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Thursday, 25 February 2016

Just another thought.

  Since my last post regarding the late, great  Peter gilder, I have been doing some more cogitating regarding his place in wargaming. For this, I would like to thank the wargame contributor, and general philosopher Conrad Kinch for helping me along the painful paths of stirring the old grey matter. Conrad is clearly a lot younger than myself and other members of this blog. He knows nothing of the contribution that Gilder made to wargaming, and in particular the inspiration that was derived from his wonderful talents, and why would he.
 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 robbie3rodiss@msn.com
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.




 

33 comments:

  1. Wow that's a project and a half but one worthy of pursuing .i do think it is important that you sketch out a rough plan/ framework with some clear parameters otherwise it could end up being a project you will forever be chasing your tail. You could do with putting this proposal on AMG as I think you will find some useful contacts. Similarly talk to Dave Thomas re WHC etc

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    1. Morning Graham,
      Youre right, it is a project and a half, and to be fair, I have had second and even third thoughts. Re the AMG, I intend to put something on there, given the range and age of members.
      As for Dave, he is also on a bit of a list.

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  2. Oops I nearly forgot Duncan - he was a good friend of Peters particularly in the WRG days and he may still have photos of Peters figures.

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    1. I hadnt forgot Duncan, given his role in the founding of Miniature Wargames, and his appearence on Battleground etc.

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  3. Sadly Frank Hinchliffe died 10 years ago (and i'd meant to talk to him, but never quite got round to it), i can put you in touch with his son though. One issue you'll face is how you define a Gilder figure - one he painted, owned, or was just photographed at the WHC...? Tricky. We should have a chat some time. Cheers.

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    1. That has been a real headache for me to be frank. There is absolutely no doubt that Gilder took credit, either deliberately or inadvertently for a lot of his wonderful units.Certainly when I went to see Tony Runkee last year, it was obvious that Gilder was able to tap into a great deal of painting talent, still why not, I certainly would have.As for Frank Hinchliffe, I suspected that, which is a good reason to put together a record of what should may be described as the Gilder way of wargaming.And your right we should talk. E mail me some contact numbers etc.

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  4. Best of luck with project Robbie.

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    1. No thank you for getting me thinking. Conrad I take it you are still in law enforcement? When one hangs up their cuffs etc, you need a project to keep you motivated, hopefully this will be one for me.

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  5. I would recommend doing the project as an independent web site or blog. That way you could post pictures and recount stories from people who knew Gilder. I'd start with a chat with Dave Thomas, Doug Mason and Duncan MacFarlane and start writing down the stories that you hear. As you gather more material, perhaps one of the military book publishers in the hobby might have an interest in printing a book, however, I think that a living blog or website would be the best way to go without spending a lot of your money.

    Fritz

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    1. Again, I have thought that would be a great way to compile not only information but also it would become a living record perhaps. The only drawback is that I am digitally incompetent.

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    2. Der Alter Fritze is on to something - have you considered using the framework of Wikipedia to help you though? I've checked and there is no entry for Peter Gilder - just some nods from associated articles.. worth considering?

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    3. By the way - I acknowledge my debt - his Sudan articles int hose Wargamers worlds magazines started my entire Sudan project!

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  6. I would by the book Robbie or follow a blog such as Der Alte Fritz suggests. Peter Gilder is easily the biggest influence on how I see, or want to see, wargaming visually. My favourite figures are Connoisseur and the Gilder influenced, Elite miniatures by Peter Morbey (maybe he is someone you need to talk to). It must be said though that the man with the biggest influence on my wargaming life is...John Coutts...

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    1. Ah yes, John Coutts. But are you sure it was influence and not something more sinister. Personally anyone who insists on dressing up his disciples in PINK has definitely had a sinister influence in my book.

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    2. It's not PINK,it's GERANIUM RED!!!
      johnc(william)

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  7. an interesting project indeed, i recall many pics of PG figures in mags & books from 1960/s onwards, i think i have some converted Hinton Hunt Nap cavalry, painted and converted by PG, believe they were exhibited in Brussels for many years, will check with feller i got them off and confirm, happy to supply pics, on Hinton Hunter blog there is a few pics of others by PG
    any help i can offer will be a pleasure
    contact me on cunnjohataoldotcom

    cheers Old John

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    1. Excellent, one more for my list.
      As I have attempted to articulate my biggest concern is that I start the project and then end up failing. In my book Peter Gilder deserves at least some recognition in the wargaming chronicles.

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  8. Robbie- Tend to agree with Fritz here - do it as a blog- at least to start with
    Gilder goes back further than you think... Check uo the Old Metal detector blog- didn't he design the Alberken range- sort of minifigs before minifigs. Also don't just do a whitewash though you might want to miss the "white goods" affair - allegedly .....

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    1. Andy,
      I have heard various accounts of the white goods affair, and I dont have a definitive answer to what happened. It doesnt really matter and isnt really part of the wargaming aspect of the Gilder story. As regards Alberken, I wasnt aware of this.

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  9. Great idea, like many it was Gilder who got me into wargaming, late seventies.

