A discursive look at Napoleonic & ECW wargaming, plus a load of old Hooptedoodle on this & that

Saturday, 9 October 2010


Lamming are one of the great figure makers from the classic 1960s-70s period, so, if this seems like an inappropriately sketchy treatment of them, it is entirely because I have never really bought much of their stuff.

Lamming British infantry, with giant mounted colonel and Minifigs ensigns

For one thing, rightly or wrongly, I always regarded them as specialists in medieval subjects. For another, my local shop (Archie Alexander's Toytub in Edinburgh) didn't stock Lamming - certainly they didn't do the Napoleonics, so it wasn't untill the eBay Age that I got to see any. For a sensible presentation of Lamming's output, visit VINTAGE20MIL or The Old Metal Detector - this is just going to be a peek through the keyhole, which about sums up my experience of this manufacturer.

For reasons which I can't quite put my finger on, I subconsciously group Lamming with Garrison. Apart from the fact that I actually had some Garrison figures about 30 years before I had any Lamming (though they were roughly contemporary in anyone else's real world), there is the scale creep thing which was quite similar for both. Later Garrisons, from about 1975 on, got bigger and bigger, presumably to cope with the general inflation of the Wargame Millimetre, as 25mm came to mean something entirely different. Lamming appear to have done the same thing, only their later figures got fatter as well (there is a nice pictorial demonstration of this aspect of Lamming's history in Lazy-Limey's blog). I tend to avoid the two makes, not because there is anything fundamentally wrong with them, but because I don't understand the ranges well enough to be able to predict whether a specific model is going to be of a suitable size. I have made a few blunders on eBay.

53rd Foot, with ensigns and mounted officer by Art Miniaturen

I like Lamming's very early 25mm Napoleonics - the French have hats which are too big for me, but the advancing British infantryman is a nice little, ectomorphic figure which stands nicely alongside Les Higgins men in stature. I have, I think, 3 battalions of these chaps. I don't care much for the very tall standing officer that goes with them, but the drummer is fine, and it seems right to keep them together where possible. Right from the outset, there is a recognisable facial style - thin faces with high cheekbones. As time passed, this family characteristic (because they are clearly all related) developed into the full, and very distinctive, "Easter Island" look. My cousin used to say that the early figures reminded him of the Treens, from the Dan Dare stories in the old Eagle comic - it goes without saying that my cousin must have been far, far older than me.

Apart from the infantry, I once had a (now rare) mounted officer to go with them, but he was far too big, and a couple of batteries of RHA, which were very nice but so obviously different from everything else I had that I sold them on.

That's about all for Lamming, really - I very much like the look of their cavalry (nice horses!), but fear of the unknown and my eBay experiences have prevented any closer acquaintance - thus far, anyway.

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