Different ways to game

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British square in 25mm, mainly Minifigs, but some Foundry and Perry too.

I once said, and still believe, that we play in very different ways, and in fact all is part of the game. I will add that we play because it gives us pleasure, and how we obtain this pleasure? some lucky ones from the first step onwards.

Nearly all those basic pleasures ferment in childhood, let me explain, I still have fond memories of toy soldier boxes unwrapped, the first look inside, the sheer pleasure of taking them out of it, and parading them on the floor… the floor?… oh my!… I was not there on the floor playing with India Rubber “mounties”… I was elsewhere… maybe some sort of mythical Canadian Northwest spreading law and justice! If you do not dig that you do not understand what adults are doing in this hobby.

A pic included because it shows top center two of my first toys, they are more than sixty years old… the “Mountie” on the horse (mentioned in the HELLO post) and the Bike rider some cross between a policeman and a military man…

I was lucky enough to grow in a house who had a library. And on top of that I was able to read at an early age. Do not recall been much bored -as of course I surely was like everybody else- but when bored I took a book out of the shelves, preferably History and went to other times and places… and learned.

This is becoming too mellow and uninteresting, let’s sum up:

1) You need information, when I was young in the fifties that meant books, now you have computers, that does not mean you will not get books mind! but access to information has never been so easy.

2) Once you are informed -you will learn that this part of the process never ends- you can start choosing a period (it simply would be the first).

3) Imagine you fall for Napoleon, it is very easy, there are tons of info about that exceptional human being (who had a lot of faults too! aka firing cannons on civilians manifesting in Paris for example… or the reinstallation of slavery in the Caribbean… the end justifies the means was his abc), no one in his right would doubt about his personal charisma and intelligence or IQ. He wrote a Civil Code that was in use in France for two centuries -on the side you know- but as a son of the Revolution he was the main exponent of meritocracy. No longer Blue Bloods ruled the world… the world was there for you to take it!… so if Kings (hereditary) were not pleased with that idea you just crowned yourself Emperor above them and HA!… of course that led to the Napoleonic Wars.

4) Now you have chosen the Napoleonic Period as a frame for your game, you will choose a scale. So vey important step and so lightly taken!… you will be sorely tempted between detail of the splendid uniforms (large scales) or brilliant strategy&tactics (minor scales). Well, whatever you decide you are on the game from the first page you read about it. In fact you can even choose a Board-game with a hexagon grid and cardboard counters and away with toy soldiers!… or why not a Video game?

5) You will need books or images of the uniforms, info about the Campaigns, catalogues of miniature figures, paints and brushes or a good painting service, and RULES!… lol… I knew they will appear somehow sooner or later, buy one set or some, try them, and in the end write your own if need be.

6) At the end of this fascinating and entertaining journey you will be ready to play and you can do that solo or with fellow companions with the same interests.

Was that not easy?, we are of course talking about years of dedication and obsession… bu all hobbies are like that (I include sports of course) it is an acknowledged understatement and the search of perfection is at the end of our particular rainbow.

In my humble opinion you are gaming or playing from the moment you step out of real life and its chores, and inhabit that private zone of your brain were imagination rules.

Welcome to IT.


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Fort Zinderneuf, a lonely outpost in the Saharian South manned by the FFL, if you have read P.C.Wren or seen the films not much explanations required. 54mm Dorset Figures.

Not all of the restrictions of the pandemic are a boring thing, in fact it has given me time to do things I have done on my mind for several years and never materialized because of lack of time and sheer laziness. The normal live I live keep postponing those things ad infinitum.

To begin at the beginning, I have always had a set of building bricks called EXIN CASTILLOS, it was a wonderful Spanish toy of the sixties, I played with them and build castles, so did my children when young because I purchased sets for them (nowadays have done so with my grandchildren too), one day of “cleaning up” at home I rescued the discarded sets of mine&my children from the list of things to throw away, put them in a box and stored them in my (then) office waiting for better days.

Detail of ramparts and interior.

