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, 25 March 2021


Several colourful additions just completed. First up, decided to construct an armoured car for my French army. Its made out of plasticard, the officer is a converted lead drummer. I've mentioned before my interest in old tin-plate toys and this model is inspired by one made in France possibly in the 1930s. I was keen to keep that 'toy' look in my reproduction.

The second item is a farm waggon produced by SIMON & RIVOLETTE, a French company, possibly made in the 1930s. This superb item was kindly supplied by blog sponsor Paul Watson, and it really does bring the farm collection to life. I've decided not to secure the front wheels to the main model as I want to utilise it with or without harnessed horses. 

Additional projects included converting a seated German figure into a British driver. The legs had to be reduced to fit the waggon. And the painting/upgrading of a pencil sharpener cannon into something more colourful. I quite like these models, already have the gatling gun and a medieval bombard. This gun will probably serve in my Ruritanian army, the 1952 film shows green Napoleon carriages. MGB

Friday, 19 March 2021


Today a box arrived from Paul Watson. This is the largest so far. It comprises 148 toy soldiers, 6 cannon, and three vehicles. The figures are predominantly British redcoats but there are also hospital personnel, West Indian infantry, artillerymen, Arab light horse, and more. Think its best I just record their arrival with some photographs. Tomorrow I will commence the process of restoration and integration. There are some very exiting projects planned!

(Thank you Paul for your sponsorship of this blog, a donation will be sent to a worthy cause.)


And Now for Something completely Different!

Just a quick post, before I upload a series of photos relating to a large box received today from Paul Watson. 

During the last few days I decided to take on a few sewing projects. I think you will agree they are quite diverse in nature. The first was three red velvet cushions for the lounge (you weren't expecting that!), the second was another canvas canopy for a converted and upscaled Morestone waggon, the rear wheels are now in the front and some spare larger wheels have been added. The third project was a flag based on one used by the Welsh pirate Bartholomew Roberts during the 1720s. An early edition of the History of Pirates published in 1724 shows a canton, which I thought looked rather nice. Hope its of interest.


Thursday, 18 March 2021


Just had a spot of luck on Ebay. Was the only bidder on five artillery pieces. Most if not all are damaged but I still think its a good buy. For my WW2 German army I was keen to get a PAK38, well I may be able to restore two. There was also two BATs, these were produced by W. Britains, they represent anti-tank guns that entered service in the 1950s. Having lost their front shields they automatically become MOBATs, a lighter model. Most BAT guns became redundant in the 1980s with the arrival of hand-held rocket propelled missiles. Not sure how I will use these but they could end up with my imaginary Zubrowka army. Lastly, an old Britains Naval gun missing much of its carriage. Total cost £13.60 including their delivery.


Thursday, 11 March 2021

MORE OTTOMAN TURKS ready for action

My second drive into raising a Medieval Ottoman/Saracen army has furnished some armoured ghazi (religious volunteers), three foot guards, and a dismounted commander. All figures are W. Britains Deetail Range made in the 1970s-80s.

(John, have also added a size comparison for Timpo Arabs and Deetail Turks.)


Monday, 8 March 2021

Ottomans & Arabs (Medieval)

During the weekend I have been mainly painting Arab and Turk toy soldiers (Fast Show sketch). Alan Gruber having kindly sent me a fair number of Timpo Arab figures, I was keen to get to grips with this project. Here they are painted and varnished, just waiting for some suitable spears, a few banners, and some stiff card to complete their basing.

These figures, joined with four supplied by George Mills, will furnish three groups of eight irregular/light foot, and an artillery crew of four. Note the absence of yellow coats, this colour was not popular with Arab warriors, although Turks had no such prejudice.

Thanks Alan! (Some 28mm items on their way.)

Also included is a batch of Britains DEETAIL Turks I picked up in several Ebay auctions. This is the first of five similar groups, could have varied their colours but I want them to serve as a 'retinue"and uniformity gives that impression. Most of the figures have been issued home-cast pewter weaponry and some broken helmets have also received new ornaments.


Saturday, 6 March 2021

PLASTIC CONVERSIONS (Israeli Signals, British Military Police)

Just visited Man of Tin Blog, run by Mark. He's just posted some photos of female toy soldiers. Thought I would follow up with some plastic figures I converted last year. A few years ago I picked up a large bag of cheap plastic soldiers, a very mixed collection. They included several very odd 65mm Chinese-made figures. Not worth keeping, I did note some were moulded with out-of-scale female heads with beret and hair bun. Decided to fix these to some spare WW2 Airfix US Marines, to portray Israeli Signals. 

The second photo shows various British WW2 figures, all plastic, this time converted and painted up as British Military Police. I guess these figures would not look out of place in Cyprus or Palestine 1930-50.


Tuesday, 2 March 2021


Several months ago I picked up two Lone Star armoured cars. I do like die-cast, but these are also genuine toys and date back to at least the 1970s, which makes them special. Here they are repaired and repainted. For war-game purposes the British vehicle will represent a Daimler Dingo (Bren) or a Daimler Armoured Car (2pdr.) The dark camouflage colours are unusual for WW2 but at least one unit is recorded as using it in the 1940s. The German counterpart is the same model, but thats ok. The Italians produced several hundred vehicles based on Daimlers and many ended up in German hands, and the bold camouflage is correct for their use.