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A hearty 'hullo' from your new Miniatures Editor

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Hullo! And thanks for joining me on this ‘ere post. I wanted to formerly introduce myself to all those who’ve been reading our online articles as of late (and to those who’ve just dropped by, for that matter). Some of you may have noticed – and been slightly baffled by – the fact that our website and social media outlets have seen something of an uptick in content recently. Why is this, you might wonder? What shady, nebulous figure is skulking behind his computer churning this stuff out?

Well wonder no more, dear readers! That shady, nebulous figure is I – James Winspear – the new Miniatures Editor here at Miniature Wargames. To be more precise, I’m actually the Miniatures Editor for both Miniature Wargames and TableTop Gaming, working alongside those fine editors John Treadaway and Matt Jarvis. As well as working making content for the physical magazines, I'll also be handling Miniature Wargames' social media pages. I’ve been on board here for about a month or so, so this introduction of mine is probably already a bit overdue, but hey, better late than never, I suppose?

Though they may not realise it, readers of the magazines may have already come across some of my stuff before, under the name James Dyson. Before taking the plunge to full time, I moonlighted as a freelancer and did several interviews and features. As for the change of name, now that I can label myself as a full-time wargaming journalist (well, writer… well, hack writer… well, inveterate scribbler at very least) I figured I should at least have a pen name that sounds a little more literary than the brand name for vacuum cleaners (Winspear is my family name on my mother’s side). Of course, our SEO rankings could theoretically take a bit of a hit, but honestly even I struggle to imagine that people would naturally associate hoovers with the hobby in the first place! At any rate, all this may come as a slight annoyance to Matt, given that he’s already introduced me as a Dyson in the latest copy of TTG!

So what’s my connection with wargaming? Well, my hobby journey started a good many years ago at the tender age of eight. One of my most distinct memories of my early school days was stepping into the art room – a veritable den of clay pots, papier mache masks, paints, chalks and other associated miscellanea – and seeing two boys painting some funny armoured figured (those curious things called “space marines”, I later found out) next to a skull-bedecked fort made out of cardboard and cocktail sticks. From that moment on I was hooked, although my interest waned somewhat during my teenage years (clearly overactive hormones affect one’s ability to reason properly!) Having lain dormant for some time, the hobbying urge struck again at uni after I happened upon a trailer for Mutant Chronicles, the film adaptation of the RPG/ wargame of the same name. Something just clicked then (I guess I’ve always just had a thing about trenches and brodie helmets), though it was some time before I actively picked up the paintbrush again. I’d been working as a freelance journalist after doing my Masters at York and on a whim decided to contact Miniature Wargames to see if they wanted writers. They did, and the rest is history, as they say! 

Anyway, I’ve been taken on board as part of a grand strategy by both magazines, whose essential points can be summarised as ‘MWHOAR!!!’ (as my Drama teacher used to chivvy the actors along with). In short, it’s more online stuff, more features, more interviews, more tutorials, more scenarios, more everything really! We’re also looking to get our readers more (sorry, mwhoar) involved with our online stuff as well, something we’ll be putting another post up about shortly. We’ve got a whole bunch of plans, and with any luck we’ll truly (dons red baseball cap) ‘make this hobby great again!’ In the meantime, thanks for reading this nonsensical little ramble, and best of luck with the gaming!

James Winspear

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