Bill Lamming from Kingston-upon-Hull in East Yorkshire is best known for the
chunky ancient and medieval and Renaissance figures all with separate
heads and weapons - he produced in the 1970s. These slightly toy-like, heavy-set
and short-legged figures ("the joke that went around was that all Bills
figures had his legs" recalls Terry Wise) feature extensively in the Bruce
Quarrie edited PSL Guide to Wargaming and a unit of Romans is to be seen on
the cover of Charles Grants Wargame Tactics.
Lammings early output was altogether more conventional in body-shape
and far slimmer in build.
Lamming took up figure designing when he retired from the police force. His
first models were some 54mm troops issued in 1965 when his company was named
Lambro Products. At this time Lamming appears to have been working alongside
Peter Kemplay a figure painter and diorama maker from Skipton in North
Yorkshire. Kemplay later ran The Northern Garrison in Knaresbrough one of Lammings
main agents and went on to set up his own hobby supply business in Ipswich which
acted as one of the main agents for the Tradition 25mm and 30mm ranges.
Lammings first 20mm range covered the Seven Years War. It was launched
early in 1968 and included British, French, Austrian and Prussian troops. The
details we have of the range are sketchy but it appears that it included all
arms, some artillery pieces and a fairly wide variety of troop types including
a mounted British colonel. A photo in Wargamers Newsletter shows a gun
and four-man artillery crew plus an officer. Infantry figures sold at one shilling
(5p) and cavalry for 2/6d (12 p).
Unusual amongst designers Lamming made all his master figures in brass. His
wife Rene handled the administrative and financial side of the business.
By 1970, when Lamming launched his 20mm Napoleonic range, the Seven Years War
range seems to have been dropped. Adverts for The Northern Garrison in 1970s
issues of Scale Models mention only the Napoleonics and in an article on gaming
the Jacobite Rebellion that appeared in Miniature Warfare in January 1972 author
Stuart Reid states "Lamming are no longer producing Seven years War figures".
The Napoleonic range was extensive and covered French, British and Prussian
armies. In the manner of the day these were described as 20mm but in fact they
are roughly the same size, or slightly taller than Minifigs S range.
They are mounted on thick oblong bases, which have slightly textured and uneven
surfaces. The code number is scratched on the underside.
In an advert in the October 1970 Scale Models Northern Garrison claimed that
the wargamer "will be delighted by their jewel-like precision and quality".
The figures were sold in boxes of five infantry, two cavalry or two guns and
limbers. Officers were sold separately. The infantry boxes retailed at 6/8d
Reviewing the range in Military Modelling in March 1971 John Cross noted, "They
are nice, clean, clearly detailed castings of good quality. Horses in particular
are quite nicely done".
In Wargamers Newsletter meanwhile Don Featherstone was so taken with
the artillery pieces that he said he was tempted to "replace all my artillery
A couple of years later some of the Napoleonic figures were remodelled in what
Lamming described as a "more robust style". Inevitably this meant
bigger and fatter. The original 20mm Napoleonic range is on the listing page
of this section.
The later Lamming ranges of Ancients, Medieval and Renaissance figures are
still available from B&B Wargames in Hull.
In the 1970s Bill Lamming began to work for the scenics company Gallia who
made a large range of buildings for wargamers. Unfortunately he discovered that
he was allergic to resin and was forced to retire. Some while later he abandoned
military modelling and wargaming in favour of a new hobby butterfly collecting.
"He was a really nice man who was always enthusiastic about everything
he did," Terry Wise says.