Sunday, 28 August 2022

London Toy Soldier Show March 2022

I went along to the London Toy Soldier Show back in March, but I'm only getting around to putting up the pictures now, It's been that sort of a year! I have to say the event was rather sparse compared to pre-pandemic times but I suppose that's only to be expected as people begin to re-emerge and things slowly get back to the old normal.  Nonetheless I managed pick up a fairly eclectic haul, but first stop was at the game being run by members of the Little Wars Revisited Forum.

Several spectators took part in this demonstration game which saw Fort Pippin take centre stage.

The stylised terrain is really quite charming..... is this rather neat little armoured train!

I bought these from Harry Kemp who just returned with a junk box of plastics from the Nanterre Show in Paris. Top left is a copy of an Elastolin Turk made by Cane of Italy, next two are by JEM of France and the bottom row are by Bonux of France. The four small size figures of WW2 Russian and Japanese infantry were premiums in packets of bubble gum available across the EU in the 1970's under various names such as Dargaud y Tito and Dunkin.

Odds and Ends!  A rather fine Swedish hussar from the Tennfigurer range made by Holger Eriksson, I'll get around to painting him one day (hopefully) the mounted figure in the centre is made of a composition material in post-war Communist Hungary and finally a Britains hollowcast Togoland Warrior in need of some TLC.

I've no idea what these are or who made them, solid white metal and quite chunky, I have them in mind for a Wars of Religion project which has been simmering on the back burner for several decades, the riders will be going on nice sturdy Deetail mounts.

Thursday, 28 April 2022

More of the new display

I've been wondering which figures to display on the extra shelves I added to my IKEA display cabinet, this is what I've come up with so far:

Some Polish Lancers, the officer in the centre made in France by JIM, the troopers around him made in Poland by PZG (the Polish Association of the Deaf), beautiful figures destined to remain in the cabinet and not risk the rigours of the wargame table.

The Corsican Ogre himself, made by Cyrnos, the Mamelouk standard bearer made by JIM as are the Carabinier and Hussars behind them. 

The Duke of Marlborough, mounted by Cherilea and on foot made by Tradition, the Grenadiers in the background are repainted Cavendish figures.

A hotchpotch of American Revolution figures, many converted from old Britains swoppets and Helmet kits parts by Denis Donovan and Gareth Lloyd, who have established an enviable reputation for such work.

Friday, 15 April 2022

Upcycling a display cabinet

 Some years ago I picked up an IKEA display cabinet in a charity shop, and have been very pleased with it.  I got it for a reasonable price, and some time later learned that it is their DETOLF model, which is a "Best Seller" and is still available brand new for a very reasonable £65.  Here's what it looks like:

I use it to house my 7 Years War collection of wargames armies, which are quite attractive figures but the collection has now outgrown the four shelves in the unit.  It can house about 300 foot figures but as you can see the big drawback with this unit is that there's a lot of empty space and for years I've been looking for a suitable method to install additional shelves.  A few weeks ago a friend on facebook gave me the heads up on a firm in Northern Ireland who produce custom made supports and Perspex shelves for this very unit.  So I got some! 

The original shelf for two Regiments of Infantry (BMC AWI), two guns and two companies of Grenadiers (HaT and various conversions).  The new shelf supports are a bit fiddley to attach but after acouple of goes you start to get the hang of it and I managed to add a further eight shelves in the space available.

The new layout with additional shelf, for 2nd Cuirassiers, two more Regiments of Infantry and some light troops.  The figure of Old Fritz on the left is an early tin flat.

The original display of the Cuirassiers was a bit cramped.  The bronze disk in the foreground is dated 1757 and is a Campaign Medal issued for the battles of  Lissa (Leuthen) and Rossbach, I found it in a junk box of old coins 50 years ago when I was a teenager working a Saturday job in London's Portobello Road Market, it seemed appropriate to display it here.

The Austrian shelf (these also double as French but I need to do more flags) Three Regiments of Infantry (HaT Prussian infantry), two companies of Grenadiers (Italieri) a unit of Pandours (various conversions) and two guns (BMC)

On the left are the Russian contingent (BMC AWI) and on the right the Army of Brunswick (Marx infantry and HaT cavalry)

New layout with additional shelves.

And finally a closer look at the Russian Infantry and Artillery.

Saturday, 2 April 2022

Woking Wargames Day 2022

 A couple of weeks back (how time flies) I went along to the Woking Wargames Day organised by Mike Lewis of the Little Wars Revisited Group, there were four games in play throughout the day and here is what they looked like:

Mike Lewis put on the Battle of Quatre Bras using Neil Thomas' Napoleonic rules.

The Prussians take the crossroads..........

................and hold it to win the game.

Anthony Morton brought along his Romans and Ancient Germans, as seen on this blog recently.

We didn't use these German cavalry last time we played so I was very pleased to get this shot of them.

Pat (sorry didn't get your last name) treated us to his Anglo-Normans game using the Lion Rampant rules, which seem to be universally popular with 54mm wargamers.

The figures used are 54mm metal castings from Irregular Miniatures.

Nice to see all the different shield designs.

The fourth game of the day was Eric Kemp's Italian Revolution skirmish using Eric's own simple fast play rules.

All the figures were conversions made from just about every American Civil War range you can think of.

Garibaldi's Red Shirts get to grips with Papal Zouaves, Eric's conversions are always a joy to behold.

The home made rules were very easy to assimilate and gave a realistic outcome despite Eric's legendary ability to throw a 1.

I can't remember which Regiment these chaps represent but they were a welcome addition to the Papal forces.

That's all for another year folk's, I missed the last two and am already looking for ward to the next one.

Thursday, 10 February 2022

Early Hussars by Manzsoldaten

This rather nice pair of Hussars were made in Germany circa 1910/20 by Manzsoldaten, one of the minor makers of composition toy soldiers, and one of my all time favourites.  I particularly like the style of the horse' heads although the leggy stride of that foreleg is a bit off-putting.

Early Manzsoldaten figures don't carry a makers mark but are characterised by being semi flat, which is unusual for composition figures, and have this distinctive oval base.  Earlier German composition figures from this period tended to be quite large, typically 10cm, before settling down to 6.5cm and 7cm in the 1920s and 30s but these are unusual in that the riders are roughly 54mm, not looking bad for a pair of centenarians.