Thursday, 26 April 2012

Salute 2012: Part 2 - Pictures and reviews

I have had a few days since getting back from Salute in which to enjoy toothache (!) and start putting things together and painting. I thought I'd share a few of my pictures from the day (I know people are probably sick of them by now but hopefully I'll have one or two new shots), as well as giving a closer look at some of what I bought.

First up is the stuff I bought from 4Ground. I bought a Saxon house (the middle sized one), a general wagon, and the water cart. So far I have assembled the first two. Now I am not what you would call a skilled modeller - I consider myself to be a bit ham fisted at the best of times, so I was really surprised at how easily these went together. I puzzled over the instructions for the cart for a few seconds, but that was really just my stupidity, and once I had figured it out, the whole kit went together easily enough. I have chosen not to add the hoops on this one for ease of figure placement (you can get 2 figures mounted on 25mm washers on the wagon bed), but I shall be getting a couple more of these, at least one of which will have the hoops and a covering applied. For me this is far better than an expensive metal model, or indeed a cheap plastic toy. Highly recommended.

It is sold as a 19th century wagon, and I can see this wagon doing duty from the Peninsular War through the  Wild West to Zululand without any trouble at all, but I might stretch it as far back as the ECW. I have no idea if it would be wrong, but it doesn't jar on the eye (well my eye at least), so why not? I guess I'll have to paint the wheels at least, but, to be honest, it doesn't bother me as it is.

Perfect for a wagon train

An even bigger surprise was to come, however. I also picked up their painted Saxon dwelling, the middle sized one of the three they offer. This was even easier to put together than the wagon, and the next one I get (and I will be getting more) will be a project I will do with my son, as he'll easily be able to cope. If it weren't for the need to let the teddy bear fur dry, you could have this up and on the table in half an hour. I think it looks amazingly good for something put together so quickly.

And here's the surprise, the "painted" interior. Why they don't actually advertise the fact that there are separate painted internal walls I really don't know.  Note the opening doors, and fireplace (not glued in place yet). I now have to work out how exactly to "decorate" the inside of a Saxon house.

I have been looking at all sorts of resin buildings for my Dark Age terrain, and I must admit that there are some very nice ones out there, but this is the way I am going to go now. These are cheap, easy to put together, light (a serious consideration when I have to get everything shipped to the Czech Republic) and quick to get on the table. It's the dawn of a new age for scenery with the likes of BattleFlag, Sarissa, Warbases and these guys putting out new kits all the time. I really hope that 4Ground put out a Saxon church and/or a Lord's Hall in this line; I'd be all over those "quicker that you can say cobbler" as they say in Czech.

Next up, some more laser cut buildings, this time from Warbases. I bought the outhouse, and the stable block. Neither of these are very complicated builds (just as well, as there are no instructions), but I have to say they don't fit quite as well as the 4Ground kits. While the floor keeps the Saxon hut's walls at right angles, the stable block has nothing like that to aid during drying (an easy enough fix, I know) and it seems the wooden posts will need to be glued in place after the roof in order to get them straight and at exactly the right height. While none of this is all that difficult, it isn't as easy and I don't think Seb will be helping with this one.

 The stable kit
Just propped up

All in all I think the 4Ground kits are finished better and easier to put together, but I like the Warbases ones too, and more choice is always good. And 4Ground don't produce SAGA measuring sticks and nice tokens like these...

Shaken (not stirred)

Another thing that is taking a bite out of the resin scenery market is the injected plastic products produced by Renedra. Responsible for all the lovely plastic figures sold by the Perry brothers, Victrix, Gripping Beast et al., they also produce a nice range of scenics under their own name. I picked up a set of Saxon tents, some palisade, and wattle fencing. I'm not sure how to paint the tents, 2 of which are open and 2 closed, but I have done a trial run on one of them as just plain (and dirty) canvas. I'm not sure how many people need Saxon tents, but they do add a bit of colour and interest to the table top.

I picked up a double pack of the wattle fencing and have just given it a very quick and messy dry brush. I was originally intending to mount the sections on card, but I am not sure I'll bother now; I could just disguise the supports with a tuft or two. Quick, easy and well worth the price.

 One sprue's worth (I think)

With a figure for size comparison (Renegade ECW)

I don't have the palisade painted up at all yet, so that will have to wait.

And on to Salute.

First up is the deserved winner of Best in Show. The Corunna display (it wasn't a game) was absolutely breathtaking in real life - photos (especially mine) can't do it justice. It was huge, but also incredibly detailed.
Just look at the rigging  on the ships below, and some of the little vignettes they set up. The only problem (in my eyes) is that it wasn't a game. I admit it's a pretty churlish objection, though.

A beautiful demonstration of how effective the Kallistra hexes can be (10mm ACW)

A nice board for Freebooter's Fate, which just shows that effective terrain doesn't have to be huge.

The Crimean War game put on in connection with Wargames Illustrated.

Victrix put on a 54mm participation game, which was also absolutely stunning. I had no idea that Italeri also made 1:32nd figures (such as the Mamelukes below) - perhaps there are enough sets out to play a game or two of something - a Song of Drums and Shakos springs to mind.

Finally a game set in I believe Matabeleland, which I liked for its cheeky details.

 Feint, pin and flank 'em. Simples!

I took a load more photos, but as you can see the quality wasn't so great (new camera with the wrong lens, added to a photographer who doesn't know what he's doing), and others have taken similar shots far better than I did, so no more from me I promise. Salute 2012 was well worth visiting and I'll definitely be back again next year.


  1. Good to see the wattle fencing live... I have that on my shopping list as well!

    BTW... I think Renedra do not produce the plastics for Victrix. Those are done by a different company.

  2. I saw the Corunna game on another blog - until you mentioned it, didn't know it was "just" a display. Still incredibly impressive, of course. I feel the same about those 1:32nd Mameluks too! Best, Dean

  3. Some great photos and a great haul of goodies too!

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