And in the End…

NEW OLD TOY SOLDIER 54mm REPLICAMETAL MODEL SOLDIERS ANDREW

The games you play are equal to the games you make…

I could not resist it, saying farewell and knowing when to quit is very difficult. I am waiting for my last parcels from Mersey Wargames, Keep Wargaming and Reveille. In the meantime I have painted a “new old toy soldier”… a 54mm (ReplicaMetalSoldiers Andrew) a mounted Inspector General of the NWMP in a dark blue patrol jacket just because a childhood memory -they are the best (childhood memories not the NWMP)- I was very young when I got a box of mounties (I already had a lot of them) but in that one proudly in front of the lot there he was… a mountie with a dark blue tunic -and yellow gauntlets!- of course it was the commander of the unit!… I always had a crush for that figure (and of course never found one alike)… so in the end I decided to make my own and quite satisfied I am going full circle. Of course the original one was lost forever, but I have still 3 mounties over 65 years old see pic.

Hereby you can see one of them, top center mounted. The chap on the bike is also from that period (early fifties),

I am going to update this post with pics and slowly edit the rest, meaning that I think there is always room for improvement.

Slightly smaller than DUCAL but exactly as BRITAINS or DORSET SOLDIERS.
The DUCAL RCMP set (waiting for its new commander….)
There he is on its proper place before saluting the flag of the parading mounties.

One last thing, I reviewed in amazon.co.uk the book “The History of Toy Soldiers” not that it matters a lot, but what a lavish book!… I did found info in subjects that does not interest me at all but were a pleasure to know. I will leave you with it. Oh! in fact four stars was the final qualification for the “holes” in it, its a book that starts thoroughly and than has a rushed end… I would not have collected or bought more than 50% of what it is showed in it… paper soldiers?… flats?… nutcrackers? No Playmobil or Lego and no mention of Baccus minis either which is a heavy mistake!… No silver soldiers as per Regimental mess pieces as in Mappin&Webb, and no china (porcelain) big soldiers (I have one)… and still recommended somehow… to learn from where we are coming from. I absolutely recommend, as James Opie works, Stuart Asquith and the rest which in my opinion are more concrete and well structured if a bit “insular”. A missed opportunity in more than a certain way, but worth having.

It was a pleasure comparting posts here… and sure I will post more pics!… and edit existing posts but that’s all. To elaborate would be just copy paste of what I said in my book “My Toy Soldiers and Me” so just peruse sometimes to see editions to come (of the posts of the blog not my book!).

Playmobil “mounties”… customized… and of course the dark blue patrol tunic is there too! Not very good light on that pic. See OSPREY MAA.

I was actually a bit nonplussed by the book The History of Toy Soldiers, an excellent coffee table book and lavish edition to be sure… but with so many blatant omissions in my opinion… the concept of “Toy Soldier” is for me much more ample and inclusive!… and I really disagree with the author about the Terra cotta Chinese Army dig out from the Big Wallah back garden!… they are simply 1/1 scale and that’s that.

Editing this blog would be much more interesting that writing new entries, just yesterday I got one half of my last REVEILLE Leven buildings (Daniel Hodgson is the chap you need for your scenery!), vaguely colonial they would be pressed into service at the battle of Maiwand, NWF and North of Africa indistinctly.

Renaming and ordering the Posts of the Blog by subjects and categories nowadays.

Original pic of my DUCAL mounties in the garden (Pal in ANDORRA) not Canada at all I am afraid.

Summing up, my interests on “toy soldiers” are wide and large. I do not restrict my activities to a single field or even scale, neither period. No original at all, as you can imagine there is nothing more conservative than the Household Division to collect in 54mm, and the rest of my 54’s are in three main themes: French Foreign Legion (with some Chasseurs d’Afrique); Tel el Kebir/Rorke’s Drift aka Brits colonials before khaki; and last but not least NWMP/RCMP. As you can see in Collecting I the minis collected in 54mm have been subject to buy/sell, Scot Grey’s cometh and goeth, same with US Cavalry in gala uniform, Denmark Royal Guard, Mossos d’Esquadra (Catalan Police) and other mat finish Spanish miniatures which included US Marines USMC but also British Rotal Marines and Spain’s Division Azul, as I said before only two of the eleven shelves were kept… that is Collecting for me, something alive but with periods of lethargy. Not Original at all I am afraid but a rewarding pastime.

