The benefits of 15mm scale explained to the ’little woman’ in your life? Some early Peter Laing adverts in Wargamers Newsletter 1970s

I have spent a blustery wet day today inside in the dry and warm, reading through the superb website of scanned Donald Featherstone’s Wargamers Newsletters.

I have been searching for Peter Laing adverts and reviews from the early 70s, looking at how the new scale and ranges of 15mm figures by the “industrious” Peter Laing rapidly emerged.

https://collectingpeterlaing15mmfigures.wordpress.com/some-peter-laing-adverts/

One of the oddest Peter Laing adverts so far was December 1973 typed advert (above) about the benefits of 15mm and the first six figure series or ranges totalling 100s of items that Peter Laing produced in his first year!

“If she * (the little woman – Mum – the Wife – the Girl Friend – or the better half!) complains that your army or collection is taking up too much room (or you are spending too much money) then Peter Laing’s figures could be the answer …”

https://collectingpeterlaing15mmfigures.wordpress.com/2022/01/08/peter-laing-15mm-wargamers-newsletter-december-1973-the-little-woman-the-benefits-of-15mm-and-the-new-colonial-600-series/

Peter Laing 15mm Colonial figures (including bagpiper) – the unusual route to marital bliss?

I wonder what Mrs Laing – Wife – Better Half – etc thought of the advert?

These “Little Women” in Peter Laing’s life didn’t emerge for a few more years in the Late Victorian Parade Range (and probably ACW and Indian Mutiny Series).

By Christmas 1973, interest was growing in the new smaller scales of 15mm and 5 or 6mm. Minifigs has also by then launched a 15mm and 5mm Range.

In December 1973 I was still literally cutting my teeth at “Floor Games” level on larger plastic Airfix figures. Ten years later c. 1982/83 I would be buying my first Peter Laing ECW figures with my pocket money and paper round earnings.

This cataloguing and celebrating my Peter Laing figures (all now sadly out of production) is one of my ongoing 2022 projects and New Gaming Year’s Irresolutions, counting down towards the 50th anniversary of the first figures in October / November 2022.

Why do this? Pertly it’s because Peter Laing never produced an illustrated catalogue before the range vanished in the late 80s / early 90s when he retired. Now the moulds have sadly vanished.

Fellow Peter Laing collectors from the MeWe Peter Laing collectors circle have already started to contribute photos of figures or ranges I don’t have and sometimes figures I have never seen.

https://collectingpeterlaing15mmfigures.wordpress.com

The first advert October / November 1972 Military Modelling (Ian Dury collection)

Blog posted by Mark Man of TIN blog, 8th January 2022

What will 2022 bring?

Anyone else made any foolish unachievable resolutions for this year’s gaming?

Battling Bronte Sisters (Bad Squiddo 28mm Little Wolves Amazons) meet 25mm Prince August Homecast cavemen boggarts. As close as I will get to Silver Bayonet?

*

It’s that time of the year when New Year’s Resolutions are optimistically made … but maybe not in this house.

My New Gaming Year’s Irresolutions for 2021 were kept deliberately vague …

https://poundstoreplasticwarriors.wordpress.com/2020/12/31/new-gaming-year-irresolutions-2021/

but even then my vaguest plans for New Gaming Year NGY 2021 often went awry, mostly due to COVID.

The local village Spring Flower and Craft show 2021 never happened so no #FEMBruary figures from Bad Squiddo painted as planned but I did paint some later in the year – The Battling Bronte sisters.

Thanks to Covid levels, I never made it to the Woking 2021 54mm Little Wars Revisited Games Day when it finally happened. Covid dependent of course, but hopefully I might make it in 2022 with my Boy Scouts and snowball fighters who need more gaming time https://littlewarsrevisited.boards.net/thread/847/woking-games-saturday-march-correct.

My local history research project talk on WW2 in my local area (as a fundraiser) was postponed by COVID from autumn 2021 to late May 2022.

I think the NGY Irresolutions 2020 will still stand after a year or two interrupted but who knows what might happen in 2022?

