Sunday, 22 May 2011

Airsoft: Tour of Duty - AAF

Yesterday was the day of the AAF, Airsoft Arms Fair, the first of two to be held this year at The Grange, the home of Gunman Midlands. This was the third time the event has been held and it's quite simply going from strength to strength

Over 600 visitors passed through the gates yesterday, a big increase on last year according to one of the organisers, and I'd be very surprised if any of them returned home unhappy or disappointed. I know I didn't

Stall holders included Airsoft Direct, Airsoft Skirmish, All About Airsoft, Baseline Supplies, Badger Tac, DingoDogs Airsoft, East Midlands Airsoft, Edgar Brothers Airsoft, Land Warrior Airsoft, Skirmish Clothing and Soldier of Fortune. In addition to the above, several skirmish sites and game organisers were represented and Pete 'Snapper' Winner was in attendance, promoting his new book and doing a couple of talks

Please forgive the quality of the following photos. I went to the show armed only with my i-phone 3 and a recently purchased Hitachi pocket camcorder, which I'm quite pleased with, but it's not a patch on the Lumix G1!

Two of the folks on the DingoDogs stall. Thanks guys for making the journey down all the way from Liverpool. I picked up a couple of FastMags and an IMI belt mounted extension platform for my Sig holster from these guys. Very nice

Land Warrior also made it down to the show, all the way from north of the border. Thanks guys for the gun I picked up from you. Good to put some faces to the voices over the phone! Hope to see you again at the next show

Sam from Skirmish Clothing, who sell tee shirts with airsoft slogans and designs of various kinds printed on them. They will also do custom work for airsoft teams or sites, and not just tee shirts but ball caps and polo shirts as well

SOF also travelled quite some distance to get down here. Their first time at the show, it was really good to see them there and hopefully they will come again
Afghan Heroes were also at the show, represented by a rather tasty looking motor cycle and a couple of attractive young ladies selling raffle tickets. Every time I passed through that particular tent they seemed to be very busy. It must have been the 'all in a good cause' line pulling the punters in, I guess!

In addition to the trade stalls, game site stands and the AH raffle, Airsoft International were there as one of the main sponsors, and UKAPU also had a stand. A number of private sellers also pitched up to off load some of their excess, or no longer wanted, items at bargain prices and the event was also chosen as the ideal launch pad for an online auction site, designed to run along similar lines to e-bay but with lower fees and aimed solely at airsofters

Banner for the Airsoft Auction Site, with a very intriguing name
Looking this mean and moody takes a lot of hard work and perseverance, or so I'm told! A regular at Fireball, Jay was at the show with some mates promoting their Vietnam reenactment group

If it ain't broke, don't fix it. But if it is bust, who better to put it right than the lads at Gun Munki. They were on hand all day, fixing and mending and giving out advice to those of us, like me, who aren't too good with gizmos, gadgets and grease. Thanks for fixing my Luger mag, Jamie. Much appreciated
Edgar Brothers Airsoft, another of the event's main sponsors, had a rather nice selection of Masadas and M4s on display, and just after I'd taken this photo and started talking to one of their representatives about the multi-cam patterned rifle on the stand I was given a Magpul i-phone case, completely free. There were plenty of them on sale at the show for £10 a piece, so thanks guys

Finally, but by no means least, mention must be made of the hard working cafe staff who were extremely busy all day keeping us fed and watered. They're there every game day, too, making the Grange one of the best sites to eat at in the country, in my humble opinion. A big thumbs up for my bacon bap, simple and delicious, just the way it should be

A shot of the covered seating area just outside the kitchen
So, if you haven't already made it down to the AAF, you ought to give it some serious thought. There will be another one later in the year, around October time I think, possibly held over two days rather than one, such was the interest shown this time round. Great show guys. Can hardly wait for the next!

No comments: