1. Copying kits is a crime that hurts original artists & producers. Help support your favorite artists by buying their original works. PlanetFigure will not tolerate any activities related to recasting, and will report recasters to authorities. Thank you for your support!

Whot! Nostalgia Again!!

Discussion in 'General Figure Talk' started by Rich Sculpts, Jul 31, 2012.

  1. Rich Sculpts A Fixture

    Been thinking back to the hey-day of Military Modeling in the 70's and 80's and started wondering about the real talent that formed the figure world way-back when.

    Any folks remembers names like...

    Bill Hearne (the esci Harley Davidson MP and German Motorbike crew)
    Peter Willcox (Master of the ancient world)
    Max Longhurst
    Sid Horton (the Airfix days - Balaclava)
    Ray Lamb (he of the classic charging Chasseur officer)
    Norman Abbey (the massive Hinchcliffe Isandlwana model)
    Charles Stadden
    Cliff Sanderson
    Tony Kettle
    Pat Bird
    John Tassell
    Richard Almond
    Shep Paine
    Joe Berton
    Ray Anderson
    Les Higgins
    Madame Des Fontaines

    Please - refresh my memory as to any other names I may have left out?

    Also for the folks in the UK, anyone remember the model shops - Seagull Models and Under two Flags?

    Would particularly love to see images of the Bill Hearne models once again (the USA MP with Harly Davison and the German motorcycle crew) they were technically so ahead of they're time that they would certainly stand up well against any modern builds.

    Looking forward reliving those days with folks who were around back then.
    Mike - The Kiwi likes this.
  2. polyphemus Well-Known Member

    Seven more; Russell Gamage (Rose Miniatures)
    David Grieve (started with Rose, then Realmodels & his own business)
    Julian Benassi (Hinchliffe & Benassi's Choice)
    Dave Jarvis (Hinchliffe & Dragoon)
    Norman Errington (Greenwood & Ball)
    Paul Knight (Hinchliffe)
    Steve Hezzlewood (Hinchliffe & Pax Brittanica)
    No Doubt there's more but it's getting a little late in the evening.

    Real nostalgia;

    Grod and Joe55 like this.
  3. Rich Sculpts A Fixture

    Great video - if I remember right he also collected theatrical figures as well.
  4. Rich Sculpts A Fixture

  5. bagelman1952 Well-Known Member

    Spent many an hour wandering around Seagull Models and Under Two Flags. I worked in Beatties in High Holborn at the time as an assistant shop manager and display modeller. Money was c**p but it was all I ever wanted to do (apart from be a pro snooker player)
  6. sippog Active Member

    I also spent time and money in Under Two Flags over the years. Especially in the early noughties when I too was working around the corner. They had a sign which said: "The difference between men and boys is the price of their toys " Very true.

    I telephoned Bill Hearne in the 80's, when he'd already been diagnosed with cancer, and persuaded him to sell me the display casting of his Plunderer figure (already OOP) which I still intend to build one day.

    Julian Benassi was a great character and I wish now I'd kept some of the handwritten letters he sent out with kits with their wonderful, eccentric use of English
  7. Helm A Fixture

    I would love to see re-issues of any of Bill Hearne's stuff his 17th Lancer at Balaclava was a classic and I've already made plain my liking for Benassi's work
  8. polyphemus Well-Known Member

    More names; Marcus Hinton (Hinton Hunt)
    Edward Suren (Willie figures)
    Dave Sparrow (Hinchliffe)
    And of course with all the mention of Hinchliffe Models; Frank Hinchliffe

  9. billyturnip A Fixture

    Me too, what a nice chap and sadly missed.

  10. smudger1960 PlanetFigure Supporter

    Oh how i remember 'Under Two Flags',a marvelous little shop tucked away in St Christophers Place,i would never have known it was there if i had'nt been specificly looking for it,so sad its now gone :(, spent plenty of money in there :cry:,great memories

  11. Rich Sculpts A Fixture

    Seem to remember there was a Beatties just a few streets away from under two flags.

    Used to get a cheap day return from Hounslow tube station most Saturdays and do the rounds of the all the model shops and London army museums (oh happy days!).

