Colours Show Report!

Started by Leon, 14 September 2011, 06:06:35 AM

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14 September 2011, 06:06:35 AM Last Edit: 19 September 2011, 02:02:24 AM by Leon
Colours is held at Newbury Racecourse, over 2 days.  We'd had a great number of pre-orders for this one, nearly all of them placed before the deadline as well, which doesn't happen very often!  This year we had decided to take advantage of the opportunity to set up on the Friday evening, so we left Middlesbrough at around 10am.  The journey down was fairly uneventful, with the traffic light.  The venue is easy enough to find, and is very well signposted when coming in from the north.

On arriving, it turned out that we'd made a good decision to come down the day before, as our trade stand hadn't been allocated any space on the floorplans.  After a quick chat with a couple of the guys setting up the tables, everything got sorted out, and we shifted some of the tables behind us a bit.  We took our time getting everything done, and left the stand around 80% complete, with only a few odds and ends to do come Saturday morning.  After covering everything up with very secure sheets of cloth, we hopped back into the van and headed off to our digs in Hemel Hempstead, about 1hr 20min away.

Saturday morning we set off at 6:30am, and got back to the venue at 7:45.  The place was a hive of activity, with traders running about all over the place.  After Salute, this is probably the next biggest show on the calendar, and there's a lot on offer.  The mixup on the stands had affected a couple of other folk as well, with Caliver Books being squeezed into a space inside the front door, and the display games behind us needing shifting about before the show opened.  I can imagine trying to fit in 70 traders as well as all the games is a nightmare job, and not one I'd like to tackle!

There was a significant queue outside as 10am approached, and when the doors did open, a wave of people hit the show.  A great number of them went straight upstairs to check on the Bring and Buy, as is customary, but the rest got straight to business, and we were busy.  There was a lot of browsing going on, with the stand being quite full at times, as people really got right into it and checked out the display figures.

Our stand was downstairs in the main hall, at the end of the two aisles.  

Upstairs on the first floor there are the majority of the games, plus a couple more traders:

Then up on the second floor there are more games, the tournaments, and the Bring and Buy:

You can also escape out on to the terraces overlooking the racecourse if you fancy:

There were a great deal of Forum members around over the course of the weekend, probably the most we've seen at any show before.  We saw KiwiDave and SteveJ, who were running games up on the 1st floor.  Steve had a lovely little model he'd made, which will hopefully be making an appearance in the Pendraken ranges soon.  We also saw Paul Davies, who was there taking photo's for a WI article.  He also took a few of our display figures, so keep an eye out for those in a future issue!  Bertie came along to pick up his order, as did a trio who I managed to miss!  Serotonin, O Dinas Powys and Raider4 all picked up some bits, but I must have been away when they came by.  Dave passed on the message that O Dinas Powys had been by, but I was up on the third floor at the time getting game pics!  Commodore Rob popped by with another of the 6mm boats he's working on for us, which looked great:

I also saw AndyRob wandering about!

Business continued over lunch, and well into the afternoon.  With the weather outside fairly warm, the temperature on the ground floor increased over the course of the day, to the point where a few of the traders were heading outside for some air.  Normally this could have been fixed by simply opening a door, but with the winds outside, this was doing more harm than good.  The couple of times it was attempted, it resulted in all kinds of things getting blown off and out of stands!

By the time 5pm rolled around, we were pretty chuffed with the days business, and we'd had a better opening day than 2010.  We covered everything up again, and headed off down the M4 to Hemel.

Sunday morning was a slightly later start, but we were still on the road for 7am, arriving at the venue at half 8-ish.  The Sunday's at a lot of the two-day shows can be quiet affairs, indeed, on some occasions it makes you wonder on the longevity of the two-day event.  The only real reason is for the tournaments to be played out, and often the traders spend Sunday's sitting around more than the competitors do!  Last year at Colours, the Sunday for us was very different, with a two hour spell in the afternoon where we had quite a rush.  This year, once the doors opened, things weren't looking good, as despite the number of people in the show, nobody seemed to be buying anything.  I took the oportunity to have a wander and chat with some of the other traders.

Opinions were a bit mixed, with some having a great weekend, while others were down quite a bit on last year.  One thing which won't help the cause is the disappearance of goods from trade stands.  This is a repetitive occurrence in recent years at Colours, and is one of the major drawbacks for traders.  Last year Gateshead Gaming had £200 worth of FoW boxsets taken, and a couple of other companies had things go missing.  This year was no different, and I heard that Dave Thomas had several items taken from his area.  This kind of problem isn't something which can be pinned on the organisers, it's really something which every visitor to the show needs to be on the lookout for.  The vast majority of wargamers are genuine and honest folk, and thefts at shows are thankfully a rare thing, but these odd few need to be caught and dealt with properly...  There was actually a guy arrested at the Warfare show last year as well, so it seems to be localised to this area.

At this point, I'm just going to give a quick plug to Stafford Games.  They very kindly helped me out with some FoW info on a paint sale, so in return, I'd like to point folk in the direction of the 'Midlands Wargames Centre', which has it's grand opening this Sunday, the 18th of September.  With a bigger shopping space, plus several games tables, it's always a good thing to have more facilities like this available to the hobby.

