I strongly remember this opening scene to John Boorman’s autobiographical 1987 film Hope and Glory, of young Bill playing down at rockery and flowerbed garden level with toy knights. This is how I spent much of my childhood.
Suddenly Bill notices that it all goes quite of a Sunday morning. The lawn mowers stop.
It’s Sunday 3rd September 1939.
All the adults go through inside to listen to the radio – Neville Chamberlain’s famous and now familiar declaration of war that “I have to tell you now that no such undertaking has been received, and that consequently this country is at war with Germany.“
I’m not sure of the make or manufacturer of the knight on horseback, but it looks old fashioned enough. Plastic? Metal? The wizard looks more modern and I think is a nod towards John Boorman’s Arthurian epic 1981 film Excalibur.
The writer is none other than George R. R. Martin, who wrote the Game Of Thrones series of books (which I have not seen or read yet). George collects toy lead and plastic knights and has had problems with lead rot.
“I have been known to paint a few figures from time to time, usually while “watching” television. (It’s odd how many TV shows don’t need to be seen to be understood). My skills are no match for any of the other painters whose figures are shown here, but I enjoy it … The marvelously detailed pewter castings (by Eduard Kasintzev of the Ukraine) surely deserved better paintwork than I was capable of giving them… but I am a lot better than I used to be, for what it’s worth.”