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.

Sunday, 29 August 2021

SPANISH INVADE FLORIDA (Dominion Wargame/Campaign)

With the French having taken New Orleans, but now bottled up in the city, their Spanish allies looked towards their own objectives. A French fleet carried a Spanish force of six units to St.Augustine, Florida. The defenders could only muster 12 NG, and they decided it was prudent to evacuate to the north. (Note, In 1880 many of the key population centres in Florida were little more than towns.

Having so easily occupied St. Augustine, some of the fleet carrying three units moved south, both Daytona and New Smyna were taken without a fight. Keen to continue this success, the fleet carrying one unit arrived off Tampa. Here, the local population mustered 6 NG, and 9 armed civilians, and were keen to fight.


The twelve Spanish disembarked from three landing boats, but immediately came under fire. Advancing on the hidden skirmishers they suffered a casualty on move THREE. and they also received fire on their left flank. On move FOUR the two Spanish sections charged their opposition. The local volunteers scattered, but the NG retired in very good order, maintaining their fire, and inflicting a second casualty. If only the armed civilians had stood their ground, the Spanish bluecoats now loosed off a volley that even took down one of those routing. 

Having neutralised their opposition, the bluecoats faced right and sought to support the Spanish Marines. While this was going on the American Commander attempted to rally his irregulars. When the Spanish marines entered the Fruit grove they too deployed as skirmishers, and now supported by the bluecoats, the superior numbers brought down two NG. This action was over, the NG retired, the irregulars stopped routing but declined to re-engage. The Spanish were in control of Tampa.


Spanish occupied territory

 This last map shows the state of games played, points having been granted to each victory, red Empire, green USA, blue Franco-Spanish.

Wednesday, 25 August 2021

Battle of Toronto (Dominion wargame PT.2)

During the night both sides had used their time well to reconstitute and distribute their forces. The Empire had been able to restore an artillery crew by drafting from other gun crews, and all the strongest battalions now took up post in the key redoubts. A battalion of armed civilians took post in a prominent house just outside the city. The Americans had moved all their troops to their foremost positions, and four guns were fully manned. They had also successfully rallied a NG battalion, a useful nine figures. 

Here were the new positions.

The second day of the battle commenced with a full-on advance on the city. In the following moves the casualties were heavy on both sides. Two cavalry regiments gallantly charged a redoubt, although both were wiped out they did inflict a fair number of casualties. The crew manning the central siege gun were taken out by American shells. But in move FOUR the American rightwing staggered to a halt, and in move FIVE, after a second round of melee, the American central assault collapsed, panic spreading to the reserve battalion. (The Canadian troops were so close to breaking too, having lost the first round of melee and no hope of taking on the American reserve battalion, this would have decided the outcome!) Unable to move forward, the American commander sent a message requesting leave to retire his troops with their wounded. As the garrison was in no position to counter attack, it was agreed. 

EMPIRE Losses 31 (109 total)

City of Toronto Defence Council 6

Royal Canadian Artillery 'A Battery' 10 (-4)

Royal Canadian Artillery 'B Battery' 2 (-2)

Royal Artillery 4 (-1)

Royal Canadian Grenadiers 8 (-2)

Royal Scots of Canada 12 (-6)

7th Battalion (Canadian) Fusiliers 8 (-4)

Northumberland (British) Fusiliers 4 (-4)

Calgary Rifles 4

London Irish Rifles 6 (-1)

Lorne Scots (Canadian) 4

Governor's Horse Guards dismounted 4 (-1)

Royal Regiment of Canadian Infantry 12 (-6)

Embodied United Empire Loyalists 12

Machine Gun crew and guards 4

Hospital personnel 9

                                        UNITED STATES Losses 52 (145 total)

US Staff 5

Infantry Regiment 12 (-6)

Infantry Regiment 12 (-3)

Cavalry Regiment 4

US Marines 12

US Signals 3

Heavy Artillery Regiment 9 (-4)

Light Artillery Regiment 9 (-5, and -4 reprimanded)

West Point Provisional Battalion 12 (-1)

NG Artillery Troop 3 (-1)

NG Artillery Troop 3 (-2)

NG Artillery Troop 3 (-3)

NYNG Battalion 8 (-4)

NYNG Battalion 12 (-6)

Michigan NG Battalion 8 (-4)

NG Provisional Battalion 8 (-4)

NYNG skirmishers 4

NYNG Hussars 4 (-4)

NG Provisional Cavalry 4 (-4)

NG Provisional Battalion 10 (-1)

DOMINION CAMPAIGN NEWS. At the conclusion of this battle I compiled six scenarios, from 1. the Americans withdraw from Eastern Ontario, to 6. the Americans respond by raising a second army and attack Toronto again. The dice score of D2 provided for a lifting of the siege and an American withdrawal to London (thats in Ontario, lol). 

Honestly, I know this will look like some scheming has been going on, Today, Day 3, I decided to do the same for the garrison, from 1, they receive a letter of congratulations from the Queen, to 6, a supply column arrives in the city with 48 reinforcements and a letter from the Queen. I threw a D6. MGB

Tuesday, 24 August 2021

The Battle of Toronto (Dominion Wargame Pt.1)

The long awaited assault on Toronto still came as a shock to the garrison. A message was received by the city mayor, surrender or face a heavy artillery bombardment later this same day. The council appointed for its defence considered the demand, and declined (D4). Immediately, steps were taken to transfer the civilian population to a fleet of small vessels. Word of this evacuation was also sent to the US army, and this message was acknowledged.

