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, 28 January 2021

184 LEAD TOY SOLDIERS ARRIVE!

I recently received a message from Paul Watson. With home improvements underway he had decided to clear some of his spare figures. Yesterday a box arrived.......... 184 lead castings, comprising Britains, Crescents, and modern reproductions. Aware that I was having problems raising French, it included 35 figures. As before, his only request is that the castings are restored!

MGB










Tuesday, 26 January 2021

Gentlemen Volunteers (Conversions)

Completed yesterday, some strategic conversions (saving money) which have furnished some useful extras. 

MGB

1. A broken Canadian Mounty is back in the saddle. Metal head, arms, sword scabbard, and pinned legs to counter oxidisation. Milliput gauntlets. 



2. A broken lead figure is now a colonial gentleman with a double-barrelled shotgun, and he's a damn good shot with it too. Replacement head, milliput scarf and shoes. Drilled into a metal base.





3. A plastic guardsman is given a new head and sword scabbard, milliput scarf. Drilled into a new base.



These figures will be joining the United Empire Loyalist Battalion, now operating behind enemy lines in Ontario (Dominion War campaign).

Sunday, 24 January 2021

SKIRMISH near OTTAWA (Dominion Wargame)

Having just augmented my Governor-General's Horseguards I was keen to use them in a skirmish game. Simple scenario, a D6 would determine who was to suffer an attack on their encampment. A D6 would determine if those in the camp were aware that an enemy force was approaching and had time to prepare. A D6x6 would provide the numbers for each side.

COMBATANTS

An advanced force of Canadian troops had recently set up their tents and had just consumed their evening rations. It comprised one battalion of volunteer-militia (12), regular riflemen (6), plus the Governor-General's Horse Guards (6, five of whom were now on sentry duty.  Unknown to them, an American patrol had spotted their camp fires and sent word to a determined and energetic cavalry officer, who was now approaching with two regiments of regular cavalry and one more of National Guard cavalry (totalling 12).

THE CHARGE

The American cavalry approached in two divisions from a single direction (D6 determined). One sentry was in their direct path, a D6 score of four indicated the sentry was taken down but not before he had discharged his rifle. Both divisions now rapidly advanced  but would only reach the encampment on two more moves. In response to the discharged rifle, the Canadian troops behaved (D6, score of six) in a very professional manner, and were formed up and firing in one move! But would they withstand charging cavalry?

The main American force charged the formed up volunteers. Although the first burst of fire from the Canadians had failed to inflict a casualty, being just out of effective fire, their morale held, and their second brought down two cavalrymen. Shaken, the cavalry charge fizzled out. On the Canadian left the riflemen were unable to bring down a single cavalryman but here something strange occurred. In the subsequent melee the Americans threw a pitiful 3,2,6,2 compared to the riflemen's 5,6,3,5. When factors granting the charging cavalry gave a bonus of four to each dice, compared to only plus one for each rifleman, the casualties were still equal, two on each side. And it was the cavalry morale which broke first in the melee. They scattered.

At this point, having seen both regular cavalry units broken the American commander withdrew with his still intact NG cavalry. Losses were four Americans, to three Canadians. The rules clearly showed the possibility of cavalry withstanding the fire of formed up battalions is slight. The American commander was later reprimanded for recklessness, having not taken a sufficient force, or supporting infantry. His resignation was accepted.

After the loss of Ottawa, and Toronto still besieged, this action has been well received in Montreal, where a large force of Empire troops are planning to take the offensive. The game was played in twenty minutes, and was fun.

MGB









Wednesday, 20 January 2021

PAINTING FIGURES, various regiments

Quite a few photos, have been working hard to complete various regiments for the table. First Photo, two Canadian Grenadiers, Royal Navy rating, Royal Marine Artillery, London Irish Piper. Second Photo, British officer on campaign, British Army surgeon. Third photo, Spanish infantry and marines. Last two photos show American command bases, was able to construct some drummers out of bits and pieces in my spares box.

MGB







Thursday, 14 January 2021

MORE PAINTED AMERICANS

With skirmishers proving useful in my Dominion War campaign, the Americans have now gained two light infantry units. The pale blue are the Germania Rifles, a California National Guard unit which had a reputation for good marksmanship. The second, in dark blue, are the Honolulu Rifles, now in exile since the Hawaiian islands are now under British protection.




  

Among the broken toy soldiers recently picked up were two Timpo bandsmen. Dating to the 1950s, both were damaged, one having lost a third of its torso. As neither were likely to be drafted, decided to convert these figures into supernumeraries. The band master is now a sergeant in the 1st Battery, New York National Guard. The cymbal playing bandsman has become an officer in the Louisville Legion.

MGB



Monday, 11 January 2021

RURITANIAN and ZENDA NEWS

Recently repaired some old, lead dismounted horseguards. Had to construct a head using a home-service helmet and miliput. One of the figures appeared to be slightly different so appointed this figure to be their officer. They are now painted up as Ruritanian White Guards, a lance armed cavalry unit loyal to Crown Prince Rudolph,

While taking a country walk, Prince Michael came across members of his own Zenda Regiment. They have just acquired something very new to play with, but its a bit of a secret.

(Footnote, all uniforms and flags are based on the 1952 film Prisoner of Zenda, starring those great British character actors Stewart Granger, James Mason, Robert Douglas, Deborah Kerr)

MGB







Sunday, 10 January 2021

MORE LEAD FIGURES ARRIVE

These figures arrived yesterday and should fill any gaps in the collection. Most importantly, I now have enough lead figures to raise two regiments of Ruritanian cavalry, each four strong. These figures cost £10.80 including delivery. Today I paint stripped most of my spare lead castings, and then gave them a prime.

MGB


Thursday, 7 January 2021

NEW SPANISH BATTALION c.1900 (And Garrison)

As a side project I'm raising a small force of Spanish, to serve as a colonial garrison. In my spares box were a number of broken figures, the same as several test-painted some time back as Spanish line infantry. Went to work on the broken figures on Wednesday. Today they were varnished and based, all having gone well repairing the broken rifles, and replacing the heads. 

MGB



 

Tuesday, 5 January 2021

LONDON IRISH RIFLES

Among my old lead toy soldiers were five castings quite a bit smaller in scale, being 50mm to their forehead. Still keen to use these, decided to form a green-coated unit to serve with my W.Britains King's Royal Rifle Corps, which are also on the small side.To help with the size issue, I based the London Irish Rifles on thicker bases. 

The London Irish Rifles are a volunteer-reservist battalion formed in 1859, and has a distinguished military record. Their uniform was rifle-green, with mid-green facings. 

MGB






(The last photo courtesy of ..... By HantsAV - Own work, CC BY-SA 4.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=66566236