For those of us for whom Salute is too far a trip to take year after year there are lots of local alternatives (some even sharing the name of the original show!). For instance: Austrian Salute.
The past weekend I attended 5th Austrian Salute close to Salzburg. This yearly event is organized and run by El Cid and his formidable gaming store Silent Night Games.
It’s a ~3.5hrs drive (a distance which probably sounds ridiculous to our friends in the US 😉 ), but very much worth it. I got a bunch of stuff prepared, drove down to Salzburg on Friday and met the other guys at Silent Night Games for some toy shopping and drinks afterwards.
The hotel was perfectly fine, as it has been last year. Early the next day I drove over to the event location (admirably provided for free by Gasthaus zur Bahn) and set up my stuff. Right now thanks to virago and Vic for once again helping me with the Glass Coffin(tm).
|El Cid overlooking the situation on the Austrian/Savoyan side. They were up against a coalition of French and Swedes.|
The show’s theme was the wars of Louis XIV., put on the table by El Cid and his pals in an excellent looking game of Beneath the Lily Banners.
As you may know, I’m quite a fan of the Pike&Shot era. This particular period of course is at the tail end of that era, but it has a LOT to to offer :Lavish uniforms, the transition from pike&shot to linear warfare, colourful characters and a lot of different warring armies and coalitions to choose from.
Good stuff, great to look at, very tempting. The miniatures pictured are all by Front Rank miniatures.
Another anniversary in 2015 – the Battle of Waterloo, presented by Nikfu, virago and DerFels:
Lots and lots and lots and lots of 28mm minis fighting over a very pretty table with an excellent farm of resin buildings by Hovels. In my opinion wholly superior to any MDF versions around (one of which I actually saw just last week at a models show):
|Against better tactical judgement the British left flank started advancing for additional show effect.|
|…and it, as they say, ..|
|…like the proverbial Donkey Kong.|
Really cool looking game, almost too many figures for the huge table to bear. I’m very much looking forward to the big Waterloo game in autumn 2015. Which reminds me of these close to 60 French I still have in various states of unpaintedness I have to finish until then…
Just like last year, the Freebooter’s Fate table was a very pretty view and quite popular:
|Hey look! I painted those. As always, flash photography is not too kind on the minis.|
|Not George Washington Crossing The Delaware but an incredible simulation!|
A small, but highly pretty Malifaux table:
Funky little game, that Malifaux. The board actually was so space efficient that there was enough space for another Malifaux game right next to it:
15mm WW2 in Northern Africa, I think it was Flames of War. Very pretty, lots of vehicles (naturally):
Unfortunately I messed up all my shots of the Warmachine table except for this one:
…but there was Warmachine going on, take my word for it!
There actually was a second table with a Waterloo theme to see on the day. A bit smaller scale, almost skirmishy I would say. The assault on Hougoumont farm. The farm looks to be wholly scratch-built and the buildings look to be more to scale. Pretty impressive work:
Due to the proximity to the Austro-German border the friendly neighborhood horde visited the event, supporting Spartan Games’ efforts (and getting supported by them in return). Aside from a stunning Firestorm Armada table..
…they also ran a Planetfall table (Spartan’s 10-ish mm sci-fi land battle game):
Here you can see some shots of my own table and showcase:
I got the same space as last year which is strategically perfect between the bar and the corridor which leads to the lavatories. You can also see the “guest painting station at my table and a guy scratching himself. I’m really sorry, I tend to catch people at unfortunate times. This is why I don’t post too many pictures of people. :-p
|Right from their first outing these Napoleonic Austrians|
claimed this extra cabinet and are not willing to give it up!
Due to the fact that I put historical stuff on display at VIVAT in autumn I usually bring more of the Fantasy/Sci-Fi stuff to Austrian Salute to even things out. This year of course I brought the Brass Scorpion, a Forgefiend, some Death Korps of Krieg models, the Nurgle Fire Raptor, …
…and some of the usual suspects from my American Civil War collection, the Anglo-Saxon Warlord scenic base, my T-34 and the large-scale Gladiator amongst other things which I produced from various boxes and carrying cases upon demand.
The painting competition was very popular and sported a very nice range of various entries. I didn’t enter myself because it would have felt a bit weird, running the painting table at the show and entering the competition. Or so I thought. The three categories were units…
|These 15mm arabian horsemen were my favourites from this category. There were lots more very cool entries for this one though. Unfortunately I didn’t take any pictures of those.|
…single models (this one was won by a Forgeworld Space Marines Primarch. I think it was Ferrus Manus.), and large models/vehicles:
Lateron two Forgeworld Superheavies joined the category, but voting was already done by most people then. The weathered-to-heck Skyray won. Very striking model.
Speaking of weathered-to-heck, here’s a shot of one of the superheavies:
The Green Horde set up a Spartan Games-only painting competition as well, featuring several fleets for Dystopian Wars and Firestorm Armada:
|Hey, I painted those! Funny seeing you guys here.|
Yes, much to my surprise Austrian Salute was the first occasion on which I won a painting competition without entering. The guy I had painted them for entered the minis (he didn’t pretend that he’d painted the ships himself, that would have been daft) The League of Italian States scored the first place in the Dystopian Wars category. My pal Constable’s really cool fleet (the one with the giant mechanical squid) scored second place.
