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Where it all began - My first figures, seriously...

Discussion in 'Completed Figures' started by Mike - The Kiwi, Jan 6, 2015.

  1. Viking Bob PlanetFigure Supporter

    I have started another figure, well resting now, letting the oil dry. I started to paint figures in in the Mid 80s and went along to a club a few time's a month. We would exchange tips and go to local regimental museums. That was our internet. I brought Military Modelling when it first appeared in 1971 and read the magazine from cover to cover. I then stopped for a while. Things have changed a lot now, as you can find just about everthing to do with our hobby. There being no local club nearby, this is my club now.
    I have been looking on this website for a few months now and took the plunge to join in. I am glad I did, I have the zest for painting again.
    tiberius57, tonydawe, TD2802 and 4 others like this.
  2. Mike - The Kiwi A Fixture

    Brilliant to read this post & hear of hut story Bob, especially neat to hear you have "Zest for painting" :)

    We need new young blood, plus more "prodigal sons & daughters" to return to keep our hobby vibrant.
    Without this we may as well be stamp collecting :)

    Stay safe
    Viking Bob, Nap, tiberius57 and 3 others like this.
  3. Viking Bob PlanetFigure Supporter

    Thanks Mike, I know what you mean but some kids cant be bothered. keep pluging away.
    Mike - The Kiwi likes this.
  4. Tubby-Nuts2 A Fixture

    Mike, (Kiwi)

    That is a whole new question.? ..

    However. Where is the 'New/Young, Blood'.? That is a real conundrum! .. As this element seems to be getting 'less and less', as the years tick bye! :eek:

    Bloody, 'Computers' or Gaming, 'Consoles' ... that's what I blame! .. Nothing manual or creative to occupy their time! .:eek::LOL:

    My first tablet was an 'Etch-a-Sketch',.. and that was it. Other than that 'Mouse-Trap'. Not exactly mind challenging! :LOL:


  5. Mike - The Kiwi A Fixture

    Young 'uns coming out of Fantasy ranks perhaps as well as Europe, Korea, Russia Mark.
    Many of the best hail from these places rather than UK & USA like in the past
  6. Chris Mortimer Active Member

    Love the post mate! My kids have no interest in any hobby that's not electronic based. I swear they have a tablet grafted to one hand and a phone in the other. If we ever have a power cut or the internets down, they think their throat's been cut. What do you mean actually go to a library? Your mad. It's at least ten minutes walk!!
  7. Babelfish A Fixture

    I've just found a few photos of three of my early 120mm efforts that date back to when I was just getting back into the hobby in the late '90s/early '00s. Two Verlindens (the Anglian Warlord and the Hun) and one I&E (the Swiss Hornblower).


    I was proud of them at the time though am less so now, and the groundwork on all three is rubbish.

    I still have the Anglian Warlord in the cabinet as-is. The Hun received a makeover a couple of years ago (including building up and re-doing the groundwork) and now looks much better. The Hornblower has been stripped and is back in bits, awaiting a complete re-do. I've also managed to lose one of his horns and one of his ears, so will have to scratch new ones when his time on the bench comes round again.

    - Steve
  8. Tubby-Nuts2 A Fixture

    Steve, this is the point of this whole thread! from what was, to now what is! :D Although you should still be proud of them! (y). That, 'Warlord, is a real eye opener! its strange as it is great! its like the first 'Iron-Man'. :LOL: I love it.

    ChaosCossack and Babelfish like this.
  9. Mike - The Kiwi A Fixture

    Hi Steve

    Thanks for sharing :)
    These also help tell our story...

    Francois & Verlinden Productions were so important in the day with a vast array of figures.
    This variety was normally matched by the quality of posing though ;)
    Look at difference between Anglian & Hun, both neat subjects but Hun is a classic, am sure you're makeover bought up to your new standard. However the Anglian, nicely painted BTW, is about as wooden in stature as his armour would let him be :)

    The little Hornblower reminds us of all the companies that have come & gone since our our hobby took off.
    Perhaps there's a thread in this one "I remember when" or "I wish so& so were still around".
    I&E had some amazing pieces in range like Mike Blank's Mounted Winged Hussar - where are they now?

    Others that I recall deserving of a mention that I recall were influential include New Hope Design, Almond Miniatures, Little Generals, Chota Sahib, Mitrecap Miniatures, Seil Models & Valiant Miniatures.
    Who else do you recall from back in the day?
    What manufacturers or sculptors got you into the hobby?

    Thanks for sparking this one Steve by sharing your projects & recollections :)

    Stay safe
    Joe55, Tubby-Nuts2 and Babelfish like this.
  10. Tubby-Nuts2 A Fixture

    Mike, I agree.

    When I first started out with figure's, (after many years of AFV stuff). It was, with the 120mm 'Verlinden', plus his book 'The System', .. that's what got me hooked! So I started browsing the net to see what other stuff was on offer!

    It was like opening up 'Pandora's Box'. :eek: ... I should never have done it !! :LOL:


    Babelfish and Chris Mortimer like this.
  11. Mike - The Kiwi A Fixture

    After reading & being inspired by Peter Day’s work on an old Verlinden 120mm Hun, I did a search for Julian Hullis sculpts, Lo & behold found this thread. Thought it was still relevant today so how about a reboot.
    Peter & other newer Planeteers who missed this question first time around - what were your first projects?
    What got you into figure painting?
    Do share so others may learn ...
  12. Peter Day PlanetFigure Supporter

    Hi Mike.

