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Monday, 2 February 2015

The Campaign Season has Opened.

Well yesterday was the York show, and I have returned, enthused, inspired and a shade lighter in my wallet.
Yesterday was a day of meeting people and sitting having a talk with them, and can I say what a great way to spend a day.
 Firstly to the show. I arrived early, ie 09.00, and I was able to get in straight away, now how good is that. This meant I could have a bimble around eyeing up the stalls before the crowds came, and the crowds came. I think this year was even busier than last year, and it seemed there were more people buying, or maybe thats how it looked to me.
 There seemed to be a nice mix of people, both old, ie me, and young, ie children with their parents.
 The trade again was a fair mix, not only with the usual suspects, Old Glory, Dave Thomas,Irregular,  Caliver etc, but also some smaller and newer traders selling everything that a wargamer should every need.
 I only bought six figures! from a trader who was selling TAG figures, but somehow I still spent over £150.00 how can that be. The food wasnt a bad price, the entry was reasonable and the parking is free. Of course I did manage to buy some paints, just in case I ran out in the next millennium, and I bought some Games Workshop brushes which werent cheap, but where did the dosh go.
 The Table Top sale was very busy as expected, and by popping back throughout the day I was able to barter for a couple of really nice buildings and also some really well painted explosion markers.
 Games wise I thought the majority were okay. I must admit that I forgot about the one game I wanted to see, which was Ramilles which was on the third floor, and I was too busy talking to remember to go and study it properly.Sorry.
 I enjoyed talking to Mark Dudley and also enjoyed his Blastoff Bridge 54mm game, which contained some of his lovely Prince August castings.A great looking game.One will have to accept my apologies for not knowing who presented the games that I did photograph, my favourite was the following;

                                The sea was particularly effective, showing off the ships.

                                    The stone tower, had flashing red gun ports, nice touch.

       Below is a shot of a graveyard from a Zombie game, I believed based on Shaun of the Dead.
 This is from a really well done first world war game fighting against the Turks.


                                 My favourite unit, some camel corps types, great.
                                                   Again a well executed trench system.
 The images below are from a Saga game showing late Romans I think, but I could be wrong, still a very good looking game.


Now onto the main events.
The photograph at the top is Charlie Wesencraft doing a book signing for me. John Curry publications, have released a new book for Charlie, this one is titled, Seven Steps to Freedom. The book is basically a series of battles both big and small from the American war of Independence, including the Indian wars prior to the revolution. Also included is a set of rules. It is typical Charles Wesencraft, with clear and concise descriptions of the battles, and how to fight them, a must for any serious wargamer. Charles has donated all his royalties to the Help the Heroes Charity, so what is not to like. I was able to buy my copy through Amazon. Charlie was in very good form.
From that meeting I met a man I have wanted to meet for sometime, Tony Runkee and his lovely wife. I hope to sit down with Tony in the next couple of months to interview him about the early days, with Frank Hinchliffe, Peter Gilder, John Braithwaite and many other names from the wargaming past. I also asked Tony to paint me up some Turks. Tony is a mine of information about painting techniques and has a great style of painting. I was also introduced to two wargamers who I have long admired, Rob Baker and Ian Smith. Tony had painted Ian some 40mm AWI and Napoleonic figures which were terrific. They will be for a game at Salute 2015 I understand. 
 From there it was a dash to the bar to meet various members of the Amateur Military Gentleman wargames site. Which was later described by the cheeky beggars from the Westerhope Wargames group, as the wargaming elite. God help us if that is the elite, I dont think we would have been accepted into the Imperial Guard. Still I got to sit down and talk to the great Charles Grant and his son Charles Grant [ a bit of a problem with naming children there] who were very good company. I was able to talk over with Graham Cummings about the next releases from Crann Tara,
[ more expense on the way] I was again able to rabbit with Mark Dudley about his projects, and Colin was able to finally meet Paul Robinson of Grimsby fame to arrange the Lobositz game which we hope to fight this weekend coming. Cant wait.
 Finally after all this glad handing I met a wargamer who confirmed my belief in wargamers in general, and who deserves a special thank you. I had been contacted out of the blue by a wargamer who offered to bring me some Peter Gilder landsnects to York. Was I interested? Do bears s##t in  the woods. 
Anyway I met and sat down with a wargamer who clearly has a great set up and a collection to die for. Jason Page, who very kindly travelled up from the deep south and brought me a box of landsnects that were 'spare' figures from the Wargames Holiday Centre collection that he had bought off the late Mike Ingham.
There were, painted Vulcan, Garrison, Lamming, and Hinchliffe Italian Wars pikemen, painted by some of Gilders best painters. I cannot wait to rebase them, after a little renovation work.
 Jason has been able to locate units from some of the best painters in the United Kingdom, and clearly has a very discerning eye for the best.Now that would be a great way to spend a couple of days trawling through his armies, and drooling over them.
I wont spoil it, but Jason has a great idea for an article for Miniatures Wargames, but its funny that we both had similar ideas that we thought should be shared with the wargaming public. I look forward to Jason producing the article.What a very generous bloke. 
So that was York, and for me, I think the best show that they have had. 
    
  




10 comments:

  1. I think we actually referred to you as the wargames glitterrati, as we tugged our forelocks, ;). Nice to see you and have a chat though. Dave (Westerhope).

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    1. I couldnt spell glitterati, and anyway we dont talk about Gary Gltter anymore.Plus we dont have much hair for tugging anything.

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    2. Speak for yourself when it comes to hair :-)

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    3. Speak for yourself when it comes to hair :-)

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    4. I have just noticed that you have spelt it correctly and I haven't! We missed the big Marlburian game on the 3rd floor! Very disappointed at that.

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  2. A very interesting account Robbie. I think AMG has an elite within the elite. As Ronnie Corbett might have said "I know my place!"
    Chris
    http://notjustoldschool.blogspot.co.uk/

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    1. If it is an elite, its a very nice one. It struck me recently just how many top class wargamers, modellers are out there, just getting on with their hobby without telling anyone what they are up to, and who perhaps deserve a bit of recognition for the contributions they make to the hobby.

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  3. An interesting view Robbie. Seems you enjoyed the company as much if not more than the show.
    I couldn't find the Ramillies game but there was a large WSS game set on the Rhine pitting English & Dutch against a Franco-Bavarian force. The standard of figures was high and the scenery very good, but with only four on the stand it was hard to get to talk to them about the game.
    I think there is an element of elitism within the AMG community but that shouldn't stop us trying to level the field a little!

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  4. A cracking day and one which I didn't contribute much to the trade I'm afraid, one set of paints and some bases! I just think that through AMG etc we have facilitated like minded veteran gamers and opportunity to communicate. It has been a most inspirational and enthusiastic year and yes I spent 2 1/2 hours in the bar chatting to lots of people about our wonderful hobby.

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  5. Speaking a chap who was working it was a good day- the food though ! Bland and tasteless overpriced crap- at least lunch was- Bacon buttie was nice though!
    Sold shedloads of Blue Moon and other stuff- Italian Wars Colonials WW2 Moderns
    Saw the lovely Raid on Lieth game- didn't have time to find the rabbit!.
    One sour note- the SMELL!! I now know why I hate some of thiose Lazer cut MDF building . The pen and ink was 'orrible when you walked past the stand ...

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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