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:


12 thoughts on “More Toy Wreckage for the Repair Bench – Opening Boxes 1 to 3”

    1. Thanks Tony, that is the joy of the job lot! Preparing to do the repair work keeps the costs down of suitably trashed job lots and slows down the preparation to a suitably glacial relaxing pace. I will post results as I go along.


  1. That’s a great haul Mark, i see you’ve got a couple of first version Britains fixed arm lancers, that standing horse is one of my favourites, and “Germanic” Horse Guards. The remains of Cannon and limber look to be made by Simon & Rivolet. Best wishes and a Happy New Year.


    1. Thanks for the gun and limber ID, Brian.
      Buying the wrecked ones is a good way to acquire and restore to shiny playable pride some of the rareish early figures. The lancer on standing horse is a very attractive figure.
      More odd mixed orders for a strange selection of Dorset Soldier Arms and heads due. Some ragtag regiments probably but all in the Imagi-Nations spirit of F.E. Perry and (Bob) Cordery’s Composite Cavalry.
      I can’t afford boxed sets of Britain’s and anyway – What’s the point of keeping them strung in the box to keep their value? They are toy soldiers after all. Odd and whimsical as it is to regard (supposedly) inanimate objects in this way, I feel (almost) sorry for the wrecked ones but even sorrier for the ones who never got to play.
      Best wishes.


  2. A very interesting collection which I look forward to see being cared for. Some of these figures with their missing parts remind me a little of the Elgin marbles!


    1. Some of them are almost as trashed as the metal detector finds job lot of last year which had a stone or white marble (oxidised?) exterior. I kept some of these smaller damaged ones back in their original state to box-frame up.
      Exciting conversion and repair times ahead.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. A splendid collection needing TLC from you. I am currently working on some ww1/ww2 Britains using arms from Dorset soldiers. I await the heads I ordered to enable the figures to be finished off. What more can an old toy soldier desire than to be repaired and go once again afterwards into battle? I think you have a collection which could be used for interesting games too using H G Wells game of islands and wooden bricks. You have civilian, military ,flora and fauna for such games…


    1. Thanks Alan, What more can a toy soldier want indeed?
      H G Wells’ Floor Games with its imaginative landscapes like Game of The Islands have long been an inspiration since I discovered it 25 to 30 years ago in a random volume which contained Wells’ original Floor Games magazine article in the Strand Magazine bound volume 1911. (Phil Dutre of Tiny Tin Men blog was blogging about this Floor Games book a few weeks ago.)
      I only saw and borrowed once the 1970s reprint of Little Wars (reprinted with its great line illustrations? and hopefully its iconic Wells photos) in my formative gaming years, discovered at a distant branch library. It must have been always out / borrowed all the time. Thankfully now both are available free on Project Gutenberg /

      The farm and zoo animals need a little attention from the Lead Vet. Fixing an elephants leg, or a camel or giraffe – all in the Lead Vet’s day, sorry evening, job !

      Best of luck with the WW1 WW2 conversion restorations – we are both keeping Dorset Soldiers spares service busy with obscure and eclectic spares combinations.


  4. First off thanks for your posts.

    To answer one question you pose, about the “cheeky wee chappie, whoever made him”, he is cast from the Zinnmeister 40mm semi-round molds, with interchangeable heads, out of metal molds from Germany.



  5. Have you any tips or posts on repairing plastic figures rather than metal? I followed a link from here to Etsy and picked up 25 plastic Britain’s Guardsmen for my birthday (1970 issue or so). One has a broken rifle which I could pass off as a submachine gun, I suppose, but another has a *nearly* but-not-quite broken rifle which I’d like to fix if I could. Many of the rifles are bent, which I consider more charming than detrimental.

    Another has no stand but marches bravely on his own two feet (shades of the Steadfast Tin Soldier). There’s one horseman, a colour, some movable arms for the guards on post and even a couple little guard huts for them to stand in. They remind me very much of the Twelves as illustrated by Cecil Leslie; I wish I was young enough to take them out in the grass again!

    Still waiting on that review, by the way…!


    1. Congratulations on your Etsy haul. I am having the same issue glueing plastics with standard superglue.
      Guns – I think using a fine hand or pin vice drill to insert wire and build this (with masking tape or whatever) up might work.
      Bases – I have functionally repaired using plasticard and scored both feet and base surface with a knife to give some glue grip.
      I hope they give you joy.
      The Twelves review will appear ‘in due course’ probably after I read it again …


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