SPECIAL THANKS. I would like to thank Paul Watson for his sponsorship of several lead figure collections on this blog. Having decided to clear his spare/surplus figures, he generously forwarded them on with no other requirement than they deserved to be restored.

Thursday, 14 October 2021


Decided to have a bit of fun converting some odd Chinese plastic toy soldiers, adding a spare W.Britains artillery piece, and a Lone Star WW1 machine gunner to form a small force of Dutch military c.1939.

When the Germans invaded Holland in 1940 the Dutch didn't really have much hope of winning, their 280,000 combatants were to take on 750,000 Germans. It should also be noted, their army had much of the characteristics of something out of WW1 due to a lack of investment and a belief they could remain neutral. However, despite poor deployments, their anti-aircraft units were quite effective and their marine forces put up a stiff resistance in Rotterdam before their national capitulation.

I've been able to raise an infantry battalion of twelve figures, and converted others with metal home-cast heads into some support units. I still have a mortar crew to complete, and some officers. Might like to raise a unit of Black Devils or Dutch Marines too, in blue uniforms.

The basic uniform colour for the Dutch is a nondescript grey-green, lighter than German field-grey, and prone to look distinct according to the light. This is only a fun project, and in any games the Dutch will be defending and outnumbered three to one.


Blanket-rolls, haversacks and water pouches are added.

This gun, kindly donated by Paul Watson, looks close to the old-style artillery still in use by the Dutch.
The throwing grenade/running figures were given new heads and now serve as artillery crew.

All the above figures will be given larger, textured bases.

For more on the Dutch visit the following site www.waroverholland.nl

Monday, 11 October 2021


Picked up a couple of auctions on Ebay. The first was a batch of Airfix German Mountain Troops. My plan is to form a 12-figure regiment for the wargames table while converting the remainder into artillery crew. I might also draft a few into my Zubrowka army, which was previously recruited from these figures.

The second batch are Airfix Japanese. They really are nicely designed, and a pleasure to paint. Only problem, it will be a real issue converting any of them into artillery crews. I can see why most collectors/wargamers utilise 1/35 scale for their support weaponry. The cost for all these figures, including delivery, was £15.90. Perhaps thats a bit high but I'm pleased with the gains.

Finally, have mentioned to Brad, I'm hoping to use some plastic Chinese-made copies for an unusual project. On Saturday, at my local market, I was able to pick up some 'strange' moulded toy soldiers for just £2. Its their odd-shaped German helmets which have opened up this idea. Have already associated them with a German artillery piece and an old lead machine-gunner. 


Wednesday, 29 September 2021

Hermann Goering's Infantry c.1943

Going through my spares box I found ten plastic Afrika Korps figures, Matchbox toy soldiers. Having no plans to fight the WW2 Desert War I was somewhat at a loss how to use these, and considered passing them on. However, viewing photographs of German troops captured in the Italian campaign showed fair numbers were still using uniform items from the North African campaign, so here was a possible use. But I still didn't want a generic unit in desert colours. I'm no authority on WW2 uniforms but the Hermann Goering unit (it started off as a battalion but ended up as a division) offered some leeway for a distinctly coloured formation on the table. Having been part of the Luftwaffe, an armoured formation, and serving in numerous theatre's, it could be painted up as something quite distinct from my other German units, so no confusion on the wargames table!


PS. OK, the Luftwaffe blue shirts might be a slight liberty.

Herman Goring Division cap

Wednesday, 22 September 2021

LONDON SCOTTISH REGIMENT (Alternatively, Toronto Scottish Regt.)

About a year ago I converted/repaired some lead highlanders and painted them up as the London Scottish Regiment or 14th County of London Battalion (nicknames, the Piccadilly Allsorts, Cockney Jocks, Duke of Bangkok's Rifles). Formed in 1859, it still exists to this day as a reservist company. They were classified as light infantry, and adopted a distinctive uniform colour of hodden-grey with blue facings. When Paul Watson kindly sent me some additional Highlanders, decided to increase this battalion to ten figures.

(Footnote. This uniform is shared with the Toronto Scottish Regiment, their brother battalion, raised in Canada in 1915.)


Wednesday, 15 September 2021


Last weekend I was able to clear another batch of figures out of my spares box. This has reduced their number to less than 85 toy soldiers still needing restoration and/or paintwork. Its certainly nice to see boxes condensed and more room space! To be honest, my resolve to paint figures has really slowed down now, mainly due to most of my spare time being spent on the garden, or painting skirting boards and ceilings. At least my home is getting a fresh look!


WW2 BRITISH PARAS. Here is a small unit of Airfix figures painted up. Will want to do some more detail work on their bases at a later date.

THE POLICE. Picked up this rather rough casting of a British policeman c.1900. To be fair, it cleaned up rather well, and I drilled steel pins into the soles to fix to a suitable base. Got it for £5.25 delivered.

As a follow-on to the above. I cleared two spare figures. The first is a plastic and metal police conversion c.1940. The second a a Merseyside mounted policeman with their distinctive lance..... not sure the British police ever used lances?

ROYAL ARTILLERY. Paul Watson kindly sent me three Guardsmen in watch cloaks. No plans to raise a contingent but I did see a potential of joining a figure in my collection and forming a company of RA Gunners on sentry duty. I suspect these will be quite useful.

PARTISAN. Found another Airfix commando figure. Might as well draft him into my partisans.

