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.

Wednesday, 26 January 2022

NEW ADDITIONS TO MY COLLECTION

Lots of work done on those recent arrivals from Paul Watson. First up are three more Royal Navy figures, now attached to my manhandled field gun, they are a perfect match!

My WW2 Home Guard has increased their number from twelve to seventeen, just one more needing to be fully repaired.
Among the wide range of castings were three that are distinctly small. These figures are really 50mm in scale but have a wonderful toy look to them, and perfect for attaching to the Lone Star range of vehicles. As the paintwork was surprisingly good, mixed up some matching paints for any chips, and varnished.
Original condition
Lots of work done on a batch of WW1 figures, will leave these for another post as they require some spares to complete.
Pleased to have augmented my small collection of Dutch WW2 figures. Was able to form another heavy machine gun team, and the all important command base.

Original condition



My British WW2 collection has gained some plastic Airfix figures too. US equipped bazooka team, a Bren gun team for the army, and another for the Military Police, the latter are converted commandos.
MGB

Monday, 24 January 2022

DOMINION WAR NEWS

MAJOR NAVAL ACTION, Chesapeake Bay

A substantial US Naval force based in the Chesapeake sought to break the blockade imposed by the fleets of the British and French empires. Although no formal alliance exists, it is likely that the high commands of the two blockading powers had secretly arranged some kind of plan of action for such an event. Although outnumbered in guns, the American navy successfully broke through the Royal Navy line. But being forced to then take on the French, were obliged to break off the engagement and return to the safety of the Chesapeake. Losses were as follows. US Navy, one ship lost, six needing emergency repairs. Royal Navy, one ship lost, seven needing emergency repairs in Bermuda. French Navy, three ships lost, one needing urgent repairs, now heading for Spanish-held Cuba. Result, the American Government has claimed this is a major victory. However, the blockade continues. In Britain, the Admiralty has launched an inquiry into the tactics employed. (Simple Dice Game, all three navies being of equal quality.)

BRITISH COLUMBIA

The arrival of Empire volunteers from Australia, New Zealand, and garrisons in the far east allowed the British Columbia government to take the offensive. At three locations in the State of Washington, and one more in Oregon, Empire troops made incursions, without meeting any opposition. Seattle authorities requested military assistance from Portland and California. The former was concerned with the arrival of Empire troops at the mouth of the Columbia river and was unwilling to assist. San Francisco called for a general mobilisation, and the response was impressive (28 units in Northern California), some of those embodied were ordered to make preparations to travel north by rail.

Seattle now came under siege. To be honest, this game is a product of the campaign maps, I was hoping the Americans would dice to withdraw! The garrison only mustered four military units (D4), and fifteen armed volunteers (D5 x3). They were determined to fight (D6). The Empire forces comprised two military units approaching from the NE, two military units from the West, and one naval battalion operating at sea with several Royal Navy vessels. Non combatants in the city were granted leave to depart (D6).


Empire forces to the Northeast and those approaching from the West.

The Empire forces made no attempt to enter the city, preferring to rely on heavy artillery at long range. (Admiral Watson having recently arrived with two batteries of 4.7 naval guns.) By MOVE FIVE the naval warships had hit five buildings, with two catching fire. The land-based artillery directed their fire at infantry and road positions. When the American howitzers returned fire, one battery redirected its guns at the howitzers, the compact nature of their target causing high casualties. On MOVE SIX the American commander requested leave to vacate the city (D2). The Canadian commander declared the garrison position was quite hopeless and they should surrender (D2). The American commander now requested permission for the NG and armed civilians to be granted leave to depart, this too was declined (D1). Accordingly, the garrison commander informed the Empire commander that they would continue to hold their position (D4). On MOVE SEVEN there was a renewal of artillery fire. Another warehouse caught fire, and two more American casualties. The US commander agreed to unconditional surrender (D1). 
RESULTS  
American Command 3
US Infantry               12
NG Battalion             12  -1
NG Battalion             12  -4  MOVE SEVEN -1
US Howitzers             9   -7  MOVE SEVEN -1
Armed civilians         15
Hospital Dept.           12

Empire Commanders 2
Royal Marines           12
RN Battery                 12 -2, one gun destroyed
RA Battery                 10
Canadian Highlanders 12
Naval Forces (off table) 4 gunners, 12 Royal Marines
(Footnote, the harsh terms imposed on the American garrison did not go down well with Empire Command (D1), the entire American garrison was later granted parole. The general view is, this city being attacked from three sides, and out-gunned, should have been evacuated. Unknown to the garrison, five military units using train travel were in nearby Tacoma on MOVE SEVEN, entering the table on MOVE EIGHT. 

NATIONAL CALL-UP

The United States Government has called for all states to assist in the removal of foreign forces from their country, and the successful conclusion of the Expedition to Canada. Non-maritime states are instructed to mobilise their manpower for service outside their home states. 

FRENCH IN LOUISIANA More French troops have arrived in Louisiana. However, many have not disembarked, and this has led some to conclude they may still be deployed elsewhere (18 units).

ONTARIO Unofficially, senior commanders on both sides are seeking to maintain the status quo, neither side willing to jeopardise their positions or manpower.

