My now yearly trip down to Salute has turned into a long weekend, made up of walking the streets of London to drink some very good but expensive alcohol.
My poor sister who acts as my minder always worries that I will talk myself into international incident as I tend to noisily ponder what has become of the country's capital. Invariably I will murmur sometime over the weekend that London is soooo far removed from the rest of the UK that it might as well be another country. Even she was surprised at a pub sticking us for £4.80 a pint, and that wasn't in the West End.
Anyway onto the main point, Salute.
Due to the closure of the normal rail station I decided to set off earlier to deal with any delays. How wrong was I, as the alternative station was closer to the venue, so I was in the first hundred or so of the queue. I always grab a chair, contrary to the Health and Safety diktats to use whilst waiting. A tip to anyone intending to come to Salute, rest whenever possible because the day will kill your feet and back by the end.
The queue, well before the official opening. I am by the entrance, sat on my backside feeling under the weather from too much dear beer. [ Image courtesy of Big Lee's Blog site ]
I thought that the event was busier than the last couple of years, and the queue was definitely bigger than last year. I also thought there were more younger people [ ie under 30 ] and there was definitely more women and young girls. So maybe there is a chance that some of the more socially challenged wargamers just might be able to stop living with their Mam, and actually get a girlfriend. We can but hope.
Having sussed out the logistical problems that are Salute I always have a plan, using the program provided by the Warlords, I still failed to find some of the traders I wanted to see, and then the battery on my camera ran out of power at image 138!
I try to check out all the traders in the first part of the day, where I will spend my hard earned coin, and then check out the displays after a spot of lunch, where I will take some images. In between that I always check out the painting competition, just to see what opposition there is, to my mate Dave Jarvis's annual attempt to win the Salute Historical painting competition.
This year the standard was well,.. okay. Above normal wargaming standard but no where as good as other years. So having checked out Dave's entry I thought it just might be his year. He had a lovely unit of ACW Texans, so I was doubly prejudiced. I think there was only six enteries for the historical unit category, I may be mistaken. To be honest I wish I had put something in the competition just to see how I did. I havent had it confirmed yet, but Dave didnt win, in fact Im pretty certain he didnt get a place. Amazing really, because as I have said many times, the man is a top quality draughtsman. Can John Ray or Bill Gaskin be wrong. I certainly don't think so. On a positive note I may be able to prise Dave's rebels out of his fingers now.[ I wish]
So that is my painting competition gripe over for the year. Overall I thought there was a very strong fantasy painting competition and a fairly average historical competition standard, and that isn't meant to be a put down. In part two I will natter about the games, and my opinions about them.