New Gaming Year’s Irresolutions 2022

In no particular order

1. Cataloguing Peter Laing 15mm figures as part of celebrating the 50th anniversary of the now out-of-production Peter Laing figures, possibly the first 15mm figures when they launched in October 1972.

https://collectingpeterlaing15mmfigures.wordpress.com

As well as cataloguing what I have over the next ten months, fellow members of the Peter Laing collectors circle on MeWe have been helping me identify figures and supplying photos of figures I don’t have. Then there’s painting and basing more of my unpainted Laing figure stash and getting in some more 15mm skirmish games?

Peter Laing 15mm Chasseurs d’Alpins (WW1 Range) complete with walking sticks!

2. England or Cornwall invaded – Variations on Operation Sealion / Leon Marino

Still playing around with skirmish ideas as part of my Look Duck and Varnish Blog ongoing Operation Sealion Home Guard games, but also found out more about the WW1 ‘Gorgeous Wrecks’ or Volunteer Training Corps, good for future VTC Wide Games and Victorian / Edwardian / WW1 era ‘what if’ games.

Arma-Dads Army! 1590s Home Guard Elizabethan Muster of conversions and ECW figures against the Spanish Fury, Chintoys Conquistadors and pound store Pirates …

https://manoftinblog.wordpress.com/arma-dads-army-elizabethan-home-guard-1580s-1590s-operacion-leon-marino/

3. More Close Little Wars forest skirmishes and Close Little Space Wars Games in 54mm … I didn’t get a backyard garden galaxy game in this year.

My lovely Bold Frontiers cardboard trees didn’t get enough of an outing in 2021…

Two Britain’s Ltd. broken Scots charging – a favourite pose – with part repaired rifles, two more figures from the Waifs and Strays group of figures 2021 – “Waifs and Strays” sounds like it should be a Victorian Regimental nickname.

4. I look forward to some more enjoyable tinkering with 54mm repairs of broken lead figures to add to various units. Over the years I have been stashing away battered and broken figures from various donations – cowboys, Indians, redcoats, Scots and Khaki figures – along with the odd intriguing figure bought online.

Arrived last year and put away for Christmas – some very heavy, solid lead and fairly paint distressed Terraton 54mm-ish German semiflats to repair and rebase. Indians, redcoats, trees and farm animals …

5. What else might happen?

Weather permitting maybe will even get some more home casting done outdoors?

Pound Store Plastic figures, Early War Miniatures 1940 Range (for Svenmarck invaded!) and vintage Airfix OOHO figures to restore or rebase for some skirmish games.

More time for Bronte ImagiNations?

My Boy Scouts, Girl Scouts and Snowball Games need attention!

My skateboarders could do with painting!

Not going to run out of fun things to do …

What are your New Gaming Year plans?

I hope that your gaming plans for 2022 go agreeably awry as well.

Blog posted by Mark Man of TIN, NYE 31 December 2021 / 1st January 2022

What will 2022 bring?

Anyone else made any foolish unachievable resolutions for this year’s gaming?

Battling Bronte Sisters (Bad Squiddo 28mm Little Wolves Amazons) meet 25mm Prince August Homecast cavemen boggarts. As close as I will get to Silver Bayonet?

*

It’s that time of the year when New Year’s Resolutions are optimistically made … but maybe not in this house.

My New Gaming Year’s Irresolutions for 2021 were kept deliberately vague …

https://poundstoreplasticwarriors.wordpress.com/2020/12/31/new-gaming-year-irresolutions-2021/

but even then my vaguest plans for New Gaming Year NGY 2021 often went awry, mostly due to COVID.

The local village Spring Flower and Craft show 2021 never happened so no #FEMBruary figures from Bad Squiddo painted as planned but I did paint some later in the year – The Battling Bronte sisters.

Thanks to Covid levels, I never made it to the Woking 2021 54mm Little Wars Revisited Games Day when it finally happened. Covid dependent of course, but hopefully I might make it in 2022 with my Boy Scouts and snowball fighters who need more gaming time https://littlewarsrevisited.boards.net/thread/847/woking-games-saturday-march-correct.

