I slept properly last night for the first time in ages... ten whole hours! Why? Because I was completely exhausted after Salute.
I was up at 06.00hrs (after a fairly sleepless night) to travel to London on Friday morning. Had a leisurely trip, lunch and a bit of waiting before getting into the venue at about 13.20hrs. I bumped into the Rev and Akula from Frothers and while I was waiting for the van to arrive, I helped the Rev unpack his scenery and I can safely say it was pretty disturbing...
Unpacking the van with the crew didn't take as long as I had expected; we automatically worked as a team and that made the work fly by. Once we'd finished setting up as far as possible, we booked into our hotel and then had a few beers before popping out for dinner... and a few more beers... and a sleepless night caused by the water-pipes in the hotel whistling all night.
The final stand prep started at 07.05hrs and was all finished by about 09.15hrs so there was a short time to hit the stands before the doors opened.
Once the doors opened, we had a constant stream of punters to the Hasslefree stand and the only time there was a bit of a lull was when the painting results were being presented so by the end of the day, all of us were done-in.
So... Major thanks go to:
Neil, who managed to do his share AND direct us all to set the stand up properly.
Dave, who I don't think has a flustered bone in his body.
Jason, who has the gift and can wrangle money out of punters like a pro.
Scott, another professional salesman who also managed to get a mention in the painting competition.
Matt, who managed to arrive and join the team even though he was in casualty first thing with his poorly bairn.
...and of course Dameon, who was running the Artemis Black stand and still answering all of our queries and keeping an interested eye over the Hasslferee stand too.
I'd also like to thank all the people who came and said 'hi' and give a big shout out to all the Frothers I met too.
I had a great day and although I was completely exhausted by the time I got home, it was a satisfied tiredness that comes with knowing that we all did a good job. The team was a joy to work with.
Obviously, it wasn't the same without Kev and Sally being there... and I know that if Sarah had been there, the Goblin Aid tin would have been over-flowing!
Salute seemed to be packed again this year and I think sales were very good. There were some great tables (the Frothers corner had some very original and interesting games on the go), a good mix of cos-players, plenty of variety in the games, lots of stands and it seemed to be very well run apart from a few delays here and there... which didn't seem to be too much of an issue (apart from the usual discord about the length of the queues and waiting to get in).
I even had time in amongst everything to go and do a small amount of shopping... I guess I should share the haul...
3 broken down, Corvus walkers that need a bit of work (a bargain for the price - cheers, Ben).
1 GZG 'power-loader' mech (15mm).
2 Antenociti Spider weapon support platforms (15mm).
1 ALF and 1 Alien trooper from Four A miniatures.
5 Sharclons from Heresy Miniatures.
2 Graku and the mounted knight on lizardy thing from Twilight Miniatures.
16 Grymn in powered armour from Hasslefree miniatures.
1 Kev Adams pack from Wargames Foundry.
1 Salute 2012 mug (it was going cheap and looked lonely).
On the negative side, I picked up the free carrier bag with the guide and miniature inside (I bought a standard ticket, just to do this... even though I had a traders badge) and put it away straight away without looking inside. That meant I didn't get my free rucksack from Kaiser Rushforth :(... DAMN!
A few insta-thoughts about the day...
The Docklands Light Railway is cool.
The Saturday morning, walking to the venue was glorious, with sunshine, crisp air and swans asleep on the Thames.
My feet hurt.
VAT caused a few frowns.
Friendly people (especially the HF team).
Comraderie and fun.
Today, I am having a complete rest. I have unpacked and sorted out my Salute haul and have called it a day. When I have found some enthusiasm, I will try to put some pix together... but it will be next week I reckon.
See you from a point in time and space!