This is actually my first post with the new format of making a new Post each day (well, if you do not count yesterday’s joke)… I still think the true collecting scale is 54mm… and it will always be for me “the true size” of Toy Soldiers.
This is actually my first post with the new format of making a new Post each day (well, if you do not count yesterday’s joke)… I still think the true collecting scale is 54mm… and it will always be for me “the true size” of Toy Soldiers.
My son, at last, convinced me that it would be easy for me and less of a chore for everyone to check the blog entries. So, we checked it out, he was right (as usual) and I was wrong. So from now on “A Blog (in the proper sense)” will continue in regular new posts as opposed to always editing the same one. Hope you like it!
First of April seemed a very good day to change the format.
I guess some of you, in spite of being a Toy Soldier fanatic, have retained a sense of humour.
31 Mar 2022
30 Mar 2022
Congratulations on a worthy effort!
29 Mar 2022
There are no limits to craftsmanship…
28 Mar 2022
Tradition of London
27 Mar 2022
Just another pic today…
26 Mar 2022
Another interesting box of goods…
25 mar 2022
24 Mar 2022
Just a pic in a hurry…
23 Mar 2022
Just in case…
Such level of Military Modeling nowadays in wargames…
22 Mar 2022
Yes, you have guessed alright… I am in a hurry and decided to advance my calendar three days… so to speak… you get the pics and I am off to another things…
Maybe 40mm… but you can guess yourself… excellent painting though…
21 Mar 2022
Just another day with a pic for you…
20 Mar 2022
Just this pic today!
19 Mar 2022
Also I can show you the view of the other side of the ramrod gunners…
Now the work is completed in 54mm.
Finally got to work on Miss Olivia Dandridge conversion… pic out of focus I am afraid… better one’s soon.
Baccus has an excellent range I patronized long time ago “PONY WARS” it is called and there is a ruleset etc… I bought the minis to play John Ford’s Cavalry Trilogy… as I usually say… you need all sorts!
18 Mar 2022
It is fun to convert (small things in fact) in 54mm after doing so much stuff in 6mm!… Olivia Dandridge is in process of been “created”… LOL
17 Mar 2022
You know you can not see this detail in the tabletop… but it is reassuring it is there if you know what I mean… in fact the minis are smaller than the pic itself (LOL).
16 Mar 2022
You can not go wrong with Andrew Stevens casts… to say nothing about his painted items!… it seems he would be “back in the saddle again” quite soon… Congratulations.
15 Mar 2022
It is funny because I have two sets but the gunners are all clad with blue trousers (in my case) but the officer who is exactly like the one portrayed in the pic. Excellent models… and yes you can “mount” the pieces for action… easy to assemble and dissemble.
14 Mar 2022
Just a pic from Tradition of London today…
13 Mar 2022
You are never the only one doing a thing in this hobby… and I am glad of the company!
12 Mar 2022
Finally it arrived GREY!… I asked for Dark Brown but I was wrong… and Greg was right!. Hope you like it as I do. For once it is mine!
11 Mar 2022
Not my passion at all, but you can achieve perfection in most approaches to the Hobby. Very nice display.
10 Mar 2022
Mine are DUCAL, but you can not get wrong with Steadfast! (after all DUCAL or FORT DUCAL closed shop a long time ago).
9 Mar 2022
I will give you the pics provided by Jon of my “new” Toy Soldiers (going to be put on the Catalogue of Steadfast as a result!… deeply touched!
I imagine that by now they are in the post…
8 Mar 2022
Just this pic today!
7 Mar 2022
Just a (late) pic today… in fact it is already the 8th of March… running late…
6 Mar 2022
Yesterday I was able to open my last 6mm order… the Pony Wars Fort was there… and it was grey colour as per Baccus catalogue… I had asked the painter to did it in dark brown but to no avail… well… it looks nice enough… not going to repaint even if able to.
5 Mar 2022
Somehow a thing of my past… I still love the epic of it… but for a solo wargamer even in 6mm the scope is too wide. You need all sorts.
4 Mar 2022
Yesterday the parcel from Liverpool arrived!… thank you Greg. Not lucky enough to open it yet… maybe next week… I am not in Andorra la Vella… confined in Pal again… Will show some pics in due time.
3 Mar 2022
Don Featherstone was one of the fathers of modern wargaming, his books a source of inspiration for generations of wargamers and for me it is a real pleasure to know that his figures are well preserved and put on show like this! Thank you Danny!
2 Mar 2022
Just a wargame pic today (and what a Borodino wargame!)
1 Mar 2022
About a mont ago there was a minor earthquake nearby (meaning Andorra and concretely Pal), several days ago I checked the Toy Soldier collection and thought that just three figures had tumbled down… just put them straight and feel relieved. Curiously enough, yesterday I found that one of the Guides Cavalry has also tumbled down unnoticed an the head of the trooper had become unglued from the body… I did not notice! (first time)… so a bit of repair was done with superglue and Poska markers and the ANDREW REPLICA figure is OK again. Nasty thing earthquakes.
28 Feb 2022
Another month is gone… yesterday I did make place for the guns and artillerymen (gunners) coming from rprati… finally dismounted the guns and put them on the mules of the Tradition of London set as per original buy. It is tricky to manipulate the figures when cabinets are overcrowded. One mini crashed to the floor and had to glue back an arm (painting chipped a bit and will have to retouch next time I get to my POSKA markers).
27 Feb 2022
Email from Jon at RPratiWorldModels saying my order will probably ship end of next week!… wonderful news!
Seen in Facebook… truly awesome…
26 Feb 2022
Yesterday Greg posted my last Baccus parcel from the UK. If DHL avoids the worst of the Carnival it would probably arrive here in Andorra about the end of next week.
No news from RPratiWorldModels about my last order, but I guess they are furiously painting it (meaning fast not inaccurately!)…
25 Feb 2022
They are doing it better and better…
24 Feb 2022
I have been asked so many times in Facebook about those helmets and where to get them that finally I think it deserved a post in the blog.
The artist is Javier Jimenez, and you can contact him (still I guess…) via email firstname.lastname@example.org or on facebook.com/playmalone or his late eBay shop stores.ebay.co.uk/Playmalone?_rdc=1
Wish you luck!
Of course I have posted this also in Facebook.
23 Feb 2022
Just a pic today!
22 – 2 – 22 (I couldn’t resist it!)
I always thought Russians in the Crimea favoured Columns but nevertheless the units are very fine so here they are…
21 Feb 2022 Monday
Wonderful conversions in 54mm scale… as seen on Facebook in www.mytoysoldiersandme.com
Enjoy the craftsmanship.
20 Feb 2022
Just a pic of Mr Opie’s items (not from his personal collection) at auction… good enough way to end the week!
19 Feb 2022
Today I will show you some pics from a new friend in Australia (Melbourne), he has been the first person to contact me at my email address email@example.com concerning this Blog!… mind it is a Blog that does not per se admit comments to avoid spam (orders of my eldest son Ph d in Computer Science and creator of it!) I found his painting extremely well done in what I call the Toy Soldier “classic style”… the units are quite appropriate for playing with the Howard Whitehouse AGW (A Gentleman’s War) rules.
If you want your work posted here just send to me.
By the way, I topped 70.000 Visitors today on this web page… you are all welcome!
18 Feb 2022
Guess it would have been fantastic to get those toy soldiers boxes in their day! I was congratulated for my birthday by a person in Melbourne!… really pleased with that I have always thought many people connected by mistake by the lack of feedback!
17 Feb 2022
I am 70 years old today! A good day to close the web page and forget about it altogether … must think seriously about it!
16 Feb 2022
30 years of my wargaming life were dedicated to 25mm MINIFIGS… I was a bit nostalgic when I saw this pic on Facebook… so… here you have it!
15 Feb 2022
Todays pics are from the late Roy Dillon Collection, the absolute master of the thin red line (in more than two ways) between Toy Soldiers and Military Modeling. Wish I could buy soldiers of that level of craftsmanship… my own collection (Even if I am proud of it) pales in comparison. Judge from yourselves…
14 Feb 2022
Conversions by John Firth… very good job!
This Blog is about a inoffensive hobby, but nowadays I can not take out of my mind the folly of the real world… I am glad I stopped my wanderings at 1900… I hate the wars of the XXth and hope I will not need to hate those in the XXIst too… I always enjoyed playing with toy soldiers, loved the gaudy uniforms of the XIXth Century but I am a realist War in the XIXth had no glamour at all because real war is a nasty thing… Thursday (if I ever live that long) is my birthday… 70 years old… somehow it would be fitting to stop this webpage then… probably… never got any feedback even if I published my email address several times (firstname.lastname@example.org)… but the Facebook group has nearly 250 members so… I guess we all know each other in this small interest trend.
13 Feb 2022
Some more pics from the Dilley’s… just love their work!
12 Feb 2022
A real treat today!… French Sailors with sheepskin sleeveless jackets… seen in Facebook… hobby seems to be alive a lot!
Note the background models too.
11 Feb 2022
Another pic today (Guess they are Bavarians… but were labelled Prussians as a generality in Facebook))
10 Feb 2022
Well, it is not “My” Soldiers and “Me” anymore I guess… there are a lot of pics on this Blog that shows “Your” Soldiers and “You”… it is in fact quite natural, as I see other collectors items that i found interesting I post them here… this is not a monopoly at all. So there you have it, I will continue to post my collection “items” but not exclusively. Have a pic today from Claude Bailey’s Collection…
9 Feb 2022
A series a emails to make precisions(for once not prompted by me):
Hi Alejo,Working on your order now. For the driver of the service wagon we, noticed that the policeman you want has a long coat on. Lewis has made up an alternative if you want that instead.Also the sf47 you want in blue, do you want them with all the backpacks on and 2 bags on the front? Lewis is working on 2 figures more suitable if you would like those instead? Cheers, Jon.
Hi Alejo,For the wagon driver we can still use the policeman arms with the whip or have the new arms both holding the reigns?Cheers, Jon.
Excellent alternatives!… Lewis can take out also the rifles from their hands too… no backpacks… no bags on front… black “crossbelts” (for the lack of a better word)Excellent Driver (Paint in dark blue as requested and white pith helmet)
Absolutely delighted by an excellent communications and service!Cheers
Hi Alejo,Just had a thought, would you like the base of the Hanson cab driver green or grey?Cheers, Jon.
green as all my models. please. (good thought!)CHEERS
8 Feb 2022
Just a pic today… and quite an excellent one…
7 Feb 2022
Another pic of toy soldiers able to wargame AGW (A Gentleman’s War) rules a la Wells (more or less).
6 Feb 2022
Here yo have a pic of “Antiquarian” or “Antiques” Toy Soldiers … the real vintage thing seen on Mr James Opie’s Facebook web page.
Gladly enough I never was inclined to collect vintage Toy Soldiers, one thing is the old toy Soldiers of my childhood… and even those I am particularly choosy with. Yes, you need all sorts!
5 Feb 2022
Here you have it, a typical transaction about buying Toy Soldiers (and civilians), Robert Prati (STEADFAST TOY SOLDIERS).
At last very good news!
I proceed to detail the order below (use the pics included in previous emails to clarify things or if any doubt come back to me) as final info:
1.- 1 Toy Soldier Officer Royal Artillery kneeling with Binoculars as per set F47 IMAB Indian Mountain Battery etc. BLUE UNIFORM as in pic. White pith helmet. Better if binoculars in hands over chest (not in front of the face).
2.- 2 Gunners Royal Artillery as per set SF47-48 Mountain Battery Screw Gun and crew. Both soldiers identical (THE ONE WITH RAMROAD IN HAND)… to make them different one can have a moustache! BLUE UNIFORM NOT KAKHI THIS IS IMPORTANT! they are to complete a set.
3.- 1 set British General Service Wagon with the driver from the SF122 Victorian Police Van. Soldier to be painted with dark blue uniform black boots and white pith helmet. Wagon to be painted GREY as Artillery.
