For starters, it's only £10 for a ticket to the show and you get a free model (and some other handouts) when you enter. Bargain! I wish GW would take a leaf out of the South London Warlord's book when it comes to their Games Day ticket prices and show models for sure!
|The flat out awesome Salute 2012 free mini, sculpted by JAG|
Once you are in there are tons of cool companies at the show; all sorts of funky displays and models to check out and various industry luminaries to grill about their latest releases. It doesn't matter what you're into, be it GW and other larger companies, bespoke fantasy and sci-fi ranges, large scale historical models, flats, hobby supplies, etc - you're bound to leave with a few new interests and some very cool stuff you didn't even know existed!
Last year was my first visit to the show and unfortunately I was broke. As broke as broke can be. Even with extreme restraint I managed to spend a few hundred pounds I didn't really have, so be warned, temptation lurks everywhere. If you aren't capable of self-control, take a decent stack of cash and leave the credit card at home. Your bank balance will thank you for it later!
|Streetbot Willy by Christopher Octive - 1st in Sci-Fi: Creature or Vehicle|
So many shiny things!The best part of the show though (for me at least) was the painting competition. I didn't really expect too much before I went and was blown away. The standard is very high, as you'll see from the photos I've peppered this page with (I hope the artists who did them are cool with me using their work here and if not, please let me know).
|Roundway Down 1643 by Mark Taylor - 1st in Historical Single figure: Infantry or Cavalry|
If you've only been exposed to GW based comps before, then Salute's bound to be an eye opener. The range of skill on show across so many unusual and varied models is a joy to see.
It's tough! Lots of the guys and girls who take part are amongst the best painters in the UK and further afield and to make things trickier, there's only first and one runner up place in each category. There are no easy victories here! Should you be good enough to win, you'll be rewarded with some sort of prize type booty. This varies from mini cases, to paints, to models and more.
What everyone's really after though is the prize awarded to the Best of Show entry. For the last few years that's snagged you a trip to the Crystal Brush awards in the US and a chance to win the $10,000 first prize. Not too shabby at all! I'm not sure that's still happening at this year's Salute, but good luck to Conrad Mynett (aka PrawnPower) who was 2012's Best of Show and will be at Crystal Brush this year. Do some damage for Queen and country Sir! :)
|Illithid by Conrad Mynett -1st in Miscellaneous and Best of Show|
The 2013 compThe categories for 2013 have just been put online and I'll be doing my best to sort out some entries. By my count I have 65 days to get them done, which is plenty of time. Unfortunately I have a ton of other things to do as well, so I'm gonna have to get cracking!
Large scale is a new category this year and although I know it will probably be one of, if not the toughest, I have an idea that will fit it perfectly. I don't expect to win with anything I enter, but competing with the best of the best will be fun, so I may as well go in at the deep end. I'm going to keep this one a secret as it's a bit special. :)
|Orphidian Archer by Headley Coppock -1st in Fantasy: Creature or Vehicle|
I'll also play to my strengths and make a diorama. Unfortunately that will have to go into the Miscellaneous category, which was extremely tough last year... But, if I'm going to do anything well it's going to be a narrative scene. It will use some of the Studio McVey models I got with my Sedition Wars game and I'll also enter it into the Wamp Studio McVey 2013 Contest as the deadlines are within days of each other.
I'll try and sort some single minis for the fantasy and sci-fi categories too.
I'm excited. You should all be too! This is a great comp, so why not have a go. Hopefully I'll have some diorama WIPs up soon. :)
|Man’s Best Friend by Jon Gerraghty -1st in Sci-Fi: Single Figure (and my favorite piece in the comp. It's absolutely tiny!)|