A combined formula of likelihood and dice gave the Empire garrison 109 figures and four guns. It should be noted, however, the Empire forces may have included six high ranking officers but actually comprised small units of Canadian regulars and volunteer militia. It also included twelve armed gentlemen of the city, and nine staff belonging to a military hospital. The American forces numbered 145 and seven guns.
At 3pm the American guns opened up, that is the four guns actually in range, and the Empire returned fire with three of theirs. Casualties were slightly higher for the Americans, the garrison redoubts saving many. On move THREE there was a general US advance, not least to get three lighter guns into range.

On move FOUR there was a direct hit on a US siege gun (D6, followed by a D6). And the three remaining crew also failed their saving throws. Worse still, a neighbouring NG battalion suddenly broke, and being close to the table edge could not be rallied.

On move SIX the effective fire from the garrison had inflicted 50% casualties on the US Heavy battery. Obliged to test their morale, D2 and a D3 saw both gun crews scarper. For the record, a half strength test was required on an Empire gun crew but a D4 combined with 'defended position' ensured they continued to obey orders.
Day one concluded on move SEVEN, with the US troops moving closer to the City's redoubts. The mainly Canadian defenders had done extraordinarily well, but they knew this was just the beginning.

USA 16, plus 13 routing. 1 Gun.


Monday, 23 August 2021


Just acquired four more plastic farming characters. Three of them were damaged but at only £4.50 delivered I didn't mind restoring them. This gives me nineteen rural civilians, but my collection could still use some more town folk. Also included are a few photos of others recently completed. Its been a good run clearing odd figures in my spares box.


                                                                 FARMING FOLK

A couple of French toys repaired

WW2 British tommy, some colonial troops, NKVD Officer (Soviet)

                                               Ghibelline bannerman and a Scottish knight

                              CLEVELAND HUSSAR (USA), and a RURITANIAN Cavalryman

Wednesday, 18 August 2021

WW2 & MODERN, latest additions

Some nice additions, and not too expensive either. First up is a WW2 model of a M3 infantry carrier. I picked it up for £13.50 including delivery. I haven't actually got a United States Army but I do have British, and they also used them. It doesn't stop there, the Soviets and Germans had small numbers too. And variations continued to be in service with a load of countries through the 1970s, including Israel. Its a well made mainly plastic model, but quite heavy.  Will find a method to cover inappropriate emblems, or might just remove them all.

I found a handful of Airfix US Marines. Decided to convert them into Israeli Military Police as I'm prone to raise unusual army formations.

Three more odd/broken figures have furnished a gun crew, could serve as 1970s Israeli or WW2 United States.

Finally, this is a project I enjoyed working on. Last year I picked up five Britains guns for £13.60, and all were listed as broken. Actually, a PAK 38 only had paint scratches, while a second one was just missing its two shafts/legs. Have just constructed some acceptable replacements. As it had lost much of its paintwork, decided to also give it some exotic camouflage.


Wednesday, 11 August 2021

INSURGENT WARGAME using cheap plastic toy soldiers

In this wargame dice are thrown each move to determine which side fires first, and this was an important feature to the game.

SCENARIO East African Forces have secured a small town, and also an outpost to the NW. They are expecting an attack but are not aware from which direction(s). All deployments must remain in their positions until the sixth move, but supporting fire is allowed. However, no fire may take place until the insurgent forces fire first, or come into view (12"). For the Insurgent forces, they are obliged to dice their unit deployments.


MOVE ONE The attack commenced from the NW when one insurgent group, supported by a technical and HMG, approached the fortified outpost/property. An insurgent artillery piece to the North was also able to give valuable support. The exchange of fire saw the technical driver taken out but casualties were fairly even. In MOVE TWO a well positioned tank, between the town and outpost, opened fire. A direct hit on the technical, gone! However, those in the outpost suffered several casualties and decided to retire. From then on the tank and Insurgent gun exchanged fire. The outpost was occupied in MOVE FIVE. In MOVE SIX the tank took out the artillery piece, and some military police arrived to support those forced out of their position.

MOVE SEVEN saw the general attack on the town by four insurgent groups, mainly coming from the SE. But they were in for a shock. The East African Forces opened up with a field gun, mortar, HMG, LMG, and small arms fire. Six casualties, before they had fired a shot. However, It was now the Insurgent's turn to return fire, and RPGs began to have an impact. One taking out the field gun. 


In MOVE EIGHT a RPG fired from the outpost roof scored a six (hit), followed by another six (magazine) which took out the tank between the town and outpost. But it didn't stop there, another RPG (the insurgents had five) hit the other tank with a six, followed by another six....... my mouth opened! Their small arms fire had also been quite effective. Now under attack from three directions, in MOVE NINE a general retreat was ordered in the direction of the SW........ and it wasn't quite orderly. Losses EAF 18, Insurgents 17.

                                           Insurgent groups on the SE slowly approach the town. 
Insurgents take the outpost.

The main attack on the town.
Moving out to engage the main force of insurgents was probably a mistake.

We are pulling out!
They should have been able to hold the town and outpost, but its still a game involving dice. Perhaps the restrictions on the garrison were too limiting for the tanks, unable to utilise their advantages in range? It was also interesting to see the EAF small arms become quite ineffective while withdrawing, the buildings and rushed withdrawal impeded 3-man firing sections finding viable targets. Although still obeying orders, the garrison had to retire as quickly as possible or their losses would have risen sharply.