Friday 28 September 2012

Duke Seifried Lord of the Rings Game Historicon 2003

A good friend of mine Joel Cassell sent me these pictures taken back on July 26th 2003 at Historicon....

'I met him back in '81 at Origins which was held in the SF bay area and was small in comparison to what they do today. He was promoting Knights & Magick (my fantasy game of choice) and he gave me a pamphlet on how to paint figures. Learning a stain technique back then was invaluable to me. Met up with him again at Origins 1994 in San Jose, CA. He used to come to the HMGS shows and put on huge display games......'

I am so jealous......

Sunday 23 September 2012

May 1980 The Courier (Magazine) interviews Duke Seigried

Duke Seifried founded Custom Cast in 1974 and started releasing their 'Fantastiques' fantasy range. In 1977 Custom Cast merged with Heritage Models creating Heritage Models Inc. This interview is taken from the pages of Courier Magazine Volume 1 No.6 for May 1980.....



Courier: What aspect of the hobby interests you the most?

Duke: Well, I must confess that the concept of adventure gaming is what intrigues me the most. Adventure gaming is of course " role-playing " , you lead your little band of adventurers on a quest', command an army in a mighty battle and encounter the forces of nature , aliens or enemies. You make decisions that change the course of history! Adventure gaming with  miniatures is like putting the player into a movie. The concept of adventure gaming includes what we typically describe as wargaming; it involves role-playing and the latest thing that we've come up with, which we try to describe as 'obligation' 'national duty' and such personal interests and desires as greed, etc., are all those good things that make a "soap opera" drama involving.

Courier: What do you like least about the hobby?

Duke: For me personally, long hours, sixty-thousand miles of travel across this great country and while I really enjoy working with people, I'd like to have a Iittle personal Iife now and then .

Courier: How long have you been involved in wargaming?

Duke: Thirty-five years. May we call it adventure gaming?

Courier: How did you first become interested in the hobby?

Duke: Many years ago, obviously, since I'm in my (ahem) middle to late forties; I had an               opportunity to acquire some of the molds made for the semi-round figurines of the thirties. My father was a 54mm collector and dioramist. He put the goodly stuff in a big black (locked) box and I had to learn to pick the lock to get at it. I guess I have always had an interest in history, games theory and the pagentry or miniatures.

Courier: Do you think the days of the 25mm figure are limited and that we will eventually go to either 15mm or 20mm exclusively?

Duke: Well, I’ll describe it in this way: Fantasy, Science Fiction, and Medieval games plus other developing adventure type games will be in 25mm for some time to come because of the personality detail of the figurine and because of the handle-ability of that particular size piece. However, I personally believe historical games will be going to 15mm as you can probably see reflected by what we' re doing currently with our lines of figurines.

Courier: Speaking of your lines, are you planning any new historical lines in the near future?

Duke: At the present time , the historical era is obviously secondary in sales to Fantasy and Science Fiction. At this point we have only a few more Historical lines in mind. Our greatest emphasis must be on that area where the general public's interest lies.

Courier: Do you think Fantasy is just a flash-in-the-pan and will die out?

Duke: Absolutely not, ma'am. Fantasy is the kingpin! It's the area that draws the young people and that is the secret to this hobby! You see, it's like an iceberg with only the tip on the surface. Those young people develop their interest and become our buyers. We're selling primarily to a young market. The demographics are as follows: Primary market is between 14 to 30 years old ; secondary market 10 - 14 with the tertiary market 30 years and older (a very small area) . The 10 - 30 age bracket being male 75% and female about 25 %, whereas the 30-year-olds and over are strictly male.

Courier: What set of rules has made the most impact on the hobby?

Duke: That is a very loaded question, because you see there have been a number of 'milestone' rules sets. I think the Napoleonic period has been the keystone builder of rules in America and if I were to describe them in a kind of chronological order, I would say that Melee, Frappe, Napoleonique, Le Guerre and Empire have been the rules sets that have had the most effect upon gaming in this country. Column, Line & Square was an extraction of Melee. Courier How popular do you think wargaming or as you call it adventure gaming will become in this country?

Duke: The penetration of the most popular hobby-sport, bowling is 20%. I believe that it is feasibly possible through the medium of adventure gaming; not just "wargaming" or just role-playing or anyone area by itself; but the total combination which is ADVENTURE GAMING to achieve a 10 to 12% penetration .

Courier: How do you explain this to people who are not familiar with the hobby?

