Matakishi's Tea House

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12th-13th September Colours 2009

Colours 2009, held at Newbury Racecourse, is organised by the Newbury & Reading Wargames Society.

It's been a couple of years since I've felt like writing a report about Colours, recently it seems to have lacked any 'wow' factor and there was nothing in 2007 or 2008 that I found very interesting. This year however I had to return some foam trays (that I'd ordered in error) to Daryl at
Kaiser Rushforth Ltd and I wanted to sell some figures at the bring and buy so I made the trip.

This year there were a couple of interesting games to see, this one put on by the Crawley Wargames Club is entitled Operation: Peace for Galilee and is set in Southern Lebanon in June 1982, I saw this at Salute this year but took some nicer pictures this time around.

This was a massive table full of miniatures depicting a battle in Hell between Angels and Demons. Initially quite spectacular looking it lost it a bit on closer inspection. Just a tiny bit more work to make the polystyrene look less like what it was and more like rock would have paid dividends. Good effort though and everyone concerned seemed to be having fun.

This was a large Crossfire game staged by Huntingdon and District Wargames Society. I liked the glider and it's always nice to see Crossfire on display but I feel there might be a bit too much dependence on squares of cloth for fields going on here.

click on the photo for a bigger view of the glider.

Paul Smith (Overlord) was present with his excellent Geezers! participation game. New terraced houses and a dockside complete with a warehouse and tramp steamer have been added since last time, at this rate it won't be too long before all of the East End is laid out before us.

The merry men of the Skirmish Wargames group fielded an 18ft table full of WWII kit for their LRDG game set in Lybia in June 1942, somewhere behind the Axis front line...

Bear in mind as you look at these pictures that these are all 54mm/1:32 figures, everything here is BIG. This was the game of the show for me, loads of little details to spot and lots going on in a setting I like.

As is usual for these chaps there's a lot of converted and scratch built stuff here.

The planes were particularly impressive.

click on the photo for a larger pic of the LRDG column.

click on the photo for a larger view of Farouk's Canteen.

There were the usual assortment of traders present, Colours is a good place to shop if the internet hasn't changed your buying habits for ever. These are some of the ones that I found interesting:

This is Allison Reid manning her Wattle & Stone stand. When Allison's sons started to play Warhammer she wasn't allowed to join in and was told to go and make the scenery (what else are mothers for?) so she set about making some truly exquisite fantasy buildings. Eventually her sons got bored of Warhammer and moved on to other things leaving Allison with a hobby that had lost its raison d'etre.

Undaunted Allison has turned to selling her creations for frankly tiny sums of money. Her sons' loss is our hobby's gain and I think you should all snap these up quick before she sees sense and starts charging what they're worth.

Look at this, completely hand built and selling for a measly 70.00.

Next up I found Jed and Nadine at Antenociti's Workshop where I bought some brush soap for my new sable brushes (first ones ever, might write something about them if I find I like them). I was also persuaded to take away some samples of the Foamed-PVC sheets that Jed recommends for making buildings. Available under several brand names such as Sintra this is a material that I've been keen to try out.

I also acquired a hover bike (bottom left in the pic), one of several resin sci fi vehicles that Jed makes.

Having just made some jungle scenery bases myself these rocky ones from The Scene caught my eye. These small ones are based on cds and sell for 8.00 - 9.00 which is very reasonable I think given the cost of the raw materials and the time it takes to make them yourself. I plan to get a few in the near future to add to my jungle. I was also very taken with the volcanic rock islands on the shelf below which, whilst being typical wargames scenery in style, are none-the-less very evocative. I'm wracking my brains to find a use for them so I have an excuse to buy some of these as well.

I sat in as a spectator on a game of AK-47 being run by Martin Goddard of Peter Pig. If you ever fancy a game at a show Martin is an excellent teacher, I lost track of what was going on because soon after the start I noticed the little 15mm Police cars on the table...oooh shiny!!

I first saw these buildings on the Ambush Alley forum so it was nice to see them in the flesh. They are modern structures in resin from Fieldworks. They do a good job of providing players with a built up environment at a very reasonable cost. All the floors are separate and all the roofs lift off.

These are the two chaps from Minimi Miniatures who make terrain, 20mm vehicles and (most importantly) 28mm ships and boats.

Their prices are beyond reasonable and they even supply the dowel for the masts.

This tramp steamer is only 20.00, everyone should own one.

Once again I found myself drawn to the Tablescape stand, this is becoming a fairly common occurrence these days, their terrain and scenery is robust, simple and yet full of character, all of which appeal to me. Prominently displayed was the Mediterranean Village which would do me for my Napoleonics. However, I need to try to make my own before I buy some so I managed to resist.

What I couldn't resist however were these skips, prepainted, four for 14.00 and a set of crates for 12.00 all of which will find a home in numerous game settings in the near future.

Figure is 28mm Alpha Forge trooper to show scale.

Altogether I spent under 50.00 at the show including entry fee and coffee. I sold some figures in the bring and buy for 450.00 so came away 400.00 up on the day. Result!