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.

Friday, 26 August 2022

FRENCH CUIRASSIERS & CHASSEURS 1870-1900

My French army has been destitute of cavalry for far too long. My British collection could muster six regiments, but games rarely used five, and typically one or two. One unit was not my favourite, some plastic Blues & Royals. These figures were not bad, but lacked reins, and could not match the pleasure of using my metal alternatives. Decided to have a go at converting them.

Here are my two French cuirassier regiments, and a brigade commander. The original five plastic figures were supplemented with three lead castings from Paul Watson, and one more in my spares box. With odd metal bits  from various suppliers, this project was hardly cheap. All told, the figures and spares must have totalled about £24. Still, they will be much more useful in my wargames.

Work under progress.
Sources

The second project was finding a use for six odd lead figures. All were formerly Guardsmen, including three Bandsmen with trombones. They also came with half-gaiters. Here they are serving as French light infantry, undertaking some construction work.
MGB

Wednesday, 24 August 2022

CHARITY SHOP additions, and donations

This post is really a listing of bits and pieces picked up for little or nothing. 

Acquired this broken toy trebuchet earlier in the year, from a charity shop. Not sure if I paid £1 or £2 for it. As it was missing quite a few parts. I certainly wouldn't have paid any more. First objective was to file some parts so the swing-arm could be fixed at a higher angle. After removing all unnecessary extras, and covering/filling unnecessary holes, I'm quite happy with it. It was never going to be a quality miniature, but it does look appropriate with my W.Britains toy knights and Turks.

                                                                     

My Somali insurgents have gained another technical. Picked up this vehicle for 30p in a charity shop. Decided to remove the rear seating and create a platform for a light machine gun. Will eventually increase the crew to three.
The circus advertisements had to go, lol.

In addition to the Technical. I spotted this badly damaged Bentley 4.5 ltr. Its a reproduction of those manufactured during 1927 to 1931. At 30p, even the steering wheel would be a useful purchase. Strangely, its made by Corgi, but the scale is not far off 1/32. When I got it home I took an instant like to the model, and I wanted another in pristine condition. Pleased to report, was the only bidder on Ebay for another, costing £2 plus £3.35 postage (thanks George).
Have since discovered, the scale is confirmed at 1/35, great stuff.
When Paul Watson turned up with a box of trains and railway track, there was also four buff-coloured plastic model ruins. Decided it was time to utilise these to make some terrain pieces.
MGB
Footnote. State of my Spares Box, late August

Wednesday, 10 August 2022

Restored Royal Irish Lancers Officer

Today I completed a classic lead figure, produced by W.Britains. Its their iconic representation of an officer in the 5th Royal Irish Lancers. Once more, this figure was kindly furnished by Paul Watson. It required some restoration work, one of the horses legs was weak, and the sword's blade was missing. It will now serve as my senior cavalry commander.

And here are some prints that almost certainly inspired W.Britains to produce this fine miniature.
MGB

Footnote. In 1916, during WW1, Britain passed a conscription law, requiring all British males to make themselves available for service in the armed forces. In 1918, legislation was approved for Ireland, but it was never implemented by the government, as many in Ireland favoured home rule and rejected the authority of the British state to conscript in their country. Nevertheless, it is estimated, 140,000 Irishmen volunteered to serve in British and Irish regiments, joining the original 80,000 Irish professionals, already serving in the British Army, including several with the rank of general. Of this total number, 35,000 died in action during WW1. (These figures do not include those Irish that had made a new life for themselves in the Dominions of Canada, Australia, South Africa, and New Zealand, and had enlisted in their local regiments, to defend the Empire.) 


Saturday, 6 August 2022

Ruritanian Mounted Officer (Prisoner of Zenda)

I hate waste. Wanted to see if it was possible to save a very, very badly damaged lead cavalryman. Was tempted to just put it into the melting pot, its not even a 54mm casting. Its one of those 45mm cavalry figures that occasionally crop up in auctions, smaller versions of Crescent 54mm Horse Guards. This had been sent by Paul Watson. To be used or disposed of as I think fit.

An extra staff officer for my Ruritanian army could be a useful addition. This collection comprises mainly cheap Chinese-made plastic figures. Their Foot Guards in bearskins, and ww2 Germans are easily converted into Ruritanian uniforms, using the 1952 movie for inspiration. These plastic figures are only about 50mm in size. While this lead cavalryman was only 45mm, it was possible to reconstruct the missing rear half of the horse to imply it was a larger casting, rearing up. Steel wire and milliput, combined with plenty of superglue, seems to have faked the scale reasonably well, and it was a fun project. 

Here is Fritz von Tarlenheim, played in the 1952 movie by the English actor Robert Coote. This actor had a long film career from 1931 to 1981. He died in his sleep at the New York Athletic Club in 1982, aged 73. Fitz is seen in the film wearing either a blue dress uniform or a less-formal brown tunic. Have decided the latter uniform represents my Sudmark Regiment of Foresters. Tarlenheim is loyal to Crown Prince Rudolf!
Early work on the rearing horse, seems firm enough to last. I don't want anything that cannot take fairly robust handling, accidents will happen!
MGB