There was a total of five fleets entering for the Firestorm Armada category. They were all rather well painted, my vote went to the blue-green fleet due to a rather sexy glitter effect worked into the green parts. I’m usually not one for effects based on the use of materials rather than proper painting, but it gave them a nice, alien look.
There was just one army entering for the Planetfall category and that was the army brought along by the Horde and most of it was in use on their Planetfall table most of the day. The lighting on the painting competition presentation tables was rather unfortunate.
Speaking of the games tables, there was a particularly pretty winter table (which also won ‘best table of the show’):
Think of Bolt Action what you will, but the table and the miniatures looked really, really nice. Good stuff, great weathering effects on the vehicles.
Some more tanks from the same collection:
Plus a weirdly-lit T-35!
The bring and buy section had a choice of Silent Night Games’ offerings, regular bring&buy items and this:
I had seen the fella at the modelling show at Vienna army museum last week, but wasn’t quite sure what it was all about. Turns out this Tiger I (1/25th?) is remote controlled. And of course it’s made of bloody METAL. Really rather impressive and appealing on oh so many levels.
My pal Grumpy Old Tin’s trade stand had its show debut on the day as well, offering all kinds of laser-cut goodies, basing materials and so on:
Make sure to check out his blog! Lots of inspiring stuff with a healthy dose of that DIY mindset which can’t get enough attention. Also present at the show at the show was Templates and Widgets with his ever-expanding range of laser-cut plastic and MDF materials. Very much worth having a look at.
|Around mid-day the place always goes a bit empty with everybody rushing to grab some lunch.|
Shortly before 5pm everybody gathered for the end ceremony (in which next year’s Austrian Salute’s date was announced already) and prizes for best table and the painting competition:
Afterwards everybody went for the traditional after-show shopping to Silent Night Games’ store. As always, Austrian Salute was an excellent day out. It’s always great to meet people, have a chat about toy soldiers and what we like to do with them, take a look at what other people produce, exchange ideas and projects and in various cases meeting clients face to face which is always good fun. Very much looking forward to next year and I hope to see you there too!
Thanks for reading, I hope you enjoyed this little Austrian Salute 2015 retrospective. If you have any questions, comments or want to get in touch about painting/modelling projects feel free to leave a comment or contact Battle Brush Studios via e-mail!
P.S.: Oh, here’s a picture of my loot:
It’s a huge shame that GW stopped selling their modular and one-piece hills, so when I saw one at the store I grabbed it. Along with one of Italeri’s terrain pieces now sold by Warlord Games under their hugely successful Bolt Action label. Of course it’s a 1/72nd kit (like all Italeri scenery items sold by Warlord at a slightly increased price) and thus far too small for Warlord’s rather chunky 28mm range, but maybe with some clever basing and such it can be made to fit. I got it at a discount so let’s see what I can do with it. It looks to be a bit large for 1/72nd anyway. Furthermore I got some Green Stuff (seperate tubes, as it has to be, no silly stripes!), some 15mm camels (suited for my Achaemenid Persians as well as 15mm WW2 Desert British!) and 28mm pigs, because they make for very entertaining and useful mission objectives for all kind of periods. I also scored one of Angel Giarldez’ painting books through a friend. Eager to take a look at that too.
Thanks for the comment, Steven!
I'm aware that on this site posts like the above won't be too popular, but I thought that some people might appreciate it. I like throwing in less mainstream-y stuff every now and then (between posting the more regular stuff). My favourite thing about miniature wargaming is the diversity and this is something I can't stop championing (or rubbing into people's face, depending on your stance on the subject 😉 ). Limiting oneself to GW stuff I find just boring. 🙂
The funny thing about conventions is how different they are between mainland Europe, the UK and the US. I hear that US conventions are always multi-day affairs and people are willing to travel to them (makes sense, with the immense size of the country). And maybe they're rather tournament-driven.
In the UK wargames shows seem to be very heavily impacted by traders. The very valuable Mike Whitaker who runs a great wargaming blog which is updated DAILY recently ran a poll what makes people go to wargames shows (and I think it's safe to assume that most of the people who voted are from the UK) and I think that the result is pretty surprising: http://troubleatthemill.blogspot.co.at/2015/03/poll-results.html. I mean the UK has a great wargaming club infrastructure and these clubs are very active and willing to do shows and demo games and so on, but still, traders seem to be the big draw. Don't get me wrong, I love the fact that there are so many different traders in wargaming. This I consider part of the great diversity in wargaming. Usually one-day affairs (probably because it's easier on the traders and more cost effective as I know from experience :p )
Mainland Europe I think also generally runs one-day shows, very often in combination with scale model shows. Very gaming-focussed because I think there are fewer clubs around on the mainland than on the British Isles. I mean here in Austria the actual pure wargames shows resemble a bit a meet-up of The Usual Suspects. There are lots of small, local tournaments around here, but sadly GW stuff is never seen at Austrian Salute. It's getting more on the Vienna Model Fair and GoModelling at Vienna Army Museum each year though.
Anyway, thanks for the comment! 😉
Wish I had known about this. I can never make the UK Salute, a club I used to go to many many years ago (90's) but I would have made the 3 1/2 drive to this I have stayed at a number roof places near there in the summer motorcycle season.
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Nice report, always nice to see how the other side does it up. I miss going to conventions, used to go to 4 a year here in Florida.