My local history research project talk on WW2 in my local area (as a fundraiser) was postponed by COVID from autumn 2021 to late May 2022.

I think the NGY Irresolutions 2020 will still stand after a year or two interrupted but who knows what might happen in 2022?

New Gaming Year’s Irresolutions 2022

In no particular order

1. Cataloguing Peter Laing 15mm figures as part of celebrating the 50th anniversary of the now out-of-production Peter Laing figures, possibly the first 15mm figures when they launched in October 1972.

https://collectingpeterlaing15mmfigures.wordpress.com

As well as cataloguing what I have over the next ten months, fellow members of the Peter Laing collectors circle on MeWe have been helping me identify figures and supplying photos of figures I don’t have. Then there’s painting and basing more of my unpainted Laing figure stash and getting in some more 15mm skirmish games?

Peter Laing 15mm Chasseurs d’Alpins (WW1 Range) complete with walking sticks!

2. England or Cornwall invaded – Variations on Operation Sealion / Leon Marino

Still playing around with skirmish ideas as part of my Look Duck and Varnish Blog ongoing Operation Sealion Home Guard games, but also found out more about the WW1 ‘Gorgeous Wrecks’ or Volunteer Training Corps, good for future VTC Wide Games and Victorian / Edwardian / WW1 era ‘what if’ games.

Arma-Dads Army! 1590s Home Guard Elizabethan Muster of conversions and ECW figures against the Spanish Fury, Chintoys Conquistadors and pound store Pirates …

https://manoftinblog.wordpress.com/arma-dads-army-elizabethan-home-guard-1580s-1590s-operacion-leon-marino/

3. More Close Little Wars forest skirmishes and Close Little Space Wars Games in 54mm … I didn’t get a backyard garden galaxy game in this year.

My lovely Bold Frontiers cardboard trees didn’t get enough of an outing in 2021…

Two Britain’s Ltd. broken Scots charging – a favourite pose – with part repaired rifles, two more figures from the Waifs and Strays group of figures 2021 – “Waifs and Strays” sounds like it should be a Victorian Regimental nickname.

4. I look forward to some more enjoyable tinkering with 54mm repairs of broken lead figures to add to various units. Over the years I have been stashing away battered and broken figures from various donations – cowboys, Indians, redcoats, Scots and Khaki figures – along with the odd intriguing figure bought online.

Arrived last year and put away for Christmas – some very heavy, solid lead and fairly paint distressed Terraton 54mm-ish German semiflats to repair and rebase. Indians, redcoats, trees and farm animals …

5. What else might happen?

Weather permitting maybe will even get some more home casting done outdoors?

Pound Store Plastic figures, Early War Miniatures 1940 Range (for Svenmarck invaded!) and vintage Airfix OOHO figures to restore or rebase for some skirmish games.

More time for Bronte ImagiNations?

My Boy Scouts, Girl Scouts and Snowball Games need attention!

My skateboarders could do with painting!

Not going to run out of fun things to do …

What are your New Gaming Year plans?

I hope that your gaming plans for 2022 go agreeably awry as well.

Blog posted by Mark Man of TIN, NYE 31 December 2021 / 1st January 2022

Happy Christmas to all my Man of TIN Blog readers

Happy Christmas to all my Man of TIN blog readers – wishing you many shiny toys!

Image: From a lovely old 1978 British Royal Mail stamp set of Christmas customs (see below), the 13p stamp postcard is in my 1580s – 1590s / 1940 “Arma-Dads Army” Elizabethan Sealion project scrapbook. New summary blog page for this project here:

https://manoftinblog.wordpress.com/arma-dads-army-elizabethan-home-guard-1580s-1590s-operacion-leon-marino/

During my childhood, my late dad as a lifelong stamp collector used to buy me the postcard versions and sometimes the highly educational presentation packs or first day covers, which had insert pages all about the stamp topic. Stamp collecting and model railways are two of the family hobbies in the blood (in a malarial or genetic way) that I am resisting from lack of time, storage, space and money.

Happy Christmas to all my readers & fellow bloggers from Mark Man of TIN!