I dedicated a chapter of my book to Collecting (my own experience mind) but the book you need is the one by James Opie: Collecting Toy Soldiers. He has written many excellent books about Britain’s but THIS ONE is the best of all his production IMHO.

Cheers.

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ACW (VIII)

I said it and here it is, in ACW (III) I told you about them (lets copy paste):

“It has not rested a lot!… just today I ordered more Infantry from Mersey Wargames for 1st Bull Run/1st Manassas. Brigades with colours inverted … blue one’s with Reb Colours and grey one’s with Union Colours… to add to the confusion of the first battle!… Have to write a Post about Disorders or Megalomania too!… thought I was cured!…”

Well, here they are after the POSCA treatment, Greg provided them with dark blue kepis and grey kepis, so far so good. But after reflecting a bit and perusing the HEIMDAL book I decided to change the colors of the headgear because there were units like that -obscure militia maybe but they existed- So that gave me a sort of “twin” units or “mirror” stands, now I have Blue clad Confederates with red kepis and sky blue kepis, and Grey clad Union stands with red kepis and sky blue kepis… as you can see in the pic. I thought that this permitted more flexibility and the stands are going to be used not only in First Bull Run (First Manassas) but also later on in the big battles of 1862 and even 1863… after all the flags are all important in 6mm scale.

One of the books to have about uniforms… in fact it aglutinates the two previous volumes by the same authors.

Excellent information and computer generated images. I think that the two ancient volumes by Histoire&Collections had English text editions. Not sure about the HEIMDAL book though -probably in the offing- The out of print H&C are very pricey lately.

BTW I need REVEILLE to do some entrenchments for 1864 (not my favourite wargaming year I guess… but interesting nevertheless).

Lets compare with the pic of arrival of the parcel:

There in the background you can see the original painting scheme, plain blue and grey kepis!

There you can see how easy it is to “customize” a bit, and it is really fast I assure you.

As you can notice from this series of ACW I have increased the number of “Brigades” and currently waiting for Greg to finish (if he has started them) the special stands I “designed” to add variety on the Tabletop.

That would do for today.

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XIXth Corps d’Afrique

The final shape of the Spahis (thanks again to Igor!)

I did start with two Regiments of the French Foreign Legion -how not- afterwards come a Regiment of Chasseurs d’Afrique (Cavalry)… but was at a loss on how to get the Spahis until Igor suggested an obscure pack of WWI Irregular Arab Cavalry!… well, I ordered, organized and modified a bit!, sent to the painters (MERSEY WARGAMES aka Greg), and at the same time asked for Zouaves (European troops) and Turcos (Native troops).

The parcel arrived today. See pic. -There are also some ACW stands that would be the subject of another post).

I did remake the officers of Spahis with POSKA markers -they deliver paint- and added white lines to the burnous and a black line on the headgear. Not much to do with Turcos and Zouaves… slight retouching and adding flags.

I guess the pics are quite self explanatory. There are some special measure stands for skirmishers, rallying squares for both Turcos and Zouaves… and the rest are ACW.

Contents of Parcel on arrival.
Units finished with French Flags (Napoleonic of course).

Thought it would be interesting for other colonial wargamers of the late XIXth Century in North Africa. In other posts I have showed the FFL and the Chasseurs d’Afrique. See below.

The rest of the French Colonial force.

That concludes my French Colonial Army.

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Collecting Toy Soldiers II

My most recent purchase. ReplicaMetalSoldiersAndrew 54mm Chasseurs d’Afrique.

Not that it is very easy this days to find what you need or want, so the core of this post is just to praise the excellent comms and service provided by Replica Metal Soldiers Andrew.

Here they are its proper place with its officer and in reserve. Changed the colors of some pom-poms.

He is a one man band and has a full daytime job and of course a family… so do not expect him to be FAST! (not shouting it is just emphasis)… but oh boy!… well worth the wait.

For those asking themselves about the officer I already had that one. They mix very well with the scale of Britain’s (of course) and particularly ok with Dorset Soldiers which since Giles sold and retired has not very good communications, I tried to buy from them and only got sorry excuses until I dropped the matter. Hope they got their bearings afresh.

This is a part of my hobby I do not indulge a lot anymore due to lack of space in the cabinets… but I manage to squeeze in something now and then.

Got 6mm Baccus Chasseurs d’Afrique and Spahis -thanks to Igor who suggested the proxies for the later- still searching for 4 toy soldiers in 54mm Spahis to complete my set.

That finish my Collection! (If I did not know better…) But at least it is an actualized pic, compare if a fan of 54mm those in Collecting I and Collecting II posts).


The final Collection of The Household Division in 54mm + some extras.

The five foot Regiments Top to bottom: Grenadiers, Coldstreamers, Scots, Irish and Welsh Guardsmen.
Door closed.
The other cabinet. Also closed and ended…

ACW (VII) Afterthought

Some Rebs.

Read that as a complement of ACW (VI), here is the rest of the order and a comment by dourpouritan that I sent to the painters considering it quite to the point. Hope dourpuritan does not mind. A great thing the Baccus Forum!

B.- Confederate Infantry stands:

B1.-     Number one on the diagrams, 20 minis glued as shown, meaning as together (centred) as on a typical stand of 28 minis such POLEMOS. But right flank refused as in A5. Mixed lot. Use different colours for hats.

B2.-     Same as above but left flank refused.

B3.-     12 minis + Mounted officer.. All “straw coloured” hats. Centred in stand. Flanks unprotected.

B4.-     Stand with two small Brigades. 24 minis + Mounted Officer. First rank of the rear Bgde.  and Second rank of forward Bgde.  can be aligned. Quite as A6.

B5.-     Same as B4 minus mounted officer. When aligned like this they have to match B4 and B6 position glued as to look a “LINE”. In fact it would look as an standard POLEMOS stand with two sets of colours, no skirmishers and pushed forward.

B6.-     Same as B4 but symmetrical, see diagram. 

TOTAL of 124 infantry minis and 3 mounted officers. (Include 9 command strips).

For the Infantry stands you will need 14 units of 60x30mm bases NOT INCLUDED.

ACW Cavalry Stands:

Colour of horses predominantly Dark and Red Bays, some Black. All buglers on white horses. Mix a bit.

C1.-     60x30mm stand with 9 minis (UNION) wading a river as mentioned in previous emails:

The idea is to have in a 60×30 Baccus standard base of 9 figures unit in column wading a river… IN LONGITUDINAL WAY DIRECTION FRONT OF 30mm … that means: To cut the bases of the first three (command) and the last two troopers, and the whole legs of the horses (4) in the middle of the base, glue them like that in a more or less “disordered way” but still in column… and paint the base sky blue… as WATER.

C2.-     Same as above but Confederate. (No butternut)

C3.-     A typical Cavalry Brigade of 9 minis (UNION) as per POLEMOS… but in arrow formation as seen in the Forum in Baccus webpage. Officer forward and troopers on each side a bit behind each time, so that the extremes are the more back figures. Quite straightforward.

C4.-     Same as above. Confederate. (No butternut)

Now, what to do with the remaining mounted minis?. NO officer’s left but still guidons (standard-bearers) and buglers.

Please use 30×30 stands on the rest, groups of 4 minis, 2 in front 2 behind as you have done for me repeatedly.

C5.-     4 Union stands, guidon on front rank (right side), bugler front rank (left side). Two troopers behind. Please mix hats and kepis.

C6.-     2 Confederate Stands same as above. (No butternut)

C7.-     4 Union stands with 4 troopers mixed headgear.

C8.-     2 Confederate Stands with 4 troopers as C7. (No Butternut).

i subsequently attached the following to my order because I am a bit tired of Confederates looking like Boers.

