans, occupied by two rather lovely female carbon based, bipedal, life-forms who descended of an ape who pass out Red Bull for free. 

Or is it the construction of all kinds of racing vehicles? Platforms to go to and then jump out of the final frontier? 

So, is Red Bull's target demographic only racing drivers? Good looking people? Adventurers? 

No. It's for us miniature nerds to help us cope with project deadlines. Although the 'good looking people' part quite obviously applies. 

Contrast this with the 2005 picture above:
Less gaming tables, less visitors,
50% grey shirts, 50% sales area and registers.

GW, where have all your gamers gone?
Now contrast this with Games Days: You pay the hefty sum of 50€ to get in (not mentioning travel & accommodation), you no longer get a free T-Shirt or a collectible Games Day Miniature only to look at displays full of miniatures and entries that mostly have been prepared by you and your fellow nerds. Then you can proceed to buy full prize GW merchandize you can get elsewhere for 10-20% off.

But, of course, there are good developments, too: in recent years you can enjoy the beautiful-designed, creatively unique modular gaming boards that you can't find anywhere else - these replaced these dreadful, hand-made, IP-violating 5 story Imperial space ships some of the guys built as their gaming table. Frakking nerds. 

Need more reasons why you'd rather drink a Red Bull and stay home? 

BTW: Red Bull! Owe up to your loyal nerds and sponsor a hoopy project idea I have! If anyone who reads this knows anyone at Red Bull, shoot them my contact details :D 

Miniature nerds sponsored by Red Bull - I WILL live to see that day! Pinky swear.

Where have all the gamers gone?

These Battle Realm Gaming Boards are good.
But are they good enough to travel 1000km
just to have a look at them?
As someone who claims to be a miniature painter (who is going through some rough 'dry' phases without ever finishing much), I gotta say that painters in general complained a lot about Games Workshop focusing primarily and solely on gamers. We sometimes felt forgotten, even though especially when it comes to GW Germany, the painting community has received great support by being allowed to put up live painting demonstration booths at the event - to our mutual benefit.  

But let's face it, gamers - especially young ones - are the main focus of GW. A competition painter paints a miniature every month or so. (Except for Ben, who can do 30 of these in a month, using his not-so-secret-anymore wet-in-wet technique). A gamer buys dozens and hundreds of miniatures. So I really don't blame them. 

However, the perceived ratio of 1 serious painter or less for every 10 gamers in recent years drastically changed in 2013. I would guesstimate that more than 21% of the visitors of this year's GD Germany were painters or at the very least primarily came for the Golden Demon competition. 

*kiddie: used as a term of
endearment, not derogatory!
In addition, in 2013 you had to actively search for the typical 'kiddie'* (target demographic: 14-15 year old gamers) that flooded the halls in previous years. I would estimate the average age of this year's GD visitor was over 21 years.  And it was not only my fault! Seems that GD failed to entice its target audience.

So, where have all the gamers gone? 

I'll tell you! The very active, well organized and well networked gaming community has boycotted this Games Day - if you still don't know why, please re-read parts 1-5. 

All I can say is: WOW. GW frakked up the impossible.

GD Germany 2013: Not exactly teeming with life. 
International Games Day Codex

The official word that GW staff in Germany received was that the Games Day 2013 was a great success.

Now, I have worked with UK and US based companies enough to know that rule #1 is: EVERYTHING management does is a success. Always. If it's not successful, rule #1 applies automatically. Black snow

To be nice to GW for a change, i will disclose now that there were a lot of good developments - partly born of circumstance - at GD Germany, and even more so at GD US. But I will talk about this more in part 7 of the series. (By the way, I just decided that there will be 8 parts in total... :D). 

So, as we all know, UK HQ is only interested in profits. The HQ has conjured up an internationally binding Games Day Codex, which demands that every Games Day Event has to be at least covering its cost, preferably be profitable, or else...

I have it on good authority that these 'new rules' were the main reason why GW France, Spain and possibly Australia actively decided not to organize a GD this year. The terms were to restrictive to actually be able to reorganize a good event in the short time-frame GW allowed them after the release of the 'Codex'.

The cost of loss

I don't know how much running an event like GD US or GD Germany costs, but I would estimate something in the area of 1/2 - 3/4 of total ticket revenue (leaving a 25% profit chance, if sold out). Again, giving the size of its container, my gut feeling rarely fails me. 

For the German GD, especially due to its really nice location, personnel expense, travel, logistics that would probably come in at around 50-75k€. With ~1100 visitors, GW would have (re)covered that cost. Add the sales from Black Library, Forge World and GW and you make a nice profit. 

Personally, I'd rather run an event with 4000 people who get in cheaper, give them some free swag and enjoy the sales they generate then limiting tickets and make sure the profit is covered by the 'cover charge'. Oh wait. That's a good one!

OH NO! Trying to make a profit at a marketing event?! Did Zaphod not warn you about this? Did he not label that big red no-no-button accordingly?


End of the line?

Gamers, the #1 source of sales for GW are boycotting a marketing event, primarily aimed at just these gamers. The Internet is full of rage about all kinds of things, again, parts 1-5 have covered that in enough detail, I think. 

A company that makes over 20 million pound profit is not willing to sponsor an event in full or even hand out a few cheap goodies for it's loyal fanbase that stood by GW even when times were (financially) bad? 

Is this the best that GW can do for an 'inspiring and memorable celebration of collecting Citadel miniatures'?

Is this the end of the line for Games Days and Games Workshop? 

No. Simply because I am sure that I am not the only fan-boy. We bitch and curse and flame and still buy our daily dose of plastic. Whether the next generation of gamers and painters will endure the same is doubtful, however. 

Citadel surely makes the best plastic miniatures in the world - but if the recent rise of beautifully designed, community driven and emotionally involved kickstarters and start-ups is any indication, there could be rough times ahead. I am not even gonna start talking about 3D printing - it's not around the corner, but I will live to see that day.

Other companies don't make the best quality plastic miniatures. They use resin. But they know how to treat their fan-base and engage them in internet based, social-media marketing campaigns. 

The real secret is, that many of these start-ups don't even do this, because they think it's a cunningly deceptive marketing scheme. The secret is, that they believe in their product, they listen to the community and they embrace their inner nerd. 

I know what I am talking about, because that's how we here at and roll - big hugs for the inner nerd :D

Part 7: Mending the wounded Giant - good things about GW. 

Build them up - bring them down - pick up the pieces and build em up again. Best advice for constructive criticism I can give. So in Part 7 I will talk about the good things of GW's Games Days 2013 - and there are some very promising developments. Maybe.

Find out why Games Days will be successful again, why France and Spain will likely be back again next year and where we will go in the future in our next exiting installment of "The Future of Games Days and Games Workshop". 

And if you would like to give your inner nerd a big 'ol hug, why don't you indulge in supporting one of the best deals for miniature painters out there: Season 1.1: Target Identified. 

P.S.: It takes hours to write these articles - and that is not because I write slowly in case some of you might not be able to read that fast. :D 

So please take a few seconds and SHARE your thoughts in the comments for all of us to ENJOY!

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