Saturday, 14 September 2019

Jack's Japanese Army

About 8 years ago Bob, Jack and I had a game using Jack’s 1904 Japanese, only we used them as Mexican regulars removing their Japanese flags and substituting Mexican ones.

For the past 8 years or so I have been asking Jack what happened to them as I wanted to take pictures of them for the this blog.  They must be in the loft was the common thought as we had looked everywhere else for them.  Jack even sent his grandson into the distant and dirty recess of his loft to try to find them.  He did find some lovely 54mm British colonials – not Jack’s - and a box containing some masters for wagon’s and guns but alas no Japanese!

Jack uses the conservatory at his home for his model making and it is where we sit and discuss the meaning of life, wargaming and from time to time the missing Japanese. Jack’s daughter decided things should be tided up – particularly the floor which was becoming a little crowded.  

Lo and behold, behind some books which were under a glass display cabinet she discovered the Japanese.  Over the years we have all sat next to this cabinet from time to time puzzling over were the figures could be and all the time they were within feet or even inches of our feet!

So I give you Jack’s Jacklex Japanese army.  These were originally available - UPDATE except for the limber teams - but didn’t all make it into the Spenser Smith site but hopefully should be available at some point through the new Jacklex website which launches on 30th September.

I painted them in Blue uniforms to add a little variety

As mentioned in the introduction, the last time these figures were on the gaming table they doubled up as Mexican regulars by changing the flags

Saturday, 24 August 2019

The Phoenix Rises – The Return of Jacklex

A couple of weeks ago I had the pleasure of finally meeting Mark Lodge the new owner of the Jacklex range of 20mm figures.  I had been in touch with him on the phone and by email and it was good to put a face to a name.

We met at Jack’s and had an enjoyable time sitting in his garden and exchanging wargame tales.  However, the real purpose of the meeting was to take the opportunity to go through some of the piles of moulds in Jack’s garage to try find any missing figures or moulds to help complete the Jacklex range.  To Mark’s huge delight not only did we find some moulds but we were able to find some of Jack’s masters for the wagon’s and guns.  These were truly stunning.  When you consider they were made over 50 years ago in plastic the detail on things like the barrels on the Gardiner Gun or the structure of the Wagons was amazing and tell of Jack’s skill as a model maker and craftsman.

What all this hunting around means is that the relaunch of the Jacklex range complete with it’s own website and logo (see below) at the end of September will see the most extensive range of these lovely figures ever.

Mark's aim is to try, over time, to fill in some gaps in some of the ranges by producing some conversions/new additions.  To date these include a wheeled machine gun and crew for the Russians in the Russo-Japanese war (or for imaginary struggles with the British on the North-West Frontier), together with a Russian Standard bearer.  In the Boer War series there are Staatsartillerie Pom Pom gun with limber mules and crew and the Pom Pom gun with its field crew.  Mark kindly sent me a set of these figures and but for the cataract that has appeared in my left eye I would have painted them for these pictures.  Unfortunately, I do not think that I can do them justice at the moment tempting though it is to give them a go!

Once upon a time there was a diorama in the  Harrow Model shop of a Pom Pom gun and it's crew.  

(photo of Harrow Model Shop diorama)
The moulds for this had disappeared in the midst of time so it is wonderful to see Mark's beautiful recreations  

The prices for these and the standard infantry and cavalry figures is to be confirmed, but I thought I would wet your appetite by showing some pictures.

In case you haven’t come across it, the South African Military History Society have lots of information on their website on the First and Second Boer Wars and later wars, including information on uniforms for the Stastsartillerie

Wednesday, 21 August 2019

Happy 90th Birthday

Just to announce that Jack is 90 on 22nd August (tomorrow)
and still building models and wargaming.

Happy Birthday Jack!

Saturday, 9 March 2019

Found in a box in my cellar - Jack's boats

I was sorting through some boxes in the old coal cellar (very small basement to US readers) and I came across a box with these two boats/armoured barges.

I bought these from Jack when I was first introduced to him by our mutual friend Stuart Asquith when he still lived in Harrow.

It was a very long time ago and I fell out of love with 54mm gaming only painting one set of crew and they have been in a box for many, many years.  Anyway I thought I would share with you another example of Jack's handy work.  

The boats/barges themselves are made of card.  Jack cast up the machine guns and the sailors come from a range I think he sold to Little Legion but he made them himself.

