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.

Thursday, 29 July 2021

Ugandan Army (Contemporary)

A few years ago I picked up a box of figures for £5.50 delivered. It contained over 300 plastic miniatures. Some were genuine Airfix, some were Chinese copies, and others were Chinese copies of Chinese copies. The scales varied too. Some were 54mm, others were 50mm, then there was the 48mm, 42mm, and still others were 40mm. Some of these were sent off to Oliver, a relative, to boost his '2nd grade' play collection, his '1st grade' Deetails are shown more respect because of their age. Others were despatched to a charity shop.

So what to do with these figures? The 50mm Germans were converted into a quite nice Ruritanian army. The 42mm were' influenced' by Airfix WW2 Allies, but were now something nondescript, or modern, in their uniforms, helmets, and weaponry. Could they furnish something interesting, and different? 

Here is my contemporary Ugandan army. OK, they aren't 54mm, but I'm hard pressed to record them anywhere else. 

First. Ugandan infantry, trained and often supplied by the British Army. These will be the elite in the army. (The two toy tanks are made of hard plastic, and can actually make battle sound effects. They cost 50p each in a charity shop and are pretty close to scale, just needed a paint job.)

Second, Ugandan military police. You have to love the red helmets!

Third. Ugandan military police, in their distinctive light blue camouflage. (Vehicle cost £1 in a charity shop.)

Fourth. These too are military police, indigo-violet camouflage for added distinction.

Fifth, Ugandan Artillery, using converted infantry. (The shieldless Britains 25pdr gun also came in the box of toy soldiers. Now repaired and altered, I think it does the job nicely.)

Sixth. These figures are more like 50mm in scale, but I needed some 'support' elements. Painted up as Kenyans, several are wearing British-style peaked caps.

Monday, 26 July 2021


During the weekend I set about repairing a load of plastic figures recently picked up for £9. With lead spares, was able to repair twenty missing firearms, and revamped their paint work (two Deetails were left as they were). I enjoyed this project, it was rewarding. Still got another twelve to paint, the unwanted others in this interesting, largely French-made, delivery will be passed on to likely collectors.


The following will be drafted into two units of irregulars.


The following will furnish a small unit of French paras, another of French infantry, and a Browning heavy machine-gun crew. Their uniforms appear to be 1970s, as used in Into-China.

Three of the following will represent civilians.

I now have a firing unit (3) of French Navy (Marin Fusiliers), and hope to raise a second out of Starlux which are slightly smaller.

Thursday, 22 July 2021


Today's post brought an interesting collection of figures. Have just started the process of classification, what make, etc. If you see any mistakes I welcome any assistance. As many are broken I would like to repair them, and improve the paintwork, perhaps also augment their basing, The UK dealer thought they dated to the 1970s, I suspect the original owner was French? 

The first batch are French Foreign Legion, mainly made by STARLUX. The plain plastic figures are possibly COFALU, or cheaper copies?

The second batch may also be STARLUX, belonging to their French paratroopers range. But at least two of these are cheap copies.

At first I thought these naval figures were all STARLUX but apparently they are CHARGANT/CLAIRET/COFALU. These cowboys and Native Indians are STARLUX.

This fourth batch is almost certainly STARLUX French post-WW2 infantry. Also included are several others which portray American WW2?

This fifth batch is the single/odd figures, some of which are quite nice. There was also a load of broken horses, my plan is to use some of these too, even if they only end up as casualties. (But will probably pass on the Cherilea Spacemen, and the Chinese copies of Britains Tipi and totem pole.) Those sandbags are well made (resin) and will paint up nicely. (Footnote, the grey Western civilian, first photo, bottom row, is a rather nice Clairet figure.)

OK, there is a lot of work to be done, but they do have some appeal. It was the mounted Foreign Legion officer which made me think this could be a useful project. Total cost/delivered £9.


As a follow-on, I recently picked up these two Deetail Saracens for £9.99 delivered, so hardly cheap. But I needed a mounted commander for my Saracen/Turk medievals and the black saddle cloth caught my eye. Have already repainted the foot figure and it will serve as a lesser officer. There was also a broken knight. Rather than restoring I've converted it into a casualty, cutting away one side and bending one of the legs.


Saturday, 17 July 2021


Further research, with help from Hugh's SMALL SCALE WORLDS, confirmed they are cadet cavalry, initially produced by Bergan/Beton but subsequently copied by numerous other manufacturers, including Airfix. These probably date back to the 1960-70s. 

Well, I like my toy soldiers to look tidy, and as I was suspicious of the originality of the paintwork, decided to add additional detail and colours to bring out the best in the riders. My plan is that the acrylic paints and coat of varnish will better protect them. Also repaired three horses reins with milliput and several coats of superglue. Unfortunately, out of the twelve riders three had serious decay, they were also another make. Three horses were also different including some rather flat Tudor-Rose. They added nothing to the other nine cavalry.

Supplementing the previous paintwork of green, white, and flesh, they have now been revamped for my wargames table. All are strong and cheerful. As they aren't meant to be historical, I've given them a bold 'toy look'. My plan is to use these mounted figures as top-up cavalry for odd armies and imaginary scenarios.


(Footnote, the three decaying figures have been cleaned up. The heads are beyond saving and will be replaced. Hope to find an interesting use for these figures.)

                                                                     Original condition

Tuesday, 13 July 2021


Have been reducing my spares box by painting some British 20th century infantry. Most of the figures are Airfix, and a few Matchbox (?) The first group are soldiers with L1A1 rifles and green webbing, so these figures are pre-1992 in date, but they will be used as games require. I think they look suitably camouflaged for my garden. For added strength, I drilled a steel rod into the feet of two figures as the single-leg position would have led to paint flaking (left figure, first photo).

I also had a handful of 8th Army Desert Rats, including a few kindly supplied by Alan Gruber. No plans to wargame the WW2 desert war so will attach these to my small collection of British military police serving in the Eastern Mediterranean 1930-60.


Saturday, 10 July 2021

Admirals, Generals, Surgeons, Highlanders, U.S. National Guard

My 54mm collections are looking fairly complete but I can still use interesting extras, personality figures, and those formations vital to keeping armies in the field.

Rather pleased with these, the first is a Charbens plastic figure of a Royal Navy admiral. Some have suggested it is based on John Jellicoe, commanding the fleet at Jutland. The second is also plastic, of the French politician Charles Clemenceau, prominent in WW1. It is produced by Mokarex. This figure had a rather short walking stick but it was easy to replace with a longer steel rod. Total cost for the two figures was £4.54 delivered.

The next two figures were kindly gifted by Paul Watson. Both are lead figures. The first is a surgeon, the second was a Guards officer but a change of headdress has furnished a more useful officer for my collection.

In my spares box were several damaged lead highlanders which appeared to be slightly larger in scale, and armed with what looked like muskets. Decided to form a small firing unit. OK, the white tropical jackets aren't strictly correct in their cut but they do add something interesting to the collection.

These figures are some of my own home-casts. Have painted them up as the 7th New York (State Militia) National Guard Regiment.