Sunday, 22 November 2009

Warfare 2009 - Reading

I attended Warfare 2009, Reading on Saturday, spending most of the day at the show. On Friday night Dave at Grand Manner phoned to ask if I was planning on going down to the show. I said yes as it had always been my plan to visit. Dave asked if I could help him out with the layout of the stand and so at 6.00am on Saturday morning I left Droitwich, headed up on to the M42, and down the M40, through Oxford on the A34 and across country to Reading, arriving just before 8.00am. Even so Dave had already unloaded the van and the 30 or so plastic cases and even more cardboard boxest then needed either unpacking or stacking behind the stand.

At 10.00am, the show opened and we were still arranging items on the display shelves and table!

For most of the morning I helped out on the stand, I say helped, but really just entered into conversation, long chats and general modelling talk with visitors, then when they wanted to order I passed them on to Dave who is so much quicker than me at knowing either the price or finding the item (there are loads of storage cases, all containing wrapped and bare resin casting of the Grand Manner buildings).

Around 1.00pm I had my first walk around the show, mainly browsing in the main hall but also checking out the Bring-and-Buy stand which was in a second hall, it was very well organised and had a regular turnover of items, see below.

Even though I took my camera, there was very little I photographed. The photo below shows one of the more impressive games, a Marlborough Battle that had a huge amount of painted miniatures and some great terrain crammed on to the table.

The Third hall, for demonstration and participation games was always busy and full of activity and so although I enjoyed browsing I did not take any photos, it was just too busy. From memory the WWW2 game featuring a ME262 was the only one that I now wish I had taken a photo of!

Back to the main hall and after stopping for a quick packed lunch of sandwiches, a pork pie and crisps, I had a second walk around the main hall and trade stands. Even though I bought figures (new and second-hand), paints and magazines and thought the show was exceptionally busy, lots of traders, loads of punters and what seamed to be a brisk trade in items. I was ultimately disappointed with the number and level of trade stands and came back with a huge amount of cash unspent! There was just something about the show that I felt was either missing or not right. I know from conversation I had with visitors and demonstrators that this view was not universal, with many talking of this being the Main Show of the year for them, and again many visitors from Europe coming across for this show and spending for Christmas, but for me I was ultimately disappointed.

One photo that I am pleased to share is this Japanese Aeronef, scratch built and on display on the Oshiro stand. I am aware that there are some commercial pieces used, but this was just beautiful and so well painted. Very well done, Sir. I can see another 1/300th scale Space 1889/Aeronef scratch-build coming.

For the bulk of the afternoon I once again helped out on the GM stand, giving Dave a chance to go off and have a toilet break and something to eat. I also met with Brendan Morrissey an author of some note when it comes to the American War of Independence/American Revolution and someone who had supplied photographs and reference material to Grand Manner prior to me modelling the range of 40mm AWI buildings. We spoke at length about the buildings and the period, exchanged details with promises to keep in touch and search out even more reference photos for future 40mm (and 28mm) modelling projects.

I left the show before 4.00pm, exhausted and tired. The journey back via the M4, through Cirencester and up the M5 flashed by as I listened to the England - New Zealand and Wales - Argentina rugby matches and although the weather deteriorated quite badly I was still home in good time.


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