4:_ If the driver of point number three is not glued to the wagon (I can not see why at all) I would like a couple of alternative drivers: Same figure as in point three but uniform Royal West Kent (as per Tradition of London set). More difficult but I ask for it nevertheless can I have a driver as per Royal Canadian Mounted Police? if YES please add. (For once I do not mid if head is superglued as log it has a Stetson like the Tradition of London mini).
5.- SF46to be painted as Royal Artillery (minus spike on helmet) white colonial pith helmet and blue uniform as the others described. (1 set of two figures with box).
6.- SF123 as it is on the catalogue. (1 Set)
7.- From SF 76/77 one sailor handling gun (the one with the base in two parts – nothing in his hands) idem as per Catalogue. (1 Toy Soldier)
8.- SF201- Hansom cab as per Catalogue. (1 Unit)
Can you please send an estimate before the PayPal Invoice?
Guess all is clear. A single package using your locsl courier service/DHL in Andorra PERFECT!
Please answer ASAP. I guess it will not be here for my birthday but never mind… an estimate of time of execution also appreciated.
A posteriori I deleted point 4 as redundant.
Sorry for the delay, We are starting to get on top of things now.Below is your order:
4 x figures @ £11 each = £44
1 x SF95 Wagon @ £105
1 x SF46 @ £25
1 x SF123 @ £28
1 x SF201 @ £95
Shipping @ £30
Total = £327.00
Payment via paypal to: RPWorldModels@gmail.com
4 Feb 2022
Maybe tomorrow I will post my order to Robert Prati (Steadfast) and answer from them… transaction concluded.
3 Feb 2022
Now, who will make Guards Pioneers compatible with my Fort Ducal figures?
2 Feb 2022
Just another excellent pic.
1 Feb 2022
Part of my current order.
I post this in advance because other things in the offing would prevent me posting for a couple of days.
31 Jan 2022
Part of my current order…
30 Jan 2022
Just a pic today.
29 Jan 2022
Nice figures found in Facebook.
28 Jan 2022
Baccus are my favourite 6mm because they are friendly.
27 Jan 2022
At least “my” wargaming… I can not think on bigger scales anymore for “serious wargaming” (if serious wargaming exists). I can play with mu 54mm toy soldiers but those are simple fun games.
Currently reading the end of TOO FEW FOR DRUMS, a NEIL THOMAS ruleset, rereading SEVEN MEN OF GASCONY and FORGOTTEN VICTORIAN GENERALS.
26 Jan 2022
Delderfield wrote great books about the Napoleonic wars long before Bernard Cornwell got Sharpe’s idea… check SEVEN MEN FROM GASCONY or else TOO FEW FOR DRUMS… well worth a read.
25 Jan 2022
Just a pic today.
24 Jan 2022
Have to post later on the 23rd because the 24th would be a busy morning I guess, so for once I am in advance of the clock (quite meaningless in view of the different times zones of the visitors).
23 Jan 2022
Just a pic today (again).
22 Jan 2022
Just a pic today.
21 Jan 2022
Nowadays Toy Soldiers seem to be “displayed” instead of being “played with” (I do myself I guess)… My playing is limited to wargaming in 6mm if you know what I mean.
20 Jan 2022
Well, seems to be that things are sorted out with my order to Robert Prati (emails from Jon OK). Will give you an inspiring pic today…
In fact visitors of this present web should check in FaceBook the group www.mytoysoldiersandme.com it has dedicated members (more than 200) and posts are quality itself.
19 Jan 2022
No news from Robert Prati. (They must be submerged in orders?) Really puzzled by lack of communications.
18 Jan 2022
Was going to post a James Opie pic but I will leave that for tomorrow or later. Yesterday this web page passed the bar of 65.000 visitors (In a bit more of two years) mostly there are assiduous visitors… but not all. The numbe of “visits” is much more higher but irrelevant (more than 225.000) because some are “robots” (as my computer expert son says). Maybe when (and if) I reach 100.000 I will stop. I have the feeling that it is a kind of therapeutic help for me and other people to get rid of boring times (times inside the same day).
17 Jan 2022
There are very good Modelers around believe me….
On a more personal note this week I will confirm the order to Steadfast. No more nostalgic posts from the moment (lol).
16 Jan 2022
Just a pic today.
15 Jan 2022
So incidentally what was a child nice impression has been embedded in my hobby all my life… and that’s that. Curious uh?
14 Jan 2022
Order is on the offing for some badly needed “complements” to my 54mm Toy Soldier Collection. STEADFAST they will be (robert prati) and you will be duly informed.
13 Jan 2022
Just a pic today.
12 Jan 2022
You must know the works (books) of James Opie about mainly Britains production, but also about the fascinating subject of collecting Toy Soldiers or just “Soldiers”. If not inform yourself. His personal collection nearly got 70.000 soldiers (Yes SEVEN THOUSAND is not a typo). Reduced by selling and concentring interests nowadays to around 16.000 minis (about nearly ten times my own and I am labelled quite crazy by the family you know… LOL). Seriously some of his books are imprescindible, first and foremost:
11 jan 2022
I’ll show you the work of Mr. John Bertolini, he does his own figures!… always dreamed of that… maybe they are not to your taste… but considere the joy of it!
10 Jan 2022
I will give you two pics as an example of what can be achieved in 6mm (they are not my minis neither my work) both found in FaceBook. Will include the much seen pic of my Crimean Light Brigade to show you “the difference” lol.
9 Jan 2022
The pic of today is awfully inspiring… simply awesome. My own efforts were not up to par with this at all. I then was painting the minis myself as you can see on the pics below… nearly all MINIFIGS 25mm.
8 Jan 2022
Just a pic today… already 8 days into a new year… how times fly by…
7 Jan 2022
Somehow it is a blessing that others indulge in the same pastime and with the same mental fixations… so I give you a book recommendation too today…
6 Jan 2022
Curiously there seems no way to stop adding items to my collection…
5 jan 2022
It is interesting how collectors ( myself included) mix and match different manufacturers and even themes. An original designed set by a Trade Mark can be displayed with the original soldiers or those been substituted by others at the whim or fancy of the collector (sometimes even at the moment of placing the order they can suit your taste).
The last day of the year past I placed an order (a dormant commission you would say) to rpworldmodels for three Royal Artillery Gunners… no feedback yet! (Steadfast models).
4 Jan 2022
Just a pic today…
3 Jan 2022
There are more like it in the manufacturers catalogue, Nile gunboats etc. An extravaganza in 54mm… but desirable if you have the place!
2 Jan 2022
A classic that Idid not know of… well that’s been righted. Probably much more Military Modeling oriented than “Toy Soldier”… but divisory lines get blurred sometimes you know…
1 Jan 2022
Happy New Year 2022 to everyone!
31 Dec 2021
To say goodbye to “the vaccines year”… a pic found in FaceBook… I like it but still think Napoleonics are better suited to a big club.
30 Dec 2021
I was feeling “personal” yesterday… today I will give you some Confederates in a small scale … maybe 15mm but not sure… (not mine at all) but I do have lots of them too in 6mm from Baccus!
29 Dec 2021
So… I collect Toy Soldiers… and what if I do?… today I will show you a pic that contains the earliest memories of my hobby… Spanish Toy Soldiers from the early Fifties (and among other things some soldiers done by my sons).
28 Dec 2021
I did promise… so here it is: the most predictable part of my 54mm collection. It all started with my parents gift of a very big double tray box of Britains when I was very young (Coldstream Guards). Ask James Opie for the number of the set I have forgotten and do not care at all.
As you all know those are (like the Grenadiers of Napoleon’s Imperial Guard) the most produced Toy Soldiers around the world.
Mainly DUCAL (or Fort Ducal) with some splashes of Tradition of London and other brands (Marlborough and others).
27 Dec 2021
Today I will give you my small cabinet (the colonial one)… colonialism was not “right” seen with perspective… but as usual adventure and conquest has a mighty appeal on the moment… how crazy is History… well, never mind… it gave us brilliant moments and nasty defeats (also as usual). The cabinet was designed with 25mm in mind… it has contained 15mm too… and was finally recycled into the classic scale of the wonderful 54mm Toy Soldier (You will also notice some Military Modelling stuff on the top of it). Here we go:
So, in a nutshell a very eclectic collection built along so many years it is not worth detailing too much. FFL is mainly DORSET SOLDIERS with some REPLICA. Kakhi is all REPLICA, the rest Tradition of London, DUCAL and RPWORLD models… and yes there are some specials and conversions too.
Hopefully tomorrow the even more classical part of my collection on the “big” cabinet (under the stairs).
26 Dec 2021
25 Dec 2021
I wish everybody a Merry X’mas and a Happy New Year 2022. The luckiest of you will get toy soldier as presents… the rest do a list and go on.
24 Dec 2021
Signals Corps, Heliograph (yesterday pic) are very original subjects and incredibly well done by Tony Dilley. Enjoy.
23 Dec 2021
Guess they are the best of the lot.
22 Dec 2021
Did some pics yeaterday that I will post in following days… after all this is X’mas Holidays time!
21 Dec 2021
Have a pic of a battery (mine this time) that needs completion (it lacks three figures… at least!).
20 Dec 2021
An hectic day yesterday… on the right side I topped 60.000 visitors of this webpage… on the wrong side deal’s off with Andrew Stevens (I am nearly 70 years old and can not wait for orders indefinitely… and I mean months!… more than half a year!… oh dear!… love his work but can not wait that long at all…).
If you are younger than me, order from him, his toy soldiers are fantastic!, but be prepared to wait patiently for them.
19 Dec 2021
That’s it. Those who betted pessimistic won. Andrew has confirmed NO figures before X’mas… I knew it was “a near run thing”… disappointed doesn’t start to describe my feelings.
18 Dec 2021
Andrew has said nothing for a week by now… bets still on.
17 Dec 2021
Just a pic today…
16 Dec 2021
Well, well, well, yesterday I got the small packet with both RPWorld Models inside, carefully wrapped in a box inside the envelope. Fantastic service. They have won a place on my future orders list because they were true to his word.
Check on the entries below and you will follow the whole story. From the 9th of November to the 15th December it is not a bad turnaround at all believe me! A great experience. Of couse if I had ordered 50 soldiers the delay would have been proportionally longer… but this does not matter… excellent communications all the time during the process.
15 Dec 2021
No news from Andrew yet… puzzling… the bets are still on. Royal Mail, The French and the snow are a deadly combination for orders to arrive… Oh Dear!
14 Dec 2021
I really love those old toy soldier style “Toy Soldiers”… it makes me feel less lonesome to share the hobby with people like Aj Firth, Paul Watson, Daniel Borris, Andrew Stevens, and the whole lot in the FaceBook group www.mytoysoldiersandme.com which has reached the 150 members mark without any kind of effort from me… Glad you like it!
13 Dec 2021
Andrew is active on FaceBook but has not answered yet… which in my convoluted mind can only mean two things: 1.- He is nearly there and waiting to post a finished pic… (the optimistic version)… 2.- He can not send the figures in time for X’mas and does not know how to say this to me… (pessimistic version)… make your bets…
12 Dec 2021
Just this pic today.
11 Dec 2021
Never could adapt myself to 6mm Napoleonics… have read too much about small tactics (form square etc) the abstraction needed to call a stand a Brigade comes easily enough in the American Civil War period (do not ask me why) but it is impossible for me with Napoleonics. The use of columns versus line and other myths (thank you Bernard Cornwell) are too deep ingrained in my head… and then… how to paint the uniforms detail?… After all 25mm Minifigs was not such a bad choice in the late seventies for detail matters… in 6mm Adler (I had a feud with Adler that ended not been a customer of them after a single order that turned a bad experience… I guess they have hundreds of satisfied customers… the minis look superb even if heads are on the BIG side… but have seen very nice paint jobs of them).
