On Friday I made my annual pilgrimage to Birmingham to travel across on the Saturday morning for the Derby World Wargames, my main (only) big show of the year. This time I managed to get away early so arrived in Brum at 2.30 with a few hours to spare before meeting friends. Upon recommendations my first call was Ian Allan’s bookshop just off New Street. I could have spent a fortune here, especially on WW2 stuff, but as that is not my main focus at the moment and I didn’t want to eat into my show budget, I refrained. Partly on the grounds that anything I saw and wanted would probably be at Derby the next day anyway! Still, definitely a recommended visit if in Brum.
Next call was to Wayland’s Forge, a new (to me) game shop in Fletcher’s Walk shopping arcade. They have a good range of Euro type games, fantasy figures and a small but respectable range of historicals. Highlight for me was them selling packs of Old Glory 15mm Ancients for £5 each. There were the old style packs with the 48 figs so were an excellent deal. I managed to be restrained and only bought 5 packs: 2 of Gallic Cavalry, 1 Lusitanian infantry, 1 Oscan Javelinmen and 1 Belisarian Heavy Cavalry. Bargain really but totally unplanned!
The evening was passed with a curry and visit to the far from salubrious Feller and Firkin in Erdington – a classy establishment we left once we’d ID’d the guys obviously looking for a fight! An early start saw us in Derby before 8.30 and in time for a good breakfast! I had a bit of running around to do for friends first – swapping stuff from the Newcastle Show – but then spent the day wandering round the show.
So what was it like this year? Well, the usual good selection of traders with the only problem for me (and a few others) was the lack of East Riding Miniatures (due to Tony having a leg injury) and consequently the main source for MDF bases. I’ve ordered mine online now so hopefully they’ll arrive this week.
Demo games were generally of a high standard, with a couple of good 6mm games on show. I had been looking forward to seeing the Guilford Courthouse game (by Barlaston Club – Stafford) but to be honest I was a little disappointed. Nice 28mm figures but the faux fur terrain just looked the wrong length and shade/s of green to me.
Had quite a long chat on this theme with Paul Marsh who was helping out on Flashing Blade and is a fellow 15mm British Grenadier player from the General de Brigade forums.
Other games that caught my eye? The Raid on St Nazaire was excellent and the 1st Corps/Curteys Miniatures Battle of Magnesia with very nicely painted 28mms looked the part.
And I had a nice chat with the guys on the Society of Ancients stall who were doing small participation games based on Neil Thomas’s Ancient and Medieval Wargaming rules. I had intended taking my good camera – but forgot – so the only pics I have are from the less than stellar camera on my phone!
It was also good to see Donnington there. Having just finished some of their Celtiberians it was nice to see the whole range on show and VERY nicely painted. Donnington always look a bit static and basic figures in their unpainted state. But with a few bent arms and a good paint job they look very good. Donnington offer a painting service and having seen the quality of the figures it’s one of the first I’ve been really tempted by!
I also picked up my copies of Extra Impetus 1 and 2 which Lorenzo had brought over from Italy as he was playing in the Impetus tournament. This was secreted away in the North Tower and took some finding. They all looked like they were having fun anyway!
There was obviously a lot more there but I was a little slack taking photos and spent a lot of time just chatting. The Bring and Buy was disappointing as well for me (the curse of eBay?) and I bought nothing. There was a large 15mm Polybian Roman and Spanish army but it was £140 and to be honest with the standard of the paint job I’d have thought twice at paying £40!
And so to the damage. What did I pick up on the trip?
- The five packs of Old Glory 15s the day before.
- Ospreys: Celtic Warrior, Rome’s Enemies: Spanish Armies, Late Roman Infantryman and Cavalryman.
- Ancient Warfare magazine on Rome’s Conquest of Spain
- 2 packs of Xyston Gallic Archers
- Freikorps: Rep. Roman Infantry command, generals and casualties.
- 1 pack of shield transfers
- 3 Museum Miniatures Spanish cavalry and 4 wagons
- a load of Baccus 6mm for the start of my Early Byzantines!
Although I’ve been trying to decide on scales etc. for this for a while I finally decided to give 6mm and Impetus a go. Baccus don’t do a specific range but a mix of Late Roman, Hun, Sassanid and Sarmatian figures will do the trick (especially in 6mm!) and I’m quite looking forward to putting these together. Pete at Baccus was very patient and helpful in sorting appropriate figures and I’ve just ordered another couple of packs and some of his ‘short’ static grass. This is not to say I won’t do an Early Byzantine in 15mm with Khurasan at some point, just that I want to focus my 15mm painting on Punic Wars and back to AWI for a while.
So overall it was a good day. Only marred by hitting Derby Station just as the Sheffield Wednesday supporters were leaving town! Once they cleared the train at Sheffield it was a good trip back, reading through my Ospreys and answering questions on Roman and Celtic Gods from the bloke sitting opposite who’s daughter was doing a school project on them!
Oh…and I met up with Eccles and Levied Troop from the WD3 Forums for the first time and was relieved to see they didn’t look anything like their avatars and were fine chaps to boot! It’s always good to put faces to the online persona’s and even better when you don’t regret meeting them! 🙂
Next up? Well, I’ll be finishing the basing on my Celtiberian BG in a day or so and they will appear here. And then I’ll sort the Balearic slingers and commands stands while planning how to do the Byzantines and what technique I’m going to use to paint them. I figure if I’m going to do anything 6mm then it better be now before my eyesight goes altogether!