I returned home from Salute2011 at about 21:00hrs last night after a long day in London.
I was so keen to go to Salute that on Friday night (coupled with a continuous 'machine gun' sound that was emanating from somewhere inside my left ear all night), I didn't sleep at all so that is why Saturday was such a long day...
I will apologise now for having no photos...I really didn't have the time or enthusiasm for taking any (even though I had my camera with me).
This year I managed to get lucky and jump on all the right trains, have no travel problems and arrive at the venue for about 09:15hrs.
The Excel centre in London Docklands was exactly as it was last year, with plenty of places to buy food/drink and plenty of places to withdraw cash if you needed to. The venue for Salute had moved up a couple of halls but it was just as large as last year so there was enough space for everyone to potter about.
The queues were enormous and there seemed to be a lot more people at the show than last year. There were the usual mix of Storm-Troopers milling around and plenty of people giving out flyers and information. The Salute goody bag was pretty cool...Kaiser Rushforth had put a storage carrier in there and the Salute miniature was very nice...there was also a tiny little metal car...and the program with a bunch of flyers.
Once in the venue, I spent most of the day helping out at the Hasslefree Miniatures stand and chatting to so many people that I couldn't possibly remember everyone. So everyone who made the time to come and say hello, thank you! You were well met! Just from the volume of people traversing the store, I was kept busy finding specific miniatures and helping people to spend money (as were everyone else!).
At about 14:00hrs I went for a much needed coffee, pastrami sandwich and bottle of water before having a quick wander around the stands. This year (again!), I didn't really pay too much attention to all of the game boards but managed to remember to stop at Brandlin's FANTASTIC Twilight table (a work of art to be sure) and miss out on the Frother's Cthueldo table (which won a prize on the day...WELL DONE FU-UK!).
People of note were:
Gwartist...Thank you for your more than generous gift of a small box bulging at the seams with 15mm goodness. You sir, are a true gent and were very well met on the day. I still owe you a coffee and cake (and an ear-bending for camo-painting tips!).
Vermis...I always enjoy looking at people's sculpting and some of the gems that were emerging from the little tupperware box were a joy to behold. I look forward to seeing finished sculpts very soon...and the Halfling was unbelievably detailed for something so tiny!
Every one on the Hasslefree stand...Neil, Sarah, Mr and Mrs Gomez, Gi6ers, Sally and Kev, it was an absolute pleasure spending the day with you all.
Brandlin...The table looked outstanding and I hope that the level of interest in your laser etched products, expands exponentially. I know it was a tough day but the table was worth the trouble.
Carcharoth...as enthusiastic and friendly as ever.
All those who took the time to come and say hello...I may not have remembered names but the faces, I recalled! Thank you for coming to say hello...it is people like yourselves that make Salute such a great day for me.
So...what the hell did I come home with?
From Hasslefree Miniatures:
20 Grymn Heavy Infantry
3 Grymn Heavy Pulse Gunners
1 Grymn Comms Officer
1 Meg in Powered Armour
1 packet of tiny ball-bearings (steel balls, chrome spheres...whatever you want to call them)
From Heresy Miniatures:
20 Sci-Fi Troopers
From Twilight Miniatures:
1 Trader on Enuk
4 Enuk Pack Animals
From Studio McVey:
1 Male Drone
From Critical Mass Games:
3 Protolene Ayame "Scout Variant" (little War-Walkers)
6 Protolene Ayame "Predator Variant" (little War-Walkers)
1 Salute2011 General on Horseback
1 Tiny metal car
1 Kaiser Rushforth Storage Box Carrier
1 treasure trove of 15mm vehicles and equipment
Today is a day of recuperation and reflection with maybe a small amount of looking at and sorting out the haul.
All I can add to this rambling post is to say that I am really looking forward to next year!
See you across the sea of people!