So last week I decided to make a trek out to Chicago to see what Adepticon is all about in person. I've always heard stories about how amazing the terrain is and what a great con it is, so the time had come to finally go check it out. Because I made the decision so late all the events that I'd be interested in playing were sold out, bummer. The bright side is because Adepticon takes place in a hotel (next to a mall) they let anyone in to look.
So I drove out with my wife friday night and checked into our hotel (the Stay Inn is really nice for the price and has a great breakfast). By the time we arrived it was to late to check out the con and we were both exhausted after a long week of work and a 5 hour drive.
Saturday morning we got up bright and early, filled up on a free breakfast and headed over to the con. Upon entering the hotel the grand ballroom is off to the right with a large dealer both outside. They had tons of boxes of bits and old models available with masses of gamers sitting on the floor digging through the bins. Walking into the main hall there's a tons of tables all filled with 40K players. Along the wall are some really impressive dioramas and displays, with the Crystal Brush and dealer booths on the other side. Looking at the tables I wasn't overly impressed. The terrain was all of nice quality but nothing spectacular lots of GW plastic kits, foam hills and miscellaneous forests. Each board had a general theme which was nice. Maybe I'm spoiled but it was of similar quality to what I've seen in better game stores across the country.
The dealer booths had plenty on painted models on display as well as special con pricing. I wound up picking up a few minis from the Cool Mini booth even though they weren't discounted not paying shipping is a bonus. Two Black Library authors were on hand signing books (didn't pick one up to get signed as I wasn't a huge fan of the recent work they had available). Black Library also had some pre-release books at the show.
The Forgeworld booth had a ridiculous line and the con mini sold out early. The new models they had on display were very cool and well worth the second mortgage you need to take out to afford them. Armourcast had a nice display with tons of cool bits and pieces, I still love the cinematic effects.
After touring the hall, we had a chance to check out the Crystal Brush competition. The models were all amazing, photographs don't do them a bit of justice. To see this quality of painting is something that has to be experienced in person. I know from experience how difficult it is to get a good picture of a painted mini and even with the best set-up it doesn't quite capture all the nuances of the work. I posted up the photos I snaped of some of my favorites in the gallery under Adepticon 2011.
I briefly had a chance to meet Nathan Caroland as well as Werid Sketch and Zee of Wyrd Miniatures.
After a few hours of walking around the con, we made a trip to Oak Park to check out Frank Lloyd Wrights home and a few other historic homes in the area (my wife's an architecture geek). Very interesting and inspiring for some future terrain projects.
After diner I headed back to the con to watch some of the open gaming going on. I brought my bag with me but didn't wind up playing (to exhausted).
Sunday, we swung by the con one last time to check out the gladiator event and gawk at the Crystal Brush entries one last time. From there we headed downtown to visit the Field Museum.
For those who don't know the Field Museum was create during the WPA days. It was also the museum featured in that Ben Stiller movie. For me the coolest part of the museum were the displays. Tons of interesting modeling techniques were used to create realistic models of different eras. I found some great inspiration in several of the displays that I'll probably incorporate into a future project. And of course there's the dinosaur bones which made me feel like a kid again.
Overall it was a great trip and I'll probably get some of my gaming group together to actually participate in the con next year. I think if you're not playing it's fun to check out but you can only wander the halls for so long before it gets old.