FRENCH MARIN FUSILIER. This was useful, a spare RN rating converted into a French naval figure. It had very poor castings of the arms so replacing them with something better was on the cards. With this figure complete I now have a three figure firing section, vital.

Finally, not quite 54mm, more like 45mm, my Insurgent army gained a new figure. One of those cheap plastic figures converted.

Sunday, 29 August 2021

SPANISH INVADE FLORIDA (Dominion Wargame/Campaign)

With the French having taken New Orleans, but now bottled up in the city, their Spanish allies looked towards their own objectives. A French fleet carried a Spanish force of six units to St.Augustine, Florida. The defenders could only muster 12 NG, and they decided it was prudent to evacuate to the north. (Note, In 1880 many of the key population centres in Florida were little more than towns.

Having so easily occupied St. Augustine, some of the fleet carrying three units moved south, both Daytona and New Smyna were taken without a fight. Keen to continue this success, the fleet carrying one unit arrived off Tampa. Here, the local population mustered 6 NG, and 9 armed civilians, and were keen to fight.


The twelve Spanish disembarked from three landing boats, but immediately came under fire. Advancing on the hidden skirmishers they suffered a casualty on move THREE. and they also received fire on their left flank. On move FOUR the two Spanish sections charged their opposition. The local volunteers scattered, but the NG retired in very good order, maintaining their fire, and inflicting a second casualty. If only the armed civilians had stood their ground, the Spanish bluecoats now loosed off a volley that even took down one of those routing. 

Having neutralised their opposition, the bluecoats faced right and sought to support the Spanish Marines. While this was going on the American Commander attempted to rally his irregulars. When the Spanish marines entered the Fruit grove they too deployed as skirmishers, and now supported by the bluecoats, the superior numbers brought down two NG. This action was over, the NG retired, the irregulars stopped routing but declined to re-engage. The Spanish were in control of Tampa.


Spanish occupied territory

 This last map shows the state of games played, points having been granted to each victory, red Empire, green USA, blue Franco-Spanish.

Wednesday, 25 August 2021

Battle of Toronto (Dominion wargame PT.2)

During the night both sides had used their time well to reconstitute and distribute their forces. The Empire had been able to restore an artillery crew by drafting from other gun crews, and all the strongest battalions now took up post in the key redoubts. A battalion of armed civilians took post in a prominent house just outside the city. The Americans had moved all their troops to their foremost positions, and four guns were fully manned. They had also successfully rallied a NG battalion, a useful nine figures. 

Here were the new positions.

The second day of the battle commenced with a full-on advance on the city. In the following moves the casualties were heavy on both sides. Two cavalry regiments gallantly charged a redoubt, although both were wiped out they did inflict a fair number of casualties. The crew manning the central siege gun were taken out by American shells. But in move FOUR the American rightwing staggered to a halt, and in move FIVE, after a second round of melee, the American central assault collapsed, panic spreading to the reserve battalion. (The Canadian troops were so close to breaking too, having lost the first round of melee and no hope of taking on the American reserve battalion, this would have decided the outcome!) Unable to move forward, the American commander sent a message requesting leave to retire his troops with their wounded. As the garrison was in no position to counter attack, it was agreed. 

EMPIRE Losses 31 (109 total)

City of Toronto Defence Council 6

Royal Canadian Artillery 'A Battery' 10 (-4)

Royal Canadian Artillery 'B Battery' 2 (-2)

Royal Artillery 4 (-1)

Royal Canadian Grenadiers 8 (-2)

Royal Scots of Canada 12 (-6)

7th Battalion (Canadian) Fusiliers 8 (-4)

Northumberland (British) Fusiliers 4 (-4)

Calgary Rifles 4

London Irish Rifles 6 (-1)

Lorne Scots (Canadian) 4

Governor's Horse Guards dismounted 4 (-1)

Royal Regiment of Canadian Infantry 12 (-6)

Embodied United Empire Loyalists 12

Machine Gun crew and guards 4

Hospital personnel 9

                                        UNITED STATES Losses 52 (145 total)

US Staff 5

Infantry Regiment 12 (-6)

Infantry Regiment 12 (-3)

Cavalry Regiment 4

US Marines 12

US Signals 3

Heavy Artillery Regiment 9 (-4)

Light Artillery Regiment 9 (-5, and -4 reprimanded)

West Point Provisional Battalion 12 (-1)

NG Artillery Troop 3 (-1)

NG Artillery Troop 3 (-2)

NG Artillery Troop 3 (-3)

NYNG Battalion 8 (-4)

NYNG Battalion 12 (-6)

Michigan NG Battalion 8 (-4)

NG Provisional Battalion 8 (-4)

NYNG skirmishers 4

NYNG Hussars 4 (-4)

NG Provisional Cavalry 4 (-4)

NG Provisional Battalion 10 (-1)

DOMINION CAMPAIGN NEWS. At the conclusion of this battle I compiled six scenarios, from 1. the Americans withdraw from Eastern Ontario, to 6. the Americans respond by raising a second army and attack Toronto again. The dice score of D2 provided for a lifting of the siege and an American withdrawal to London (thats in Ontario, lol). 

Honestly, I know this will look like some scheming has been going on, Today, Day 3, I decided to do the same for the garrison, from 1, they receive a letter of congratulations from the Queen, to 6, a supply column arrives in the city with 48 reinforcements and a letter from the Queen. I threw a D6. MGB