I've been working in the art field since 1982 and gaming with miniatures since 1979 with "The Sword and the Flame", which we still use! Before that in the 1960's, as a very young boy, I acquired a bunch of ACW & AWI Britains Swoppet figures that we "gamed" with. I still have the ACW figures but somehow the AWI figs got away from me.
I've always been fascinated by action/war art, dioramas, cycloramas & the like. That's why I started gaming in the first place. To me, it was like a beautiful diorama that you could play with. That is why I'm doing this, making diorama quality boards so anyone who wants to can have terrain that looks as good or better than the troops on it.
My first real effort on large terrain boards was my WW1 Trench Board. It was a labor of love and something I had wanted to do since I started gaming. This is the same board that I am basing the upcoming "Hanging On The Old Barbed Wire" trench boards on. I took it to Historicon and it won the first ever Osprey Award! I didn't even enter it, but was told (by a little bird) that I should. I guess they really liked it. It was also featured in Wargames Illustrated #229. To be in that magazine was amazing. For so many years that was nearly the only way to keep up with the hobby and see some of the best work out there. Since then I've won numerous awards at Conventions for my work, not that it matters, but it's nice to be recognized every now and then!
Even better to me were the words that Sidney Roundwood said to me after I wrote him commenting on how much I love his work: "Many thanks indeed for the kind words. They're much appreciated. But you should also know that before I'd even started on my Great War terrain boards I was deeply impressed and inspired by what I saw that you had done on your Flickr page. I particularly love your bunker with the vignette of the interrogation of the German prisoner by the British Officers - that's always been a favourite of mine!" It don't get any better that that, to me. Thanks, Sidney.
I also came up with the idea of "Mass Movement Trays" for movement of massed troops. These are amoeba shaped trays that I wanted to use for Zulus, Pathans and such troops that do not move in a formation. I never liked square or rectangular trays anyway, as nothing in nature is straight. I sent the idea to Litko's Lab, they made mine and began selling them as a regular item. Several companies make them today and now they are very commonplace. Litko calls them Horde Trays. Warlord calls them Squad Bases.
But enough of my ramblings, lets get to the Boards...
Hello, fellow gamers. My name is Peter W. Gaut. I am an artist, a semi-historian, a sometimes drummer and a wargamer.
I was born, and still live in the Commonwealth of Virginia. During the formidable years of ages 4 thru 11, the
American Civil War celebrated it's Centennial & World War 1 celebrated it's Golden anniversary (you can do the math)!
It's only during the last few decades or so that I came to realize that these two events shaped the rest of my life.
First things first, though. My Mom, Bess S. Gaut and Dad, James Wood Gaut Jr. were the biggest influences of my life.
Mom, for always encouraging me in the art field (along with, oh so many other things, both on what to do & what not
to do, and I gotta say, I didn't always listen). And Dad, for being one of coolest, the most laid back men I've ever known.
Of course, you don't realize these things until you get older yourself.
Mom was born in Oklahoma, she and her older sister Opal, raised a set of twins and a little bother after their mom died
when she was young. She went through the Dust Bowl then followed her big sis to Virginia during the war and went
to work for Bell Telephone Co. where she met my Dad after the war. She raised 3 kids of their own and went to work for
the Veterans Department in 1969 and stayed until she retired. She fought tooth and nail for every Vet she ever represented
and they always came first in her mind. They gave their all and she gave them hers.
My Dad served on 2 ships during WW2. He earned his first Battle Star when he landed in Tunisia in November 1942
onboard the USS Florence Nightingale, ironically, not a hospital ship. He then became a Gunners Mate First Class aboard
LST 197. He earned his other four Battle Stars at Sicily, Salerno, Anzio (where they were hit by an inland 88) and Normandy. LST 197 was credited with 3 & 1/2 German aircraft during the war, damn good for a Large Slow Target with just 2 50 cals &
4 30 cals! Dad and his mates were pretty good shots. He saw a lot of action during the war and would always be happy to
talk to us about it. I didn't realize I was so lucky to have a Dad who could, and would talk about the war. Not that he didn't suffer physically and mentally from his experiences (as I'm sure all the vets did).
He was sent to the hospital in 1945 for shell shock and fighting. Then they sent him to Norfolk VA for Shore Patrol duty!
I mean, geeze, get a man who is shell shocked and pissed off to start with and give him a club and an SP armband and tell
him to have at it! Even Dad laughed about that! When the war ended he was training to put Marines ashore in Japan.
Thank you, President Harry S. Truman.
Rest in Peace, Mom and Dad.
Click on the photos on the left to see my Dad in WW2. The copy is what Dad wrote on the back of each photo.The last 3 photos are of Harold Bishop.
My brother, Rusty, inspired my first attempts to draw. In the 60's we would sit and marvel at the American Heritage
ACW birds-eye view paintings by David Greenspan. We would attempt to draw our own and that is where my art
career started. If you look at them today, you can see pretty much all the elements of what I do now. Thanks, Bro.
My sister, Sarah, has always been a stabilizing, loving, caring person that I can still depend on with almost any problem
I may face. Thanks Sis!
My wife, Cammy, whom I met in 1988 in Carlisle PA, while on a 70 mile horseback ride following Jeb Stuarts route during
the 125th Anniversary of Gettysburg. I went in looking for shoes, and came out with a wife! We have been married for 24 years, and in the words of HI in Raising Arizona, "it ain't always Ozzie and Harriet", but I love her so much and can't imagine my life without her. I've bounced so many things off her and her comments and advice have usually been spot on
(but don't tell her that!). Thank you and I love you, Cammy Lee!
And I can't forget Cammy's parents Jackie & Harold Bishop. Two wonderful people in their own right. Hal passed several
years ago & we all miss him still. He was in the 11th Airborne, with the Glider troops. Airborne in the Pacific, yikes! He
was in at least 2 assaults, both amphibious. He only jumped during training! Hal joined the Airborne because he got more
pay, and the Gliders 'cause he got even more! Both of Cammy's parents were teachers. Hal taught High School History for
over 25 years. If he wasn't taking a class every year to Gettysburg, he was taking them to Williamsburg VA. Jackie taught Elementary School for over 20 years. Jackie is still a history buff (and loves my stuff!). Hal was great, he loved coupons
and saving cash. He once bought red hair dye because it was on sale and one day, someone might wanna dye their hair red!
I learned a lot from Hal.
And in the same spirit as my "Raising Arizona" comment above, at Hal & Jackie's 50th Wedding anniversary during his speech he said "When we got married, I paid $5 for the marriage license & Jackie was worth every penny of it"! Hal made us all laugh.
And last, but not least, all my friends & gaming buddies. You know who you are. The "usual gang of idiots" who at one time or another have graced our basement on and off for over the last quarter of a century providing more than a centuries worth of great times and laughs!
I thank you all and look forward to more...
Click on pics below:
Click on pics below: