And in the End… 25-09


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 have painted a “new old toy soldier”… a 54mm (ReplicaMetalSoldiers Andrew) a mounted Inspector General of the NWMP in a dark blue patrol jacket – I enjoyed so much the painting of it that I am currently pestering Andrew for a variation on the theme…- and all just because a childhood memory. 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 below.

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 the book “The History of Toy Soldiers” see below. I did found info in subjects that does not interest me at all but were a pleasure to know. Its a book that starts thoroughly and than has a rushed end… I would not have collected many 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)… Quite not complete for its size.

adb4.0 out of 5 stars

History from a general perspective. Global, but rare omissions aka Playmobil or Lego or Baccus!

18 September 2019

Format: HardcoverVerified Purchase

I liked the edition…. superb and lavish treatment.
If you like toy soldiers a must have.
James Opie is Britain’s centered most of the time (but not always!) another author you need to know specially his opus “Collecting Toy soldiers”.
I will recommend too “The Collector’s Guide To New Toy Soldiers” by Stuart Asquith.
The bibliography is quite exhaustive but does not mention (puzzling) the book “My Toy Soldiers And Me” (a John Doe perspective maybe much more “personal”)
The book is greatly compelling but does not include Playmobils or Baccus 6 mm -which I do not understand after seeing some of the examples- I included images to this review to show their potential and of course they are not from the present book… And somehow I found it a too long text (with reiterations aka Mastroniani/Deneuve) , but the pictures are worth the price of the book alone.

There are also pure wargaming scales in it as Minifigs, Hinton Hunt etc. (very few pics) but the blatant omission of Baccus 6 mm is a mistake… a great mistake because those are the actual trend in wargaming. A nice book but the subject is not fully covered IMHO. It mentions the minor scales but not its growing importance… in my opinion you can not inform the reader about such things as wooden soldiers aka nutcrackers and not include pics of 15 mm, 10 mm and 6 mm… Many obscure manufacturers are mentioned but for a book of so many pics and so lenghty text somehow one gets the impression that the trees does not let you see the wood… I have finished it tonight and deducted one star of my first apreciation… after all lavish edition is not enough by itself and I must agree with the former reviewer.

After all it is a question of aesthetics if you like a toy soldier or not, personally I would not bend to pick from the floor for free half of the items portrayed , but it is interesting to know about them mind. I also do not like flats at all but I can understand people liking them!
In fact it is a tour de force and quite encyclopedic with some omissions which does not let me say it IS the encyclopedia of toy soldiers. Too many pics of uninteresting paper soldiers and not understanding where the hobby goes nowadays… and still it would stay in my collection as a useful reference book on the subject.

A must add to any Collection on the matter.

review image
review image
Pics added to the review.

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.

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 a 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.

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, and some mat finish Spanish miniatures I had because a compulsory swap was made. 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 books you need is the one by James Opie: Collecting Toy Soldiers, and THE COLLECTOR’S GUIDE TO NEW TOY SOLDIERS by Stuart Asquith. The former has written many excellent books about Britain’s but THIS ONE is the best of all his production IMHO.

By now it should be named The Collector’s Guide to “OLD” New Toy Soldiers. How time flies by…

Guess it is time to start making lists again… first objective get the remaining ACW brigades organized (after a bit of checking up what minis I have used so far), deciding who is gonna paint what… and put a perspective into new projects, mainly completing “things” already exist… Will keep you posted.


Author: Alejo Dorca

Born in 1952. Married in 1976. Two sons and a daughter. 4 grandsons to date, 3 boys and a girl. Arquitect in 1978. Retired in 2016 aprox. Lifelong Toy Soldiers aficionado.