As many modern US articles now make apparent, many existing grey uniforms have been affected by light over the years and have faded to a pale brownish colour. This gave the impression that the majority of ordinary soldiers wore butternut coloured uniforms, which is not the case. Secondly, butternut uniforms were produced but mostly in the early part of the war. This was because the Confederate commissary had not got up to full steam and requested that soldiers’ families provide them with uniforms  where the state did not have enough to go round. The rural population used readily available cheap butternut dye to colour these uniforms. By 1863 the state and Confederate suppliers were much better organised with several main supply depots across the Confederacy plus more imported uniforms getting through the blockade. Nevetheless, there was no standard grey colour – the tone varying from almost white to dark bluish grey depending on which depot had produced the uniform. Many of the imported uniform items were of the bluish grey variety (which led to friendly fire incidents). Similarly the regulation light blue trousers were rather uncommon. Many were infact captured Union trousers, and these were eventually ordered to be redyed or bleached before wearing, again owing to friendly fire incidents. This is not to say that home made uniforms and butternut disappeared entirely. Rather they became less common as the war progressed (contrary to the oft pedalled myth that the Confederate army of 1864/5 was just a bunch of ragamuffins). dourpuritan comment posted in Baccus Forum.

Guess that makes ACW (VI) and (VII) more comprehensive.

ACW (VI) Special Stands

Had to find stands to fit the width of the Leven Bridge.

Today I am offering you some special stands and a painting instructions list for my next ACW troops (also “special stands” because of the gluing on of the minis because they are all 60x30mm standard Baccus stands). Compare with the pic of usual POLEMOS stands. I did found ludicrous to put POLEMOS stands over a Leven Bridge -and for that matter I do not like to put troops over woods either (a la Little Wars)- well, that means that you simply need more trees to “make room” when needed. Hope you find useful.

Hereby find the instructions and diagrams -scanners attached- for the painting of the ACW Infantry and Cavalry.

1.- Union troops are absolutely REGULAR in dress, blankets Black tarpaulin (Impermeable gear). Only one Regiment of coloured troops (NEGROES) with white officers. Hats always black.

2.- Confederates mainly butternut and dark brown blankets. I appreciate if bits of grey showing be that kepis, jackets or pants in 50% of the  minis.

NOTE: These typed instructions have pre-eminence over the diagrams, in case of conflict between the two follow the present text. Of course, clarifications can be provided.

As you know these stands have NO skirmishers, have the standard double line (pushed forward because NO skirmishers) always central command strip with flags in the centre in the first rank -officer to one side, drummer at the other- with independence of the gluing of the minis on the stand which is the purpose of this present order: ADD VARIETY TO THE ASPECT OF THE STANDS. All minis are facing forwards, even when refused flanks or catching up… no minis running away. Remember NO NEED TO GLUE FLAGS ON THEM, just paint the guidons on the cavalry.

Diagrams to make myself understood by a painter of minis more than a thousand miles away! -Greg is REALLY helpful-

A.- Union Infantry stands:

A1.-    Number one on the diagrams, 20 minis glued as shown with margin at the sides, meaning as together (centred) as on a typical stand of 28 minis such POLEMOS.

There are two minis “catching up” at the rear, not much distanced, one and two base width is OK (on the diagram looks much distorted). All kepi with blanket.

A2.-    Same as above but a mix of kepi and hats. 4 minis in the rear rank “catching up”. Always same criteria as on A1.

A3.-    24 minis + Mounted Officer at the front (from the Cavalry packs), It is a standard POLEMOS stand with the addition of the Mounted officer instead of skirmishers and 3 minis catching up in the rear rank. Minis glued more forward to permit that.

A4.-    12 minis. All black hats. Centred in stand. Flanks unprotected.

A5.-    20 minis. Right flank refused. Same as above.

A6.-    Stand with two small Brigades. 24 minis + Mounted Officer. First rank of the rear Bgde.  and Second rank of forward Bgde.  can be aligned.

A7.-    Same as A5. But the other flank refused. (Left). 20 minis.

A8.-    Put as many kepis as possible in that one… at least 50%. Very similar to A1 but those are Coloured troops with white officers. Two minis “catching up”.

Another view. In 6mm rivers do look like rivers I guess.
Usual POLEMOS-Altar of Freedom -or any rules- Stands.

ACW (V)

Some stands customized by flags… some Baccus… some my own reductions… I started experimenting with those so to use the stands of plain troopers both for the ACW and the Plains Indian Wars… while waiting for Peter to do those…

August is a very boring month… but after reflecting a bit it is also a time when new ideas creep into your mind and influence your projects.

