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  • Writer's pictureBlaxkleric

“Colours" Showcase 2023

Updated: Sep 12, 2023


"Yes! We are on for Colours 23."

With my pleasant memories of last year's show at Newbury Racecourse, Berkshire, still firmly ensconced in my mind, it would arguably have been rather remiss of me to have failed to attend this year's "Colours" by Newbury & Reading Wargaming Society'. Sure, my previous journey to the site's Car Park 4 was a chaotic nightmare. But having learnt my lesson to check the show's website beforehand for directions, I felt reasonably confident that I'd be able to make the ninety minute long journey with far fewer frustrations than last time.

A view or two of the First Floor, including the "Lard Zone"

Disconcertingly though, my Sat Nav had other ideas, insisting that I enter the market town from the wrong direction and resultantly forcing me to slowly fight my way through some seriously heavy Saturday morning traffic. To make matters worse, it also repeatedly attempted to take me to the main entrance at the western side of the venue, so ultimately ended up being binned in favour of my memory from twelve months ago. This eventually saw me through safely enough, however, the complete lack of signs along the route was not helpful, and would certainly have been greatly appreciated.

Some of the demonstration/participation games put on by "Two Fat Lardies"

To mix things up a bit this time round, I decided to 'hit' the First Floor traders first. This choice turned out to be a good one too, as the large spacious area wasn't particularly busy, so I was able to mooch about the stalls relatively freely. Quite possibly the highlight of this initial 'scouting trip' was "Scarab Miniatures", who were selling some truly fantastic looking 28mm metal Great War figures for a mere 'pound a pop'. As such, I could quite easily have walked away with a significantly heavy bag load full of Austrians and French. Luckily, it was a little too early in the day to 'hit the trigger' quite yet, so I moved on before my wallet had a chance to inadvertently fly open.

More demonstration/participation games put on by "Two Fat Lardies"

Enjoyably, I next encountered the "Lard Zone" which had previously seen a lot of success at "Salute" 2023. Run by "Two Fat Lardies", this space had several of the company's games running, so I spent a short while thoroughly enjoying the different tables, genres and rule-sets on display. In addition, I was able to have a good look at the scenic wares of "The Last Valley", "F4 Freddie Terra Firma" and "Last Man, Last Bullet" - the latter of which had a number of World War One trench-works and Black Powder-era earthworks at various scales. A number of these seemed rather suitable for the American Civil War as well, so we ended up nattering for ten minutes about fortifications during this conflict, such as those at the Battle of Fredericksburg,

Plenty of scenic pieces on show by "The Last Valley, "Last Man, Last Bullet" & "F4 Freddie Terra Firma"

Following on from these visits, I ascended to the Second Floor and joined the jostle along the length of the show's Bring and Buy sale. To be honest, I found this one of the few disappointing aspects of this year's "Colours", as there simply wasn't a great deal to catch my interest due to it largely consisting of boxes full of painted miniatures. Doubtless many a visitor interested in such purchases scooped up a bargain or two. But for me there was a distinct lack of bare metal or plastic.

Some of the demonstration/participation games put on by the Society of Ancients

Instead, I busied myself looking at the different demonstration/participation games filling up the floor. A number of these caught my eye, most notably a 6mm battle being shown by the Society of Ancients for their intriguing "Mortem Et Gloriam" (MeG) rules. This biblical battle looked good and I was rather impressed when one of the members highlighted that the much larger sized tabletops surrounding me were all using the same game - just in different scales. Bemusingly though, I was then handed over to another fellow who seemingly felt the best way to sell me on the "multi-award-winning ancients wargames rules" was by quickly 'putting me in my place' for daring to even suggest that "Xenos Rampant" could be used to play some Napoleonic skirmishes - something I'm currently working towards.

A selection of models from "Gringo 40's" Vietnam range

Perhaps unsurprisingly, I therefore decided to promptly leave the area utterly uninvested in MeG, and instead briefly made my way around the other pitched battles before moving down to the Ground Floor. This was absolutely bustling with activity, with several stalls momentarily capturing my attention. Of particular note was "Gringo 40's", whose range of Vietnam War and Napoleonics had me drooling over their display cabinets.

