Befreiungskriege 1813-14

Painting and modelling 28mm Napoleonic wargaming miniatures

Salute: after the dust has settled

Posted by Martin on April 26, 2011

Now a week has passed and I feel as though I’ve had sufficient time to digest the big day. So what sticks in my memory? In no particular order I recall:

  • The queue: it felt the longest I’ve ever seen it but, as with last year, it seemed to move smoothly under the experienced control of the South London Warloards marshals. The one thing that I did notice was that the advance purchase “queue buster” queue was as long as the pay-on-the-door queue and seemed to progress more slowly. I’ve never been a fan of the “queue buster” approach and I think this year has justified my standpoint.
  • David Imrie, Paul Darnell and Andy Taylor’s ECW demo game: a circular set-up which I think worked surprisingly well. It was a great combination of Paul’s excellent terrain making skills and David and Andy’s terrific figure painting. Plus, the bonus for me is that any game these guys put on at a show gives me a handy place to rest my weary feet and have a friendly chat for a while.
  • Barry Hilton’s Peninsular War Republic to Empire demo game: yes, I’ve seen this scenery before but it’s great to see the Barry out there promoting his rules and to see the continuing high level of interest in them. We now seem to be past the TMP-style whinging phase and more rational heads are prepared to give the rules a try rather than letting unsubstantiated prejudice gain the upper hand. I had a good chat with Barry and he informs me that he and Clarence have almost completed the new edition of the Beneath the Lily Banners ruleset (for the Grand Alliance period), which means Clarence will soon start work on producing a beautified PDF version of my Prussian guide for Republic to Empire. The plan is for this to be made available as a free download, so watch out for news of that later in the year.
  • Gallipoli scenery: easily the best terrain set-up I’ve seen in recent years was this cliff-face and trench combination that appears to have been put together by a combination of different traders and talents. I’m ashamed to admit that I failed to note the names of those who deserve credit for this eye-catcher.
  • The painting competition: it sticks in my mind but not for the best of reasons. Sure, the quality of entries seems as good as ever but the excitement of peering into the display cases has waned for me. Partly, it’s the decline of historical entries (and the fact that some of those seem to get relegated to the bottom shelf) but mainly it’s the increasingly unpleasant jostling that goes on – I just couldn’t enjoy a period of detailed study of the entries, despite making several attempts during the course of the day. Perhaps I’m just turning into a curmudgeon or is it too controversial of me to imagine a link between this situation and the increasing amount of fantasy figures in the competition?
  • Warlord Prussian Napoleonics: nope, they’re just not for me. That applies the both the metal and the plastic figures and that’s as much as I think I should say on the subject It’s a pity really, because some of the ideas for the metal command packs and casualty figures are clever but the execution simply doesn’t do the concepts justice.
  • Victrix Plastic Napoleonics: actually, these are quite good. However, the subjects they’ve chosen (British and now Austrian and Russian) don’t fit my plans. I do like the sculpting work on their French Imperial Guard figures though.
  • Perry Miniatures: there’s been a lot of hype about the six new plastic sets for which 3-ups were to be unveiled at Salute. I’ll pass over the medieval, ACW and American War of Independences sets – I’m sure others with specific interest in those will have lots to say (Giles?). The three new Napoleonic sets were Austrian (German) line infantry, Russian line infantry and Prussian reserve infantry. The first two sets are sure to put the cat among the pigeons and demonstrate the Perrys’ long term plans to break out of the 1815 campaign. They’ll come with a range of head options so, with the Russians for example, you’ll be able to do pre-1807 shakos, 1812 kiwer shakos and other options for grenadiers. The Prussian reserve infantry 3-ups seemed a little dull to me and come with only minimal kit options.
  • Wargames, Soldiers and Strategy: hmmm, high production values, entirely in English (at least the edition I inspected) but a little thin. Perhaps such leanness is to be expected from a recently ressurected corpse, though. I wish them well!

And to close, a couple of things that passed me by unnoticed: this year’s ACW theme, a really top quality selection of books (none of the traders seemed to have brought their best stock) and somebody (anybody?) stocking Andrea paints. Yes, I know I can order them online but, for a paint addict like me, there’s no substitute for sniffing the acrylic and squeezing the dropper bottles.


28 Responses to “Salute: after the dust has settled”

  1. Rob said

    It’s interesting to read your input, especially from the perspective of someone in North America where a show like this is almost unheard of. For me looking at all the pictures, the Gallipoli set up looked fantastic, as did the Battle of Verneuil (HYW). As far as the new products go:

    1) I agree that the Warlord prussian plastics and metals are just not satisfatory, on any level except for the purely financial. After holding the models, I can’t imagine wanting to paint them, or being pleased fielding them.

