Tuesday 24 December 2019

Hark the herald.................

This trumpeter comes from a set of Winged Hussars, not surprisingly made in Poland, and invariably attributed to the manufacturer PZG.  The figure has been gilded and was originally mounted on a plinth to be sold as an ornament or tourist item.  It's part of a range that I assume was inspired by the Siege of Vienna as it includes a personality figure of King Jan Sobieski, Winged Hussar, Dragoon, Standard Bearer, Kettle Drummer and Trumpeter.

PZG is the Polski Zwiazek Gluchych (Polish Associaton of the Deaf) which ran workshops producing all manner of goods to provide employment for people with hearing disability.  Founded in 1946, the Association is still going strong today and during the Communist era produced various ranges of toy soldiers.  These days collectors tend to label all Polish made plastic figures as PZG, even though very few are actually marked as such, due to the dearth of information on who manufactured them.
The elegantly sculpted horse has damage to a couple of his legs from where he was prised off the original plinth, another project in the queue is to repair, rebase and repaint him, perhaps I'll actually get around to doing it next year.  To get an idea of what he should look like when painted up take a look at Eric's Blog here.

Monday 23 December 2019

King & Country at the toy soldier show

The team from King & Country were over for the recent London show and this rather magnificent new Vietnam diorama was the centrepiece of their stand.  The post WW2 era has never really appealed to me but I know a lot of people collect this stuff and the standard of terrain modelling on K&C dioramas is always inspiring.

I think K&C only attend the December show these days, trawling back through old photos I noticed that I never got around to posting the pics I took of their display last year, I'll remedy that over the next few days.  In the meantime let me wish you a safe and peaceful Christmas.

Saturday 14 December 2019

Wargame at the London Toy Soldier Show

The internet blurb for the December show in London said it would feature a wargame arranged by James Opie and Replica Metal Soldiers & Models so I thought I'd take a look (well I was going there anyway for a Christmas get together with the lads)

The table was laid out for the Battle of Tell el Kebir, a good choice for a display game as it needs very little terrain (important if you're the one transporting the stuff) and the two sides are easily identifiable, Egyptians are in white, Brits are not.  I don't know the purpose of the bits of paper dotted all over the place but this sort of clutter on the table is a pet hate of mine.

Nice to see that I'm not the only person who resorts to mounting toy soldiers on 2p pieces!  Cavalry are mounted on lengths of transparent Perspex which are all but invisible, I was very impressed with the table mat which appeared to be just hand painted cloth but executed so much better than my own efforts.

I was told that the rules being used had been written by James Opie, based on Wells' Little Wars but with some modern twists (no matchstick firing cannon!).  It's nice to see a display wargame returning to the London Show but I do still miss the old Skirmish Wargames Group games.

James Opie was on hand at the nearby stand for C&T Auctions and was joined by Luigi Toiati who was promoting his new book "The History of Toy Soldiers".  Regulars at the London Show in the late 1980's and early 90's will remember the affable Luigi as the man behind Garibaldi Toy Soldiers, I've had his book for a while now but haven't had time to read through it (pictures look nice though) so a review will have to wait a bit longer.

In the meantime James and Luigi were promoting another new book "La dinastia degli Antonini a Roma" which is a privately printed history of three generations of  the Antonini family who have been making toy soldiers in Rome, their FIGIR composition figures are well known but not their lead creations so I've written to Santa for a copy, but as my emails to Rome haven't been acknowledged I'm not confident it will get here by Christmas!