Sunday, 13 September 2020

The Manchurian Experiment

Following on from Greg Potter's very interesting post in May about his Tex-Mex figures he has been at his creative best again and has kindly sent me the following words and images from his wargame collection for the blog.

'I have long admired the Jacklex Japanese 1904 range, and always had an idea to bring them forward a bit to the 1920's/1930's, and put them somewhere in China or Manchuria. The uniform did not really change at all n the intervening years, and in China the cap was still the most common headgear well in to the early 1930's, when finally helmets started to be worn. Now Mark has rounded out the range and there are gun crews as well as machine guns I felt this was the time!

The Osprey title on The Chinese 'Warlord' armies showed that many wore a very similar uniform to the Japanese but in grey's and blues, so I could use the same figures for both sides. I also made some basic tank and armoured car models, very much in the style of the late, great John Sandars of Airfix Magazine fame who in the 1970's showed us how to make trucks and tanks from balsa wood and bits from your wife's sewing box. I hope you will enjoy the pictures.'

Japanese Infantry advancing with Greg's amazing scratch built tank.
Jacklex Japanese Infantry painted up in Chinese Army uniforms supported by a scratch built armoured car. 
Another view of Japanese Infantry advancing. The archway and house are also scratch built by Greg.

Japanese MG and crew supporting the attack.

Another view of the Chinese and scratch built armoured car.
Finally, two views of a Jacklex 75mm Field Gun from the US Punitive Expedition in Mexico range with Japanese gunners provide fire support for their infantry.

Thank you very much to Greg for this great contribution. 

Saturday, 5 September 2020

An Introduction, A Farewell and a New Range of Jacklex

AN INTRODUCTION, A FAREWELL AND A NEW RANGE OF JACKLEX

I hope you will forgive me for introducing myself along with a bit of a plug for Jacklex Miniatures. My name is Mark Lodge and I am the owner of Jacklex which I took on from Peter Johnstone of Spencer Smith Miniatures in October last year. I have been wargaming, painting, modelling, battlefield touring and military history 'buffing' since the Middle Ages. Very fortunately I have a group of long-time friends, including the talented Andy Callan and Ash Toms who have helped to make the experience hugely fun. 

Taking on a business has been a bit of an eye opener for a retired infanteer, but I am delighted to say that I have come newly into contact with a large group of fantastically supportive and loyal customers which has made the experience of my first year with Jacklex a real pleasure.

What has also been a pleasure and privilege is to have met Jack Alexander at his home, surrounded by all his ships, buildings, figures and moulds. Jack, Bob Black and the late Alan Cook, of 'ABC Wargamers' have been tremendously kind to me in getting many of the old figures back into production. In particular I would like to take this opportunity to say a few words about Alan Cook.

I did not know Alan for very long but he made a huge impact on me in a short time and acted as a mentor to me in setting up the business. I found him to be a generous, positive, selfless gentleman with a very strong sense of humour and a great passion for all things Jacklex. I will miss him greatly and I wish Rosemary, his family and friends well at this very difficult time. I would like to share the photo below of my first ever meeting with Alan at Jack Alexander's house where Alan, Bob and Jack inducted me into the amazing world of Jacklex.    

The 'ABC Wargamers', Alan Cook, Jack Alexander and Bob Black

I now get to the point of this post. Alan had run the 'All Things Jacklex' blog since 2015. Back in May this year he asked me to take it on and I promised him that I would. So, this is my first ever post and I hope to add to it over the coming weeks. I trust my efforts will live up to Alan's meticulous eye and very high standards, I am sure he would approve.   


FRENCH INTERVENTION IN MEXICO 1861-1867: A NEW JACKLEX RANGE

Jacklex Miniatures is about to launch a new set of 20mm metal figures based on the French Intervention in Mexico, or as more often called the 'Mexican Adventure' The new range will be available from www.jacklexminiatures.com from 16 September.

The range is the first new range to go on sale since Jack Alexander's US Punitive Expedition to Mexico figures were made some years ago. The new figures were skilfully sculpted by Aidan Campbell and painted rather badly by me as you will see from the images. 

There are approximately 35 new foot and mounted figures as well as a gun crew, field gun, limber and team. I will let the figures speak for themselves. I hope you like the look of them. Whilst they are not exact reproductions of the existing Jacklex figures I have tried to keep the essence of Jack's lovely old school style.   

   The French and Allied Army range


FA 11 Cavalry trooper mounted
FA3 Infantry advancing with separate backpack
FA7 Zouave advancing
The Mexican Republican and Imperial Armies range
FM1 Regular officer firing
FM9 Militia advancing
FM6 Light Infantry running with separate rifle
FM13 Cavalry trooper mounted
FM2 Regular Infantry standing firing
Artillery and equipment, gun team and crew




The latter two illustrations are from the brush of Michel Provost, Belgian historian, author, painter and illustrator. His French-language novel ‘Tacámbaro’ chronicles the adventures of grenadier drummer Remi Tambour as part of the Belgian Legion in Mexico. Mr Provost has kindly given permission for the use of some of his illustrations here. 