Did send a message to Andrew from REPLICA yesterday… using messenger in FaceBook… no answer yet… deep fears about getting the toy soldiers for X’mas…
10 Dec 2021
Just a pic today… no inspiration to write a coherent (or interesting) entry.
9 Dec 2021
Finished tampering and painting details on the Baccus 6mm mounted minis of the Pony Wars range (mainly the command one’s). Next batch would not prove so conflicting (Fort, Stagecoach, Indian Scouts and extra command figures)… it would be 6 or 8 weeks before I get them… so in the meantime I will do some pics to show you my “work” (LOL).
8 Dec 2021
Just thinking a bit more… I used braces on the NCO’s and white gloves on a type of officer!… It’s a question of method I think… and having the minis on the table with the POSKA markers help a lot…
7 Dec 2021
Busy making the markings on officer’s and NCO’s for my Pony Wars Baccus 6mm range… things quite under control. Sometimes I ask myself why bother at all in 6mm?… I mean I can not see them myself (without a magnifying glass) so in the middle of a big table… those are the mysteries of a wargamers life (I need to know they are there… inexplicable using a rational thought).
6 Dec 2021
Funny enough!… seen the two figures I ordered finished in FaceBook!… I imagine they would be in the Post somewhere… LOL… Excellent paintjob… exactly what I asked (and payed) for. For once a company that delivers in schedule is also very good news. Here are the pics.
5 Dec 2021
Finally have found a trick to distinguish between officer’s ranks on my Baccus 6mm: Captain, First Lieutenant and Second Lieutenant… shoulder bars notwithstanding… I use different markings on the horses (white flash in forehead or either one or two white socks)… easy huh?… simple solutions are the best.
4 Dec 2021
Very good communications with Greg and the new “final 6mm Baccus order” (LOL) is “on”.
Guess I am going to paint new marks of rank on the Pony Wars minis, starting with officers and then NCO’s… a tricky business in 6mm… but must try to do it to properly structure the command.
No sign of new parcels yet. R.Prati and Andrew Stevens must deliver very soon I hope (even if this weekend is the London Toy Soldier Fair!). Same with books the Russell one is quite delayed.
Will give you an “exotic” pic today.
3 Dec 2021
That’s it. Finished organizing the 6mm Pony Wars stuff (and repainting the guidons red over white!). Amazed by the lack of many characters in kepi I will be able to field because there are so few kepi minis in the packs!… so back to Greg again pestering for some badly needed additions to my collection… aka The Stagecoach (Saw the film yet again yesterday ‘s evening), The Fort, The Scouts and some additional Kepi clad officers… the never ending story I guess.
The wagons were initially intended for the ACW (and they will be used there too!).
2 Dec 2021
Once I dwell on memories I can not stop so easily… it was a so important decision back in the late seventies to go 25mm or 15mm… was I wrong?… with perspective you could say YES! I was wrong… if I would have gone 15mm I would probably have stood by them even longer… and I doubt I would have sold them… I would have had double (in fact 4 times more space in my wargames table and my megalomania about commanding Armies rewarded… BUT (and of course it is a big BUT) the aesthetics of the figures (even from the same brand aka MINIFIGS) were not the same… 25mm were more “nice” and easier to paint to a neophyte like me… and mind I have always been an artsy person (I am a retired Architect) and a natural doing arts&crafts… but painting such a small scale as 15mm (or so I thought back then seemed a daunting prospect!)… Anyway I wish I had gone 15mm (because I did not).
The first ever unit (23 minis) I ever painted were the Gordon Highlanders of the Waterloo period (cheeky bastard going for tartan as a first!)… Since then the Gordon’s have been a fix on all my collections up to 54mm.
The fact that my only regular oponent and companion was my brother limited a lot my wargaming experiences… excepting Martin Goddard (from Peter’s Pig fame) and that trip to SALUTE… so there you have it in a nutshell a mostly lonesome career in wargames but very satisfied by my collecting on all scales… as they say… we are “builders of Armies”…
1 Dec 2021
I have messed with so many scales in my toy soldiers’ life that I would like to break a lance in favour of the “other” scales (meaning the one’s I am not involved with nowadays).
For nearly 30 years I was a fan of 25mm MINIFIGS… and even if I have sold my collection and abandoned the scale… I was happy with them during years and years… so in fact it is up to you!… I can say that for a game involving various Corps or an Army I think 6mm is unbeatable but the joy of painting 25/28mm minis is there to be enjoyed (specially if yo can wargame with friends in a Club with BIG tables)… So here I leave it to you today!
By the Way enjoy reading (again) David Chandler’s magna opus THE CAMPAIGNS OF NAPOLEON.
30 Nov 2021
Still in the process of sorting out the 6mm minis of the last batch from Greg… I am doing this off hours and with a quite restricted lapses of time each time… but in no hurry… after all… better safe than sorry!
29 Nov 2021
I “stole” this drawing from faceBook… Daniel Hodgson posted it (REVEILLE) and I could not resist the memories it brought back…
December can be a month full of arrivals if all goes well.
28 Nov 2021
Done. I mean… yesterday I sent an email full of enquiries to Greg… no answer yet… He probably needs to contact Peter at Baccus…
27 Nov 2021
After deep thought I guess I will contact Greg (yet again) with 2022 in mind… the packs of the Pony Wars are alright (quite fantastic) but short of figures in kepis… mmm… thinking how to solve that… Greg is always helpful!… Interested too in the Stagecoach model and the Indian Scouts… So another order is fermenting in my head already…
By the Way look at those excellent communications:
Just to let you know that your 2 figures are almost ready and will be shipped on Monday.
From Roberto Prati (Roberto Prati <email@example.com>)
Do you remember those two officers (54mm) kneeling with binoculars?… let’s see what Royal Mail does… look at the post of 9th November for details.
My quick answer…
26 Nov 2021
The Life and Art of Charles Schreyvogel, Painter-Historian of the Indian-Fighting Army of the American West (that is the book arriving today I guess…)
I still have to organize the minis from Baccus that arrived yesterday, meaning decisions about number of officers and NCO’s etc etc etc. But at first sight it would not be a problem to create scenarios for the John Ford Cavalry Trilogy.
25 Nov 2021
Finally could go to the office and open the parcel… nothing broken!
The sharp eyed from you will see guidons all red… that would be rectified… doing a “Miss Olivia Dandridge” would be a challenge but as I have 3 mounted minis with kepi I guess I can try… conversions in 6mm are complicated when it is not a matter of colour or paintjob.
24 Nov 2021
Yesterday afternoon the parcel from Greg arrived!… no time to open yet!… dying to do it… lol
23 Nov 2021
Today just a couple of shots by Andrew REPLICAMETALMODEL SOLDIERS recent production… this is why I am a customer…
Seems I am going to change the format of the Blog (following wise counsels from my eldest son!).
22 Nov 2021
Angus Konstam delivers… excellent book so far! (JUTLAND 12 hours to win the war).
The Elmer Kelton book is also very good!
So I read a chapter or two and switch books. Trying to do not rush them because nothing else is coming from the post… I fear already the X’mas rush is ON. Delays & Delays.
21 Nov 2021
Build First… Built Fast… each one better than the Last. (Jackie Fisher about Dreadnoughts in the early XXth Century…) So true in wargames units producing… but a receipt for disaster in the Real World… Arms Races are foolish because the temptations are great… well… I was born after the Atomic Bomb… and the fears of a lifetime has not been realized… Thanks God!
This is why I stop my wargaming at 1900. and have no romantic illusions about real wars (even pre 1900).
20 Nov 2021
Oh dear!… just realized today is Saturday… so no dispatching of parcels I guess… which means I will get the Baccus minis early next week…. well… shit happens.
On the other hand I am decided to show the process step by step. First I show you today the original order:
Here is the detail of the US Cavalry troopers:
Pack PAW01 – Us Cavalry (mounted)
There are 6 guidon command strips (of three minis) in the pack. There are 6 Officer command strips (of three minis) per pack
That makes 36 minis to be based singly in bases 15x15mm (Pendraken?) All with yellow stripes on breeches.
There are 28 line strips (3 minis each) per pack. That makes 84 minis.Based in two files in column 4 minis in base 30×30 Baccus. 16 bases makes for 64 troopers. Let’s have the other 20 minis in single 15x15mm bases (based singly).
You know the uniform, but an important point I want off-white hats NO GREY as in Baccus pics.No yellow stripes on the troopers breeches.I know this is 6mm but I will like to have braces on them as per John Ford’s films. Off white too.
Pack PAW02 – Us Cavalry (dismounted) There are 4 command strips of 4 minis. 12 (should have said 16!) minis to be based singly in 15x15mm bases. All with yellow stripes on breeches.There are 16 line strips of 4 minis. Group by stance (thre firing – three reloading etc) Bases 30×30 Baccus . Single line centred in base. Three minis per stand. 16 units 30×30 stands. That leaves 16 minis to be based singly in 15x15mm bases. (To remove casualties).
There are 20 strips of 3 horses and 1 horseholder.I want 48 horses in groups of 4 with a horseholder (that makes for 12 minis) and 12 units of 30×30 bases BaccusThe rest 8 horses two per base of 15x15mm. And 4 horses based singly in 15x15mm base.The rest of the horseholders to be based singly i 15x15mm bases. 8 minis singly.
120 mounted Cavalry 100 dismounted minis 60 horses with no rider
Bases as needed.
Guess that makes the count. And will fit in that DHL box. Wrap carefully… lol If in doubt come back to me. Please acknowledge receipt of instructions and give (please an aprox estimate of time of execution… aprox)
By the way: a word on horses shades.
Buglers white horse or very light grey.The rest as you please, but include only a few black horses, and a variety of bay hues, maybe one sorrel or light chestnut would do too in a 4 troopers stand. As mixed as possible once you base them.
Same with colour of neckties 50% can be Hollywood yellow, but the rest: sky blue, white, red and light green… and obviously no stand with 4 troopers with all yellow neckties.
Those instructions included a mental maths horrid mistake 4×4 is 16… not 12 as I assumed hurriedly!.. that mystified Greg a bit but was quickly sorted out!
Next week you will hopefully see the result.
19 Nov 2021
Today got a communication that the parcel from Greg is here in ANDORRA!… maybe tomorrow would be delivered home.
Quite late today.
Just a few more words… JUTLAND (book) also arrived today! Hope Angus Konstam delivers…
18 Nov 2021
Yesterday, in another example of Good Communications, got an email from Greg teling me he has got the extra bases from Pendraken… so maybe next week (DHL been so fast!) I will get my Pony Wars (John Ford) stuff here in Andorra. Glueing the already painted minis and adding flocking been so fast too!
It is my intention to show you step by step how it is… getting the parcel, unwrapping, sorting out, and deciding on “variations or not”.
17 Nov 2021
I think it is time to close this particular digression… summing up:
10.- I was drawn to wargames as a colateral love of books… I have always read a lot, since my early childhood, was an early reader, had a nice collection (grandad own) of books at home at my disposal… and never ever once no one at home forbid me any kind of book… So I am first and foremost a compulsive reader, and as such I was exposed to wars (even the Bible has wars on it… and yes I read it cover to cover too). I always was fascinated by the conflicts of “humanity”… films were a later influence (loved movies a lot in my time)… when I was born it was the wireless at home … lol… no TV until much later!
There you have it I collect 54mm Toy Soldiers as a hobby, I am interested in wargaming (to a point) and currently have been collecting wargames minis in 6mm (mainly Baccus and also some Rapier). My evolution in the world of toy soldiers has been explained in detail in this points. If I ever live that long (from THE QUIET MAN) I will be 70 years old next February. I am at the end of the hobby and only add small things to it. IT WAS FUN.
But I will read as long as I can.
16 Nov 2021
7.- There you have it in a nutshell… I adopted MINIFIGS 25mm and was a faithful customer for nearly 30 years!… I had my megalomaniac Waterloo project, ACW, AZW, Colonials, even Ancients!… Of course I finally evolved and started buying other trade marks in the same scale to fill the gaps in the MINIFIGS Catalogue… To the Redoubt, Wargames Foundry, Dixon, Old Glory, Connoiseur (ex Hinchcliffe) etc etc etc.