    2) The Victrix russian line (the metal ones sculpted by Paul Hicks) look wonderful, and are very tempting. I am still very unconvinced about their plastics, which I found (based on the british) to be inferior to the Perry ones (and a huge pain to assemble).

    3) The perry plastics, on the other hand, are very tempting, especially now that they are covering many of the major forces. It will be interesting to see, even with their quick output, if they can support ranges (artillery, command, skirmishers) for all these new armies along with all of their other interests. The plastic mounted men at arms for the late middle ages are already a must buy though, as they are just too wonderful… tons of memories of toy knights there! Did you see the Prussian Line close up, Martin? and if so, what did you think of them?

    4) For me, the big news was still the Calpe French… I am waiting with baited breath to see the rest of the first french release, especially to see Peter’s sculpts for the officers and Eagle bearers!


    • Martin said

      Ah – I knew I’d forgotten something! Yes, I did see the Perry plastic Prussian line infantry. I actually got to handle a couple of sprues and I’d say that they’re on a par with their plastic French line infantry. So if you like those, you won’t be disappointed by these. For me, it’s a matter of personal taste and I find the Perry plastics just don’t quite do it for me. It’s hard to say why but I find myself coming back to odd little things like the blanket rolls not being chunky enough and a certain lack of paintable definition of details like the drummer’s shoulder swallow’s nests.

      I also made a close inspection of the Perry metal Prussian foot artillery packs. There’s a lot of variety here because the figure sets are available with French, British or Prussian ordnance. These figures, though, I found more disappointing. The Perry twins have such great talent but I’m fast reaching the conclusion that they’re in too much of a rush. These Prussian artillery metals illustrate that – lots of details seem half finished and I know that they’re figures I just won’t enjoy painting. Add to that the fact that whoever they employ to do their metal casting seems careless and leaves flash and vent runners that need plenty of clean-up work.

    • I shall comment on the Warlord plastics only. Right now I have a mixed unit of Landwehr on my table (14 Calpe, 6 Warlord plastics). The plastics are far from being a joy to paint. The general flatness makes it hard to pick out highlights and the lack of detail on the back makes painting their equipment a headache. My personal favourite is the trooper where the crossbelts are under the backpack straps on his chest, but over them on his back. I got so annoyed painting them, that I have traded in the remaining plastics from the pack.

      I have also ordered myself some of their metal minis (the mounted command and the trail arms pack) to see how those turn out. They are better then the plastics, but slimmer. Unfortunately they seem to follow the trend of their recent WWII releases, which have a distinct comicbook feel to them. While I think I will keep them, I am still unsure how to use them.

  2. Phil said

    Andrea paints. I bought these based on your mention of them here. I’m very happy with them. The blue set is the best paint I’ve ever used. I haven’t warmed to the flesh set, but I get good use from the white and black sets also.

    • Rob said

      I love the Andrea White set… it is easily the best white paints I have used. It was well worth tracking them down online.


  3. Giles said

    Hi Martin. Interesting observations and I agree with most of them. The advance tickets queue was a good deal longer than the other one, which had disappeared completely by the time I was anywhere near the entrance. Of course next year it will be then other way around because no one will bother buying the advance tickets! The Gallipoli terrain was built by Dave Bodley of Grand Manner (and was indeed amazing). There were many very high-quality demo games, I thought.

    I didn’t see the Perry metal Prussians but I bought a box of the plastics and your assessment re the plastic French infantry is quite apposite. There will always be a certain lack of definition in the march attack pose (e.g. where the musket sits alongside the left flank), so you pays your money and you takes your choice, I suppose. I found my 2 test figures quite easy to paint up, but I appreciate that I’m new to Prussians and therefore not particularly fussy (or discriminating). Incidentally, I see that this year’s historical unit painting comp category was one by a unit of the French plastic infantry – that’s a first, I think.

    Best wishes


  4. Hi Martin,
    WSS 54 actually has eight more pages than the last issues of WSS ‘old style’. We’ll try to add some more over the next issues.



    • Martin said

      Thanks for the clarification Jasper. I think I must have been thinking of some of the older issues in my collection rather than that last one you mention. Well, that’s good news then. Now if you happen to be looking for contributors for Napoleonic articles…

    • I must admit to a little confusion regarding the reborn English edition WSS.

      Is the English edition just a translation of the Spanish version (assuming the Spanish version is still with us!) … or is it just using the name (and I’ve heard some very sound reasons for doing this regarding the high street stores) and all articles are written for the English version … or is it somewhere in the middle of the prior two options?

      von Peter himself

      • Martin said

        Ah, Peter, now that Jasper is a follower of this blog, I’ll leave it to him to give the official answer. He is the publisher, after all!

        • Hello Martin

          Yes I spotted Jasper. Quite a following you are garnering. Long may it continue!

