Wednesday 17 April 2024

Salute 2024


Once again is was my weekend's holiday to the old smoke down South. A chance to see how the other half live... well, not quite! Cheaper rail travel as I now have a 'senior' railcard... 60+ - when did that happen! Couple that with buying 3 months in advance, as soon as they're released, and it becomes much more affordable (£60 return although I had to book the return separately as it wasn't released for another 3 weeks) way to travel. the Railcard was another £35 but, as long as I use it throughout the year, I don't count it towards Salute costs. That's the thing with expenses, as agreed during a few conversations with hobbyists over the weekend, they don't count towards the overall hobby spend ie partner asks how much you spend at the show and, besides lying through your teeth, having hidden numerous parcels in the car/cupboards beforehand etc, you never (EVER!) discuss cost of travel / food / staying over. It's the rules... I didn't write them but by heck we all have to follow them. Like most people in this hobby, I live in fear that, once I finally pop my cogs, my collection will be sold for what I told my partner I'd paid for it... eek!

The annual pic of myself outside the Tower of London, I don't know why I do this to myself (or you!) but it's become a tradition I suppose... 

I stayed at the Ibis next to Excel... a credit card job again which I hope to pay off at some point before next year's event... I'd asked for an accessible shower and was given a rather poky room with the tiniest inaccessible 'window without a view' possible. First world problems of course.

I spent the afternoon around pubs in London with the renowned artist Matthew Street, actually popping into the Orc's Nest shop which has been there since time immemorial. All modern stuff now unfortunately from my point of view but very glad to see it prospering. The evening started early with a pint to two at the Fox...

Always bear in mind when visiting Excel that there are two Fox pubs, one either end of Excel. Everyone seemed to avoid this one (at the show, Dave Thomas told me a few had been at the other one) although it was still early evening so I popped over to 'The China Garden' for tea followed by a pint at the hotel...

Excel by night as I walked back...

Full English breakfast... never again will I have an Ibis breakfast (except Sunday as I'd pre booked both days) - the Earl Grey tea and the apple juice were great. The cooked food was poorly cooked and either over salted (bacon) or tasteless. 

Come the day! 

Warlords really organise the entrance part well.

The bag of freebies! Well, there was the free figure further down...

Annie of Bad Squiddo Games organised the  sculpt this year, the programme gives a nice insight into it's development (as well as painting instructions by the legendary Kev Dallimore). A very nice sculpt by Alan Marsh.

The sprue was an Atlantic Games freebie. Can't remember who gave them out but will revisit once I do

There was a ticket for a Mantic freebie, a sampler containing the pieces below... well nicely produced and a great price! I had my usual quick chat with Ronnie when we bumped into each other. Top bloke.

There were some Halo demo games on (pics below in the maelstrom somewhere)... I've just finished series 2 on Paramount+ (I'm not a video gamer at all so don't know the storyline otherwise) and really enjoyed it

The Force was strong as I walked in...

The Frother's Unite team had come together for a fantastic game. I dropped off a bunch of my Captain figures that they pointed out bear a good resemblance to a certain TV cartoon one from the past who was a feature of a part of this game... prizes for piratical doings during the game.

Trump Apocalypse! 

I needed water but saw the cost... I'd forgotten to bring my usual supply of bottled stuff. I switched to a nice cup of Earl Grey instead.

And the pics... I'll add text later as I've work to do!

Black Scorpion showing their lovely pieces... I needed those mounted sculpts and, well, basically everything, but had to say no to my empty wallet.

Quick chat with Ged over on - the American Indian Wars range looks great and he said, with a fanatical gleam in his eyes, that he has hundred of sculpts in mind... the skies the limit! Apaches below;

Offensive Miniatures are from my neck of the woods... they, on the other hand, have a successful miniatures business.

They'd give you a running start before missing of course...

I think this won best game of the day or similar. Excellent work.

Tangent Miniatures had a fantastic selection of film and TV inspired goodness along with a lot of printed pieces.


Renedra... need no introduction these days!

Fenris Games... top quality resin (and metal) with some gorgeous new stuff I couldn't buy. Tis' a shame.

The pulsating heart of Warlord... designers and painters!

No such thing as rubbish... or ownership of course.

Halo in play...

Heroics & Ros. Superb 1/300 pieces. Still looking for a listing of their sci-fi infantry I picked up a couple of years back.

Lunchtime pit stop... 2 for 1... ie both for me :)

Weird thing in the sky... not used that in good old Stockport. Below it a parasol, not an alien spaceship just in case you were wondering.

Those stalwarts of the wargaming world are still going strong although only the 15mm ranges on display.

A series of talks throughout the day went down very well.

Brigade Models do some very nice Great War pieces....

and some lovely 6mm by my mate 6mil Phil.

By the power of....

Colouring in organised by Annie of Bad Squiddo. Quite busy throughout the day.

Fenris from a distance...

Warp Miniatures, again from a distance...

Some impressive MDF...

The SLW stand was busy thoughout the day. You can occasionally pick up previous year's minis along with lots of assorted paraphenalia.

A few pics from the painting competition... very difficult to get close though.

Back to the Frothers game...

Telletubies sculpted by Inso just for the game (one off sculpts, not being produced for obvious reasons!)

Gangs of Rome. A very successful game with great scenery by Sarissa Precision.

A local sword fighting club enthralled us all throughout the day.

Geoff Solomon-Sims wonderful scenery piece for his game 'The Woods'.

Eureka Miniatures... lovely 15mm Michael Moorcock Hawkmoon sculpts...

Some new 28mm releases, Minoan bull dancers, medieval feasts and more.

I remember when the Quar minis first came out, they were a must have. If I still hadn't done anything with those then I'd have picked up some of these new plastics!

Had a nice chat with Peter Heath over at Anschluss Wargames ( he gave me a freebie that is a second so could not be sold... damned if I can see the problem! A very nice Russian SU85 in 12mm.

Typically, ever year, as soon as the freebie minis are handed out they get thrown onto eBay... it's just not cricket folks!

Well, that's it for now. It'd be great if you could join the blog (top left)  If you fancy grabbing me a coffee it would be very much appreciated... London treks are thirsty work!

Or pop over to the shop and pick up some bits and pieces!

Email as always;