Friday, 7 May 2021

Austin-Putilov made in Russia

 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.

You can just about make out the makers mark on the right.  If you want to buy it you'll find him on which is a kind of Russian ebay current bidding is just over £106 good hunting.

Wednesday, 10 March 2021

Beautiful Big Battleships

 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.

In this pic you can just see the stern of another battleship.

Just to add to the confusion, I think this may be a photo of the second battleship mentioned above.

Yes, definitely a second ship, again with four smoke stacks but I think this one was a bit shorter.

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

Toy Soldier documentary

 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!

 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.

Saturday, 7 November 2020

Highlanders, Cherilea and Replicants toy soldiers

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:

There's not a lot to be said about them, they're a mix of Cherilea and Replicants Highlanders, nothing unusual and no conversions, just simple basing. 

The Cherilea chaps are a good bit bigger than Replicants something like 60mm versus 54mm to even things up I put the former on thin steel washers and the latter on poker chips which have the same diameter but are nice and thick to give the replicants a bit more height.

I painted them wearing the Macdonald of Clanranald tartan, or at least my interpretation of it!  I had some trepidation about painting the tartan but sticking to toy soldier style it was quite easy and overall they were quite fun to paint.

The background buildings are odds and ends of ceramic tea light candle holders and such ornaments picked up cheap at car boot sales, they're not to scale but work well enough.

I think some of the poses could be used for other periods and scenarios, perhaps late medieval towards renaissance?

I do like that red lion standard, it adds quite a splash of colour to the line up.

I'm not sure I'll ever get the momentum back for this project, it was fun but there are too many other projects vying for my time.  I'd like to be more focused and methodical in my approach to collecting toy soldiers, but lets face it the time for that is long passed!