A Whiff of Grapeshot

Held at the Royal Artillery Museum, branded these days as ‘Firepower!’, this show takes place in premises within spitting distance of the River Thames in Woolwich, London. The venue itself is tremendous, rather like the tank museum in Bovington, with stunning displays of artiller dating from the earliest medieval pieces, through a collection of exquisite horse-and-musket era cannon, right up to the latest mechanised giants that have just rolled out of the deserts of Iraq. There are also a number of exquisite uniforms and some clever interactive displays. The sheer scale and power of some of the guns has to be seen to be truly appreciated.

For a small show, there was a healthy leavening of traders, some of whom (like David Pengilley of Pendraken and Dave Thomas) had travelled long distances to be there. There were also some very nice games on offer, ranging from the conventional to the highly unconventional, such as Gary Mitchell’s “Space Vixens from Mars” or The Old Guard’s “Scramble for Mowabel”, which included squadrons of flying carpets! Overall, any visiting members of the general public would have gone away with a very pleasing impression, and the friendly way in which the gamers and traders conducted themselves was a credit to the hobby.

From the point of view of a trader, ‘Whiff’ hardly rates as one of the big moneyspinners, but it is certainly an extremely worthy event in support of a good cause, the preservation of a vital part of our military heritage. It also happens to have one of the better catering facilities available at any wargames show – I was able to quaff good espressos and caffe lattes, and my partner Annie was delighted to discover that they even had Earl Grey tea!

So, despite starting the day with a puncture on the M23 at 8.00 am, we had a thoroughly pleasant day, with plenty of opportunities to chat with other traders, Battlegames subscribers and other wargamers. The entire atmosphere was extremely friendly and positive. These are just a general selection of pictures taken at the show for your delectation. See you there next year!

SELWG Tail End CharliesNicely done trench system in 40K gameThe Old Guard game, complete with flying carpets!Who do you think you are kidding Mr Hitler?Pevensey under attack!SELWG WW2 gamesClose up of Italians creeping through the woods…Overall view of the main hallShiloh 1862 in 6mmScratchbuilt riverboatsAustralian Valentine tanks in the Western DesertTropical Spitfire

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