In my never ending quest to complete the lead gaps I came across this obituary for the late Dick Higgs, sculptor extraordinaire for Miniature Figurines. It is from Wargames Illustrated issue 107, August 1996. All cudos to the unknown author.
Richard Michael Arthur Higgs
Born 31 August 1937; dies 25 May 1996 at Southampton General Hospital.
After graduating from the Portsmouth College of Art where he specialized in fine art and sculpture, Dick Higgs joined Sanderson Wallpapers as a wallpaper designer and in his spare time made master models for Miniature Figurines of Southampton. In 1968 he became design director of the company and was responsible for all the designs issued from then until forced into early retirement in 1990.
In partnership with Neville Dickinson who produced the models, Dick Higgs originated or invented in 1974 the now much abused but still very popular 15mm scale of figure which allowed the hobby to grow into the industry which it is today. Although interested and knowledgeable in the Napoleonic period, Dick's talent for design covered from Ancient times to the beginning of the 20th century and whilst a brilliant model figure painter he relaxed and preferred his love for landscape and portrait painting.
Believing the wargamer wanted to game with more models and with metal prices increasing dialy, Dick designed a small range of British and French Napoleonic models which swept the hobby market and created a whole new concept - and a 'bandwagon' that many people jumped on.
Just when the fruits of his labours and abilities were proving an integral part of this hobby's history, dick was forced, because of ill health, to retire from his work, from his hobby and from his love of design and art.
Dicks Higgs died in his sleep at 3am on Saturday May 25th to gain relief from the pain he had endured for many years.
It is always interesting to find out the background of sculptors and so sad to discover, as with Dick, where one had to retire due to ill health. Very sad however may he rest in peace with his easel in the sky looking down upon us crazed hobbyists pursuing his art.
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