As my wife said, "Why do you need that huge bag?" Heh, heh!
I went to Salute with my son, Guy, yesterday and thanks to the wonderful and inevitable weekend engineering works we had to take five trains each way! All in all it took nearly two hours to get there. I had a pretty clear list of what I wanted to look at and achieved many but by no means all of what I wanted to do. I really like the Zulu Wars vignette give away but wish it didn't have a "Salute 2009" plaque on it. I am sure I can deal with it pretty easily though. It seemed pretty busy: not much sign of the credit crunch. Mike Lewis seemed besieged on his Black Hat stand so I didn't get a chance to say hello.
Top of the list was getting hold of one of the out of production ex-HLBSC armoured trains for my Back of Beyond Games. Guy has shown a lot of interest in my Chinese Warlord army lately so maybe I sould paint up some Russians and have a game with him. Unfortunately, the train was on sale at Copplestone Castings stall so I also ended up with some more dinosaurs for my Lost World project. I also bought some of the new Louis XIV period figures. I don't know why as I already have a lot of ECW and Great Northern War but these figures are just so splendid I couldn't resist. I bought some French Musketeers and Pikemen. No idea about uniforms but I think there is an Osprey, so I will try and get to Foyles tomorrow.
At Dave Andrew's stall I manged to spend £60 in about five minutes. More Crusader Normans and Saxons, Perry Sudan and Great War Miniatures (including the new British Cavalry).
I didn't get anything for myself at Grand Manner but I got Guy a WW2 Normandy bunker for his ever more complicated D-Day games.
I wanted to get some more Miniature Wargames and Wargames Illustrated binders but MW (in new trendy guise) didn't seem to have any and I couldn't find Wargames illustrated there at all. I did buy the four MW cd's of the first 100 issues though.
I picked up a box of the Perry plastic British Napoleonics (as did everyone else there, I suspect) and had a look at the three ups for the new plastic Wars of the Roses figures. I have quite a big WotR army using Foundry figures and don't think that I care enough about the period to replace them all, so I will probably pass on these. The Quatre Bras game the Perries had put on looked great however and it's still a target for me for 2015! The Empresses take cover (or are they just bagging up even more Zulus for me?)
I went to the Empress Miniatures stand and met Paul Hicks and one of the Empresses (surprised to find that they knew who I was). I bought a Zulu regiment and got the new Zulu Casualties pack thrown in, plus some of the new Isandlawana British and a Zulu hut! Paul has some interesting figures planned which I don't think anyone else has done for the Zulu War before. Also saw a contingent from The Die Hards Zulu War period reenactment group looking very impressive.
Couldn't get near the Gripping Beast stand so didn't pick up any of the new Steve Saleh Successor pikemen which I wanted to. Doing Cynoscephalae at the Society of Ancients games day a couple of years ago got me interested in this period and I do have the appropriate Roman opponents plus some Greek skirmishers and cavalry. Building a few pikeblocks wouldn't be too much of a stretch therefore. I didn't buy any, but I liked the look of the Woodbine WW1 Turkish front figures. They look quite big compared with Great War Miniatures but might go with Copplestone. I may hang on until the do the Palestinian front though (although many of the figures could be used for both, of course).
I wasn't that blown away by the look of many of the games this year although Guy and I both liked the Woodbine WW1 Turkish front one. We also liked the winter WW2 game with its very effective snowy board.
The highlight for Guy was the radio controlled tanks. Firstly, the 1/16 laser game where Guy seemed to win quite easily against much older (but less aggressive!) opponents. Best of all he liked the monster (1/4?) King Tiger. He really wanted me to buy a kit of one for a modest £4,000 (which only makes a static model -you need to pay extra for the motor and remote control elements!). Can't see that we could have smuggled that in to the house and given they reckon they take 300 hours to build and I stll haven't finished my daughter's dolls house which she had 10 years ago yet it was just as well we didn't get one.
Matt's elegant Helion and Waterloo to Mons Schleswig display
The highlight for me was meeting Matt Golding of Waterloo to Mons (first a blog and now a manufacturer) and talking to him about his great new Schleswig Wars range. He really has ambitious plans for the range and the new mounted command figures look wonderful! The trouble was I was enjoying our chat so much that I forgot to buy any more of his figures! Oh well, maybe I should get some more painted first!
Not a classic Salute and given the amount of money I could have spent I was quite good really but it was enough to get me back painting after nearly a month off. Tomorrow I should have finished my first Schleswig Wars Dane- just metal work and static grass to go!