Monday, 4 May 2015

A Hot Date, with Boudi, Diceni 2015

A Lot of Things Happened in a Day at the Forum

I go to shows, not as many as I used to, since I stopped trading, but I get to the nearest ones to me if I can. Diceni is in Norwich, about as close as you can get, as its a little under 20 miles down the road.
For those of you who don't know much about this show, let me tell you a little about it, no lets let the show tell you about itself

Whats this Diceni all about ??

Diceni is a games event organised by Lee Lowe, and his band of Dicenian's that help's promote Tabletop, Board, Card, and RPG gaming as well as the costume worlds of Cosplay and LARP. 

There will be traders selling a wide range of hobby related item, from Board games, to miniatures, paint etc etc. We will have lots of demo/participation games for you to come along and enjoy.

Organising a fun and free entry event each year has meant that thousands of gamers and non gamers can enjoy a day of games, meeting up with friends and making new ones in this vibrant, interesting and creative hobby.

We love the world of cosplay and the colour and artistic skills it takes to portray a character. Diceni is a Cosplay friendly zone and we invite you to come along, show of your latest creation and help brighten up the event.

Diceni has helped and continues to help charities, every year we give a sum of money to help a local charity not as commonly recognised like some of the larger well known ones but just as important all the same, Hedgehog shelters, Nelsons Journey, dog rescue centres.

We've even supported a lovely little dog named Storm and her foster parent Sally from Hasslefree miniatures ( Another of the shows Sponsors) to have an operation to help her see again :)

So, we are about games, painting, fun, dressing in costume, making friends, relaxing, painting, helping others and we do it all for free!

Please help the event by purchasing some of our goodies found on the website or by simply telling your friends and family about us.

For those of you who currently involved in the hobby, we have lots for you to get excited about . For those of you who currently don't, come along and have a look, you never know, you might be the next generation of gamers, painters, game's designers, sculptors or cosplayers.

freshly stolen from the Diceni Facebook page

The Forum is a lovely venue, very airy, loads of space to move around, and slap bang in the heart of the lovely city of Norwich, so if you gents want to go play soldiers, you can let your lovely partners shop to their hearts content, in the two shopping centres the city boasts.

As you can see, its not a tightly crammed, no space to move show, although it does fill up as the day wears on, its never so crowded to be uncomfortable.

This show was a bit different for me, I have attended shows previously as a punter, as a demo-gamer and as a trader, so I have experienced the wargames show in all its glory, and all its horror as well.
This time round, I was just going along as a punter, my trading days are long past, and as I'm not so much of a club regular these days, I don't tend to get involved in the demo games anymore. Then the fickle hand of fate intervenes, Lee Lowe, the gent who organises the Diceni show, put out a plea on the show's Facebook page, they had a last minute cancelation, and wanted to try and fill the free space, did anybody know a trader, or something that could drop in at short notice to fill the gap?

I hesitated, just a moment, and then typed, " I could set up a table, showing how to scratch build stuff" thinking they will never want something daft like that!!
You've guessed it, Lee said great idea, so I found myself, packing up a pile of stuff, with some trepidation, as I worry far too much about what people will say, about the stuff I make.
Saturday morning, and I'm all set up. I have a lovely spot, next door to a trio of very talented painters, there I sit thinking, oh crap why did I suggest this. 
Chris Cope from the New Buckenham Historical Gamers pops over for a chat, they have a 28mm set up showing the attack on the British squares at Waterloo, he is on the scrounge for some paper, he passes some very nice comments about how good my set up looks, and the way its laid out to explain how the vehicle master process works. I feel a bit calmer now.
Stupid me, took a camera, but not a single picture did I snap, so I cannot show you the table set up, and hope someone else has taken one, if they have, I will share it, saying that, if you look very carefully at the above picture, you can just about make me out top right, just to one side of the brightly lit shop.

Enough waffle from me, over to the show itself. Now Diceni has a much different approach to your standard War Games show, its more of a showcase event, to promote different aspects of the hobby, its not all about figure gaming, and that adds to its appeal. Out the front of the building, there are the re-enactors from the Norwich And Norfolk Medieval Association, plus what I think was another LARP group, and I feel bad that I cannot remember who they were.
Inside you have a mix of Historical, Sci-Fi and fantasy games, both demo and participation, and a selection of great traders, some of whom who have journeyed a fair distance to support the show.
The games all look great, a lot of effort has gone into them, and it shows ( I shall be stealing pictures to post on here very soon)
Wandering about the show, are the cosplay crowd, and its a bonkers mix of all sorts, Stormtroopers, Super Heroes, even a Japanese Geisha lady!! I always thought that the cosplay crowd were a funny lot, but meeting them at the show changed my opinion, they are a marvelous bunch of people, and they gave the show a brilliant splash of colour.
There I sat, and spent the entire day chatting, to a lovely mix of people, some were gamers, some were just passing by, and had taken the chance to pop in and have a look. I lost count of the kind comments that people made, and for someone like myself, who has a crushing lack of confidence in what they do, it made my day to see that people were genuinely impressed with the models I had on show, and by what I could do.
I spoke to small children about Airfix kits, and the joys of Lego, to  a German gentlemen who was waxing lyrical about how welcoming eveyone was, to a radio control tank modeller, who had video of his model on his phone, that was impressive I can tell you, I talked about making art from deconstructing things with an American artist, and one group of people towards the end of the day stopped at the table, they had just wandered in because they saw the people outside the venue, and it piqued their interest, we had a chat about the hobby, laughed about the geekiness of it all, and one of them said,
 "we just came in for a laugh, but I have to say, I never realised just how involved your hobby is, its been a real eye opener for us, fantastic show, and thank you for taking the time to talk to us"

Says it all really,

 Diceni is a great little show, sure you can point a critical finger at it, and say, the mix is wrong, the wargames should have bigger tables, you should invite the big traders, why not do it on a Saturday, you should move to a bigger venue outside of the city, and yes all good and valid points, 
Somehow the show works, and it works really well, is not broke, it does not need fixing.
What Diceni does really well, is that it attracts new people to the hobby, it showcases what we all love, and gives us the chance to pass on our hobby to other people.
If I have managed to inspire one single person, to have a crack at making something out of plasticard, or to convert a model, then my time was worth it.

Will I return next year?
Yes indeed, and I hope to repeat my set up, and improve it a bit too, as my hand written bits of paper looked a trifle unprofessional, plus I shall take a small supply of snap together models, so when a youngster stops to chat, and tell me how "awesome" my models are, I can hand them a kit, and say, "take it home, have a go, and I hope you get the bug to do some more"

I'll leave you with a couple of pics, first off, the bike I was working on Yesterday at the show, and my Steampunk Boudi miniature, to remind me of  how fun a day I had

and finally, an image from one of the show attendees
Mark Bosanquet-Bryant, who was inspired by the show to build up his newly set up gaming club, and his picture shows the spirit of the show, it is all about joining in, and showing people what we do, its about making our hobby accessible , and its what Diceni does so very well

Congratuations Lee Lowe, another success for you and your Dicenians,
heres to 2016

There was a picture of me, looking a bit, well errrrrrrr, "strange" there I am with me good mate Si talking nonsense to some poor unsuspecting member of the public