          Jasper and I are almost mates – I listen to him on The History Network podcast which has discussions based on his Ancient Warfare magazine. I wonder if there will be a podcast for his Medieval Warfare magazine?

          von Peter himself

          • Hi Peter
            You listen to our blathering on? Wonderful. 🙂
            Medieval Warfare will probably have a podcast of its own sometime, as soon as its editor overcomes his shyness (and a bit more of his Dutch accent).


      • Hi Peter,
        As far as I know the Spanish edition is still being published by Revistas Profesionales. Karwansaray Publishers have simply bought the rights and the back issues of the English edition. That’s all. The link to the previous version consists of the name, the former editor – Guy Bowers – and the spirit in which the original magazine was created.


  5. Gary Amos said

    Well Martin, if you’re becoming a curmudgeon, it’s quite a common feeling I’m afraid. At one time the main complaint about shows was the preponderance of backpacks and B.O., but these days jostling seems to have outstripped them in the behavior stakes.

    I’m down to just the two Partizans now purely for that reason and I attend those shows mainly to catch up with friends. However, I wonder if there might be an overall effect on new gamers who’re attending their first show? It certainly wouldn’t endear me to the hobby.

  6. Doc said

    Hi there Martin – only a (very) occasional poster on your forum but after reading your Salute comments was wondering if you are aware of any further imagery from the ECW demo? Paul’s terrain is excellent as you say and Saxon Dog’s (Dave) figure painting sublime so I was looking forward to seeing something of their planned ECW demo online but alas, can find nothing!

    I agree with your comments about the Warlord (& Perry) Prussians and have noticed how bland some of the detail on recent plastic sets (French Hussars notwithstanding – they are magnificent)and the rough finish on some of their recent metals. The French Guard Lancers I recently purchased seem to have a lot more mold production marks – flash etc, than their earlier stuff. Its a pity they didn’t do lancers in plastic in my opinion but the news of their intended Austrians and Russians will more than make up for that omission! They will inevitably give Victrix a run for their money although Victrix do have a headstart and Perrys have some tooling issues with the Russians (they may have to make them in two separate boxes for all the head variants). From looking at the Austrian green 3-ups, they ave a few accuracy problems as Dave Hollins (the expert on anything Austrian) commented on recently. Austrian officers wore a sash over their greatcoat and the standards did not carry ribbons its these sort of noticeable details that would have to be corrected before the tooling stage – where Michael Perry says they are at the moment. Victrix do not appear to have these issues.

    Also, I note that Victrix have recently produced some beautiful Russian cuirassiers (in metal like the rest of their Ruskies) – if Perry do plan to ‘break out’ of the 1815 armies, they will face some stiff competition.

    • Martin said

      Hi Doc – good to hear from you here. Both David and Paul has posted pictures of their ECW demo on their own blogs. Maybe you’ve already seen them but, just in case, here’s a pair of links to relevant postings:

      David’s posting

      Paul’s posting

      By the way, I took a quick look at your blog and I’m amazed at how you manage to find the time to maintain an interest in such a diverse range of periods. I have to be very single-minded and concentrate on 1813-4 to get anything done!

  7. Hello Martin,

    Really enjoyed reading your Salute write up and many thanks for kind words about our game.
    Not sure if we spoke on the day, but will be there next year, so please give me a prod. I’m the tall good looking guy and David and Andrew, were the two hairy barbarians from the wild woolly north.

    All the best


  8. Giles said

    Full pics of the Perry Prussian releases are now on the Perry website. The command figures have even been painted!

  9. Alan Miggin said

    I was not able to attend Salute this year, I live in Sheffield and usually go to the Triples show. I am interested in early period Austrians and Russians so I was very excited to hear about the forthcoming new plastic sets from the Perrys. I was also frustrated in that they had the greens on dispaly at Salute but haven’t seen fit to publish any pictures of them on their website! Does anyone know if this is likely to happen? I want to see them!

    I notice that there are pictures of the Prussian fusiliers on there now, and very nice they look too.

  10. And did My Kelly get to Salute 2013 … and if so what is his take on the show and any news that he may have discovered at the show?

    And further, if Mr Kelly did indeed go to Salute 2013 did he meet up with Mr Calpe as is the usual arrangement and if so what news out of Calpe Towers would he care to report?

    Salute (ha ha)
    von Peter himself

    • Martin said

      Yes; to follow in a posting soon; yes; to follow in that same posting – in that order (I think).

      • Excellent. I’ll look forward to that post … as I do to all others I hasten to add!! 8O)

        And apologies for the typo in my prior post. “My Kelly” was meant to be “Mr Kelly”. I’m blaming the computer!

        von Peter himself

        • Rob Kenny said

          Looking forward to this myself… Calpe seems to have gone a bit quiet as of late. Here’s hoping theres good news!


  11. Phil said

    No updates?

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