Saturday, 9 June 2012

Durham Wargames Group Open Day 2012

Today was my club's annual open day.  We have it every year and it always seems to come round quicker than expected!  So Durham Wargames Group has a residency at the Vane Tempest Community Association, and every year we take over the ground floor for our little show.  

The grand entrance.  Surprisingly few people in the photo, given the crowd milling about outside!  Vane Tempest has a small cafe there now and they were open and appeared to be doing a brisk trade.  

The show's spread out over the two main halls.  The larger one was very busy, and this year we saw lots of traders attending.  Each year they seem to bring more stock too so I guess things are looking good in the wargames world, despite this recession the bankers and governments seem to want us to have.  

Good to catch up with our local boys, the Pendraken crew as ever!  Things are going from strength to strength for them, what with the new premises and all.  Still, they do produce 'god's own scale' (10mm) figures, so...

I think this is the first year I haven't purchased from Pendraken at our show (sorry chaps).  I'm being disciplined though and trying not to buy too much new until i've made a dent in my lead mountain.  I've still got a heap of Pendraken's Franco Prussian War French to paint up, as well as a bunch of their excellent Dungeon World stuff...  However, we're talking about doing the new version of DBA (v.3, currently released in draft I believe) in 10mm so i'll have to get a move on with the painting as i'll undoubtedly want Pendraken's lovely new Romans or Carthaginians for that.

Pendraken's stand

We always have a good few display games, but this year there were only two due to the interest from so many traders!

Here we have a small I Ain't Been Shot Mum game from the Too Fat Lardies stable, and the rules author and great man himself Richard Clarke (grey T-shirt) is on hand to explain how it all works! 

Our club put on the other game, a rather marvellous looking WWI board, slapped together specially for today (well done chaps).

My god, its a barren featureless desert out there...

Hello? Yes, yes, I'd like to leave a message for the head of the Flying Corps, please. That's Air Chief Marshall Sir Hugh Massingbird-Massingbird, VC, DFC and Bar. Message reads "Where are you you bastard". 

Don't forget your stick Lieutenant 
Rather, sir. Wouldn't want to face a machine gun without this. 

Meanwhile, over in the second hall, things were very busy, and rather hot and cramped.  We're getting to be beyond our space limit I think!

The Irregular chaps brought their vast range along again.  It never ceases to amaze me what you can get from them!  I must say their 6mm and 10mm stuff on display caught my eye.  Good quality too.  I might have to use them to fill in any 10mm gaps In my DBA project.

The excellent Museum Miniatures of course.  Dave's little lead chaps have populated most of my 15mm armies for years.  In fact, besides the odd diversion into Essex Miniatures, and few Irregular Minis i'd say 95% of my 15mm stuff comes from Museum.  The sizing can be a bit erratic, but get it from the shows and you can make sure that doesn't happen.  Dave's a top chap too and his minis are my 'go to' 15's.

Charlie's Northumbria Games, specialist board game supplier (and member of Durham Wargames!)

Under the Bed had a good stock of the A Very British Civil War books and some jolly nice looking Heath Robinson vehicles on sale.  Of course my Chopwell Communists made it into the second source book The Gathering Storm pt 1 Scotland and the North which was jolly nice.  

The traders in full

Museum Miniatures -
Rathbone Games -
Northumbria Games -
Irregular Miniatures -
Colonel Bill’s -
Four A Miniatures -
Under The Bed -
Ainsty Castings -
Scheltrum Minatures -
Graham’s Wuerkshoppe 
Dave Thomas
Pendraken Miniatures -
Worley Books
Games of War -
AW Miniatures -
Gateshead Gaming -
Tumbling Dice -
Trading Post and Miniature Warrior
Hoka Hey Wargaming -

Also the 'Durham Pals' historical and re-enactment chaps turned up with their WWI kit.  Very friendly and informative they were too.  Thanks chaps!  

Associated with the Durham Light Infantry Museum the Durham Pals are gearing up over the next two years for the 100th anniversary of the start of WWI.  If you're interested in getting involved, contact the chaps at the DLI Museum, or email:

I think this is their Yahoo group, and I believe they can regularly be seen at the marvellous Beamish Museum.  

Incidentally, if you're interested in reading more about the Durham and north east soldiers in WWI I'd highly recommend these books from my friend John Sheen.  His original research focusses on following the stories of the individuals involved, and makes great use of primary source material such as postcards sent by the soldiers and their families.  

Overall, it looked like this year was another success for our little show.  Preparations for next year begin tomorrow!

1 comment: