Tuesday, March 05, 2013

Very old figures from the loft...

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.  


  1. A trip down nostalgia lane ;-)

    Very cool, they bring back memories.

    Ah yes Windsor and Newton series 7 - a brush that one must pay homage to! If only there was a supplier here in NZ... yes as you say we are a long way from just about anywhere ;-)

    Great idea with going ahead with the ladies blog! I'm sure I'll check in from time to time ;-)

  2. Nice to see the old Hinchliffe fig's. They were my first metals too.

  3. don't worry too much it's often depressing looking at how good some people's painting is on the blogs, however enjoying your own time when painting is important, think how much better you are now (compare the old figures with the new)and you can always see some painting on sites that's way worse than ones own. be happy (especially if a glass of good wine is to hand). brilliant blog, as always and it's a pleasure to read


  4. Scott, definitely more ladies planned!

    Rodger, I always liked the Hinchliffe figures more than miniature Figurines - they just looked so much more elegant!

    Mark, Thanks for the kind word. Cheered me up! Had a good weekend painting and now got an idea for yet another project!