Sunday, April 20, 2008

Salute 2008..

Just fresh back from the big "Salute" show and thought I'd share some pictures and thoughts... usual, I was totally impressed by the size of the show - Excel is a huge venue and Salute only occupies one aircraft hanger - massive - and absolutely crammed to the gills with wargamers carrying quite unfeasibly large backpacks (which were used as offensive weapons on occasion!), and carrying quite unfeasibly large wads of cash - not seen so much money in ages.... recession, what recession?! Looked to me like the traders were doing nicely as well - quite a few of them happened to be sorting out wads of paper money as I went past! The eye opener for me was one trader specialising in ready painted units selling at £75-100 a unit - I overhead him say that most people he'd seen that day had bought at least two or three units, and his visitors had numbered in the 10's.... nice work if you can get it, but he does have to survive the rest of the year! All in all then - an upbeat show with lots of enthusiasm..

...without further ado then, here's some pictures - it's a dark old hall so apologies for the number of flash shots, though I did have a new tripod with me that helped with some of the shots. Took a lot of shots so have used the services of Photobucket to display them - as usual click on the picture for a bigger view..

..the boys at Salute always like to put on a bit of a "show" and the first thing that caught my eye was these guys - not surprising really as all of them were fully mobile and so spent the afternoon trundling round the hall accompanied by clanking track and engine sound effects... my favourites were the Tiger and and the half track pulling an 88 (you can just see it behind the Tiger) - very effective, but can you imagine the size of wargame table you'd need?

...the second thing to catch my eye - and it would be bloody difficult to miss it given the size of it - was a "Bridge Too Far" game in large scale, and large size... the table must have been about 4 foot wide, and easily 40 foot long - stupendous piece of modelling and very effective...! From the left we have Nijmegen I think... then Arnhem (and the guys on the table showed me the figure representing Frost J!)

..a view mid way down the table, and last of all the long view down the highway - the poster at the end is at the end of the table... not surprisingly - when I went past at the end of the day there were a couple of big trophies on the table so they obviously won something, and deservedly so... these are some shots of the exquisite German 30mm flats used by the guys of the Continental Wars Society, in their depiction of the Battle of Froeschwiller, 6 August 1870 (one of the opening battles of the Franco-Prussian War)

...lots of interest in the new Perry plastic ACW range of course - and for our pleasure they'd put on a demo game featuring the figures.. very nice figures - and although not enough to tempt me, DG bought a couple of boxes just to paint up and sample... my third favourite game - AWI and 28mm - this was "The Battle of the Clouds" presented by the GLC Games Club. The scenario takes place shortly after Washington's defeat at Brandywine. In the actual battle Washington marched out again to face the British under Lord Howe, however, almost before battle could be joined, heavy rain put an end to operations. The game was a "what if" based on what might have happened if the weather had been better. So why did I like it? It was a lovely, clean, simple, uncluttered looking game - nice figures, well painted, effective terrain, and the guys playing the game looked like they were enjoying it - and it was American War of Independence/Revolution of course which kind of helps with my votes... J

...right - and now for my equal first vote for best game of the show - I saw, and said hello to, Henry (Hyde - the Battlegames editor) while he was taking what seemed like a lot of photo's of this game, so I expect to see it in a future issue... this was Waterloo, Gilder style - and absolutely breathtaking... the game was presented by the 'Loughton Strike Force' (click for their website)club, and was in 28mm - the Hussars were beautiful, and as for the British foot and and heavy horse.... blimey!

..last of all then the other equal first game was this one - this was Tunisia in 1942, so obviously close to another of my interests - what did it for me was the extraordinarily good painting of all the vehicles - they looked "used", and very realistic.. also nice to see someone playing the Italians who formed a large (and despite the negative press) important, part of the Axis forces in North Africa

..not bad, eh?

..and what did I come away with? Lots of goodies!

Based on feedback from a number of fellow bloggers and Old schoolers, high on my want list was a copy of "Under the Lily Banners" the new Seventeenth century (so Marlburian for me) fast play rules. I wasn't expecting to see any - happily one of the traders (Reiver) had a pile of them for sale, so I immediately availed myself of a copy - I've not had time to read them yet but have to say that they are a very good looking set of rules - not surprising considering they are from the League of Augsburg guys.

I also spent some penny's at Peter Pig buying British cavalry armed with carbines for the Sudan - mounted, dismounted, and horse holders. I also bought Fuzzy Wuzzy's armed with sword and spear as I have plenty of Ansar, but no Fuzzy Wuzzy in my Dervish forces...

Last of all a visit to Essex got me enough Austrian Grenadiers to form the converged battalion that featured in the assault on the Schellenberg....

...and that was Salute for me - with the single exception of these guys who were part of a number of new releases on the "Under the Bed Enterprises" (click here) stand - Reiver Castings 28mm - new armies for the Great Northern War, Saxons, Danes, early and late Norwegians - lovely, and very very tempting...! These are Russian Horse Grenadiers - lots more pictures and details on the web site..


  1. I'm still waiting for my copy of "Beneath the Lily Banners". Barry mailed it some 10 days ago . . . but Canada Post has a reputation for slow delivery . . . so you've got yours before I have my "pre-ordered" (and autographed) copy.

    I'm looking forward to your review of them.

    -- Jeff

  2. Sounds like a good show. Glad you enjoyed it.

    Under the bed have done very well with their range for the GNW. I like their horses a lot but the infantry can be a little disappointing. I also don't like the way you have to drill the wrists to get the weapons and hands in. but they are very nice all the same and may yet end up on my workbench.

  3. Steve, thanks for the commentary and pictures, I'll be interested in your views of BLB before I go out and buy a copy.

    I also need to do some more AWI reading around the what-if "Battle of the clouds"


  4. Ah, my copy of BLB has arrived.

    -- Jeff