Monday, 16 April 2018

Salute 2018

Down to London for my annual jamboree in Dockland. A good curry with my daughter the night before set me up nicely, and I stay in a hotel five minutes walk from Excel, so there is no rush in the morning.

Excel seemed quieter than usual, but this may have been because the London Marathon runners were not registering there - for once the Marathon is not running on the day after Salute. Once inside the hall, it seemed about as busy as ever.

My first visit was to the Baccus stand, where I picked up some brand new WW2 artillery for both sides - 88mm Flak, Pak 40 and 10.5 leFH 18 for the Germans, and 6pdr and 25pdr for the British. I also got to hold one of their new tanks, a Sherman, but they are still not quite readywith the moulds.

After that I made a circuit of the hall, round the perimeter first, buying various bits and pieces. Studio Miniatures had a lot of nice pulp figures, and I bought three for use as survivors. Hasslefree provided some nice skyclad witches, and I bought a single 6mm city building in MDF from a company called Blotz. I then called at Great Escape Games and picked up some more Chicago Way stuff - another car, two stills, some barrels and some more casualties. Over at Ainsty I got some more barrels of different sizes - you can usually rely on Ainsty for general "stuff".

I went back to the hotel to dump my booty, and had lunch in a local cafe. Maybe next year I'll eat in the hotel. Back to the hall, and I picked up some figures from Spectre Miniatures. They do several ranges of modern special forces and irregular fighters, and I got some because they look very nice. They may be a little large, minis are increasingly "heroic" 28mm, which is really about 32mm.

I spent quite a bit of time looking for board game vendors, because I was hoping to find the Kursk supplement for Conflict of Heroes, called Storms of Steel. I thought this would be out (in a second edition) in time for Salute), but when I eventually found a likely place, Magister Militium, there was no sign. Checking on the Academy Games website the planned date now seems to be June.

I got a book, one of the Tank Battle in Miniature series, volume 2. This was the last one I needed to complete the set of five, two of which I have had since I got them from the author (Bruce Quarrie) in the seventies. I got two more, by Donald Featherstone, at the auction at the weekend event last month, and I was pleased to spot the final missing link (by Bruce, on the Russian front) on a stand here. A few more bits and pieces - some flexible 6mm fields from Timecast, and a couple of back numbers of WSS - and I was ready to go. A pretty good day all round, the train home was quite crowded but on time and I had my loot home before 8:30.

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