I have been interested in military history and model soldiers for as long as I can remember, although I began painting seriously in my mid-teens after the usual earlier boyhood dalliances with Matchbox and Airfix kits and HO/OO soldiers.

It was the advent of role-playing games and Citadel Miniatures which particularly focused my interest, and the transition from plastic to metal figures represented a real rite of passage. Soon I extended my range to include historical gaming and miniatures, which, in turn, led me to study History at Lancaster University.

Compared to those days the sheer breadth and variety of models and periods now available to the gamer and collector (and painter!) is immense. My own favourite eras - the Early Modern and the Nineteenth Century - are well covered, with enough Samurai, Ottoman Janissaries, Napoleonics, Colonial Ruffians and Yanks and Rebels to keep me happy for a long time yet. That said, I’m certainly not limited to narrow historical horizons. All periods, Ancient to Modern, Fantasy to Sci-Fi, have their own attractions. And the true painter can never resist a challenging or interesting model.

Of course, life isn’t all painting, gaming and collecting. Outside the miniature realm I’m heavily involved with the Sherlock Holmes world, where I met my splendid muse Teresa, a fellow member of the Scandalous Bohemians Sherlock Holmes society. Before this I was an active member of an earlier Sherlockian group, The Northern Musgraves, for whom I edited the journal The Ritual and wrote numerous articles. This all tied in with my previous long-term professional life as a proofreader. Amongst my many published papers on Victorian and early twentieth century genre fiction I am also the author of Birth of a Legend (2007), a study of Whitby’s Dracula connection, a work which reflects my longstanding fascination with Gothic imagery and culture.