Here is a film about Charles Creed, a Napoleonic soldier enthusiast from 1955. His painting table is as messy as mine! I love his painting coveralls as well. Here is the link: http://www.britishpathe.com/video/charles-creed-aka-military-uniforms-aka-model-sold.
Here is video of the British Army (1936) playing wargames as a training exercise. The figures are moved by magnets underneath the table. That might be a way to make your children useful in your wargames. Here’s the link: http://www.britishpathe.com/video/model-battlefield.
Here they seem to be playing the Battle of Stonehenge!
And here’s the soldiers with the magnets under the table:
Here Jim Trice hand carves his own figures in 1956. Note that his wife brings him a cup of tea and then shows off his figures to her friend. I don’t think my wife has ever done that, but then my wife didn’t look 50 when she was in her 20s. The link is: http://www.britishpathe.com/video/hand-carved-soldiers/query/models.
Here’s another great video of the (British) Model Soldiers Club. Most interesting to me is that the film is from 1939, which highlights that some basic wargaming was popular before World War Two. Here’s the video: http://www.britishpathe.com/video/model-soldiers-club/query/models. Note the suits, the drinks, and some guy’s wife who has been convinced to come to the show!