Miniature Ordnance Review looks at the world of historical and fantasy miniatures wargaming and model building. From 15mm Flames of War, to Warhammer 40K, to 1/35th scale tanks, with some potential surprises on the horizon - you'll find them here!

Friday, December 18, 2020

Our Trip to Warhammer World - Summer 2019 Callback - Part 1

Needless to say, this year has been an absolute bust for travel, vacation, camping, etc. However, it suddenly occurred to me that I'd never posted any pictures of our trip to Warhammer World during the summer of 2019. We spent nearly two weeks in the UK (England and Scotland), and honestly tried to take way too much in during that time including castles, cathedrals, Roman ruins, and even Tankfest! However, as hitting Warhammer World was on my bucket list, we had to at least spend an afternoon there.

Space Marine guarding the car park
Warhammer World is nestled in a commercial park in Nottingham, UK, surrounded by some of the other Games Workshop corporate buildings. It's a combination high-end game store and museum all in one. There's a full line of Games Workshop and Forge World items on the shelves, along with a few Warhammer World exclusives. Plenty of space is set aside for actually playing games (though obviously these all have to be Games Workshop games, obviously).

Rhino mock-up! Not sure 10 Space Marines would fit, though

As you come in you know right away that this is a gaming company, and not just any gaming company. A full size Space Marine statue and a cute converted Rhino grace the parking lot, though honestly how you'd get 10 marines in that Rhino is beyond me! They much be really friendly. Just inside the entrance there are a few displays that give you a bit of a sense of what to expect from the exhibition part of the experience. When I was there a Lord of the Rings battle scene was on display, the Battle of the Pelennor Fields (shown below), and there was also a life size Uruk-hai, Lurtz their first leader in Fellowship of the Ring.

Battle of the Pelennor Fields

Of course, all of the displays at Warhammer World are absolutely amazing. Not only are they displaying some of the best Citadel miniatures, these are ones painted by their professional staff. The terrain they make up to create the displays is right up there with the best museum-level diorama work I've seen as well, so that helps really draw you into the scene. 

Lurtz the Uruk-Hai - even uglier in real life!

As you'd expect, the retail area includes just about every Games Workshop toy you'd ever want, and there are painted displays of just about everything as well. The Lord of the Rings display is extremely nice, which reminds me, I really need to start painting up those miniatures at this point. Middle Earth remains to this day one of my favorite fantasy realms, and it borders on criminal that I have gotten at least a token force together and painted. It's a beautiful game with some amazingly beautiful miniatures that should be a lot of fun to paint and then hopefully get a few games in as well! 

Down, down to goblin town!

As good gaming and good food should almost always go hand in hand, Warhammer World includes Bugman's Bar (yes, the Bugman of various miniatures fame). It's a great little pub with some amazing food right in Warhammer World itself. As I was in England, I had to get the fish and chips, and was served enough for me and half a company of dwarves to boot! The food was honestly extremely good. It was a little pricey, but where else do you get to eat by the hearth with a dwarvish axe? I mean really!

The hearth at Bugman's Bar

For those who are so inclined, Bugman's Bar is also, well, a bar! You can get both draft beer (or as it is in England, technically draught beer) as well as bottled beer. There are also some bottled ciders on offer as well. There is, of course, also a variety of other non-alcoholic drinks available for those who are driving. Especially blokes like me driving a manual on the wrong side of the road from the wrong side of the car! If you're interested, there's a full menu online.

Bugman's even includes a bookshelf for those who want to kick back and read!

Beyond the retail experience, there is an Exhibition Centre with four areas and an array of display boards. According to their website, there are over 20,000 painted miniatures on display throughout the areas - including some guest displays. You have to pay separately to get tickets for the Exhibition Centre, but I even convinced my wife, who is not a miniature painter, to come through and she enjoyed it. 

Some very early Citadel miniatures

The exhibition starts with a brief background giving the history of Citadel Miniatures and how it grew into Games Workshop. I've included a photo above of some of the very early catalog miniatures, but there are several really neat displays in this area. Some of the early miniatures I'd seen before, others I never even knew existed. There are also some early Golden Demon Award winners included in the exhibition as well. These are spectacular and really give you a sense of how far the hobby has come, and how amazing some of the older paint jobs are even to this day!

Early Golden Demon winner - yeah, they've always been spectacular!

In the second and final part of this entry I'll include photos of some of the other parts of the exhibition. Unfortunately I only had my smartphone camera with me, not my Nikon, so some of the pictures didn't come out as nicely as I'd hoped. That being said I managed to get enough cleaned up in Photoshop to give you a sense of the scale of the displays, and some of the fun classic miniatures on display throughout the hall.

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