In the meantime my collection of Dorset Soldiers (thanks again to Giles Brown) was slowly growing up and the French Foreign Legion in action poses (mainly) occupied three shelves of one of the cabinets in Pal. There is were I am semi-confined. So, one day I took the box from my office, cleaned the plastic pieces with soap&water and produced a mini ZINDERNEUF in 54mm to play with my Dorset Soldiers set. On another trip I had brought to Pal my camera/tripod etc.

Here you have the full set of pieces, I did not use the circular one’s neither the too Dark Ages bits for ZINDERNEUF, but I always sort them out before “building”

This is the result: a solo game I play against “time”, will the arabs kill all the defenders of the fort before help from Tokotu arrives? Will “Beau” and “John” survive as long as in the novel?.

Quickly built with nearly exhausting the rectangular pieces.

By the way, if you considere the BEAU GESTE trilogy (in fact five books!) too old fashioned for you, you can always read the Douglas Boyd (a great Historian of the FFL) novels THE EAGLE AND THE SNAKE; THE HONOUR AND THE GLORY and THE TRUTH & THE LIES… quite stunning thrillers where love&action are substituted by sex&violence in a quite modern way…

Another close up.
View from the back.
Lateral view.

Now, that was fun!, it has been years since I did a model with those blocks!, it’s like riding a bycicle… you never forget those tricks with the bricks.

I have done it in 6mm (still in my Baccus collection), 28mm (To The Redoubt… sold), 54mm (Dorset Soldiers) and in 75mm with Playmobils (now in the collection of my grandchildren).

When I did it in 28mm.
Major de Beaujolais column arrives from Tokotu…
Close up.
John and Digby desert after jumping the wall… End Game.

FFL Interlude

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Dorset Soldiers 54mm Toy Soldier Collection displayed in Cabinets in Pal.

Yesterday, and the day before, I included some pics of the French Foreign Legion in my post, well, let’s go through with it, I am a fan of this elite corps since I read the novel –Beau Geste– when a child, in fact I read the whole trilogy -which is not a trilogy- Beau GesteBeau SabreurBeau Ideal (connoisseurs know there are two more books about the Geste brothers Good Gestes and Spanish Maine*). Ever since I have not resisted the impulse to buy minis related to it and that’s that. Whatever my main wargame interest or collector fancy, there are always FFL soldiers in it. *The Desert Heritage in the USA.

So to make a clean sweep of this particular topic I will give you today the pics that shows my love for it -Legio Patria Nostra- a very particular elite mercenary unit which incidentally serves under the French Flag of Madame la Republique.

I have had Rubber India 54mm soldiers, 25mm Minifigs proxies, 28mm To The Redoubt, 54mm Dorset Soldiers, never got the Airfix box because I did not found it in the shops when visiting England, 54mm Military Modelling stuff from Andrea Miniatures, and I had to build them in GodsOwnScale (6mm) using proxies (see other posts), and of course customized Playmobils!

Some Conversions… Havelock heads from To The Redoubt ACW range…
That was more complicated… but the FFL is always “capable de se debrouiller”.

Too many pics probably… but this takes out of the way a personal passion (mania) which would have appeared recurrently on the blog. This is it and we forget about the FFL. Curiously enough I did my own compulsory military service in Spain in the (then) Spanish Sahara… so I know a bit about the desert myself. Always have tried that my sons and grandsons did not get the chance to repeat such a silly ordeal… and I still like P.C.Wren.

Lets depart from the theme with a pic showing the separation of the brothers Geste… Digby is going to Tokotu with the their Americans friends Hank and Buddy to train on the Mule Mounted Companies. Playmobil 75mm customized.
And finally 6mm Baccus -proxies-
Captain Danjou FFL Companie on the road to Camerone*, for once 1/1 scale (all are there represented by a mini) . Foundry 28mm. It includes some “conversions”.
*Hacienda de Camaron.

XIXth Corps d’Afrique

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The rest of the French Colonial force.

