After 4 weeks (with several more ahead) of living in what is a building site with windows, redolent of those 80s news segments from downtown Beirut, today, I made my second visit to the Joy Of Six, 6mm themed convention here in Sheffield, and it was a thoroughly enjoyable day - and an expensive one!
Let me say from the outset, that if you think that 6mm is a waste of time or simply doesn't have anything for you, you really should make the effort to attend, because you are missing a genuine treat.
We arrived at about 10AM and I delivered a few thousand 6mm models to assorted clients, including some new releases for Heroics & Ros, including Danish Centurions, T55s, and WW2 Italian infantry, all of which were. joy to paint.
The venue is the atrium of the main Sheffield Hallam University campus and is bright, airy and a very relaxing venue for a show. The atmosphere of the show is probably the best of any I have attended in the last 25 years with only Britcon coming close. I genuinely believe that the days of the big show are numbered, and if it results in more shows like J.O.6 then I'll shed few if any tears.
The staff and organisers are friendly, the attendees are friendly and the traders are equally friendly, sharing a passion for tiny yet perfectly formed things. Nobody smelled bad, smiles and good manners were abundant. What more could you want?
The bring and buy seemed a bit of a waste of time and this would be my only (and a minor) criticism.
The food was very well priced and the quality outstanding. Two bacon sandwiches and two large hot drinks cost £6.85, and the catering staff were kept very busy, serving all with smiles and banter which simply poured more goodness into the cereal bowl of life. My wife has to have her bread buttered, and the gentleman serving me did not make the fuss and grumbling noises of the catering staff at the Partizan show, a few months back. In fact I would like to thank those staff for being professional and friendly. After all we gamers can be a fickle bunch can't we?
When another of our party arrived, he grabbed two excellent slices of fresh, home made pizza and a large coffee for a fiver...
We set up camp in the seating area as my wife is not in the rudest of health recently and we chatted amiably with friends, clients and traders who dropped by. It was most agreeable.
The display and participation games were of the usual high standard and it was noted that there was a distinct lack of the miserable buggers, you seem to find at many shows these days.
30 minutes into the show, and I'd spent £180. By 4PM when we left, that total had reached £310.
My wife, a sceptic of the scale spent £99 with Baccus on a shedload of Napoleonic models for the Peninsular - for her personal use, you understand.
The traders were very busy indeed, and never seemed to be idle for more than a few moments, because of course, potentially every attendee was a customer, with the focus being on one scale.
When you see a table with a few thousand figures and 500+ trees, it really makes you want to go and spend some of your hard earned lolly. And I did...
I spent around £100 on sci-fi models from Brigade Models, then another £50 on scenery from the same company - And I got a LOT for that money too.
Then it was over to Leven Miniatures and a few fantasy buildings and a stunning rendition of Rourke's Drift which will fit into about the same area as a sheet of A4 paper. An exquisite little model!
Next, we visited Rapier Miniatures, who were telling me about their Glorantha range of 6mm models, and their plan for a massive Runequest / Glorantha game next year at the show - Stirring stuff if like me, you are a fan of the Glorantha mythos. Anyway, I walked away from there with a massive Trojan army, whilst Kayte and Dave ended up with Egyptian and Assyrian armies.
We then repaired to the nearby Red Lion pub where they serve a rather stunning Sunday roast which is tasty and almost too large to manage, washed down with a few alcohol free beers before returning to the show and spending another £50 on a few bits from Brigade and a Prussian army of the FPW from Baccus.
Dave had purchased a couple of raffle tickets and at 15:45 when it was drawn, he won a set of the Command Horizon sci-fi rules - Jammy git!
And so ended a most enjoyable and relaxing day.
I would like to thank Pete Berry of Baccus and Jon Skotulanski of Wargames Emporium along with all of the staff who made the day possible and without whom it would not have been the well oiled machine of an event that it was. And of course thanks to, to those people who presented the games which showcased what this most underrated of all the wargaming scales, can really be!
I am already looking forward to J.O.S 2018!