Sunday, 19 May 2013

Fred Funcken 1921-2013

The death of Fred Funcken on 16th May 2013 has recently been announced.

While also behind the Uniformology series, he is perhaps best known to wargamers for his Uniformes et Armes des Soldats series of volumes, which covered Napoleonic, Lace Wars, and World Wars 1 and 2. These books were produced together with his wife Liliane.

I thought an appropriate Vintage Wargaming way to mark his passing would be to reproduce a number of reviews of these books which appeared in Wargamer's Newsletter. These appeared in May 1969, May 1970, February 1971, and November 1971.

A fitting tribute is Don Featherstone's dictum from the second of these reviews:

Show me a wargamer who has not got Funcken on his shelves and you show me a man who is only dabbling around the fringes of the hobby.

There is a little more, including his wider comic art background, on the Storm and Conquest blog.


Fraxinus said...

Can spot at least 9 Funcken volumes on my shelves from where I'm sitting one of the reasons I got into this hobby was borrowing The Funcken Uniform guides from my local library as a child in the 1970's

DC said...

A nice tribute Clive. If only they were still two quid each then i'd have them all twice over. That said, given how inspirational the artwork is i'd also have a dozen new periods.
Incidentally, i remember speaking to a book dealer a couple of years ago who told me that the books had always been in print somewhere in the world (and at the time was waiting on a shipment from Russia if i remember correctly). Cheers.

MSFoy said...

Thanks very much for posting this - nicely done - I had no idea Mr Funcken had passed away. I have only the Premier Empire volumes, which I still use a lot.

Since I knew nothing at all about the Funckens, I had a quick squint at Wikipedia, and was surprised to learn how many uniform volumes they published, and that he was also famed as an illustrator of comic strips - including Tintin.

Don Featherstone's reviews are enthusiastic and entirely appropriate material to reproduce now. I'm potentially on dangerous ground here, but Don's comment about the good fortune of sharing a hobby with one's wife has a wistful quality(!), and it reminded me of the superb (if rather scary) film clip of the Hintons which you featured a while ago. In such a situation, what does a man do in his spare time? Can we imagine Fred F also having a garden shed, in which he did not read comics and did not draw uniform plates?

Dangerous ground.

Mosstrooper said...

Sad to hear this sad news , he was a great influence in my early gaming life.

Lee Hadley said...

Sad news indeed, but a life well lived with a great legacy of work to remember him by.

Tim Gow said...

I think my shelves hold at least ten Funcken books! Vol 2 of the WW2 set is one of my oldest books.

Steve-the-Wargamer said...

A great loss... I have a German translation of his Lace Wars book on my shelves even as I write (it was the only version I could afford!)

I was amazed - I had no idea he was even still alive until your post....