Clifford Ansell was looking for an interesting retirement job that would keep him busy. Cliff had spent much of his life working in the mining industry (apart from a few years away with the Royal Navy in the 1940s) he ended up a mining engineer and an expert on mine safety, ventilation and dust suppression. In the 60s Cliff moved on to a second career as a maths teacher: he taught maths at Bishop Dunn Comprehensive in Nottingham.

Cliff's son was, and is, my father: Bryan Ansell who had made toy soldiers with Skytrex, Tabletop, Asgard and Citadel/Games Workshop. He ended up owning GW and was responsible for games like Warhammer Fantasy Battle, 40K, Space Hulk etc.

When Cliff announced that he was going to take early retirement, Bryan suggested that Cliff might like to have a go at manufacturing toy soldiers himself.

Cliff was already experienced in dealing with both stubborn Lancashire miners and wilful, disorganised children: so it was clear that the strange mindset of the confused denizens of the toy soldier industry would be absolutely no problem for Cliff to handle.

As it happened: this was the time when Citadel was starting to change from metal based models to their new "slotta bases", and also ceasing to make historical models. Bryan was able to set Foundry up with a number of discontinued ranges - Barons Wars and Wars of the Roses Medievals, Samurai and the Vikings, Normans and Saxons, Woodland Indians, Huns and Elizabethans initially (these had all previously served as Human forces in Warhammer Fantasy Battle for some years). Further hundreds of other Citadel models followed. We still make those models at Foundry today, though we cannot manage to have them all in stock at the same time.

Michael and Alan Perry sculpted almost all these models and were keen to continue sculpting historical models for their own painting and wargaming purposes, so they continued to sculpt new Foundry ranges for Cliff for quite some years. Alistair Morrison and Dave Andrews both contributed ranges too.

So, Foundry was up and running very quickly indeed. Cliff first had premises in Sherwood, then moved to a larger unit in New Basford. The upstairs in New Basford was taken by Alistair and Trish Morrison: who sculpted the Marauder range for Games Workshop up there.

For a long period, Foundry was making many master moulds and production moulds for Games Workshop whenever they found themselves with more moulds than they could handle. Over the years many ex Games Workshop staff worked for Foundry; most notably John "Bones" Ellard, "Ep" Epworth, Andy Pattinson, Kevin Adams, Colin Dixon and Shane Hoyle.

In 1991 my father left Games Workshop and went off to Guernsey for a decade or so. In Guernsey he had three children, restored four old houses (he does that wherever he goes: not the children, just the houses) started Guernsey Foundry and made Seven Years War, Old West, Pirates and Darkest Africa models these were mostly sculpted by Mark Copplestone. When he came back to England in 2000 he brought his ranges and a couple of the Guernsey staff with him, started restoring a house near Newark and took over running Foundry from Cliff. He produced more Seven Years War, Darkest Africa and loads more Old West, then Street Violence, Vikings, Gladiators, various Romans, 16th century Swashbucklers, huge ranges of Greeks and Macedonians, Fantasy and various odds and ends.

In 2005 my father left Foundry and went back to gardening and restoring houses.

We only re-entered the world of toy soldiers because my cousin Neil Littlewood went to work at Foundry for a while, and it became apparent that there were serious problems that needed sorting out. In the end we stepped in, and the Ansell family are running the factory again.

We have moved Foundry into the huge old Carriage Court alongside our house in East Stoke.

My father has recently returned to the fray: working on new ranges with Kevin Adams.


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First set: 1 February 2001
Last update: 12 August 2017
Next update: ~ 5 July 2019

Games / Product Lines of Foundry


2000 AD is a weekly British science fiction-orientated comic magazine. As a comics anthology it serialises stories in each issue (known as "progs"[note 1]) and was first published by IPC Magazines in 1977, the first issue dated 26 February. IPC then shifted the title to its Fleetway comics subsidiary which was sold to Robert Maxwell in 1987 then Egmont UK in 1991. Fleetway continued to produce the title until 2000, when it was bought by Rebellion Developments.

Sets: 86
reviews ?
Progress: 100%

American Civil War

Sets: 192
reviews ?
Progress: 80%

American War of Independence

Sets: 36
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Progress: 82%


Sets: 661
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Progress: 82%


It's category for all books in one place.

Sets: 100
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Progress: 80%
In 16 Companies

Crimean War

Sets: 151
reviews ?
Progress: 82%

Dark Ages

Sets: 104
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Progress: 83%

Darkest Africa

Sets: 88
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Progress: 83%

Egyptian Adventure

Sets: 14
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Progress: 82%

English Civil War

Sets: 59
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Progress: 82%

Franco Prussian War

Sets: 121
reviews ?
Progress: 83%

God of Battles

God of Battles is Jake Thornton's new fantasy wargaming rules, in which players command armies of model soldiers to battle against each other across troubled lands.

Jake is the author of our own Tribes of Legend, as well as having written Dreadball, Dwarf King's Hold and Project Pandora for Mantic Games. Jake has done design work for Warhammer 6th edition, managed Blood Bowl, Necromunda and Mordheim for Games Workshop and was the editor for White Dwarf for two years.

Sets: 81
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Progress: 77%

Great Britain Colonies

Sets: 230
reviews ?
Progress: 82%


Sets: 89
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Progress: 82%


Sets: 99
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Progress: 83%


It's a technical game / collection to use in any companies for miniatures category.

Sets: 7096
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Progress: 82%
In 155 Companies


Sets: 765
reviews ?
Progress: 82%
In 2 Companies

Old West

Sets: 145
reviews ?
Progress: 82%

Pike and Shot

Sets: 133
reviews ?
Progress: 83%

Pirates and Swashbucklers

Sets: 47
reviews ?
Progress: 73%

Rogue Trader

Sets: 1
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Progress: 73%

Seven Years War

Sets: 234
reviews ?
Progress: 82%

Street Violence

Sets: 45
reviews ?
Progress: 82%

Thirty Years War

Sets: 9
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Progress: 82%

Wars of Religion

Sets: 0
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Progress: 0%

WW1 Great War

Sets: 55
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Progress: 82%


Sets: 79
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Progress: 82%

Persons worked with Foundry ( we know - 20 persons )

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Medieval Civilian Characters 1. Set
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Napoleonic British - Highland Flank Company In Trews Loading. Set
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Napoleonic Russian - Hussars Front Rank Lance Armed. Set
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Marlburian British - The Duke Of Marlborough. Set

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