Duke: Well, as you are well aware, "Uncle Duke" puts on shows and I have a well established pattern that's somewhat like selling a "veg-a-matic". Really, I explain what it is and how it works . Let me describe it simply this way. We must attract the imagination of the individual, we must reach him or her from the standpoint of: " How can I get involved in this?" Every person has a "hot button". Consequently, what we must do is to reach the button that rings the bell for them .

Courier: Thank you, Duke.

A couple of Hobbits wot I have finished......

Dragontooth P37 Halfling Adventurer Thief. Finally finished after all these years...released in the early 80s and I have been putting paint to it for the last 3.......I really must get out of the habit of undercoating miniatures then moving them to the side for the next project.....

More Dragontooth on the Lost Minis WIKI or on my Yahoo Group where you can discuss the lead as well....

A Westwind Vampire Wars Policeman finished as well so I thought I'd throw him here...the white facing on the left arm needs touching up....didn't notice it until the pics got blown up.'s from their Jack the Ripper range.

Friday 21 September 2012

Thunderbolt Mountain Badges - Tom Meier

Some years ago Thunderbolt Mountain Miniatures were produced under licence in the UK and I managed to pick up some gold plated badges and also some earrings designed by the incredible Tom Meier, one of my favorite sculptors of all time....the earrings were sculpted for 'House of Spencer' - the website is no longer up and running so I am unsure as to what has happened to the molds / masters etc and if indeed there were any other sculpts. Good fun stuff anyway.


22nd September 2012 - update from the man himself. Tom has posted on Frothers Unite Forum;

'I’ve made lots of relief work for badges and other jewelry. The largest single project was a lot of sea life themed stuff for ‘Atlantis’ a company run by a friend here n Ohio, maybe fifty or sixty items. I think I have the molds around here somewhere. The fantasy badges were some of the first things I did in relief, I think there were about six, made in the nineteen-eightys sometime.

I don’t recall ‘House of Spencer’ and I still hold the copyright to that flying pig. They may have ordered some years ago and repackaged them though if they are of recent manufacture they are pirated.

It’s a curious thing, I’ve known quite good sculptors in other ways who can’t do relief work well or easily, I wonder what makes it different from work in the round for them.'

Saturday 15 September 2012

Jack Scruby Fantasy War Game Miniatures

Well, I just received a parcel off the great folks at Historifigs containing most of the old 70s Scruby fantasy range......totally joy.  Nice clean castings and a total trip down memory lane - remember, you have to think Minifigs ME range as the only alternative at the time......

F-1 Troll, Advancing with tree trunk - 54mm tall

F-2 Living Tree, with out stretched branches - 54mm tall

F-3 Hero, chainmail with long sword - 40mm tall

F-4 Wizard on rearing horse - 30mm tall

F-5 Elf, firing longbow - 28mm tall

F-6 Giant Orc, shield, curved sword - 30mm tall

F-7 Orc, charging with spear - 25mm tall

F-8 Orc, charging with sword - 25mm tall

F-10 Goblin in Morion, with pole-axe - 20mm tall

F-13 Wizard, with staff - 40mm tall

F-14a Dwarf, with sword - 25mm tall

F-15 Evil Wizard - 40mm tall

 Historifigs leaflet

The figures are all available via the Historifigs website with ordering details here and a PDF of their prices here.

Please note there is an updated version of this post here.

Sunday 2 September 2012

Heritage Models Inc. and Custom Cast Inc. merge......February 1977

I was lucky enough to pick up some old wargaming magazines and miniature catalogues......oh the joy of looking back.  'Little Wars' magazine was a TSR historical companion to 'The Dragon' and featured pictures I tell you, yes pictures my precious of old lead.......let the images speak.......

Jack Scruby catalogue from 1976.....I was 15 at the time and wouldn't know anything about him for many years.....the vagaries of youth of course. Historifigs are producing a lot of these old gems.  Do mention the blog if you check them out....... as they state, Scruby designed his Fantasy figures with the man-sized figures being 30mm scale. This is the scale recommended by Gary Gygax in the classic rules book Chainmail (published first by Guidon Games and later by TSR). There is a good source of info on the WIKI and also on Table Top Talk.


I have found few pictures of the actual fantasy minis although Stunties has the dwarves of course.....

Grenadier historical..... 

Wonderful sets of pics that I have never seen before of Grenadier miniatures....these were so well sculpted for the time and stand to muster by today's standards.

I have no examples of Archive Miniatures 15mm so this will have to suffice.

Even back in '77 miniature companies encountered difficulties.... 

Hopefully I will find more pics as time goes by, I am expecting 3 more issues of Little Wars Magazine this week so will post as soon as I find anything