8.- Then I had a very deep crisis with 25mm and wargaming in general… I was fed up (note that I still collected toy soldiers in 54mm on the side), and I sold all (99%) my collection through ebay. A drastic measure. The fact that I could not paint anymore because the smell of paint caused alergia in a familiar too! contributed to it but was not the main reason… suddenly I was concerned that my grandsons will considere me a warmonger!… so I went Playmobil to play with them and no painting involved (well not a lot at the beginning).
9.- Then one day I discovered that 6mm was less detail obsesive (the Kevin Dallimore syndrome affected me too… when people start painting 25mm as if it was Military Modeling you know…) and I liked the more room to maneuvre, the Baccus POLEMOS concept of a BRIGADE been a stand of 60x30mm had a lot of appeal… and it was like counters (tridimensional with flags) in a boardgame… bloodshed in the tabletop was less up and personal… so there you are I did it all again in 6mm. Sold some part of my Playmobils but mainly they departed as gifts to my grandchildren!… and I kept some for fun.
to be continued
15 Nov 2021
The second game by GREAT BATTLES OF THE WORLD along with the impressive B&W film with Errol Flynn induced a long time fascination with this particular battle, have nearly a hundred books about it and have wargamed it in all scales I have messed with (including Playmobils).
6.- While I wargamed in “plastic” AIRFIX… I started buying the red boxes of 54mm Tradition of London toy soldiers… just for display intentions. In one of the visits at the shop I was informed (quite rudely) that they did not deal with “plastic rubbish” (a bit of a snob the guy at the shop). Then I discovered MINIFIGS 25mm (it was a hard decision between 25mm and 15mm back then… but as I painted them myself and starting with Napoleonics I guessed the detail would be easier in 25mm… lol). Napoleonics was NOT the only period of course I touched almost all periods in the MINIFIGS catalogue!… obviously enough ACW was included matter of fact because I have done it six or seven times in different scales in my long journey… see below (curiously I built only the Union Army and my brother the Confederates… as they were easier to paint and get the basics info about uniforms (having done them in AIRFIX 20mm)… so we wargamed earlier the ACW than Napoleonics (that last one was a megalomaniac project with Waterloo as a final objective!).
To be continued…
14 Nov 2021
Sunday… today marks the first month of existence of the “real blog” post… it has not been such a chore or complicated thing to do… but I admit it is very difficult to say something “new” or “interesting” every day. Well, I try at least!
The History of my wargaming life is well known… but I will do a quick resume.
1.- When a small child I was given toy soldiers to play with. Mainly “rubber” or “cautchuc” from Spanish manufacturers. That would go on along the years… ( and nicely accumulating a lot of them) until when I was given an splendid gift from my parents (coming back from London) of a William’s Britain set (a double tray magnificent box of Coldstream Guards)… let’s see if I found a pic of it in Internet. No luck!… maybe one of these days… say about nearly a hundred toy soldiers and sentry boxes… Colour Party, the Band, Marching, at the Present, you name it it was there… WOW! I played with them (and other generations of children in my family) for such a long time… that I think was the origin of my true collecting addiction.
2.- I got a game of METAURO from the GREAT BATTLES OF THE WORLD series one X’mas… and from it I learned the mechanics of using dice, measuring movement etc. Later we used this knowledge and extrapolated it to other periods. With my small brother (ten years younger than me) we played elementary wargames (we did not know the term yet… battles we called them!) on the dining room table… mainly with Napoleonic 54mm plastic toy soldiers.
3.- Then I grew up.
4.- I will spare you the details of my adolescent/teenager years.
5.- Then I married. And what I did found in London on our honeymoon? AIRFIX 20mm boxes of the American Civil War!… I had already discovered the magazine BATTLE FOR WARGAMERS… and then my brother and myself collected the minis and staged a proper WARGAME with them… it was a draw… too afraid to lose in both sides I guess… I have pics from it!
Well enough for today… this is becoming too long… to be continued.
13 Nov 2021
Planning a little trip (after two years -nearly-) but I wish I was at SALUTE! (the only Wargames Convention I ever have been to in my whole life (not true after all I was once TO THE REDOUBT one)… lol (The London from Andorra we did in 4 exhausting days two of them passed in trains crossing France… a fantastic experience -SALUTE… not the trains-). My youngest son was in the 4 people party (the other been my wife and daughter) and we did participate in some of the games… he soundly beat me in all of them!
End of November early December I expect some parcels… at last!… those 6 months delay periods by Andrew Stevens are killing my nerves… lol
And I never seem to learn or stop ordering from him!… not going to write it here but an idea for next year is already looming. I will never learn (repetition).
12 Nov 2021
Such a busy day today!
I am sorry to do not have had more time for my blog… so here is a pic from another collector (figures are not mine!) Playmobil 75mm.
11 Nov 2021
Yesterday I bought a bit of modeling clay for the customization of some minis in 6mm (the batch that has to arrive from Liverpool), you see Miss Olivia Dandridge is a must have in Ford’s scenarios… and of course there is no model available. Guess it won’t be much difficult… the rest would be easy paint jobs. Would show pics before and after. Be kind with my efforts.
Once I got some 54mm by All the Queen’s Men, but with the “Prussian style dress helmet”, very nice models (a bit on the small 54mm range) and there included was a “fille du Regiment with kepis” and a small dog, see below the pic included today. Finally sold them to make place for more wanted items.
10 Nov 2021
Greg has emailed me saying he lacks some 15x15mm bases from Pendraken which mean a slight delay. No Problem. Still a good example of extremely well managed communications.
Got a new book from Valdemar Frontera series (in Spanish)… EL LOBO Y EL BUFALO by Elmer Kelton, number 25 already!… eclectic but mainly a good selection of titles and authors. This one of course is about a Buffalo Soldier.
9 Nov 2021
Yesterday the deal was completed.
The Royal West Kent officer is number 0054 of the Tradition of London catalogue (as per your webpage).
The Officer Royal Navy landing party is number 0042 as above.
If using Royal Mail we stick with this two models (REMEMBER TO USE THE KNEELING OFFICER WITH BINOCULARS FOR BOTH OF THEM OF COURSE!)
DO NOT WANT CUTTING OF HEADS THEY BECOME UNGLUED ON TRANSIT (IT HAS HAPPENED TO ME TOO OFTEN ENOUGH… ALAS)
2 weeks OK, Royal Mail Ok
send me total for the two figures painted in gloss and p&p… and paypal adress. Will pay ASAP.
The total for the 2 figures will be £30 including postage.
Paypal payment to: firstname.lastname@example.org
ME (after sending the money through PayPal):
This is how it is suposed to be, a quick honest transaction… will keep you posted when the figures arrive and post pics of them for you to see what all the fuss was about.
Enough for today.
8 Nov 2021
Hopefully after the weekend emails will follow course and order with rprati would be sorted out.
Going very naval minded this days after reading THE GOOD SHEPHERD I did read (again) the short book SINK THE BISMARCK! (short but very good mind), couldn’t stop there and bought JUTLAND (12 hours to win the war) by Angus Konstam.
told you!… still hot!
Yes we can do them but can you give me the Tradition set numbers of the figures you need it painting to?
The heads are part of the casting but we can cut and change heads to suit at an extra cost.
As it is just for 4 figures we will ship via Royal mail but I am not sure how long it will be held at customs or not?
The painting and time before it is shipped will be approx. 2 weeks.
We need to get started asap to get it done for Christmas.
Going to answer ASAP!
The Royal West Kent officer is number 0054 of the Tradition of London catalogue (as per your webpage).
The Officer Royal Navy landing party is number 0042 as above.
If using Royal Mail we stick with this two models (REMEMBER TO USE THE KNEELING OFFICER WITH BINOCULARS FOR BOTH OF THEM OF COURSE!)
DO NOT WANT CUTTING OF HEADS THEY BECOME UNGLUED ON TRANSIT (IT HAS HAPPENED TO ME TOO OFTEN ENOUGH… ALAS)
2 weeks OK, Royal Mail Ok
send me total for the two figures painted in gloss and p&p… and paypal adress. Will pay ASAP.
7 Nov 2021
At last!… I got messages from Andrew Stevens saying I will get the goods for X’mas!… great news…
In the meantime I will show you a model of good comms with Roberto Prati <email@example.com> :
Here find a pic the figure in the right is yours (a long time ago) can you do the same one kneeling with binoculars? (See pic on last entry 6 Nov 2021)
Yes we have just used that figure with binoculars for 2 new artillery sets.
Check below to see if it is the same:
Do you want the figure as painted or castings? Painted will be £11 and castings £5.
How many would you like?
Just some enquiries left:
1.- A small order would be in time for X’mas? Say 4 painted figures if available as I wish.
.- 1 toy soldier kneeling with binoculars officer Royal West Kent (as in Tradition of London sets)
.- 1 toy soldier kneeling with binoculars officer Royal Navy (as in Tradition of London sets) or similar
.- 1 toy soldier kneeling with binoculars officer Black Watch Tel el Kebir period. (IF THIS ONE IS NOT POSSIBLE CAN YOU DO A FRENCH FOREIGN LEGION OFFICER?)
.- 1 toy soldier kneeling with binoculars constable Royal Canadian Mounted Police (as in Tradition of London single figs. set)
Interested, answer ASAP.Cheers
All the above in the same day… and it was a Saturday!
6 Nov 2021
Sunny and cold (North wind).
A reflection in bad communications: If you ever have dealings with someone who does not answer your messages or emails you would be at least puzzled!… after all long distance ordering for goods NEEDS feedback!… it is an established fact that a good policy in that field has rewards… to be kept up to date makes delays more supportable… sorry excuses must not be used on those comms!… and fundamentally you must expect the truth and nothing but the truth… vagueness like “nearly there”… “working on it”… “on the working table” are NOT much use… specially after more than five (5) months since ordering!
To lose customers because of bad comms is probably one of the silliest ways to manage a business… even if small.
5 Nov 2021
Snow is back. Only on top of the mountains of course! But there you have it… another winter coming. Finished the book THE GOOD SHEPHERD by Forester, a damn good read!, a page turner that has not “aged” a bit, hectic, with rhythm, and the source of inspiration for a lot os posterior writers (including ping! Clancy).
Those Baccus 6mm Pony Wars (and some wagons multipurpose) would probably be my last batch in that scale. Have enough of those little chaps to wargame at leisure… but with collectors you’ll never know.
On the contrary what is a definite decision is to end collecting in 54mm, lack of more space and really all subjects finished (that is if Andrew sends one day the last batch!… it would be the last!… no change of seller… just put an end to it and that’s that).
Once they have finished works in my office I am going for ANTIETAM in 6mm scale… will profit the reparations of some leaking in the roof to send to the bin (garbage) the rest of my office (furniture and out of dat hardware) that is only accumulating dust… maybe my sons will use the liberated space.
4 Nov 2021
Could not resist droping a word by email to Greg yesterday (after 5 weeks) and he promptly responded with that great pic!… probably on DHL next week!… of course I will show the finished product and if I indulge in minor “touchs”.
I love the individuals or small companies who deliver. If on time the better.
On the contrary REPLICA (read Andrew Stevens) is going to left empty my sock this X’mas.. I can read between the lines and the messages are getting very dark for me… I only keep waiting because I am true to my word and would not cancel… but my patience is stretched to hard limits. Fortunately the end product is so nice I forgive him after a couple of weeks!
