Sunday 23 April 2023

Salute 50: Mad, Bad and Dangerous to Go….

The celebratory programme. Fifty years is a magnificent achievement and the Warlords are to be congratulated for this.

It was everything Salute should be - huge, packed, games of the highest quality, plenty of trade (with a couple of notable omissions), an opportunity to catch with friends old and new, spend some money and above all else, to be inspired. It succeeded on every level.

It was overwhelming, an assault on the senses that left the unprepared dazed at the sheer spectacle of all. Many of the games featured frankly outrageous numbers of figures and terrain of the highest order. I did not take many pictures - I only took my phone which - but to be honest getting good shots seemed to be challenge - at least for me anyway.

There will be far more pictures posted on various blogs so there will be no shortage of ‘eye candy’. 

The highlights for me were of a more personal nature. The bloggers meet up was huge fun albeit quite brief and as mentioned it was an opportunity to meet in the flesh many of those ‘virtual friends’. It was a real pleasure to meet up with Ken, the ‘Yarkshire’ gamer and to discuss his current project - WW2 naval gaming in 1:600th. It was great catching up with Tamsin and her 3D printing adventures, Big Lee, David from Suffolk and of course Bob Cordery. David Manley was also at the show taking part in a Wings of Glory game so it was great meeting up with and the loan of the hand trolley was especially welcome!

I bumped into Mr Fox, Mr Roche, Mr Kightly and Mr Slater from SEEMS as well as Mr Hardman and Derek Oram who was taking part in an ‘O’ Group game, along with some other old Newham chaps - Graham Hill and Steve ‘Lance with assault breaker’ Mansfield - who I have not seen for some thirty five years!

On the subject of old friends I also met up with Jon Sutherland and his wife Diane. I knew John along with Dave Ryan and the late Joe Dever from their Games Centre Days back in the late 1970s and early 1980s. Jon has recently acquired a selection of ACW ironclads and so is going to run a game using my rules and will also write it up for Miniature Wargames - I was really chuffed with this!

As is my usual modus operandi at these events I looked and occasionally questioned - probably more looking if truth be told - and so I managed to have a chat with a very nice American gentlemen from the University of Wolverhampton that was running grid 1:600th ACW naval game covering the Battle of Mobile Bay with a twist. The twist being the presence of Captain Nemo’s Nautilus. A further item of interest was the fact that the rules used an Octagonal grid…. I will be getting a copy of these.

Now that is a great picture!

Note the cutaway model of the C.S.S. Tennessee and the Nautilus. The Octopus added to the atmosphere!

I was really intrigued by the square grid - used on an octagonal basis.

I visited Warbases to give Martin a copy of the The Portable Ironclads Wargame - thanks Martin for all your help and support - and also stopped by at the Baccus stand to collect a preorder - the new edition of Pony Wars: B Troop ain’t coming back. We had a chat about the game and moves are afoot for a cunning plan….

Talking of which, I paid a visit to the Heroics and Ros stand and whilst I did not buy anything - only because they did not have what I wanted on the stall - I was able to identify the aircraft I acquired with the Mustangs board game. The current versions are still the same so I am getting an order together to round out the 1944 ‘Over the Reich’ collection AND they also sell the marvellous I-94 decals (as do Pendraken).

Is there a cunning plan? You may think that….I couldn’t possibly comment…

Aside from the aforementioned Pony Wars the only other thing I picked was the book you see above. No prizes for guessing where my thoughts have been flitting about…

So why mad, bad and dangerous to go? Well, it was a wonderful mad experience with games and traders selling just about everything you probably didn’t need but purchased anyway! Bad and dangerous because it could have very well been the catalyst for all manner of new and shiny projects - meaning that the wallet could potentially be hammered.

As for go? Well, If you go then you should be prepared for the smorgasbord of just about everything the gamer could look for - which is what Salute is all about and how fortunate we are it is still going strong!

The last part of the day was my customary helping Dave Lanchester pack up his stall. Forty plus 32 litre plastic storage boxes, two 64 litre boxes, a handful of 16 litre boxes, a dozen open topped plastic boxes, a dozen cardboard boxes, two tables, seven book cases, eight table covers and a fold up sign all laboriously packed and placed in the van.

No wonder everything aches today BUT, Salute was absolutely worth it.