I have done a Gettysburg bathtubing of my already painted ACW units with the result -predictable- that in fact I do not need much more at all to refight at a ratio one mini/100 man. Then I started considering the aesthetics of the thing, and some questions immediately become evident. Of course all come from reading about it (The ACW) say for example:

1) How do you represent the feat of the First Minnesota?, it was a single Regiment NOT a Brigade who charged by orders ALONE! into a Confederate Brigade who was superior in numbers and also outflanked them on both sides… HOW DO YOU DO IT?… Don Troiani’s paintings as an inspiration… but not exclusively that. I am not shouting excuse the emphasis.

2) At the end of the ACW there were Rebel Brigades reduced so much that in fact had the strength of a Regiment…

Well, all of that has put me in gear to do some special stands, the theory is completed, once Baccus admits new orders and Paypal works again -my fault I admit- I am going to build new stands in the following manner:

  1. Using the standard 60x30mm Baccus stand I will represent units understrength, meaning NOT the usual two ranks of 12 minis and 4 skirmishers in front. Got enough of those!
  2. I will also represent isolated units with flanks unprotected -aka 1st Minnesota at Gettysburg- Using fewer minis in the center of the stand with no skirmishers and still two ranks.
  3. In the same stand I will put side by side two units with their colours but much reduced -Confederates- to represent late war status.
  4. Last but not least that induced other supporting ideas… why not push forward both lines and eliminate skirmishers from the picture making some minis in the rear rank a bit not aligned -that represents stragglers or tired soldiers trying to catch up- a new stand to give variety to the tabletop- and what about mounted officers of the Brigade?… THE MEN MUST SEE US TODAY!… just another variation… and so on… (still not shouting).
  5. And in my final order I included Brigades with flank refused, as in Little Round Top extreme of the line.

I did the drawings and schemes and post them to Greg at MERSEY WARGAMES PAINTING SERVICE, those “new stands” will gave my own rules more scope for variety.

I am probably not the first to realize the flexibility of the system that enables a more liberal composition of the minis glued to the base -I am not claiming originality at all- but I guessed it would be a good idea to post my thoughts about them.

Greg is going to do some stands with Cavalry wading a river too! meaning a column and minis cut from the bases in front and rear and no legs for the horses in the middle of the unit… sky blue river stand!… ideal for raiding! -and for both sides of course- plenty of rivers to Ford (pun intended).

ACW (IV)

Ride on you Wolverines!

Not much to add to the previous posts but I thought it was worth to add a Bibliography and Filmography to the period. You see, yesterday night I was able to finish reading the mammoth account by Shelby Foote THE CIVIL WAR in three volumes… if I had to write an amazon review of it I will be compelled -obliged- to give it five stars, the amount of information is so great that makes for a dense lecture. In fact it took me 25 years to end reading the trilogy -why the five stars? I can hear you say- first and foremost it is a deadly serious book which starts slowly and ends even more slowly!… I would be glad to find an Editor to give me such leeway!. Comprehensive, detailed, somehow the Southern perspective but to be fair it is well balanced, and a big plus explaining the political side of the war -that I would have edited out heavily as some biographical aspects of the life of Abraham Lincoln and Jefferson Davis did not appeal to me- as it is a tour de force and I wish I could write something like that myself… Those are minor comments -not even criticisms- because reflecting on it you really see the war as a whole. And that’s that.

After reading a lot of books in the 25 years lapse, many about the ACW too!, I would say it is for real hardcore fans of the period. For Wargaming or Collecting minis of the period it is unnecessary and some of you undoubtedly will find tedious reading. But it would be first on any Bibliography.

My first Video game…

ACW Filmography: GONE WITH THE WIND, THE HORSE SOLDIERS, GODS AND GENERALS, GETTYSBURG, THE RED BADGE OF COURAGE, THEY DIED WITH THEIR BOOTS ON, GLORY, MAJOR DUNDEE, SHENANDOAH, THE FIELD OF LOST SHOES, CLASS OF 61, RIDE WITH THE DEVIL and THE GOOD, THE BAD and THE UGLY… to name but a dozen… real fans should also see THE BIRTH OF A NATION and THE GENERAL (Buster Keaton) both silent movies.