I first ordered 4 single colonial Brits figures to complete a set… necessary?… if you are a collector you know “necessary” is a relative term. One of them YES because I like to have both colours in a Great Britain Regiment (Gordon Highlanders)… the other three… why not?… once you have filled an order… even me can say they are not absolutely imprescindible… What complicated the thing was when he shoved me his US Cavalryman… I placed an initial order of 12 and added 3 more later on… I can wait for those… something tell me they will come in 2022 (at least before X’mas 2022 -heavy sarcasm there-). Will have to email Andrew and put things in perspective… the problem is that if I say OK send them whenever you wish… they will be further delayed… those are the hardships of collecting (of course hardship is used metaphorically).
3 Nov 2021
C.S.Forester was a good idea… excellent so far!
Nearly everyday I get solicituds by FaceBook members to be admited in my FaceBook group mytoysoldiersandme … lol … quite original I am? … I simply post or share pics of mine and others toy soldiers, quite a simple process. I am getting near 200.000 visits on this present webpage and more than 52.000 visitors in about two years time of existence… but what is really funny is to see there are aficionados all around the world (countries and cities) fascinating really.
First snow (quite little) of the season in ANDORRA… just a touch of white at the tops… but there you have it… it is nice to see the different seasons unfolding.
This is an “old” pic… the collection of toy soldiers has suffered drastic changes… lol
2 Nov 2021
Bought in kindle the C.S.Forester novel THE GOOD SHEPHERD… did not knew that one existed at all!… did read THE SHIP eons ago. Do not know about the film… books are always best… THE CRUEL SEA is an example (The film is not bad but the book is much better). Currently finishing NORTHERN SHADOWS… no spoilers but this fifth volume is a bit “unnecessary”… I still think the 4rth volume about the Trevilian Station fight is the best one!.
Finally found a copy of THE LIFE AND ART OF CHARLES SCHREYVOGEL. One missing in my collection…
1 Nov 2021
A month full of possibilities!… it is posible that Andrew Stevens from REPLICA finally ends my order (not sure at all but could be)… also the promised date of delivery of Greg about those 6mm Pony Wars minis would be also scheduled… not going to pester them… just see if they contact me with the good news… IF (BIG IF) they do not deliver then we will be headed to the X’mas mail crazy times and unfulfilled promises everywhere (as each other year demonstrated).
The book THE BATTLE OFF WORTHING has not arrived yet, but I guess it would not be a surprise to say that the First Service (aka The Royal Navy) would sink the would be invading foe… quite a fan of literature of the end of the XIXth…
31 Oct 2021
Not much inspiration today… the longest night… in Europe 100.000 UE burocrats/aparatchicks are incapable of deciding what damned hour we have to live on or get by… so every six months they advance or retard the clock to suit their fancies… it causes havoc with my sleep, lunch time and other facts of life, I guess I am a very grumpy old man… but NOT the only one that thinks they are mad!… And they are not going to save the planet (if need be) doing that!
OK, so to the shower and off to that little house in the mountain where my 54mm toy soldier mini collection is. Cheers.
30 Oct 2021
Well, after so much ACW … today I will recommend a little book (really for keeps) I discovered long time ago. You will see it has a setting in time and place but it is easy to extrapolate, probably one very good manual on small infantry units tactics. Hope you enjoy.
XIXth Century Britons Colonial Little Wars are another of my pet periods.
29 Oct 2021
To recommend books about the ACW is very difficult considering I am not American by birth but the vast majority of followers or lurkers of this website ARE from the USA! Nevertheless as I am not a negative person (and quite optimistic) I will give you the books I have kept after long years of study of this conflict (whatever Moltke said about “two angry mobs chasing themselves in the woods”). There are two main divisions books good for its text and info and those good for MAPS and UNIFORMS.
In the first category you can not go wrong with the classics by Shelby Foote and Bruce Catton, and George W Sears.
On the second stash of favourites are those with good maps!
And finally those with info about Uniforms (a subcategory of the second stash).
Guess you have the idea of my sources.
28 Oct 2021
Well, the long awaited book arrived and it is not really bad as a whole, but the artwork is very bad (it would have shamed me to produce such drawings myself), info is OK mind, specially in arms and naval chapters. But really the experience of buying hardcore specialized books without checking them in a bookshop has those limitations. I am a fan of bookshops but where I live makes buying English/American books compulsory by mail (amazon or similar). So you have those deceptions from time to time (some editors are guilty of producing books below par). So all in all I would not recommend it at all.
On the contrary there are small books not much talked about that are a real joy to get, to read, to go back to, and with excellent artwork, as an example:
So, there you have it, you pay your money and you take your choice!
27 Oct 2021
To end the subject of Balaklava just a recommendation, the best book in my collection by far is by Mark Adkin’s. I will never agree at a 100% with his thesis (I am an skeptical old man after all) but good reasoning all through and fairly recommended, you can read much worse on the subject believe me. The cover is not the edition I have but I imagine the contents have not changed.
26 Oct 2021
Yesterday was Balaklava day!… forgot to show you the different approaches I did in that long journey in wargaming. Did it in 28mm, 6mm and 75mm. The game in any scale did not include the Russians (firing off the table) the interesting part was the decision making process to see when, where to, how the Light Brigade would advance or charge or whatever… nearly rol-playing wargame.
25 Oct 2021
Not much time today. Just a pic of my Maiwand/Kandahar REPLICA collection.
The best pic I guess…
As Murphy really rules today have got confirmation the long lost book has arrived! (at the same time amazon has confirmed the invoice of a second copy!… I do not care better two than none!). It seems that with COVID19 long delays are the norm nowadays.
24 Oct 2021
Sunday, I have ordered again the ACW MILITARY MACHINE book, this time through another channel, the worst that can happen is that both books (copies) arrive!… but I do not think so. Somehow amazon deliveries are getting late more than ever!.
Fall is behaving itself, another sunny day! I do really have to start writing those “Chance Cards” for the ACW solo wargame (somehow I would like them to be multipurpose and not exclusively centered on the ACW… highly general “chances” applied to most periods… as for example YOUR LEFT FLANK IS SLOW TO REACT THEY DO NOT MOVE THIS TURN or similar… guess I will do a preliminary list, polish it, and then write them down on the blank cards i bought eons ago from amazon.com (BYCICLE STANDARD). Will keep you posted with that list!
23 Oct 2021
Decided to start with a pic from FaceBook today to lift the spirits. My own Sailors are from Tradition of London but found those irresistible.
Those Naval Landing parties are really great stuff. He recently did a double tray box for a customer (a lucky chap!) and that means months of work in those. A gun, the Band, Royal Marines wow! That is the perfect gift! Enjoy…
22 Oct 2021
Yesterday was Trafalgar day… the glorious 21st!… Not much of a naval wargamer am I… have read the complete Aubrey-Maturin saga… and accounts of the battle but the main thing is Napoleon’s was NO sailor, and luck and pluck has been in the Royal Navy for years… of course it is a “moral” thing and much ado with resiliance. So not negative at all about the oceans but Naval Warfare is not my thing. There is an excellent example in YouTube of a Trafalgar Wargame by those American chaps across the pond… excellent idea the visual effects with leds to simulate broadsides!… here have a link for once: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=F-wb3Akqqz4
and a tutorial: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DtZG5QFJqb8
At a time I indulged in naval warfare in 75mm! splendid ships!
21 Oct 2021
Not much to say, halfway through THE BATTLE OF DORKING (interesting in context), and no spoilers from me! Will give you another pic with the Rebs this time (have also been complemented nowadays).
20 Oct 2021
This winter I have to manage a solo battle of Antietam in 6mm. Everything is there… the Armies, the table, the scenery, the info… (too much info in fact). Only thing to streamline are the “chance cards” I use to simulate chaos and incertitude. Basic rules will be a mix of POLEMOS/ALTAR OF FREEDOM/MY OWN… just have to plan at what time would I go to the ancient office and do a move/sequence of play per day. That will not disturb my everyday life and at the same time achieve a long process of preparing for it! Hopefully I will keep you posted through here…
19 Oct 2021
Just bought THE BATTLE OF DORKING and THE BATTLE OFF WORTHING, they should be here in the next couple of weeks. Currently reading “Le Precis de l’Art de la Guerre” by Jomini and ON WAR by Clausewitz (in fact re-reading the last), both with the selected writings of Moltke are the fathers of logistics in my humble opinion. It is not enough to get there “fastest with the mostest” if you run out of ammunition or food… such an understatement! Also have been waiting for weeks for the book “The ACW Military Machine”, a lot delayed this one!
I love reading, wargaming come as a result of reading too much!
18 Oct 2021
Nice day. Not much new on the pipeline. It is still to early for the 6mm to be finished by Greg (imponderable too is the fact that there is no way to know how long will be to him to get the packs from Baccus)… on the other hand Andrew must be finishing the 54mm by now (or not)… his timing is at best “irregular”… only compensated by the sheer quality of the final product.
17 Oct 2021
Sunday, and a very nice autumn weather here in Andorra, will give you a pic of my new repainted Black Watch (It was originally bought as The Gordon Highlanders but the painter evidently enough used some Black Watch already painted figures!… I did have to paint the yellow stripes on the tartan myself!)… years later after buying the Gordon’s in khaki version I decided to restore those to his Black Watch origin… and done so in the last week (two different afternoons).
As a matter of fact I can show you an old pic of them to see the differences.
That would be all for today, just to show you how established patterns vary with the passing of time (once you overcome laziness).
16 Oct 2021
Well, yesterday I did finish a really interesting book: The Wars of German Unification by Dennis Showalter, I am a big fan of the ACW period and the whole XIXth Century as a matter of fact… curiously I had always neglected the Wars in Europe from 1859 onwards (that includes Magenta and Solferino), but what it really was a must read was the Seven Weeks War (I even have another book dealing exclusively with it: THE AUSTRO-PRUSSIAN WAR by Geoffrey Wavro)… The Austro-Prussian War of 1866 was a discovery to me!, I already had read a lot about the Franco-Prussian War (Michael Howard book is a must read about it) but also have books about uniforms and artwork (great painters of the period). Not going to wargame the period at all but reading History is fascinating… In a way the First Reich was Frederick the Great (who was great because Catalina of Russia died before smashing him), but the Second Reich is fascinating… (Moltke-Roone-Bismarck)… as you know (if you have read other posts about my fancies) I can not stand the III Reich or the XXth Century truly horrid times I am afraid… I put my foot down at 1900 and that’s that!.
15 Oct 2021
Here is a pic of the 54mm REPLICA Toy Soldier I have ordered from Andrew (a box full of them)… in fact mine hopefully would come without weapon in hand… just riding on patrol.
By The Way I guess that from now on I will buy castings unpainted and do it myself … I am getting too old for those long long long months of waiting for orders to arrive. I am not complaining mind, the art of Andrew is impecable… but I guess I can achieve the same result a lot faster… and even customize a bit.
Straight from the Baccus Catalogue the packs I have bought and sent to the painters (Greg), only alteration I prefer my hats to be Off-White. Baccus are 6mm wargame minis (Ten times smaller than 54mm Traditional Toy Soldiers!) and great for wargaming (I did all my wargaming in 25/28mm in the past…).
14 Oct 2021
Today is the 14th October 2021, my Blog as it is is getting close to 50.000 visitors and 200.000 visits. I know some visitors are coming more than once and also some of the so called “visits” are robots and even hackers who try to break in (do not ask me why… it really puzzles me).
But let’s go to the matter at hand, I will try to be useful with a proper Blog and if I can do an entry a day. It took me four days to realize that I was doing it the wrong way, quick lurkers or visitors want to see the “last” entry first… so OK I have proceed to reorder the entries on the Blog!
I am currently waiting for two orders of toy soldiers, one from Greg (6mm Baccus stuff… Plains Wars US Cavalry to play John Ford’s movies), and the other from ANDREW REPLICA METAL MODEL SOLDIERS 54mm “proper” toy soldiers collecting. Will post pics when they arrive.
After two years of existence my Blog is still interesting people all round the world… visitors from 155 different countries so far!… (THAT really puzzles me!).
“An adult who plays is a child who has survived.”
