Monday 22 November 2021

Architectural Miniatures

So, I left Hertford Uni in 2000, promised a big part in Foundry's ever more ambitious plans to take over the wargaming world. I built two "terrained" gaming tables for their shop, working with the stalwart Sean McLoughlin and staying with him and his family in Bryan Ansell's stable block. Then I did plans, parts and prototypes for what was going to be a beautiful Wild West town (you can see the two prototype buildings under the America label in the right-hand column) . But in early 2001 things at Foundry got mad, then reached critical mass and exploded. All the sculptors left: Mark Copplestone, the Perrys, and the half-dozen more then employed, leaving the company with nothing but a back-catalogue ever since. Foundry decided they'd never wanted a Wild West Town and I actually had to take them to court in order to get paid for the work I'd done. Legal papers at dawn, bang bang! I got most of what they owed me.

I realised I needed to be working for people who appreciated my efforts and became a properly self-employed modelmaker, 95% of what I did turning out to be wargames terrain. My friend Mike Siggins gave me a review plug in Wargames Illustrated and set up a simple-but-tasteful website where I could show my work and attract business. It was called Architectural Miniatures and ran for about ten years from 2001. As a quid pro quo I made Mike a building and some trees. The trees are already under the Terrain label. As for the building, Mike asked for the one in the Dutch painting "The road to Middelharnis", and here it is, slightly simplified. I loved researching the Dutch "genre painting" of this era, which combines intricate detail, domestic scenes and beautiful light. Sadly I have only this one photo of the model and it's hard to see the housewife sweeping the floor which I incorporated into the model.


  1. I have just discovered and read through most of your blog. Excellent stuff indeed and I'm sure I remember some of these models from Wargames Illustrated magazines some years back.

    It's a shame about Foundry - I have heard a few other horror stories from around that time too - though they seem to be back on track to some degree now, though still not releasing anything new as far as I can tell. It's doubly a shame because their miniatures are to this day some of the best ranges around (though they have a few clangers in there too) and we can only wonder what might have been if those ranges had continued to completion.

  2. Thanks. Within our hobby we have the pleasure of dealing with fellow enthusiasts who treat each other well. But a lot of people were let down badly in this episode, much worse than me, so it seemed right to mention it. Though when no-one commented at all I wondered if I'd contravened some unspoken rule! LOL. All a long time ago now at any rate.

    As you say, Foundry do still have some good ranges, sculpted by the Perrys, Mark Copplestone and others over 20 years ago, but some of them to a standard that has scarcely been surpassed to this day.

  3. LOL - some sort of conspiracy of silence surrounding Wargames Foundry!

    Also I really love the Dutch interiors from the Golden Age too - a cool detail o add to your model which catches that feeling they have of looking down a corridor or through a window in the background and seeing something going on...!

  4. Thanks for your comments. I've only just looked back and seen them now.