TEXAS The State government has called for a general mobilisation to protect the state capital and coastline.

FLORIDA The Spanish Governor of Cuba has launched his own expedition to Florida. Several towns have been occupied in the south of the state, and with no opposing forces operating in the area, he has claimed much of southern Florida is now under his control.


CALIFORNIA Threats of coastal raids have discouraged the State Governor from sending as many military units north as originally planned, but the capture of Seattle has seen five units being despatched to the northwest.

Sunday, 23 January 2022

ISRAELI 1970s ARTILLERY & MORTAR CREWS

When Paul Watson sent me five pewter figures representing American GIs, decided they could be drafted into my small collection of Israeli military c.1970s. Here they are manning a field gun and mortar.


Primed and ready to be painted. The mortar is a Crescent model c.1960, 
This spare plastic copy of an Airfix WW2 marine can also be drafted into my Israeli military police unit.

Saturday, 15 January 2022

THE AIRFORCE ARRIVES

Paul Watson was in town again, sorting out the affairs of a late friend, of thirty-five years. And his trip included another box of lead castings needing to be cleared. Perhaps it would be more appropriate to write, Paul flew in?

The first is a 54mm Sopwith Pup, so popular during WW1. For me this does have some side-interests. My grandfather joined the Royal Naval Air Service, and ended up taking photographs of the German trenches in France..... and survived. The RNAS operated a wide range of aircraft during their brief period of service, and it has been suggested they received new designed aircraft before the Royal Flying Corps. At the end of WW1 both organisations were amalgamated into the newly formed Royal Air Force. 



There was also a batch of old, lead figures, probably Britains and Crescents, and a few others. Will begin the process of researching their uniforms.
There was also some other exiting bits but I will keep this post to my newly recreated RNAS. 

MGB

PS. See George Mills comment on the figures and their uniforms, some superb photos of re-enactors to follow on completion of the figures.

Wednesday, 12 January 2022

French Zouaves (metal 54mm)

Among the metal soldiers recently sent by Paul Watson were four zouaves in turbans. Further research shows they aren't American civil war figures but actual French colonial troops, wearing the uniform of the 1870s. I think they are rather nice castings, and would welcome any information on who actually manufactured them.

MGB


Before paint stripping and priming.




Saturday, 8 January 2022

GERMAN WW2 ADDITIONS

My German WW2 army has just gained some vital additions.

This navy-blue toy tank probably dates to the 1980s? Would welcome any additional information on this pull-back model, the company logo is 'MILITARY AFFAIR NO.108. Some very slight damage but not bad for £6.80 delivered. Decided to add a tank commander by converting a spare German Para officer.



 Some useful staff officers cleaned up, primed. and some conversion work. Kindly supplied by Paul Watson, these pewter figures were made in Hong Kong during the 1980s. Here are some completed models.

A couple of spare Airfix mountain troops have a metal officer added by replacing the head.
Four metal figures marching have furnished a company of Kriegsmarine, in their distinctive blue tunics.
This was a project and a half. I had a wounded figure and some Africa Corps soldiers going spare. Decided to remove much of their accoutrements, ammo pouches, etc and convert them into a German field hospital (Italy 1944). Milliput was used to create the German medical coat and armbands.



MGB




 

Monday, 3 January 2022

DOMINION WAR MAPS (and Railway models)

With the start of a new year I thought it appropriate to upload my maps for the Dominion War fictitious campaign. They really do show the current situation better than any other method. 

MGB

MAP ONE, North America. Captured territories. Green for parts of Canada taken by the United States. Red for parts of Maine taken by the British Empire. Blue for areas now controlled by the Franco-Spanish Alliance. Coloured lines at sea indicate where naval blockades are being enforced.

MAP TWO, Ontario. This is a close up showing those parts of Ontario now occupied by the United States (Yellow). Although the loss of Ottawa is of political importance some have suggested Fort William is a greater loss as it has severed the Grand Pacific Railway (Port Arthur).

MAP THREE, Maine. This map shows where the British Empire has established naval garrisons (red). The lighter shaded areas are where the population has agreed terms not to participate further in this war.

MAP FOUR, Battles. This shows battles and skirmishes that have been fought. The colours indicate who was the victor. The number corresponds to points awarded, based on the size of the action and also its strategic importance.

MAP FIVE, Florida. This shows the positions of the Spanish in Florida. 
MAP SIX, Louisiana. This shows the position of the French in Louisiana (Blue)

DOMINION RAILWAYS
A few days ago Paul Watson had an opportunity to visit my home town, while sorting out the affairs of a friend who recently passed away. Paul had mentioned his desire to reduce not only his toy soldier projects but also a fair quantity of 54mm Timpo railway track and stock. The box was duly delivered. And it comprised three engines with three coal (battery power) wagons, and two long carriages. While some pieces need restoration work their potential is absolutely enormous, not least to the Dominion campaign. I include a few photos. 
Volunteers from Australia had only recently disembarked at Victoria, British Columbia, in support of their Canadian kinsfolk, but are now about to travel on the Grand Pacific Railway, destination unknown. (These figures were also supplied by Paul, with only a few paint chips and wear. Here they are restored, and with traditional facial detail added.)