Friday, 23 December 2011

A christmas gift opened early, yuletide Interview with the man behind Magister Militum.

In my continuing quest to get the people who make the wonderful miniatures we game with in the world of 10mm to give us their views on the hobby, here's the next instalment and just in time for Christmas it's a present worth opening, as Richard the man who is Magister Militum gives us his take on all things 10mm. So the snows falling outside you've just had your Yuletide feast and your sat in front of an open fire with a glass of port and some fine cheese, the chap sat at the other side of the fire is Mr Magister Militum so lets hear what he has to say.........

Okay first things first, why, when and where was Magister Militum born?
The idea behind the 10mm side of Magister Militum comes from when I was still at school. We did a lot of gaming in 6mm but I always wanted to use 10mm, very little of which was available at the time. I think 10mm gives a great look to a wargames table with enough figures to give units a feeling of real size but small enough figures to allow for space on the table and the feel of a real battle. 28mm figures can be lovely but a large battle with them gets extreemely claustrophobic. Chariot came out with its 10mm ACW line and I was hooked, you could say I like the range so much I bought the company (a few years later though). It was logical for me that we would focus our own efforts on 10mm figures when we looked at getting new ranges made and it has been most of our focus for the past 7 years.

What do think makes a good 10mm miniature?
To answer what makes a good 10mm figure is difficult. I think it is more a case of what makes a good 10mm unit and that varies by period. For gallic warband you need a lot of variety and a wildness to the posing. For Romans you need uniformity. For Napoleonics you need to be able to see the uniform differences (I get a bit carried away on those at times) and that means you need the detail to be 'raised' so it is easier to paint. I think most of all a figure needs to be as accurate as possible, whether that is getting the right horse size (Cossaks rode ponies so should be on small horses while Heavy Cavalry should be on much larger horses unless you are looking at the Crimean War where all units very quickly found themselves using locally sourced cossack style ponies).

How do you decide what range will be next?
In terms of deciding which range to do next, that can be tricky as there is so much we want to do. What ever is selling well is a pretty good guide for us. Napleonics are going very well at the moment so we have focused on completing those ranges for example. I try not to get too sidetracked as that leaves lots of ranges in development at once which means some don't get finished or worked on as well as they should. I started the WW1 range because of my own interest in the subject. It was the focus of much of my degree and I started a doctorate looking at it (sadly the lure of money got in the way of that although it will be something to come back to when I retire). The range however has ended up playing second fiddle to the Napoleonics and is way behind on the release schedule (the artillery are comming, honestly).

I know that your ranges are very large but for those that don't know, what ranges of miniatures are currently available from yoursleves?
Our 10mm ranges are pretty large now. We cover Biblical (although we are missing Assyrians, Babylonians and Mitanni at the moment, hopefully something to finish off next year), Ancients up to the fall of Rome, Dark Ages mostly focused on Western Europe, Medieval, Napoleonic, Crimean War, ACW, Franco Prussian War, Zulu War, WW1 and WW2. Also we have a pretty comprehensive range of 10mm Dinosaurs which is growing all the time and the beginnings of a fantasy range (Orcs and Elves so far).
   For other small scale ranges, we sell the GHQ ranges of 10mm figures (Napoleonic and ACW) 6mm vehicles/infantry (WW2 and Modern) and 1:1200 (Napoleonic ships) and 1:2400 (WW1, WW2 and Modern ships). We also stock the Mainforce 6mm infantry (WW2 and Modern). We stock the Hallmark 1:6000 naval range and the Cap Aero 1:1250 aircraft along with our own 617sq 1:1250. Finally we have the Hallmark 1:1250 naval range (WW2) and lots of 6mm buildings (GHQ, JR Miniatures and Battleground) and 10mm buildings (our own range).

Can you say what ranges and products are next and what's the future for Magister Militum?
We are finishing off the Napoleonic ranges at the moment, something I was not sure we would ever get to a year ago, with the Spanish and Portuguese just being released. Next year we will fill in some gaps with French Guard Cavalry, some missing minor nations, Wurtemburg for example, Staff/Battalion/Brigade commanders and personalities. We may do the Turks as well although good research on that is hard to come by. We have another 20 plus dinosaurs being sculpted at the moment. After that we will look at the Assyrians/Babylonians and some more WW1. We have plans around a large fantasy/sci fi project which I hope to start on next year as well. I would like to get an English Civil War range done and more WW2 infantry but that will probably depend on sculpting and mould making time. It will be a busy year for new releases.

With rules solely for 10mm gaming a little thin on the ground is this something you may look at in the future?
Rules are an interesting and frustrating area. We have a set of rules for dinosuars (including humans and other extinct creatures) Dinomight. We have plans for rules sets in Napoleonic, ACW and fantasy/scifi and were talking about a possible ancients set earlier this week. It is something we need to crack in 2012 probably with the Napoleonic set comming first. We also have a set of WW1 and 2 naval rules which needs a lot of work on ship information to finish off but one day we will get it released.

The Magister Militum trade stand is a familiar sight at most of the wargames shows across the UK , so how have you found the shows so far in 2011 and for you which is the most enjoyable.
The UK and European show scene is pretty vibrant at the moment despite the economic woes of the world. I don't think I could pick a favourite show, different ones are fun for different reasons (apart from Salute which is such hard work there is no time for me to enjoy it), the kids like Bovington most of all as they get to camp.

With a lot of your time spent running Magister Militum do you have any of have time to play war games?
I have almost no time for wargaming now, we get in some board games (something else we stock) though. I am also a Wiltshire Councillor which takes up pretty much any spare time I get. My wargaming tends to be limited to small bursts on the computer.

For anybody who hasn't seen your miniatures or products can you give us the web details and links where these could be found?
Our website is

Once again thank you Richard for taking time out and answering my questions for Grade Scale wargaming.And Merry Christmas.


  1. Great post, a nice idea, interviewing traders.

  2. hmmm, 10mm sci fi sounds interesting.