Some time ago I thought it would be a good idea to start a Jacobite collection, I gathered together what figures I had to hand and started painting but somewhere along the line the project just ran out of steam. Since then they've been sitting in a display case amongst my other C18th armies, until last week when the need to free up space meant they had to find a new home. while they were out I thought I'd take a few pics, and here they are:
Saturday 7 November 2020
Monday 26 October 2020
A few weeks ago we decided to hold an impromptu socially distanced game before the Powers that Be extended the lockdown to prohibit meetings of more than one household again. These are strange times. The 2 metre wide table and a few other simple measures ensured that proper social distancing was observed, it's not difficult when there's a will and common sense prevails.
Scenario One, Pitched Battle, was selected from OHW and toys suitable to the Crimean War were quickly garnered together. The scenario called for a minimal terrain, the British drew units of infantry, skirmishers and cavalry while the Russians were favoured with infantry, cavalry and artillery! Here's how it went:
Friday 23 October 2020
Has anyone noticed how some of the blog links listed in the column on the right show pictures while others don't? Before the recent update the links would all have shown the first picture from every post (except those hosted by Wordpress). It's not unique to this blog it seems to be affecting all the blogs I follow, I'm sure it must be something to do with settings but does anyone know what we need to do to get all the pictures back?
Tuesday 6 October 2020
A recent ebay extravagance, they're not the sort of thing I collect really, and they all have some damage but then again they are nice early toy soldiers made by the classic French manufacturer CBG Mignot (Cuperly, Blondel and Gerbeau). I don't know what I'm going to do with them but for 99p my trigger finger was itching uncontrollably, and it would be unforgiveable not to give a good home to these strays.
|Ancient Gauls made by CGB Mignot|
Solid metal and 54mm tall, the first two may have held spears, which would be easy enough to repair with a spot of solder although, of course, I'm never likely to find original Mignot parts. The first figure shows the sword, cast separately and soldered to the body. The middle one is posed to give a clear view of the shield, which is made of thin pressed tin, this design was used for the Ancient as well as Middle Eastern ranges where they came brightly painted, as opposed to being left in the flat metal as here.
Saturday 26 September 2020
But I'm sure they will be when they eventually get onto the table for a game!
For some time now I've been building up a generic Chinese army, I'm not sure why and I can't remember how it started, perhaps I just like the colours. And the flags, the flags are great. Anyway, there is no grand plan, I just bang out another unit every now and then when an idea comes to me, it's quite therapeutic, doing something different. Here's what I've got so far:
Tuesday 15 September 2020
Wednesday 26 August 2020
Over on facebook someone on the "Friends who like Plastic Warrior" group was asking about the plastic figures made by John Niblett & Co (Modelmakers) Ltd that used to be on sale at the Tower of London. I have a couple of them so I put a picture up on the group, they're such nice models I thought I'd post it up here too.
Robert the Bruce is based on the 1964 statue at Bannockburn by Charles Pilkington Jackson, the rider is a little over 54mm and I think it was originally sold with an unpainted gilt finish. I bought this back in the 1980's as part of a collection, sold at Phillips Auctioneers, which had belonged to a chap who'd been a serious student of heraldry. His collection had been broken up into several lots, most of which were high end metal models, but there was also a big box of plastic odds and ends that nobody was interested in, so I went for it. The box contained lots of conversions which he'd made himself, based on historical figures and all painted in the correct livery, so I'm guessing that he painted up this model of the Bruce. Helpfully he put a little hand written sticker on the bottom of each base to say who the model was of.
The second model is the suit of armour of King Henry VIII which I seem to recall had been on display at the Tower, it stands about 80mm high and is missing a pikestaff but otherwise is in original condition. I know there was at least one more model in the series, a mounted knight in Gothic armour but there may have been more, anyone know of any others? John Niblett is of course best known for his work on the 1:72nd scale figures for Airfix but he worked on a freelance basis for several manufacturers as well as producing these and his own range of very fine wargame figures.