Despite the slow start, the trend from last year hit again, and while I was away getting game pics, Dave was doing some good business downstairs.  By the time I got back down, it was almost time to close, so we got busy packing some of the stand away.  In a rerun from Border Reivers last week, the heavens decided to open just as we began carrying things out to the van, but it was just a shower, and the rain came and went every ten minutes or so, which wasn't too bad.

Once packed away, we set off on the long journey home, arriving back in the North-East just after 9:30pm.  Overall, this was a great weekend for us, with both Pendraken and Minibits seeing an increase, which was excellent!  Thanks to the Newbury & Reading Wargames Society, we'll see you again next year! - Now home to over 7000 products, including 4500 items for 10mm wargaming, plus MDF bases, Battlescale buildings, I-94 decals, Litko Gaming Aids, Militia Miniatures, Raiden Miniatures 1/285th aircraft, Red Vectors MDF products, Vallejo paints and much, much more!


14 September 2011, 06:07:46 AM #1 Last Edit: 15 September 2011, 06:50:42 AM by Leon
So, now to the pics of the games, I've got so many (120-ish!) they've taken 5 hours to edit and upload!  (And I couldn't pose them all in one go, I'd exceeded the 20,000 character limit!  :o )  I've also taken the time to note what the game was and who put it on, so Ianrs had better appreciate it, it took me ages!   :D  There are also some new recruits to the Pendraken Auxiliaries, so scroll down to the end to see them!

Huntingdon and District Wargames Society - WW2, Battle for Budapest:

Swindon and District Wargamers - Clash of Empires:

RAF Wargames Association - Stargate GB-1:

South London Warlords - ACW, Bloody Lane, Antietam:

Dunbristenham Gaming Collective - WW2, July 1944, Eastern Front (run by KiwiDave using a load of Pendraken-y goodness!):

The Napoleonic Association - Ancients, 'Classical Wars':

Double Six Gamers - WW2, Eastern Front (run by SteveJ, with an appearance by some Minibits trees!):

The Naval Wargames Society - WWII, Mediterranean Naval game:

Didn't get the name of this one:

Uxbridge Wargamers - Ancients, Late Romans vs Sassanids:

Penarth & District Wargames Society - French & Indian Wars:

Crooked Dice Game Design Studio - 'The World of Cult TV':

Braintree Wargames Group - Zombies:

Weymouth Gamers and Peter Pig - ACW Naval:

Dark Knights & Bloody Dawns - ACW, Wilson's Creek:

Thames Valley Gamers - 16th C Renaissance, Battle of Biocca:

Parkfield Miniatures - Vietnam:

Lincombe Barn Wargames Society - 'The King's Dead' Mammoth Hunt:

Sheffield Wargames Society - Renaissance, Italian Wars:

Skirmish Wargames - 'Al Andalus' El Cid Moors in Spain:

A small participation game:

No details on this one:

Combined Ops Group - WW2, 1942, El Alamein:

Mid Somerset Wargames Group - British Retro Sci-Fi:

Loughton Strike Force - Napoleonic, 'Action at Waterloo':

Maidenhead and District Gamers - 'Gangs of New York' (not the best pic):

Scarab Miniatures - Ancients, Athens vs Sparta:

Wild West Fantasy?

Not sure who was putting this one on...

Hastings & St Leonards - SYW, Mallwitz:

Bedford Gladiator's - Fantasy:

Edward VIII Cocktail Bar - AVBCW, 1938, 'The Battle of Ambridge':

Air Combat Yahoo Group - Vietnam:

Two Guys Productions - Non Gothic Sci-Fi:

Wednesday Night Warriors - ACW:

Team Zulu - Isandlwana:


The Competition tables:

And the new Pendraken Auxiliaries!  Identify yourselves...  :D

#:-S #:-S #:-S (:| I-) - Now home to over 7000 products, including 4500 items for 10mm wargaming, plus MDF bases, Battlescale buildings, I-94 decals, Litko Gaming Aids, Militia Miniatures, Raiden Miniatures 1/285th aircraft, Red Vectors MDF products, Vallejo paints and much, much more!


Some good pics there Leon!

3rd Auxilliary from the top is me :)

Lord Kermit of Birkenhead

Good stuff - thanks for captions. The one you havn't looks like uncharted seas.

Lord Kermit of Birkenhead
Muppet of the year 2019, 2020 and 2021

Commodore Rob

That last picture would be me:-)


Nice pics.
I think the game you missed the name of was a Dystopian Wars naval game.

Steve J

Unsuprisingly the AVBCW game won Best Demo game at the show.

Aart Brouwer

Wow, the variety of periods, scales and genres must have been huge judging by the pics. Excellent impression of what must have been a feast to the eye. Thanks Leon!

Sadly no longer with us - RIP (1958-2013)

"No, I do not have Orcs, Riders of Rohan, Dark Elves, Skaven, Kroot Mercenaries Battle Tech, HeroClix, Gangs of Mega-City One or many-horned f****** genetic-mechanoid arse-faced pigmen from the Purple Pustule of Tharg T bloody M." (Harry Pearson, Achtung Schweinehund!)