Saturday, 4 October 2008
I like the Derby show, it takes me back to when I were a young lad in sunny Southend back in the early 70's and we used to go to nice sized shows, chat to a lot of people; get a chance to wander about a lot without having to fight your way past a testudo of backpacks to have a look at some manufatcurer or another's latest offerings and generally take in the atmosphere. Derby is all this and more. The split between traders and games is about right even though Dunc the Mac told me that there were over 70 traders there, not bad at all. Mind you, when you can go to a show and get everything you want and a bit more besides it must be good. (Thinking back, the choice of manufacturers back in the day was severely limited...Minfigs, Hinton Hunt and Hinchcliffe were the main stalwarts, although others were starting up -Warrior, Dixon, Lamming etc. But we were happy.)
Some nice games on show, unfortunately my camera batteries died before I could get piccy's of all of them. It's strange sometimes you can't get a new slant on things for ages and then two come along along at once. Instead of the usual Wars of the Roses Medieval there was a nice Poles against Ottomans by the Derby Wargames Society and Stonewall put on a huge 25mm Medieval recreation of the Battle of Vaslui in 1475 -no, I'd never heard of it either, but it was nice all the same. Shedloads of 25mm figures on a humungously large 'L' shaped table. Apparently it was between Ottomans and loads of eastern European types. Another game that immediately caught the eye was J A Designs and friends with their 10mm W W II. Very nicely painted. Check out his website at http://www.quarks-bar.co.uk/ The stuff you see there is the stuff they were using.
Border Reivers and their 25mm Great Northern War Battle of Streszow put some very nicely painted figures on the table and I found out something really useful. For ages Mr Hilton and the others at LoA had been using cloth as the base for their standards, so have Border Reivers, (and Stonewall for that matter but they print theirs on). You know what they use? Old shirts! For crying out loud! It's so bloody obvious it's too obvious if you know what I mean. I've got about 10 old white shirts with logo's on that I will never wear again so my next 25mm army is going to have cloth standards...and probably every army I will ever paint after that. I was told if you superglue it to the pole then wrap around once and superglue again then paint the base colour on while its flat, that stiffens it up nicely. Another neat trick I found out from a gentleman at Stonewall. If you use a pice of brass tube and wrap the standard around that, the whole thing then slides over the pole. Glaringly obvious advantage -ECW, 30YW and probably others. One set of figures, two sets of standards. easy innit?
All good stuff.
Irregular were there with their 10mm range so another Mongol light cav unit (12 cav) plus a plethora of Chinese -1 x 24 archers, 2 x 24 crossbows, 1 x 42 halbardiers and 1 x 24 heavy cavalry, two wagons and two rocket launchers were duly purchased. Checked out the usefulness of other figures to use as Russians/Polish and was pleasantly surprised -most of the other TC range looks pretty handy.
Magister Militum supplied some free roaming horses and a bag of baggage camels for some little cameo bases of -funnily enough- wild horses and baggage camels.
Pendraken Normans can be used for Russian/Polish militia types.
Kallistra are nice but incompatible with the three above -they are too big, more like 12mm. However, saying that, I bought a bag of the Mongol Command. The reasoning behind this is that all the figures will be on the same base and away from everyone else so hopefully the difference will not be too noticable.
Didn't go a bundle on Old Glory. Looked at the siege range and thought I can do the same in card so I didn't bother.
All in all a good Saturday well spent.
I am getting really racked off with this bloody computer. The missus forgot to feed the hamster and he is not spinning the wheel or the elastic band is on its way out or whatever the problem is, it keeps losing my page or changing things and not telling me. I reckon it's going to be an 'up against the nearest wall job' pretty damn soon if it doesn't start behaving.