Monday, 23 April 2012

My First Metal Miniature

Anne of the Anne's Attic Blog posted some pics of her very first painted miniature last month. She was pretty hard on herself about how the mini turned out (Honest Anne it's really quite good for a first effort!)  but it got me a thinking of the time when I got my first metal miniature.


I've mentioned this chap before - "Jimmy" - in my very first blog post last year and the observant amongst you will also have noted that he also appears as my profile pic.

                                         

It was the September 1979 edition of the Military Modelling Magazine that really started me on the slippery slope that I have been sliding down for the last 33 years.

The much thumbed and read Military Modelling Magazine

And on page 759 appeared the following advert

No there wasn't 759 pages in this magazine, the numbering ran consecutively with each issue starting with the January issue!



In the days before the internet, you sent off a Stamped Addressed envelope to the advertiser, sometimes with a Postal Order, sometime with stamps (Citadel asked for 25p worth of stamps) and in return you would get the latest lists/ catalogue and sometimes a free sample figure and that's how Jimmy arrived. To be honest, if I'd had my choice of sample, I wouldn't have picked FA6 Bard figure from the Fantasy Adventurers range (which is Jimmy) but would have picked a more exotic sounding model such as FA9 - the "Barbarian with Two Handed Sword" or FA14 "Elven Hero with Sword" but Jimmy is what I got and I've kept him ever since.




Compared with today's figures the detail, as you would expect, is pretty limited and my pretty basic paint job doesn't help but I'm too scared to try stripping the paint and re-painting him just in case I end up ruining the model given the age of the metal.

And given the trend for 25mm models to become 28mm and now heroic 32mm in size, Jimmy, unfortunately is just to small to be used with any of the models in production nowadays.

Even with the help of a plastic base, Jimmy is a Dwarf compared to Hector McHoosie


So although Jimmy won't be coming out to play with my other models he will stay on my display shelf as a nostalgic reminder of how it all began.

So Dear Reader, what was your first model? How did you come by it and do you still have it?





25 comments:

  1. Great post. All that immediately transported me back 30 years - what memories!

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    1. We are spoiled by the internet with so muich info being available at a touch of a button and at times I do hanker back to the time when you would get excited waiting for the postie to deliver your envelope with the latest list and sample!

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  2. My first mini was a 15mm figure from the 23rd Royal Welch Fusileers for the 7YW, back in 1992, I actually did a post on them a while back, here
    http://onelover-ray.blogspot.co.uk/2011/10/my-first-ever-painted-unit-syw-british.html

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  3. Nice one Ray! How do those figs compare with the ones that you paint/play with today?

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  4. Thank you for posting this. It's a great help to see other peoples first work. You should never strip that figure as it's a memento of your first exciting days as a painter and a gamer. The blame for my getting into painting falls squarely on the shoulders of the big Irishman.

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  5. If the Lurker is to blame Anne then well done to him for getting you started! Have you started on your knight yet?

    I won't take the paint off Jimmy now. I doubt the metal would survive the stripping process (the figures in those days did have lead in them). But I'm thinking, he could still make an appearance if I ever get round to doing an old style Dungeons and Dragons adventure using my older figs

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    1. I'm working on the figure with partial armor right now. This is the first one that's giving me headaches from eyestrain. So I've primed up another figure with less detail and am switching back and forth to give my eyes a rest.

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    2. That's always a good idea to have something else on the painting table just to give yourself a break from painting the one figure (or same pose of figure). The trick is not to have many things on the painting table cos then you end up not being able to focus on getting any of them finished.

      Looking at my painting table I wish I listened to my own advice!! :-(

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  6. Jimmy is still useable - he's just a very, very short bard :)

    I have a sneaking suspicion that I might have that figure in my old minis collection at my Dad's, I know that I had at least one bard from the early 80s Citadel range

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    1. Lol! That's true Tamsin. I like the idea of using older minis if I ever get round to running a dungeon adventure using Advanced Dungeon & Dragons rules ( no 4th Edition for me!) but when I get the time to organise that is anyone's guess!
      Have a look for the fig next time you are at your dad's!

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  7. Seeing the Military Modelling magazine has made me quite nostalgic.

    I thinks its a respectable good looking effort for 33 years ago.

    Well done.

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    1. Thanks Paul. I can't remember why I picked up the magazine. It might be because I had just started getting the Airfix magazine (it still had the red border at the top of the front cover in those days) and so was probably looking for a different modelling magazine to read while sitting in the caravan on holiday during the pouring rain!

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  8. What a lovely post, the tale of the diminutive bard! Fascinating to see the effects of scale creep over the years too. I was very fortunate to be gifted some 1970's editions of Military Modelling not that long ago and I have to say they remain just as inspirational today as they were when they were published.

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    1. I collected Military Modelling for about 10 years. In those days it was the only easily available magazine that had any wargaming content (ordering White Dwarf by subscription in those days wasn't really an option for me). Eventually though I gave it up as it had started to cut back on it's wargaming content and Wargames Illustrated and Miniature Wargames were on the shelves. But I do like to go back to them every so often

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  9. My first model was a troll for Dungeons and Dragons... and I still have it. I'll have to photograph it and put it up now. I think Jimmy should take the table anyway, haven't you seen Krull?

    -"I am Ergo the magnificent. Short in stature, tall in power, narrow of purpose and wide of vision. And I do not travel with peasants and beggars. Goodbye!"

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    1. Yes let's see the pics of the Troll! As far as Krull goes all I can remember was Lysette Anthony. Sorry were there other people in the film??

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    2. I don't remember any others either... oh wait.. Liam Nieson LOL! Gotta remember him as a thief with four or five wives.

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  10. Christ you've made me think, I believe it was a Prince August mold it yourself fantasy range Wraith...I miss him!

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    1. I always wanted to try the Prince August range until one of mates, who had some of the fantasy moulds, managed to burn his mum's kitchen tables with the molten metal....

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  11. First figure(s) that I had were MiniFigs Mythical Earth Range Citadel Guard. I saw the advert for them in Military Modelling too! I've still got them in the attic.

    I'm a bit sad to say that I still have the Military Modelling mag as well. Never throw anything away, thats my motto.

    Good post KP.

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    1. I have those figs as well although they were acquired long after Jimmy. They are really small casting even compared with Jimmy!
      I still have all my Military Modelling mags from the 10 years I got the magazine. Mrs K despairs that I won't throw them out but I like to keep them as a reminder of a much simpler time

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  12. It's the first time I've seen your blog and I really enjoyed this post. You could probably strip the paint from the figure ok as I regularly strip figures from the sixties/seventies with no ill effect using bleach. However, I really don't think you should because its great having that first figure still in your possession!

    I wish I still had mine - Hinton Hunt Prussian Napoleonics, in fact my whole blog is based on that wish http://hintonhunt.blogspot.co.uk/

    So please keep the Bard as he is!

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    1. Cheers Stryker! I think the overwhelming opinion is to leave Jimmy as he is and I really am starting to warm to the idea of doing a dungeon adventurer using my old figs!

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  13. Great post!

    My first figures were the WWII Japanese Infantry from Airfix. I never painted them, but I still have them. And the first painted figures must have been some Napoleonic figures (French Infantry, I think) from Esci.

    Greetings
    Peter
    http://peterscave.blogspot.com/

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  14. I painted up a few Airfix WW2 figs (Germans I think) but I didn't know about undercoating in those days so got a bit fed up seeing the paint crack off the figs. I do still have them somewhere though!

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