Richard Tennant and Donald Featherstone’s Incomplete Wargaming

Like many others growing up playing with toy soldiers in the 1960s or 70s, Donald Featherstone’s wargaming books borrowed from the public branch library were a great source of ideas and inspiration to me as a youngster.
Sadly I never got to meet Donald Featherstone before he died in 2013 but I do have a couple of books signed by him amongst my collection. Touched briefly by genius!
Richard Tennant and the start of his mini biography on Miniature Minions blog post

I am pleased to have a signed Featherstone volume of Complete Wargaming, this one dedicated to Dick Tennant, obviously released as the result of downsizing a lifetime collection.

The inscription to Dick Tennant celebrating 30 years friendship (published 1988)

This is one of two signed Featherstone books I have acquired over the last few years.

Featherstone’s Complete Wargaming came from a second hand seller for only £15 even though it was pencilled in next to the price ‘signed’.

I had no idea who Dick Tennant was.

Aha! Thanks to David Crenshaw at the Miniature Minions website in the USA, who has acquired some of the Tennant Napoleonics collection of figures, I now know who Richard Tennant is.

R.J. Tennant is one of the surviving original Donald Featherstone wargames conference circle from Southampton from the early 1960s.

https://miniatureminions.blogspot.com/2019/05/the-richard-tennant-collection.html

On the back of a David and Charles catalogue flyer for the book, someone has noted some proofreading errors and some photo reversal mistakes. Written by Richard Tennant?

Alongside the Featherstone signature are some pencilled notes that I take to be Richard Tennant’s corrections. The pencil handwriting appears different from Featherstone’s signature and dedication. It exactly matches the handwriting in Miniature Minions’ blogpost about Tennant’s figures and research notebook.

Reading the MiniatureMinions blog post, there is much mention of the Peninsular War and even a mention of this windmill made by George Erik.

From: https://miniatureminions.blogspot.com/2019/05/the-richard-tennant-collection.html

See the fly leaf pencil note about the “model illustrated on page 197 custom made by G.Erik photographed with own figures” – written by Richard Tennant

The Peninsular War appears to be a particular interest of both Tennant and Featherstone; I recall reading some of Donald Featherstone’s later articles about the battlefields in modelling or gaming magazines in the 1980s.

See flyleaf note re Page 142 about an incorrect caption for Napoleonic Cavalry

One of Richard’s figures used in the book? See the pencil flyleaf note re. “Photographs p. 139”

Featherstone’s Complete Wargaming has been reissued in a revised and corrected paperback version by John Curry of the History of Wargaming Project, working to correct some of these original printing and photographic errors.

http://www.wargaming.co/recreation/details/dfcomplete.htm

John Curry’s Foreword about the original Complete Wargaming and the revised version.

My other Featherstone signature is in At Them With The Bayonet!, Featherstone’s book on the Anglo Sikh Wars. Unusually it is signed by Featherstone in lurid pink felt-tip (maybe you sign with whatever you have to hand?) inscribed to A.S. Donald, whoever that is. Again, this signed copy was not expensive, not being one of his better known Wargames books and one on an obscure Victorian conflict.

That distinctive Featherstone signature – in pink felt tip.

As well as Richard Tennant, I have come across another of Featherstone’s early circle, one who is still blogging:

Rod’s Wargaming is by another still blogging member of this early wargames conference / community, Rod MacArthur has on his website some great pictures of 1960s Airfix conversions that sometimes involved Featherstone’s mould making help:

https://rodwargaming.wordpress.com

A little bit of Featherstone wargaming history, all still going strong and in use – I’m sure both Don and Dick would be pleased!

Blog posted by Mark Man of TIN, 22 December 2020