Other Manufacturers
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Knight Design

Operating in the early 1980s from the London area, Knight produced a small range of 20mm figures that included ACW cavalry and infantry, 1812 Americans and French 1812 Russian Campaign. The figures have been described as “mostly rubbish” by the only person we know that has seen any though he does praise a couple of the French subjects: a standard bearer leaning into the wind and a veteran smoking a pipe. Also did 2mm armies sold as battle sets. The moulds may later have been sold to a company based in Cornwall.

 

Ashworth Miniatures

A mystery. Wargamer and collector John Cunningham found a hand-written note scribbled to himself amongst his files reading “Ashworth Miniatures do 20mm”, but can’t remember where he got the information from, what figures they made, or where they were based.

 

Field of Battle

A British company based in West Yorkshire. They produced a range of Foreign Legion and ACW figures and some resin buildings and terrain. Began life in the late-1990s. Our source describes the figures as “a bit rough, but attractive”.

 

Wodensfeld Miniatures

6 Swallowfields Drive, Hednesford, Cannock, Staffs WS12 5UQ.

Range of 1/72nd scale ACW and a small selection of French SYW figures. Well reviewed by the redoubtable Mike Siggins of Wargames Illustrated. Recently (July 2001) reported to have ceased production due to family illness.

 

GB. Little Lead Soldiers

Boxed sets of reasonably well painted 20mm that were sold through Hamleys, Harrods and tourist shops in the late 1980s. Included some British Napoleonic subjects and possibly Colonials. 1815 Lifeguards set includes three two piece castings: officer, trumpeter and trooper.

 

Kirk Miniatures

Operating from Western Park, Leicester in the early-1970s, Kirk produced 1:300 scale AFVs, 54mm figures and a 20mm range of Napoleonics and Crimean subjects. Airfix magazine describes the 54mm figures as “superb”, but our informant is less complimentary about the 20mm efforts, “very crude compared to Hinton Hunt” he says.

 

Hinchliffe

The Hudderfield based company run by Frank Hinchliffe and designer Peter Gilder produced a wonderful range of 20mm equipment, including a superb colonial elephant gun which Airfix Magazine praised as “one of the most delightful wargames pieces we have seen”. Other items included ECW artillery, colonial baggage wagons and WW2 artillery. Still available through Skytrex or Tabletop?

 

Alymer

Based in Valencia, Spain Alymer was founded in 1947. Angel Comes Placencia designed the Miniploms ('little leads') ho/oo range of figures during the 1950s and 1960s. Figures were sold ready painted in sets of three infantry, two cavalry or a gun and limber. The figures are soldered to a cream plastic plinth. A Perspex cover completes the box. Alymer's range extended to close to 300 subjects ranging from Ancient Egyptians to Nato forces. The Napoleonic range is extensive covering everything from line infantry to supply wagons. Particularly noteworthy were the sets of Napoleonic Generals covering 50 different subjects from Napoleon himself to the Duke of Alberqueque. These sets featured the general, an ADC and two mounted escorts. In April 1965 such sets were selling in the US for 3USD, a fair price considering that at the same time six SAE 30mm infantrymen were retailing for a dollar. It is hard to disagree with Garratt, "The prime objection to them is their prohibitive price when imported". The figures were scaled at 1/8th of an inch to the foot and are therefore considerably smaller than most UK 20mm figures - pictures of some of the ancient subjects can be seen in Featherstone's Complete Wargaming. Though the ho/oo range is no longer made Alymer is still a going concern, now producing the ubiquitous 'traditional toy soldiers'.

 

Cardoza

R Cardoza was an individual maker based in New York. Cardoza's 20mm range, designed in the late-fifties or early sixties featured figures from the Ancient world, American War of Independence, Napoleonic Wars, ACW, Plains Indian Wars and modern. Like John Greenwood's early figures Cardoza's models seem to have been aimed at the collector rather than the wargamer as, according to a Military Cast catalogue c.1965, they cost close to three times as much as similar size figures from Rose Miniatures.

