Yesterday was John Clarke… Today is Paul Watson (a true friend of mine), how can he manage to “cut”, “solder”, “repare”, “modify”, and dig gold from the scrap pile of old discarded toy soldiers by less able people truly amazes me , in this case the two members of the Naval Landing Party has been converted into stretcher bearers… and the “casualty” is a multipart “remake” (you know what I mean… one torso, other legs, other arms, and an overall good painting job!
All right, once the figures out of the Cabinet it is possible to do some kind of manoeuvres, so here it is the French Foreign Legion in Square. Of course it is easier to take pics because those figures are mine!
I had a collection of 54mm Dorset Soldiers (lead) but the numbers of it were indifferent (modulated on 8’s + officers)… now after an additions bit (sharks frenzy feeding) I have 9 Companies of 12 men adapted to A GENTLEMAN’S WAR set of rules (I use modified if you please).
So yesterday I paraded the force to organize properly. Two of the Co’s are mule mounted (see pics), there are two machine guns, a Battery of Artillery, an Heliograph attached to HQ/Command and some Mounted Officers and ADC’s.
I was early up this morning… and perusing Facebook found this pic (and added others about the same subject)… guess that there are themes that will never die in the minds of collectors… and one of them is the 24th Foot (Zulu War of course!)… it happens with a lot of other units… the light Brigade 1854… the 7th Cavalry 1876… La Garde Imperiale de Napoleon (specially the Old Guard Grenadiers) and so on…
Why they are all disasters to quite a high point seem to emphasize the legend the lore and the nostalgia… do not ask me why!
It was a poor attempt to “model with miliput” because it is never been “my thing”… but I was tempted to try to do a “Toy Soldier piece unique” (as I can not match the “true” Bill Horan’s in our miniature world).
It all started simply enough, I had a redundant arm with pistol… a couple of horses (Empty Horses David Niven would say in his memoirs) with no rider… and I asked Antony Spencer from DORSET SOLDIERS to send me a British Colonial Rider without right arm. Still planning to do a French ADC (mounted) for the other horse…
Once I got it… I decided to try my hand at what Antony Stevens does effortlessly, meaning adding binocular case and a haversack to a rather “plain figure”… I also worked a bit on the horse (which was already painted since many years ago) adding valise and equipment… I showed all that to you in a Post not so long ago (about end of December 2022).
Well here it is the result of my job in some pics… and YES he is standing on the stirrups!… not at a 100% satisfied but not bad for a first try since God knows when… Never thought “minimalist” Toy Soldiers would be so difficult to do!
Nowadays a hard core of aficionados has rediscovered the charm of wargaming (without throwing pellets) in 54mm scale with Toy Soldiers. After all it is a normal consequence of 28mm skirmish type of games… I am in it in spades… you will see in a couple of days when I post my “new” additions to an Army of French Foreign Legion figures by DORSET SOLDIERS… painted by myself because once retired it is a rediscovery (not exclusively for the less money involved.. because you get it exactly right!… and even fastest than to wait fot them to paint them).
Not that I do not buy painted one’s… in general they do paint better than me (specially Andrew Stevens who seems to get his shop REPLICA ready for business again!… and that is a piece of excellent news!). Dorset Soldiers (now amalgamated with IMPERIAL MINIATURES and ALL THE QUEEN’S MEN) do paint better than me too!… bu I have the patience and the time (Or whatever amount of time remains… LOL).
I am unusually happy with myself, as yesterday I discovered where I had put my old colour catalogues of DORSET SOLDIERS (from Giles brown time!)… that would facilitate enormously my emails and chats with Antony Spencer the actual “magic maker”… Only Old Hands would understand what I am talking about… but never mind… we old men are like that!