Back in the 60s when I started wargaming 20mm was king, mainly due to AIRFIX plastic figures. For the first time there were full ranges in inexpensive plastic like the ACW boxes. I could buy infantry for both sides, cavalry, artillery and civilians (cowboys and settlers). Pioneering metal sculptors were producing their own 20mm figures and one of these was Jack Alexander – JACKLEX. Jack was interested in the 19th century and decided to make his figures compatible with AIRFIX. He modelled his 20mm figures on toy figures from his childhood made by BRITAINS. These BRITAINS were real toy soldiers, stylised and with little detail. Jack’s figures were similar, and with minimal detail – if you wanted more detail you painted it on. Yet it was this very simplicity that gave them a charm of their own, a charm that has lasted from the sixties till today. Jack’s figures are still available and he is producing new figures for the wargames group he games with.
Back in the 60s Jack was asked for advice by Don Featherstone and features in one of his books. As well as figures he made artillery, wagons and various models. He continues to do so. When he wanted artillery pieces for his Russo Japanese series he sculptured a 15 spoke wheel and scratch built the guns.
In the 70s most manufacturers abandoned 20mm and enlarged their figures into 25mm, but Jack stayed true to 20mm. He expanded his figures to feature a huge colonial range which included British, Boers, Pathans, sailors and assorted equipment including an artillery train pulled by elephants. Don Featherstone had got him started on naval modelling and as well as 20mm Victorian sailors he has since produced junks, Korean turtle ships, Victorian gunboats and pirate ships.
He is an astonishingly talented modeller - One of his wargames group showed him a small photo of a Russian Orthodox Church from the internet and Jack turned it into a 3- dimensional model.
But enough text – JACKLEX is a visual feast, of figures, scenery and models. Look at the photos and enjoy Jack’s continuing talented models.
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