 

Silver Cross

The Silver Cross 20mm range was designed by Arthur Graham who worked at the Harrow Model shop where, amongst other things, he cast the Jacklex range of figures. Silver Cross (named, presumably, in honour of Model Shop owner Arthur Cross) first appeared around 1972. First releases were some Ancient Britons. A limited range of Napoleonics followed shortly afterwards (see listing). Made from the same shiny metal as Jack Alexander's models the figures were never very heavily advertised and are often described as Jacklex on second hand lists. Jack Alexander remembers the Silver Cross soldiers as "funny little things", but David List of Model World was more complimentary, "The figures are generally very good, with realistic animation which will please the wargamer and diorama builder alike".

 

SAE

Swedish African Engineers is most famous for its range of 30mm figures designed by Holger Eriksson. In the 1960s Eriksson also designed a range of HO/OO scale figures for the company. The range included subjects aimed at the model railway enthusiast, a farm set, cowboys and cattle herd and a pair of sets of passengers and railroad personnel, and two clearly produced with the wargamer in mind: set 6002 Union Army – Infantry, Cavalry, Artillery and set 6003 Confederate Army – Infantry, Cavalry, Artillery. In the early 1960s these sets were sold for 3USD each. They contained around 30 pieces. The figures we have seen are very nicely done, but small.

 

Arrington

A US maker that started up around 1964, according to Garratt they made 20mm Greeks and Romans as well as 54mm figures of the Plains Wars. Arrington’s figures were sold by Le Petit Soldat of Santa Anna, Calfornia which was advertising them in 1968.

 

Amati

Based in Turin. Italian brothers Franco and Primo Marletti made 20mm naval figures to crew model ships. Also made 54mm figures.

 

Bresica

Californian company that started up in the early-seventies. 20mm range included Punic Wars with separate weapons (Romans, Greeks, Carthaginians and Gauls were produced). These were sold in boxes of 12 infantry and six cavalry. ‚€œNice little figures‚€Ě says our American informant. The one example we have been able to get our hands on, a Roman signifer (code CRL-3), bears out this assessment. Slender in style and slightly smaller than the equivalent figure by Garrison 20mm he is mounted on a thick rectangular base that is noticeably longer than it is wide. Bresica also issued a 54mm range designed by Ray Lamb.

 

C-in-C

US Company that began trading in the early seventies. Made a range of 20mm Napoleonic figures. “So small they were close to HO gauge or 1/87th scale,” says our man in America.

 

Command Post

USA. George van Tubergen’s company was best known for its 30mm figures but the heavily annotated and vastly complex 1972 catalogue we have appears to list 20mm figures too.

 

Gould

A one-man band that started around 1968 in southern England. Apparently made 20mm figures of the British army.

 

Hampshire Figures

Based in Southampton and run by a man named Noyce, Hampshire started up in the early seventies. An unusually splenetic Garratt notes, “an extremely small range of 20mm solids for the wargame, which were so badly cast they were soon withdrawn”. (So there!). A review in an early issue of Military Modelling is more supportive. However, the accompanying photo of some of the Napoleonic cavalry suggests another possible reason for their sudden disappearance – they bear an uncanny resemblance to certain Airfix models.

 

GHQ

A US company originally based in Minneapolis and best known for its micro-armour range, GHQ began life in 1968. Some time in 1972 the company, owned by Gregory Scott, issued a range of 20mm Napoleonic figures which were described by one reviewer in Wargamer’s Newsletter as being “smaller and more delicate” than the Les Higgins 25mm Napoleonic range. They came with separate heads and were apparently very highly detailed. An article in the December 1974 issue of Wargamer’s Newsletter states that Old Guard (New Hope Design) of Rothbury, Northumberland would soon be importing these 20mm figures to the UK and selling them at 6p for infantry and 12p for cavalry. A Seven Years War range that included Prussians and Highlanders was added in 1975. According to Garratt the range were issued under licence in Britain under the name Guardsman presumably by Old Guard. There may also have been a range of buildings.

 

Robert O'Sullivan

The January 1966 edition of Sligshot carried an advert from Robert O'Sullivan of Cork, Ireland who was offering 20mm solid figures of the Roman period at 4 (old) pence and 6 (old) pence each. The figures included spearmen, slinger and legionary. A later review in Slingshot was enthusiastic: "All the types are of excellent design and well worth the money". An Assyrian archer and chariot wheels were added to the range and O'Sullivan announced a "big expansion" to the range would soon occur. However, the Irishman - an enthusiastic early wargamer - seemed to suffer some kind of nervous collapse brought on by overwork shortly afterwards and he and his figure range disappeared off the radar.

 
 
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