A selection of models from "Gringo 40's" Napoleonic range

Ultimately however, I only succumbed to the usual suspects of "Warlord Games" and "Pendraken Miniatures" - who managed to ensnare me with a 15mm all-metal Siege Mortar Battery for Black Powder Epic Battles: American Civil War, and a ton of 10mm World War armoured vehicles respectively. Indeed, I felt a bit guilty just buying from two manufacturers who I regularly purchase from online, rather than from one of the numerous 'cottage industry' companies present at the show. But in the end, I decided to simply support my current hobby projects, rather than 'dip my toe' in yet another period or genre...

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Dai Dead
Dai Dead
Sep 14, 2023

Sounds like you dodged a bullet by sticking to purchases for existing project mate. You need new projects like you need a third nipple! :P


Very nice tables on display though. Also, heard on the WSS pod that it was extremely hot in there?

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Blaxkleric
Blaxkleric
Sep 14, 2023
Replying to

Thanks Dai. I've certainly now got enough Pendraken armoured vehicles to keep me busy for the foreseeable. LOL!! 😀 It was certainly warm in there. and funnily the first thing I did when entering the place was buy a coke. But it wasn't unbearable, imho, and I didn't feel it ever got to the point where I was uncomfortably hot.

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wsd50
Sep 12, 2023

Looks like it was a good show, with lots of lovely "candy" on show for the easily (and not so easily) tempted. I'm amazed you managed not to succumb to a new project though, you must be slipping mate! 🤣🤣🤣


Cheers Roger.

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Blaxkleric
Blaxkleric
Sep 12, 2023
Replying to

Cheers Roger. I really was initially rather tempted by "Mortem Et Gloriam" and the prospect of 6mm biblical battles, so that could have lead into a new project. Plus, I think if the Pendraken shelves had been less well stocked, I'd have tootled back upstairs to Scarab Miniatures and invested in a load of their 28mm Great War figures. Just the way the show panned out though. 😁

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undercoat2670
Sep 11, 2023

Firstly, thank you for great review of Colours. Secondly, hats off for braving the journey and the show in the heat of the weekend!

It doesn't look very busy or were your photos in clearer areas? I suspect the heat put a few people off though.

Great pictures, especially the Old Gringo Napoleonics and Vietnam ranges.

Cudos too for sticking to existing projects and not getting something new, although shows are great for the quirky and new aren't they?

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Blaxkleric
Blaxkleric
Sep 11, 2023
Replying to

Thanks Undercoat. It was definitely a bit of an adventure to get to Car Park 4, LOL. Though if I go next year I found a nearby road that I'll be heading for instead on the Sat Nav, and that should sort out its problem of always trying to get me to the front gate.


It wasn't that busy, imho, though I don't know what it was like for the actual traders. I understand it was fully booked for vendors. However, there were some weird ones there - two T-Shirt stalls for starters.!?!


The Gringo 40's stuff was first-rate and very tempting. But nothing really 'blew my socks off' - unlike last year where a few 'new' ranges seemed to…


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Guest
Sep 11, 2023

Glad you had a good day despite the heat and traffic. I heartily endorse your efforts to use Xenos Rampant for Naps, I might have to do the same now!

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Blaxkleric
Blaxkleric
Sep 11, 2023
Replying to

Cheers. I do plan to post some BatReps of our Nap games using XR & explaining my thoughts on the rules, just as soon as I've finished painting a few Frenchmen. 😀

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wargamesterrainworkshop
wargamesterrainworkshop
Sep 11, 2023

Sounds like you had a good time, apart from the travel (don't trust your SatNav ! LOL) amd you walked away with a few goodies as well to add to your current projects, and no new distractions as well ! LOL

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Blaxkleric
Blaxkleric
Sep 11, 2023
Replying to

Thanks Dave. The SatNav actually overheated on the drive home and needed to be switched off, so the temperature might have had something to do with it - even in the morning. I was extremely good, and perhaps even as soon as last year I may well have hit the trigger on Scarab Miniatures' Great War figure deal. LOL!!!

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