Sunday 17 March 2024

Rebased, and only the loss of a half pint of blood!


Well I made a decision regarding the beautiful figures painted by Peter Gilder that had been part of a display that Hinchliffe Models had used at their shows in the 1970's and 1980's. I must admit I was concerned because you can really damage old figures when you are forcing them from old bases and in this case a lump of hardwood. 

           Before I wax lyrical can I thank Iain Macmillan yet again for his wonderful genorosity.

But I managed with just a couple of holes in my hand but no damage to the figures. Whats a bit of blood where art is concerned.

Im not overstating the art part because if one carefully examined each figure it showed the inovative techniques that Gilder pioneered and made his own. The cavalier officer is a brilliant example of all his techniques. The wipe off effect on the horse, using oils and a piece of soft rag. The exagerated button work and the careful lightening of the jackets by a little wipe with a wet brush.
Okay they wont stand scrutiny with modern painters, especially David Imrie, Mark Copplestone or others, but this man was the one who showed thousands of wargamers that basic didnt have to be the standard and witha little thought a beautiful effect could be created, and thats before he producded his wonderful and inspiring terrain and massive battles.
I will leave the images to show people why Gilder was the man who drove standards for wargaming in the 19701980's and 1990's.

Wednesday 6 March 2024

Some Gilder Goodness, part of the original Hinchliffe display stand.

Virtually all wargamers Ive known are very generous people. Whether its sharing information, time, tips or figures. One such very generous soul is Iain Macmillan who I finally met face to face at last weeks show, Hammerhead. Iain is a collector of Les Higgins figures and has often given me the 'spare' ones, but this time he exceeded all expectations and gave me this wonderful piece of Peter Gilder emphemera.
Many years ago Gilder and Frank Hinchliffe would attend various shows and sell the Hinchliffe range and dole out advice. They must have been one of the first to display painted figures on their stall. Later the Hinchliffe range was sold to Ellerburn Games of North Yorkshire and it included the display figures.
Somehow Iain managed to find this on E Bay and gave it to me. Whoever had owned it had clumsily sawn the display in pieces, and made a pretty bad job of it and it ended up in my possession.
The images dont do the figures justice, they are beautifully painted, especially the cavalry figure. The nice problem Ive got is whether to re base the figures or leave it as it is.
                                All in all the display piece is beautiful, and thanks again to Iain.

And a heads up to any collectors with some spare cash, well quite a bit. There are some more Gilder mounted french gendarmes on E Bay for sale. Im not certain if they are Hinto Hunt or Mini Figs, but its matterless as they are brilliant.


Saturday 27 January 2024

A Delight to the Eye.


While struggling with a bad back I returned to reading Model Soldiers for the Connoisseur by John Garrett 1972 recently. It is a book I purchased a few years ago on the recommendation of Harry Pearson.

 Basically the book contained potted histories of sculptors, collectors and people involved in model soldiers. Contained in the book amongst the potted biograpies of various rich Europeans are mentions of wargamers who would make their names in the hobby.

 Interestingly the name Peter Gilder pops up several times and I thought in the interests of completeness I should include what was written about Peter and his collection;

Peter Gilder believes that beautifully painted models need an appropriate setting.He is especially skilful in making naturalistic terrains and  employs many types of house of the period appropriate to the campaign in progress. His collection,comprising over 3,000 Stadden, Gammage [Russell] and Hinton models, all of the Napoleonic period, is delightfully painted and serves not only its primary purpose but at the same time is a delight to the eye. 

The question I keep asking myself is what happened to this specific collection? Stadden was just making his reputation in the late 1960's and early 1970's but his horses were already beautiful sculpts and I cant remember ever seeing figures owned by Peter that were obviously Stadden ones.

Monday 8 January 2024

A Sudan Campaign, by Peter W Gilder. Wargame Gold.

I am lucky enough to be able to attend a regularly staged weekend once a year at kenilworth where likeminded argamers host wargames based loosel around the Seven Years War, and last year I returned to the event and thoroughly enjoyed myself. Amongst the wargamers I have come to know is Guy Barlow who amongst other matters is a Peter Gilder fan. Guy has now been in touch with some wargaming gold; a copy of the Peter Gilder Sudan Campaign rules used at the Wargames Holiday Centre when he ran the place.