I decided to create a Blog – obviously and not originally named https://www.mytoysoldiersandme.com – because “My Toy Soldiers and Me” was the title of my book autoedited in amazon. It is a mean to communicate with the rest of the wargaming/collecting world -and a posteriori with my grandchildren- and specially with my small band of readers!
I have created today 28th October 2020 a Facebook Group evidently enough called www.mytoysoldiersandme.com for you to ask questions etc. This present blog does not permit it to avoid spam. Sorry about that. But it is the only way to communicate or solve doubts…
You must forgive me because this is NOT an orthodox Blog, in fact it does not function at all as one, it is more a collection of Posts (but one of the posts IS a Blog since the 14th OCT 21). I do actualize those Posts when I have an idea or change my opinion about something, but not in the usual chronological way someone would expect. What is more I put them in order at my whim thinking how I would like to read them myself.
I even wrote a book about it once, by now, a bit out of date because I have indulged in new recent adventures, specially concerning 6mm ACW armies… so here is the way to explain what happened next -after 2016- quite a lot of things in fact!
This book was what it started all. Well, to be exact -as it says in the caption- in fact this is the English second edition.
Table of Contents (Extracts from the Chapters):
quote: …/… There are collectors who never play, wargamers who have not painted a figure in their lives, experts in military history who do not even think for a second about buying toy soldiers, and finally professional painters of figures who do it for others and do not wargame or collect themselves. …/…
Between those extreme limits we live and thrive and in the span of life sometimes indulge more in one aspect and then another.
.- I .- History as the First Step.
quote: …/… For those of us who go on to recreate conflicts on tabletops, however, whether those conflicts are ancient (history) or imaginary, or we simply enjoy collecting toy soldiers (whatever the scale), the ability to suspend reality and obviate the more disagreable aspects of our favourite periods is essential. …/…
.- II .- Basic Influences.
quote: …/… Who in their childhood did not read adventure books? Or at least got his hands in an epic comic, or saw a swashbuckling movie or a war film? And then, after the experience, went to the toy box, whatever the size of it, and recreated the story with little or no care about matching exactly uniforms, weapons or other details in general? …/…
.- III .- Wargames and the Question What If?
quote …/… Among those who have indulged in wargaming, the percentage of time actually spent gaming on a tabletop is very low compared with the total time dedicated to the hobby as a whole. We spend a lot of time thinking about it, reading books, organizing and building armies, searching manufacturers, comparing scale benefits, painting figures, basing them, pondering which terrain we are going to use, and so on. …/…
.- IV .- Wargames with figures. A brief Historical Introduction.
quote …/… This book is maybe an exercise in self-satisfaction. But if some of you profit from my experiences and avoid making the most obvious mistakes I commited in my lifelong journey, so much the better for you. And always keep in mind that even after more than sixty years in this hobby, I still do heavily blunder sometimes. …/…
.- V .- Miniature Scales and the Suppression of Reality.
quote: …/… After so many years of buying, converting, painting, mixing and selling parts of my collection, with all the alternatives in between (like sending figures to a professional painting service), my personal experience is inclined to those counsels given in function of your particular situation. Remember that only what YOU think counts in the end. …/…
.- VI .- Scaling Down. Proportions, and the concept of Multipurpose Unit.
quote: …/… Believe me, specially at the beginning, and if you build your army slowly, the big temptation is to paint a favourite elite unit – maybe the Chasseurs a Cheval de la Garde Imperiale 1805-1815- of course!. We have all done it. Would it influence you if I said that the more time you spend in the hobby, the better your painting efforts will get, and that the order in which you paint the units is important? Why? Simply that you run the risk that the last unit you paint – e.g., an obscure militia unit you needed to paint because it was present in the field (and you want to be proportional) – will look better when painted than the first elite or fetish unit you painted a long time ago. …/…
.- VII.- Playing with other people or solo: Wargames and the Tabletop
quote: …/… Sometimes, I guess, the discharge of adrenaline that occurs during civilized tabletop games diminishes or helps control the aggressiveness of real life, or at least I like to think so. But I also think that the best wargames are those played in your head in anticipation of the actual game. I don’t know why, but things always seem to depart from the initial plan after the first move. …/…
.- VIII.- The Battle: Historical ORBAT, Army Points and variations.
quote: …/… One of the recurrent fears of the dedicated wargamer is being anachronistic, fielding on the tabletop units that were nonexistent at the time or simply not present at the battle. Everybody knows that there were no Polish lancers of the Imperial Guard at Austerlitz, and what is more, they did not have lances at their disposal for a long time. Nor did they have lances at their famous uphill charge at Somosierra in Spain in 1808. See what I mean? …/…
.- IX.- Figures, Terrain and Accessoires.
quote: …/… Before you fall in love with a particular size of wargame figure, keep in mind that if you are going to indulge in different periods, as we all do, then you will also need to choose carefully all the buildings, rivers, roads, barricades, trees, bridges, pontoons, mule trains, wagons, horses (to dismount cavalry), and many other things if you are to use them in multiple periods. If you do have armies in different scales or sizes, you will need to double up the scenery. So in a way, sticking to a wargame scale is also a money-saving process. …/…
.- X.- Hexagons, Grids or a Metric Ruler?
quote: …/… As with everything else in the hobby, it is a matter of gusto, personal experience, or even a function of the period played or the rules used. Try them all, and in the end you will stick to the one you like the most. But keep an open mind. Sometimes you find the best games where you least expect them. …/…
.- XI.- Rule sets and gamesmanship. Where’s the fun?
quote: …/… I must clarify that in many years of wargaming, I have collected many sets of rules, mainly but not exclusively dealing with my periods of interest, always searching tips that work here and there – Napoleonic, American Civil War – nearly anything concerning the nineteenth century and also Ancients intermittently. …/…
.- XII.- Collecting.
quote: …/… You will also learn that a collection is seldom a “quite thing”. You will have the tendency to exchange, sell, and buy items to consolidate the part you love the most, even if that entails discarding items no longer part of your main interest. With time, you will concentrate on some parts, expanding them or specializing in a theme, or you will change your objective, and that will affect the composition and structure of your collection. …/…
.- XIII.- Painting the figures, or the Painting Service Alternative.
quote: …/… As with everything else, there are various options when it comes to painting figures. There are the wargamers who paint the figures themselves, and some of them are very good at it. Others prefer to use professional painting services. A third possibility is those who simply buy the already-painted and based packs of figures available in the market, be those first or secondhand. …/…
.- XIV.- The Conversions.
quote: …/… I am not going to be a bore and harp on this particular subject, but here is the place to mention the astute mnaufacturers who have developped ranges that permit easier conversions, casting upper torsos, legs, and heads so that you can design your own figures. These include Dorset Soldiers (and REPLICA model soldiers) in 54mm and Redoubt in 25/28 mm. …/…
.- XV.- Museums and Public and Private Collections.
quote: …/… Those changes of location and “on” and “off” dates of visit are frustrating, so it’s always better to confirm beforehand. After all, a trip is expensive enough itself without indulging in deviations from the planned route to see nothing …/…
.- XVI.- Megalomania has its necessary limits.
quote: …/… Finally, let’s mention what I consider the most common sickness of the wargamer – the “if I only had another battalion” syndrome-. It is at the root of the very large armies built by wargamers, who are always thinking about a second or third chance in the game. …/…
.- XVII.- Summing up: To avoid mistakes.
quote: …/… It sound logical enough, but you will be amazed to discover how we all make sorry mistakes, especially at the beginning. Temptations are great, and you won’t be the first to do things in great disorder or without perspective. …/…
.- XVIII.- Playmobil.
quote: …/… Then suddenly I started to look at Playmobil figures in detail. With time and subsequent evolution, those crude toys from 1974 were slowly becoming less and less childish in design. I have to confess that …/… having in mind that I am a curious person by nature, I detected wargaming potential for adults. …/…
.- XIX.- Conclusion.
quote: …/… Enjoy whatever you do, and be your own guide Learn from others with more experience, copy whatever you like, adapt to your taste, convert to your needs, transform and work your own ideas to the last, but overall have fun with it, because any hobby is about having fun from beginning to end …/….
.- Update to the Second English Edition (Outro).
quote: …/… As it is, and especially from a certain age onwards, the “it is done” syndrome is present. At least this is what I thought around the month of August in 2008; at last I have finished my collections and pet projects, and I have written a guide about it. It’s a kind of self-help book for beginners, or “toy soldiers for dummies”, as those books are generally titled nowadays. I thought it was a fitting end, but as usual, time has proved it was not the end at all …/…
The reason of this Blog actually!
.- Acknowledgements and Final Note.
quote: …/… I think that the last words of the text need to clarify that entertainment with imaginary wargames on a tabletop is one thing, but real wars are a quite different thing. I have always admired the common foot soldier of any country, tribe, or nationality, – those who in history textbooks have been callously called “cannon fodder”- and I do include in this concept absolutely all of them. And I absolutely agree with the Duke of Wellington’s words after Waterloo: “Next to a battle lost, the saddest thing is a battle won”. This is why I love toy soldiers: they never die.
(Each Chapter has 4 or 5 colour pics at least).
Of course it does not mention LITTLE WARS TV for example (podcasts!), neither my current passion for the ACW in Baccus 6mm with Baccus and Leven scenery (renewed interest for a period). And some other collateral interests like the NWF, North of Africa Colonial French, LBH, Second Punic War -“counters” for a board game- Death Ride in the FPW etc. But this Blog hopefully makes up for it. In fact it complements the second edition in English nicely enough as an update.
As it is, I first wrote the book in Spanish because I was born in Spain and that was my first language.
In fact I thought this “blog” would be useful because I can edit, add, reorder or delete!- and post the link to the blog in FB or twitter. I am having a lot of fun… started in December 2019 the blog has had more than 103.000 visitors and 317.000 visits… (counting robots&would be hackers! in them visits, and from 165 different countries… ) not bad as a whole for such a minority interest!
By the way, if someone is interested contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org and will send you a PDF of the English Second Edition for free… have done so for a friend in Australia… so why not made a habit of it!
At last 2020 is gone!… what messy times… a terrible year.
a.- I have finished my project in 6mm ACW Baccus (and some Rapier)… now I can refight any Battle at Brigade level. Must adapt some 6mm rules for my SOLO games and that’s it. Well, the last parcel from REVEILLE is here. And some Infantry Brigades and Skirmishers + Officers of Artillery for all Batteries!, and also Divisional Commanders for both sides. This is an ended project . My heterodox approach includes officers for Artillery Batteries and caissons for each gun&limber. Have also many “special” stands for skirmishing and cavalry different formations.
b.- Andrew at REPLICA METAL MODEL SOLDIERS 54mm has sent (and it has arrived) the second order of 2020 to finish my second afghan/british war collection… That would put an end to my 54mm collection of classic toy soldiers. Andrew is a very nice chap but it is a unipersonal business and sometimes delays happen matter of fact… messy times again due to Covid. Finally got it without problems… nothing broken in transit… minor paint chipping I repaired quick enough!. And asked for an unpainted mounted general with Wolseley helmet going to be painted by Greg at Mersey Wargames Painting services!… And THAT is all. For the moment… one never really knows. Some of the pics in Andrew’s web page keep nagging my brain!
c.- This part is kept here as an explanation of how to do “Special Stands”, they are already in my cabinets… Once upon a time I thought I have finished the Baccus 6mm ACW Armies… including “special stands”… No way… it was a only a matter of time for me to have “the itch” again. I am not surprised… it has been always like this. So I am going to explain it in this post and let you see how things evolved. In fact I am NOT through the ACW… I fear I am addicted to those Brigade bases 60×30 mm specially for the ACW… because they look like my old units of 25mm Minifigs.
