John Mitchell boxed sets, starter armies, buildings and simple rules

My battered paper or card box marked up for “Victorian figures” (sticker by John Mitchell?)

The late John Mitchell of Malvern (d. June 2016) painted and offered for sale by mail order whole Peter Laing 15mm starter armies. He had a long association with Peter Laing at least from the mid 1970s onwards.

In Wargamers Newsletter No. 178, January 1977 (see Card Buildings section below) Peter Laing describes John Mitchell as “a great friend of mine, John Mitchell, an artist and experienced “domestic” wargamer has been pressurising me to bring out a modest line of WW2 figures …”

So now you can see where these loose pen illustrations come from!

A better condition box owned by Alec Green. Note unusual “Minatures” spelling.

John Mitchell continued this for a few years after Peter Laing retired (late 80s / early 90s?) and sold him the business, stock, now vanished moulds and all.

Figures painted by John Mitchell mostly from the Late Victorian Parade range

Another boxed set of Wild West Indians owned by Alec Green is shown here:

The loose drawing style on the John Mitchell boxes is matched in the ECW Rules that I bought c. 1983, drawn presumably by John Mitchell himself?

My original ECW figure group basing c.1983 was based on these rules.

These rules (bought from Peter Laing?) are reprinted here:

Other typed Laing / Mitchell period starter rules must exist. We would love to see them!

Mid 1980s advert in my old Military Modelling or Miniature Wargames mags

John Mitchell Card Buildings

Several examples are featured here

JM1 was the Elizabethan house – pictured

JM2 the Farmhouse / Barn c.1976 – pictured

JM3 Castle Gatehouse

JM4 Castle Walls

JM5 Desert type building

JM6 onwards?

Image source: Wargamers Newsletter 212 November 1979

The origin of the Card Buildings linked to the WW2 range is described in this Wargamers Newsletter review / article here by Donald Featherstone, quoting a letter from Peter Laing:

Image source: Wargamers Newsletter 178, January 1977


Ian Dury has given me a copy of the different Barrack Room Building sheet range (by Barry Carter?) sheet for native huts.


15mm Hand Painted Starter Armies

Seen through advertisements

Unknown magazine c. 1983 (John’s address then was in Malvern) – that loose drawing style again.

Out of my pocket money price league in the early 1980s, I preferred to spend money on castingss and paint them myself, even if I am still working on that almost forty hears later!

The periods covered match the Laing figure ranges quite accurately.

Military Modelling October 1983 advert – don’t you wish you could send an SAE for details way back in time?