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Saturday, 14 April 2018

Just back from Salute!

I just got back from SALUTE 2018, having seen all I wanted to see and done all that I wanted to do before I left. I'll be writing a fuller report later (probably tomorrow), but my first thoughts are:

Positives:
  • Everywhere I went the traders seemed to be doing quite good business;
  • The games that I stopped and looked all seemed to have been of a very high standard from the point of view of presentation;
  • The signage of games was generally better than is has been in the past;
  • More games had hand-outs and/or a 'meeter-and-greeter';
  • Participants seemed to be enjoying whatever they were doing ... something that has not always been as obvious in the past.
Negatives:
  • The lighting, ventilation, and flooring at ExCel are not good. (The lighting is so dim in places that it was almost impossible to take photographs; the air inside was getting hotter and staler as the day went on; and the flooring is a rubber screed over concrete which is uncomfortable to walk or stand on for any length of time);
  • Too many backpacks! (The man in front of me in the queue to get in was wearing an enormous backpack that was suspended by one shoulder strap. Every time he took a step forward or turned to speak to the person next to him, I had to sway backwards to avoid being hit in the face. I did mention it to him ... but he totally blanked me and ignored my request to take more care.)
Things that stood out:
  • Both the games that depicted the Zeebrugge Raid were outstanding;
  • The Continental Wars Society wargame 'The fight at Altenhof' attracted a lot of interest from those wargamers looking for something a bit different;
  • Peter Dennis's and Andy Callan's paper soldiers showed that it is possible to stage games involving large numbers of figures without having to spend a fortune buying them and a lifetime painting them;
  • The presence of a semi-scale reproduction of a World War I tank ... and I am still trying work out whether it was capable of moving under its own power, and how they got it into the hall if it wasn't;
  • Last, but by no means least, the annual blogger's get-together ... which took place at 12.30pm in the centre of the hall, and that was attended by quite a few well-known bloggers.
All-in-all it was a great way to spend a Saturday, and I seemed to manage to talk to loads of people that I know ... and to miss some that I had hoped to see.

Will I be going to SALUTE 2018? Going on today's experience, I certainly will!

20 comments:

  1. Replies
    1. Tradgardmastare (Alan),

      I certainly enjoyed myself ... but came back exhausted and fell asleep.

      All the best,

      Bob

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  2. Definitly the medal for the first report! Glad I didn't go if lighting was poor , need good light these days and would have been peeved by such conditions. I go to local wargaming and modelling societies shows and enjoy the comaraderie and frienliness, Salute and the big IPMS show in Telford have not drawn me in recent years. I will enjoy the pictures on the blogs and look forward to Broadside in Sittingbourne in June.

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    Replies
    1. Fraxinus,

      A fuller report - with photos - will follow in due course. I hope that you enjoy reading it.

      I've commented on the poor lighting and the floor at ExCel before. Interestingly, other shows I've been to at ExCel did not seem to suffer from these problems because they were carpeted and each stand had its own lights.

      I also prefer the smaller wargame shows like CAVALIER, SKIRMISH, and BROADSIDE. They are much more enjoyable ... and a lot less crowded.

      All the best,

      Bob

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  3. Good to see you again Bob :)

    My dodgy left hip was starting to feel the strain from walking on that floor by about 1pm (despite having taken some painkillers) so I ended up leaving a little bit after 2pm. Was it just me, or did it seem noisier this year?

    I suspect the backpacks are a symptom of the bigger "shopping" shows. I have one, but I do my best to be considerate of other people with it. While I was in the queue to go in, I was chatting with a chap from Tin Soldiers of Antwerp who have a large (and expandable) wheeled suitcase for all his purchases - an eminently sensible idea as it can double up as a seat or somewhere to put your drink down. Mind you, I think that would probably be overkill for my purchases.

    I'm hoping to get to a couple of the smaller shows this year (Broadside definitely, maybe Campaign) having missed them last year.

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    Replies
    1. TamsinP,

      It was great to see you as well!

      If you suffer from any skeletal/muscular problems, the sort of floor they have at ExCel is a killer. (I have had scoliosis since birth, and I am very conscious of the effect hard flooring has if you have to stand on it for any length of time.)

      I think that the pull-along suitcase is a great idea, especially as some of them are designed to sat on if necessary. Backpacks are a big no-no with me. I have to travel on the DLR and the Underground, and during the rush-hour someone with a backpack can take up the space of three normal passengers. What I find stupefying are people who wear small backpacks onboard cruise ships during days at sea! Going ashore, I can understand ... but aboard ship?