Happy Christmas from the whole Man of TIN family of spin off blogs:

Man of TIN blog two – all set up ready for when I fill up and run out of my free 3GB WordPress Man of TIN blog site sometime in early 2022.

Pound Store Plastic Warriors Blog – including tabletop snowball fight fun!

https://poundstoreplasticwarriors.wordpress.com/2021/08/03/pound-store-snowball-fight-2021/

Scouting Wide Games for the Tabletop – also with festive snowball fight fun!

Look Duck and Varnish – my occasional Home Guard and Sealion gaming blog

Sidetracked2017 – where model railways meet toy soldiers and wargaming

Warrior and Pacific Magazine 1901 one-off handwritten children’s magazine 1901

Collecting Peter Laing 15mm figures – cataloguing my collection of these figures ahead of their 50th anniversary In October 1972

Enjoy your family and festive time.

Who knows what Christmas and the New Year will bring? Keep safe and well, here’s wishing you happiness and health, if not wealth. Whatever happens, we have our marvellous hobby to enrich our lives and deplete the coffers.

Blog posted by Mark Man of TIN, Christmas Eve, 24 December 2021

This set was designed in 1978 by British artist and book illustrator Faith Jacques (1923–1997) who had an interesting wartime career as a WREN (Women’s Royal Navy Service):

“She was posted to Oxford where she was stationed in the New Bodleian Library. Her duties included control of a filing department containing over a million photographs, holiday snaps included, of Germany and Occupied Europe, with particular attention given to pictures of coastlines and village approaches.Wikipedia source.

The 13p (most expensive) stamp design was the 16th Century carollers singing the Boars Head Carol.

Peter Laing 15mm figure ID challenge #3

Some more interesting Peter Laing figures to be IDentified and added to my online catalogue of my collection.

https://collectingpeterlaing15mmfigures.wordpress.com/2021/11/09/peter-laing-15mm-id-post-3/

This is all part of the countdown to the 50th anniversary next year 2022 of the first Peter Laing figures produced in October 1972 and the birth of a new scale, arguably first 15mm figures?

https://collectingpeterlaing15mmfigures.wordpress.com

Blog post by Mark Man of TIN 9 November 2021 –

also to be crossposted to the MeWe Peter Laing figure collectors community forum page.

https://mewe.com/join/peterlaingfigures

The 15 Mill free online magazine and gamette from Peter Pig

How did I miss this?

Have I been under a stone for the last couple of the years in the Wargames Garden?

The 15 Mill – A free online magazine from Peter Pig devoted to 15 millimetre figures and gaming.

https://www.peterpig.co.uk/the15MILL.html

I look forward to reading these as the autumn nights draw in!

Each edition (until Covid) has a free gamette scenario for small games.

https://www.peterpig.co.uk/the15MILL.html

Cleverly, you can buy a 15mm Peter Pig figure package suitable for each gamette.

A clever and fun way to promote your company and your scale!

Fifteen turns Fifty

The pendulum has swung some way from 15mm (and ‘Flames of War’) being the most popular scale some years ago to 28mm, which is apparently “where it’s at” for many gamers today.

15mm is fifty years old next year, if you count the appearance of Peter Laing figures in October \ November 1972.

Peter Laing is long retired. Sadly these figures are out of production and the moulds vanished but small lots sometimes appear for sale online.

Issue 4 of The 15 Mill in October 2019 appropriately featured a fine display of Peter Laing WW1 figures from the ABC gamers blog.

A good time to start sorting through my old original Peter Laing figures, painting and basing as required to celebrate a half century.

A small and friendly collectors circle of Peter Laing enthusiasts exists on the MeWe forum, set up by Ian Dury. https://mewe.com/join/peterlaingfigures

Blog posted by Mark Man of TIN 23 October 2021

Peter Laing’s “growing range of 15mm metal figures of World War Two infantry” endorsement in Featherstone’s Wargaming Airborne Operations

I was surprised, whilst painting Airfix Paratroops and re-reading Donald Featherstone’s Wargaming Airborne Operations (1977) to find a rare mention of Peter Laing’s “growing range of 15mm metal figures of World War Two infantry“.

