Hinchliffe Imperial Guard - one of these is my first painted metal figure
Steve the Wargamer started an interesting discussion on the definition of Old School, recently, and also, in the last week, there were a series of posts about re-posting old items from your blog for Old Stuff Day (or some such).
Hinchliffe French infantry
Well, I was crawling about in the loft today looking for some papers when I decided to start rationalising the place. If I can get rid of one box's worth of stuff every time I go up there then by 2020 I might have cleared enough space for the boxes of stuff in my study. Anyway, while up there I found a whole load of stuff I had forgotten I had: Lledo cars for the Back of Befond, a seventeenth century mansion model, loads of dinosaurs and a box of very old metal 25mm figures. Some of these were the first 25mm figures I ever painted, at the age of ten. This was even before I had a go at painting my Airfix 20mm figures.
Carabiniers. Still my favourite Napoleonic cavalry
Of course I was rubbish at painting then and it wasn't helped by the fact that I didn't undercoat them and had useless brushes. But they are the reason that I am now, I am sure, almost exclusively a 28mm painter. I loved that extra size over the Airfix figures. The big problem with metal figures was their cost, of course, so this is as many Napoleonics as I ever bought.
The Napoleonics never saw a game but the same can't be said for these Garrison Miniatures gladiators. I had quite a number of games against my school friends Cess, Bean-Kid and Jimbo using the Paragon Wargames Group rules. I have to say that for figures that are nearly forty years old the sculpting isn't at all bad on these. They all had to have names to identify them, for the purpose of the rules, and I remember the one on the right I called Duraglit Sparklius as he was so shiny! These are the reason why I still paint gladiators!
Finally, I found these Samurai. I don't know the manufacturer (Minifigs?) but I do know they were the first 25mm samurai range. Again, we all bought a dozen or so and had at least one game on a table set up in our garden as the weather was so hot that day. It is interesting to note that my painting skills from the age of ten until fourteen or fifteen hadn't improved at all! These figures are also the reason I still have a hankering after Perry Miniatures Samurai. That and my friend HMS (who married one of my ex-girlfriends) who bought the game Shogun: Total War in 1999 which was the first computer game I ever played (I was rubbish at it).
It's hard to paint with manky brushes
Anyway, seeing how badly these were painted has cheered my up a bit as I have lost confidence in my painting ability lately. Part of the problem is that I follow so may blogs where the painting is exquisite that it's depressing me rather than encouraging me. I also have some brush problems at present (enamel paints are death to brushes) and broke out two new Windsor & Newton Series 7 00 brushes only to find that both failed to keep a point. Annoying at over £7 a time! I need to get some more. I'm in London tomorrow so might go into one of the good art shops in Soho and see if I can get some.
On another subject entirely, Scott was looking at my blog seeking a picture I had put in the sidebar of the Canadian actress Lexa Doig (actually, he had never heard of her but then New Zealand is a very long way away from Canada - or anywhere else, come to that) only to find that I had moved on. He suggested an archive, so from now on they will have their own blog.