27 January 2006
I happened to be walking past Olympia in Hammersmith last year and couldn’t help but notice a queue more commonly seen at a Rolling Stones concert. On closer inspection, it was for Salute Zero Five, one of the premier exhibitions for wargaming enthusiasts. As a military modelling devotee in my youth and an avid visitor of the once famous Military Modelling Exhibition at the Wembley Conference Centre back in the late 70’s, I felt impelled to buy a ticket on spec and take a look for myself.
Hosted by one of the UK’s foremost wargames clubs, South London Warlords under the inspiring tutelage of club president John Treadway, I found myself instantly reliving the heady days of my childhood as an amateur wargaming enthusiast and keen painter of Hinchliffe 25mm Napoleonic miniatures.
From the moment I walked through Olympia’s doors and took in the vast array of exhibitors’ stands, displays and wargames on show, I felt a rush of excitement and the rekindling of a pastime that I thought was lost for good. Salute has something for everyone covering every genre of wargaming imaginable – from historical to Sci-Fi, and for the uninitiated and those Dads out there desperate to extract their children from the constant lure of computer gaming, here’s an opportunity to fire their imagination and see some of the best exponents of wargaming and military modelling in the UK if not Europe.
Like a kid sweet shop, my eyes darted from one enticing display to another. What struck me immediately was the quality of craftsmanship on show. As a fan of anything Napoleonic, I found myself feasting my eyes on exquisitely painted miniatures of all sizes from 6mm to 70mm and I’ll challenge anyone not be tantalised at the quality of sculpting and paintwork. Before I knew it, 6 hours had gone by and with tiring legs; I left the show with a bag of unpainted 28mm Napoleonic miniatures and a passion rekindled!
For those interested in this years Salute Zero Six on 22nd April at ExCel, Royal Victoria Docks click on the banner.
....and so here I am, 10 months later and at the beginning of a new year, ready to embark on recreating a battle - THE BATTLE OF QUATRES BRAS!