Ray Rousell said...

Sounds and looks like a fab day out Dave.

David Crook said...

Hi Ray,

It was a day of pure excess but huge fun! From the inspiration perspective even my somewhat eclectic tastes were fully sated!

Your were missed old chap but some things are bigger than the hobby.

All the best,


PS I need to contact Smiffy!

Graham C said...

Glad to read you had a fantastic day.

Fire at Will said...

Well done for helping Dave L, he's a hard taskmaster on how books should be packed!!

TamsinP said...

Good to see you yesterday, David! Glad to hear you had a good day. :)

Robert (Bob) Cordery said...


It was great to see you and the other bloggers, although I somehow missed seeing some of the other old faces from Eric’s (except Mr Fox) and David Manley.

I felt that Salute was less crowded than it has been, but the absence of places to sit a rest if you are not taking part in a game or eating at a food outlet is something of a problem for me. Likewise, the scarcity of disabled toilets was problematic. Luckily my stoma behaved itself, but if it had needed to be dealt with, I only found two and both of those were downstairs! There was a lift, but I would have thought that there would have been accessible loos on the same level as the main concourse.

All the best,


david in suffolk said...

Great to see you yesterday David, and I agree with your views on the show in general. You are a glutton for punishment, packing all those book boxes at the end of the day!

David Crook said...

Hi Graham C,

It was great fun but very tiring. To be honest were it not for the occasional arrangement I have with Dave Lanchester I would probably have not bothered as it would have worked out too expensive, even if I travelled by train!

All the best,


David Crook said...

Hello there Fire at Will,

I am quite used to Dave’s transportation method - with all his idiosyncrasies - but on this occasion not only was it the quantity but also contending with a spare wheel and a forty minute wait for the van to arrive from the car park! It was all good though and packed safely for the next show.

For the record my shoulders are still aching though!

All the best,


David Crook said...

Hi Tamsin,

It was great catching up with the ‘gang’ and hearing about your 3D printing adventures. It made me chuckle to think that the time taken to cast the Traveller model recently featured on your blog would for me be the length of time I would start a new project, spend some time planning and doing stuff for it and then getting bored and selling up!

Seriously though, the world of 3D printing is something I will explore at some point but probably not for a while.

It looked like you had a pretty impressive looking haul as well!

All the best,


David Crook said...

Hi Bob,

Due to the vastness of the place it was very easy missing people and if you lost track of anyone then it was be pure luck coming across their path again! I managed to do with David in Suffolk and ‘Yarkshire’ Ken but purely by chance.

The toilet issue was annoying and given that I am now rather more aware of such things due to the situation with Laurel I was also surprised about this as well as the lack of seating in the venue - at the end of the day I was sitting on some wooden pallets near Dave Lanchester’s stand until they were moved!

That aside it was great day out although very hard on the mind and body although very much less so on the wallet!

All the best,


David Crook said...

Hi there David in Suffolk,

It was great catching up and when we bumped into each whilst I was taking a breather at Dave Lanchester’s stand I was already wondering just what had I let myself in for! After packing and loading his stand I was, to use a technical expression, knackered!

For all that it was a good day out though, seeing stuff, meeting friends old and new and just being inspired by the sheer scale of it all.

All the best,


Steve J. said...

I'm glad you had a great day out David:). Being a dyed in the wool 10mm gamer, there is little on offer generally on the shopping front. When I last went the games were OK but nothing special to be honest. Maybe I didn't get to see all that was on offer as I was helping out on a game, so wandering time was limited. The lack of seating and the toilets issue has always been a problem, which they should really address and it's been commented upon for years now!

Aly Morrison said...

It certainly sounds like a grand day out David…
Your butterfly certainly enjoyed it…😁

All the best. Aly

David Crook said...

Hi Steve J,

It was a great day out but tiring and my right knee is still doing a pretty good impersonation of a partially deflated barrage balloon!

For 10mm both Pendraken and Magister Militum were present and both produce some cracking models in that scale. I have flirted with it in the past so who knows? Maybe I will agains some day!

All the best,


David Crook said...

Hello there Aly,

The butterfly was for the most part kept in check it only because it had been fed and watered beforehand - Pony Wars was a ‘preorder and collect on the day’ - and very good it is as well I might add!

All the best,