Wednesday, 29 November 2017

The 1972 Hinchliffe Catalogue.

In 1972 Frank Hinchliffe was employing Peter Gilder as his figure sculptor. They were producing a minimum of one new figure per day and in order to advertise the rapidly growing ranges he produced this catalogue. I was very kindly given this by Jim Sweeney at the Partizan Show this year. It was also at this show that I turned down the offer of buying from Jim the original unit of British Napoleonic Household cavalry painted by the great man! I still cant believe I didn't buy them. 
Contained in the catalogue was a couple of articles by Peter regarding the organisation of his Napoleonic units for his developing rules that would finally see light of day as In the Grand Manner.
He also produced a small article about how he painted his figures which is truly informative, well for me it is.
Please excuse the small amount of graffiti on some of the pages. The booklet is over 40 years old.

Peter Gilder and Frank Hinchliffe admiring their latest offerings.One was allowed to smoke inside in those days. No health and safety nazis back then.

In the Grand Manner Part Four.

In part four of the series, Peter Gilder described how he made those wonderful trees and hedges that are virtually standard fare for wargamers nowadays, horsehair trees and the like. They were a big improvement on the Merit plastic trees that a lot of wargamers were using. At that time I couldn't afford even those trees and made do with clumps of real hedging etc. The horsehair idea was a real improvement and available to any handy wargamer. Strangely that is the last in this series from Miniature Warfare. Gilder states that in his next article he would discuss the order of battle. Frustratingly I don't have that article and it certainly didn't appear in the later 1970 issues. Perhaps other readers have the completed series and could send me a copy for completeness. Or even better offer to sell me the issue or issues. I can live in hope. 

In the Grand Manner Part Three.

Part three of the series is as informative to me now, as when the article was written back in 1970. If one were to examine various images of wargames from that era and compare them with Gilder's Waterloo terrain the difference is startling. Textured and realistic terrain with well painted, for then, figures. If one has the Miniature Warfare magazine for 1970, the main topic under discussion was the 50% rule, a spurious argument about how to handle the morale of a wargames unit when it reaches 50%. Meanwhile Peter Gilder was sculpting lovely figures and making eye catching terrain that grabbed the imagination of the public. Who remembers the rule argument? Probably no one now, it was that trivial. But who remembers the first time they saw images of Peter Gilder's wargames layouts, or the first coloured photographs in the first issue of Miniature Wargames. The man was way ahead of his time regarding how to present a wargame.  

 Frankly, one would struggle to see this standard of wargaming table, even now. It does exist, but the vast majority of gamers have opted for practicality over presentation.

In the Grand Manner Part Two.

One of the first times I heard of Peter Gilder was when I was reading an early Military Modelling struggling over the Charles Grant articles about Napoleonic Wargaming. The series was illustrated by small black and white images of wonderful wargaming terrain created by... a Peter Gilder. And I was hooked. That is exactly what I wanted, beautifully sculpted model terrain like this man.

In the Grand Manner Part one.

This blog is really a labour of love and is really an attempt to make certain that any person even slightly interested in wargaming understands the importance that Peter Gilder was when it was first attempting to establish itself in this country in the late 1960's and 1970's. I may only return to post occasionally but I am always on the lookout for additional information to add to it. Somehow I forgot about the articles Peter Gilder wrote in 1970 for the wargames magazine Miniature Warfare. Anyway whilst re reading them the other night I 'found' these. Gilder created several versions of his Waterloo terrain which he sold and then subsequently returned to to build an improved version.
I think it would be fair to say he was fascinated by the battle, and hosted many games of the battle.   

Sunday, 4 June 2017

The Battle Interview in 1978.

Clive Smithers, very kindly sent me the Donald Featherstone interview with Peter Gilder from the Battle magazine which was released in 1978. I can only apologise for not downloading this myself. I have the Battle magazines in their entirity and should have remembered this. Anyway thanks again to Clive Smithers for his kindness.

Sunday, 12 February 2017

Some Peter Gilder 'How to' guides.

In the interests of completeness I have downloaded some of Gilder's 'How To' guides, they are still relevant and explain some of his techniques.

Saturday, 21 January 2017

Battleground, link.

This blog was always going to contain infrequent posts, simply because compiling information about Peter Gilder can be hard to locate. I still hope that casual readers of this modest blog will get in touch with images, anecdotes, information or whatever to build up a more comprehensive picture.

 So for completeness sake we come onto Battleground produced by Tyne Tees Television, which was my local television company in the 1970's.
 I could never understand why TTTv took on the mantle of wargaming until I was privileged enough to sit down with Charlie Wesencraft a couple of years ago,when he explained how it all came about:

RR, I recently discovered that you had some input into the iconic Battleground series produced by the now defunct Tyne Tees Television. How did that come about?
CW, I had been asked by North Tyneside Council to do a series of six historical wargames for them.
On the first night two ladies from the local television company turned up and asked me about wargaming in general. I heard nothing for a while, but then I received a telephone call out of the blue from Tyne Tees Television asking if I could write a series of six scripts of battles fought by famous military personalities. Originally I wanted to portray the Battle of Cannae, and Hannibal, but the producer said very few people would know who he was! So they asked me to do Julius Caesar instead. I call them scripts but actually they had to be written on one page of foolscap, it was an interesting problem.
RR, I remember watching the series, and wanting to re fight the battles, it was amazing to a young wargamer.
CW, What actually happened was that I got John Braithwaite to help me prepare the battles. It was decided by the producer that we should record a pilot battle to see how things looked. I remember the producer, she was a vicar's daughter who swore like a trooper, I was appalled!
A younger wargamer called Peter Gilder was supposed to do the first battle, but nerves got the better of him. Peter had an anxiety attack and ended up fainting and being taken to hospital.
 So John and I did the pilot. I remember that the producer wanted us to throw a six to hit a gun, well of course neither John or I could manage to throw one, so we had to cheat a bit. They then insisted on smoke being blown all over the battlefield to add some drama, as if having beautiful wargames figures on a table wasn't enough.
 Anyway the series was accepted, filmed and released for television. 
RR, I have been lucky enough to have a dvd of four of the battles, I still think they are great, especially Gettysberg and Waterloo.

 I think Battleground reinforced my love of wargaming and filled me with the ambition to replicate what I saw on the programme.It is of its time, and can be very laboured when watched nowadays. Still I love to watch Gilder ragging poor John Braithwaite, he must have been a nightmare to fight against.

John Braithwaite [ Garrison Miniatures] 'enjoying a verbal and physical towsing by Peter Gilder. It got even worse in the Gettysburg episode I seem to remember.

 Anyway I thought it would be good if I included a link to the the hard work done by Doug Crowther when he downloaded the Battleground programmes onto You Tube.

So for people who would like to wallow in some great wargaming nostalgia, fill your boots.