The domestic modelling joys of the Roll Top Desk

Reprinted from Henry Harris, How to Go Collecting Modelling Soldiers (PSL, 1969)

Posted in response to the photos of his desirable new roll top desk for painting and modelling by Alan Tradgardmastre at the ever interesting Duchy of Tradgardland blog

Some illustrators I know use roll top desks for much the same tidy domestic reasons.

Henry Harris’ useful little book also has a 6 page chapter on Wargames by Donald Featherstone including a short rules section, reprinted here and those in Featherstone’s own Book Tackle Model Soldiers This Way (Stanley Paul, 1963) :

Blogposted by Mark, Man of TIN blog, 15 September 2018.


7 thoughts on “The domestic modelling joys of the Roll Top Desk”

  1. Hmm, “the undoubted distraction of his very attractive wife” ? Roy’s distraction or his own?

    Anyway, my inexpensive (finish it yourself) roll top did sterling service for decades despite being a reduced size “student” version, a bit too narrow and low. Alas the roll top part eventually fell apart so now its just my messy desk.


    1. It is a puzzling but joyously odd little comment / section. Roy Dilley and his schoolboy son Anthony make it into the photographs in the book, Donald Featherstone and the author are pictured but there are no photographs of Mrs Dilley to judge the undoubted compliment by.


  2. A more basic desk has been base camp for my hobby for almost as long as I have had a hobby. I am familiar with this book, but had forgotten this passage.


  3. “…enables the modeller to remain with his family while he is working.” The very reason I was banned by Mrs Marvin from using the spare bedroom as a modelling den when moving in five years ago. The dining room table now keeps me sufficiently within eye shot!


    1. Marvin
      As Maudlin Jack Tar observed, this section is a great piece of social history but also strangely relevant to (downsizing to) the increasingly small British house or flat. A roll top desk and … “a picture of family life of an ideal sort”.

      Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s