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Wednesday, 17 February 2016

Just a thought?

Over the last couple of years, several glossy books have been released, exhibiting beautifully painted wargames units, in various guises. Books by the Perry Twins, Ron Ringrose, Foundry, Flames of War, Games Workshop and of course John Ray.
Some were better than others, but all contained eye candy that I assume is meant to hopefully inspire, but more likely create a degree of envy. Being the saddo that I am, I bought them all, just to look at and paw over, and generally enjoy.
 However, and this may be just me, the one book I would gladly pay just to own and cherish, would be one containing the painted units that belonged to the late great Peter Gilder.
 I have often wondered what happened to the armies, that were owned over the years by Peter Gilder, and just how wonderful it would be, if images from all of these armies could be compiled into one book with a history of the great man included.
 I know that the American Civil war armies were sold in America, and that the Armies for the Sudan Wars were also sold to Keith Leidy also of the USA.
 But what happened to the wonderful Napoleonic armies, the armies of the English Civil War, the armies made up of the later Connoisseur ranges and other lesser known armies, such as the ancient units that Peter Gilder used in his competition wargaming.
 No doubt most would have been broken up, and scattered to the wargaming four winds, even I managed to locate and buy a very small number of renaissance figures.
   But for me, Peter Gilder was the main inspiration to attempt to make a wargame more than just a green sheet laid over some books.I just think it would be a wonderful book to own, in which there would be an account of Gilder's contribution to wargaming, anecdotes from people who were lucky enough to have gamed with him, and most importantly images from his wonderful collections. Not just the famous images from the early Miniature Wargames, and wargaming books, but quality images taken by the current lucky owners of his units.
 Obviously I know Peter Gilder, used various painters to create wargames units for him, but it was his collection, and I dont think as wargaming eye candy goes, his collections can be topped. So if any go getting would be wargaming author or entrepreneur would like to take on a small? wargaming project. Just a thought...............


                  The image, that really inspired me to try harder, [in my wargaming life]


 





    

26 comments:

  1. Hi Robbie a friend of mine has a unit from Peters Napoleonic Collection, but I would think that the vast majority where at the Wargames Holiday Centre, the old Scarborough site has closed I think so from there I don't know.

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    1. Ken,
      I think a lot of the original units were either retired or sold on and replaced. I am attending the centre in March, o hopefully I will find out then.

      Delete
  2. Good idea on the Gilder book, and something you'd think the owners of Mil Mod or MW could put together quite easily - if they own the rights to all those great pictures they printed over the years. The again, who would buy it? I suspect the majority of current wargamers have never heard of PG.

    As for the current residence of his old armies.... i believe Duncan MacFarlane still has the Sassanids(?), i had a big chunk of the ECW for a decade or so before selling them to Andy C, and i still have a fair number of the AWI (a collection that was part owned originally by Frank Hinchliffe). I suspect the Napoleonics were scattered years ago - certainly when Ingham and Elliot took over the WHC they spent a fortune on new armies. As far as i know the Pony Wars collection is still at the WHC under the new-ish owner.

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    1. Im starting to think there is some mileage in this, for a number of reasons. A book on Peter Gilder would be more a labour of love than a commercial enterprise, but having purchased other eye candy books by people I had hardly heard of, I think a Gilder book has far more relevance to wargamers in general.The beauty of the internet is its ability to reach out to wargamers throughout the world, and no doubt there will be wargamers who are sat with some of Gilders lovely units in their homes. Such as those wonderful Connoisseur Gnedarmes that featured in MW.One can dream and hope.

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    2. I think I had better compile some sort of list of armies/units and pick your brains. I think I know where the Renaissance armies went, but others, were scattered to the four winds.

      Delete
  3. Robbie a good idea and something for you to hunt down in your retirement? As a thought there could be a chapter on his legacy - here at the Grimsby Club all of our scenery, trees and style of play is very much in the Gilder manner. He may be gone but he's still with us.
    As for anecdotes: I have this second hand as it were. During a visit to the Wargames Holiday centre one of the players asked for a refund because he thought the quality painting wasn't worth the entry fee. Peter responded that the gamer in question should F@#K OFF and never come back.

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    1. Paul,
      Dont think it hasnt crossed my mind,I dont think my photography is of a sufficient standard to capture the images required, but thinking about it, it is very doable.As for your anecdote it is a consideration.

      Delete
  4. I'm not really familiar with PG (before my time), but he certainly seems to have inspired a lot of Wargamers.

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    1. Conrad, You young people,
      You remind me of a girl I once spoke to in a bar, who asked me what was the badge I was wearing. It was an image of Lenin. The girl replied, John Lennon, no I said, the leader of the Russian revolution.
      Russia had a revolution? she retorted!
      To see Gilders influence one would need to look at early copies of Miniature Wargames, the televison programme Battleground, and various other old wargames sources.Or you could read my post, Interview with a Wargamer, where Charlie Wesencraft talks about putting together the Battleground programe. His influence is still felt today whenever you see well sculptured terrain, containg large units of Napoleonic's.Oh and he designed virtually all the Hinchliffe figures ranges, and all the Connoisseur ranges.He also ran the first Wargames Holiday Centre which was full of wargames figures.

      Delete
  5. Peter Gilder was the Brigadier Gerard of shiny toy soldiers.

