Wednesday, 28 April 2021

Playtesting Wargames Research Group 4th Edition Ancient Rules 1980

Andy Macmaster has very kindly allowed me to download some images from his trip to the Wargames Holiday Centre from 1980 where amongst other games he play tested the WRG 6th edition ancient rules. Peter Gilder was a very active member of the Society of Ancients then and was crowned wargames champion twice by the society. 
The small units look lost on the terrain but that was the nature of the ancient rules back then.

WRG ancient rules virtually had a monopoly in the ancient wargames period and was one of the reasons I started using the title Independent Wargames Group as a sort of anti establishment thing. Naivety ruled sadly.  


Thursday, 30 April 2020

Pony Wars.

Peter Gilder introduced Pony Wars into the Wargames Holiday Centre basically as a bit of light relief from the heavy going of large Napoleonic battles. It was a brilliant success. Basing the rules on [or plagarising depending on your point of view] ' B Company Aint Coming Back' by the talented Ian Beck the games enjoyed a lot of popularity before Peter Gilder sold the armies as he was wont to do.He replaced the western theme with the equally excellent Sudan period. I thought it would be nice to view some of the original western figures again

Thursday, 16 April 2020

Lets Fight Leipzig Part Two.

 Ive managed to download the second part of the article Peter wrote for Miniature Wargames. Like a lot of articles Gilder wrote he kept the thing brief. I sometimes wonder if he just got bored of such things and once he had fought the battle he just wanted to be onto his next project.Still there is a order of battle albeit based upon a very high man to figure ratio. It still would have looked very impressive and I would dearly love to have had a crack at the weekend.

Monday, 13 April 2020

Miniature Wargames Number Four.

 Peter Gilder was well known for his terrain and love of Napoleonic refights. In Miniature Wargames Four he was to provide details of his most ambitious refight... The Battle of Leipzig.
 When I first read this article I was simply blown away by the size of the game and all in 28mm!
 Of course the images of units from the refight drove me to paint faster, better and basically follow the Gilder ideals. It was only later I finally realised that I had neither the money, time or resources to stage these types of games. But it did provide loads of ideas about how to wargame in the grand manner.

Miniature Wargames. Number One.

 Miniature Wargames when it hit the shops in 1983 was a revelation for wargamers.After the collapse of the Battle magazine there was literally no media outlet for the growing hobby. Other people had tried to get wargames magazines off the ground but all had failed very quickly.
 Peter Gilder was instrumental in the birth of the first quality wargames magazine providing beautiful photographs of wargaming figures, naturally Gilder's and also giving wargamers decent articles to read and enthuse over.Peter Gilder press-ganged a poor librarian called Duncan Macfarlane to become the editor simply because he was a wargamer and knew about writing? The rest is history.
 In the first issue there was a review of Gilder's original Wargames Centre which apart from being a great advertisement for his business was also the first nationwide mention that Gilder had left Hinchliffe models and set up his own figure company. 

Monday, 24 February 2020

Peter Gilder, how it all started?

                                       Peter Gilder, how it all started?

  Peter Gilder clearly enjoyed risking his life by the fact he flew planes rode motorcycles which in the early 1960’s was a lot more dangerous than nowadays. No racing leathers, boots or crash helmets was the standard position for any rider.He was also an accomplished water polo player and keen racing cyclist. It was because of one of his hobbies that he discovered wargaming.
  Gilder managed to break his leg following a cycling accident in early 1962 and whilst in hospital he  was reading a copy of one of his wife's magazines in which a certain Donald Featherstone had written an article about wargaming. No Kerry Catona in those days, thank heavens.
As a result Gilder obtained a copy of the newly published book called Wargames by the late great Donald Featherstone.The rest was history, as they say.
 Gilder began buying, converting and painting the boxes of Airfix toy soldiers that had emerged in the early 1960's.

 Peter Gilder didn’t mess about and contacted Feathersone sometime in 1962 and arranged to meet his idol, they became firm friends.He subsequently threw himself into his newly found hobby.
By July 1963 he was advertising his services to wargamers of converting Airfix figures, a must back then and also offering to create Napoleonic artillery for would be gamers.
By August 1963 Gilder was inundated with commissions and was complaining of having too many to handle.
Such were the abilities of Peter Gilder that he became the sculptor for one of the very few wargame figure producers in the United Kingdom. Alberken sold a small range of 20mm wargames figures and Gilder was employed to create a new range titled Battles of Yesteryear, which was a series of Gilder figures painted and boxed for collection or wargaming.
This was to be a very short collaboration for Gilder and Alberken who parted company in August 1965.One gets the impression that Peter Gilder could be a difficult person to deal with.

20th March 1965.
The Military Festival, Duke of York Headquarters Chelsea.
A lot of the more mature wargamers will remember the images of many well dressed wargamers surrounding a beautiful terrain where they were re fighting the Battle of Waterloo. The table would be surrounded by a packed audience of people struggling to understand what was going on. A total of 1500 20mm Alberken figures were used for the refight, the vast majority supplied by Peter Gilder who also made the 16.0’ by 6.0’ terrain for the battle. It was to be the first of many models he would make of the battle.  

18th-19th June 1965.
The British Military Modelling Society staged their Battle of Waterloo convention to commemorate the anniversary of the battle using the Gilder terrain and figures. Peter Gilder in the guise of the Duke of Wellington was to win the battle and the BMSS Napoleonic tournament.

1965 was to be a very important year for Peter Gilder and wargaming as he went into business with Neville Dickenson to purchase Alberken Miniatures. Trading initially under the name Military Miniatures before changing the name once more to become the famous Miniature Figurines. Wargaming appeared to be progressing.
Again, the partnership was a short and troubled one, with missed deadlines and accusations of pirating figures.

 Peter Gilder was to be hired? by Frank Hinchliffe and commissioned to produce wargames figures and help promote the new business venture. He would be seen at the few wargames shows that had begun to appear across the country and most importnatly his terrain and figures would invariably feature in the wargames books that had begun to be published regularly.
Below is an interview with Donald Featherstone written for the Battle Magazine in March 1978.

Saturday, 15 February 2020

Wargamers Newsletter February 1964

 Part of my latest search for anything associated with Peter Gilder, an article he wrote and submitted re The Spencer Rifle. It is unusual for the fact that Gilder rarely wrote about actual factual militaria and concentrated on wargames and campaigns. Still Im pleased to have located the actual submission.