    I used to model Tamiya armour and Airfix figures as a kid, but stopped circa 1975 to get into the usual teenage pursuits. After the kids began to leave home and I advanced into my 50s, I was looking for something to soak up the spare time and happened to see the film 'Ronin' starring Robert De Niro and Jean Reno. In that film there is a dodgy doctor played by Michael Lonsdale, who spends most of his time painting model figures. He is working on a huge diorama depicting the story of the 47 Ronin and it reminded me of the old Tamiya sets of figures from the same story. I did an internet search, found that they were still available, ordered some, and the rest is history.
  13. Airkid A Fixture

    Blimey Mike - not sure my memory is that good. I started with figures thanks to a local model shop, which started to stock Historex and Rose figures I seem to recall a Historex piece, which was my first foray into figures, having been a kit basher previously. That would have been in the mid-60s. I won my first BMSS certificate in 1971 with a Rose Miniatures Indian Army piece, painted in oils. The oldest piece in my cabinet is a 54mm Foreign Legionnaire by Croix de Guerre ( a 2-hit wonder), from around 1988. Nothing I did before 1988 has survived. Looking at the figures in previous posts, I can remember painting quite a few of them.

  14. callmehobbes Active Member

    What a great thread.
    Mike - The Kiwi and Babelfish like this.
  15. Airkid A Fixture

    As an aside - just been contemplating the amount of loot I must have expended on the modelling hobby since my first two-shilling Airfix kit back in the late '50s. I suppose it could have gone over the bar in the local, but thankfully it didn't. I guess it isn't about that really. The hobby has made me a lot of mates and I've learned a great deal about a lot of things - and money can't buy that.

  16. TERRYSOMME1916 A Fixture

    Hey old timers those were the days when we didn't have computers and the web and research consisted of a couple of visits to the local library firstly to identify the required book and the second to swipe it, when I got back into this marvelous hobby a few years back I used the kitchen table and last year I turned a small room into a model den so when the bookshelf section was complete and I started to unload my book collection out of the boxes that they had been in for at least 30 years and onto the shelves I found a couple with the library cellophane on them which prompted me to think what sort of a git was I, honestly model making is meant to be for good kids and to keep you out of trouble.
    Great idea for a thread and I will certainly come back with some pics and with interest to see what everyone else posts, these memories are a good medicine these days.
  17. Richard Baxter A Fixture

    I'm a 50s kid, so started out with Airfix planes and one or two of the larger scale Airfix historical figures (were they 1/12th scale?). My interest in the hobby took a fateful turn in the early 70s when I went to university in Birmingham. Firstly, the Airfix Hussar came out. Second, I discovered a little model shop in the Burlington Arcade off New Street, which sold Historex and had some very well painted examples in the window. Thereafter, I was lost...

    I don't have any examples of my first foray into figures from those days, but I do have some slightly later efforts (mid 70s to 1980?): a 75mm Hinchliffe French Grenadier by Ray Lamb, a few Chota Sahib and New Hope Design, also Art Miniature and Series 77. Have re-based a few of them down the years but they don't look too bad, painted in Humbrols and oils.

  18. Merryweather A Fixture


    pictures, please Richard!
    Mike - The Kiwi likes this.
  19. callmehobbes Active Member

    Here's my first attempt at sculpting a bust. It must be about 30 years old ( I was about 15 when I did it, made from grey milliput and sculpted with a dart, a cocktail stick and a craft knife). Its about 1/5 scale. Sadly Ive not improved too much but looking back, I'm rather proud of it. WP_20210329_16_18_51_Pro (2).jpg
  20. Merryweather A Fixture

    What a great thread, Mike, thanks for reviving it.
    Like many I started out with planes, many of them nicked from Woolie's(to my shame), then I discovered simple figure conversions by Roy Dilley in Airfix Magazine. I remember he made a WWI trench raiding party from the then new Airfix 1/32 WWII Germans. He used Plasticine for the extra kit and when I tried it for myself I was hooked. I well remember the anticipation of the Airfix 54mm Hussar and Coldstream Guardsman- they were announced many months before they actually came out, and that was it for me. I made so many conversions from them in my teens and I'm still doing it!
    Here are my two earliest surviving pieces, I don't know which came first, but they are from my mid teens which would place them around 1973-4.
    1-32 Gentleman in Khaki (7).JPG Trail of Tears (6).jpg
    The Gentleman in Khaki is, I think, an early New Hope Design in 54mm and the Cheyenne is based on the Airfix 54mm Coldstream Guardsman with a Britains child ,covered in plasticine-my first sculpting. He was inspired by a Ronald Embleton painting in Look and Learn magazine, entitled Trail of Tears.
    All painted with Humbrol, naturally.
    I've never really left the hobby as I have managed to have a career as an architects' model maker, and I also managed to get sculpting work on the side, mostly at 90mm for Hussar Military Miniatures(they were an offshoot of Tradition)but nobody seems to remember them.
    I didn't paint again for a LONG time though,in fact I only got back into it in March 2019, and I had to learn how to use acrylics. I nearly gave up, until I discovered the wet palette.
    This is my effort then- ICM/Revell 1/35 Tommy
    and this is my latest - converted from those old Airfix 54mm figures
    Scots Grey Charge.jpg
    My main enjoyment comes from the modelling, converting and positioning of the figures-especially trying to convey movement. I struggle with painting, and especially on this forum where everyone is SO good! For me ,painting is just a necessary evil to get me a finished figure rather than a monochrome sculpture.

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