Miniature Wargames


Author and figure painter


With Kevin Dallimore.

Iwill admit that I am often asked what motivates me in my hobby. Sometimes it’s from a profession­al perspectiv­e and sometimes it’s a question from other figure painters when we are all striving for motivation. Often it’s when I’m involved with a display game but it’s a question that I have been asked and – to be honest – it’s also a question I ask myself.

For me our hobby is all about variety and difference. I have been wargaming for quite a long time now, starting – as I know many did – with Airfix plastic soldiers with my brother when we were young, to today playing games remotely over the internet with my mates: how things have changed and yet how some things remain the same. I still love gaming – the diversity of our hobby especially – and try to embrace almost all of it. The big ‘divides’ – Sf/fantasy and historical – are to me unimportan­t. I don’t like to disparage other periods that I am not personally interested in at that moment: after all, who knows what system might come along and make an exciting game of an obscure theatre of war.

That’s happened many times to me: my interest in African warfare being was sparked by great set of rules – Death in the Dark Continent – and yet another passion for skirmish gaming was inspired by Frostgrave. I had previously played mostly ‘big battle’ style games but I found Frostgrave to be much more than just another skirmish: I find it a massive rollercoas­ter of a game with all sorts of twists and turns with some epic writing and game play. It is true I have had some part to play in the production of both, so I expect I am biased, but I still play them both and paint models for them, even when it isn’t part of my job.

Another great joy for me (and one sorely missed at the moment) is helping to run, with a group of mates from the South London Warlords, participat­ion games at shows: not just at Salute, but at local shows round the country. That allows me to take a look at games from other clubs at shows and the sheer variety of layouts you see at somewhere like Salute is frankly astonishin­g. I am lucky that the groups of mates I game with – at both the Warlords and SELWG – contain many talented and interestin­g gamers. Additional­ly, I count myself lucky to be involved in two big clubs with all the variety that brings, but I have also made gaming contacts – especially via my work – all over the world which has widened my horizons even further.

And then I have to speak about my great love of painting, which I guess is what I am really known for in the hobby. I have been very fortunate to have worked for two of the big hitters in the hobby and I now work for North Star, owned and run by Nick Eyre, for whom I do quite a lot of painting and other things like photograph­y and web design. Working for Nick has allowed, I think, for my painting to develop and improve. It also presents itself with things to paint that I might not have even considered painting: over the past years such a wide variety of subjects from ‘three-ups’ (over sized masters) for Frost-grave fantasy to the mundane of 28mm WWII, Nick always likes to surprise me, so things turn up that I wouldn’t have even thought of!

I think that this is the key for my interest in the hobby: the myriad different things that just seem to appear. When a new project is in developmen­t I might have to work out a new approach or ask someone what they did or even look at the many painters around and copy something from them... it all makes for an exciting and diverse hobby. And – in addition – I also still get to work on some of my own projects: on my personal desk are SF and some fantasy plus I have just finished some late 19th century British Royal Artillery. And I still get to work on my great passions and first loves in the hobby: Byzantines and The Lord of the Rings: I have returned to them time and again over the years both in painting and gaming.

So I hope all those clever people, who keep coming up with all these new and interestin­g things, keep coming up with yet more new and interestin­g things, for us all to enjoy. This is just to say thanks to them. Vive la difference.■

“And then I have to speak about my great love of painting, which I guess is what I am really known for in the hobby... I still get to work on my great passions and first loves in the hobby: Byzantines and The Lord of the Rings”

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