Wednesday, 25 April 2012

(Exhausted) Dragons Back from London (I) - Some Musings and the Salute Hoard

Yes, we are back home but after three trepid days and a long delay in our outbound flight (thanks Easyjet!!!), the Spanish Salute-raiding party arrived in a relatively bad state. In addition, my desk at the office seems to have missed me soooo much on Friday, that I found a twofold  ration of daily work when I hit my chair on Monday.

So first, apologies for the lack of news, I know many other bloggers have already  published lavishly illustrated entries of their Salute adventures, but I'm no there yet. My camera memory card is about to bust, and therefore I need sometime to organize, edit and polish several hundred pics taken at Salute, Bovington, the National Army and the Imperial War Museums respectively... not to mention the expected photo avalanche when my traveling mates discharge their own memory cards in our shared Dropbox facility purporsely created for this trip

Enough excuses, and now a few comments and impressions for this first entry narrating our adventures in the "Perfidious Albion" last weekend. Over the next days I'll post some more specific entries in the blog and of course lists and lots of (hopefully) nice and mouth-watering pics of our tour around the museums.

First on the Bovington Tank Museum, I have no words in English to express my feeling, only in Spanish:


Not in my wildest dreams I would have thought that such a place existed on earth. We spent there over six hours but I think there was a general agreement  that we could have stayed all night. I was appointed driver of one the two cars we hired, and believe me, any bad feelings for having to drive 2.5 hours to get there disappeared after just putting the first foot at the place.

A sneak-peek now to wet your appetite

A clear must for anyone visiting the UK, I cannot recommend it more or say it louder guys, YOU HAVE to reserve the time and make some travel planning, but cannot miss this museum.

Second, on Salute itself. Impressive display of games, no doubt, and a unique opportunity to see an endless number of wargaming manufacturing brands together... but (there's always a "but") for some reason I did not feel the same excitement than when I visited this convention in the late 90s, in the period that I lived in London. Probably the easy access today to all these brands through Internet is one reason.

 I was also surprised by the very large presence of science fiction, fantasy, etc related stands which to be frank and honest are not my favorite choice (...although nothing against that, I also play from time to time zombies and Heroquest  with my kids... well may be I have some negative feelings against the ubiquitous "one" you should not mention  its name aloud... for its rip-the-kids pricing policies and business model...).

On the positive side, my shorter than initially expected but nonetheless highly anticipated meeting with some relevant personalities of the wargaming blogger space like Big Lee, Fran aka The Angry Lurker, Ray from Don't Throw a One  or MiniMike, among some others (sorry for not remembering all names and no offense please ).
Lee, Ray & Frank of the Posties Rejects
And also the very warm welcome given by the TooFatLardies gang at the planned gathering place, the Fox, a pub next to Salute. It was really great to know face to face, Richard, Adam (aka Sidney Roundwood) and so many others. Richard is a great (in all senses of the word), friendly guy indeed, with a very deep sense of humor and he made me feel like having met him for a long time (which in a sense is true, as I have been a regular follower of his Yahoo group and dedicated player of many of his rule sets for three years now).

Spaniard crushed between Two TooFatLardies

Special significance for me to have met Adam Blakemore, the real man behind my very-most favorite blog "Roundwood's World" and the main guy to blame for "infecting" me with a passion to collect, play, read and spend a lot of money (thanks Sidney!) in anything First-World War relate. He has always been of great assistance to the games I organise at our club and his blog is an endless source of inspiration in relation to scenery, painting, history, reading materials and scenarios.  

Again some apologies here and a request: with the noise, beers and faces, I got introduced to two guys who mentioned the possibility of traveling to Spain over the next months. Please if you read this blog, be so kind to contact me offline, I will be delighted to tour you around Madrid.

And third, a few pics of my hoard at Salute. My main investment was  a ready-made Romano-British Army from Gripping Beast but commercialized by the TooFatLardies, to play the incoming (?) Dark-Age period rules  called "Dux Britannorum".

Besides that, I decided to go for a "cherry-picking" strategy  looking to basically fill some gaps in my armies collection, acquiring some models that are sometimes difficult to find in our shops in Madrid: a French Napoleonic horse artillery piece and Napoleon himself from the Perrys...

... some WWII US Army officers and German tank jagers...

... a beatiful armoured jeep from Warlords (I failed to buy the new paratrooper jeep  and the late war Sherman with sandbags that were my other two targets) and some flocking material for my bases, in the hope of improving the look of my bases (my nightmare together with painting faces).

So in general I think I controlled myself and behave like a responsible adult... specially when compared to some of my mates...

A print is worth a 1000 words...
  I stop here, to invest some time editing the photos taken at Bovington. Stay tuned over the next days for further information

The guys of the last photo sent this midday a pic with the content of the boxes: mistery solved...

... and an additional incentive to paint my Romano British now!!!

Ray posted some photos in his blog today form the bloggers gathering at Salute. I shamelessly stole a couple of these pics where I show myself.

With Lee and Mike

With Lee and Fran


  1. Glad you have had such a good time in the UK!

    I'm watching the Real Madrid game now - very tense!

    Hope you get through.

  2. [i]Special significance for me to have met Adam Blakemore, the real man behind my very-most favorite blog "Roundwood's World" and the main guy to blame for "infecting" me with a passion to collect, play, read and spend a lot of money (thanks Sidney!) in anything First-World War relate.[/i]

    He has a *lot* to answer for. :D I have WW1 plans which are entirely his fault :D

    1. Mike I just discover in Ray's blog that we met at Salute at the gathering of the Rejects. Did not know it was you

  3. Great to meet you at Salute, love the photo!!!!

  4. Glad you enjoyed Salute and it was great to meet you (and loads of other bloggers too). And as for Bovington, its my favorite museum so I'm glad you loved it.

    Look forward to seeing more pictures when you get a chance.

  5. Excelente viaje, seguro que no sera el ultimo. El comprador compulsivo es JC yo solo actúo de porteador, mis compras han sido moderadas.

  6. Benito después de ver las fotos de la addenda, o engordas, o pierdes pelo o las dos cosas, pues no das el perfil y desentonas. Je je

  7. Hello.... Iba a escribir en inglés; esto no puede ser bueno.
    Pues nada, hola y bienvenido de vuelta a casa, cargado de cositas, como puede verse. Bovington es un lugar maravilloso, igual que los otros dos museos. Yo me habría quedado allí durante meses, abrazado al Tiger II. Lástima que aquí apenas nos acercamos a esa pasión por la historia militar.
    Un saludo, y descansa, que vienen las Hispania Wargames!!!

  8. Hola Benito! It was fantastic to meet you after all the emails and blog-posts. I really enjoyed lunch with you and your club friends. All I can do about the cost of your First World War collection is apologise to your wife and children!

    1. Naughty man indeed. You should come to Madrid and apologize personally to them!... then we can go for tapas, Rioja and a good M&B game at the club