“Salute 50" Showcase 2023 - Part One: Greetings And Meetings
Updated: Apr 26
Considering that “the biggest and best independent one day show in the United Kingdom” didn’t happen last year, I must confess to having been both extremely excited and nervous about attending “Salute 50”. I’ve been visiting the event since its days at the Olympia in London, and had many wonderful memories of the items bought, stalls visited, and people encountered during these trips. Regrettably, the last show in November 2021 wasn’t the greatest of experiences for various reasons, most notably the no-shows, so I was really hoping South London Warlords would be able to help me put that disappointment behind me.
Happily, I needn’t have worried as upon arriving at the ExCeL convention centre in Custom House it was clear the venue was seriously sizeable and packed full of vendors, inspirational demonstrations and participation games. Admittedly, my eagerness did mean I was stood in the increasingly large queue an hour before the ‘doors opened’. But I didn’t mind a bit as my position provided me with a great opportunity to stare into the vast hall and plot a rough path to all the prominent sellers I could see. Furthermore, the time allowed me to peruse the show’s nostalgic-flavoured guide – produced by “Miniature Wargames” – as well as marvel at the Viking Jarl celebratory figure which “was designed and manufactured by Warlord Games.”
The best part of such visits is always meeting both fellow bloggers, stall holders and other notable personalities within our hobby. This year was no exception with Karl Perrotton of “Crooked Dice Game Design Studio” winning most enthusiastic greeting of the day when he suddenly bounded out of an incredibly busy booth to shake me by the hand. Ten minutes later I left him having bought a dozen metal miniatures and gained a basic insight into his company’s future plans concerning STL (Standard Triangle Language) files.
The greeting from Leon over at “Pendraken Miniatures” was no less warm though, and whilst his stall’s frenzied customers didn’t give me any time to chat with him, it was encouraging to see I wasn’t the only person filling my basket full of his 10mm metal goodness. Plus, I was able to thank him for liking my tweets concerning the six Sherman tanks I recently discovered and painted. Needless to say, those Allied armoured vehicles won’t be going into future battles alone for much longer.
Another notable highlight was being able to finally meet Peter Buxton of “Trans Atlantis Games”, who very kindly sent me out an entire set of “Duncan Rhodes Two Thin Coats” paints late last year to trial. Unfortunately, I wasn’t able to thank the former Games Workshop presenter himself as he was inundated with people wanting to meet him. But I did later on have the chance to briefly chat with his old ‘partner-in-crime’ Chris Peach, who jokily took exception to hearing that his friend’s booth was proving very popular.
Lastly, I was able to speak to Big Lee of “Miniatures Adventures” fame of YouTube. I had intended to then move on to the annual bloggers meeting, which ordinarily congregates next to the Painting Competition area. However, I was told that only a few of us had actually managed to make the show, so found myself being quickly lured away by some very reasonably priced “Flames Of War” bargains at the nearby "Entoyment Wargaming And Hobby Centre" and "Frome Model Centre" stalls...