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"54mm Surprise Discovery!" Topic

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photocrinch13 Jan 2021 6:52 a.m. PST

Featherstone, Tennant and Higgs – Another Discovery and a Very Special WIP detailed on my blog:



Personal logo 4th Cuirassier Supporting Member of TMP13 Jan 2021 7:44 a.m. PST

Congrats on your find, but personally I'm a heretic on Donald Featherstone. I found all his books deeply simplistic and completely useless.

I mean look at the nonsense linked to in that blog.

"Wellington in the Peninsular"? "The British soldier in the Peninsular was a professional with superior qualities over a conscript" – really, such as the 1805-1807 veteran Grande Armee? Give me strength.

photocrinch13 Jan 2021 7:59 a.m. PST

Hah! I know what you mean and in our old school games we smilingly acknowledge statements like that and more often than not, just go along for the ride as a bit of nostalgia. I never had the pleasure of meeting him, but my understanding is that he had the kind of personality you had to acquire a taste for. Regardless, his role in popularizing the hobby during its early days is what I find most interesting.

Personal logo 4th Cuirassier Supporting Member of TMP13 Jan 2021 9:13 a.m. PST

Actually to be fair to him his book on solo gaming gave me one or two ideas and his writing style was often amusing. His account of fighting ACW battles using two boxes of Airfix figures on a hospital dinner wheelie made me laugh. But 99% of his stuff you couldn't use.

arthur181513 Jan 2021 10:44 a.m. PST

Louis de Segur, an adc to Napoleon, wrote of a marching regiment he took command of to go to Spain in 1808: "It was a temporary agglomeration of recruits…many being very weak and young, as was the greater part of the army which was destined to take possession of old Spain."

Captain[Adjutant-Major Louis Marc Begos wrote of the 2nd Swiss in Junot's army: "..most of the soldiers and officers were conscripts without any experience of war."

So, in the context of the Peninsular War, Featherstone's comment does have some validity.

I think his major contribution to wargaming – certainly in the UK – was to raise people's awareness of the hobby, make it a more acceptable pastime and to suggest in his books and articles all sorts of ideas with which one could experiment.

Personal logo Dye4minis Supporting Member of TMP13 Jan 2021 1:09 p.m. PST

I have a couple of master molds of 54mm figures and those Hussars might be among them. When shown to Mr. Dave Higgs during one of his visits to GFI, he told me he thought they were done by a fellow named "Major Tom". Amongst them was also a mounted American native hinting with a bow in a very animated pose. These molds are in storage and will not be accessible till later this year. If Steve Carpenter sees this, perhaps he can elaborate more.

photocrinch13 Jan 2021 1:19 p.m. PST

If he's not going to take credit for them, that might be why they never went into production! :) Would be interesting to see if you have a mold for them or could confirm if they were ever in production. Would it be a master to mold to produce production master castings? Are 54mm miniatures produced that way as well?

BillyNM13 Jan 2021 1:25 p.m. PST

The Don was inspirational back in the day when I would consume anything I could find on wargaming. I have to admit to never using his rules which I found ‘bitty' but loved his historical novels. The photo in question is not an iconic one in my memory but then I suspect that's because they're 54mm collector models and not wargame figures – still fascinated to see what turns up next.

YankeeDoodle13 Jan 2021 1:42 p.m. PST

Donald Featherstone was undoubtedly one of the "Big Men" of UK wargaming and a huge influence on those of us of a certain vintage – not least through his prolific publishing output. However, he disapproved of those "attempting to spread an aura of pseudo-science over what is a pastime" – so he's unlikely to find favour on this forum?

Brechtel198 Supporting Member of TMP13 Jan 2021 4:09 p.m. PST


Thanks for posting the Featherstone book. I found one on abebooks and ordered it.


photocrinch13 Jan 2021 4:21 p.m. PST


It's pretty old school large scale modeling – no 3D printing! Fun for the nostalgia of it though.

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