Thursday, 25 February 2016
Just another thought.
Unless you collected the original 30 or so Miniature Wargames magazines one would have no idea who he was. Additionally if you had never attended the first Wargames Holdiay Centre and physically seen the collections then you could never appreciate the figures. Also there is a whole generation of wargamers that never attended Northern Militaire and saw first hand each new release from Hinchliffe figures, and the later Connoisseur figures, all crafted by Peter Gilder.
Effectively Peter Gilder is just a fleeting wargame name that eventually will be forgotten as the older wargames generation moves on, and not just into retirement.
So what can be done about this? The obvious answer is to create a record of Gilder's contribution to the hobby, and illustrate this in the best possible way.
Clearly the best way to do this would be to publish an illustrated biography of Peter Gilder's contribution. It sounds simple, and doable, and I would be willing to attempt such a project.although naturally I have reservations.
My concerns are that if I took on such a project, I would hate to fail and disappoint any wargamer who had actually made the effort to contribute in some way, secondly although I have written minor articles etc I have never attempted to put together what would effectively be [ I hope] a record of a persons achievements in the wargaming hobby.
To do Peter Gilder justice his figures would have to be photographed to a very high standard, and although I know how to point a camera, I am no David Bailey.
Finally if such a project was undertaken, is there any guarantee that it would ever be published, and if it was would it be viable enough to not incur a loss.
Anyway that's the negative side, but on the positive side I really think there is an audience in sufficient numbers to cover the cost of printing such a book [maybe that's wishful thinking on behalf]
Because there has been very little written about Peter Gilder, one would have to start with the basics, starting with his early life, experiences, etc that led him to become a wargamer.
From experience sitting down with someone who knew a person in their formative years is a great way to sketch out that persons reasons for doing something.
In Gilders case, the obvious choices would be someone like Frank Hinchliffe, if he is still alive, perhaps Gilder's son, who I believe was last living in the USA, or members of the Hull wargames group who were there when Gilder was a member.
As regards the key part of such a book, the actual figures, units armies etc, again sitting down with wargamers who had links to the Wargames Holiday Centre etc could greatly help in compiling a number of images of the great mans collection.
The issue is, that Gilder was savvy enough to employ some of the most talented painters in the wargaming world, and it would be important that the painters got their share of the kudos of their painting, so knowing who did what would be a good thing.
Clearly their are wargamers out there who are lucky enough to possess some of Peter Gilder's collection, and it would be logical to compile a list of who's got what, and whether they would be willing to have them photographed and published etc
By compiling just an outline of what would be entailed in such a project is enough to put off even attempting such a thing, but as I have said, it is a feasible project, that just needs a bit of a push to kick things off.
So to make a start, I would ask that any wargamer reading this post, to get their thinking caps on and come up with some suggestions, information, rumours whatever that could be of use to putting together such a well deserved project.
Any suggestions [ polite ones] to me at firstname.lastname@example.org
In the meantime, I will also attempt to sketch out a plan/ business idea to sell to some would be well healed, mad wargaming publisher.