A little about me....
For more than four decades, 15mm military miniatures have been my hobby and a passion. By the time of this writing, I have painted more than 40,000 and my interests have expanded from historical/military 15mm figures and eras ranging from 1st Century Imperial Rome to the bombed-out streets of Germany in 1945 to Pulp Era, adventure, and Victorian Gothic in 28mm. As with many who have embraced or been captured by this hobby, I have boxes of 15mm and 28mm unpainted figures waiting for the brush... more than I can ever complete, but as crazy as it sounds, this doesn't stop me from adding more to the pile.
Throughout the decades of my hobby, friends and acquaintances have asked an obvious question: “What do you do with all these soldiers?” The gamers I know are always taken aback by the fact that with armies/collections the size of mine (ranging from a couple hundred on the small side to 6,000-plus at the other extreme), I have never played a game. Furthermore, friends from the non-miniature, non-gaming world, who have been kind enough to admire the quality of my work, are equally frustrated by the fact that I have no interest in displaying them around my home. I should note that my wife does not share my friends’ desire that I display the armies in our home; however, she has always been supportive of my love of the hobby. It keeps me off the streets. When I retired, the thought of displaying my miniatures became an increasingly interesting prospect, and a website dedicated to that purpose seemed the natural venue. Thus, "War In 15mm" was born.
I have no doubt that my love of this hobby is rooted in my childhood love of toy soldiers. When I was eight years old, I wrote a letter to Marx Toys urging them to produce the French and Indian War as one of their toy soldier box collections. I never heard back from Marx, but a couple of years ago that dream came true when Blue Moon came out with its wonderful French and Indian War 15/18mm line of figures and terrain which is now one of the galleries on this website. My love of miniatures has also been fed by the wonderful pictures of Peter Gilder’s figures in Wargames Illustrated from decades past. In terms of the 15mm historical/military figures in my collection, they provide a means of expressing my love of history and applying my reading to something tangible. For years I was an Advanced Placement U.S. History instructor and had classes of students who served as my outlet for sharing my love of history. Now that I am retired, I no longer have those captive audiences, and I doubt that my wife has any interest in taking their place. Today I have the hobby and it serves me well. While my love of the 15s continues, my love of the hobby and the miniatures has expanded to include 28s, but the 28mm figures in my collection are not about history or the military. They are about the fun of Pulp Era, adventure, and the Gothic world of the Victorians.
Central to my intent with this website is to share my collections with the world as others have shared theirs with me. I could not have put my collections together without the information and inspiration that others have provided. I would be less than honest if I didn’t state from the outset that the website also serves my vanity. I am proud of what I have done, and I want it to be seen and enjoyed. The pictures are not taken by me. They are the work of my daughter who is a talented artist in the film industry and brings that artist’s eye to making my collections come alive in the diorama formats I construct. And although not a gamer, I am honored to have had my collections featured in both Wargames, Soldiers, & Strategy (July 2009) and Wargames Illustrated (April 2019).
Thank you for visiting my miniatures world. I hope you find it entertaining and inspiring in terms of your own projects. I intend to add a new gallery or two each year, and I will be posting my weekly work in my Weekly Workbench segment of this website. I hope you will enjoy your visits and return often.
Sincerely, Richard Garretson