|| Jack Alexander Q&A
How long did it take you to make a master
figure and what materials did you use?
"I can't really say how long it took because
I was working at it odd times after work. I used scraped back
basic figures and then added details to it with chemical metal
(red label). For finer work such as faces I'd use plasticine.
When I'd cast a few good faces I used them for all the figures"
The metal that Jacklex figures were
made from was very soft. It bends but it tends not to break.
Was that a conscious choice?
"I don't know if it was a decision. It was just what I was
used to using. It was a 60/40 lead to tin mix that The Model Shop bought - they
also cast model railway parts. Originally I cast the figures myself, but because
they were drop moulded that was very time consuming and didn't leave any time
over for designing new figures, so eventually the casting was handed over to a
chap named Arthur Graham who sadly died last year."
Did The Model Shop ever influence what you designed in terms
"No. I just made what I was interested in. Not a very commercial
way of going about but the figures always sold."
At the start of the 1970s 25mm became the big thing and 20mm
figures faded away. By 1979 Jacklex
were one of the only companies making non-20th century subjects in the scale.
Did you ever think of changing to 25mm?
"No. I'd always worked in 20mm so I stuck with that. I think
the 25mm thing got started because Peter Gilder made some bigger figures more
or less by mistake and found that they took off."
There was a big gap between the issue of the first ACW figures
and the later stuff such as the dismounted cavalrymen. Was there a reason for
"Not that I can think of!"
You've always been a keen wargamer. What rules do you use with
your Jacklex figures?
"I've used all sorts. At the moment we're using Ted Brown's
'Piquet's and Pathans' from an old copy of Wargames Illustrated. They're very
simple but with terrible casualties".
Did you use other figure manufacturers figures alongside Jacklex?
"The only ones I used in any numbers were Airfix ACW. The
Jacklex range was put together to fit in with them and fill gaps".
What are your favourite figures amongst all the ones you designed?
"I think at first the figures were quite basic but later on
I got better. I suppose the Russians, some of the Indian infantry and the Egyptians
are the ones I was most pleased with"
The Egyptian Lancers were very nice.
"Do you think so? I'm not sure. I think the horses look a
bit like Alsatians!"