So the first part of the show had gone OK. We'd made it to London in one piece and managed to survive the keep fit lunatics on the Tube! I'd bagged myself some decent swag from Freebooter Miniatures and talked with some really cool people, and seen some even cooler product. However, I was getting a little bit physically tired and the lack of any meaningful breakfast was starting to take it's toll, not just on me but also Dr Brainiac... but we pushed on.
Part 2 of my day I guess began at another company regular readers of my Blog should be more than aware of, Sarissa Precision. Yes the purveyors of exceedingly well priced laser cut wargames scenery were also in attendance... and their store was absolutely rammed! I'd like to claim it's all down to my reviews of their product, but I know it isn't. Nope, it's simply because they make absolutely cracking wargames scenery at very affordable prices and their range just keeps on growing. Even though they were snowed under I was able to have a brief chat with the chaps and see some of their new stuff, some of which will be reviewed next week... but I know they're holding even more back! They really seemed to be enjoying the day, this despite Steve needing the toilet quite badly apparently and being unable to extricate himself from the store. It was at this point I lost Dr Brainiac to the hunger. She was starting to flag and clearly was suffering for not having received her mandatory cup of morning tea. She set off to sit at the side of the show floor and have a drink and something to eat. This was bad for a number of reasons:
- I felt like I was dragging her round a show she didn't want to be at and wasting one of her precious Saturday's.
- But more importantly it meant I was taking the pictures from now on.
This second point is vitally important, because I didn't have a swanky camera. Mainly because I wouldn't know how to use it and quite frankly it would have been wasted on me. My pictures from this point onwards are quite frankly unusable for the most part. However, Dr Brainiac did re-join me at points. So many of my pictures in part two are either from other sources or aren't so great!
I came for the boats, which were actually painted up for Salute. They looked rather spiffing too. Ainsty Castings actually produce some really good pieces of resin scenery and do so for a very reasonable price too. I've seen Ainsty Castings stuff at a few conventions and places before, and I've actually been relatively impressed with their product line. I'm not going to lie to you though, I was here to ogle the pirate ships some more, I mean I'm really getting into Freebooter's Fate so I need a pirate ship... right? Any way the store was crammed with people and I have to say it wasn't at all pleasant to try and get around it. So I didn't really bother as it was probably more hassle than it was worth. I'll just buy the stuff I want off their webstore when I have the cash.
So next up was Maelstrom Games and more importantly another chance to take a look at their glorious BaneLegions. I have to say that the Maelstrom Games stand was absolutely packed every time I looked at it, and everyone who was there was ogling the BaneLegions miniatures. As was I. I also had the chance to have a look at some of the new miniatures in the range that have yet to be released and also to have another good long chat with Rob Lane, who was kind enough to give me a Kraan mini for my troubles. He also spilled a few more beans on his plans for his game... and I can't talk to you about what those are right now... because he'd tear my arms off and beat me to death with the wet ends! Suffice to say when I'm able to give you guys more info I will, in the meantime here's some pictures.
|One of the BaneLegion display cabinets.|
|Honestly this miniature is utterly splendid... I want 2 of them!!!|
|So we meet again Mr Krull...|
|They had folders with with pictures and concept art to hand.|
|They also had the miniatures out on display for punters to look at.|
This stand was another personal highlight for me, not just because I enjoyed chatting to Rob and seeing their new stuff. Nope, it was just really good to see and hear the buzz there was around BaneLegions range of mini's. It's gathering pace as a product range and I for one am happy that it is, can't wait to see what the game looks like now!
I did spend a little bit of time at the Black Library stand but there wasn't really much there in all honesty to interest me, so I rapidly moved on.
I've been starting to look at Napoleonic wargames over the last few months. It's actually a period of European history that holds a lot of interest for me. Thing is I've always had a bit of an issue with the whole historic reenactment thing with toy soldiers, it's always made me feel a little bit hinky. This was one of the companies though I wanted to make a beeline for along with Perry Miniatures and Warlord Games, because I've started to think that perhaps doing a Napoleonic army or two might actually be a fun challenge for the painting side of my hobby. Plus I guess I'd like to do some more historic based gaming and face some of the sorts of challenges that such generals faced themselves... in short I'm getting old. Any way, what did I think of their plastic miniatures? Well actually I think they're really, really good. The prices are also really quite reasonable too, the guys on the stand were also really helpful. They also told me to go look at Perry Miniatures too and see what they had to offer as well. So I did, and unsurprisingly I was impressed with their product too. I think I might have to do a Napoleonic army at some point.
Honestly, I don't think this store was as well run as I thought it was going to be. There were demo games of Warpath, Pandora and Dwarf Kings Hold going on, and people seemed to be enjoying themselves. But when I passed by there wasn't much attempt to come and speak to me or to engaged with me. It seemed to me that the staff were taking a bit of a break, which is understandable but I felt like I was getting in the way while I was at their store. Wasn't really the best of impressions again, however I know more than enough about Mantic's product as I own a lot of it so decided to shoot off elsewhere and to leave them to their mothers meeting. The Corporation and Veer-Myn did look really, really good though.