That concludes my French Colonial Army.


Painting Services.

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A typical order when arrives, open the box and you get 4 brigades of Infantry, 2 of Cavalry, 2 limbers and 2 Wagons. Mersey Wargame output. I do not even have to buy the minis myself, just specify what you want in a detailed form and pop goes the whistle. I did put the flags on myself.

It is normal to finally use them, the reasons are many and varied. I have written below a quick sum up of what I considere the first and foremost.

There are six main reasons to use a Painting Service to my knowledge:

  1. You are the ten thumbs type of person who does not like arts&crafts, and is not able to paint the figures yourself, but has read History and wants to wargame or whatever… needs someone to paint his miniatures for him. No problem at all you did not build your car don’t you? (mind, I know a guy who does! -built his car-).
  2. Time is an issue, either you are too old -as me today- to contemplate starting something anew, or either (as was my case too at a certain time) you do not have spare time because you are overworked and need what remains of it to have a family life in the real world.
  3. You do not have a room or a corner to do the job yourself -this can be aggravated but someone living with you allergic to paint- pass on and go ahead… use a painting service.
  4. Megalomania also is a cause because it is impossible to you to do it for the sheer amount of minis for your project.
  5. Laziness, if you are able to explain yourself meticulously to the painters and have the cash… why not?.
  6. A variant of (2) is a Time Date, be that a wargame with friends or a Convention Game. You love to paint, and are able to, but you simply have not the timespan.

I always had a plus of love for the figures I painted myself, and I painted more than two thousand 25/28mm myself in my time, but I adapted quickly to the system at a certain moment due to point (2) and (6).

Guess this is enough, maybe there are even other reasons like short-sight or whatever but I am not going to dwell on that.

Nowadays I use several painting services at the same time (I am near seventy!), Mersey Wargames have painted my Union 6mm Baccus Army and other projects like Khaki British Colonials, Custer’s Battalion at the LBH, the XIXth French Corps (Afrique) etc.; Turbil Miniatures have painted the Confederates also using Baccus 6mm; and Reveille has painted Leven&Baccus buildings, fences, bridges, stonewalls, Baccus trees basing, and scenery in general (and some units because Daniel have done them for himself before).

A small order from Turbil Miniatures. Some Baccus and some Rapier (Cavalry) 6mm.

In my 25mm Napoleonic times, there was a time when I was really been overworking as an Arquitect, that made me start the process of dealing with painting services that even offered different levels of finition (I did the details and the basing myself) and that was the only way to have Austrian and Russian Armies and also other minor states…

Some tips that are probably evident… but nevertheless let me do a succinct exposition:

First of all you have to plan ahead because all painters have a waiting list, they are in it as a business and they want to keep the customer satisfied. So if you do wait too much to place an order do not be surprised by the long wait… keep that in mind. The better the Painting Service the longer the waiting list.

There are two ways to avoid too much delay: one which helps to speed the process (and gain time with cancelling the trips of the minis to and fro) is to place the order directly to the painters -of course it needs a sound knowledge of the packs or ranges you are asking for- but it is possible.

The other more lengthy but sometimes unavoidable if you -like I do- indulge in some conversions is to order from Baccus or whoever, and once things properly converted/organized send them to the painting service.

To gain time, if you really know what you are going to do, you can do it in parallel. For example: tell the painter via email: send an Invoice via PayPal for 12 brigades of Union Infantry ACW, 28 minis per stand including price of basing and put me on your waiting list while you wait for the rest of the minis to arrive, and so on. Ask for an ETA too. I would probably will use that mixed method if I do another period.

The most important tip is that the painter does not have the gift of telepathy, meaning that what you do not write down -on an email- will be done at his or her discretion, do you want the two standard-bearers standing in the front rank side by side? do say so, do you want a certain disposition of the figures in the base? specify correctly, do you want your Cavalry based in a certain way? wedge, line, double line, whatever… say so. I think I have made the point clear.

