Post coffee discussions out of the way, Evi and I went on a second 'round' of the venue and it's retailers. I had decided this time to avoid Forge World, as my experience with the staff last year had left had me weary, and also I buy so much Forge World on a weekly basis that I was up to date. I understand that there were some advance releases, and perhaps if they had been Minotaurs orientated it would have been a different story but alas no overpriced Space Marine resin crack for me. Instead found myself at Maelstrom games and Banelegion's expensive fantasy resin crack!
There can be no doubt that, the Banelegions miniature line is impressive, the sheer range of monstrous creatures and character figures is immense and all of which are extremely detailed. The Terror of Fortriu was a big pull last year and despite the presence of the very nice Krull (both pictured above), the Chimera still remains a point of conversation for those who have seen the range for the first time. Banelegions currently has two product lines, one deals with the larger monstrous creatures which are the trade mark of the range, while the other deals with character/leader miniatures. This leaves the obvious gap of troops/regiments. It seems a forgone conclusion that Banelegions will go the way of Gamezone and Raging Heroes, by producing a complete Fantasy miniatures line.
Prices on the day were reasonable (I remember seeing some form of event discount note) and the quality of cast is fine (not the GW definition!), and while the cabinets were stacked with stunning painting figures, there was also a range of unpainted miniatures laid out on a table available for customers to handle. I nearly dropped some money on Megalavra: a 75mm crocodile man (bottom left), but the thought in my mind that kept reoccurring was: 'Will I use it?'. As mentioned I do have the lovely Chimera, but it has not ventured out of it's box since purchase simply because I have no reason to build/paint it other than as a side project. Perhaps a rule set for these stunning figures would dramatically increase demand of the line. Becoming an independent game set as opposed to being seen as a yet another alternative Warhammer Fantasy line, must be part of the plan.
Evi really wanted to buy books on the day, she loves to read and had a hefty allowance on the day due to my lack of purchases. Most of the book she purchases were military books, but upon seeing Black Library she decided to try and find some resource books on Dwarves. Lo and behold she picked up Gav Thorpe's "Dwarfs", and was even happier to find out that he was signing books next door. I have met Gav before during my time in the company, and I have nothing bad to say about him, he has always been a nice chap to talk to and nothing has changed there.
Sadly, at this point my health took a dive and I was starting to feel pretty bad.
Luckily for me, we stumbled on one last place before heading home! I first discovered Taban Miniatures 'Eden' line towards the end of 2010. Being an anime fan, the ISC miniatures (above) immediately grabbed me and in 2011 I picked up a whole bunch of figures, this year the same thing happened again. Set during a post apocalyptic time line rival war bands roam the wastes, fighting, looting and generally doing all the things that you would expect from a Mad Max esque world. And while there is wide range of miniature lines like this, what sets Eden apart is the ISC: which are essentially Samurai robots, if you are a fan of Afro Samurai (anime) you will probably see the appeal of these figures straight away.
The Taban cabinets were stacked with gorgeously painted models from their Eden range and also had two pre-release figures for a new faction of zombie summoners (complete with bowler hat!); seems 2012 is year of the zombie; but I stuck to my katanas and dropped cash on robot samurai, a excellent way to end the shopping day. Evi and I also visited and made purchases from Hasslefree and Freebooter Miniatures, but at this point I really was not with it and completely forgot to take any photos, for that I apologise.
It was really nice chatting to old acquaintances and making new ones (and also saying hello to old Warlords buddies, thanks guys!). The event was a success and from what I was told there were more people than last year. I did not notice this as at no point did the event feel overcrowded or a scrum (excluding Forge World) to get to places/see things. There were a few rude people running around; as to be expected from large events; but a stern look and some words, encouraged apologies from those offending parties. Personally though I felt there was something missing this year, in particular the range of new miniature retailers seemed smaller...the regulars were all there armed with advance releases, but in terms of new up and coming miniature lines there seemed to be very little compared to previous events. In the past we have had the likes of Crocodile Games and even Kingdom Death setting up shop at Salute; but not this year; it was the usual suspects which is not a bad thing mind you, as it means they are still in business! But when considering new gaming/miniature trends developing in the Euro sector of the gaming world, we seem to be coming up short. Ultimately new product keep this niche hobby of wargaming alive and so far; at least from the European point of view; I did not see anything new that could set a new trend...even rifle man Harris was not present this year boooo!
Either ways a great event as always and a chance to use the new camera, onwards to Salute 2013!
Thanks for reading,
The 14th Legion