Sunday, April 3, 2011

Milestones 2

In Milestones 1 I noted that my first introduction to proper wargaming with rules was with Introduction to Battle Games and Airfix figures.  I don’t think that I have any survivors of those figures.  I did a deliberately retrospective game a few years back, a medieval skirmish with Robin Hood and Sheriff of Nottingham figures rather than any of the more modern alternatives, to play with the idea of what I would have wanted things to look like back then, had I had the skill to make it work.
While I did accumulate a few Hinton Hunt 20mm Napoleonics (long gone), my earliest metal armies were for 25mm fantasy games with Chainmail.  I started with Minifigs ME (and SS to a lesser extent) range.  I still have a few survivors, all with more recent repainting jobs:

The “giant” is not much by modern standards.  In later years, I thought that he had a rather Narnian look to him, so he’s earmarked to be part of a Narnian Hordes of the Things army.  I have a handful of magnetic sabot bases for HotT to make it easy to configure individually based fantasy figures for the game.
Most of my remaining fantasy figures were rebased on uniform 60mm square bases for Fantasy Rules! a few years ago.  
Here’s an element of ME Nazgul on horseback:

I’ve never been particularly happy with miniature depictions of Tolkien’s Ents.  I have two elements of these ME range fellows, seen here with an ME Huorn in the second rank.  These were an experiment in mixing some Woodland Scenics products with the painting.
The ME armies never got too large; my budget as a 12-year-old was pretty limited, and the one hobby shop that stocked the figures was a long way away.  Most of my units were around 10 figures, except one “horde” of scruffy ME goblins of nearly 50.  This didn’t make for a very satisfactory Chainmail game.
The next wave of figures that I added were, I believe, Der Kriegspielers (or early Heritage, perhaps? Duke Seifreid, in any case), also from a Middle Earth range.  These Wild Hillmen are from that range.  At this remove of time, I’m not entirely sure whether they were billed as Dunlendings or as some sort of backwoods Gondorians.
McEwan Miniatures was an early player in the market, branching out beyond the Middle Earth or Conan influence.  However, I have only two of their products in my collection.

The first is this rather exotic monster, labelled, as I recall, as “Web-footed Everett” in the catalog.  I have long wondered whether Everett was some local gamer immortalized in metal.  I use this figure occasionally as a water lurker in HotT.

The lizard riders have seen a lot of action over the past 30 years.  I have 10 of these, with what I recall being early Ral Partha Huns mounted on McEwan riding lizards.
I haven’t had a large-scale fantasy game on the table in a few years.  Digging around in my storage boxes for this entry has me thinking I ought to do something about that soon...


  1. Wonderful to see some of the minifig middle earth stuff- the giant and ents brought back many happy memories for me. I love the basing too- did you do that or is it bought with the edges like that?
    The ME figs remind me of many happy hours gaming on a piece of hardboard with some superb rules written by someone from the South East of Scotland Wargames Club. I loved the bit where if a unit came too near a barrow the barrow wights came out and attacked...
    Thanks for nostaligally brightening up my Monday morning!

  2. P.S the giant is very like the Narnian illustrations of Pauline Baynes...

  3. I bought those bases from a US supplier called Renaissance Ink, with the edges already beveled. I'm not sure that I'd like that look for everything, but I think it looks nice when you are using small numbers of figures for large-scale games. We used the same bases for 40mm 16th century troops where the same abstraction level situation applies in our rules. (I also share that project with Ross Macfarlane.)