Wednesday 31 March 2021

A great German toy soldier link

 I found this link to a fascinating page with information on old German toy soldier manufacturers etc- 

Be prepared to lose yourself for ages in the fascinating detail, including old catalogues. 

As many of you know my forebears on both sides came over from German around 1900 ( there is a Mackay bit of the genes too in terms of Granny ) and I am fascinated by the German toy soldier scene that they would have known in their youth over there. I wonder how prevalent home casting was as a hobby , if it represented a particular demographic. Where do manufacturers like Hyde come in ? I am fascinated by the position of this homecasting scene in hobby and family life. Was it something you did with dad in the garden ? Did you just melt metal with friends or brothers? As Schneider for example make moulds for charms and civilian, animals etc I assume girls were into homecasting too. Lots of questions, any thoughts folks? 

Trialling Mdf 2d scenery (1)

 Got this Mdf tree today and painted it up. I am pleased with the results and how it looks with a Britains figure. I think this sort of tree would work really well in my limited theatre like gaming table...

Tuesday 30 March 2021

Great semi flat War in Afrika.

 Set up trial games this afternoon now much of the scenery is finished and the figures finished. Army Black v Army Red/Green.

Monday 29 March 2021

Books and films

 My youngest isn’t that keen on watching films so in her absence we watched a couple of excellent films over the weekend. The first was “A personal history of David Copperfield “ which was an utter delight and the second “Rebel in the Rye” was a fascinating movie about J D Salinger. I would recommend both. 

Below are a Book and a Magazine I have been enjoying of late. If you are interested in old toy soldiers these are a terrific read.

Sunday 28 March 2021

Further on with the scenery

 I have long admired the semi flat toy soldier play sets from manufacturers such as Spenkuch. I really enjoy the detail and animation of such sets and particularly the creative way in which buildings and trees are created in 2d-

The photos show examples. Such play sets are available but expensive be they originals or modern reproductions. I have tried making my own in card but it falls to bits. Hence my delight in finding these Mdf  palms featured in the previous post. They are 3mm thick Mdf and sturdy. When looking for these I discovered the manufacturer produces other trees , house etc in similar material as flat laser cut blanks no doubt for fun craft purposes  . So I have sent off for a few samples to paint up and use with my semi flats. Semi flat stylish scenery, the way to go...


 Trees have progressed really well-

Saturday 27 March 2021

Please remember don’t forget

 Please remember don’t forget that there are loads of  54mm toy soldier figures and also gaming over at my Army Red White Blog here- 

If you aren’t a follower over there please consider doing so in order that you never miss a post.


 Some new recruits here. Palm trees for Afrika scenery and some Bren gunners too

Friday 26 March 2021

Forgotten Sons ( of the semi flat homecast toy soldier world)

 Apart from Man of Tin and myself I see little interest or enthusiasm for these figures  depicting Indians on foot or mounted. Perhaps it is the times we live in, the lack of Westerns in popular culture or a perceived non pc element to these figures , l just don’t know. Yet the figures have charm and vigour. Mounted warriors of the Plains riding to battle, foot warriors skulking in the undergrowth or bow armed figures kneeling to make the shot. En masse they have a presence, individually they are detailed and worthy of care and attention not to mention a decent paint job-

The above ready for painting the below needing preparation first.


Thursday 25 March 2021

eBay purchase

 These arrived today. I got them because of the nurses and the pigs particularly. I was intrigued by the nurses , I assume the third one is a nurse too? The pigs are charming and I look forward to painting them up. The others bits and bobs are fine. The horse is slightly odd and I am interested in what make the wee animals are.

Wednesday 24 March 2021

Out of Dettol ready for painting

 This afternoon I took some of the figures out of the Dettol. It had worked really well. A scrub in hot water with a tooth brush and they were ready for the first coat of paint. I am pleased with the detail revealed by the stripping back of old paint.

Tuesday 23 March 2021

A casting question.

 Last April I posted about the Danish heads the late Les White made for me- 

Today I found the one I had kept and not used for conversions. Does anyone know where I could get some cast up in metal using this as a master? 

Afrika: Palms and Portuguese

 Today I worked on the Portuguese and finished some. I also got the samples of Mdf  palm trees ( a pound each) to be used as scenery in the Afrika game. They are 3mm thick and look the part. I painted them, stuck them onto Mdf bases and added a stone from the garden. Instant semi flat scenery and very simple to make. I ordered more today which should come by the end of the week.

Monday 22 March 2021

Healthy option- Walking to Mordor App

 I enjoy my walks but feel the need to focus a little bit on more often and longer. I have let it slip from my daily walk in lockdown last year. So for that reason I downloaded an app to my phone which allows me to upload how far I walked. This is then compared to various LOTR events. Look at the display on my phone 

I then have a next goal to walk towards and a record of my progress. Great fun for Tolkien fans and hopefully health benefits too.

Sunday 21 March 2021

Base advice sought and a first for me.

 Do pop by here and let me know what you think about my basing plans- 

Yesterday I was sitting painting the stripped back semi flats and it dawned on me that this was the very first time I had painted figures to depict troops from the nation below. Well I guess there is a first time for everything. Not doing peninsula campaign gaming for example I have never needed Portuguese troops before. So coming soon the troops from an island beyond another island in the Indian Ocean..

Out of Afrika : figure preparation and visual research


Saturday 20 March 2021

More out of Afrika

Some more figures finished today...

Friday 19 March 2021

Out of Afrika or a semi flat Portable Colonial Wargame.

 Been doing some reading, painting, basing and planning over the past few days for some WW1 gaming in Afrika. Last year I tried a similar campaign idea in 10mm but found the figures too small. So I decided that the semi flat figures would work. Have a look at the photos below to meet the opposing commanders and see a couple of units as well as background reading.

Thursday 18 March 2021

Sorting etc

 I have moved some projects forward today in spite of being outdoors much of the day enjoying the warm weather while it lasts.

Wednesday 17 March 2021


 These gnomes have been part of my life for almost as long as I can remember. The smaller one belonged to my Grandma, sat in her garden pushing a long gone barrow and is made of a strange rubbery material . The larger was chosen by me as a wee boy in Rankins at the west end of Princes Street and is terracotta. He once sported a wooden rake, also long since gone. The ivy is beginning to overtake them and they will need rescuing too. The book by Twiggs Way is recommended. I managed to sit in the sunshine today for the first time this year, caught up on some reading...

Tuesday 16 March 2021

Illustrations from “Britain’s Modern Army”

 These illustrations are from a book my father had and one I poured over as a boy. Someone ( apology I can’t recall who) who leaves comments here asked I post the section attack picture. So here it is and some others-