My SALUTE 2016

Well yesterday was the ‘Steampunk’ themed SALUTE 2016, and I have to say that ‘South London Warlords’ did an excellent job as usual. (Although I still believe that it is a massive shame that the ‘Bring & Buy sale’ is absent from the event).

My good friend Nik Green came over from Austria, and after an early start courtesy of my little girl, we got ready for the big day. I wanted to get the ‘London Excel’ relatively early, so you get an okay place in the queue and there is that build-up of anticipation whilst you wait to be let through into the main hanger. We got there in good time and were in the middle of the second line of convention attendees.

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Once the theoretical starting pistol went off, I made a brisk walk to the main stand in the centre to add my paint contest entries. Nik made a bee line straight to ‘Ainsty castings’ as he had his eye on some treasure tiles they’ve produced that would be perfect in ‘Frostgrave’. We met up at the main stand and after Nik added his entries at the competition desk, we headed for the ‘Perry miniatures’, stall. Nik is a good friend of the Perry brothers from his re-enactment days, so always like to have as much of a chat and catch up as he can, not always easy as give the brother’s sculpting talents, it is a very popular place. They kindly allowed up to stow our lunch bag behind their counter, and then Nik and I went out separated ways, me to check out the ‘Frostgrave’, demo table, and Nik for a meetup with the ‘Oldhammer’ crowd.

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The scenery on the ‘Frostgrave’ table was phenomenal, snow covered ruins built into a mountain with bridges and other obstacles that could obscure line of sight, and therefore spell casting. At the back of the raised corner they had built a cavern with glowing crystal. Sadly I was too late to get into the first game, and after missing two other starts I decided to focus at looking at the other games taking place. There was a good mix of fantasy and sci-fi games going on as well as historical re-enactments, and games based on other genres. There was a rather impressive board based on ‘Mad Max’ and a really good siege of a medieval castle.

You may recall that some point last year I backed a kick starter that was run by Carl Brown through ‘Second thunder’, which was to fund a skirmish combat game with rules that had some flexibility such as stat creation for you war band, the game is call ‘Open Combat’, and Carl was present at SALUTE with Gav Thorpe passing out copies to those who had funded the campaign and to sell to those less fortunate. I have had a chance now to flick through the pages and I am really excited about getting to grips with this game.

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I did another circuit of the main hanger and found the ‘Bad Squiddo Games’ stand which was being run by the dice bag lady herself ‘Annie’, her ever present mascot ‘Baggie’ was also present, and I couldn’t pass on the opportunity for a photo. I have visited ‘Annie’s’ site a few time, there is a wide range of realistic female figures for gaming purposes be it fantasy, modern war or Sci-fi. Recently ‘Annie’, commissioned a range of sculpt that celebrate the sacrifice made by many women in the Russian army of the 1st world war, and they are really beautiful. If I played that genre I would certainly have picked up a pack, not that I could totally pass on the goodies on offer. I picked up a metallic ‘Mog’ a female orc warrior, a note book with a picture of a Russian sniper on the cover a badge of ‘Baggie’ and some crystals for scenery construction.

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My aim this SALUTE was to stock up on paints and brushes, whilst sticking within a budget I had set by putting money aside every month since January, this gave me a healthy £80 to spend. However I was not counting on how costly good paints and brushes can be. I also forgot how many stall had new shiny looking goodies on sale. I stuck to my guns and after a couple of  circuits I found a bargain, £1 for a tube of Vallejo paints I grabbed a handful which included a pot of metal medium, and gave the vendor a crisp £10. I followed that with the purchase of 4 ‘Army painter’ brushes, and a pot of ‘Army painter’, strong tone wash. £25 spent on my hobby needs; I had money to spend on some of my hobby wants. This started with a trip to Alex Huntley’s ‘Arcworlde’, stall to obtain some halflings, here I bought a trio of town guard who will make superb Sergeant figures in my League of Rhordia army.

Halfway through the day I checked the display cases for the painting competition entries, as usual there were so many great submissions, I felt less confident about my own contribution. Later this feeling was proven correct, as my entries did not make it into the final judging round. I was disappointed of course, but with all the entries left in the case with mine, fine examples of the hobby, I did not feel down hearted for long.

As usual with SALUTE the day flew past, and I was absolutely exhausted, my legs were grateful for the seat I got on the DLR home. I left ‘London Excel’ with good memories and a back pack full of goodies. The anticipation has already sparked for next year.

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December projects, New Year hopes

Hello MODers, it has been an eventful month as you might expect December to be, I’ve managed to start and finish a Christmas project and complete one of my many long running works in progress.

First is my grumpy Ogre Santa from ‘Scibor Miniatures’. I had decided that I wanted to paint something different, but was not sure what, the only thing I was certain of; was that it needed to be festive. I surfed the net jumping from one gaming site to another and eventually found the special Christmas sculpts from ‘Scibor’, amongst many things they had Santa Dwarfs, Tree baubles and the Santa Ogre, I just had to have the big guy. I wanted to have this task completed by the 25th, so as the package arrived on the 5th, I had to get a shake on. Now clearly red and white had to feature but I wanted a different colour in there to make the traditional ones stand out. I decided first I would paint a green lining inside his coat; and to test myself I added a yellow diamond check; I think it worked out well:

Secondly I completed the unit filler/Standard bearer base from my Highelf White Lions unit. I’ve been working on this bit by bit for about 3 months. I had hoped to get a lot done on this whilst I was off post hernia op in October, but actually found it too uncomfortable to sit up, let alone paint, so this didn’t happen and the project went to the back of the list:

I have also been busy supporting some more kickstarter projects, one I back in October ‘Die Hard Miniature’ has been funded and I made a request for the figures that most caught my eye, picks will be posted when they finally arrive. I have also backed the following projects that have funded and are crashing through stretch goals as people continue to back them, they are as follows:

 

So time to look at the new year, I hope of course to attend Salute 2016 set for Saturday 16th April at ExCel London. I looking forward to trying out a few games I’ve had my eye on for a while, I am going to get some regular games of ‘Frostgrave’ starting tomorrow at my local gaming club H.A.T.E so some positive things to be looking forward to.

Last but not least It has ofcourse bveen the festive season, and I have sampled one or two beers, and I have to say if you get the opportunity to try ‘Curious brew’ by the ‘Chapel down’ brewery, go for it. It is made using champagne yeast and has a clean, refreshing taste:

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Best wishes of the holiday season to you, and a happy 2016.