More Toy Wreckage for the Repair Bench – Opening Boxes 1 to 3


Box No1. Damaged horses and cavalry
Cowboy turning in the saddle to fire, nice pose
Box No. 1 Zoo animals and oddities – an elephant and a giraffe each with a broken leg.
Box. No. 1 Damaged foot figures and infantry – bits of Zulu, footballer, cowboys and soldiers and some stray heads and horse legs.

One of the delights of slowly unpacking presents after Christmas is to look in these wreckage and repair boxes. I bought these cheaply online over the least few months to store away, bought as part of my Christmas present in advance, paid for using my Christmas gift money.

Box No. 1 contained some interesting zoo animals, lots of cowboys and cavalry along with some battered foot figures.

Box No. 2 contained an equally eclectic mixture of damaged and destroyed figures to be repaired and converted. None have reached the stage of melting down.

Box No. 2 colourful Cowboys and Indian figures.
Some spirited Cowboy and Indian poses to repair.
Box No. 2 bronzed American Indian on horseback, nice pose

Box No. 3 contained another eclectic mix of makers and figures from cowboys to redcoats.

Box No. 2 – Aluminium Yeoman of the Guard by Quiralu or Wendal?

Box No. 3 had an interesting mix of much less damaged figures. I photographed these fast against fading natural light.

Box No. 3 – An interesting mix of figures and makers. The cavalryman is a fine figure!
Box No. 3 – Some more serious “military miniature” figures 1805 Austrian Infantry by Prokop, and in Blue a damaged Fine Art Castings. Willie Figures horse at top.
Who could resist this cheeky wee chappie, whoever made him. See comment below – Zinnmeister 40mm moulding. 
Box No. 3 Useful infantry figures for repair including a stretcher case with feet embedded in plasticine to make him stand and play again.

Box No. 4 – a shoebox of delight – still remains to be explored and photographed.

It is always a delight to explore these joblot boxes and work out what to repair first.

Some ragtag motley regiments may be possible, once repaired and repainted where necessary,  figures made suitable again for garden or floor games in the spirit of H.G. Wells.

Using some wonderful illustrated toy soldier  books by Norman Joplin, Andrew Rose and James Opie, I should be able to work out who made some of the less familiar figures. This gives me clues towards whether to repair, restore or convert.

Another order for Dorset Soldiers spare arms and heads may be due later in the year, once my current batch of Broken Britain’s figure repairs from 2018 are finally off the repair bench.

Blogposted by Mark, Man of TIN January 2019.

2018 blogposts on Broken Britains and broken lead toy soldiers include:



Toy Soldier Postmen and the Bath Postal Museum


Dorset Soldiers 54mm Military postman, bought gloss  prepainted from Bath Postal Museum


Scenes from a (fictional) toy soldier musical number as the lady is serenaded by postmen. Is that a bag of fan mail and love letters  all for her?



54mm Dorset Soldiers Victorian postmen, bought prepainted from Bath Postal Museum.
Some musical bobbies turn up. Oh no, it’s  turning all Mary Poppins on me. Dick Van Dyke can’t be far away. (My old Prince August 54mm toy soldier homecast creations).
The musical finale …

Over the last few years I have made two trips to Bath and popped in to the tiny, volunteer-run Bath Postal Museum (which is not open all week). Check their website for events and opening hours:

Dorset Soldiers Indian Army Letter carrier (again 54mm from Bath Postal Museum) and Lincoln Logs US postman from my collection.


A glimpse of the tiny Bath Postal Museum ….
Prepainted Dorset Soldiers 54mm postmen and letter carriers, bought over the last few years at the Bath Postal Musuem shop.

My late Dad would have enjoyed this tiny postal museum and may well have visited on one of his last trips to Bath over 20 years ago.

My Dad loved his lead soldiers as a wartime child. He loved our plastic ones that we played with on the floor or in his garden with him. He collected stamps with the same quiet hoarding approach that I collect job lots of broken lead toy soldiers for repair, as you can just never have enough hidden away for Christmas and birthdays. He didn’t understand people who ordered or prebought their stamp collections as they were issued. Where was the thrill of the unknown, of discovery  and the chase?

