Thursday, 4 December 2008

My 200th post

My two hundredth post! And still going.

I have always been interested in making models, some of my first memories were my father building early Aurora plastic kits of airplanes and a grizzly bear diorama? Dad was an old school modeller and used to say that if a model was made from anything other than balsa and tissue – to was not a real model. However he also built ships in bottles and these were just fantastic little sculptures that I have never been able to copy or match. In addition my grandfather would make models, out of card, resin and wood. He also had a railway layout that filled a whole bedroom and I was allowed to run 'The Lord of the Isles' - a very special engine to me around the layout and ‘trouble shoot’ when engines or wagons stuck. That’s working with electricity and scalpels, all long before I was ten years of age.

I was born and brought up in Swansea, South Wales, where I regularly visited a now long gone model shop called REDANAS and later THE SWANSEA MODEL SHOP (which moved a number of times and is now also long gone). Later I built Airfix construction kits, tanks, planes and cars, as well as painting both the 1/72nd and 1/32nd scale plastic soldier sets – a box of 1/32nd Highlander Infantry being a very strong memory. Painting the tartan with Humbrol Enamels.

While still at school, I was fortunate to be introduced to a wargames club at Swansea University where American Civil War games were played on a regular basis. I still have a very strong and pleasant memory of students and lecturers allowing a spotty teenage boy to play with their precious Union regiments and even command a regiment or two during a large game! This was around the time of D&D coming to the UK and once again the same group would sometimes allow a teenager to take part. I collected highly modified (with placticine and PVA glue) 1/32nd fantasy models which I was very proud of.

So, from here I started to collect and paint very early Citadel figures which were painted with tube acrylic paint and although the finished article would be frowned upon today – I was still learning and enjoyed myself. Wargames and role playing was carried out at home, with a group of like-minded friends (which I still have and we often talk about those early days) and a wargame club that used to meet in an old church near the City centre on a Sunday afternoon. Great memories.

It was around this time that I started to collect White Dwarf (and still have issues dating back to issue 12 in the attic – something I doubt I will ever get rid of). An Uncle of mine, modelled airplanes and even had a railway layout (he still does) and allowed me to borrow books and magazines (he still does - the most recent 'borrow' is an anthology of Mechano Magazine articles).

As time went on I left school met a girl, Sue (now my wife) and had children, Holly my beautiful daughter and Gary my successful son. All through these years I have collected painted and played with model soldiers, planes and tanks. (My daughter stated quite recently that the smell of varnish - drying on model soldiers was the over-riding smell memory of her childhood). My interests are quite mixed and although this Blog shows many Victorian Science Fiction, and Space Modelling. I regularly model WW1 aircraft and build historical models both for myself and others. My main modelling interests at this time are; Flash Gordon, Flintloque, VSF (Victorian Science Fiction) and scratch building terrain. All of these subjects are featured on this Blog. Other interests are Warhammer Fantasy - the early rules and figures, of which I have loads and narrow gauge railways. One final point - I love reading about making or painting or wargaming with models and have a very large collection of books, magazines and articles that I regularly read, re-read and re-read again.

I have also built my own model railway layouts – narrow gauge layouts with scratch built engines, rolling stock and buildings which have featured a number of specialist modelling magazines. Some of the engines I still have and I am sure I will return to this modelling pastime at some stage as I still visit model railway shops and shows.

I have written before that I feel I am a modeller first – a painter second and a wargamer third. I do not believe that this has changed. Thank you to all who have discussed modelling and painting with me. Of special note are three people who are no longer with us – my Father Ken, my Grandfather David and Roy Disley, who used to run the BMSS (the British Model Soldier Society) in Worcester and allowed me to develop my modelling and painting skills under his tutelage.



Unknown said...


Eli Arndt said...

Congratulations and what a wonderful bit of bio on you. I hope my children can think fondly on my obsession when they are grown and out on their own.