November 1, 2018: Year 9; Edition 20
Hi, All ~

It's November! Here in DC today, the temperature feels like early summer as we continue our planning for the amazing NOVA OPEN 2019 TENTH ANNIVERSARY!

There are a couple things on the near horizon for NOVA Open that bear your participation and/or feedback:

  • Our 10th Anniversary Painting Contest has now been better clarified and timestamped in this edition of the newsletter (see below). We would really like to see it become a fun adventure for everyone with a lot of participation. Please take some time to get creative and plan to join in the competition!

  • NOVA Open has been reviewing how we handle storage against our continued expansion. In the 2018 survey, many local DC area attendees commented on how they wished NOVA Open happened more than once a year. While we do not have the bandwidth to run more than one convention, this feedback coincides with our need to expand and consolidate the disparate ways in which the convention organically developed its storage and terrain-workshop facilities over the past decade. While we're still in the exploration/discovery phase, we wanted to see what our newsletter readers thought about some ideas we have:

  • If you're somewhat proximate to the DC area, would you be interested in supporting regular gaming and tourney-hosting facilities co-located with a NOVA Open warehousing and terrain-building operation?
  • Would you find it interesting if 16+ tables full of awesome NOVA Open terrain were available for community use in some capacity?

Let us know by writing We're interested to see what the community thinks. As a side note, be aware we are not considering expanding into a retail operation. The NOVA Open is and will remain a charity-focused, annual convention host organization. That said, if part of our storage consolidation is able to provide a well-appointed gaming space for our supporters, we'd like to gauge the demand.

I continue to be grateful for how much the community, and each of you individually, has done to make NOVA Open a success. There is a wave of energy and enthusiasm that we are all feeling as we enter our 10th Anniversary Year which is very exciting. November is a great month for reflecting on what what we're thankful for - and, for me, it is this amazing worldwide community of hobbyists and gamers who so generously contribute to our charitable causes, and who bring so much positive energy to the NOVA Open convention every year!

Very Best,
Mike Brandt, NOVA Open CEO
The holiday season is rapidly approaching. Of course, EVERYONE is searching for those perfect gift ideas for their wargaming friends and family, right? While you are looking through your local gaming stores or checking out the deals on the website of your favorite game company, we hope you'll stop by and pick up a few tickets in the NOCF's awesome 2018 Fall Raffles.

Each and every raffle (and there are TEN of them this season) is an awesome prize that could quickly be turned into an amazing gift for your gaming pals. Another thought? When you win, wrap it up for whatever holiday or birthday is just around the corner - and put your name on it. As far as we know, there's no rule against giving yourself the best gift ever!

Keep in Mind: The armies and the Nurgle Knight (see interview with creator, Joe Johnson, below) arrive in custom KR Multicase foam and bags, donated by Mike Brandt of NOVA Open and Daryl Elms of KR Multicase. Also remember: .95 cents of every dollar will go directly to the charities designated by each item in the shop, and NOCF will ship anywhere in the world.
No matter what you choose to do when you win, don't forget to share the details of these raffles with everyone you know. Maybe they'll buy a few tickets with you in mind!

Sales end Sunday, November 25. The chances of winning in an NOCF Fall Raffle are typically very high. Don't miss out - buy raffle tickets today!
Join in the fun! This year, NOVA Open will be focused on its upcoming 2019 Tenth Anniversary convention. Paying homage to that exciting milestone, the tabletop wargaming community is invited to participate in a special miniature paint competition. 

NOVA Open's Tenth Anniversary (or just the NOVA Open in general) As always, we’re here to help – let’s get your creative juices flowing!  We brainstormed “NOVA Open” with staff, and these are some of the ideas we heard:

  • Tabletop Wargaming Convention
  • Washington, D.C.
  • Games, Seminars, Capital Palette
  • NOVA Open Charitable Foundation
  • Doctors Without Borders – Breast Cancer Research Foundation – Fisher House Foundation
  • Silent Auction
  • Foundation Lounge
  • 10th Anniversary!

