Saturday 30 December 2023

Bryan Ansell has passed away.

I just heard that Bryan passed away this morning. So many stories to tell and now gone like the fleeting mists of time. So sad. He passed away peacefully with his family by his side. RIP Bryan. I'll raise a glass for you shortly. He joins his father, Cliff, who passed in 2019.

The tribute from Diane's Facebook age.

A poor pic of me, Bryan and Tony at BOYL a few years back. Bryan and the family made me feel so welcome that my usual anxiety issues could disappear for the weekend.

Bryan back in the day (1979) looking through the figure trays...

I'm sure there will be many tributes to him and I'll post links when I find them. 

RIP Bryan.

Wednesday 27 December 2023

Merry Christmas one & all!


Slightly belated as I was hit, once again, by man flu over the last two days. 

Artwork by my good friend Tony Yates.

Saturday 16 December 2023

Let's Get Napoleon!

Shameless promotion for the Kickstarter for my new range of 'Napoleoniques'. A set of 28mm miniatures sculpted by Martin Buck. Pete Brown has already produced the master molds so I'm now trying to raise funding for the production molds and, hopefully, to finance expanding the range. They're a great tongue-in-cheek bunch for skirmish games such as The Silver Bayonet etc.

I've started painting a set but I am well known as one of the slowest painters around...

Comparison with a Flintloque Orc and a Front Rank mini.

Please give the Kickstarter a look and let me know what you think...

Scale ruler to show the size...

If you haven't played this then it is proving very popular...

Managed to get one painted...

Friday 24 November 2023

Hinchliffe Models Metal Storming Tower (25/BT)

I was fortunate enough to pick up one of these off a friend. It's a lovely piece that I've admired ever since it was released back in 1977... I will have been 15 at the time. It's probably a Norman Swales sculpt although I could be wrong... he still sculpts of course and Perry Miniatures have some wonderful pieces he's done. Looking at the kit I do wonder if the Minifigs Valley of the Four Winds Bell Tower was based on this piece... similar sort of make up. Could be wrong, siege tower illustrations abound of course.

The Tower, 25/BT, was priced at £8.20 and the cladding kit which came a little later I seem to recall, (25/BU) was priced at £2.45. Still need to find that one.

Love the fact that the logo was based on an artillery piece silhouette from the front.

Friday 27 October 2023

Talking Miniatures - a great back history to Citadel and Games workshop

Just finished reading this. Excellent history of Citadel / Games Workshop from the miniatures point of view... missing a few people but brought back lots of memories of good times from those halcyon days. I was a mere sales assistant in the Manchester shop in the early/mid 80's but at least I was in charge of miniatures and got to order off John Stallard... had some great conversations and I'm sure he nicked all my ideas for future Citadel ranges 🙂

You can pick a copy up from Amazon here (link opens in a new page to Amazon)

The book itself is two softback volumes in a hardcover storage sleeve. Great for the bookshelf. You really need to read the interviews with the Perry Twins, Rick Priestley and Alan Merrett. God alone knows what they've all forgotten over the years and how many sculpts will be hanging around somewhere having never been cast up...

Let me know what you think!

Friday 20 October 2023

Unknown Bob Olley (?) Santa... and a Minifigs chromed elf!


I was passed this lovely little mini that has appeared on a mould. Problem is we don't know where it has come from? Does anyone recognise it? Personally it looks like one of Bob's sculpts however I have been wrong before...

Edit; identified by Jacob Fathbruckner - it's a dwarf from the Ral Partha box set 'Durin's Doom'. Thanks Jacob!

(and it is a Bob Olley sculpt!)

I was also very lucky to be passed one of the old Minifigs MF (More Fantasy) range chromed masters... MF18 Noble Elf with Sword. Neville Dickinson was apparently paranoid about lead rot and had all masters chromed (I had been told he also? had them all cast in silver for his private collection but haven't had that confirmed) 

Some of the range is pictured here;

Any missing images - let me know if you have them and I'll get them posted for posterity on the WIKI.

Please leave a comment below!

Sunday 8 October 2023

Partizan October 2023


I have to admit that I haven't been to Partizan in a few years... my last one, in fact, was at the old Kelham Hall venue... insert sheepish grin etc. I travelled with a view to spending little to no money, due to that being my current budget, and left my hound in the charge of my daughter. It's a two hour drive over to Newark Showground but it's quite a pleasant one on a Sunday generally. For once the satnav guided me well... it's been known to take me on interesting routes over the years however I turned it off once the Partizan signs appeared (and it did try to take me down a circuitous journey just before I stopped using it)...

The car parking was plentiful and free... always a good thing.

I joined the queue around 10:30...

After a quick glance around the outside trade stands I had a quick breakfast barm / sandwich / bap /  (insert whatever other nomenclature is appropriate)

The freebie mini was sculpted by Martin Baker and kept to the usual local area history (see prog below)

Throughout the course of the day I chatted to numerous people but hadn't seen Mark and Kayte Hides for ages so it was lovely to catch up... besides a love of miniatures we also have a love of  hounds in common. He presented me with a lovely Satanic Panic badge of which I shall add more another time. His site is currently being worked on however you can find more info on Facebook

Trade stands seemed busy most of the day (well, whilst I was there until about 1.30) and there were a lot of them. True to my word I looked but didn't partake... damn this poverty! Nice chat with Sam at Wargames Foundry ( and Ian at Fenris Games ( Both have an incredible range of minis... so tempting. I said hi to Alex at Warp Miniatures ( but it was the beginning of the show so I left him to his customers and then forgot to go back... doh!

The games were wonderful. Very varied and, again, busy. I took a bunch of pics which are below... 

The Blitzkrieg Miniatures line looks wonderful... 

There were more games but I'd reached the end of my hips / back / knees line so thought it best to retreat home to the hound.

I bumped into my mate Tony Yates early on and had a great catch up... selfies are not my forte so look at your peril...

I saw Shaun McLaughlin (of The Bunker fame) for the first time in ages... lovely to chat for a while. He got dragged away by the old school legend John Treadaway.

The only old school piece I saw for sale was a Ral Partha 'Great Dragon', boxed but in 'poor era' Citadel alloy. I think it's a Dennis Mize (RIP) sculpt.

 Too few old minis at shows these days, I assume people are attempting to retire early by posting everything on eBay... only to find it mostly doesn't hit those 'Buy It Now' massive prices!

So, to sum it up from my (non gamer) point of view... it was a nice show that was well organised and well attended. All the club staff volunteers were great. The venue was a good size with plenty of room to move about and, importantly, it was dog friendly! Next time I'll take my Arya although will have to be careful as people don't expect small dogs (or children!) to appear under their feet. On a slightly negative side, the toilets were 'interesting' and not the most comfortable place to sit (to coin a phrase). Catering? Well, staff were friendly but the menu was limited... nice breakfast stuff but lunch type was rather staid. Will I be back? Definitely.

More soon with some pics of a couple of lovely minis from Dave Ryan at Caliver.