The hall is just across the road from the Royal Armouries and between both stood a real Spitfire, it looked at bit small with the surrounding buildings towering over it but I am sure it warmed a lot of hearts on a cold morning. My first impression of the hall was that it was dark, thankfully it was not the yellow haze encountered at Phalanx but nonetheless it was a pain getting a good look at some of the traders not under one of the overhead lights, I found it especially bad in one corner where I gave up looking at tufts which I wanted and simply moved on.
There was a decent turn out of traders, many of the smaller firms had made an effort but there were also a few of the big boys, Warlord, Warbases, 1st Corps etc. I managed to fulfill completely my small list which put me out £112 or thereabouts, a lot of money for what seemed a small bag. My main purchase was Seven Years War artillery from Eagle Figures, I had seen the guns online and noticed they had the best coverage for all the armies, I just wasn't sure of the crew figures. I took along a marked stick as I did not have a Front Rank figure spare to see how they measured up, the samples shown in most cases fit perfectly, if thinner than Front Rank, I did notice that some were slightly smaller than others, however I decided this was not a big deal and if I had to I could put a piece of card underneath the base, I don't think the difference will be noticed much on the field of battle. The actual guns are lovely and I got a pack of 2 British six pounders and two French 4 pounders. The guy running the store was very helpful and talkative, if I didn't want a two gun pack he would also sell them separate, he was very enthusiastic of his ranges.
Helion & Co. had a very glossy and nice collection of books for sale, including many I had drawn the maps for, one of the men running the stall was Andrew Bamford the editor of the Atlas I am working on, I was happy to see him as we had not been properly introduced before. I think he was surprised to see me but we managed a chat on the way forward for the project, a good way to spend half an hour in between him breaking off for sales.
The wargaming side of the show was in the main small demonstration games, these covered all sorts of periods, both historical and hysterical (space age bunnies and giant kids toys). There were a few large wargames the best of which for me was a lovely Italian Wars battle, Ravenna I think. The other games were alright but nothing to write home about, once again I found the demo crowd more than willing to talk but the gamers simply ignored people hovering around their games.
|Kallistra medieval game showing off their hex terrain.|
|Skirmish in Chechnya, looked good but never saw anyone playing it.|
|They need more lights and the dark walls and ceiling didn't help.|
My haul, the guns, a flock of sheep, some small fields, tufts, wash, white spray, grass and I could not resist the two pillboxes before I left. The guns were £40 for four and the pillboxes £12.50 for two, these were the most expensive items. Not sure about the fields but I wanted some more scatter terrain for my WWII battlefield