Wednesday, 11 August 2010

Sheffield Toy Soldier Show

We trotted along to The Sheffield Toy Soldier Show, way back on 18th July - I did actually start this post on the 19th, so thought I'd better get on and finish it, but things like work, holidays etc just got in the way, as they do. Four of us from the YCW went along, myself, Rich, Tim & Jordan, and after meeting up at Tim Norton's gaffe, we loaded the car up with his Toy Soldier game, an apt display for this Show we reckoned. After a shortish drive, we had a stop off at The Highwayman Cafe for a Fat Boys Breakfast, and after only the one minor error by the SatNav, we were there and setting up.
Tim had painted up some British Paras & Waffen SS for this one, Airfix 1/32 scale, and as always a nice paint job was done.

The show itself was like a, well, like a big toy soldier shop really. Wonderful stalls to browse around, and lots of toys that I'm sure we all had when we were children. Made me feel quite nostalgic to be fair, looking at stuff thinking, "I had that, and that, and two of them, and always wanted that but never had one, and so on." It was indeed a happy place!
Some close ups of the game, Paras against also newly painted Waffen SS types.
I always liked this chap with the Sten. Has the look of Richard Todd in The Longest day I think.
Some hard-bitten Germans, snipers & SMG's to the fore.
Brits gather for a chat whilst lobbing a few grenades at the opposition.
And get told to "Get on in there" by that chap with the Sten.
These model tanks caught my eye, at 1/32 scale, and the price.. not half bad really. I was sorely tempted for a 1/32 WW1 bash...
Several people joined in the game (we were the only one) throughout the day, and we sold a few rulesets too. Tim displayed a high level of tolerance and understanding with some very enthusiastic younger gamers, whilst the rest of us did a runner. It's always good to see the younger generation getting into the hobby, though Tim did age a few years by late afternoon.
All of a sudden it was feeding time again, and I must admit I did struggle to do my pie justice. Perhaps it was having had too much breakfast, or maybe it was the Tetleys & pie I'd had the night before, but I'm grateful to Richie for his help with it. It was good quality though.
Tim had a sandwhich, the sensible fellow, but was horrified to see that there was a salad type foodstuff on the plate as well. He managed to avoid it, in a manly sort of way, without tears, fuss or mess.

A Sherman made it's way to the table, at a mere £12 cost..

.. and a museum piece too, just for fun.
In another game, we did have a few over the day, the now Mechanized Germans took on some Russians.
Those pesky cows were hanging around again, getting in the way, making methane toward the invaders in a display of Soviet bovine patriotism.
The Soviet defenders gathered, and banged away with an artillery piece. The rules really do play well, and are a lot of fun to use.

Despite the best supporting efforts of the gassy bovines, the Germans cracked on and pushed the Russians back. In fact, it would be fair to say that the Reds had a bit of a slapping.

Onto the question of purchases made on the day .. well, there was so much to choose from, there really was. It was quite different to a wargames show, and here pretty much everything I saw just begged to be bought. I restrained myself to the following-
I saw a selction of these photos, all of a decent size, on a stall, and I thought "Now that's just the dogs bo....", but also thought, well they'll be a fair bit though .. but I asked, and was told "£5 each Guvnor." So I asked again, and was told "£5, deaf lugs." So I duly bought one, it's a print copy of the original signed by the gent himself. For me, this must be My Buy of the Year thus far. Clearly, the photo was taken before all those bloody spears started to fly about.
A couple of books, a mere £1 each..

.. and then I succumbed to the Toy Soldier style. It must be 35 years since I bought figures this size, but I just couldn't help it. Around £10 a box I think, 20 figures, or gun & crew, for a Napoleonic skirmish game. The figures, although having a pleasant toy soldier style, are fairly well detailed, and should paint up well.
And then, I was taken in by Steve Weston's South of the Border range .. Mexicans, Peasants and The Magnificent Seven. I had to buy some, well, a fair lot really, for a Western Game. Here's a few of the Mexican Bandits, a shady looking bunch, not to be trusted at all.
A grand day was had, and now all I need to do is buy a copy of Donald Featherstone's Skirmsh Book, and er, oh yes, paint all those figures too. I think I'll keep the paint job fairly simple, to speed the process up, that should help. And then make a few buildings too I suppose. And some terrain. Soon! A quick spin back toward home, broken by tea, buns and a witter at Tim's, which ended the trip very nicely. If you can, I'd recommend that you have a look at any similar show, it is well worth it, if even just for the associated Happiness Factor.
A belated Hello & Welcome to Eaman, Yorkie, Ken, Ben & Goose, you have a good selection of Blogs between you, thanks for joining, it is appreciated.
Regards all,


Tim_Waudby said...

Splendid write up! Nice to relive the day! Jordan did a fair bit of coaching the junior team too, I couldn't have stayed sane without his help - I also ran at one point! I have Don Fetherstone's book if you need a lend of it, personally the rules didn't grip me. I may need to have another read. Tim

paulalba said...

That looks like great fun,

I was at a carboot sale on Saturday and there was a massive bag of Airfix plastic WW2 soldiers just crying out to be bought for £2! I resisted :-(

The WW1 tanks look amazing for £14, on Saturday at claymore at the bringandbuy there were four 1/32scale WW1 fighters (camel, 2 fokkers 1 red baron the other the later DVII and a spad) with stands, £5 each (you can't buy a 1/72 plane for that now). I so wanted to buy them but as they already had a light covering of dust sense prevailed plus I had already spent my quota (you can sneak 15mm AB's into the house but large tri and bi planes needs a bit of thinking!

If my loft was finished they would have been mine!!!!

Great write up

Richie the Darklord said...

Very nice write up Peeler, thanks for a great day out. Also well done Tim for keeping order in the game.

Conrad Kinch said...

Looks like a good time was had by all. What rules did you use?

Peeler said...

Ah Tim, yes please, I have fond memories of that book!
Paul, if only! I'll have my gaming room up sometime this year, hopefully..
Richie, t'was indeed another grand day out,
and Conrad, we used Tim's very own Toy Soldier Rules, they do play well, see his Blog for further details or purchase! :-)
Regards all,

Conrad Kinch said...

Would you be interested in picking up some 1/32 Second World War figures? I have some that I acquired in a flight of fancy last year and the memsahib is looking askance and making noises about downsizing. There are some British infantry, Bren carriers and a Hun AT gun going begging.

Peeler said...

I would think so Conrad, would you like to email mphillips611 at

scott davidson said...

What an interesting blog, introduced by a thought-provoking photo. The unusual wall painting of the dwellings is also a strangely modern interpretation. Something like this hieroglyphic view of a park by Swiss painter Paul Klee,
The image can be seen at who can supply you with a canvas print of it.