Convention Access Pass to 2019 ($50 value) for:
(1) the technically judged "Winner;" and 
(2) "Fan Favorite" (Most Likes combined on NOVA Open Facebook and Instagram pages)

  1. The competition will run for one more month, with submissions due no later than 11:59pm US EST on Saturday, December 1. 2018.
  2. The submission may be a single model or diorama similar in size to standard miniature wargame scales. 
  3. The piece must be original and clearly related to the NOVA Open. While it need not be tightly related to NOVA Open, submitting a well-painted space marine will not qualify.
  4. Submit by providing photographs of three separate views of your entry via email to 
  5. After submitting to customer service, share your entry on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and elsewhere using #NOVAOpen10thPainting
  6. Judging will take place in following the end of the competition in early December.
  7. A gallery of submissions and winners will be released via Facebook and in the newsletter on December 15, 2018

  • If you are concerned your entry will not qualify, please ask us via before beginning the project!
  • Early Bird Advantage: Balancing speed vs. quality is important; the contest is split into two categories - Winner and Fan Favorite. If you submit your entry prior to November 14, we will add it to an Early Bird Gallery in the November 15 newsletter, giving your submission an edge on the popular vote!
  • Watch for updates and Early Bird Gallery in the next newsletter (11/15/2018). Questions? Contact

NOVA Open extends its sincere appreciation to all those who volunteer in support of NOVA Open and the NOVA Open Charitable Foundation. The boards of these two organizations are looking for year-round volunteers with an interest in promotional internet marketing. If you enjoy the NOVA Open and being a part of the charitable work of NOCF - and you have the time and energy to put into scheduling and coordinating podcast and video interviews while working closely with directors of both organizations - please send us an email telling us a little about yourself and your experience with NOVA Open: NOVA Open is also looking for staff writers willing to conduct interviews for this biweekly newsletter.
Mike Brandt spoke to Forge the Narrative about Kill Team Command Rosters. You can check it out here: FTN Episode 257
Thanks to the amazing efforts of Chris Michaels and his photography team, we have hundreds of photos from NOVA Open 2018 - and historical archived album collections going back to 2012!

By all reports, Kidshammer at NOVA Open was an awesome experience this year. We are pleased to announce it will return to the convention in 2019. In the meantime, the organizers are planning events outside of NOVA Open for all those who may be interested in family wargaming:

There will be a series of “mini-Kidshammer” events in the Northern Virginia area between now and NOVA Open 2019. The first will be held on November 10, from 1-5 pm EST, at The Games Tavern in Chantilly, Virginia. It will feature open Age of Sigmar gaming for the kids and will be part of a larger Narrative event run by the team that ran the Narrative event at NOVA Open 2018. We hope everyone who lives in the area can join us at Games Tavern. Not in this area? The event will be jointly held with a “sister city” club in Massachusetts; the organizers have plans to link up electronically with them - and with any other clubs wishing to host a Kidshammer event on Saturday, November 10 from 1-5pm EST.

News and information about future Kidshammer events leading up to next year’s NOVA Open is available at, and also at a newly created Facebook page (Kidshammer). Check out both sites for news about future events and getting kids into tabletop gaming. 

Thank you for supporting Kidshammer at NOVA Open, and for joining the Kidshammer group in outside activities, as well. If you have any questions or feedback, please contact
NOVA Open is excited to announce that the following vendors have already locked in their booth space and will be returning for NOVA Open 2019:
All other interested vendors may now send an email expressing interest in vendor space to
NOCF Raffles are on sale now!

The annual NOCF Fall Raffles provide NOVA Open attendees and the worldwide tabletop wargaming community with chances to win incredible armies and amazing models. One of the models currently available is a custom Nurgle-themed Chaos Knight that includes custom pieces and two electronic boards that power 16 LEDs across the entire model. NOVA Open had a chance to speak with Joe Johnson, the model’s creator and long-time member of the NOCF Artist Consortium, about the model’s development, construction, and painting process.

NO: Joe, tell us about the Nurgle Chaos Knight’s development process.
JJ: We wanted to do a Knight for the Nova Open Charity. It's a bigger model. They had enough artists working on the Space Marine armies, so I was tasked with doing this one. Dave Taylor and I went over a couple of options. There were certain bits we could get which could have done an Imperial Knight with some eagle heads and stuff like that – but, once we figured in the weathering, detail, sculpting, and all that kind of stuff, we opted to do a Nurgle Knight. Some of the bits were donated by vendors; I donated the Knight, lights, all the electronics, and then the time to paint it out.

NO: Can you walk us through putting it together and painting it? How did you do it?
JJ: It’s inverse of all that. You start with the lights. When you're doing assembly, you’ve got to pre-plan where you’re going to put your lights - that's going to designate where you place your battery, where you’re going to put the wiring and the controls for the model. Inside the carapace of this Nurgle Knight, there are two electronic boards: one controls the green lights, the flickering orange lights, and the purple lights which fade in and out; the other board is a waterfall kit which gives us the gun barrel effect, the flashing yellows.
Once you figure out where you're going to put your lights, then it's a matter of figuring out how you're going to get the light there. For instance, the gun barrel is fiber optics. So, I came out of the back of the model and put the wires into the gun itself. And each one of those is a fiber optic point. All those barrels had to be drilled out to get the fiber wire in there. It’s going to take a couple of days just figuring out how you want to do all the lights and it’s going to take a several more days drilling out where the wires go, where the LEDs go. 

Once I got the lights figured out, I started the assembly. I did all the Green Stuff sculpting, all the fleshy stuff [with green stuff]. I primed it, painted it. At that point, you start doing the assembly. You assemble the chassis, then you paint all the armor bits separately, and then you start assembling all that - and then you just push harder and harder until everything fits, and you don't hear a snap.

NO: Let’s go into the paint scheme. How did you paint the model? 
JJ: Nurgle is easy. I went with what I'm doing on a Mechanicus army, and these are the colors that I use for my Mechanicus Army. It was just the perfect fit. I went ahead and airbrushed the greens, then I went back and hand- brushed all the metallics. What I typically do with my metallics: I paint my silvers, my golds, whatever else and Army Painter makes a wash called Dark Tone. I'll paint the metallics after I paint the greens, then I'll do the Dark Tone wash. It gives me a black line with metals. Then I go with a GW technical paint for the patina. On larger pieces, like the bronze piece that's across the top of the carapace and the bell, I'll actually go through and airbrush a little bit of Burnt Umber onto that which is how the patina is not over saturated and has a little bit more depth to it. 
The carriage for the bell is next, and then the scythe gets the metallic edges. Actually, what I did with those guys is start with the Burnt Umber and then stipple Beast Brown on there. After that, I stipple like a flame orange on there and then dry brush it with metallic of choice - Iron Bits or whatever that's called. Then I'll go through with a brown wash which gives that rusted look to it, plus a little bit depth to. And, of course, the blood is just a technical paint of GW Blood for the Blood God. That stuff is incredible. You put it on after you seal the model but it's incredible for the finish. 

If you’re interested in owning Joe’s Chaos Knight, go to the NOCF website and purchase your tickets before November 25, 2018. The NOVA Open thanks Joe for the incredible work and commitment he has given to the NOCF Artist Consortium for the last six years! We look forward to sharing more of his talents with you in the future.
The  NOVA Open Charitable Foundation  (NOCF) is having another incredible year representing one of the greatest untapped resources around - The Worldwide Tabletop Wargamer. Proud to represent all of YOU, the Compassionate Force, in fundraising efforts on behalf of  Doctors Without Borders Breast Cancer Research Foundation Fisher House Foundation , and more, NOCF continually strives to grow your presence and reputation among great charitable organizations. Thank you for supporting its efforts and allowing the Foundation to demonstrate what an incredibly generous force you truly are. 

Banshee Anonymous Bust 1.0
Banshee Anonymous Bust 2.0
Ogre Bust
40K Nurgle Chaos Knight
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