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.

Sunday, 28 February 2021


New recruits for my French and Spanish armies. The first group are W. Britains lead figures kindly supplied by Paul Watson. Will be increasing these to two battalions. The second group are converted plastic guardsmen, now representing Spanish infantry. Still working on their standard bearer. 

Have also included a photo of a naval figure, also sent by Paul. We were unsure of the manufacturer, its hollow-cast lead, and with a right shouldered rifle, may be continental. Decided to use the air vent to take a milliput pompom, and painted it as a French seaman.


Thursday, 25 February 2021


My French army has gained some additional figures. Alan Gruber contacted me with a kind offer to send some spare French Foreign Legion soldiers. These were original plastic figures produced by Timpo. Some oxidisation having occurred, he thought they might still be useful as spares. In addition to these figures, there was also a few plastic Desert Rats. I decided to combine the two contingents to produce my first artillery crew for the French army, having cut and pinned the rolled-up sleeves of the Desert Rats to the more fragile Legionaries. I think its worked rather well. My plan now is to convert the remaining eight or so figures into pioneers, ordnance, signals, etc. Fun projects!


Tuesday, 23 February 2021


Among the figures kindly supplied by Paul Watson were some slightly shorter (52mm) figures. So these would look best if kept in their own formation. Having already paint stripped them, yesterday I decided to remove their home service helmets, and repair their rifles. How to use them? I really need to increase my French army, and when I spotted a uniform plate, and a model soldier showing French Marines serving in China 1897-1902, the decision was made. Varnished late last night. Still to decide if I should add a blanket roll with miliput. Will construct a suitable officer to complete a unit of twelve.


Saturday, 20 February 2021


Recently picked up these two Arab cavalry figures. I think they are hollow cast, and are probably lead rather than Aluminium. Would be grateful for any information on their maker and age, I could find no markings or photos of similar items. In scale they are small 54mm, and look fine with most Britains. Cost £6.75 delivered, a bit dear but I like them.

Another purchase were five severely broken French Tiralleurs. They will need a lot of work to restore but good condition castings are so expensive.  Cost £7.20 delivered. This will be a tricky project!


Thursday, 18 February 2021

French Foreign Legion, 1930s

Some figures recently received from my friend George Mills included ten Timpo plastic French Foreign Legion figures. The castings were fairly clean of flash, and they took primer and acrylic paints with ease. For protection, some superglue was applied to extended items followed by a coat of yacht varnish. I had to undertake some research to date their portrayal, the pineapple grenades and shirt collar indicated they were 1930s.

For war-game purposes these figures will serve as skirmishers with a generic French army, which in turn will be allied to my Spanish army. This will provide an interesting opposition to either my British or American armies. These figures also form part of thirty-three toy soldiers completed during the last four days.


(PS. Not posted here, I have also started on the lead French Army figures Paul Watson kindly sent, ten are ready for service but I will upload photos when a few more have been integrated.)

Wednesday, 17 February 2021

United States (Coloured) Regiment c.1880

My late 19th century United States army now has a third regular infantry unit. This is the 25th Regiment, which was one of two coloured battalions at this time. The figures are W.Britains furnished by Paul Watson with home-cast heads added. The drummer was severely damaged but steel nails and miliput has created a suitable kneeling musician.


Sunday, 14 February 2021

A Royal Artillery Crew (Conversion Project)

In my spares box was a lead figure with a backpack, I also had two more figures in gaiters, and a kneeling figure with a broken rifle. Decided to raise a colonial service artillery company. Replaced the arms and carved some gaiters on the kneeling figure. Milliput was used for three more backpacks, shoulder belts, and ammo pouches. Fixed some home-cast pith helmets. On file I had several nice photos of toy soldiers manning guns in blue tunic and buff breeches, here is my representation.


Saturday, 13 February 2021

Cameron Highlanders

Recent recruits from Paul Watson have allowed me to practically complete the Cameron Highlanders. For a colour change, I decided to give this unit their Sudan 1898 uniforms. OK, the Piper should also be dressed as such, but its too good to paint strip. Just waiting to get some binocular arms for the officer and the battalion will be ready for action. At a later date I might repaint the bases a desert colour, but I do prefer green!


Friday, 12 February 2021


I recently sent a couple of 1930s W.Britains armoured cars to a close friend, George Mills. He is raising 28mm armies for AVBCW and I thought some period-correct items would be a novel addition. Imagine my surprise when a box arrived with a mixture of 54mm plastic figures. George was having a clear-out and knew these figures would be useful towards my projects. In the box were four Timpo Arabs, ten Timpo French Foreign Legion, and five metal-based Deetail cowboys. 

Here are the four Arabs. I decided to cut away the sabres and knives, the former were unlikely to keep any paint, and they have now been replaced with home-cast pewter scimitars. I also found an ornate resin button with a perfect shank to attach to a figure, to serve as a shield. The casualty figure is now a standard bearer.

Decided to muster my Saracens and Ottoman Turks!

(Thanks George)

Thursday, 11 February 2021

Northumberland Fusiliers c.1900

No plans to complete a regiment, these five figures arrived with fusilier busbies, being shorter in height than bearskins and having an ornamental grenade in front. Decided to raise a detachment of the famous 5th Regiment of Foot with their green facings. Home-cast replacement rifles did the job. To be honest, the green facings are not quite right, will probably adjust that colour later.

(Thank you Paul!)


Footnote (not shown). Adjusted the green, used yellow paint with only a touch of the green. I find the acrylic yellows are rather weak and often require two or more coats, so any mixture requires only a tiny amount to the yellow.


Tuesday, 9 February 2021

Halifax Garrison, Nova Scotia

The Royal Navy garrison at Halifax has just received additional personnel. Completed a few days ago, six more gunners in sennet hats, a rating with a telescope, and another with a cutlass but now adjusted to carry a naval ensign. I had hoped to keep the paintwork on these figures, which was quite nice. Unfortunately the shade of blue was distinct, and I really wanted to have the entire naval contingent in the same dark navy-blue.

In addition to the blue, my white naval gun crew have gained an officer, with repaired telescope.

(Figures furnished by Paul Watson.)


Saturday, 6 February 2021


Thanks to Paul Watson donating some lead figures, I've been able to increase my Germania Rifles with four more figures today. This unit was raised in San Francisco, 1868, and was operational till 1881. National guard records indicate it had a reputation for winning prizes for marksmanship and numbered about 100 men. For wargaming purposes I think it will be interesting to give them a shooting bonus in my Dominion War campaign.