Thursday, 7 April 2022

Peter Cushing - Wargamer

 Peter Cushing

Now for s long as a can remember I`ve played with toy soldiers, my parents house and garden in Rhondda were strewn with little plastic men for my entire childhood and kept resurfacing right up until we finally moved my mother down to Swansea in 2012! Buying me presents for birthdays, Christmases or just rewards was dead easy - a packet or box of Airfix soldiers - any period or nationality, it simply did not matter as they joined on side or the other in a vast melee across the house and garden. If I was particularly lucky a Dinky or Matchbox di-cast vehicle would add a motorised or armoured element too. 

War movies, Commando comics and Christmas annuals by Warlord and Victor also fuelled my obsession.

In my early teens I discovered "real rules" and books by Charles Grant, Terence Wise and Donald Featherstone and began building plastic kits.

About the time I went to secondary school I also discovered another interest - horror movies. Particularly late Saturday night creature feature features on BBC2 from the Hammer studios, these introduced my young mind to Dracula (and his various buxom victims/brides); Frankenstein and his monster and Mummies, etc. 

They also were my first introduction to Mr Peter Cushing a man of many roles, an actor of skill and finesse, who became a firm favourite of mine (and still is nearly 50yrs later).

When I was about 14 my Dad brought home a copy of "Past Forgetting" by Mr Cushing which he`d picked up cheap at a bookbinders sale. I wasn`t much of a reader so he thought it may encourage me (many 100s of books later it obviously has). The book contained several images of Mr Cushing`s Hammer years, but to my amazement two images of the great man with model soldiers and a copy of HG Wells "Little Wars" book! Reading the text revealed Mr Cushing was an avid collector and wargamer! To say the least I was thrilled to note I shared a hobby with this man who I admired.

Below I have collected images from across the net, some of which I have posted onto the FB page of "A Gentlemans War" others just found though Google. I don`t claim ownership of these and if anyone does and wants me to take them down please just let me know, I am using them to illustrate and pay homage to Mr Cushing and our shared hobby. 

Peter and his wife Helen

A couple of coloured stills from the Pathe news piece on Peter`s hobby

This photo was taken at the little museum at Whitstable which has some cases on display of Peter`s personal posessions including this WW1 bunker scene with cardboard soldiers including Peters orginal sketches.

A link to a YouTube video about Mr Cushing and his collection you`ll have to cut/paste into your browser, but it does work.


  1. Replies
    1. some of those images are pretty great to good not to share :)

  2. Nice, I never knew this. As you know, I was also a wargamer & massive Hammer movie fan ... even though Christopher Lee never won! Thanks for sharing this, would love to know more, like what periods did he game? Which rules? Did he boradgame as well? Awesome

    1. From what I`ve seen he painted a lot of Napoleonic's, Knights & Romans. In the photos he can be seen with HG Wells` "Little Wars" rules and certainly two of the photos show board games also - a horse racing game and a Pirate one :)

  3. Really enjoyed seeing these photos.

  4. Greaat post- I'm a big fan of his too.



  5. A few days ago we watched his Sherlock Holmes in "Hound of the Baskervilles". Very enjoyable. Thanks for sharing your research into his toy soldiers collection.

    1. Nice to know we shared a hobby with the great man :)

  6. Nice one Richard. Learn some fascinating game related history here! CarlL