Tuesday, 21 April 2009

What Harry Pearson really meant to say about the first wargames figures

Idle googling of "Vintage Wargaming" turned up this interesting version of Harry Pearson's article for this site on Groves and Benoy figures . It is from http://radiolaluna.com/blogs/wargames/ and is reproduced here as a tribute to the spirit of Nigel Molesworth and his grate friend Peason. I particularly like the idea of midget battles, heap mules and the importance to the Peninsular Campaign of a Spanish char.

Vintage Wargaming: Harry Pearson on the at the start wargames figures

Groves And BenoyGroves and Benoy’s circumstances of one-inch Peninsular War figures can legitimately assertion to be the blue ribbon wargames figures at all times made. Designed almost 1947 via exemplary maker L Groves of Olton close to Birmingham and Brigadier James Francis Benoy (who had served as Quartermaster-General of the BEF in France in 1940 and later served in the done level in the Far East) the models were designed to be slotted into exclusively made copper bases to contention multiple believe stands specifically fact of midget battles. In complete it seems that at least same many thousand figures were made.

The infantry (standing anent 27mm high) and horses are mounted on sheer copper bases with clipped edges (similar in form to those of Stadden); rifles and horse reins are soldered on. All arms were manufactured as adeptly as wagons, heap mules, character figures (including Wellington) and equivalent a Spanish char. They are intelligible in look but with a charming “toy soldier” look that more than compensates fact of any deficiency in the modelmaking - a photo can be start on epoch 34 of John Garratt’s “Model Soldiers fact of the Connoisseur”. The just figures I care for in my aggregation came via eBay from a lady whose late-husband had bought them from a stallholder in Portobello Market in the 1960s.

It is unclear whether the figures were at all times commercially about in the accepted have or were made purely fact of Brigadier Benoy. mostly The make ready consists of six British riflemen, eight horses (but no riders) and four degree dashing cannons each with its manipulate discrepancy painted on the side in silver. Wade was to begin with based in Dublin, but he later moved to England and ran a plaything soldier secrete away in Brighton. Brigadier Benoy died in 1972, but anon previously to to that an Irish believe gatherer and barter, Shamus O.D Wade, had bought his complete aggregation of 2,000+ figures.

Wade kept a shard of the aggregation but clearly sold the buttress on to a gatherer in North America, Allan Robinson-Sager of Toronto in the old-time 1970s.

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