It’s July again and that means it’s time to rent a car and get our arses down to Stafford for Barrage! We were up bright and early and into our temporary chariot to make it there in good time, factoring in enough time for a hefty breakfast.

This was our third outing to Stafford and whilst our lovely friend Samantha has moved there were still many familiar faces to greet us. Having a good feel for the venue also didn’t do us any harm and we were one of the first stalls visitors would pass to get in.

We did our best to look proprietorial for a photo. We quickly descended back into dancing and general silliness.

We try to have something new ready for Barrage and so far it’s always been a Tiny Tank (#1, #2). I’m not sure if I’ll do a fourth design but I definitely wanted to do a third. After all, we’ve got three distinct small turret designs. I recently got hold of a third party SNES controller and used it to play a bit of Metal Slug. In the game I’m terrible with the tank but I love the design! It’s supposedly loosely based on the Type 61 or the Type 74 Japanese tank but frankly I can’t see the resemblance. It does look an awful lot like the Bonaparte from Dominion: Tank Police though…

Anyway, I wasn’t going to go for anything with tracks that were quite so… scaly but more leaned towards something that hinted at the style. Several jigs were involved in making the design happen (cutting the same track shape over and over isn’t exactly easy or fun!). However it cast nicely and I’m proud of the result:

Yes, I know, I’ve not finished painting it yet. I needed to sleep!

As always our lovely friend John was as excited as a kid at Christmas and grabbed the first copy as soon as he had a spare moment. His enthusiasm always keeps our spirits up during Barrage; we have a good time but it’s hard work!

Barrage is usually fairly busy but this year was extra impressive. The tournaments were well attended, as expected, but the general footfall overall was excellent. We got to meet some passionate hobbyists (both old and new) and ran into many brilliant people we’d met before. We might not know all your names but we’d recognise you anywhere!

Our racks emptied fairly quickly (always a good sign!) but we stayed open right until then end to give tournament players a fair crack at our stuff. That and packing up is so utterly dull that we’d rather put it off another half hour or so!

This year’s selection of traders was particularly good. There were stands for everything from terrain to airbrushes and some options for both new and old minis. I had a good rummage in some bargain bins and even found something in the Bring and Buy that I couldn’t resist. Normally I’m pretty disciplined about buying minis – I have more than I know what to do with as it is but… well… I’m not made of stone!

Jenny picked up several wonderful minis from Tritex Games, my personal favourite being the pirate snail. She also got her mitts on a laser cut MDF lockable book thingy from Lasercut Architect (LCA) and an escape room style single-use game from Magic Geek that she plans to play with her fellow podcast hosts!

I saw a box of tempting old Necromunda minis and managed to resist their siren song almost to the close of the show but ultimately my will roll was not good enough and I took home a Redemptionist model. There’s something about shotguns with underslung flamethrowers that really calls to me. I also had a bit of a dig and found most of a Space Marine Devastator with a heavy plasma gun. When I first got into this hobby malarky they were brand new and I’ve always rather fancied them. 50p well spent!

However, the real prize was a Hellhound box from the Bring and Buy sale. It didn’t contain a tank though, instead it contained a small Space Marine army with the price tag of ten pounds. We all have to have a story about a legendary find and I think this is mine!

We did of course eventually pack up and then it was back into the car and up to Rotherham. Admittedly we stopped at a tiny service station for a bit of a nap because my gods, I was tired. Assuming we’re still in the general area we’ll be back next year!

A huge thank you to the whole Barrage team for making the day such a success!