Befreiungskriege 1813-14

Painting and modelling 28mm Napoleonic wargaming miniatures

Home from Salute 2007

Posted by Martin on April 23, 2007

Well, here I am, safely back from Salute with nothing worse than sore feet and a lighter wallet! Overall, I reckon this year’s Salute has been the most enjoyable that I’ve attended and, given a couple more years at ExCel, I’ll even adjust the the aircraft hangar atmosphere.

It’s hard to know where to start with the highlights this year so, instead, I’m going to get the one disappointment off my chest early. Most years the organizers invite some re-enactors along to liven up things. Now, one of my cousins is an avid member of the Sealed Knot, so I don’t have anything particular against re-enactors. However, this year’s lot were not my cup of tea. It’s not the fact that they were a WW2 German re-enactor group, it’s not even the fact that some of the adults wore SS uniforms. No, what got my goat, was the fact that children accompanying the group were dressed in Hitler Youth uniforms. Frankly, I can’t see any defence for dressing up impressionable young people like this.

My antecedents didn’t fight in a war against fascism to see it glorified like this. Yes, its true that they fought for freedom of speech, and that includes the freedom for people to dress how they like. But with freedom, comes responsibility. And the first responsibility these people have to accept is that, just as they have a right to dress as they please, I have a right to express my opinion of that way of dressing. The second responsibility is more serious: it’s fine for adults to make an informed decision to don an SS uniform and even valid to do so as part of a mature examination of military history. But to put children in these uniforms? Well, that’s just going too far. I hope the organizers take a long hard think about what kind of re-enactors they choose to invite to Salute 2008. Nuff said.

So now on to more enjoyable matters. Firstly, I’d like to offer some congratulations to some people who I have the privilege to know and link to from here. David Imrie’s Polish winged hussars picked up first prize for Historical Wargames Unit in the painting competition. Get over to David’s site for photos of these beauties. Secondly, congraluations to Giles Allison and his colleagues in Loughton Strike Force for winning the Most Impressive Troops in the display games awards. Their 28mm game of the French cavalry charges at Waterloo was stupendous as you can see from this posting on Giles’ blog and from the many photos that are showing up in the pictures section of Steve Dean’s forum and other places.

Wow! Now that’s the sort of thing that really inspires you to lock yourself in a room with the paints until next year’s show. And painting inspiration is exactly what I need given that Peter F. has reminded me of our pact to both enter a unit at the Colours painting competition in September. This is now a matter of honour between us 🙂

My other great pleasure at Salute this time around was to catch up with so many of the new friends I’m making in the hobby. In some cases, it has been a case of putting faces to names for the first time – a example being the aforementioned Giles. Both Peter F. and I admired his horse painting skills on his two units of Dutch-Belgian cavalry. In other cases, it was the happy chance to spend an extended coffee break in the company of the likes of Peter Royle, Bill Gaskin and Rob Baker.

Plus, of course, Peter F. and I toured the stands together. For all you Calpe-ites, I now have in my possession early castings of the new Prussian cavalry and artillery command sets as well as two mounted Feldjaeger figures intended for use as ADCs. Photos to follow later in the week. Peter F is working to complete the Prussian range. Some of this is reworking of older figures to make them consistent with the way his scuplting style and skill has developed; some of it is to fill in the gaps – one notable example will be the infantry of the Prussian guard. Plans for what comes next after the Prussians are definitely firming up and Peter has consulted a lot of friends about the next steps. I, for one, am really excited about what Peter has in mind but he’s not quite ready to make an announcement, so I’ll be like dad and keep mum.

7 Responses to “Home from Salute 2007”

  1. Murray said

    Thanks Martin. Been hanging out for your report. Congrats to Giles and co. Also, nice to get a little info on Calpe.



  2. Peter H. said

    Hi Martin, the NZ assault continues!

    Like Murray, thanks for your Salute 07 report. I’ve seen many pictures of some nice games and I’ve enquired on Giles blog on the result of his game. I know the result is academic and that it’s the playing/displaying that matters but still I’m curious.

    So to Calpe. Dragoons resculpted (presumably with volunteer jager) and foot guards/gardes. More command sets, more Lutzow freicorps, the kuirassieres and volunteer jager, perhaps and some national cavalry. I’m hoping that line grenadiers are still planned. To my knowledge they’ve been on, off and then (hopefully still) on. I need the brave Second East Prussian Grenadiers for my brigade and can’t wait to see how Peter would sculpt them as his technique has moved on since he did the musketeers and fusiliers all those figures / years ago (assuming he did the grenadiers from scratch). Hmm, I wonder what other delights Mr Fitzgerald has up his sleeve?

    Peter H., getting ready to celebrate ANZAC day tomorrow (25th April)

  3. Dave Imrie said

    Thanks Martin, sorry we didn’t get a chat!

  4. Giles said

    Hi Martin

    Very good to meet you and Peter. Thanks for the comments on our game – glad you liked it. I thought the general standard of games was astonishingly high.

    As for Von Peter’s question about who won – I don’t know myself!


  5. Richard Jackson said

    VP et al
    No clear result I am afraid-with all the networking and sneaking off to buy/look at other games we didnt get to a conclusion.Have posted a bit on the G de b site but it seemed most likely that the cavalry alone would not have broken enough squares to force a victory-which is probably historically accurate.
    The french had some success in denuding the allies of artillery but this just meant that the cavalry could ride around with a degree of impunity.They werent able to break more than one square and that occurred after a huge bit of softening up with artillery.
    Given more time the French may have been able to repeat that occurence or bring up some infantry but just like Bony -we had no time,nor indeed any infantry ( there was no room to field any!)
    Personally it was a fantastic experience and took me back to those pictures in Charles Grants book Napoleonic Wargaming of Peter Gilders collection in action.
    If we can persuade Doug Birnie ( who sculpted the terrain boards) to do the terrain to the other side of La Haye Sainte we might put on D,erlons assault and the Scots Greys as well as the cavalry charges-just need to persuade the Warlords to give us a 24 ft long table

  6. Peter H. said

    Thanks for that Richard, and not a big surprise either. Too many distractions at a convention, and getting a result is not really the aim.

    Going by the number of posts and pictures I’ve seen on the web the organisors, painters, terrain makers and participants must be very pleased with the results of their efforts.

    It certainly looked good from over here on the other side of the world. To all those involved, I salute you! 8O)

    Peter H., aka von Peter

  7. Martin said

    A quick postscript on the re-enactors situation. The Salute 2007 organizers, South London Warlords, have posted a letter of apology on TMP. I think they’ve acted honourably here and that ought to enable people to draw the matter to a close.

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