Sunday, 28 April 2019

Salute 2019 Conclusion

The day at Salute ended and was time to head back home. Packs of generals, mercenaries and outlanders drifted away into the night of post apocalyptic London. It was a good day with shared experiences, tabletop battles and replenished supplies.

This year Salute delivered on its promises in all fronts but there was a strange tension in the air. The industry is changing too.

The good bit about Salute is meeting up with people, make new friends and discover new projects to get involved with. Buy some games & minis is also quite a thing in itself since you can have some really big loot for a fraction of the price if your clever about it.
Managed to do all that and since I did not attend it last year I did miss the buzz . Its like a yearly build up to the day, my once a year fix.
There were plenty of stands that I really enjoyed, many could argue you can check all of that online but   it's not true. You need to be there to see it! 
IRL some minis look awesome online but once you hold them nah, do nothing for you while others are less attractive online but sneak into your collection just because they are awesome… not even talking about minis not present online, plenty of those too.

The games demos to experience at Salute is another thing you cannot check online, dozens of demos will spice up even the most veteran gamer. Some games are Salute exclusive too. SO much fun to be had on these tables. Brexit table rocked and I loved a space hulk table on the show. Good stuff.

Painting Competitions and the speed painting table for people just to mess around with are quite popular too. You can also have chats with the painting studios there and check the brush specialists stores for the best brush for your project. Plinths, terrain, flocks & supplies for your dioramas or tables will keep hobbyists busy.

Glad to see small projects growing bigger each year and some new companies with clever ideas and minis debut. 

The Bad this year was a clear decline of some big brands, most of the products for these were on heavy discounts bins and not moving. There is a shift from bigger companies to smaller ones which is ok as long as those big games don't perish along the way… Privateer Warmachine, Wyrd, Flames of War, Dark age are in a very bad place.
Annoying to see some companies with just leaflets and renders or prototypes and a card saying I will have a kick-starter soon… Really? I personally don't do KS so yeah with nothing to sell I will just move along elsewhere even if your product is potentially the best thing since sliced bread. Missed chance.
The industry is moving heavy into boardgames and kick-starters… nothing wrong with it but Im mostly a tabletop wargaming/collector guy and sculptor so yup not for me. Theres a reason I don't attend boardgames events…
Speaking of sculpting another trend is growing stronger… classic sculpting is fading away giving space to Zbrush renders. More into that in another blog post.

The Ugly There was a strange tension in the air this year and some EU companies did not attend like Freebooter. I think Brexit did loom over everyone and people seem less exited and prone to just enjoy. Unlike other years some stands were having an early packing in 1 hour  before the doors closed… that's just not right. The Biggest player GW did not attend not even Forgeworld. 
My camera died halfway through the event so I only managed to cover a small portion of what I usually do, that sucks!

The End Like in any post apocalyptic setting, Salute is like a pocket of resistance and bunker of hope on an Industry moving away from the classical into the "modernity".  I believe there is space for all… for medium, small and big companies and also for traditional products and trendy online virtuality, after all they are just different paths to your enjoyment. 

Salute 2019 was good but could have been great.

Saturday, 27 April 2019

Salute 2019 Part6

Salute is all about having fun and the following stand is simply just that! Fun and pure quality minis that keep you coming back for more. For sure this was one of my favourite stands this year.

It's difficult to describe when something just feels right but Northumbrian Miniatures with their Nightfolk miniatures range just does it for me.

I first discovered this company a couple years ago at Salute. Back then they had released their miniatures and was amazing to see the style and quality for such new range. But above all was the business vision behind it, I mean no kick-starters, 3d print, renders. It was what its supposed to be, good product finished and ready to be sold … a few years down the line and they are doing it better, its to no surprise that I'm always positively impressed to see the new releases.

The thing I love about this hobby is finding minis that make me smile, the "problem" with Nightfolk  is that almost every singe one of them do that. These miniatures are for the most part one piece of white metal with an old school vibe but still quite fresh concept wise.

The stand has increased its footprint in comparison with previous years and now displays plenty of old but also new blisters.

 The man itself, his expression says it all. I always like to stop for 5 or so minutes and have a little chat, I don't want to take too much time from him away from business, but I feel we could talk for hours about the hobby.

The old range keeps on growing and growing…

 I did not attend last year when these bird men and evil gnomes were released… so yeah they just had to be part of my collection. See when I say minis that make you smile :D Pure genius.

To  keep up with momentum they released the new box set for Nightfolk! The guardians of the Riverbank has 2 factions, 10 minis and dices and I believe they were quite popular. A clever use of Salute hype and new releases.

A couple more official pictures with clearer images of the gnomes and crow, from last year, that got into my loot bag and made me happy.

My favourite miniature of all  show was this gnome.

It's so rewarding to see a small company that took the risk and invested their own funds to produce such nice miniatures growing each year. This for me is the classical example everyone should aim for and as far as I can I will support it.
Traditionally sculpted one piece miniatures, clever design cast in heavy white metal that keeps all the detail sharp, positive attitude, always new things to check out and miniatures that put a BIG smile in your face.

This is the real deal.

Monday, 22 April 2019

Salute 2019 Part5

There were a couple of stands that really made my day and for very different reasons.

I decided to take my time and cover as much as I could and between the waves of crowds of fans and dodgy camera pictures, in the end, I got some images of these stands.

First one was Atlantis Miniatures.

I was following this company online, they do kick-starters and the miniatures are for the most part digitally sculpted, 2 things that most of the time is a major turn off for me. I don't do kick-starters and 3d digital sculpting results are more of a miss than a hit IMO, I mostly love organic shapes and 3d is kind of samey and crude… Except when done right, which is the case here.

The miniatures design is quite good, poses dynamic, scale huge on the big critters yet detailed as the smaller dwarfs. They actually look fun to paint with unique poses etc. They are not rushed jobs.

Another clever thing was they released orcs on Salute taking advantage of the event hype, plenty of companies did not bother with that which is a missed chance really.

In short the packaging, design, logos, sculpts, casts, style, hype was all there and I wish them the best on their upcoming ogres kick-starter. This company did all they could to keep us interested. Overall one of the best examples why Salute is such a good event to attend.

Sunday, 21 April 2019

Salute 2019 Part4

Arcworlde stand was quite busy with the 2nd edition set and some really outstanding looking dragons.
I have followed this project from the start and its great to see them grow every year. Quality!!

Crooked Dice was extremely busy, there was so many miniatures on this stand from all sorts of popular influences, pulp, post apoc, fun you name it… even some of my own sculpts :)

The tentacled one eyed monster I did years ago is now part of Crooked dice catalogue.

 My giant ant queen was also there and ready to invade any post apoc battlefield. Quite happy to see it fully painted.

Was selling well too this was around the morning and only a couple blisters left.

Next stand did got me by surprise, Creature caster has always been quite present online by I never really seen these before in the flesh… wow they are more impressive than I anticipated, the scale and detail was unbelievable. Respect.