ACW Bibliography: THE CIVIL WAR (Shelby Foote), THE CIVIL WAR (Bruce CATTON’S trilogy), CLASHES OF CAVALRY (Thom Hatch), BATTLE TACTICS OF THE CIVIL WAR (Paddy Griffith), BATTLE IN THE CIVIL WAR: GENERALSHIP AND TACTICS IN AMERICA 1861-65 (Paddy Griffith), DON TROIANI’S CIVIL WAR, BATTLEFIELD ATLAS OF THE AMERICAN CIVIL WAR (Symonds), All Ospreys on the subject MAA and Campaign, “THE” Blandford book about Uniforms: UNIFORMS OF THE AMERICAN CIVIL WAR , 1861-65 -the first one I ever bought myself!- LA GUERRE DE SECESSION (HEIMDAL Jouineau-Mongin), THE QUEST FOR ANNIHILATION (Cristopher Perello), GETTYSBURG (Stephen W, Sears), GEETYSBURG: THE STORY OF THE BATTLE WITH MAPS (David Reisch and David M. Detweiler), THE CIVIL WAR: THE STORY OF THE WAR WITH MAPS (same), and in fact thousands more…

As an afterthought on ACW Historical Fiction: THE KILLER ANGELS, SHILOH, THE HORSE SOLDIERS, CONFEDERATES, GONE WITH THE WIND, THE RED BADGE OF COURAGE, THE MARCH, STONEWALL’S GOLD, UNTO THIS HOUR, CIVIL WAR STORIES (A.Bierce)… Frank Yerby, John Jakes, even Bernard Cornwell did 4 novels about it!

Yankees
Rebels

Do whatever you want

Some of the TOTEMS of the hobby.

When I decided to write a book about my personal experiences with Toy Soldiers -and as Dan Allen has remarked some Toy Policemen- it was fun. But it has turned a sobering experience. I first did it in Spanish -just to find that nobody was interested in my ramblings- and secondly I translated the book to English myself… that was really stupid!… First edition not up to par I fear… so in the end just because sheer stubbornness I payed for getting the manuscript edited and revised to make it readable and apt for human consumption. Will never compensate finances involved with sales of the Second English edition but I was less mortified -satisfaction finally was achieved- so far so good.

It would have done me a good turn to read a book like mine when starting in the hobby, but to be really fair maybe I would not have bought it!… there where a lot of other priorities around! So, I must admit it was and is a paradox. Same happens with your experience in real life it is very hard to pass on the hard learned lessons.

Full Brigade of Prussian cavalry -Dragoons at the back-

After careful consideration I summed up my experience with Toy Soldiers in some principles -read advice-

1) Be respectful with other wargamers/collectors choices.

2) Be sure you will have to make compromises with real History.

3) Be free and prime composition over compatibility.

4) Try to be proportional. No 100% Elite Units in an Army.

5) There is no such thing as perfect rulebook so learn to adapt them.

6) Choose your games companions with care.

7) Before buying minis inform yourself.

There you have it in a nutshell.

Old 25/28mm collection. All sold.

Not much original I agree. But those counsels would have saved me a lot of time and cash. I am not a socialite by nature, but leaving far away from places with more common interests did not help at all. Luckily enough my brother shared the interest (because of my bad influence!) and that was enough for me, in fact he has gone over the top and actually WORKS in the games sector for real!… what was a hobby has turned business… well, I always sustained that it is much better to work in something you really love.

As far as it goes nowadays all I can say is ANYTHING GOES! (just emphasis not shouting) -as long it is fun for you- not for me to say what will do for you. I will stand as usual in the fringes trying to be the less obnoxious I can manage… Interacting with real people through my computer is quite satisfactory. No need to buy them drinks, be told his phylias and phobias -and even worse why is that so- a hobby can be boring too if not shared with people within the same range of affinities.