As mentioned above, I have recently joined facebook, which is a sure omen that it will shortly collapse, if my past history for joining such groups is anything to go by! In the meantime I'm enjoying touching base with many old names from the collecting world who don't necessarily bother to follow the blogging world. My only beef with FB is that the photos don't blow up very large and I'm very much a pictures person, also you have to trawl through reams of stuff if you ever want to refer back to them. For these reasons I will probably post pictures here and on FB, I hope that won't become too annoying?
Friday 21 August 2020
In the past few weeks these three magazines have arrived through the post, here are some more details:
Glasenapp's volunteer hussars at the Battle of Rotha 1762,
Cinderella in tin and lead,
Vignettes for the Death of General von Craushaar 1870,
the search of Jager Tromm - Prussian Jagers in tin and lead,
Civilian figure sets by Spenkuch,
Prussian Staff before Paris 1870 by Haselbach/Rieche,
British observation balloons in the Boer War,
the Stewart Collection of toy soldiers at the Frazier History Museum in Kentucky
So all in all a lot of very varied articles to get through.
Subscription details for all these magazines are on their websites so just give them a quick Google rather than have me bore you with the same old information time after time.
Wednesday 22 July 2020
Now this is a bit of archive footage I haven't seen before, it's an early meeting of the British Model Soldier Society. Among the luminaries I spotted Otto Gottstein (in the opening shot, sitting at the far end of the table smoking a cigarette, next to a chap with a pipe) he was President of the Society at the time and a great patron of the hobby. Also I think I see a young Deryck Guyler (at about 22 seconds in) who was a keen member of the BMSS before going on to be one of the founding members of the Society of Ancients. The clip includes a rather nice selection of model knights produced by Richard Courtenay.
Model Soldiers 1953
I have Detlef Heerbrand to thank for finding this clip and posting it on facebook (which I finally got around to joining this month - a sure sign that it's days are numbered). It features Bill Carman who was Vice Chaiman of the BMSS at the time and was one of the first to manufacture model soldiers for the collector. His figures are a bit basic by modern standards but I've always been a big fan of them so I was particularly pleased when this surfaced.
Archive footage shot inside the Britains factory showing the hand casting of hollowcast figures, through to cleaning the castings, painting and packing them.
This piece of footage has been doing the rounds for a while but given that it's dated 1965 it's interesting that the commentary points out the hollow cast figures shown are made strictly for adults as collectors items. Britains ceased hollow casting in 1966, the story that this was because of lead paint and child safety fears is an urban myth, the truth is they just weren't selling enough. The second half of the film shows an injection moulding machine being loaded up with plastic pellets and states that production of plastics was in full swing for the juvenile toy market.
Model Soldier sale 1968
This newsreel covered the very first specialist auction of Toy Soldiers (in fact the first specialist auction of any toys), held by Knight, Frank and Rutley who were founded in 1896 as Valuers, Surveyors and Auctioneers, they are a well known Estate Agents (Realtors). I didn't recognise any of the faces amongst the crowd here but the toy soldiers needed no introduction.
Friday 10 July 2020
Friday 3 July 2020
Thursday 11 June 2020
If figures like these float your boat you can see lots more on the French 1/32 Plastic Toy Soldier Forum, there is a link to it in the header bar of this blog. You have to register to join and the text is mostly in French but there are lots of pictures and it is by far and away the best resource on the internet for all types of old toy soldiers.
Monday 8 June 2020
At the time of writing, the London Toy Soldier Show on 27th June has just been cancelled, so we keep our fingers crossed for the next one on 5th December. The Herne Show run by Peter Bergner is scheduled for 5th July, Germany seems to be opening up slightly ahead of the rest of Europe. The old Birmingham show, known as the Midlands Toy Soldier Show is moving to a new location in Stoke on Trent on 27th September. Our local car boot fair is due to reopen next Sunday, so if nothing else I can look forward to a long early morning walk around a field in the countryside with a bacon sandwich and a cup of tea at the end of it.