Safely home after what felt like a very long day, it is time to reflect, albeit briefly, on the mighty hobby jamboree that is 'Salute'. I have to confess that I very nearly didn't go this year, even having already bought the tickets, which incidentally I realised that I had left at home half an hour into the journey - thank goodness for smart phones! The truth of the matter is that I have been feeling a little under the weather having picked up a summer cold, nothing too serious, but it is conspiring to make me even more grumpy than usual. However, buoyed by the irrepressible enthusiasm of my good friend the 'Provost Marshal' we set off on what was to prove a relatively stress free, if somewhat tedious, journey.
We arrived at the venue just after eleven, in time for a goody bag, but avoiding the queueing system and set about gorging ourselves on all the wondrous hobby eye candy. Although I didn't have a shopping list per se, I did bring my pocket money and it wasn't long before I was doing my bit for the economy. On the crude subject of money, I did spend a lot, especially when I consider the areas of 'Awdry Towers' that have fallen into a dilapidated state and are in desperate need of decoration and here was I spending money on toy soldiers! I have managed to square this away by restricting my outlay to the money saved in my piggy bank over the course of a year. From one Salute to the next any pound coins not snaffled by the 'Saintly Mrs. Awdry' are squirrelled away and then cashed up ahead of the great event; simple but effective. That said the cost of Salute has been troubling me of late and there had been a number of conversations before the event about whether or not it was worth it? I have to confess that I was starting to think the same as just my entry ticket and train fare meant that I was over £50 down before I walked into the venue, add a couple of foaming ales and a pasty into the mix and it really is starting to make my wallet wince! Just out of curiosity, I totted up the potential savings in not having to pay postage and packing this morning and even when with over estimating from the seven different companies that I had bought from that total only came to £28 - something isn't right here.
I have no doubt that I will continue to go to 'Salute', but I need to stop thinking about it as a shopping trip, that is clearly nonsense. What 'Salute' does if feed my creativity just by seeing all the wonderful tables, painting and sheer enthusiasm that there is for this most wholesome of hobbies gives me such a boost. A very important part of that boost is meeting up with the fellow bloggers and once again I was delighted to catch up with some old friends and just as importantly put faces to names of new ones. So to finish the now compulsory swag photograph, although I have just realised that a couple (or four!) packs from 'Sarissa Precision' have missed the photo-call.
I did take my camera and managed to take a couple of shot of things that caught my attention, but as the day went on and I became more weary the camera was put away. Two wonderful ideas for Bushido boards, one a snowy demo board by 'GCT Studios' themselves and the other a superb showpiece by '4 Ground', both outstanding!
A couple of examples of the some wonderful demo boards that caught my eye, Frostgrave still interests me, especially when the table looks this good.
I don't think anyone could fail to be impressed by the 'Renedra' Castle, it is a thing of beauty, but who can afford to buy it? The one at the show is bigger than the catalogued large castle so I'm guessing somewhere in the region of £300?
This 'Crooked Dice' demo game really made me smile, especially seeing the 'Ironsides' docked by the rig, certainly something to aspire to.