This weekend was Phalanx in St Helens, which is the closest thing to a local wargames show (not counting Britcon, which is more focussed on competitive gaming) so Mi Hermano Algo Jonesy toddled along to take a look. Sadly I forgot to take a camera so no pictures.
Got a chance to chat with our old friends at Black Pyramid, who were showing off their first production cast of the new steampunk artillery. We also chatted about the possibility of some custom figures, using bits from their multipart range (which is expanding BTW to include sailor suits and pork-pie hats.)
Next, our comiserations go out to Andy from Ainsty Castings, who had a greatly reduced stall courtesy of the thieves who broke into his loaded van the night before. He was however taking orders and offering free postage. Ainsty's definitely good people to buy from - a few months back when I queried a long delayed order from them, the answer came back minutes later with an apology and offer of Free Stuff(TM) to compensate. Good People.
Warbases, another favourite supplier of mine were also at the show, and we discussed the possibility of a custom mod to one of their building kits. Hopefully more on that later.
On the demo game front, one of the first tables I saw when I walked in the hall was a lovely Empire Of The Dead demo, which seemed to have a lot of the same buildings that I have, only looking ten times better. It included Warbases and Sarissa Precision buildings and the same mix of horse-drawn vehicles that I have (Westwind, Lledo and even the Golden Compass coach)
I don't remember seeing much else on the VSF front, although there were two VBCW demo games, one by GWP regular Wingate featuring a spectacular city layout in 20mm, the other in 28mm run by Axis Of Naughtiness reader "Adam from Lancashire", who I completely failed to recognize until he commented on my last post here.
As for spending money at the show, I didn't add too much to the lead & resin mountain. A few ex-Marbeth Designs 28mm vehicles (Sci-Fi, but all usable for the Paradiso project), a can of out-of-production Navy Blue Army Painter primer, and the latest VBCW book (the Albertine sourcebook). Prize of the show however was a box of resin & plaster pillars on the bring & buy, for the grand total of £5.
One thing about the Victorians is they did so love their statuary. The huge columns need to be topped with 54mm miniatures to make for really impressive, Nelson's Column scale monuments, while the smaller intact columns and pedastals will work with 28mm-40mm figures for slightly more modest tableaux.
We left the show not long after lunch and headed off for some more shopping in nearby Warrington. After a brief stop at Ikea (more on that later) we hit the Toys R Us superstore looking for, well... toys. Jonesy added a couple more kits to his Lego-for-wargaming collection, but I scored what I think was the Bargain Of The Month. They had about half a dozen GI-Joe Mole Pod toys for only £4.99 each.
Oh, and the trip to Ikea? Well you've already seen the result of that..sorta.. Hang on while I take another photo...
My storeroom has finally been upgraded to the status of proper Man Cave with this little Expedit unit which will double as a worktop/painting station. That's an original EeePC with a 7" screen on there (which I'm actually typing this on) which will generally be shoved off to one side to provide audio entertainment while I work. The Expedit shelves give space for my paints, tools and any works in progress, and this little workstation means I won't have to mess up either the bedroom or the living room with wargaming clutter.
Coming next - a report on Sunday's gaming extravaganza and the announcement of Birthday Bash II: Aetheric Boogaloo!