Think also that the Painting Service is not an Encyclopedia of your period of interest, and providing images and details of the uniforms ALWAYS (not shouting just emphasis) help a lot, specially when using proxies. Do not forget to ask for particular colours for the horses, trumpeters on greys, etc. And above all remember that what you do not specify is left to chance! – sometimes even a pleasant result-But surely it is not a moment for laziness. Do make your homework and the Painting Service will be almost as if you have painted the minis yourself.

Kingdom of Naples, Saxons and Bavarians. MINIFIGS 25mm. Once in my collection thanks to painting services.

I must add a black point… What happens if the parcel do not arrive? Normally you have to put your money forward when you ask something to be painted (providing the figures or not), so far so good. Never had problems in all my wargames life span -excepting an order from Robert Prati which finally was resolved to mutual satisfaction but that was 54mm long ago- until recently a parcel coming from Turbil Miniatures simply has vanished in a most puzzling way… no sign of it at all… has asked for a refund and Turbil obliged. A distressing experience when that happens for the loss of time and figures… specially TIME!

Conversions and proxies.

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Foundry Crimean conversions 28mm.

Nowadays we are spoiled for choice in the vast majority of scales and catalogues, so a lot of you would not even bother with conversions, proxies is all together another thing because in the smaller scales sometimes means just changing the paint job. You will soon realize the important of headgear -as once Wellington remarked- Nevertheless, we are always pestering manufacturers with our demands. Up to a point is absolutely logical. You are a student of a period -obscure or popular does not matter- you will find THE GAP!… For all his extended catalogue in Colonial Warfare Peter does not make a Naval Brigade!… what to do?… first of all annoy Peter on the Forum of Baccus asking for them!…(here you will be helped free of charge with tips from other wargamers in the Forum… thanks chaps!… I always appreciated your comments). On second thoughts peruse the catalogue and see what can be used with a nice paint job, in this case ACW Confederate skirmishers with hat -nice Sennet hat-. OK, those are proxies!… my entire Crimean cavalry Light Brigade are proxies with the right paint job… see pics on other Posts in this Blog.

So, let’s forget about paint jobs and let YOU search for proxies. It is a rewarding pass-time and it puts your little cells to work as Poirot would have said. I am not talking about mixing manufacturers which of course is an even easier way to get the thing done. In my 25/28mm Union ACW cavalry I used Dixon horses because I found them to my taste – it is always about taste- with Foundry and To The Redoubt riders, which did not prevented me to sell the lot once fed up with the bigger scales… had a hard crisis with that!

One of my more complicated (and crude) conversions, Tim Tyler’s Ivory Patrol… if you know what that outfit is you are probably as old as me. Even torsos were used from Penal Roman Legionnaires.

So, what are “conversions”?, basic modeling skills, a couple of pliers and a sharp cutter and even in 6mm a mini drill are needed. Ok, let’s make it simple: in larger scales it is easier but probably you will also need green-stuff because the cuts are not always that neat. See some pics included, I do not even talk about larger scales as 54mm because those are already able to be ordered or asked for “with different parts” and been able to be assembled by you. From 15mm downwards it is possible but more prone to damage minis to the point of having to discard ones. But on the other side they are less expensive and the margin of mistakes or your limits will soon appear and you will attempt what is inside your range of skills. In my personal experience the only things I do in a “proper” conversion denomination so far is modifying weapons, no sabers at the Little Big Horn, out go the sabers of Confederate Cavalry with hat and that’s it. On the contrary I desired a British Regiment of Cavalry Colonial khaki with sabers so I modified the carbines and scabbards. All super quick jobs. I guess the longer time you have been in the hobby helps. It is the same with “retouching”, I order from painting services, but if I want the peaks of the kepis BLACK I do it myself with a POSKA marker… a matter of seconds… same as adding detail to zouaves outfits etc. Mind, I was at first a bit afraid to try it in 6mm… but even the drill has come to action to provide standard-bearers when needed!… with the proverbial dressmakers bits of pins.

