The battle of Dorking is the fundamental or quintessential scare of the XIXth Century in Britain, based on the book namesake after 1870… the Prussian Army concerned a lot of the fears on the Island (silly without a Navy who could slip the Royal Navy at all of course!)… but the scenarios you can build around the them are FUN!
I am currently waiting for three parcels to arrive to complete the small units I need to play them. The British are finished but the Prussians lack Cavalry and some “touchs”.
You know I am a 6mm orthodox (more or less) solo wargamer… a collector of 54mm Toy Soldiers (part of them used in traditional old style games)… but also a Playmobil fan with my grandchildren. Let me explain why… probably you do not care at all for those german toys (mainly quite pacific oriented!)… but some of us perversily used them in wargames and role-playing… LOL
As always a picture is worth a thousand words so here have some… have in mind I collected Playmobil soldiers mainly for years without knowing they could be dissembled and rebuilt exchanging parts!… quite easy once you know how… the method of kitchen scissors and a towel is my own as seen in YouTube!
Lets start with the US Cavalry (You all know I have a fixation with the French Foreign Legion thanks to P.C.Wren) but this is not my only obsession… John Ford and John Wayne (and Richard Widmark, Ben Johnson and a lot of other mainly from Ford’s stock company) plunged my young imagination into it… as Errol Flynn of course!
Well, here is a theme overdone by Playmobil thanks God! See some pics:
The head act as a plug that keeps the lot together (german engineering), actually a great idea that permits personalization.
Many times only a change of hat does the trick! In subsequent entries you will be introduced to my battle of Dorking outfit (not related to Dorca at all) and will see how my French Foreign Legion Playmobils double as Prussians with the change of hat!
I have a lot of ideas and pics to post this days… but those arrived yesterday and have got priority no matter what… My FFL order to complete an Army is underway and in good hands… simply ask Antony!… he will deliver… this is as silly as commending a good Restaurant… afterwards no way to book a table for you!… but he deserves it in spades… ask Scott Lesch if in doubt!
I must say all this posts are against my own interests… my orders get delayed and delayed because new orders arrive daily at DORSET/IMPERIAL HQ’s… LOL but I must admit they deserve “the plug”… those lovely figures once painted would be proud pieces of a collector… no doubt about that… in the meantime I guess I would have to email Antony asking what about mine? LOL (again)… now seriously one must be patient dealing with the world of conversions and Toy Soldiers “a la carte”… it is not the same to ask for ready made sets than to ask for special pieces… this take time… but the results are worth the wait!
Playmobil has a policy of not encouraging War Toys or Wargames (idiotic if you ask me when the most popular sales are the Pirate Ships… nothing worse than pirates in my book… and also produce Imperial Romans and even a Circus (Roman you know)… hundreds of fans indulge in making for themselves Napoleonic Armies (a forever popular addiction)… why Playmobil do not produce sets os soldiers or Military Bands eludes me completely… after all they do the pieces that you can collect bit by bit and then mount on… the most difficult part to get are Hats (some astute manufacturers in resin do) the rest is fairly easy to get. There are even flags adhesive manufactured! So there you have it we have those Armies after all… and Playmobil can manufacture James Bond Aston-Martin etc. Toy Soldiers are NOT their forte (a part from the ACW which they did!… and a lot of soldiers to do AWI/7YW… and cowboys and redskins)… a strange world we live in.
Sometimes perfection needs a bit of variety… meaning that the REPLICA set was great but strangely enough the 4 gunners where a bit repetitive… 4 gunners in the same instance or attitude made 8 for a battery… so… with the passing of time I become obsessed by their looks and finally decided to add ramroads and bullets to them… see second pic. It was just a matter of ordering some bits&pieces to IMPERIAL/DORSET miniatures… and glue them on.
Now they look much better in my collection I guess… same to be done to an Indian Raj Battery (Only the bullets). There, now you know what obsessive collecting is… at least mine!
Since a very young child I was a fan of P.C.Wren, yes I was able to read at a very young age… since then The BEAU GESTE trilogy (in fact five books and some short stories here & there) influenced my taste for toy soldiers and have collected them in all kind of scales (see elswhere in this Blog). In 54mm my DORSET collection precedes the REPLICA BRITISH 2nd AFHGAN WAR at least a couple of decenies… influenced by A GENTLEMAN’S WAR wargame rules (Howard Whitehouse) I am nowadays squaring the collection into 12 minis units to fight each other (for fun and tweaking the rules a bit). Of course the minis are not only used for AGW… a lot of scenarios can be played with each Army alone… more of that one day.
I let you with two recent additions by Antony Spencer head of design at IMPERIAL/DORSET (and ALL THE QUEEN’S MEN too I guess).