This Peter Laing WW2 range never grew very big, not much bigger than that listed above.

This is a bit of a surprise as these mid 1970s figures must have been some of the first 15mm WW2 figures. 25 to 30 years later, 15mm WW2 Flames of War figure and vehicles were all the rage.

Snapshot from an earlier Peter Laing 15mm WW2 skirmish of mine (2016)

Part of this “growing range” was probably the dual-use steel helmeted infantry, guns, wagons and others items from Peter’s extensive British, French and German WW1 range.

I use these figures interchangeably for WW1/WW2, as with Peter Laing’s deliberate under-detailing, the figures are easily converted by paint or file to other periods.

Peter Laing 15mm WW1 / WW2 German Infantry (that I have got around to painting …)

I have posted previously about Peter Laing’s WW2 range and my occasional WW2 skirmish games at:

https://manoftinblog.wordpress.com/2016/07/22/peter-laing-ww2-figures

This 2016 blog post also mentions the excellent Tim’s Tanks blog posts about Peter Laing’s WW1 and WW2 range. This features some US Infantry converted to British Paras (see screenshot picture below)

I can testify that, as the Laing catalogue describes, these figures could give “at platoon level … a most satisfactory infantry action game” in a small space –

https://manoftinblog.wordpress.com/2016/10/02/peter-laing-15mm-ww2-skirmish/

https://manoftinblog.wordpress.com/2016/10/02/ww2-platoon-level-close-little-world-wars-rules/

Some further Peter Laing WW2 German Infantry figures to be used as Paratroops and British Infantry / Home Guard have been stuck on my painting table for months, ready for a ‘Sealion’ type skirmish. Airfix figures keep just jumping that queue and getting in the way!

My delayed painting tray: Sealion postponed? Laing WW1/ WW2 British riflemen at the back, two HMG crews to repaint khaki centre and German ‘Paras’ at front.

Who knows I might even have painted them all in time for the Peter Laing 50th anniversary 2022 next year.

Next autumn 2022 marks the 50th anniversary of the first 15 mm figures and the first Laing ranges being advertised for the first time in October / November 1972 Military Modelling magazine (starting with his Marlburian range).

Some of my original samples of 15mm Peter Laing WW2 ranges, bought and half painted c. 1983 (British, left and Germans, right)

I wish I had bought more Laing WW2 figures at the time but with limited pocket money funds and a good selection of Airfix WW2 figures, vehicles and scenery at the time, I focused my Laing purchases on periods and figures not covered by Airfix that Laing did such as the ECW.

The same “Airfix or Laing?” debate continues in my gaming and collecting to this day.

Pictures of Peter Laing WW2 figures on Tim’s Tanks blogpost

This simple WW2 range for platoon level action is highly praised for its balance on the Tim’s Tanks blogspot, which gave me my glimpse of the Americans for the first time (albeit doubled up as British Paratroops) :

http://timstanks.blogspot.co.uk/2015/07/peter-laing-15mm-miniatures.html

Screenshot courtesy of Tims Tanks website WW2 Peter Laing blogpost

Any shortfalls in Tim’s Tanks  WW2 Peter Laing collection were patched, as with my own Peter Laing WW2 troops, from Peter’s WW1 range.

http://timstanks.blogspot.co.uk/2015/06/peter-laing-15mm-miniatures.html

Tim’s Tanks: “This range was ahead of its time and the figures surprisingly well thought through.”

“For each nationality (British, U.S. or German) there was a sidearm equipped officer figure, a SMG armed NCO, an infantryman advancing with rifle at high port, an LMG and No.2 and a Light Mortar and No.2.”

Lovely figures, perfect for the task”. (Tim’s Tanks Peter Laing WW2 themed blogpost)

*************

Sadly, Peter Laing figures are no longer commercially made, whilst the moulds appear to have vanished after Peter Laing retired and sold the moulds to the late John Mitchell.

Your best chance of finding any Peter Laing figures is on eBay where – warning – not all ‘Peter Laing figures’ are Peter Laing, often they are early Minifigs. The strange Laing horses are often a clue Some ranges of these second-hand figures now command good prices!