I guess I am going to concentrate in the ACW period and leave it at that (meaning no other periods are going to be built… a part from Pony Wars!). Better do one properly than disperse my actions with new periods. Have already sidetracked enough as it is… so at this moment ACW is paramount in my thoughts… A deep analysis of Altar of Freedom ORBATS manifests the sorely need to get 13 new Union Infantry Brigades and 9 Confederate new Infantry Brigades… that way I can play even Gettysburg (again)… The clear point is that what matters is the base and not what’s on it, so I am going to design new ways of glueing the minis on them and the way I placed them. By now they are all here at home and collecting ACW is finished (until Peter thinks of something else).
Examples: 1) Gaps in the lines; 2) Three Regiments per Brigade stands 6 in two ranks/one man gap/ 8 in two ranks with the flags/ one man gap/ 6 in two ranks… only minor changes in colour schemes; 3) Rear rank with less minis (attrition and filling the first line); 4) More space in the flanks of a brigade, have enough brigades with two lines of 12 minis… will go for some brigades with two ranks of ten; 5) A mix of all the afore mentioned. I love variety on the look of them. Will probably get them by the end of October 2020.
Updated 4th November 2020: Got the parcel from Greg at Mersey Wargames and have added the flags and actually doing minor painting modifications with POSKA markers (really slight retouching).
1.- New Project priority: Be able to solo play wherever I am… confined or not… that means reorganizing my wargaming life if science and medicine gives me a second lease of life… sounds a lot like a “saving throw”. 14 months of confinement gives you time to think a lot.
2.- I am using smaller bases for projects like the French Foreign Legion and guess some characters deserve to be in single stands. Nearly Role Playing you will think… in 6 mm?… well, why not? … Got them and are very playable for small games.
3.- No access to my 6mm figures makes the wait frustrating in this field. Those pics below seem very old to me.
Finally got my camera/tripod after a trip to my office, the Military Modelling post was done thanks to that. As Zinderneuf in 54mm.
It was a promise (damn COVID for the long wait!) Actualized on the 10th of July 2021. I know it has been more than a year but there you have it!
Today 27th of February the Reveille parcel arrived!… Very good Zinderneuf Fort and legionnaires based in twos and singly (smaller bases by Pendraken), also trees stands, bocage or impassable terrain in 60x60mm bases and a Mill Building for the ACW!… as usual Daniel Hodgson does the best scenery around, but still very good painting minis too mind! have to do proper pics… in due time… access to my 6mm collection still restricted.
4.- Long, long, long ago I decided that I have not love lost for Dervishes, Fuzzy Wuzzies, Afghans, Zulus, Redskins etc. specially NOT in 54mm (But neither on 6mm). I still have temptations in 6mm… but so far I have avoided the minis… puffs of smoke here and there and dice throws will suffice… To each his own manias… I love MY Armies but do not have empathy with the enemy at all… wish there was a Wargames Club nearby sometimes … The only exception to the rule is the ACW (built both sides and love them all).
5.- Have a couple of pics from Replicamodelsoldiers Andrew… he has nearly finished my order for last December (2019) by now… January 2021…
In those four pics you can see part of the Infantry, the lancers, and the rearranged/reshuffled cabinet to liberate a shelve for them. By now the RCMP is gone to the other cabinet and two shelves are liberated, in fact after putting the Royal West Kent’s in “close order” I managed three shelves instead of two!
So in a nutshell those are “the moves” actually happening, in the meantime reading a lot of books as usual, Little Big Horn, ACW, Western “classics” , a BD (read Comic Strip with French text) on the Maximillian Mexican War (splendid drawings by Meynet) and a wonderful English edition of War&Peace by Tolstoi (actually ended it and no wargaming use for it at all I am afraid… lol ) Actually in page 700 he mentions Blue coated French Dragoons to my everlasting surprise and disgust, at least the editor could have provided a footnote on the page explaining that French Dragoons were Green coated… (redundant and farfetched comment just for those who still think that is a new set of Napoleonic rules). Just bought the book ROSEBUD by Paul L. Hedren on amazon.co.uk because it seems interesting to wargame… in fact it is a very good read and I can recommend it!… also have finished volume 4 of Daniel Greene’s Northern Wolf… and rereading “Sharpe’s Eagle” (Bernard Cornwell of course) and Beau Geste/Beau Sabreur/Beau Ideal by P.C.Wren yet again, reread the whole Caspasian adventures due to the new one on kindle, and then went on to read BLACK HAND and the first Harry Brown book (fan of Anthony Conway/Nigel Price)… and indulging in some yet read again of Zane Grey.
And here we are… waiting for a vaccin* to be developed or a cure (read drugs anti “the thing” that works)… any of them will do I guess. Not finding funny the comments on the news that only kills over seventy (been 69 puts you too near of the front line I guess).
*At 70 years old and three shots of vaccine later have eluded COVID so far (12 April 2022)
Today I Added a Post… Playmo-pics.
Currently finished reading The Moon Tree by Anthony Conway/Nigel Price… great outpout BTW. (Rosamunde Pilcher with three shots of testosterone). Very quickly I read The Queen’s Gambit (well written) book always better than TV.
ALL the books mentioned above have been read cover to cover… today’s reading Sears ANTIETAM book…(finished) nearly as good as his GETTYSBURG… next CHANCELLORSVILLE (finished too). Going to read Junger’s Steel Storm for a change (really an horrid thing WWI!) finished it and then read All Quiet in the Western Front… (NO WAY I am going to wargame WWI !!!) currently reading TO THE GATES OF RICHMOND (Sears)… and have read again Rutland’s Curse (Roger Carpenter) (Second Anglo/Afghan War), a funny thing is that I finally read the novel Little Big Man (much better than the histrionic movie!) and curiously enough I loved the Little Big Horn chapters (to my surprise because I was prejudiced against by the film) I can recommend the book!.
Actualized post the 20th May 2021.
Currently reading a lot of books, specially mid XIXth century, Magenta and Solferino (Risorgimento), the wars of German Unification, the Austro-Prussian War etc. (No intention whatsoever to wargame those but still interesting reads). On the side and for a change I have read a bit of sci-fi … Hyperion and The Fall of Hyperion… but also La Chartreuse de Parme (in French) I did read a translation when very young but somehow “different” in the original language…
Actualized post the 7th August 2021.
In my time I did indulge in Military Modeling, but not that much really, as I wrote in my book I have tried all the approaches to the hobby. Those chaps in Matt finish look very nice indeed but once you have finished them they are eminently “decorative” meaning by that there is no way to play “games” with them. Some I painted myself, some I bought already painted and based in a shop.
I will show next a mounted officer from the Spanish Army in the same scale as the Highlanders.
And finally a Greek Warrior, Prince Valiant and Richard Sharpe all in 54mm.
I stopped collecting them because they are quite fragile and when cleaning the bookshelves they are exposed to heavy damage, not if I clean myself mind, but sometimes the “hired help” are not careful enough. Did do some repairs on them several times.
I also have a Custer Last Stand model but I deleted the post Little Big Horn.
By 2016 I had sold my 25/28mm collection -a hard but sound decision- , as a result of a deep crisis with that scale, I still like them mind, in fact I liked them so much that I already considered them Military Modeling stuff of the first order. The standards of painting had improved in a way that you can extend this to 15mm and lower, but let’s leave it at that. They are too expensive and beautiful to be handed and grappled (to do not say dropped) by uncaring hands. For me, by now they are minis to be displayed in cabinets. They seem to do some lot of skirmishing nowadays. The point is clear.
Since then I have built a small collection of 6mm, it is small because of the scale but also because I concentrated on some periods and I did not ” let myself go” as I did in my youth/middle age adopting now a more prudent way of amassing minis. They are mainly Baccus because of the sheer quality of the minis and because they suit my taste, but another reason is that the range -catalogue- is quite extensive (which permits proxies) and growing which is a bonus (and a temptation). But not exclusively, I have some Rapier ACW too. Curiously for such small things they do not seem to mix very well, but this is just a matter of taste, do your own thing, it’s ok. It is always a matter of taste and in my case of “numbers”, I own now more ACW minis that I ever got in 25mm -and have BOTH Armies when in our youth my brother build the Confederates and yours truly the Union- My 25mm ACW troops went to the collection of my brother and where reunited with the opposition once and for all. Even in 6mm there are differences of measure so check compatibility before buying. Adler seems to steal the show with Napoleonics (some say the are big-headed minis… but for what I have seen in FB they look superb), got problems ordering from them BTW, I placed a small order of ACW minis and after quite a long wait (for me) it got returned to them… was not refunded and that was the end of the story, I must say -philosophically- that”shit happens”, but emails from them are not in the same level of friendliness as Baccus one’s.
ACW is my more orthodox approach to wargaming.
Me going to 6mm was a slow process: I already had the Crimean Light Cavalry Brigade of Tennyson fame (Baccus Napoleonic proxies). But after a stop or pause of several years I steadily built other periods. First of all I ordered from a painting service -more about that in an specific post- Roman Republic and Carthaginian Units to use in a board-game grid of a very old game (Metauro) whose 54mm plastic original figures had disappeared from the Earth after several generations of my family playing with them. I was pleased by the look of them Baccus -Up to that moment I had doubts about the quality/presence of Infantry minis in 6mm scale!-
All right then, I went Colonial British Khaki, I specify so because I am not doing some of the periods I used to enjoy in 25mm and on the contrary going for some who were neglected for lack of time or cash or space. It is important to say for your info that I do not build the Opposition anymore, gone are the days of painting hundreds of Zulus, Dervishes, Fuzzy-Wuzy, Pathans, Afridis, Ghazis, Plains Indians and what not; I never preach or try to impose my ideas and do not believe in proselytism so as a mainly solo wargamer it is my decision and that’s that. Talking about “cash” I did self-imposed a condition to my wanderings, or several as it is: 54mm toy soldier collecting will not exceed the volume of the cabinets that exist (and not going to build more “cabinets”) meaning if I want to buy something… other parts must go to make place. And the funds raised by selling my 25/28mm stuff and a large part of my Playmobil Collection will pay for the 6mm venture (not that in the end I do not indulge in investing more in a monthly pocket money basis), but I seem to keep financial matters under control… more or less.
So, Colonial Brits with Bengal Lancers and Indian Regiments, Custer’s 7th (only Custer battalion), The French in North Africa aka XIX Corps late XIXth Century were added to the Crimean Cavalry, also a one off Von Bredow’s Cavalry Brigade from the Franco-Prussian War (the famous Death Ride) and last but not least the ACW with both sides present, meaning Billy Yank and Johnnie Reb. The ACW was my first love and a period played extensively with my usual wargames companion, my little brother (ten years younger than me and steadily going to sixty!). I think it was the Prussian General Von Moltke who said he was not interested -in the ACW not the age of my brother- because it was an affair of “two mobs chasing themselves in the woods”, I respectfully disagree. I will detail why I love it in subsequent posts.
I started again buying Baccus figures with Colonial British in mind, but with a change of colour, I went khaki because a read of the book MAIWAND made it compulsory -we wargamers are like this-. By then I had already decided to use a painting service -or several- not because I do not know how to do it myself, just because when you are near seventy years old… time is a factor and that was not the only project in mind. In fact due to real life work pressure I did use painting services in 25/28mm in the late old days of that scale unable to snatch the time to do the painting myself, so it was not a new experience at all.
I was lucky, the painting service provided by Mersey Wargames, Turbil Miniatures and REVEILLE (found them on eBay) has been excellent: the ratio price/quality, the basing they use, and quite a quick turnaround. Sometimes the packing is a bit loose but that with 6mm is not a problem -never ever had nothing broken in transit- I have already mentioned that I put the flags myself and do retouch the final aspect with POSKA markers. Yes! the 66th carried their Colours at Maiwand… (I did a quick conversion to get the Ensigns with the Colours using dressmakers pins).
