If the father of modern wargaming were still alive, Donald Featherstone would be 101 today – Happy Birthday!
Last year I marked his centenary with several blogposts including:
I was delighted to discover this year, after reading recent articles in Miniature Wargames, that Don Featherstone’s collection of figures still exists – some colonials are in regular gaming use in the UK and the rest with his manuscripts and books can be seen in the collection of Daniel Borris in Canada. They can be visited by appointment. Daniel has filmed and photographed much of the collection to put them online on his website: https://www.borrisfeatherstone.com
Toying with some eraser merchant ships I revisited Featherstone’s Naval War Games and noticed another interesting connection:
Celebrating some of the “old guard” of the hobby, one of the figure makers that Don admired and contributors to Don’s Naval War Games book – Jack Alexander – is 90 years old and still actively modelling ships.
I always admired the Jacklex figures seen in Donald Featherstone’s books but had no idea where to buy them from in the 1980s, or if they were still made. His beautiful Jacklex figures are still available from Spencer Smith Miniatures and so a few maybe added this year to complement my vintage Airfix figures, just as Jack intended in their size and design. http://www.spencersmithminiatures.co.uk/html/jacklex.html
There is also a delightful blog about Jacklex, well worth reading and following.
Another excellent Featherstone related and still active blog is by Rod MacArthur, one of Don’s original 1960s young opponents in Southampton, His blog Rod’s Wargaming features some great Airfix conversions, some like the Zulus cast or aided by Don himself.
Happy Birthday Donald F. Featherstone! His simple book War Games (1962) is still one of my two Desert Island gaming books. I like the simplicity of his rules including his Close Wars appendix. https://manoftinblog.wordpress.com/2016/06/09/close-little-wars-featherstones-simplest-rules/
Still inspiring many gamers today!
Blogposted by Mark, Man of TIN on 20th March 2019.