    Was not Peter Morbey taught to sculpt by PG? I was told that but not sure if true? Certainly the styles are quite similar.

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    1. They certainly knew each other - I think you are right- stylisticaly they are very similar.
      Of course a lot of early gilder- the Hincliffe years were "similar" to other makers of the time.
      the ECW were very close to Les Higgins 30mm and some of the others were very Willie.

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    2. Andy,
      I think Peter Gilder, took ideas from the other sculpters at that time, and vice versa. He was clearly a close friend of John Braithwaite, of Garrison fame, and no doubt there was a crossover there.

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  10. On the question of "what is "Gilder"?" in the context of sculpting vs painting etc, then I think it's a fairly easy answer. It's the "style" of his figures that is distinctive, in terms of movement, type of painting and scale of ambition (in terms of terrain and units). Who actually painted a given unit or created a building isn't the main concern. I see "Gilder" a bit like a famous artists studio, not all the work done by them personally, but done in their style and with their creative direction.

    It may seem controversial to say it (given the way the hobby has gone), but has anybody really done anything better since? In terms of the overall "effect".

    I would say no, certainly not consistently, over such a range of periods and timeframe.

    Blogs are ok, and maybe as a start, but its books that last.

    John


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    1. Morning John,
      I am with you on this, I dont think the Gilder style has ever been bettered. Especially in the 'look' of a wargame. Gilder's terrain always caught ones eye, and although later gamers copied the style, I dont think they could get the look to the same standard.
      As for the question of painters, again I think we are looking along the same lines. And finally as regards the best way to celebrate Gilders achievements, can there be anything better than being sat poring over a book with images of the work of the Peter Gilder school of wargamers.
      What I do think should happen is that I put some kind of update on my blog, as and when I make some sort of progress, then at least it gives me a gee up to crack on and take the bull by the horns.

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    2. As good perhaps but certainly not better. There is a movement in his models that has never been bettered.

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  11. suggested sources for info on PG
    Hinds Figures for Hinchcliffe
    Caliver Books for Minifigs

    and yes PG did design Alberken figures, the forerunners of Minifigs

    as to doing a book maybe John Curry who has republished and expanded many old wargaming books by Featherstone, Asquith et al

    hope that helps
    cheers Old John

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    1. Thanks John,
      I wasnt aware about Gilder's input to Alberken. As regards John Curry, I had thought of him, and also Dave Ryan. I think I had better get some material together first though.

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  12. http://www.vintagewargamingfigures.info/rblack/index.html

    try this for more info

    cheers Old John

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  13. http://www.vintagewargamingfigures.info/rblack/index.html

    try this for more info

    cheers Old John

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  14. Robbie,If you can get your hands on a copy of Sherridan's History of Modern Wargaming,Volume two,you will find a full two chapters on Peter Gilder's contribution and influence to wargaming in the 60's and 70's.
    cheers,johnc(william)

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    1. John,
      Never heard of it.But I will endevour to find a copy.

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  15. Hi Rob
    Just catching up with this thread - I worked with Frank on Bicorne in the 90's and he gave me loads of anecdotes about Peter - I also knew Peter and was at his funeral and put on a demo game at his Memorial Day run by Doreen his widow at her house - a blog would allow people to post their memories - a book would be good but expensive and let's be honest to most people under 40 Gilders style is of another time and without the benefit of rose tinted nostalgic eyewear what will they see ? Gloss painted figures painted with exaggerated highlights - the figures lack detail and the anatomy varies from figure to figure - the terrain is made from blocks of wood dressed with model railway bits - as an innovator he was the best and he was my biggest influence but he once told me he wished that he could make figures like the Perrys - he loved their smoothness and detail - he just loved the hobby and admired others for the work they did - let's be honest the Perrys love them or hate them have reached a lot more people than Peter ever did - so run the blog as a nostalgic trip for us old codgers but don't think for one minute you'll convert Perry fanboys from their path of detail is king
    Ian S

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  16. Alte Fritz already mentioned Doug Mason, who has something about Peter Guilder on his blog. Doug also has lots of pretty pictures of Peter's figures painted by Doug.

    http://dougmasonfigures.blogspot.com/2013/09/a-group-photo-taken-at-holiday-center.html

    There is a lot of Peter Guilder eye candy on that blog. Also there are some back issues of Military Modelling on there where you might see some of Peter's figures.

    I paint some figures designed by Peter Guilder and post them on my facebook page

    https://www.facebook.com/Miniatures

    and my blog

    http://lacenbighats.blogspot.com/2016/03/28mm-napoleonic-wurttemberg.html

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My 6mm Napoleonic set up.

My 6mm Napoleonic set up.
Austria 1809.

Austrian Hussars

Austrian Hussars
Hinchliffe figures

Austrian Grenzer

Austrian Grenzer
Austrian Grenzer

Smoggycon 2013

Smoggycon 2013
Smoggycon 2013

Smoggycon 2012

Smoggycon 2012
Smoggycon 2012

Smoogycon 2009

Smoogycon 2009
My French getting another beating