Saturday, 22 April 2017

Salute 2017

Off down to t'Smoke for my annual trip to Salute. I stayed in a hotel close to the venue - it costs a little more but it avoids a long trail across London in the morning. The hotel also allows a checkout at 14:00 which means you can go back at lunchtime and dump the morning's booty, and leave your luggage with the concierge. Saves a lot of lugging during the afternoon. My daughter is working there at the moment so I went down by train, and had dinner with her, all very relaxed and a good way to prepare for a hard day spending.

Up betimes, and a bacon butty in the cafe opposite (much cheaper and better than eating inside the venue). I walked up to the show, the length of ExCel which makes quite a trek. Salute is always held on the same weekend as the London Marathon, and ExCel is where they have the checkin process for all the runners. So down at the west end the place is full of lean lithe runners in tracksuits and Lycra. As you walk down the length of the halls the average weight of the attendees roughly doubles, as does the average blood pressure, and you have arrived at Salute.

Plenty has been written about this show so I won't say too much. I spent the morning walking round and doing a bit of reconnaissance. My main theme for the day was my plan to get into Black Powder (the period and the rule set) using 6mm of course. I bought a couple of supplements from Warlords - the ACW and AWI books - and returned to the hotel to pack. Lunch was fish and chips at the "Airline Cafe" - again far nicer, far cheaper and far quicker than eating in ExCel.

Back to the show, and some serious figure purchasing. Baccus had their new Fallschirmjager on display, which led to the following conversation. Me: "Is that what i think it is, a Nebelwerfer?" Baccus: "Yes". "It's not in the catalogue". "No". "It's not on the list here on the stand". "No". "But it is available?" "Yes". "So I can buy some?" "We've sold out". (Collapse of stout party).

After recovering, I bought one each of the rest of the Fallschirmjager packs - Advancing and Firing troops, plus LMGs and Panzerschrecks. I also bought two ACW armies, Confederate and Eastern Union, as well as flags for both. I headed over to H&R to see what they had on offer. There were some nice looking new ranges - East German 1980s, and LRDG and Paras for WW2. However I struggled to get served so I decided to leave those and buy on the web, having seen how nice they looked. I bought a bunch of steel bases in various sizes, ready for the ACW troops, and some paints, and that was it. I left at about four, and with a good trip across London I caught an earlier train and was back home soon after seven.

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