Thursday, 20 August 2009

Frank and Norman....

...both designed rather splendid equipment pieces and set a standard that few have lived up to since. Frank Hinchliffe began his commercial model making career designing 54mm artillery pieces in the late 1960s. Of course he went on to expand into other scales, hire Peter Gilder (and others) to design wargaming figures in 15-30mm, and work with sculptors such as Charles Stadden, Julian Benassi, Dave Jarvis, etc. to create an extensive range of model soldiers in 54-90mm - all of which made Hinchliffe Models one of the dominant companies in wargaming and military modelling through the 1970s and 80s.

I have fond memories of receiving Hinchliffe equipment sets in those little blue boxes - complete with extras such as lengths of chain, harness and stirrups for horses, etc. Hinchliffe definitely 'went the extra mile' - not cheap at the time, but worth every penny.

Norman Swales first broke cover (to my knowledge at least) as an illustrator for Hinchliffe in the mid 1970s. By the early 80s he was designing equipment for the original Wargames Foundry. Foundry presentation was a bit rough and ready (remember when they gave you a nail for an axle?) but the design of the pieces was first class.

The first picture above is a Hinchliffe ammunition wagon - 30+ years old, and still a fine model. The second picture is 1980s vintage Wargames Foundry model. Both are accompanied by converted Hinchliffe horses and attendants.

I've always been keen to add the 'tail' to my wargame armies - not just as table dressing but because i feel it's important to incorporate some aspect of logistics into wargames. In our current AWI games this is reflected in restricted ammunition supply - hence the two pieces pictured.

I'm sure you'll agree that that's quite enough of my old tat for a while. Next up i'll be focusing on a couple of guest contributors.


juno said...

"Enough of my old tat.."? Absolutely not - it's the prospect of seeing your old tat that keeps bringing us back here.

Robert said...

I always liked Norman Swales' illustrations of the Hinchliffe range. When I got started in Napoleonics many moons ago, I depended on the old Humbrol Authenticards as my main painting source!

Some pictures of them here;

DC said...

Juno - thanks, and the cheque is in the post...8-) I have to say that i reckon the quality of painting and animation of the figures i'll be featuring next really does put my stuff in the shade. More anon.

Robert - i had a few Authenticards myself, and some of those same illustrations appeared in the Hinchliffe Handbook and Quarrie's Napoleons Campaigns in Miniature - i hope Norman got a royalty.