Matakishi's Tea House

A simple little site...

A film made of me by Dominic Humphries

The Real Me

My real Name is Paul Ward, I’ll be 50 in 2011, (I share my birthday with Nelson), I'm married with one daughter and three cats. I live in Woking in the south of England, the town where the Martians landed in War of the Worlds.

I work as a Teaching Assistant in a local School, a job I really enjoy as I get lots of time off and don’t have to work weekends. It’s also a fairly worthwhile thing to do, teaching the young. I get all the fun of being a teacher and none of the boring planning and marking stuff.

Previously I’ve had many jobs. I’ve been the manager of both a bookshop and a comic shop, I’ve worked as an illustrator and designer for many years and owned my own games shop. I’ve worked in factories and on building sites and for the software industry as a game designer.

My interests include games (obviously), not just wargaming but RPGs boardgames and video games too. I read a lot, mostly history for the factual stuff, I like first hand accounts especially; and a mixture of genres for fiction. I used to collect comics but nowadays I can’t be bothered. I occasionally buy a couple that look interesting but my collection has shrunk to include mainly the ones I read in the 60s and 70s when I was starting to read them and everything was new and exciting.
There are a few later gems and quite a lot of European stuff left in too.

I like films and have a fairly large collection of dvds. Currently my tastes run towards Asian films and away from Hollywood fare. I have a large backlog of foreign films to track down, the joy of being a collector.

I used to have 800+ videos but they’ve all gone, upgraded to dvds, some things still aren’t available though, which is a pity. If you're interested you can view my film collection here:

I bought my first miniature in 1978, the Deathdealer figure by Ral Partha, and my lead addiction started from then. Previously I had owned many plastic Cowboys, Indians and US Cavalry made by Timpo and Britains and their like. I also had a well used set of 1/32 Airfix WWII figures. I'm currently rebuilding all these old collections in lead. Updates on my progress will appear on this site regularly of course.

Below are some links to some stuff you might like

A few samples of my artwork:

My Wife

This is my wife Frances. The power behind the throne etc. Very supportive of my hobby, always has been, even when I wasn't world famous and rolling in money.

How I got started in all this……….

This picture is what got me started in miniature gaming.
I first saw it in 1978.
I was a big comics fan in those days and I’d just started my first job after leaving school, in the local Tax Office. Next door-but-one was Tangley Model Workshop with this wonderful Barry Smith Conan print displayed prominently in the window. It drew me in like a beacon.
Inside were a few more prints by artists I was familiar with and a whole load of large scale Middle Earth and dungeon dioramas. For someone like me this was a haven of normality away from the confusing weirdness of my normal job.

There was also, in this strange shop, a rack of Ral Partha 25mm figurines cast in the UK by Citadel. It was whilst looking through these that the bug struck.
I’d always wanted lead soldiers, ever since a boy at my prep school had bought some in. They were so much better than the plastic soldiers I had but they were very expensive and I could never afford any. But now, now I had left school and had a job. I had disposable income and I’d just found something to dispose of it on.
A single figure leapt out at me from the rack. A small model of Frank Frazetta’s Deathdealer, my favourite painting of all time (then) come to life as a model soldier. It was a sign.
It was also only 50p so it was mine very shortly afterwards.
Conan had drawn me into the shop and Frazetta, also a great Conan artist, had sealed my fate.

I soon found that you could play proper games with these fantasy figures, luckily Tangley stocked Dungeons and Dragons as well, and my life changed for ever.
I spent many, many hours over the coming years chatting to the shop’s proprietor Kevin about many things. I also met Mike Broadbent there which is really what got me into painting.

On Saturday 6th October 1984 I got married. A memorable day because it was also the day that the Tangley Model Workshop closed its doors for good. Mike told me the bad news at my wedding reception so I headed down to the shop the next day to say goodbye to Kevin.
Kevin gave me his signed Barry Smith Conan print that had first drawn me to the shop as a wedding gift.
I still have it today.

My Workspace

Here's where I do all my painting and making etc. A tiny desk in a tiny room. I was standing as far back as I could get to take this photo. This is where I photograph my miniatures too; which might explain why the pictures aren't that good.

here are shots of both sides of my workroom. It measures 7.5ft x 11ft. I keep my scenery in the wooden boxes and my figures in the drawer units. Everyone seems to think I have loads of room; well, I don't

'I will keep dreaming. I will keep dreaming, my friend. And when I wake up, you'd better better hope you're asleep'
-Phoenix Dark
'Sweet Dreams!'