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 October 2021


Having painted up some Airfix WW2 Japanese I realised the need to have something more powerful than just machine guns and knee mortars, which come with these figures. Decided to construct a type 92 battalion gun out of plastic bits and metal spares, and to convert a suitable crew.

I also had a fair number of extra machine gunners and converted two of these into anti-tank rifles. I will add a supporting figure to each later to form a independent military unit of four.

Next step is to construct a more powerful mortar and crew, but might try my hand at constructing a tankette.

MORE BASING Decided to spend some time basing some of those figures recently completed. A bit of time spent on bases is always worthwhile and can improve modest castings into attractive gaming pieces.


Sunday, 24 October 2021

EMPIRE LABOUR SERVICE (Reichsarbeitsdienst WW2)

The Reichsarbeitsdienst (RAD) was formed in Germany in 1935, by 1939 it could muster 350,000 workers. Although not an army formation it nevertheless contributed to the German war effort, and right up until the end of the war contingents were assisting in constructing defensive positions, while some were also issued small arms. Decided to augment my German force with a small unit, converted from Airfix Mountain Troops. Although the RAD also used the standard mountain cap, I wanted mine to have something distinctly theirs. While some RAD units used overalls while on military service I couldn't resist keeping their formal post1938 uniform. For war-game purposes they will count as a reservist/militia formation. No confusing this unit on the gaming table!


Post 1938 tunic replaced the turn back lapel.

Thursday, 14 October 2021


Decided to have a bit of fun converting some odd Chinese plastic toy soldiers, adding a spare W.Britains artillery piece, and a Lone Star WW1 machine gunner to form a small force of Dutch military c.1939.

When the Germans invaded Holland in 1940 the Dutch didn't really have much hope of winning, their 280,000 combatants were to take on 750,000 Germans. It should also be noted, their army had much of the characteristics of something out of WW1 due to a lack of investment and a belief they could remain neutral. However, despite poor deployments, their anti-aircraft units were quite effective and their marine forces put up a stiff resistance in Rotterdam before their national capitulation.

I've been able to raise an infantry battalion of twelve figures, and converted others with metal home-cast heads into some support units. I still have a mortar crew to complete, and some officers. Might like to raise a unit of Black Devils or Dutch Marines too, in blue uniforms.

The basic uniform colour for the Dutch is a nondescript grey-green, lighter than German field-grey, and prone to look distinct according to the light. This is only a fun project, and in any games the Dutch will be defending and outnumbered three to one.


Blanket-rolls, haversacks and water pouches are added.

This gun, kindly donated by Paul Watson, looks close to the old-style artillery still in use by the Dutch.
The throwing grenade/running figures were given new heads and now serve as artillery crew.

All the above figures will be given larger, textured bases.

For more on the Dutch visit the following site www.waroverholland.nl

Monday, 11 October 2021


Picked up a couple of auctions on Ebay. The first was a batch of Airfix German Mountain Troops. My plan is to form a 12-figure regiment for the wargames table while converting the remainder into artillery crew. I might also draft a few into my Zubrowka army, which was previously recruited from these figures.

The second batch are Airfix Japanese. They really are nicely designed, and a pleasure to paint. Only problem, it will be a real issue converting any of them into artillery crews. I can see why most collectors/wargamers utilise 1/35 scale for their support weaponry. The cost for all these figures, including delivery, was £15.90. Perhaps thats a bit high but I'm pleased with the gains.

Finally, have mentioned to Brad, I'm hoping to use some plastic Chinese-made copies for an unusual project. On Saturday, at my local market, I was able to pick up some 'strange' moulded toy soldiers for just £2. Its their odd-shaped German helmets which have opened up this idea. Have already associated them with a German artillery piece and an old lead machine-gunner.