Friday 11 May 2012

How It All Began

I started wargaming as a 12-year-old back in 1973. For nearly thirty years I never fought an ancient battle, or felt any inclination to do so. Some time around the start of the new millenium I was searching for old Jacklex, Hinton Hunt and Minifig S range colonial figures and placed an ad in Military Modelling asking anyone who had any to dispose of to give me a ring.

One evening the phone went. "You're looking for old Minfigs. I've got some" a voice barked at me. It was the legendary John T. Tuckey. The old minifigs he had turned out to be Ancient Egyptians, which I definitely didn't want. However, John T. Tuckey was a very hard man to resist. Two months later I called in at his house in Somerset on the way back from a holiday in Devon. Despite still being totally opposed to owning the figures he had to offer - and by then he had found even more - bought all of them. The figures JTT sold me were the original Minifig S range Egyptian range (they were remodelled a few years later in much slimmer style). He had bought them in the 1970s from a wargamer in Kent who was also a farmer. The farmer-gamer had painted them in a detailed and eccentric style, highlighting the noses with white flashes that gave them a hint of Adam Ant. The shield patterns were equally novel, shaded geometric shapes in odd tones of orange and blue.

When I got home I began to unpack the figures. My daughter - who was five - came into the room. She started helping me, lining them up on the desk top. "These are the best soldiers you ever bought," she said when they were all arranged in rows, "You must keep them forever". I have never gamed with them, they are wrapped in tissue paper in a box in the wardrobe.


  1. Glad to see you here! And I enjoyed Achtung Schweinehund immensely when it appeared a few years ago.

    Best Regards,

    Stokes Schwartz

  2. Cheers Stokes! It all seems a long, long time and several thousand figures ago now....

  3. Your daughter sounds like the perfection of childhood!
    Without wishing to sound like a backbencher, might I say that Achtung Schweinehund made me laugh like a demented teenager (something I haven't been over thirty years). Sound chap!

  4. Her insistence as a pre-schooler on joining me at the painting table was the reason I converted from enamels to acrylics (five year olds and white spirit, not a good mix). I still have a box of bright pink, mauve, purple and green figures she helped me with. The way my eyesights going my own may soon look similar.