It is a miniature representation of Duke Seifried, the prolific miniature sculptor and wargaming legend who is affectionately known as Uncle Duke. I remember being intrigued by such an uncommon sculpt, and meant to ask Uncle Duke back when the auction was live, but I let it slip into the back of my mind for a spell.
One thing I really like about our hobby is the history and background of the various companies, sculptors, and personalities that make up the business, past and present. The whole notion of an Uncle Duke mini struck me as awesome - but what I really wanted to know was the how and where and why of how this miniature came to be.
Fast-forward to Friday when I finally got off the dime and fired off a missive to Duke, who was kind and gracious enough to give me a reply and answer my questions about the Uncle Duke mini. So here you go:
TLD: What is the story behind this sculpt? How did it come to be?
UDS: A limited number were made to present to special people. It was me with my usual briefcase full of samples and paperwork. They used to tease me about that case because at one point when someone else opened it up they found a gun.
TLD: Is it a Heritage miniature? Does it have a code stamped on the base?
UDS: Yes, it was produced during that period. No code.
TLD: Is it a one-off? Limited Production?
UDS: There were 20 produced.
TLD: Was it an in-house only item, or was it available to the public?
UDS: Never available to the public.
TLD: Did you sculpt it? If not you, who did?
UDS: I believe it was a fellow namd Steve (I think ) Bisset but I cannot remember clearly from some 30+ years ago.
TLD: Did you paint it?
UDS: There were only two painted that I gave to important distributors.
TLD: Did you give it to Dave?
UDS: Yes, he was a very good friend of mine. He was one of the "special people".
TLD: Sorry for the barrage of questions, but this is such a fascinating item I had to dig up your card and fire off this email. Thank you for your time.
UDS: This figurine has become a rather rare collector piece - and I understand brings a pretty penny. I have only one left myself.
I had to send a follow-up to Duke to ask him if it was OK if I shared this info and his reply was "By all means! Stories are made for all of us to share." What a gentleman. Thanks again, Uncle Duke! I hope you all enjoy the background on this fascinating miniature.