Monday, September 17, 2007

..Colours '07 & Don Featherstone!

...yesterday (Sunday) was COLOURS at Newbury which is one of the major UK shows, and I have to say one of my favourite weekends of the year.

The show is hosted at Newbury race course (ie. for horses), where the show organisers take over the main stand and use all three floors for exhibits/traders and games. It's a huge improvement over the old venue (the Hexagon in Reading) as the stand is covered in glass (being a race course the punters like a good view!) so the lighting is excellent...

There's been a few "so-so" comments on some of the news groups I frequent but I thought it was an OK show this year - definitely not a 'best' year, but certainly as good as previous years. In my view the show has always primarily been a trade fair, they do have competition games and some display/participation games but when push comes to shove people are there to spend money with an excellent array of traders.. so what did I spend my money on, and what caught my eye? Well:
  • unlike usual I dropped £10 off on some rules within a minute of arriving! I'd been reading about them on the Miniatures Page, and they're for a top secret new period that I'm currently thinking about... more posts later as the project (hopefully) develops. I don't know, the more I hang around the guys at the Old School Wargame group the more enthused and open I become to starting up new periods at the drop of the hat - this is a new one, I know the scale I want (15mm/regimental), but unlike my usual approach (buy and paint lots of figures then look for some rules to use) I'm going to find and try the rules first (using cardboard counters to play the games)..

  • I also bought "Blitzkrieg Commander" from the guys at Minifigs I'd been following the various discussions about these rules on the web and they sounded just the job - initial perception is that they do read quite well and I'm more than a little interested in getting some of my sadly under-used WWII hardware out on to the table... more on this anon, but my regular opponent Darrell, is down for a visit this week and having discussed the possibility of a game this weekend, this may be the option... b.t.w, lovely production, lots of good examples, pictures, supporting information...

  • a show wouldn't be a show without some little metal men wending their way to my painting table, and on this occasion it was some cavalry for the War of the Spanish Succession - regular readers will know that my absolute favourite figures are the Dixon one's, but that they cost an arm and a leg. I found some that I have high hopes for from Freikorps 15 (these are sold in the UK by QRF) stand - I'll take some comparison pictures soon and put them on my project page..

  • I also got some additional baggage camels, and another two screw guns from Mr. Pig for the Sudan collection. I plan to load the camels with bits of screw gun to use as a "limbered" version of the gun...

Saving the best to last however, I also got to meet Don Featherstone which was a real pleasure for me... some of you may remember that I missed seeing him at Salute earlier this year which I was really gutted about, but happily, and to my immense gratification, I got to meet him and shake his hand yesterday at Colours. A real honour as he was undoubtedly the source of this interest in military history, and wargaming, which I've now had for the better part of 35 years... trust me, I was very definitely chuffed! J

Not too many good looking display games but the following caught my eye and had me reaching for the camera (the other pictures above by the way, are a couple of units that were in the painting competition - absolutely breath taking, I especially liked the Napoleonics).. this was a 54mm Pacific WWII skirmish game on a GRAND scale put on by the "Skirmish Wargamers" and represents the invasion of a fictitious Pacific island in 1944/45.


  1. Sounds like a great day out, and congratulations for seeing DF, who was the one who started me down this track with "Wargames" The pictures look great too, I'm still trying to resist doing WW2 in the pacific in 20mm but I fell my resistance is failing!


  2. Don is the last of the "wargamering celebrities" that I've yet to meet.

  3. You posted a comment on my blog about your group's Squad Leader miniatures rules. I'd love to see a copy of those. My e-mail is chonk34 (at) yahoo (dot) com.