I don't, and I'm sure I would have done. It was a sticker album full of pictures of famous battles with blank spaces where you inserted the the numbered stickers to complete the image. It was published by Cox international of Antwerp and the text is in French, German, English, Italian and Dutch, there's nothing to indicate the date of publication but it does appear to have been distributed in the UK.
Sunday 22 August 2021
Tuesday 17 August 2021
From the same stable as the Battle of the Little Big Horn game that Anthony and I played back in June comes this Punic Wars game based on the Battle of Metaurus. Originally designed and published in Spain by Rojas y Malaret, as part of a series of games called "Great Battles of the World" then subsequently produced under licence in Germany by O.M.Hausser.
Thursday 29 July 2021
Wednesday 30 June 2021
The latest edition to my bookshelf, building dioramas has always been a prominent feature of the toy soldier collecting scene in Germany and this book illustrates 100 of the best from museum exhibits to examples in private collections. 30mm flat tin figures predominate, as you might expect, but there are plenty that include modern solid figures from 54mm down to 20mm.
The architectural and landscape features are often the most impressive elements in the displays but what they all have in common is that they are exquisitely executed. The dioramas are organised in chronological order of historical period depicted from prehistoric times to WW2.
The subject won't appeal to everyone but if your eye is pleased by pretty pictures of miniature figures then it probably will.
Saturday 26 June 2021
Anyone who was a schoolboy in the 1960's will remember the Waddingtons board game of the Battle of the Little Big Horn, it came with some rather nice 40mm figures of General Custer, his 7th Cavalry and the opposing Sioux and Cheyenne Indians. Well sometime last year Anthony had the original board copied onto a 6'x4' mat for use with 54mm toy soldiers but the ensuing pandemic has prevented us playing it, until today, which by the purest of coincidence happens to be the 145th anniversary of the actual battle.
Friday 18 June 2021
Two more examples from PZG (Polski Zwiazek Gluchich), they need no introduction, just beautiful figures.
Monday 14 June 2021
A recent acquisition, and one I've been after for a long time, is this figure of King Richard the Lionheart as a crusader, made by Cherilea. It's made in hollowcast lead and has been repainted, but quite sympathetically, so I can live with that, what a shame they never made him in plastic.
Saturday 12 June 2021
The French take their coffee and their art very seriously, if you have ever doubted this just take a look at the handbills below. In the 1950's, Mokarex along with several other French coffee manufacturers gave away unpainted plastic model figures as advertising premiums with packets of their coffee. Collecting the figures and painting them became a national pastime, to such an extent that Mokarex sponsored a painting competition for their figures:
Wednesday 9 June 2021
For those who might not have come across them before PZG is the Polski Zwiazek Gluchych (Polish Association of the Deaf) and during the Communist regime they used to run employment schemes, one of which was producing toy soldiers. And extremely good toy soldiers at that, I always pick them up whenever I come across them and I've never been too fussy about condition, these three were long overdue for a bit of attention.
Sunday 6 June 2021
Or at least my interpretation of them, I'm not sure they'd score many marks for accuracy but then they are just toys for playing 54mm wargames. Mostly converted from Britains Deetail knights, except for the rearing figure in the middle which started life as a chess piece from a Harry Potter partwork! The shield designs tie them all together as being part of the same unit, maybe one day I'll get around to doing the French opposition?
You'd think that one set of figures, which are mostly all silver would take no time at all to paint? Not so, these have taken an eon, not that they're difficult but just down to a lack of enthusiasm, it's been a lost year, many, many projects started, hardly any finished.
In the absence of any games to report I may just start posting up random pictures of toy soldiers, these chaps have already featured on Facebook so apologies if you're fed up with seeing them!
Friday 7 May 2021
Austin-Putilov armoured car made by MKI the Moscow Toy Plant, it's plastic and looks like the chassis and turrets have been produced in blow moulds. Collector Aleksey Dmitriyev in Russia tells me that it was made in the 1970's or 80s, it feels much earlier to me but there you go, I know virtually nothing about Russian toys, except that I like them! I found these pics while idly searching the net (as you do) and fell in love with it, so I thought I'd share it.
Wednesday 10 March 2021
I recently unearthed these photos I took a few years back of a rather fine model battleship, it was in the window of a high end antiques gallery just outside Hastings in East Sussex, the place was shut and I wouldn't be able to get back there later so I had to take the pics as best I could through the glass. The model was about eight feet long (from memory) and I thought it was amazing, but I know nothing else about it. Does anyone recognise the ship? the four smoke stacks might give a clue, could it have been a shipbuilders model or a film prop? I have no idea but I thought, if I like it, then maybe someone else will too, and I think it's too good an image to leave forgotten on an old memory card. Double click the pics to see the detail, it's taken a lot of punishment over the years but not beyond restoration I think.
When I look at the damage strewn across the decks of these old models it makes me ponder on the carnage left in the aftermath of a sea battle between such steel leviathans.
Sunday 14 February 2021
Came across this on YouTube (as you do) and thought it was worth sharing, it's some kind of Science Channel documentary and I think it's Russian made, but it's about Toy Soldiers A word of warning it's over 26 minutes long, so not for the faint hearted, I don't have the attention span any more so had to dip in and out of it, but there is a lot of good stuff in there if you're prepared to persevere. Now get a coffee and a bun then settle down to enjoy.
Sunday 7 February 2021
Three of my all time favourite figures, two versions of Kiplings "Gentleman in Kharki" and "The Handy Man". The outer figures are hollow Ivorine plastic, made in 1900, in the centre is the hollowcast lead version made by Fry around 1920, the rifle barrel has been repaired and looks a bit long but it works well enough, I'm struggling over the decision to repaint him or not.