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 metal and plastic figures which allowed me to complete another five or six military units, serving in several collections.

Thursday, 31 December 2020


A useful batch of British redcoats arrived today, many of them being officers. Competing with others in an auction, it cost £19.10 delivered. On the positive side, some of these will complete battalions, while others will serve as dismounted command figures. I suspect the fourth figure, top row, is a W.Britains surgeon? I don't see myself paint stripping these as the quality is very acceptable.


Thursday, 24 December 2020


Several 60mm toy soldiers I can remember having in the late 1960s are again on active service, guarding the Christmas tree. Happy Christmas, and a safe Yuletide. 


A NEW CANNON for Christmas

Having purchased several die-cast cannon with missing parts I was able to convert most of them into useful coastal guns. This was the last one in my spares box. It was originally a Britains no.1292 in green but arrived without an elevation gauge, and also its front shield. Having found a use for its wheels, I now wanted to utilise the barrel and broken carriage. Decided to link them with spare wheels belonging to a Britains 4.7" green Naval Gun. Plastic card was used to supplement the carriage and furnish a new elevation gauge. Now the exciting bit, what colours to paint it? As its a home-construct toy I  wanted something rather bold. Decided on a dark red carriage, grey wheels, with a lot of black distinctions. I can see this gun being used by my Ruritanians or perhaps the Spanish.

As a follow-on to the above, thought I would include some photos of real and toy artillery pieces which inspired my own model.

Sunday, 20 December 2020

LANCERS, not suitable

Change of plan, I recently picked up some AIP lancers. My intension was to use these in my Ruritanian armies. Unfortunately, I find their scale, particularly the horses, far too large for my 54mm collections. Its particularly noticeable with my Ruritanian soldiers as they comprise a mixture of plastic and metal figures chosen because they were more like 52mm in scale. I would suggest the IAP lancers, which are nice models, look more like 56mm in comparison, and I just don't think it works. Will probably move these lancers on. Here are two photos for comparison. The first shows a lancer behind(!) Ruritanian infantry. The second shows a lancer compared to a Britains 17th Lancer.


Saturday, 12 December 2020


Just working on the previous box of figures when this second batch arrived. Its very mixed, but some interesting items to work with.  Total cost £12.45.


Friday, 11 December 2020


I recently sold 65% of my Saracen 28mm collection. Those remaining will serve as Arab auxiliaries and Corsair pirates with my Ottoman army. More importantly, its paid for many of the 54mm scale figures purchased this year. Today a parcel of old lead figures arrived, not the cheapest, but I am excited to have a go at repairing and integrating them. There is some variation in their height but I'm thinking the smaller will serve rather well as 'cadets'. I have several splendid cadet uniforms on file and would like to have them represented in the collection. Including delivery they cost £11.10.


Monday, 7 December 2020

DOMINION WAR, Campaign News

(ALL DECISIONS, OUTCOMES, ETC., are made by Dice throws.)
Following the American invasion of Canada (Yellow) and the capture of Ottawa, Empire troops have begun to arrive to assist Canadian forces in repelling the invaders.  The Canadian government was able to escape Ottawa and has temporarily taken up residence in Montreal, which is also the headquarters and assembly point for all Canadian troops.

In addition to the American army in and around Ottawa, several battalions crossed over from Detroit and secured Chatham and London. A second American army crossed over at St Catharines and has now taken Hamilton. It appears all remaining Empire forces in Ontario are now concentrated in Toronto. It ts more than probable that the towns of Berlin, Mississauga and Oshawa will shortly be occupied by American troops.

(Footnote, bright green areas are local agreements not to raid (D6).)

In British Columbia, the City of Vancouver was briefly besieged by an American army. But the disastrous raid on Vancouver Island appears to have persuaded the Americans to return to their side of the border, perhaps influenced by the recent arrival of a transport ship at Victoria, carrying a small number of Australian and New Zealand volunteers (D2). While this was well received, the local population is hoping this is only the vanguard.

A British naval vessel recently arrived at Honolulu, Hawaii. A meeting was held with her Royal Highness in which she expressed the belief (D6) that her kingdom was already under the protection of the British Crown. Diplomats representing the British Government acknowledged that this was indeed the case.

We have received reports that several American owned civilian and commercial vessels attempting to leave the Chesapeake have returned, unable to complete their voyage.

The State Governor of Maine has declared marshal law and requested federal assistance in removing the Empire troops that have occupied several coastal cities. 

We are now informed that seven days ago the Mayor of Toronto received a communication from the newly appointed United States Governor for Ontario State. This gentleman had ordered the mayor to organise a general disarming, and to permit the entry of friendly American forces. He further confirmed those that did not recognise the union with the USA would be granted liberty to leave the United States with their lawful possessions. Should there be any further armed opposition, the Ontario State Governor would be entitled to act with necessary vigour, and the Mayor and his associates would be held responsible for any loss of life or property. The Mayor and Assembly declined to reply. We mention this as yesterday their was a sizeable explosion on a street (D3) near the Assembly buildings,.Although there was no serious injuries this is the first time the city has come under fire. Ordnance experts have suggested this may have involved an artillery piece of some substantial size. possibly a Barclay or Louis Marks howitzer.

We can now confirm the city of Hull, near Ottawa, is besieged, all communications with Montreal having been severed. Fortunately, most of the civilian population has already left the city. A temporary administration has now been set up in Ottawa by the American military, and they have invited the local population to return to their homes. 

Friday, 4 December 2020


Arrived today was a Britains WW1 Gun, code no.1201. This gun did cost a bit because of the postage, £9.10, but I was keen to get it. Its the pre-1940 made design, and was recommended to work with their no.1479 ammunition trailer. Both items are in good condition, perhaps needing a clean. The original green paint is almost black. No plans to paint strip any of these items.

Among the naval figures sent by Paul Watson was a solid lead West Point Cadet, presenting arms. I decided to convert this figure and mix with some of my home-castings so as to recreate the Maryland State Artillery c.1880. I think their grey uniforms are an interesting addition to the collection.

The first of the plastic guardsmen previously mentioned has been converted and painted, it has been drafted into my New York Gatling Gun crew (three figures look better). I can't be the only one to think their uniform looks rather British.


Thursday, 3 December 2020


Arrived yesterday, a useful box of plastic guardsmen. Have already started the conversion process. Decided to break four figures off their bases, and fix them with a combination of steel rod, superglue and milliput. I like the additional strength this gives as old plastic can suffer oxidisation. They will also be getting metal arms and heads. Only cost £5.10 delivered. I think the horses are going to be forwarded to the Ruritanian Army......... there are always rumours that country will break out into a civil war sooner or later.