His very characterful illustrations provided some of the inspiration for the new range of Jacklex figures. Visit Michel’s interesting and informative blog at http://provostmichel.blogspot.com.

Finally, before I started planning for the French Intervention range I knew very little of the military campaigning in Mexico in the 1860s. I now know a little more than I did and what has interested me most is that the war was going on concurrently with the American Civil War. Indeed, at the end of the this war the US was instrumental in the outcome. One of the small engagements that caught my eye was the Battle of Tacámbaro, partly because Michel Provost writes in so much detail about the Belgian Legion in his blog. On 3 April 1865, 250-300 men of the Legion occupied Tacámbaro. On 11 April, General Regules attacked the Belgians with between 3,000 and 3,500 Republican soldiers. Surrounded from all sides, the Belgians held out in a desperate fight for five hours, hoping for reinforcements which arrived four days too late. They were finally forced to surrender. This is one of a number of small scale battles that could be used as the basis for a wargame or campaign. To assist the wargamer, I have placed free to download painting guides and organisation sheet on the www.Jacklexminiatures.com  site. I hope to add a new set of rules by Andy Callan soon.     

Belgian Legion soldier and cantiniere 

Men of the Belgian Legion by Michel Provost


Please do contact me at info@jacklexminiatures.com if you have any comments or questions, I would be delighted to hear from you. 

Mark  


Saturday, 27 June 2020

Thursday, 18 June 2020

A trip down memory lane - The Harrow Model Model Shop

In the day in London there was Under Two Flags in St Christopher's Place; the Miniatures Wargame Shop in Gillingham Street, Tradition in Piccadilly; Hinton Hunt in Camden Passage and the Harrow Model Shop in Harrow, North  London.  Unlike the others, it never specialised in just figures but it was the only shop to sell Jacklex figures.

In my last blog I am appealed for any pictures of the the dioramas which used to in be shop windows and the displays cabinets in inside the shop.  Some canny customers bought the displays when the shop finally and some have survived.  

I want to take those who have got in touch and will hopefully provoke a memory, particularly John Cunningham and Roy Boss.

Most if not all the dioramas  were painted are Stuart Asquith who worked in the shop at the weekends!











If you have any more pictures you can send than via Mark Lodge at jacklexminiatures.com

I have to apologise my cancer has come back with avengeance and had an my ICU with bleeds on the brain so spelling and some English isn't what it should it.  I have some great pictures of the work wargamers have been doing with Jack's figures and I will posted them soon.  Managed to get over to see Jack before falling prey to the brain seizures and he was very pleased and humbled to see the all the work people had done.  Thank you from two old wargamers!

Thursday, 4 June 2020

Jacklex Indian Gunners 'rediscovered'

As you know I have converted some Indian gunners for Jack's Madhists forces.  These were essentially the Jacklex Indian Mountain Gun crew.  When I did the conversions for the Sudanese Standard bearer I went back to some pictures I had taken of Jack's Colonial army that Bob had laid out on his table to have a look at the Sudanese figures.  By chance Bob had set up an Indian Gun crew next to them and these were standing around a field gun.  



The more I looked at the pictures I had taken and others I had taken a couple of years ago I couldn't find the Indian Mountain Gun crew in Jack's collection.  I then went to the jacklexminiatures.com website and discovered that Mark Lodge didn't have the set of 'standing'  Indian Gunners that Jack had in his army.  Really odd! 

I contacted Mark and sent him the set of figures which after cleaning turned out to be a set of 4 conversions that Jack had made.  The heads don't match any of the other figures in the Indian army range so they are not simple head swaps. These conversions must have been made over 40 years ago and have never been part of the Jacklex range till now.

I pleased to say that Mark has now recast them and they are available from jacklexminiatures.com





I like the addition of the 'tassle?' from the centre of the turban.  It gives them a certain flair.

It makes you wonder are there any other missing Jacklex figures out there?  Do you have anything, if so please get in touch.  We are also looking for the list of Jacklex figures which was produced by the Harrow Model Shop in the 1980s.  Finally, any pictures of the dioramas which were in the model shop and that were sold when the shop closed.





Tuesday, 2 June 2020

New ACW additions

Alongside a set of new colonial figures, jacklexminiatures.com have released 2 new ACW figures.


New Union infantry 
 Confederate addition




Sunday, 24 May 2020

Jacklex Japanese as Mexican regulars More conversions with a paint brush

Many years ago Bob, Jack and I played a game with Jack's Japanese infantry being given Mexican flags on the basis that the uniforms were similar to the Mexican regular army.




In the final of these 'conversion with a paint brush blogs'  here's another brilliant set.  Talking to Mark Lodge of jacklexminiatures.com about how figures could be used from different ranges, he sent me these pictures which show just how versatile the Jacklex figures can be with a simple paint job.  When I first saw these pictures, I genuinely thought they were a new range.  So now regular Mexicans taking on Pershing's force or Mexican revolutionaries can come to life by mixing the ranges. 




French 75mm and Mexican gun crew