Memories of Peter Laing

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Anyone remember Peter Laing 15mm figures? I sent the few I had to a new home a few years ago, but I noticed that Bob Cordery has been posting on his blog about them, so I created a Flickr album of the pics I took of those I had.

Many years ago, at school, we ran a Wars of the Roses campaign using Ed Smith’s Wars of the Roses 1455-1487 rules, published – ironically given the latest news of their demise – by Skytrex back in the mid-1970s. They were really good, because you could buy in at different levels – a mere Baron with a total of just 10 miniatures, rising through Viscount (30), Earl (50), Marquis (70), Duke (80), Prince (90) to King (100). I think I bpought 50 minis to become an Earl, broken down as 10 Men at Arms, 15 Longbows and 25 Billmen.

Having now dug them out, I must give the rules a try after all these years! It’s just a little A5 32pp + covers pamphlet.

As for the Peter Laing miniatures, I had started painting them in preparation for the very earliest stages of my Wars of the Faltenian Succession campaign, before even Guy Hancock came aboard, so this would have been about 1978 or 79. I don’t know why I didn’t finish painting them – it looks like I was working on the uniforms of Schmeissberg Donau, before Faltenland and Prunkland became the main focus for my plans. Then, when Guy did get involved, we plumped for Essex Miniatures 15mm initially, because they were doing bargain army boxes of Austrian and Prussian SYW. Looking at these, they’re like pint-sized Spencer Smiths, and I rather wish we’d gone for the Laings instead, though of course the company is long since dead and the moulds apparently have vanished from the face of the earth. Definitely a token of a time when charm and proportions won out over detail.

11 comments for “Memories of Peter Laing

  1. Red Cardinal
    September 10, 2016 at 10:55 pm

    Very interesting.

    You may like to know that Ed Smith is still alive and well and currently living in Maidstone 🙂

  2. Chris Hanley
    April 2, 2015 at 9:36 am

    I am very surprised at the affection and nostalgia associated with Peter Laing figures. Back in the early seventies when 25mm was the only scale, I asked for a sample pack to be sent through the post. They were the very first 15mm figures I ever saw and I thought they were terrible. I immediately resolved to never buy a 15mm army and although I have failed to keep that resolution many times, none of them feature any PL figures.
    Chris

  3. Mike Sturmey
    November 16, 2013 at 5:28 pm

    Seeing these figures brings back wonderful boyhood memories. The thrill of the small parcel from England arriving in the post to Porirua, New Zealand with the latest order from Peter L.

  4. September 22, 2013 at 2:33 pm

    I am also intrigued as to what happened to the moulds – are they “out there, somewhere”, or did they end up in a skip? Many years ago, the South East Scotland Wargames Club received a £500 grant from the Scottish Arts Council (a huge sum) if they would put on a display at the Edinburgh Festival – this would have been about 1974-5. Only snag was it had to be the Crimea – so cut a long story short Peter Laing (assured of £500 – a big sum in those days) produced an entire range, in great detail: it included everything you could think of, including Greeks and cantineres. The going rate was 4p per foot figure, 8p per cavalry figure … but the club got a 50 per cent discount, so an infantry figure was 2p … which even in the early 70’s was dirt cheap. Wish I had bought more when John Mitchell was still retailing them a few years back.

  5. Ian Dury
    September 3, 2013 at 8:41 pm

    Tony – firstly, where are you based? Home for me is just south of Birmingham – between Solihull and Coventry – and if you have Franco-Prussian and fancy a game, most of my Laings are Prussians, Bavarians and Wurtemmburgers (well, strictly, Japanese masquerading as Wurtemmburgers – but I would challenge most people to tell the difference when they are painted)
    Secondly, and more importantly – does that mean you know who has the moulds – there are a group of us who would happily club together toi buy them! Unfortunately, if you look at the trail on The Miniatures Page, they seem to have disappeared, but if you know better…
    My e-mail is ian dot dury at hotmail dot co dot uk [Edited by Henry to save you from being spammed – folks, do not enter your email addresses on blogs or forums!]
    Ian

  6. September 3, 2013 at 11:04 am

    I too have many Laing figures. Most of them for the Franco-Prussian War. Was rebasing some cavalry just now and thought how good and full of character they look, albeit slimmer ;-), in comparison to the other figures. I love them. Shame that the offer to buy the moulds etc was turned down by a very good friend of Ian and I.

    Maybe we should purchase them Ian.

    I love your colonials if ever you wish to part with them ………

    • September 22, 2013 at 2:26 pm

      Hi – I’ve just discovered this page; I’m a huge Peter Laing fan and am in the process of “refurbing” my Marlburians for probably the last time – but keen to find either new PL figures or (second best) anything that is compatible with them.
      Meanwhile I have a large PL colonial collection, of which about 90pc are excellently painted, lined, etc (the rest “basic”) – roughly 2,000 figures, comprising British-Egyptian-Sudanese and Mahdist (“about” 1,400 infantry and cavalry).

  7. Ian Dury
    August 30, 2013 at 7:34 pm

    Henry – not only do I remember the figures, I have lots! Many of the pictures on Bob Cordery’s blog are of my Peter Laings
    Lovely to see the pictures of your Marlburians
    Ian M Dury

  8. August 22, 2013 at 3:21 pm

    Well Henry it is to my barracks you despatched your Peter Laing figures a few years ago. I have been keenly trying to recruit more but they have not been as easy to find as I thought. However they do fit quite well with the 2005(ish) Risk figures and I now have lots of those. So like King Arthur they are currently sleeping but will awake again!
    Graham
    Minshaw. (Cumbria.)

  9. Ian
    August 16, 2013 at 8:17 am

    I never bought any Peter Lang, my first was 25mm Irregular Miniatures Medieval. Essex 15mm army in a box came next (NMA)

    Ian

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