Tuesday, January 4, 2011

A model by Ian Weekley

Many gamers of a certain age will remember Ian Weekley - master model builder. The first recollection I have of seeing an Ian Weekley modelling article was in the early 1980s.
 I don’t recall whether that first article was in Miniature Wargames magazine or in Military Modelling, as articles appeared in both magazines at that time. Casting quickly around, there is an article by Ian in the October 1983 issue of Military Modelling where he builds Wolfsschanze, a medieval castle. Incidentally, the magazine also includes an article on gaming Wandewash.
Military Modelling article

The first issue of Miniature Wargames also contained an article entitled Small Buildings for the Battlefield.
Miniature Wargames No. 1

I recall reading all of his articles that I could find, trying to follow his instructions with no success at all  : (    I also recall wanting a building made by him but I had to send “5 IRC’s” for a catalogue. I was in my final year at school, had no idea what an IRC was. Worse still, I had no cash…

In 1989, I read an article in Practical Wargamer paying tribute to 10 years of Battlements, Ian’s model building business. I still wanted a model. Anyway, I never got around to ordering a building from him before he retired due to ill health from custom model building in 1991. He continued with a resin range which is now owned, I believe, by Coritani.
Practical Wargamer article

Imagine my delight when I found one of his models on eBay recently. I bid and won : )
photo from eBay auction

The fort arrived and requires a little work to bring it up to scratch. It is, after all, some 30 years old and seen many a game. Although not as sophisticated as a lot of models nowadays, it has a charm of its own. Better still, it is a piece of wargaming history!

The fort will be perfect for one of the European forts that were built in India. What models did he make specifically for India? Here are two I have located:
Moghul Stronghold
Sultan's Retreat
I have recently commissioned a Sultan's Retreat from Herb at HG Walls, based upon the article by Ian.
Anybody have a Moghul Stronghold they would like to part with?  : )
Ian died five years ago this month. Such a loss to the hobby. His Obituary is here:


  1. Many thanks for remembering these relics of the past. I am almost 45 now, and my first contact with Ian Weekly models was about 1990, when I first bought a Miniature Wargames magazine (number 87, if I recall correctly). I begun interesting myself in wargames in 1986, when I was 20 years old (articles in Millitary Modelling), but until I saw my first MW magazine, I didn´t see the light! many issues of this magazine came with an Ian article. It was my only contact with wargaming. No internet, no friends interested. But reading Ian articles was always a good reading.

    Emilio Moskowich

  2. Emilio - you make us sound so old! I think things were simpler then as well. Not so many manufacturers, periods or rules to choose from : )

    Stan Catchpole was another of my favourites! He was actually one of the Fosten brothers who did great articles on British uniforms. He also did a modelling workshop in Military Modelling.

  3. and he was Frieda von Richthofen's grand son..amazing indeed..I wonder if he ever read much D.H.Lawrence..he might have got to know his grandmother in a more vicarious manner that way..

  4. I thought that was interesting as well.

  5. Brings back many, many memories. Like you, I've wanted one of his models since the early/mid '80s.

    I have saved EVERY picture and article I can find that dealt with his models as well as his 'how-to' articles.

    The model you won on e-bay - I have a picture of it from when it was featured in one of the gaming magazines. IIRC it was part of a 'how-to' article dealing with building a Vauban fort.

  6. Thanks Larry!

    I also thought I had seen it before, but can't locate the article!