I use – of course – the same minis to fight Maiwand, the North West Frontier and The Sudan. It is a bonus of 6mm. One of the main attraction of Baccus is the quite complete Catalogue, but of course it is never complete for maniacs of a certain period, then you use proxies. I had the lucky strike to get (from the WWI range) the minis with turban head I needed to my project -a coincidence in time mind, I had already started blindly when Peter added those figures to the Catalogue!- he did graciously acknowledged the point! in a private email saying something about how sometimes -not frequently- small pieces seem to get into place to make someone happy! A great chap Peter Berry.
So lets do a quick survey of the Baccus Catalogue for Colonials: The packs I used have the following references: CBR02 British Infantry-Firing (only problem the bugler comes with the marching infantry pack); CBR24 Highland Infantry-Firing (again the pipers are on the Marching pack); CBR04 Lancers (great pack no problems there); CBR05 Royal Artillery 7 pdr. , I used limbers from the ACW range -finally having 6 horses per limber- never managed that on 25/28mm! mind that I do not duplicate the stands I simply use my ACW limbers!; CBR25 Royal Artillery 2.5 RML Mountain Gun simply excellent, I also dissembled some mountain guns and glued them on mules from the mule pack and a perfect stand!; CBR26 Royal Navy – Gardner Gun did the same with them but with pack camels; and CBR08 Mounted Officers excellent again… have bought several because I use them as converted standard-bearers too. Somehow that ends the “normal” packs then as proxies: WWI range Indian Troops GWE10 Indian Infantry Advancing – GWE11 Indian Infantry Firing – GWE12 Indian Vickers Guns and Crew – GWE13 Indian Cavalry (excellent Bengal lancers) and GWE15 Indian 2.5″ RBL and Crew. Of course it is very important in that scale to have the transport baggage so I bought packs: EQU03 Pack mules (used too on the Little Big Horn project, the trick is NEVER use figures on the stand!); EQU01 Waggons; EQU12 Pack Camels (ABU KLEA in mind); and the Naval Brigade using Confederate from ACW08. I even managed to build a Hussars with Swords Cavalry Regiment using CBR03 and a bit of cutter work modifying carbines into swords and a bit of work on the scabbards too. Really satisfied with the result.
This period is completed and does not need new additions, as other minor “one off” themes quite self-contained.
The one imposible to control up to today is the ever increasing ACW project!, but that is my particular pet subject.
After taking a peek at the Outro of my book I guess it is time to say that 6mm won. The decade or so that I toyed with Playmobils is gone forever, mind, it was FUN and no dealing (well a bit) with paints and rigid figures (lead toy soldiers have a definite “position” and you can not change it) was a novelty for me -of course I could not resist painting some extra details on them- but what was really amusing was to dissemble them and do other figures exchanging parts- that way you could get the soldiers Playmobil never produced (even if they produced the parts!).
So, the movements Up & Down in scale after a deep crisis with my beloved for years 25/28mm ended with an exclusive dedication to 6mm. I sold or gave as gifts to my grandchildren the vast majority of Playmobils and kept some for good old times sake. Currently in my office Cabinets there are only the Trooping of the Colour set, and the complete 7th Cavalry at the Little Big Horn (1/5 aprox scale)
Baccus 6mm has won the contest without doubt and it is a scale I am really satisfied with for wargaming purposes. Gone are the days of detail obsession, fear of derision at doing something wrong on the painting scheme (never painted “eyes” on my 25mm), the ever present search of the perfect set of rules, and other aspects that were nagging me as the lack of room to maneuver, the always secure flanks, the difficulty to present the tail of an Army, Lines of Communication and so on. There were intelligent tricks to represent all this on the tabletop in the larger scales… but got fed up with them in the end: dice to see if that flanking troops arrive!; dice to see in which place of the table!; take a chance card! etc. It was becoming Monopoly.
Maybe I should have explained earlier that for me not all the fun comes from winning a wargame, not anymore, it is equally interesting the disposition of forces in a marching Column, its movements, the scouting ahead and the flanks and rear, and the correct orders and ways to attack or pin down and flank an enemy position that a battle head to head so many times done in 25/28mm. I can move troops in 6mm! Suddenly couriers and vedettes have a meaning, where the troops “are placed” also, and moving them around is a serious business I enjoy. This of course is mainly done in small Colonial periods aka Punitive expeditions in the NW Frontier, Desert warfare in North Africa with the XIXth Corps (French you know), Tamai affairs (Osman Digna), Custer’s Battalion movements (an interesting mystery), Doomed Charges of Cavalry (or not), they all have the BONUS of space in my old tabletop. Of course that not exclude big battles as in the ACW period but are today less of an obsession and not the only target.
So, to sum up and end this post 2016 actualization:
1) I have a nice -for me- 54mm traditional New Toy Soldier Collection on display and add items to its themes very very slowly and carefully!… It is real interesting when I find a firm as Replicametalsoldiers&models (Andrew Stevenson) who can do “special things” on demand. No change of main themes in the offing, but toying of with my own version of A GENTLEMAN’S WAR with 54mm… will keep you posted about that (a 2020 project).
2) Playmobils are in my past. But I still skirmish or parade them when my grandchildren are in the mood… not often enough.
3) 6mm is my actual passion, I keep saying to myself: This is the last order… this is the last parcel to the painters… I have to write down some really good rules for 6mm just in case my brother turns up unexpectedly and we have a game like in the good old days… only reason why I built those ACW Rebels!.
4) The old Boardgames of my childhood have new figures (METAURO has Baccus 6mm), and Little Big Horn has kept the only 25/28mm figures I own today a mix of Dixon’s for the 7th and Old Tradition of London for the Native Americans… Nowadays waiting for the release of the Hostiles by Baccus to get even another possible way to game the LBH outside the limits of the old boardgame. Incidentally I must mention that I have over one hundred books about the LBH alone… quite obsessive about it! And even a couple of Hex based Boardgames like my brother enjoys!
And I hope that makes clear what I am up to at the beginning of 2020!, finally decided to build a 54mm force to “play with” NOT a cabinet display unit… jus a FUN purpose game. Blame Mr. Howard Whitehouse book “A GENTLEMAN’S WAR”.
For old Napoleonic good times sake let me recommend to you those imprescindible books by HEIMDAL… The French Line Infantry is due in May 2020. Still wondering if I will indulge on the period again… OMG!.
ACW was my first love, it still is, and thats that. The main reason of wargaming again the ACW (must be my sixth try), this time in 6mm, is because it is well balanced and a “compact period” 1861-1865.It all started with John Ford and the movie “THE HORSE SOLDIERS” which I saw so many times when a child that it left an everlasting impression, and I did not dig all the nuances until I was older, for me it is a masterpiece of condensation, nearly everything on the ACW is there. If you add to that my old 54mm soldiers, AIRFIX 20mm period, MINIFIGS, FOUNDRY. DIXON, TO THE REDOUBT, PLAYMOBILS and finally BACCUS… Well… Recurrent is the word you are looking for…
Of course it was not only the movies… I enjoyed reading SHELBY FOOTE three Volumes, a real tour de force! So packed with information that I had to read slowly to digest it -meaning I read a lot of other books at the same time- even about the ACW too!
Of course refighting historical battles as they do in LITTLE WARS TV is Ok, but I always enjoyed “doing my own”… it is very hard to simulate in the Tabletop the disinformation of the real Generals (The overestimation of The Southern Armies numbers by the Union Generals -aka little Mac- is a well know fact!). Still even so Bull Run (1st Manassas) is a favorite up to a point… But to be honest I mainly I build a scenario with a bit of fog of war, try to enlist some generals from my brother downwards and that’s it. Fictional battles are for me so much more fun after-all, in real war you can not pitch Stonewall Jackson against U.S.Grant for example… in real life they never fought each other.
But, apart from other lines of entertainment with Baccus figures, at the moment it is the ACW who wins all bets. I have the Armies, the scenery and the will, but must write some easy to understand home rules for my grandchildren, always have loved simple rules but with a twist some place.
So, to sum up my progression: I started wargaming when a kid in a rudimentary form on the floor with 54mm “rubber” soldiers (1). I then -in my early twenties-discovered the plastic AIRFIX whole range in 20mm -in fact 4 different boxes; Union Infantry (blue), Confederate Infantry (grey); Artillery (medium brown) to be used for both sides; and finally US Cavalry (Blue) that you had to paint for the Rebs- and went for them boxes like the quest of the Grail! (2).
In due time I discovered MINIFIGS 25mm, then based at Southampton, so I graduated to “metal” and their Catalogue (which I still have) was my companion for years! (3). I still recall the sorrow when a Zouaves unit got “lead rot” and become unusable… of course I dutifully bought them again and painted them even better… those were my painting years. Afflicted by a bout of Napoleonic megalomania I swapped my 25mm Union Army for my brother’s Napoleonics (same trade mark) to do not have to transport them up and down because we lived 200 Km away from each other. It was a satisfactory solution, and I went to complete all Napoleonics nations as a result.
Then FOUNDRY started an ACW range and I could not resist buying ACW UNION Cavalry under “THE HORSE SOLDIERS” influence, by then I was mixing riders and horses (Dixon) and making conversions -nearly military modeling- one thing lead to another and I got some Artillery… and then why not? some Infantry -you need some at Brandy Station I reasoned- of course I bought the Confederates too… That was my fourth effort! (4). Finally, crisis struck again and my faith in 25/28mm was shattered… regretfully I sold them all. Some of them -those Union painted by me- became property of my brother who had the Rebs and no crisis of confidence with that scale. We even exchanged some Napoleonic’s for them… I kept the 25mm Napoleonic’s longer than the rest… but they were sold too in the end!
With the funds obtained I started building Playmobil Armies for my (then) first two grandsons… once organized I thought it was a way to confront brother against brother in a too realistic way and scratched out the project… Sold them all again. (5) And went “tricorne era” fictional Playmobil Armies much more clean in spirit, and much more toy soldier like, a la Charles Grant Jr.
And where was I?… Reading Practical Wargamer… and there I found Baccus ACW Cavalry on the cover of one number!… nothing less than East Cavalry Field (again)… months of musing about it… I bought POLEMOS ACW rules from Baccus… and fell in l love with the color pics (eye candy) -Rules as it is I prefer my own as always- And then to make a long story short I went Baccus ACW 6mm for both sides (6).
Do not pity me!… I had tons of FUN in the whole process that lasted years and years… and I am certified as SANE.
So there you have it, I have build six times the period and have read a long list of books about it, by the way Paddy Griffith is very good at it!. There are two very good books to own by him: BATTLE IN THE CIVIL WAR Generalship and Tactics in America 1861-1865 with stunning artwork. And then BATTLE TACTICS OF THE CIVIL WAR. As per uniforms information the best to my knowledge apart from the Osprey’s, old Blanford, and Troiani’s and Kuntsler’s and Rocco’s paintings the best single volume is: La GUERRE de SECESSION Les armées de l’Union et de la Confederation- by HEIMDAL in France.
Now, as I have in my modest collection enough troops to have fun -megalomania is a pest to avoid- and all the references of the Baccus Catalogue! I am satisfied. I must confess the range is splendid and one of the best in Peter’s production.
I use the ACW limbers and caissons also in colonial affairs mind, and also the horses for dismounted Cavalry. I even have some Rapier Union Infantry to add a bit of variety to the collection and also Rapier Cavalry on both sides. I even mixed minis from other periods getting French with kepi from the Franco-Prussian Baccus range too… anything to add variety. Im my opinion one of the best Baccus packs is ACW7 because it has hat and kepi figures and some with rolled blankets across the chest -always a favorite of mine- so, if I started anew building Baccus ACW Armies I would surely get all the packs but ACW7 would have the lion’s share of the purchase (the only drawback is ACW7 has only one standard-bearer!).
If you are new to the period I can recommend:
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 about 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), GETTYSBURG: 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 of course hundreds more…
And 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, THE NORTHERN WOLF SERIES (5 books I guess) RUTLAND’S BLUES AND GREYS, CIVIL WAR STORIES (A.Bierce)… Frank Yerby, John Jakes, even the great Bernard Cornwell did 4 novels (probably not his best novels though) about it!