|0933 ahead of me|
|0933 behind me|
I did go with a plan - this year I'd start off by taking photos of all the games, going round the tables in order (to help keep the photos in order to ease identification later on), then doing the bloggers meetup at 12.30 before doing my shopping.
It started out well, but then I noticed that my battery seemed to be running low. I had put it on to recharge last night and it appeared to have done so. Maybe it is on it's last legs and it's time to buy a new one? By the time I'd got about halfway up the "C" column of games it was definitely at the point of running out and I had to hastily amend my plans. As I didn't take pics of many games, I probably won't do a post of the games.
I think annoyance at the battery running low might have resulted in me not really looking at any of the games tables beyond the ones I'd already photographed, so I ended up missing some very nice looking ones (from pics I've seen on other blogs).
12.30pm saw the xth annual bloggers' meetup. Numbers were low again - I blame Ray for leaving the publicity so late. However, a lot of the usual suspects were there and a couple of others: Ray & Postie, Legatus, Eric the Shed (with a big bag of plastic Normans from Conquest Games), Bob Cordery, Alastair, David Crook, Michael Awdry, Blax, Sidney Roundwood, Al, Big Lee, Simon Miller, Mike Whittaker, Carl. If I missed anyone, let me know in the comments.
Postie did take some pics with my camera, but they were all either fuzzy, had the bins in the way or only showed a small part of the group (admittedly that was because someone had already taken pics). I'm sure Ray someone will have the pics up on their blog before too long.
Before and after the bloggers' meetup I did do a fair bit of shopping. Perhaps not as much as I'd expected (and budgeted for) but more than I'd realised. All those small purchases soon add up. I also spent a bit of time chatting to various people I bumped into on the way round.
Well, what was my haul? Time for the loot pics!
All the swag:
Pretty obvious what these are:
Stuff for Gaslands:
The MDF gates/hazard token kits are their original version - they've produced a newer kit but couldn't find them so I got the two kits (2 gates each) for £2 a pop.
Correction - the kits only do one gate each on closer inspection. Drat - I'll need to get another two at some point!But I will have more hazard tokens than even the most psychotic bunch of drivers could ever need (38 on each sheet)
Stuff for my WW2 New Guinea project:
Bits and bobs:
Some light reading:
The book was a freebie from Bob Cordery - the first print run had a number of printing errors (blank pages in the wrong places) so he had a small stock with him to give away.
All in all, not a bad loot haul. There were a few things on my shopping list which I didn't buy either because the traders hadn't brought them to the show or because I forgot to visit the trader!
It also means that I've got plenty of lead to prep over the next few weeks, plus MDF kits to prime, paint and assemble (or prime, assemble and paint).
Thoughts on the show:
Lighting - it seemed a bit worse this year in most parts of the hall. I'm beginning to wonder if that might have been the cause of my camera battery running low so quickly?
Noise - the general buzz/hum seemed louder than normal. There were a few occasions when I couldn't quite catch what someone close by had said to me.
Flooring - the hard concrete floor was noticeable for me this year and my dodgy left hip was starting to ache by about 1pm (even with having taken painkillers).
Crowds - it seemed as busy as always, but the increased space in the aisles made it easier to get around. Sadly, that seems to be at the expense of space for some traders who ended up with very cramped stalls.
Traders - a lot of the regulars seem to have stopped attending (Leisure Games, Dave Thomas and S&A Scenics spring to mind). I suspect that they have found that they can't justify the costs for the amount of business they do on the day.
Games - the overall quality of the games that I did see this year seemed to be higher than the last couple of years, particularly with regard to signage and the terrain. There did appear to be a somewhat higher proportion of games being demoed by companies (rather than put on by clubs) than last year - that is a trend that is ongoing.
Will I go in future? - of course, so long as I'm still living in London and my dodgy hip holds up.