Sunday 13 April 2014

Salute 2014, or there and back again. Part three.

 Now this a shameless plug for the wargame painter extraordinaire  Dave Jarvis. I wasn't the only person who thought this entry in one of the painting classes was first rate. I know that the editor of Soldiers and Strategy was wanting to contact Dave about the piece. Unfortunately I didn't stop to see who won this years competition as  previously stated I wasn't at my best. I thought there was a lot more entries in the fantasy classes of the competition, and a lot of them were of the first order. The historical entries appeared down on last year, and these were all very good, so it will be interesting to see who actually won. I hope it was Dave, finally.

This game was by the Newark Irregular sand was titled the Battle of Keren 1941, it was only a small display but was a first rate model all the same.  

 There is always a mega game at Salute and this year there was this. I think it was by the Honnington Wargames Group, so if it wasn't I'm can only apologise, there were several D Day games on at Salute. The game was of Sword Beach, and was a great advert for the hobby.

There was a little game put on by the Continental Wars Society of the attack by Garibaldi on Rome. I really liked this game, and I had a good natter to one of the members about when Garibaldi came to the North East of England and was met by the Durham miners who awarded him a prize for his efforts.

  It is difficult to photograph the painting competition entries but I managed to snap a few, the standard was very high and everyone that entered deserved praise.

 Dave's Old Guard Chasseurs which I'm hoping he will give to me for the shameless plugs he gets.

                                              Hobbits, what more can you say.
 So in conclusion was it a good show? Yes it was, marred only by my ill health. Would I go again? yes I would. I did think numbers were down on last year, but that may be because there seemed to be more space between tables. I managed to but my Eureka French mounted archers, and found that due to the strength of the pound they were slightly cheaper than a mortgage. I overdid the buying on the Foundry stand, due to them knocking £2.00 off a pack. My best new product is the new Cesarean infantry by Agema, these figures are brilliant and of course being plastic are great value.
 Finally and I had to include this photograph, to the larper who seemed to be following me, please, please dont tell anyone that you are also a wargamer.

Salute 2014, or there and back again. Part two.

This game is for Neil, it was titled Kursk 1943 by the Loughton Strike Force, and was a well executed game with some lovely effects. I knew Neil would like the smoke.

The By Fire and Sword company are from Poland, and they have done a great deal of hard work to establish their company. I had a long talk to them about the period as I have started to build up a Polish renaissance army. To help explain their rules they had a couple of small tables to try the rules out. Its a real shame that the figures are 15mm. 

The South London Warlords put on the Battle of Barbastro 1837 from the Carlist wars. This was a really pretty game containing some very well painted figures. Listening to a group of Spanish wargamers, they were very excited by the representation.

I dont know who put this game on, and I know its been done before, but watching the game, people were really enjoying themselves, which is a good thing. In part three [yes] I will finish with some thoughts about the day.

Salute 2014, or there and back again. Part one.

 I have just returned from Salute 2014, which sounds quite momentous,and important, and some ways it is because I really didn't think I would make it through the day due to ill health. I wont bore people with my complaints but basically I have been unwell since Christmas and I seem to be getting worse.
 Anyway on to more pleasant things, Salute.
 Firstly a complaint, from previous knowledge it always pays to get to the show early, especially if you have a queue buster ticket. My complaint was this, as stated I wasn't at my best and was sat outside of what I believed was the entrance at 08.30 watching the traders file in. I made the mistake of asking some smart arses in orange wargames club tee shirts if this was where the queue was, the retort from these lard laden twats was ''well the Salute sign above is a bit of a clue'' chortle. [ how I laughed]
 Anyway after 40 minutes I realised that the queue wasn't forming there and asked a security guy who kindly ushered me into a very large hall with thousands queuing for Salute, so much for being early.
 So Warlords next time, please put up a sign where to queue.
  The only consolation was that the lardos in orange were even further back. Oh and by the way, YOUR SHIRTS LOOKED LIKE SHIT!
  Right, how was the show. No doubt the term big, ginormous, etc will have been thrown around in most reviews and Salute is all those descriptions. Effectively it is the biggest wargames trade fair in Europe.
 A lot of new wargaming products are released at Salute, and I would think for some traders Salute can be make or break for them. Salute is clearly going the way of other wargames shows and is all about the trade, because this year I really thought a lot of the games on show were not up to the standard one expects to see at this event. Dont get me wrong there were some beautiful tableaux's, some well crafted games and some first class modelling, but I really think a lot of the games were only average, my opinion and no doubt others gamers will think otherwise. Also I noticed quite a few no shows which is a bit disconcerting.
 Right lets get down to the positives, some of the first class games, I can only apologise for the poor quality photographs, the lighting in the place is not the best.

 The Warlords have always been a talented bunch and Pelennor Fields was a top class game, it shows what a bit of ingenuity can do, bearing in mind the figures were 54mm plastic toys.

I was also impressed by The Battle of Trebia, again using large plastic figures. It was a game I really wanted to get involved in, unfortunately I couldnt find out who put the game on.

I think this game was put on by Red Planet Miniatures, apologies if it wasnt, because it was a really well presented game, one of several based around Steam punk. The back drop was well done and the perspex river was top.  

John and I were excited about the presentation of a wargame about the irish revolt in the 1790's, and the game at Salute was really well done. It was nice to see and meet Duncan Macfarlane again. The game had some wonderful figures on the table and I was itching to push a few of the pike blocks around.

There were several First World war games on show, but not as many as I expected, this game, The Battle of Mons by the Wyvern Wargamers was very well done. The early aeroplane was very effective, and the whole table was neat, in the correct way.

In part two I will show some more games that I thought deserved a mention........................

Monday 7 April 2014

Marie Theresa, a saint by any other name.

After reading the small article in last months Miniature Wargames about wargaming in Austria I noticed that the show held there gave away a wonderful figure of Marie Theresa.
The figure had been produced by Westphalia Miniatures in Germany and I was really envious of everyone who got the figure.Anyway to cut a long story short Westphalia Miniatures very kindly sent me three! One I have given to master painter Dave Jarvis to see what he can do with it. If its any good? I will probably pinch her off him. The other two I kept. 

 Marie Theresa to me anyway was everything that Fredrick the Great! wasnt. She was kind, generous, honourable brave and also a very good ruler, unfortunately she was also very loyal to her generals, even the bad ones. So I had to do a small diorama of the Empress with two of her generals.
  Im not happy with the way I painted her dress, but I still like it enough to use as my C in C.
 She's probably saying '' Now look lads, you were pretty s@@te at Prague, so can we have some more effort next time.''

 I picked up an unpainted Hinchliffe blacksmiths forge many moons ago from Ian at Irregular Miniatures, and I finally got around to painting it, Hinchliffe still do it for me.

My 6mm Napoleonic set up.

My 6mm Napoleonic set up.
Austria 1809.

Austrian Hussars

Austrian Hussars
Hinchliffe figures

Austrian Grenzer

Austrian Grenzer
Austrian Grenzer

Smoggycon 2013

Smoggycon 2013
Smoggycon 2013

Smoggycon 2012

Smoggycon 2012
Smoggycon 2012

Smoogycon 2009

Smoogycon 2009
My French getting another beating