Sunday, 18 October 2009
Today I left the Kiwi in the house with a bunch of baby catalogues, a working internet connection and a credit card and headed to Crystal Palace for the return of SELWG, the show put on by South East London Wargames Group. There was no show last year as the venue, a swimming pool/sports centre, identified an asbestos problem. But this year it was back, although a bit quieter and with (it seemed to me) fewer trade stands than normal that resulted in some odd ommissions (for example, there was no one selling recent or current issues of WSS or Wargames Illustrated" and no GW presence). Some of the games on display had been at Salute in April, but it would good to examine them again (and without the Salute crush) and some others were new.
I broke Rule No.1 of shows, namely "Make a list of what you want to buy". I managed to remember most of what I had thought of during the week but forgot about a couple of Perry packs I need to finish ongoing units, which is annoying as Dave Thomas stocked them. But I bought some more Spanish buildings from Tablescape, which will feature in future Carlist War posts; enough Carlist War and First Crusade Perry Miniatures packs to see me through to Christmas; a rather fun ECW "punishment detail" set from Redoubt Miniatures; a couple of the newish Foundry WW2 paint palettes to try out, and one or two other things. I picked up the latest issue of "Miniature Wargames" as it has Muslim army lists for the "Ager Sanguinis" Crusades rules that I have been having a look at. I caught up with a few people, met some blog readers from GLC Wargames Club (hi guys!) and generally enjoyed wandering around, even if the smell of chlorine and sounds of splashing brought back unwelcome memories of swimming class at prep school!
Anyway, readers will be insterested in the games rather than what I bought, although I'm proud (if not too pleased) of the fact that I was comprehensively out-spent by the Kiwi. So here are pics of those games that most caught my eye, with apologies to those I've missed.
First up is "Best of Show", Loughton Strike Force's 15mm Berlin 1945 game. This game was pipped to the prizes at Salute and so was a worthy winner here; astonishing attention to detail in the depiction of Berlin and, unlike various other games, it was actually being played.
I think the "Best Terrain" award went to Shepway Gamers' "The Hockwald Gap - February 1945" game. This was a 4th Canadian Armoured Division v 116th Panzer Division encounter in 20mm. The terrain was extraordinary - it really did look like a frosty February morning (chum Ronan the Librarian/Supercilius Maximus likened the look to "Band of Brothers"). This was my personal highlight, I think:
GLC Wargames Club had a very good-looking games from the Wars of the Roses. "First St.Albans 1461" featured mostly Front Rank figures and lots of handpainted livery and flags. The overall effect was pretty stunning:
As always with UK shows (and probably other countries' shows too), WW2 was the most popular period. Deal Wargames Club had the "Crossing of the Irrawaddy", in what looked like 15mm with very fine terrain:
Scarab Miniatures returned with their Italian Front WW1 game. I've always had a twinge of interest in this sub-period since I spent 2 weeks in northern Slovenia a few years ago and went to a couple of museums on the Isonzo Front. The terrain is by Kallistra, I think:
Too Fat Lardies had a 15mm Aspern-Essling games using their "Le Feu Sacre" rules, which drew lots of attention (possibly because Richard Clarke had lost his beard?):
One of the most entertaining participation games was South East Essex Military Society's WW1 air combat "Wot, no parachute?" games; inventive player game accessories and wonderful aircraft modelling:
A couple of other games. On the left, the Society of Ancients "Battle of Magnesia"; on the right, "1984" by Southend on Sea Wargamers:
As for my own painting, unfortunately last week and next have been/are write-offs thanks to work (and I'm going to be in Istanbul for a few days - I have no idea how Legatus Hedlius copes with spending so much time overseas away from his family and, more importantly, his paints) but on the workbench at the moment are 3 units: a second Carlist War provincial regiment (the first will be posted later in the week), the second battalion of the Borbon regiment and the 17th Foot for the AWI, with some "artistic licence" backpack motifs. The plan is to have all 3 units finished by the end of the month..... Wip shots below.