Saturday, 15 August 2009

Back from the Seaside

Well I have returned from my week at the seaside with the family. Wargaming, modelling and the Internet were out, sandcastles and 99s where in. I managed to reread another Simon Scarrow book as well the Battleground Europe book on Operation Bluecoat, the only model shop I found was disappointing and mainly for railway modellers.

~ Scooby Do flashback mode on!

Whilst making 1/72nd WW2 aircraft and hanging them from my bedroom ceiling in the early 1980s, I had come across Wargaming from a column in the Battle comic and persuaded my mum to order the Airfix Magazine Guide to WW2 Wargaming.Buying the occasional copy of Military Modelling I came across amongst others Heroics & Ros and Citadel Miniatures. Whilst I ordered a small selection of micro-armour, which never came to anything, I never saw Citadel Miniatures in the flesh for some years.

This was however a return to where it all properly started for me, in the early 80s I spend a number of years holidaying in Devon with the family, on one of these visits I discovered Tamiya 1/35th scale models and moved on from aircraft. In 1983 I went into Mansell's Models in Paignton and saw blister packed Citadel Miniatures and a brand new game released to play them with. The miniatures I bought were a pack of Chaos Warriors which if I remember had separate shields and heads.

The following year (1984) I bought the first Citadel paint set from a shop in Dartmouth and from a shop in Plymouth, possibly Antics I bought the Goblin Raiding Party boxed set.

Well being well and truly hooked I looked for other shops. Worcester had Friar's toyshop and close by a proper wargames shop - albeit the size of my front room and a rather bizarre stocking policy where there was one of these and one of those, literally. Building units was a nightmare.

Our local shop, Evesham Models started to stock Citadel and that became a regular haunt, the owner John would keep the shop open late on a saturday afternoon as I would rush up from my Saturday job to spend my wages. Through the shop I met many of my good friends, even going on an early Citadel open day where I played against Rick Priestly him self. Being the eager teenager I made sure I used all of the points allowed for my force, having a chaos warrior lead a goblin warband. Rick had a few old menfish which quickly became sushi when they met my cheesy warband.

As the 80s progressed, White Dwarf got into WHSmiths and with some friends we formed ERA, the Evesham Roleplaying Association and had a trip to Games Day. 1987 saw the release of Warhammer 40K and the plastic marines. The early plastics from Citadel were the dreadful 'drastic plastic' dwarf and orks along with the large 60mm Fighting Fantasy figures.

The Marines, known as wombles because of their helmets, were better and bacame a big hit. 30 figures for £9.99, I bought a box and invented the Dark Star chapter who often fought against my Eldar at those ERA meetings.

On an occasional visit to occasional visit to the Games Workshop branch in Birmingham's old Bullring I bought my first slotta based figure. At this point the slots weren't cut out and with out any explanation of what to do I based my figure with the slot upside down! On reflection I can now see the figure was reminiscent of a Turkish Janissary.

After playing most of the RPGs on the market, our group got older and the club broke up. I moved on to historical wargaming and sold off my earlier figures. I did come across one of my goblins some years later on a Bring & Buy stall recognising the shield pattern.

Well that's enough of a stroll down memory lane. My painting priorities for the next fortnight are a few bases for Cold War Commander as I have a game coming up - more artillery, Rapiers and a couple of Harriers.


Little Odo said...

I have a couple of sets of those goblins - wonderful stuff. I am currently going back through my old Citadel minis and giving them a new lease of life. As I am currently doing a dwarf army for Hordes of the Things, seeing these has prompted me to dig out my old orcs and gobbos and start up a HotT army for them. Thanks for the inspiration.

I like your blog by the way and have been following for the last month or so in the background.

Ricardipus said...

Ah - I remember Mansell's in Paignton (this is actually why I'm here at your blog... was trying to see if it still exists!).

We spent quite a few holidays in Paignton in the 1970s, and visited Mansell's probably each and every time. I suspect that my brother even has some Citadel miniatures or the like from then. I'd forgotten about these nice little things. :)