Custer’s battalion at the Little Big Horn -or Little Horn as some authors insist- Use of the drill for the standard-bearers, cutter to remove sabers, and different paint jobs all around. Should have kept this pic for the 25th of June!

Any wargamer or modeler worth its salt will indulge in those one day or other, it is a kind of final exam or doctorate… LOL.

A redundant Chasseur d’Afrique with cloak in 28mm.
Head has been cut out with pliers and cutter. Mini drill at work. See that the carbine has been suppressed too.
To the Redoubt supplies a vast amount of varied heads in 28mm in his ACW range. Here a simple head with kepi is used and superglued. A pin would be also added as flagstaff.
The final conversion. A “new” Rebel with guidon.

Trooping the Colour

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With DUCAL 54mm traditional Toy Soldiers on the floor. Now my knees would not like it!
Going back The Mall (well… the floor) at that time there were still some Dorset and Britain’s… not anymore, sold them and substituted them by Ducal’s. The massed Bands looked quite impressive!

It has always been considered the summit of pageantry, at least in the UK, not for the sheer numbers involved but for the Tradition of it. There are other military parades around the world but Bearskins?, Red Tunics?, The Massed Bands?… I could go on and on… I even applied once for tickets but no luck at all -very difficult to organize living far away- so DVD’s of it have taking the place. I once watched in the Mall with my eldest son on a visit to London and saw them come and go from Horse Guards Parade.

H.M.The Queen and Personalities… very difficult to put everyone in just one pic!

Her Majesty’s Queen Elizabeth II Official Birthday Parade… but otherwise known as Trooping the Colour. Usually it is done the second Saturday of June -plus rehearsals the two Saturdays before that- It has always been a favorite of mine, so, let’s have some pics. Not much more text needed today I guess.

With Playmobils is a lot of fun.
The British Royal Guardsman is perhaps one of the most successful models of Playmobil. It comes with a silly rifle with no grip, so I prefer older models. Do not search for the cavalry those are Customized.
The final Band… it took a long time to find “instruments”… specially the Tubas.
The Royal Horse Artillery Mounted Troop… quite a nightmare to do.
The real thing… 99% DUCAL and some Tradition of London.

Changing the Guard

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Today we had lots of snow in Andorra, so my grandsons did not went to school (as on the Calvin&Hobbes comic strip). Then we went to my old office (on the first floor) and we played or toyed a bit with Playmobils.

The new Guard is coming from Wellington Barracks, and the three seem interested enough… the trick was to let them manipulate the minis themselves (with a bit of grandad guidance).
A rear view of the New Guard going up the Palace.
With Playmobils you need the whole table… Appearance of the Old Guard formed in the court. They still were interested… Brainwashing the family says…
A close up of the Old Guard. Such a well known ceremony worlwide that does not need a lot of words to describe it.
Another perspective. A bit tricky those pics…
The Changing of the Guard begins properly.

They’re changing guard at Buckingham Palace –
Christopher Robin went down with Alice.
Alice is marrying one of the guard.
“A soldier’s life is terrible hard,”
                                                                    Says Alice.

They’re changing guard at Buckingham Palace –
Christopher Robin went down with Alice.
We looked for the Queen, but she never came.
“Well, God take care of her, all the same,”
                                                                    Says Alice.

We had a great time, because afterwards I gave them the EXIN CASTLES box full of bricks/things to play… and each one of them did their own thing… bits of castles everywhere now…

After a bit of time has passed… I do not really know who was entertaining who…

Playmobil variations 28-06

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The Royal North Surrey of THE FOUR FEATHERS fame (1939 movie). Quite difficult to get the parts!. Legs from one standard figure, torso with stickers -as the arms- resin helmets with stickers… and what not! Sold them too.
To understand the process of customization, this is the basic figure that permitted building the Royal North Surrey, the color of the arms and torso matched the legs of the Spanish Conquistador, use the correct stickers (I asked that color RAL) and the rest is mechanical.
I could not resit doing some Highlanders too.

