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. I would also like to mention George S. Mills, who kindly furnished a quantity of plastic figures which allowed me to complete another five or six military units, serving in several collections.

Sunday 28 January 2024


While unable to lay out the gaming table I have been able to clear some more projects.

I spotted a useful box of five Soviet naval infantry on eBay for £7.79 delivered. Now these often float around for £15 or more. I now have a Soviet boat crew of six, another of four, and a well armed landing party of eight figures. 

Today I painted and based them. I would like to say it was a pleasure working on them but, in truth, it was a chore. The torsos had only slightly visible belts, and while the instructions for each figure were fairly simple, working out the accoutrements from the five distinct listings and sprues was time consuming. However, this system provides gratis a reserve of spare helmets, weapons, and accoutrements, which is useful. But still glad the project is over.

  Have always liked this 1954 'Herald' plastic figure of a farmer with shotgun. A lit match removed the hat furing. and a good priming, paint and varnish, has completed the squire. He can also serve in my Canadian United Empire Loyalist battalion. It cost £3.05 delivered.

Some more farm animals painted and ready. A mixture of old lead and plastic castings. But I need some static materials!

Have restored and painted three old lead figures and their bench.


This is one of those plastic 'warriors of history' that were free in cornflake boxes during the 1970s. I remember getting several ancient Egyptians, Vikings, and Turks, but I always wanted the British Grenadier and Crusader! This figure is meant to represent a WW1 Tommy but the shirt and tie. while looking smart, is confusing. Oh well, it can serve with the armed farmers for now. The original manufacturer was Nabisco.

My 19th Century German troops has acquired a flag for a converted plastic guardsman. This ensign belongs to the Reuss Infantry. The flag is correct for the Elder branch of that state. Rather boringly, it's the same as the current German flag, nothing of artistic interest!

Thought this old lead figure might as well join my County Police Constabulary.

Rather pleased with these. The French nurse was kindly donated by Paul Watson. Decided to paint it as French WW1. The second was picked up in my local collectables shop for 25p, and has been completely repainted.

This Soviet infantryman is a home construction. The torso was an Indian from the "Box that keeps on giving". And the arms holding a rifle also came from that source. A spare head completed the project. It has now joined my Guards Division.

I must apologise to those kindly posting comments, it is not my way to fail to return a reply. I will eventually sort this out. MGB

Friday 5 January 2024

THANK YOU!, and some photos.

I must thank everyone for the kind comments and emails regarding my previous post. During the festive season I have been able to clear a few more projects, and here are some photos. When things are a little bit more settled I will certainly wish to set up the gaming table once more, and record again any work on the collection or games played.

Michael G. Butterfield.

George Mills and Lianna visited on New Years Eve. In addition to a fine bottle of port to go with our dinner, George kindly furnished a traditional-look toy aircraft hanger. 

The local collectables shopkeeper was in the Christmas spirit and I acquired this box of WW2 Generals for £5. We had to debate this point but he stood his ground. My collection really was missing a few personalities to complete several armies, so a very useful addition. Here they are painted and based.
Got around to completing two more figures for my Detroit Light Guard c.1900. It was also time they were issued a regimental colour. These are old lead figures.
My not quite modern British Army, time it was restyled post-WW2, has gained several more figures. The command base displays a patch indicating it is the Middlesex Regiment.
Some useful additions for my WW2 US Army. These are 1960s Timpo figures. Pleased I now have the officer with revolver, and the Military Police now number eight.
Picked these up for £4.20 delivered.
Two more items, an old lead WW1 machine gunner joins the collection. And a few more trees are always useful.
A Corgi jeep in a somewhat derelict state has been revamped for service with the Royal Navy. It was a fun project. Acquired from that local collectables shop for £2.
And finally, a bag of early plastic farm figures. Given a paint job, these can look good on the table. And they cost only £1. Some of the lesser creatures will be returned to the charity shop, while some of the smaller cattle will be used in my 28mm collection.

Saturday 25 November 2023


Hi Everyone, thank you all for your support during the last few years. It has been a fun and nostalgic excursion into 54mm toy soldiers. Have just noticed my latest Apple computer is having issues with the Google Blog system for comments. Rather than pursuing how to solve this problem, I will use the occasion to go full steam on other projects. It is also my intention to move house early next year (a member of my family would find it useful to be a little nearer his work depot) so this really is a most suitable moment, or perhaps an opportunity to move on.

Best wishes for Christmas to all my visitors, particularly to my friends Paul and George, and also Brad and MJT for their encouragement. And good health and SUCCESS for 2024.

Michael G. Butterfield

And now for something completely different, my 2023 Christmas tree, with mainly pre-1970 mercury-glass baubles, another nostalgic hobby of mine.

Friday 24 November 2023


Just recording some recent additions. First up is this rather nice rowboat. Picked it up in a charity shop for £2.50. Well made, the scale works well as an early naval landing (whale) boat. I like this a lot.

Next up were four figures. Now I really only wanted the two Timpo plastic WW2 Americans, the MP increases their number to eight, and I needed the GI officer with pistol for my collection. OK, a bit expensive at £4.20, postage is to blame.

