Salute 2016 – Steampunk!

Last Saturday, I was lucky enough to make my annual pilgrimage to Salute this year, held at the ExCel Centre in London by the South London Warlords. It’s an event I’ve been attending since roughly 2000 (with the odd gap here or there), but is one of my personal wargaming highlights of the year! It’s always great to see so many different traders, displays and games all on one day, and an opportunity to catch-up with friends and immerse oneself in a day dedicated to all aspects of the tabletop hobby.

I had tactically reserved a few of the things I’d really wanted (The Horus Heresy ‘Red Books’, some Battlefoam and a copy of the new SAGA release for a friend), which meant I could dedicate time to enjoying the show more broadly, and seeing what else there was on offer. And, there is a lot! It really does include every company great and small, which is fantastic for seeing new things from every possible genre and theatre you could ever wish to play. With some fantastic show-only deals too, it’s always worth a look!┬áThere are a number of displays and participation events run by clubs and societies, as well as traders themselves – which makes for an action-packed day, with plenty to view and do.The day goes very quickly (when I was younger, it felt like it lasted an age, in a good way!) – and there’s inevitably so much to see, you can’t truthfully do it all justice – but some of the photos below are some personal highlights.

There was a giant Heresy game run by the South London Warlords entitled the ‘Brotherhood of Mars’ – which was great to see given my current focus on 30k:

 

 

Warlord Games had a couple of boards to show off their new game: ‘Beyond the Gates of Antares’. I’ve yet to open the starter box, but I’m looking forward to it!

 

Warlord were also demoing the rules for their new alternate war game – Konflikt:

‘All Quiet on the Martian Front’ looked very fun too:

 

Hawk Wargames were there as ever, and nice to post the annual photo of the amazing ship they normally bring:

 

There was a Mad Max participation game going on too – it looked like great fun:

 

Mantic had a great display board to advertise Deadzone 2.0 – I’m looking forward to the Kickstarter arriving soon!

 

And there was a huge Kings of War Demo too:

There was a rather large ACW game going on:

 

 

Shattered Void was once again on display before the Kickstarter goes live in July:

 

 

I was pleased to pick up a couple of Bolt Action bits (German Command and US Marines squad), three packs of Maxmini Plague Marine replacement heads, a new Daemon Prince and count-as Mutilators from HiTech – as well as this lovely large case from Battlefoam:

And, a new set of dice – to see if that helps my rolling!

Another fantastic year – and look forward to the next one!

Mantis Creations Kickstarter Cases

I’ve been a big fan of Kickstarter over the last few years, backing probably twenty-odd projects, and have generally been delighted with the result – and I can safely add another to the list.

Mantis Creation’s Kickstarter for Model Storage funded in August 2014, and although it’s taken a little while to get the rewards after the campaign outstripped the predicted levels of interest, I can tell you that the wait has been worth it. I went in quite high, for eleven cases in total – lured by the fact I could choose all of my own foam. In hindsight, perhaps I didn’t even choose as widely as I could’ve – but I focused on the amazing 56 model infantry trays (four to a box… massive storage!), as well as the heavier infantry, a set of Bikes/larger models and some pick and pluck to fill the remainder. I know some people were very adventurous – and if there are such options for a future one, I may look into this too! Was very pleased to find it exactly as requested (minus one topper, not a huge deal!) – and superbly packaged, delivered safely by DHL – thank you!

I’ve got a case from nearly every major foam/bag/storage solution on the market over the years… Games Workshop, Battlefoam, KR, Figures in Comfort… All in varying sizes, with different trays, for the myriad things I’ve collected over my lifetime. I’d liken these boxes probably closest to KR’s – they’re made of what looks and feels like hard cardboard, but clearly built to withstand, and with a carry handle made of plastic. The foam itself is robust: it’s hard to compare to the other brands that are out there, but it’s somewhere between GW’s and Battlefoam’s products – it retains shape well, and is definitely harder than some, but with more give than others. It is kiss-cut down the middle, so I can theoretically halve it, and mix and match more depending on my needs. Each can take up to about 140mm worth of trays – which is sizeable, roughly four depending on each tray’s depth!

The boxes themselves have the great Mantis logo on, and look incredibly professional:

Unboxing

The 56 infantry trays are superb – perfect for a Space Marine, or 28mm equivalent model – a Plague Marine and Von Schill modelling this:

56 Infantry Tray

224 models in a single case?! Two companies worth?! Ideal!

The heavy infantry trays are perfect for those larger models (Terminators, etc.):

Heavy Infantry Tray

And the Bike Trays are great too – I’ll probably also utilise these for larger models (maybe even move my Deathshroud here!) – comfy:

Bike Tray

I’ve not posted pick and pluck photos – simply because I’ve not put anything in them yet! I’ll update it when I do – probably for my Tantive, Transport and Lambda…

Rather than the sort of pallet they were delivered in, I thought it might be worth showing the stack of trays:

Tray Stack

I don’t think my collection will ever be tidier once I’ve finished putting them in here!

To conclude, it was definitely worth the wait – Tyron’s put together a superb campaign, and his second will no doubt be just as good. The quality is worth it, and I absolutely cannot argue at the price for what I’ve got! Definitely keep an eye out for future campaigns and this company!