This was really frustrating as I was really keen to talk to Renedra Limited about their work in the industry, and see if someone would be willing to talk to me about what they do, and maybe get an interview for you guys. It's something I'm going to have to pursue after the event because I just didn't have time to see and do everything I wanted to. It was at this point I went and had a look around the Battlefoam, Feld Herr and KR Multicase stands. I'll give you my thoughts on them all in part 3 of my Salute round up.
Grand Manner was another stall I didn't get to spend much time at. It probably got only a cursory glance. While much of their scenery looked well made and detailed enough, none of it actually grabbed me personally, which isn't a massive surprise given my gaming habits. Looked nice enough if that's your thing though.
Now I've already brought a damn good chunk of scenery from Antenocitis Workshop, and much of it is actually waiting to be reviewed or is actually going up for review shortly. However, I've been slowly building a list of scenery that I'd like to pick up from Jed to go with some Sarissa Precision buildings I'm hoping to get to do an Infinity board with. I've got enough of their product to know I can be sure of the quality but I just wanted to get a sense of scale and size for some of the pieces they produce. Jed was kind enough to talk me through the stuff and actually made some useful suggestions. So I now feel confident in placing an order in the near future. I also wanted to take a nice long look at his vehicles, as again I think they'll make great scatter terrain for an Infinity board... I have to say I was very impressed with what I saw and I think his resin vehicles are splendid. Here have a picture.
|Antenocitis Workshops display cabinet.|
Now I like me some spaceships. In fact I think my first ever love was the Star Destroyer from Star Wars. I had toys, posters, Lego and even model kits of the Star Destroyer... now obviously when I saw the Super Star Destroyer it blew my mind... but that's another story! So yeah I'm a bit of nerd for spaceships, I simply love them no matter what shape or size they come in. Be it Battlestar Galatica, Space Above and Beyond, Firefly, Babylon 5 or Star Trek, I love spaceships. So Mongoose Publishing's A Call to Arms games, Noble Armada and Star Fleet, should be totally up my alley. So I popped over to have a look at the stand. True I already play Firestorm Armada from Spartan Games, but as fun as that can be at times, it does often leave me wanting way more depth and tactical scope. So is what Mongoose Publishing are producing for me? Given the cost of the starter fleets and in my humble opinion the low standard of the mini's on offer... my answer is no. The game itself might be really good but I just can't see myself spending £75 on a starter fleet when the miniatures just don't appeal to me. Does that make me a shallow visual whore? Probably, but I honestly couldn't care less. Wish them well as they seemed like nice chaps, but it looked a bit naff.
Critical Mass Games were another store I had to breeze past. I was getting hungry at this stage and my grumbling stomach seemed intent on telling everyone who stood within 10 feet of me. I had to get back to Dr Brainiac and make plans for acquiring lunch! So the fact that there was a bit of a queue at their store made me less inclined to stick around to see what I could find out. I made a note in my book to email them after the show to find out more.
I owe the guys on this stand a bit of an apology... well two maybe. The first apology is that these guys were amazingly friendly and were willing to chat with me, but my time was so pressed that I was unable to really give them more of my time than I did. Plus I needed food. I did however give a commitment to contact them at a later date to do a follow up article on this Blog for you all. The second apology is that my pictures of their product were utterly hopeless. I guess the surprise to me was how popular the Pulp City stand appeared to be while I was there. I've looked at this game in the past but the miniatures didn't grab me. However, I'd be lying if I said a game about superheroes wasn't of interest to me. I was just surprised it was of interest to as many people as it was, I've not seen much evidence of the game locally. My own personal issues though are that if I'm playing a superhero game I want to play as Batman or Deadpool, not Wombatman and Deathpond. They did though convince me to give the game a second look, and it certainly sounds interesting enough for me to take a much closer look at it in the future. I'm very pleased I took the time to learn more about game and you'll all be getting to read one of my games that intrigue me articles soon enough. Time for food!
To be brutally honest this part of the day didn't go as well as I hoped it would. It was around 12:00ish when I started on this section of the day, and I honestly began to notice how crowded the show was becoming and how little patience many people were starting to have with each other. I saw a few displays of reprehensible behaviour unbecoming civilised tea drinkers such as us Brits. On the whole though people remained fairly well behaved, but I guess leaving Dr Brainiac behind to eat her banana and drink some orange juice made me more inclined to rush a bit, so as to get back to her sooner. Also me trying to cram things in at this stage made this portion of the day a bit more stressful than I'd have liked. It also left me feeling a little bit unsatisfied with proceedings. Had I known my photography was also crap during this part of the day I might have given up and headed home right here. I wasn't a happy bunny at this stage of the day as I was a bit hungry and had witnessed some crass idiots in action... not to mention I was still a little narked about earlier treatment at some stands, my note book has this scrawled in it "still too pissed to go back to Black Scorpion". Peace out!