28mm American Civil War Union Infantry - designed by Steve Hezzlewood, painted by Lee Hezzlewood

I was recently contacted by Robbie Rodiss after he’d posted an article on Steve Hezzlewood’s designs on The Independent Wargames Group blog asking whether any of his designs were still available?

I was going to email Robbie back, but decided the best way to respond was to write my own blog response.

Early Days – Pax Brittanica

The original Pax Britannica ranges in both 20mm and old 30mm (more akin to modern 28mm) designed by Steve in the late 1970’s and early 1980’s were sold to Rusty Scabbard Miniatures (RSM) in the mid to late 1980’s and are still available (in the US at least) from The Daytona Painting Consortium.

This included the full range of American Civil War, Napoleonics and Colonial Wars in 20mm and the fabulous Seven Years War and American War of Independence ranges in 28mm (30mm).

Echelon Designs

Of course, once Steve had sold his entire business to RSM he didn’t stop designing, producing some amazing one off’s before a wargaming friend introduced him to English Civil War gaming, at which point the start of a new range of miniatures was designed for Steve’s new found interest in the English Civil War.

Steve designed a Musketeer and Pikeman marching, a Dismounted Dragoon making ready as well as a selection of command figures and a drummer for the infantry. He also designed a beautiful set of personalities including King Charles I, Prince Rupert and Oliver Cromwell.

Unfortunately, shortly after the initial launch of this limited range under the “Echelon Designs” brand, Steve’s personal life took a turn for the worse and he ended up having to step away from the business and the hobby.

Pax Britannica Reboot

A few years later, Steve again looked to re-enter the hobby, with a plan to re-launch Pax Britannica with a new range of American Civil War figures in 28mm.

The range here included infantry in frock coats and kepis or slouch hats in a rage of poses – right shoulder shift, advancing, advancing at the port, standing firing and kneeling firing.  It also included a selection of officers, a drummer boy, a mounted colonel and a casualty figure.

Just as this was getting started Steve’s personal life again took over from his business obligations, leaving many customers disappointed yet again. And the new found venture stalled once more.

Incidentally, work at this time also included the start of a range of 28mm Napoleonics designed by Steve and Lee Hezzlewood which were never released.

Steve Hezzlewood sadly passed away in 1996 at the age of 45, leaving a legacy of beautifully designed figures which, unfortunately, were overshadowed by personal issues that meant they never quite achieved the recognition they deserved.

Steve Hezzlewood

Steve Hezzlewood – 1951-1996

Having had unique access to Steve, his design work and some of the sculpts he had completed shortly before his untimely demise, I can honestly (if somewhat biasedly) say that he is still unrivaled to this day.

I did look at relaunching Steve’s figures, at least the ACW and ECW ranges last year (2016), but unfortunately the master molds I still had dried out too much to remain viable.  I do however have a selection of master castings, so if there is demand I may look at using these to produce a limited set of production molds to once again offer Steve’s fine miniatures on the market.

Please reply to this post with your memories of Steve’s figures and let me know if you’d like to see them available once more?

 

5 thoughts on “Steve Hezzlewood’s Designs

  1. Lee,
    This is wonderful to have some decent information regarding Steve Hezzlewood. I think you already know my views regarding any releases from the Echelon ranges. In particular the ACW ones. Drop me a line please regarding the castings to see what I can do to obtain some of the range. I may be presumptuous but I had heard that the son of Steve Hezzlewood had wanted to take on the mantle from his father, is this you, because to be honest your father’s legacy to wargaming was important and I would love to create a small tribute to him, something similar to the one I have started for Peter Gilder. Obviously I would respect your decision if you didnt want this.
    Most importantly drop me a line re the ranges to see if we can come to some sort of arrangement.
    Thanks again for this great piece.
    Robbie.

    1. Hi Robbie,

      The original idea to relaunch Steve Hezzlewood’s figures came from a contact with John Ray shortly after he had launched his book “A Military Gentleman…”. John had mentioned Steve in his book and commented to me how highly he thought of his figures.

      I have a set of master and production molds for the ACW, ECW and Crimian War ranges among other things. The problem was that after I started to look into it I discovered that the molds themselves had dried out too much and weren’t really viable anymore.

      I do have a set of master castings from the ACW and ECW ranges along with the odd figure from other periods but none of them together really make a viable range and my sculpting skills are, apart from very rusty, nowhere near Steve’s level. I was accomplished at converting figures but not too great at starting from scratch.

      I am toying with the idea of casting what little I have and then looking at alternatives for extending the range including hiring skilled designers or going down the digital design route, but maintaining Steve’s eye for anatomy and detail. If I do venture down this path I want to do so knowing what is produced will be true to his design ideals but also satisfy the requirements for variety that the modern market demands.

      Lee

  2. The Hinchliffe X Range AWI figures were my first introduction to the work of Steve Hezzlewood – 37 years later they are still magnificent figures… quality is timeless! I’d love to get hold of some of his ACW designs (i had the chance a few years back and have regretted passing it up ever since).

    1. Hi Doug,

      I don’t think I’ve ever seen those figures? Do you know if there are any images around online? I’d love to take a look.

      Lee

      1. Lee,

        There are scandalously few good images online of Steve’s work for Frank Hinchliffe; i have only a couple on my blog http://unfashionablyshiny.blogspot.co.uk/search/label/Hezzlewood (i should really rectify that), but Robbie has more on his blog. Steve did AWI and ACW ranges for Hinchliffe (the X ranges) – you’ll recognise them instantly as Steve’s work when you see them. I do hope you get the more viable ranges off the ground (the ACW would be my choice), and i’d recommend Griffin Moulds as maybe the only current contract mould makers capable of doing Steve’s work justice. All the best.

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