So, there you go, I will end this post with a thought on equipment. Imagine you think getting a Pontoon Train is a good idea… why not?… there are rivers aplenty to ford… Berezina comes to mind!. So what can be said about it?… first of all if wargaming in 6mm your Pontoon Train, deployed or in Transports is quite affordable… I will surely get both versions… on the march and mounted over a river. IF you do not use minis on the stands the same set will be used in no matter what period, glue those Engineers and Pontonniers in separate stands. I have found firms -a google search will suffice- that will cut your stands to measure to suit your needs (Baccus compatible). The Idea of NOT getting minis glued in the stands of your Equipment is extensible to Mule trains, Camel trains, Wagons, and Transports akin, and I never use mounted soldiers on my limbers!… they are useful for a lot of periods that way! You lose some of the appeal of the Military Modeling part of the hobby but gain in space of storage and cash. If you do wargame in different scales at the same time yo will need the double or triple of scenery&equipment… I am not specially fond of investing too much money on scenery, I try to have a few things of quality but not overcomplicate the tabletop landscaping to the full. Be free to do whatever you want yourself!

This pic is not mine. Found on Internet. And I went Playmobil for a decade more or less as a consequence! If a copyright infringed will delete without problems!
Grand Duchy of Blaufosk Infantry. Now owned by one of my grandsons (the Video-games addict!)

Fun

The Three Musketeers + D’Artagnan

I just wanna get fun. This has been and still is the motto, whatever I do it is for FUN. At my age one certainly looks back sometimes to see the long and winding road travelled. Of course, at least in my case, there have been smooth parts and rough one’s, but overall a sense of satisfaction prevails.

As a hobby Toy Soldiers seems pretty simple -and it is not- I guess I am fond of History and this is what lays as the foundations of it. If it was not for a love of History I would not have known about wars… and toy soldiers are a mean to recreate war in a most idealized way, your Toy Soldiers never die after all, they always live to fight another day, just like chess pieces.

Books…

Compared to the actual time spent playing wargames the time I have spent reading books -even about wargaming!- is so disproportionate that in the end it is as if I had not indulged in wargaming at all. Probably an exaggeration?… no, not at all. I have read and collected books about History, and of course good historical fiction related to my favorite periods. So I am first and foremost a reader, somewhat compulsive and obsessed by certain subjects as the Napoleonic Wars, the American Civil War, the Crimean War, Colonial periods… in fact the XIXth Century is where I live when I grab a book. Mind, I have read my classics too. But apart from the second punic war have not been much tempted by Ancients… conflicting sources… biased works… a lot of holes filled by great authors… Republican Rome and Imperial Rome are in a way fascinating, and of course the Greeks before them, but you need very good writers to get hooked aka The Peloponnesian War by Donald Kagan as an example will suffice.

Not politically correct nowadays!

And NO I do not forget Alexander the Great!… but I am not going to do a full relation of the great captains of all periods… The title of this post says it all, very young I found that reading never let place to boredom, I guess I have not been bored at all -I can be very boring mind!- and had FUN reading, not that I do not like movies and music too… but when a film or record ends I grab a book.

Movies…

That the accumulation of “knowledge” about certain periods as the XIXth Century finally ends in a hobby like wargaming and collecting soldiers is just a consequence -not even logical- but a consequence nevertheless. In it lays the deep question “what if”… no one who reads about Waterloo or The Little Big Horn or The Charge of the Light Brigade can’t avoid thinking that it could have been different after all… some disasters let you puzzled by its idiocy -hindsight is that cruel- and of course if you have travelled the path of wargaming WHAT IF is what is all about.

Napoleonic sets of Rules…

FUN I achieved reading, but I achieved fun seeing films about my pet periods, enjoyed the music -the real and some soundtracks- and had lots of FUN searching for toy soldiers to play at it, organizing and bathtubing the opposing Armies, obtaining them, painting them, basing them, converting minis when not commercially available, choosing scales, choosing rules or doing my own… and finally playing with them with my brother. Later my sons. And now pestering my grandchildren about it explaining patiently to them there is FUN in it, while they play video games with all sorts of electronic devices… for what I have seen they consist mainly in characters parachuted into an island, collect things and weapons and try to kill anyone around… not so different from wargaming!… except the uniforms, my toy soldiers do not dress like a giant banana.

If you do not have FUN it is not worthwhile at all, as all other pastimes around.

Holmes & Watson
Hunter or Mountain Man…