Sunday, 17 July 2016

Joy of Six 2016

Across the Pennines to Sheffield for this show, possibly my favourite. It's not huge, though today was the biggest so far, I think - 22 games at least, and 8-10 traders. The big factor is that all those traders are selling 6mm figures or scenery, so every one is of interest to me. I think I bought stuff from nearly every stall. The venue is the Heartspace in Hallam University - a fancy name for the atrium in a large building, about five stories high. With glass walls and roof it is a nice bright airy space, and it is in the centre of the city so plenty of places to eat and drink. In fact the worst aspect of the day was the drive over - the A57 was being resurfaced and I spent an extra hour in the queues. I went home via the M1/M62 and that was fine.
As I said, lots of games going on. The ones that really caught my eye were, first, the First Day of the Somme, on a large table right below the entrance stairway. This was next to the Time Cast stand and it seemed to have a lot of their scenery, notably their new trench lines. Another one right in my sweetspot was the Bridge at Remagen, using simplified Spearhead rules - linked to the film, with points for improving on the performances there. A Cold War Commander fight occupied another large table in the centre of the room, and a really large battle of Dresden was in an alcove to one side. With the expansion of the number of games they were also using two side rooms, for the first time I think.
After lunch - ribs and a pint in the Head of Steam - I started on the serious business of purchasing. I got five packs of GHQ Italians - gun crews and a variety of tanks - for the Western Desert. I then went to Baccus and picked up packs of most of their new British Paras. From H&R I got various command strips and vehicles, German, British and Italian, to provide command stands. On the scenery side I picked up about ten buildings from Leven - mostly industrial or railway. I got some bridges from Time Cast, and I picked up a good number of hedges and walls from a firm called GS Miniature Workshop. Their main product (at this show anyway) were "modular forests" - these have a base with tree trunks, and then there is a separate canopy of green foam which sits on top - the idea being that you can put your troops inside and then replace the canopy. They look very nice, but my figures on 1" square bases wouldn't fit between the trunks.
That was it - and after one more circuit, with my little remaining cash desperately trying to jump out of my pocket, I left. A very good day, and now to get on with the painting. I need to get the Italians done first, but there are the Paras, those command stands and the buildings all winking at me.