The roof to the 'steering house' can be removed

and up to 12 figures or equipment can be carried in the hold which also has a removable deck cover.

Jack is 90 this August still making bits and pieces and has just finished gluing together lots of Perry's ACW figures.

Thursday, 14 June 2018

54mm Battle of Britain Anniversary set

Went over to Jack's to take some pictures of his 54mm figures and he asked me whether I had ever seen his Battle of Britain 50th Anniversary set which he made back in 1990.  Well the answer was 'no' so I thought I would share some picture's of the boys work.  The added extra being the 100th Anniversary of the RAF.

This is set 217 of 300 I did ask him why he didn't have set 1 or at least a lower number!

Thursday, 7 December 2017

Yet another Miltra item - The Parachute

I posted a picture of a Miltra German Paratrooper cast from a mould I found at Jack's  and the Vintage Wargamer was able to identify this and the rifle which I also posted.  He signposted copies of the Miltra catalogue and articles on his Old Metal Detector blog site.  It was whilst browsing this that I came across a picture and article referencing Miltra Parachutes. 
It says that there are/were a range of 'vacuum formed Parachutes'
 I recognised this as something I had seen in a dusty box in Jack's garage and here it is.

The Parachute itself is made of some sort of rubber.  It hasn't perished at all despite the 'hostile conditions' in which it has been stored or its age. Just covered in dust and grime.

I appreciate that this isn't the most inspiring thing ever posted but it may just be the only one of it's kind left so it may make this little bit of rubber a bit unique!

Thursday, 2 November 2017

More Miltra bits? - German Paratrooper and rifles

As I mentioned in an earlier blog I found a mould at Jack's which was marked German Paratrooper.  I finally got back to Jack's to get him to run a couple of figures to see what they looked liked and to get your view on whether this in fact a Miltra figure.

The figure comes with open hands and no weapon.  Whilst Jack was casting this and some other bits I had a further rummage around and found a mould marked German rifle. This is definitely not a Jacklex rifle but again I know next to nothing about Miltra and the weapons that were made available with the figures so don't know if it is connected with the range.  Not a bad casting given the age of the mould.

Unfortunately Jack's can't remember.  The rifle straps didn't quite come out quite right but this was just the first try and there is a little flash on the rifle bolt which makes it look like a flintlock in the picture (it isn't). Any thoughts?

I also found a couple of other figures lurking in the bottom of the 'to melt box' which I have rescued and put to one side.  Again I think these are lost Miltra figures.

So I now have a bag of odds and sods of figures and 2 moulds (assuming they are Miltra).  I will keep looking and posting.

Sunday, 8 October 2017

Miltra British Officer in Beret - worth a closer look

In the previous post I included this figure in a row of Miltra figures.

I like this a lot and thought he deserved some pictures on his own.  Not sure if he is a 'tanker' or a 'para' but I think he has something about him.. Not something you can often say for a figure just standing unarmed.  The figure is a bit 'flat on the back' but that seems to be a bit of a 'style thing', as some of the others are the same.

Friday, 6 October 2017

More finds in Jack's scrap box - Miltra figures?

Whilst Jack was busy casting up some figures for me, I had another rummage through his scrap box and moulds.

My latest find - Miltra figures?  Also a mould marked German Para trooper.  The figure has open hands.

Jack tells me that he was one of four making the figures but his role turned into the mould maker, gathering in the work of the other modellers and producing the moulds and casting them.  Anyway some bits for your thoughts.

The first figure in the beret is really well done.

I think both these figures are Poles.  The one in the helmet looks like he should have been seated on a gun.

The brown staining on the figure loading looks like rust!

Thursday, 31 August 2017

Found in the Scrap Box at Jack's. Can you help to identify?

I was over at Jack's trying to find some moulds and I came across these figures in a box of scarp figures.  I have no idea who made them and Jack can't recall.  Does anyone recognise these?

All the figures are 20mm

Figure 1

French WW1 or Polish WW2?  

Same figure just one has lost his bayonet.

Figure 2 
WW2 Germans

Figure 3
WW2 German Paratrooper
This figure was designed without a base.  I used a bit of 'blu-tac' jjust to keep him upright for the pictures

Figure 4

WW1 German or Franco Prussian War Prussian?.  
The figure is very slight.  On first impressions it looks less than 20mm simply because it is thin.  However, when you stand it next to one of the figures shown above it is roughly the same height.

Any help would be appreciated.