I am afraid the Goldberg are much better! specially those by Gould. But joking aside I did dedicate a whole chapter of my book to those plastic german chaps. They can be customized quite easily once you learn how.

And that is entertaining, specially if you are affected by the syndrome “I’ve been there, done that, got the T-shirt”. There used to be the middle age crisis -I do not know what middle age is nowadays- at 39 I bought a New Model LOTUS ELAN two seater (front traction) if you know what I mean… Happy marriage does not need a divorce! As I said before let’s put joking aside.

Basically a Click as they are known is a plastic chasis with a head plug that holds all the other parts together. Quite simple concept. But a small engineering feat. They were originally very crude and toys for kids. They evolved. From what I call the third generation onwards they began to interest me. I started buying them for my grandchildren -who already got them never fear- and stocked a few because they were too young by far. Then one thing lead to another IT WAS FUN!… anything that fits the formula TOY SOLDIER + FUN = ENTERTAINMENT in my life. So, there I was, first I learned to disassemble them -YouTube is full of tutorials -https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4Y8KYaO-83o-, and Wikipedia will tell you the full story of Playmobil- and the “creation” of new soldiers, or to be fair, NON existing ranges was extremely funny.

Age of Reason clash!… Fictional Armies now in the hands of my grandchildren. The “tricorne” period is where the availability of parts is better in the markets.

After an intermittent span of ten years since I bought the first one and finally lost interest and got back to wargaming -6mm- and collecting -54mm toy soldiers- I went through many periods, I customized a lot, gifts to grandchildren were made, and complicated conversions were even sold! I have the tendency to sell the parts that does not interest me anymore to raise funds for new ventures, that way I have a real budget -more or less- I always spend more than I cash back but it helps!

So I did the ACW -and then sold the collection because it was too real brother against brother- I did Ancients (sold), I did British Colonials including Highlanders! (sold), I did the 7th at the LBH (still in my hands but for sale), I did the Household troops I already had in 54mm Traditional Toy Soldiers -quite a recurrent job- I did the Charge of the Light Brigade in the Crimea (sold). I did the Spanish and French Foreign Legion outfits (both sold). I bought Ships -customized them- now in the navies of my grandchildren. And I probably forget the Ivory Patrol and a lot of other minor subjects that were also sold. It was real FUN.

ACW generals Sherman, Sheridan, Longstreet and Jackson. (Sold)
Two versions of ACW General Custer.
The whole 7th at the LBH… many customs.

I explained it all quite in detail in my book but it is a lot easier to include pics in a blog.

Highlanders… that is not easy!… you need special kits…(for the kilts).
The whole Zulu set…also sold!
Somehow I collected a lot of Mounties in 75mm too…

And in the End…

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Slightly smaller than DUCAL but exactly as BRITAINS or DORSET SOLDIERS.

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

I could not resist it, saying farewell and knowing when to quit is very difficult.

I have painted a “new old toy soldier”… a 54mm (ReplicaMetalSoldiers Andrew) a mounted Inspector General of the NWMP in a dark blue patrol jacket – I enjoyed so much the painting of it that I am currently pestering Andrew for a variation on the theme…- and all just because a childhood memory. I was very young when I got a box of mounties (I already had a lot of them) but in that one proudly in front of the lot there he was… a mountie with a dark blue tunic -and yellow gauntlets!- of course it was the commander of the unit!… I always had a crush for that figure (and of course never found one alike)… so in the end I decided to make my own and quite satisfied I am going full circle. Of course the original one was lost forever, but I have still 3 “mounties” over 65 years old see pic below.

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

There he is on its proper place before saluting the flag of the parading mounties.

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

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

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

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

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

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

I dedicated a chapter of my book to Collecting (my own experience mind) but the books you need is the one by James Opie: Collecting Toy Soldiers, and THE COLLECTOR’S GUIDE TO NEW TOY SOLDIERS by Stuart Asquith. The former has written many excellent books about Britain’s but THIS ONE is the best of all his production IMHO.

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

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