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  • Writer's pictureBlaxkleric

“Salute 50" Showcase 2023 - Part One: Greetings And Meetings

Updated: Apr 26, 2023


"Celebrating fifty years of the South London Warlords running Salute."

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.”

"Our aim is to promote the very best in the hobby."

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.

Some of the displays by "Warp Miniatures", "Monkstone Miniatures" and "Olmec Games"

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...

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Dai Dead
Dai Dead
Apr 24, 2023

Sounds like a good time!


Shame about the meetup though - always enjoy trying to match up faces with blogger names from the pics.


Got a pic of that Jarl mini?

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Blaxkleric
Blaxkleric
Apr 24, 2023
Replying to

Thanks Dai. It was excellent. I may well have the Jarl miniature based and primed as part of the final posting covering Salute 50 in which I cover my loot. 😉

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ctpackham99
Apr 23, 2023

Should have made the meet up mate. We had about 16 people attend in the end.

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Blaxkleric
Blaxkleric
Apr 23, 2023
Replying to

Yeah. With hindsight moving away was a mistake. As I say I had just thanked Big Lee for his YouTube videos and was right beside the Painting Competition area, when I found out the likes of Ray and Tamsin weren't there. So I instead nipped over to Entoyment's booth and got lost amongst all the FoW goodies. I also missed out on meeting a few people I regularly converse with over FB too. I certainly intend to be there for next year.

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wsd50
Apr 23, 2023

Glad to hear it was better than last time, My son and his girlfriend went, lot easier to get to from the midlands than the Northwest! But he didn't buy anything but a few brushes from ABC brushes (I think)! He was after the Battletech starter (again I think) but it seems no one actually had it. I'd have found something to buy myself (but that's the difference between us I guess).


However if he buys his house in the next few months (as planned) I might be able to stay the night there and come next year!


Nice write up by the way, and looking forward to seeing your latest additions to the lead pile!

😁


Cheers Roger.

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Blaxkleric
Blaxkleric
Apr 23, 2023
Replying to

Thanks Roger. It was excellent, imho, and I only left when I did because my bag was full and heavy. LOL!!! I did see the Battletech Starter box for sale on a stall down near the Cafeteria. But perhaps they'd gone by the time your son visited it..? To be honest I didn't see much of that particular game about. But perhaps I was distracted by all the FoW goodies people were selling for some insanely cheap prices.!!


I'll be covering the games I took inspiration from in the next posting, and then follow that up with my "additions to the lead pile" in a third one. There was so much to see, do and buy that I'd be typing…

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undercoat2670
Apr 23, 2023

Sounds like a vast improvement on last year and it was lovely to read your summary and thoughts.

Those pictures in the middle of the article of display tables look awesome. Some great looking and intriguing models on show!

Glad you had a good time and got some bargains.

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Blaxkleric
Blaxkleric
Apr 23, 2023
Replying to

Cheers Undercoat. Salute was definitely back to its best, imho. It was busy throughout my stay and there was a tremendous sense of energy in the hall which was lacking last time.


My only gripe was my bag got so heavy & full with goodies that it became a burden lugging it around - which was my main motivator for leaving - otherwise I'd have done at least another tour or two of the hall, as I was invariably spotting new things I'd missed on previous circles. LOL!!! Some of the deals on the bigger starter sets for various games were also so tempting. But the boxes were too big to lug around - thankfully.


The tables were excellent, and…

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wargamesterrainworkshop
wargamesterrainworkshop
Apr 23, 2023

Good that you had a good time Simon, and managed to pick up some bargains. I felt there were a lot less traders than previous years, as most of the outer wall was clear of stands. I didn't stay long as most of the traders I was hoping to see weren't there plus my health wasn't great.

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Blaxkleric
Blaxkleric
Apr 23, 2023
Replying to

Sorry to hear about you feeling under the weather Dave. I did notice the back wall was empty as I always turn right when I enter Salute and visit all the outer stalls first before working my way along the middle booths. I couldn't do that this year though as apart from four sellers (including Warp Miniatures as I recall) there were only stalls on the two ends. However, I was actually a bit grateful as it allowed me to more easily pass around the edges of mid-floor sellers and actually see what they were selling without fear of clattering into people looking at other stalls.


I did see the odd empty table. But thought all the usual big names…


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