Tony has posted some pictures of Peter Cushing and his figures here-
I don’t recall having seen some of these before and it is well worth popping over for a look. I would be interested in what readers think of these two questions-
Did Peter use the rules to game or are they posed photos?
What makes are the figures?
Did he have links/ contact with other wargamers of the time?
I will be interested in your thoughts...
Hi Alan- I knew about Peter Cushing's love of Toy Soldiers. Did you know that the American actor Charlton Heston was a big Collector of Toy Soldiers as well. Interesting interests and hobbies for these famous men. Cheers. KEV.ReplyDelete
I didn’t know about Heston, how interesting. Do you have any more details?Delete
The photos look staged to me but one cannot discount that Little Wars were his rules of choice. What would have been other commercially available rules at this time?ReplyDelete
Does look staged but who knows?Delete
There is a 1956 Pathe newsreel of him with his toy soldiers set up for a wargame and it states that he uses Wells' Little Wars.ReplyDelete
The figures in the photos on Tony's blog are all Britains apart from the knights in photo 5 which are by Richard Courteney and are now horrendously expensive. I remember seeing his collection when it came up for auction at Phillips of London after he died, he had many models of the theatre sets from plays he had performed in, they were exquisitely detailed.
The Phillips auction sounds fascinating. I am very intrigued by the theatre set collection. Did you go to the auction house Brian? Can you tell us more about it, I am fascinated to here more...Delete
Yes, I regularly went to all the specialist toy soldier auctions at Phillips, there were about three a year run by James Opie who I'd known from way back. The sale was very busy, the buzz was all about the Courteney knights which had attracted lots of collectors and dealers. Courtneys turned up regularly at the auctions but in ones and twos, it was unusual to get a whole collection and he had some rare individual items, in the end most of them went to the USA to the likes of Malcolm Forbes and Douglas Fairbanks Jr.Delete
I was more interested to see the model theatre sets because they were unique, they weren't the sort of thing I would buy and the guide prices put them way out of my reach anyway, but I knew I'd never see them again. The bidding on them was fierce but all from film and TV fans rather than the toy soldier fraternity.
There are pics of some of his model theatre sets on the internet if you google for them.
Brian, you ought to write about these memories. I am sure a magazine or John Curry would be interested in publishing them. A first hand account of the hobby.Delete
Dis Fairbanks or Forbes game or just collect.
The thing is that I really need prompts like your question to draw all this stuff out of me, and I need to reply straight away, otherwise the words just don't flow. Fairbanks and Forbes were always just collectors.Delete
It was pre-Feathersone/Grant so not sure what other rules were available - something by Scruby ?.ReplyDelete
There were plenty of rules available, see the books on Wargaming Pioneers by John Curry.Delete
There were of course rules available by the British Model Soldier Society by Captain Sachs if I recall correctly (cfr. John Curry's books on the topic). But the fact that he poses with Little Wars indicates he either 1. used these rules; or 2. didn't use rules and was a collector only. I suspect rather the latter because he poses with Floor Games as well, hardly a book that contains rules for wargames.ReplyDelete
A third possibility is he might have used rules such as the one by Sachs, but then staged the photos using Little Wars for name recognition of H.G.Wells.Delete
Intriguing possibilities, was Peter in the BMSS btw? I feel he was a collector primarily.Delete
I understand he was a member of the BMSS (although I don't recall seeing him at any of the meetings), which back in the 1940/50's was as much a group for wargamers as collectors, Tony Bath published his very first set of Ancient and Medieval wargame rules in the BMSS Bulletin in July 1956. The modelling side of the Society became more prominent in the 1960/70'sDelete
I don't think he would have used Capt. Sachs rules as these were designed around modern warfare (WW2) and wouldn't have suited the armies he had, which were more 1900's. Most people at that time made up their own rules and these were occasionally printed up in the BMSS bulletin but most of us used Little Wars.
Most interesting Brian. Did you game at BMSS meetings or were they more chat based? One thing that is putting me off rejoining the society is their lack of wargaming, not even a specialist group now.Delete
No, I joined the BMSS in the early 1970's and by then they were well on the way to being a competitive modelling group,wargaming was done outside of the meetings and "playing with you soldiers" was something they were trying to distance themselves from.Delete
What a shame,pity they did not embrace gaming. I am sorry to hear that.Delete
I was curious that according to the Newsreel commentary that he made his own figures "out of compressed drawing paper" with swords and spears added in metal. How?ReplyDelete
Indeed, I can’t imagine the process. Curiouser and curiouser...Delete
Perhaps he created a mould with plaster-of-paris or Plasticine or similar and used wet paper compressed into it?Delete