I wrote a letter, asking if they had any vacancies, despite the fact that it would have been easier just to ask face-to-face, but that was what I'd been told in school, so that what I did, best hand-writing and everything...
|Thulg, illo by Tony Ackland.|
"I got your letter... its left me in a bit of a dilemer..."
"Why?" I wimpered, preparing myself for a big dose of rejection...
"Well" she continued, "your mate Mark asked me for the same thing yesterday as well..."
My life hung on one sentence...
"...but, I think there is something we can do..."
TTG were planning on going though a bit of an expansion, they had started a miniatures range, which was making the 15mm Laserburn minis, a few 25mm sci-fi and a small range of Dark Age 15mm's,
which they had been licensing in the USA to a company called Alliance Miniatures.
Now, it had come down the grape-vine that another US company, Heritage Miniatures, were going bust, and that Alliance in the States wanted to buy up the failed company and license them back to Tabletop for production here in the UK. Bob was already selling quite large numbers of the Heritage Napoleonics through the shop and though mail-order, so picking up on an existing range would have doubled their miniature out-put in one swoop.
So if the deal went through, Kate was sure that there would be work for both Mark and Myself, in the newly expanded Tabletop Miniatures.
As far as I remember, the deal was still to be finalized in the US, but Kate said if I could do a few days casual work, in the casting room, to see if I was up to the task, then the job would be mine when I finished school...
Well I'd seen the machine and moulds in the back-room but I'd never done it at that time, but yes, " I can do that" as Yosser Hughes would have said, "Gizza job."
As it turned out, the deal with Heritage fell though, someone else bought the failing/failed company and their big selling Napoleonic range would remain with Skytex (the UK agent) for a while yet, but Bob, indomitable as he was, made his mind up overnight, with the aid of Alliance in the US, that TTG would start their own range of 15mm Napoleonics, using their great young sculptor Aly Morrison who was already working on a Medieval range of 15mms.
If anyone reading this has any more details about Alliance or Heritage in the early 80's I would be delighted to hear from you... I owe my Life in Miniatures almost directly to these two American companies, and I'd love to find out just exactly what went off in June or July of '83, I heard that Alliance were out bid, is this the truth? Who did pick up Heritage? What happened to them? I don't think that they are still out there... all information gratefully received...
So, short of doing a few trail days in the casting room I had a job... £35 a week for 5 days, 40 hours Tuesday to Saturday.