He bought me the postcard versions of many new British stamps in the 1970s and 80s whilst he collected the First Day Covers and display packs. I still have many of these, especially the military and history ones such as the British Army Uniforms issue from the 1980s and learnt much as a child  from the inserts and information inside these packs.

A selection of toy soldier postmen is a suitable parade in his memory.

Blogposted by Mark, Man of TIN on 18 January 2019.

Previous Fathers’ Day posts





Toot Toot!


Emily the Stirling Engine arrives at a vintage wooden station crowded with 15mm Peter Laing Victorian Civilians.

Cross posted by Mark Man of TIN from my occasional railway / gaming blog

Black and white version.

Blogposted by Mark, Man of TIN, 14 January 2019

Christmas Cracker Air Force Defence Cuts 2018

Christmas Cracker shiny lucky dice 2018
P51 Mustang –   Not such a useful airplane this year compared to 2017?
Bootleg Airfix American infantry 20/25 mm for scale

Last year my Christmas Cracker yielded a more ‘useful’ mini plastic airplane kit.

Peter Laing 15mm German infantry WW1/2 for scale 


Blog posted by Mark, Man of TIN 12 January 2019.

Female soldiers Russo Turkish War 1877?



Eagle eyed reader Marvin at Suburban Militarism also spotted the two female soldiers  in the part 3 clip of the 1877 Russo-Turkish war movie film.


Were these female soldiers  part of the propaganda that also saw tanks and a modern military parade marking the unveiling of a (Russo-Turkish) War Memorial?

Blogposted by Mark, Man of TIN January 2019

Russo Turkish War 1877 Movie Clips

Without knowing the historical  background and no translation, this movie  becomes a very good stand-in for any 19th century  Imagi-Nations you may have.

Amphibious landings, cliff scaling, flag kissing, bugles and drums …

Lots of marching around, impressive uniforms, stirring soundtrack and Soviet era uplifted face shots for added heroism.

very imPart 3 ends with a Soviet tank parade as a memorial or anniversary is marked.

The historic background of Russo Turkish War in 1877 is set out briefly here in three minutes.

Without knowing the background, this could all be something straight out of Branwell Bronte’s head and the family Imagi-Nations of Gandalf, Angria nod Glasstown.

This post was inspired by Ross MacFarlane at Battle Game of The Month blog

Blogposted by Mark, Man of TIN 11 January 2019

Eyewitness to the Battle of Langensalza 1866 Austro Prussian War


Illustration by Frank Gillett.
Strand Magazine December 1913 (www.

A curious little eyewitness snippet about the Austro-Prussian War 1866 from the Strand Magazine 1913.

Herbert Beerbohm Tree (1852-1917) grew up to become a famous Victorian and Edwardian actor and theatre manager, founding RADA.

The Battle that Herbert saw forming as a fourteen year old boy was part of the Austrian-Prussian War or Seven Weeks War of 1866.

The Battle of Langensalza was fought on 27 June 1866 near Bad Langensalza in what is now modern Germany, between the Kingdom of Hanover (Hanoverians) and the Prussians. The Hanoverians won the battle but were then surrounded by a larger and reinforced Prussian army, and, unable to link up with their Bavarian allies to the south, they surrendered. This marked the demise of the Hanoverian Army and the annexation of Hanover into the burgeoning kingdom of Prussia as it systematically unified Germany into the modern nation state. …

Another long lasting result of the Battle of Langensalza is the use of the “Red Cross” by medical personnel. Created by the First Geneva Convention in 1864, the Red Cross began an international humanitarian aid group. This organization, which would later greatly expand in size, was originally very small. Involving just thirty trained volunteer nurses from Gotha, the first actual combat mission of the Red Cross occurred on the Prussian side at Langensalza. (Wikipedia source)

I hope Herbert Beerbohm Tree’s account is of interest to this who are interested in the Austro-Prussian War.

Blog posted by Mark Man of TIN, 8th January 2019