There is a small and friendly Peter Laing collectors group set up by Ian Dury on the MeWe platform, a good place to flag up any Laing’s figures on sale, get figure IDs etc.

https://mewe.com/join/peterlaingfigures

Heroics and Ros, Airfix, Atlantic, Hinchliffe … and Peter Laing! A page from my 1977 copy of Donald Featherstone, Wargaming Airborne Operations (battered ex library copy from my childhood).

Blog posted by Mark Man of TIN, 1 August 2021

Some Found Terrain and a few more 15mm Peter Laing figures

What do you see when you look at this polystyrene packaging?

Some may look at this as unrecyclable junk.

I look at it and see …

a doorway,

high walls,

an adobe fort or compound, especially for tiny troops like my 15mm Peter Laing figures.

What do you see or would you make out of it?

Obviously some kind of walkway needs to be improvised inside around the high walls as a firing platform or raised walkway. This could easily be done with lolly sticks or coffee stirrers laid onto matchsticks or cocktail sticks projecting out of the walls, much in the style of the Airfix Foreign Legion Fort.

Similarly doors and repairs to the wall dips and ‘damage’ can be improvised with coffee stirrers and card.

A rough coat of acrylic off-white for the walls and a sandy base colour should not harm the polystyrene (some glues, sprays and paints can melt it).

One project for a rainy day when hands need to be kept busy.

Some 15mm Peter Laing figures for scale…

Around the time this arrived in the house (the family are now well trained to show me interesting packaging before it reaches the bin or recycling), I also bought a handful of Peter Laing 15mm figures from an online dealer. I spotted these Laings amongst several more lots of “Wild West Infantry” figures and cavalry that were confusingly labelled as (but definitely not) by Laing. Nice enough figures but not Laing ones.

For a few pounds I bought ten settlers or backwoodsmen and rarer still, what I take to be a pair of Peter Laing female settlers. They were all curiously mounted individually on metal squares. Even if they are not Laing females, they are a good enough match.

These are in Peter Laing catalogue terms,

probably F3006 Female Settler

https://manoftinblog.wordpress.com/2020/04/05/peter-laing-15mm-union-infantry-obes-rebased-and-flocked/

And from the Peter Laing American War of Independence Range:

F321 Rifleman hunting shirt standing

F322 Rifleman hunting shirt firing

https://manoftinblog.wordpress.com/2016/09/05/peter-laing-marlburian-figures/

Sadly now Peter Laing figures (the original or first 15mm figures, launched almost fifty years ago in autumn 1972) are long out of production and the moulds vanished, so second hand or recasting is the only way to acquire them.

I have been collecting Peter Laing figures since about 1982 as a teenager when I began my first proper (i.e. metal) wargames army, spending pocket money and paper round earnings on his English Civil War range. He was a efficient and friendly chap to deal with, even with my tiny schoolboy orders. I still have and use these figures today.

Peter Laing figures have a small and loyal following, with a dedicated MeWe online group run by Ian Dury which has replaced the former Google+ community pages. Here we post pictures of our Laing figures and games, as well as highlighting any second hand Laing figures for sale online that we come across. All welcome!

https://mewe.com/join/peterlaingfigures

Established 2019 the Peter Laing MeWe page

Blog posted by Mark Man of TIN 29/30 April 2021

Happy Gaming Year 2021 Irresolutions

Christmas gifts for my Arma-Dad’s Army project 2021 – Chintoys 54mm, llamas, vintage Monarch Spaniards and books from heavy hints to the family and centre a Cherilea Elizabethan gift and mounted Conquistador from Alan Gruber

Thanks to all my blog readers and friends for their support, comments and distractions in 2020.

Here is my look back at this disrupted year of 2020 and some New Gaming Year Irresolutions of things I may or may not do in 2021:

https://poundstoreplasticwarriors.wordpress.com/2020/12/31/new-gaming-year-irresolutions-2021/

Happy New Gaming Year – Stay Home. Paint Figures. Keep Safe.

Crossposted from my Pound Store Plastic Warriors blog, New Years Eve 31 December 2020.