     If anyone would like a copy of the great mans rules, just e mail me and I will send them a copy. Although it isnt my period I was always interested in the game and how everyone who ever played it, praised how good it was, so thanks again Guy and hopefully some gamer will enjoy what Gilder created.  

 Guy also sent me a copy of what can loosely described as a set of ancient wargaming rules by a PG, PE and GB. As they were with the Sudan Campaign rules the assumption is they are by Gilder. Again if anyone wants a copy just e mail me.

Wednesday 27 September 2023

Gendarme d'Elite.

I was trawling E Bay when I came upon this unit of Gendarme D'Elite advertised as painted by the great man himself. I haven't contacted the seller, but they bear all the hallmarks of early Peter Gilder figures. Soldered pins for swords, early wiped flanks on the horses and nicely lined uniforms. 

  The figures? I believe are Mini Figs from their S range. Personally I love them and am envious of the person who will eventually own them. The current price £98 and counting. Not bad for a figure that must be about 50+ years old and testament to the artistry of Gilder.


Tuesday 25 July 2023

Tony Runkee, painter extraordinaire.


I received the very sad news of another wargaming legend who has entered the wargaming Valhalla.  Tony Runkee, painter extraordinaire died suddenly on 1st July 2023.
 I was lucky enough to meet and interview Tony several years ago for this blog and from their I was always bumping into him at various shows. I was lucky enough to obtain some of the units he had painted for Gilder, and he also painted several commissions for me. All were top quality.
 Tony had been a close friend of Peter Gilder and needless to say was recruited by him to paint his figures. Tony also helped Peter make his famous terrain boards, and all the scenery for the Wargames Holiday Centre. Tony was a no nonsense craftsman, who was a tremendous painter of wargames figures. He did many commissions, his most famous being the wonderful work he did for the late Ian Smith, his speciality being the Confederates, where he would agonise over the colour of butternut before miraculously creating the look he felt was right. He also entered many Military Modelling painting competitions where his skills were invariably rewarded. Tony was a great bloke, funny, always helpful, and always ready to advise on anything to do with model painting. 
   The service is to be held on the 1st August at Lelley Fields Crematorium Oak Hall.

Sunday 8 January 2023

When is a Gilder painted figure, exactly that?

 Its been a while, well a year actually, but then updating my Gilder site was always intended as whenever I had something to say regarding the great man.

 These French Empress dragoons were advertised for sale on E Bay a couple of weeks ago as being from Peter Gilder's early French army. I was tempted even though I have no Napoleonic armies anymore. Luckily I didn't bid on them and the went for over £100. The figures are Hinton Hunt's and I know that Gilder when he was creating his early Napoleonic armies used a lot of Hunt figures, so perhaps they were painted and owned by the great man. I would like to think so

The issue is unless there is absolute proof of provenance it is difficult to attribute any of the Gilder collection to the actual great man simply because he used so many up and coming figure painters. Having talked to several from the Gilder stable its obvious that he was able to sweet talk many talented chaps to 'do' a unit or three for him in exchange for new castings. And why wouldn't one do so.

I know Gilder in his haste to get its on the table would avoid painting his horses stomachs if he could get away with it. While plodders like me were meticulously painting and painting again every part of our figures, Gilder had the foresight and confidence to paint only where you can see. Be warned though, Gilder would also completely paint some of his cavalry regiments as the whim took him.

When Im looking for his work, I usually start by checking for replaced sabers and bayonets, then I check how the horses have been painted, are they wiped off oils etc. Hardly a definitive set of checks given how many painters who worked for him would assiduously copy his brilliant style. i wish I could a definitive answer to how to spot Gilder's work, but it is very, very difficult if not impossible.

 I know that Ian Hinds of Hind's secondhand figures is currently selling very early figures painted by Gilder, knowing Ian Im certain he will have some sort of provable providence. Anyway, great to add a liitle more to the blog.