Picked up another damaged tractor. Have completed most of the repair work. When painted and varnished it will be attached to my WW2 Soviet artillery. Sorting out the tracks might prove tricky but at only £2, I will take the gamble and it's a fun project. This second tractor came without its shovel, which is convenient.

Finally, a nice little Corgi jeep. it looks pretty good in scale for 50mm figures. Pleased it still has its steering wheel and spare tyre. Cost was £2.


Friday 6 October 2023


Have recently acquired some very useful plastic storage boxes. This has allowed me to reorganise my toy soldier collection, and some associated scenic items.  I now think it's a good time to redecorate my games room, actually the dining room, as it really does need it. So the tables will have to be dismantled to ease access to the walls. And I will also use the occasion to give my book collection a much needed clean.

Will be having a few weeks break from posting on the blog so as to complete the above, and I also want some exclusive time to work on my research papers.

Rather pleased to report that my hobby projects have been greatly reduced, although there is still a box of figures needing some cast arms and heads to complete. It really is nice to see so little unpainted lead lying around.  

Hope to be posting again in November. Here are a few figures recently completed.

Some 1960s Timpo-made US Military Police

The Box that Keeps on Giving furnished two more WW2 Dutch infantry, and two more London Scottish infantry.
And a new flag for my 19th century Hanoverian infantry.
The Headless Box, full of figures needing Spare Parts
And the actual Spares Box, many of which are also nearly sorted!

Saturday 30 September 2023

The Main Assault on Toronto (Wargame)

This is the third and final part of the American assault on Toronto. This will cover the attack from the eastern side, involving seven military units. The garrison having deployed five to defend this suburb, one of which is a militia battalion. 

With the northern attack having turned out to be a ruse, to stretch out the defender's resources, the eastern assault was to be quite different. It was to include a battery of siege guns, and another of medium howitzers. While the infantry were all large battalions, one of which was to operate as a skirmishing screen for a rapid advance. The garrison knew this would be difficult to stop.


Move one. Canadian spotters identified the arrival of American artillery, the redoubt battery opened fire, and inflicted a casualty on a American siege gun crew. MOVE TWO. The American infantry advanced resolutely. Guns fired. Casualties on both sides, but the main redoubt guns chose to fire on the infantry! MOVE THREE. More artillery fire, those howitzers are dangerous. MOVE FOUR. More artillery fire. MOVE FIVE. Howitzer scores two D6, knocking out one of the redoubt guns. MOVE SIX. Nooooo... a howitzer throws another two D6! The Redoubt has been silenced, but the gunners stand firm. 

MOVE SEVEN. The Toronto gunboat  makes an appearance (it was meant to be in move/Dice five, but I forgot!), opening fire with its medium gun, it scores a hit on the American infantry. The American siege guns hit a building and take down a militiaman. The building also catches alight. The militia morale holds and they decide to advance out of the burning building to exchange fire with the American skirmishers. Despite suffering higher casualties in the rifle fire they knock the American skirmishers to half strength, and their morale breaks. A nearby American battalion holds, but declines to advance forward. The Siege guns attempt to hit the Empire gunboat. 

MOVE EIGHT. Where have those Canadian militia trained, a superb effort! Two D6 take down two American infantry. One battalion charges the redoubt, hostile fire stops them in their tracks, but they don't break. 

MOVE NINE. The militia finally break when receiving fire from a fresh American battalion. MOVE TEN. The Mortar scores a hit on the Howitzer battery, and their crew scatter. A second charge on the redoubt by a fresh battalion storms the works, in the following melee the attackers win, the redoubt defenders surrender, and the redoubt artillery crew also rout. HOWEVER, bagpipes begin to play to the rear of the redoubt. MOVE ELEVEN. Two Empire battalions, formally serving on the Western suburbs make their appearance. MOVE TWELVE. The redoubt is occupied, but the two buildings to the rear are both on fire, and cannot be entered, while Empire reinforcements secured another building, and inflict two casualties on an approaching American battalion. 

MOVE THIRTEEN. The Americans realise they must drive the enemy battalion out of the new position. A charge is launched but it fails, a devastating volley takes down three of their men and at half strength they rout. But it doesn't spread. With the Americans reduced to only one battalion able to advance, and holding an undefendable redoubt (it is open in the rear!), the Americans withdraw. Both sides cease firing their artillery to allow medical orderlies to operate.

 American losses totalled thirty-five. The Garrison lost twenty-seven, with five more captured. Both sides lost four military units in this battle.  Notable how few American units routed, despite being 50% casualties. 
The second siege of Toronto has been lifted, but a quarter of the buildings have been damaged and the Empire garrison needs assistance, The American army near the city is no longer in a fit state to take the offensive. A rumour is circulating that the occupation of Ottawa is no longer thought to have any strategic value. The arrival of Empire troops and a naval flotilla to Kingston has threatened American control of Lake Ontario. The heavy bombardment of a Canadian city, for no result, has caused political turmoil in both the American Congress and British Parliament.