As well as the odd redcoat repaint of dull khaki figures, some figure manufacturers did the opposite and painted their ceremonial or redcoat figures khaki.
This interesting khaki Scotsman figure joined my collection as a Father’s Day gift. It has a damaged base but was with several Johillco khaki figures.
Several of these khaki redcoat figures are featured in the interesting “Unknown or Unidentified Manufacturers” section of Norman Joplin’s beautiful Great Book of Hollowcast Figures.
Maybe this was wartime expediency, converting a parade or ceremonial range into utility khaki for topical or patriotic appeal?
Maybe this was a childish or parent overpaint?
Interestingly Norman Joplin notes of toy soldier manufacturers that: “Khaki was sometimes repainted with red or blue when Khaki uniforms fell from favour” (page 95, The Great Book of Hollowcast).
When Khaki replaced Red
Khaki came into use during Victorian Colonial Wars; the redcoats last were regularly worn by British troops in 1885 at the Battle of Gennis in the Sudan Campaign.
Insert your own reference to Corporal Jones in Dad’s Army here in his old red coat, fixed bayonets and “they do not like it up ’em!” Several companies now make redcoat and khaki figures of Corporal Jones.
The factual basis of Corporal Jones’ character in his redcoat and khaki days is set out here: https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lance_Corporal_Jones
A fascinating illustrated article on the development and decline of the Redcoat uniform in Britain and its ceremonial survival worldwide can be found here:
Another good example of hobby learning: how technology of cloth, dye and weapon along with politics, geography, climate and (social) history are all to be found in the now deemed slightly odd but still pleasurable hobby of painting toy soldiers!
The two Boer wars were probably the turning point in tactics and uniforms, developing a trend for clothing matching the battlefield and climate that had unifficailly been going on in India and across Empire since the early Nineteenth century.
It was the end of black powder and smoky battlefields, an age of more individual fighting, snipers and improved rifles, not to mention binoculars, balloons and aeroplanes; all these made bright colourful uniforms too conspicuous. The French poilu soldiers in their red and blue, almost Napoleonic French flag uniforms learned this the hard way in the first years of World War One. The age of drab camouflage colours and in the toy world “green army men” had arrived.
Repainting the drab green toy soldiers in bright colours has been my mild reverse protest against the age of drabness ever since:
Other people’s repaint efforts now in my collection: https://manoftinblog.wordpress.com/2016/06/16/obe-repaint-figures-1/
Including my Trumpton / Camberwick Green Pippin Fort inspired redcoat repaint of Pound Store figures and Airfix Japanese infantry:
RIP Gordon Murray, inventor of Trumpton, Chigley and Camberwick Green.
Happy hobby learning, painting, collecting and gaming to you all!
Posted by Mr MIN, Man of TIN, 30 June 2016.