    Spent hours in the National Army Museum in Chelsea, so much so I got friendly with the staff and ended up being asked to help with the kids summer camp they held every year (I was 14 back then). Great time met many good friends there and did two seasons before I left school and entered professional model making.

    Been away from sculpting for so many years (life and family took over) just got back and realising how much I missed it.
  12. Rich Sculpts A Fixture

    Hey! Is there any folks here that are current members of the BMSS? Would love to know who is still alive and kicking!

    So many names to remember there (in particular John Ruddle, he was the secretary of the society back then). John was huge collector of Britains figures and had a whole model village in his back garden dedicated to them. I lived a couple of miles away from him and spent many hours helping him with the national collection when it was housed at Hatfield House. Lost touch with him just after I got married and moved to the south coast.
  13. bagelman1952 Well-Known Member

    Beatties was in High Holborn which is a bit more than a few streets away from Under Two Flags. Dont know if they are still there or not. It was actually two shops interconnected. Model railways on one side and us modellers on the other. I did all the out of the box display models (mostly Tamiya kits and we used to stock mostly Hinchliffe and Post Militaire. I did a diorama for a colleague of David Sterling of two Tamiya SAS jeeps which I made a bit on.
  14. Rich Sculpts A Fixture

    Do you remember the large scale figures he created for Esci? The German infantryman got released but the WW2 British paratrooper never got to production (recall the article in Campaigns magazine showing the master model, it was simply stunning!).
  15. bagelman1952 Well-Known Member

    Just Googled Beatties and they went into administration. The High Holbor shop is now a Modelzone store. I remember doing a ESCI german infantryman (maybe even two) for a city businessman that used to come in every month to by large scale die cast Italian cars for his pension fund. He took a fancy to it and then ordered a second one for his brother.
    Here it is http://www.cybermodeler.com/hobby/figures/esci/kit_esci_6001.shtml
  16. Rich Sculpts A Fixture

    May not have been Beatties, but there was one of the big chain model stores located no more than a few streets away. Can you recall any of the others?

    Talking around late 70's early 80's.
  17. bagelman1952 Well-Known Member

    Tradition was close by in Shepherds Market but that is the only proper model shop I can recall in those days. Unless you are thinking of Gamleys toy store in Regent Street. They had a fairly large model department.
  18. Rich Sculpts A Fixture

    Remember it well - do they still produce it? Seagull models had his German motorcycle and sidecar crew displayed in its window for quite a while (that shop was always a goldmine of inspiration!).

    They also used to have models by David Catley (excuse the spelling of his name) his Historex conversions where almost ghostly in they're presentation. So much detail to revel in!
  19. Rich Sculpts A Fixture

    Definitely not Gamleys. Got moved on from that store when the when we tried to install an oversize animated dinosaur diorama next to they're main escalator. It ended up in Harrods toy department after a lot of phone calls and begging from the toy manufacturer... so know that store well!

    For the life of me I can not think of the stores name?

    Ever get to Willie Figures store just off Sloane Square?
  20. polyphemus Well-Known Member

    I only ever went to Seagull Models once, in 1980. I remember they had a Crecy diorama in the window made up of the figures sculpted by Al Charles for Greenwood & Ball.
    I think some of Bill Hearne's figures ended up in the Rosedale range but I don't know who owns that range now.

    Speaking of Greenwood & Ball did anyone ever try mail-ordering from them? Had to be the worst mail order service ever. I remember ordering the Sanderson Press Gang figures from them; received a couple plus some figures I hadn't ordered. I chased them up & received a couple more Sanderson figures plus a couple more new releases I hadn't ordered. This went on for a few weeks & each time the response was the same, more random figures. They clearly hadn't a clue what I'd ordered. Nice chap though.

    Wasn't there also a shop in the Burligton Arcade in London, mainly selling painted figures?


Share This Page

planetFigure Links

Reviews & Open Box
Buy. Sell & trade
Link Directory

Popular Sections

Figure & Minis News
vBench - Works in Progress
Painting Talk
Sculpting Talk
Digital Sculpting Talk
The Lounge
Report Piracy

Who we are

planetFigure is a community built around miniature painters, sculptors and collectors, We are here to exchange support, Information & Resources.

© planetFigure 2003 - 2022.