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    1. Ben,
      Gilder did have a very cavalier way about him, but having spoken to a couple of close friends of his, he was clearly a very generous man, and very very gifted.

      Delete
  6. I'll agree and echo the comments of the commenters who have preceded me here. Mr' Gilder's collections will always be THE reason and continuing major inspiration for me. They were simply exquisite, and it has not been a week since I pulled out issues 1-12 of Miniature Wargames once again to enjoy an evening of delightful perusal/reading once again. Lots of impressive painting, modelling, and collections have come along since, but Gilder's stuff had a certain, not-readily-defined special charm about it.

    Best Regards,

    Stokes

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    1. Stokes,
      I thought it was just me that pored over old photographs. It startedfor me with the black and white images in the Military Modelling, to showcase Charles Grants Napoleonic rules in 1970.
      What could be better than a hardback book containg a history of Peter Gilder, his work at Hinchliffe, and a series of images from all his collections. Just thinking about it, convinces me it could and should be done.

      Delete
  7. Would be great to see a collection of pics put together of Gilders collection. He inspired me too and earned me some cash in my sad attempt to paint for others who liked his style!

    Den.

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    1. Evening Dennis,
      I tried many times to capture Gilders style, but could never get it right. John my longtime wargaming partner always did a good impression of the style.
      Good to hear from you.

      Delete
  8. Hi Robbie - when Mike Ingham sold the WHC he contacted me to ask if I was interested in any of the 20mm Hinton Hunt Napoleonics he had 'found in a cupboard' . Many of the figures were ex Peter Gilder but sadly I didn't have the funds to acquire any. The list of stuff did the rounds however and they all found a good home! We even used some of them during Vintage Waterloo last November (see my blog 'Hintonhunt.blogspot.co.uk') where I had the honour of using some PG Belgians - neat really as it was the photos of Gilders Waterloo setup in the early 70s that got me hooked on wargaming!

    I'm pretty sure it would be quite easy to track down some of the Hinton Hunts but I'm not sure about the Hinchliffe's etc.

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    1. I am a follower of your blog, but wasnt aware that Gilder had a collection of Hinton Hunt figures. Daft really because they were a first class range when they initially came out.Also Im pretty certain that this collection was photographed in the original Waterloo refight photographs from the early 1970's which I used to salivate over. Great blog by the way.

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  9. As DC says I have a fair chunk of the Gilder ECW stuff- even picking up a few more from a very kind chap- see the ECW posts on my blog. There were at least 2 Ospreys featurubng his stuff- Naseby- with Stuart Asquith and anothet on Liepzig. I have the naseby booklet but not leipzig..
    I'd go with Robbie here. Gilders stuff- mostly painted by other chaps mind - Tony Runkee for one. Had a movement and verve you simply do not see in most of the modern perryclones. Where style is sacrificed to detail..
    I'm slowly giving the Gilder ECW stuff a bit of TLC-THe Artillery train alone has 15 guns . Some needed re-bhasing and I'm even adding units in the same style- or as close as I can get
    "School of Gilder" as you might say. This of course in between all the other stuff a toy soldier business man has to do...

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  10. Further thoughts- Never did the WHC. The idea of being closeted with a bundle of wargamers for several days when I'm not working filled me with terror!!- and yes I'm joking. But only partly some of you dudes are just too intense about the dice rolling !
    But yes if any actual wargamer has had any direct influence on me it would be Gilder- who I met a few times late in his life. He even congratulated me on one of my ACW confederate units and let me have some early Old Glory ACW that he had .... well pirated - before I got them over for the UK. There is no doubt that he was a bit of a lad as it were with a cavlier attude to figures- look at how similar the Hincliffe ECW are to Les Higgins. for example.- This didn't stop him being charming but you kept you hand on your Ha'penny ! or you ended up as Jason opined... "Mugged! - but nicely....

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  11. Andy,
    When we next meet personally we should sit down for a chat etc, just to throw a few ideas about.

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  12. Robbie,

    Great idea, I for one would buy a copy. As Doug C has said, a reasonable amount of the ECW stuff went to Andy via Doug. Doug has a significant number of the AWI which featured in the Curt Johnstone book, along with some early John Ray AWI, I have a selection of "nice" units from the WHC, probably about 20 Bts a side of French and British Late Penisular. All Conniseur/Bicorne/Hinchliffe.

    John

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    1. John,
      You are a very lucky chap. I am going to put up a post re the idea, and I will be looking for suggestions, ideas etc.

      Delete
  13. Robbie,
    That's a book I'd buy, Peter Gilder really inspired me as a kid. I bought a unit of his British Heavy Cavalry off ebay, not because I needed any just because of their pedigree.
    Regards, Jim.

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    1. Morning Jim,
      Its good to hear from you. You kept that quiet about the cavalry. Are you still up for that offer you made at York by the way.

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    2. yes mate, it'll be nice to re unite you with the Black Bande.

      Delete
  14. Robbie, I've just had an interesting morning with Charlie Wesencraft,and one of the many topics we covered was your attempt to glean info. on Peter Gilder-Charlie knew the man and says he has some possible leads for you.
    I can't give out his 'phone number on your blog,but if you ring me I will pass it over to you.
    cheers,johnc(william)

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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