      I hope to go to BROADSIDE, and with luck I shall see you there!

      All the best,

      Bob

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  4. Glad you enjoyed your day at Salute.

    I stayed at home and managed to finish three units of Norman infantry and started another two.

    Then there's the GP tomorrow (very early).

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    Replies
    1. Jim Duncan,

      Sounds as if you had an enjoyable and productive day.

      Good luck with your visit to your GP.

      All the best,

      Bob

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    2. Oops.

      GP is meant to be Grand Prix.

      However I do see a nurse on Thursday for a blood test and then a radiographer on Friday for a CT scan.

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    3. Jim Duncan,

      I just thought that you had an exceptional doctor!

      Good luck with the blood test and the scan.

      All the best,

      Bob

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  5. My daughter wears a small backpack all the time. I asked her why and she said her doctor recommended it rather than wear an over the shoulder handbag. A lot of this is coming from schools for the same reason. ExCel have won awards for their eco friendly lighting, which they continually dial down for energy reasons. I did look up the carpet issue on their website and to rent it for a show there is about £10 a square meter!

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    Replies
    1. Legates Hedlius,

      Interesting information about the wearing of a backpack. Whilst visiting places like London and Barcelona, the advice to women is NOT to wear a backpack, but to carry a shoulder bag that is carried between the arm and the body. This is to reduce the chance of having your bag opened and its contents stolen.

      Eco-friendly lighting it might be ... but it was - in my opinion as well as that of others - too dim to take photographs without having to fiddle about with camera settings all the time.

      £10.00 per square metre! That is exhorbitant, especially as it gets re-used show after show!

      All the best,

      Bob

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    2. The advice about wearing a backpack (with both straps) is because it distributes the weight evenly and the weight is distributed in line with your spine, preventing future back problems. Just don't keep anything valuable in it if your are going somewhere there is a risk of pilfering.

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    3. TamsinP,

      In an orthopaedic sense, the advice is excellent ... but from a personal security point of view, what you cannot, see you cannot protect.

      I've known several people who foolishly carried their wallets, passports, etc., in their backpacks, and had the whole lot stolen in a matter of seconds.

      Recently - whilst on a visit to the St James' area of London - I saw a guide collect their party together just outside Green Park underground station to talk to them. Each member had a backpack on, and as they formed a circle around the guide to listen to what was being said, you could see it attracting the attention of several people who just happened to be standing around nearby. (One almost felt like one was watching a wildlife film of sharks circling a group of people in the water!) Luckily - just by chance - a police car stopped a few yards from the group of tourists, who then all walked off together.

      All the best,

      Bob

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  6. Great to meet you yesterday and very much appreciated the book, it looks like it shall be a good read. I agree with the floor and the lighting, this year I am actually suffering from
    Walking round all day, or that maybe the onset of advancing in years! Overall though I still enjoyed Salute.

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    Replies
    1. Carl Packham,

      It was great to meet you at SALUTE, and I hope that you enjoy reading the book.

      I can see why - over the years - SALUTE has moved from Kendington Town Hall to Olympia and now to ExCel. It needs the space; I just wish that it was better lit and the flooring was more 'forgiving'.

      All the best until next year,

      Bob

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  7. Bob,
    I look forward to your photos from SALUTE. Here in Sydney we only have two conventions- one at Miranda about October called MOAB and another is in January at Canberra ACT called CANCON...I think I've mentioned this before- we are actually starved of Conventions and I wonder how the Hobby survives. I marvel that there in England you seem to have oodles- almost weekly if not monthly. Best wishes. KEV.

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    1. Kev Robertson,

      I hope to have my photo-report about SALUTE ready by later today.

      Although there are quite a few small, regional wargame shows, the big ones seem to be SALUTE (April) & SELWG (October) in London and PARTIZAN in the Midlands, with slightly smaller ones in Yorkshire and on the east coast of Scotland.

      All the best,

      Bob

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  8. Good to see you there. Wholeheartedly concur with your assessment of the show.

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    1. Lee Hadley,

      It was great to see you and all the others as well.

      I've just posted my photo-report of the show, which I hope that you will enjoy looking at. (I looked at yours earlier today, and it spurred me on to get mine done as well!)

      All the best,

      Bob

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