Wooden Soldiers and Toy Cannons

A stylish gun crew … great little moustaches

These stylish guardsman arrived at Christmas in the company of this simple cannon. The cannon is wooden but with attractively simple metal wheels.

They are handmade, possibly using a lathe in places but also curiously and crudely carved on the body.

They look almost well padded or as a comedian like Max Miller would say “like a roll top desk, all front.” Very odd.

As usual, these wooden figures have quite fragile arms and rifles. Not something to repair – Sign of their veteran play worn status.

Tucked in with the package from the Etsy vintage trader was a little threebie or  freebie in the form of these vintage matching puzzles of jobs and uniforms in bright 1960s / 70s colours.


Showing the purple pull knob and wire arrangement.

The round little disk base can be seen on illustrations of toy soldiers featured here recently in this poem:



And this sheet music parade of toy soldiers shows this simple base.

Illustrator Stephen Cartwright’s toy soldiers
From an Edwardian scrapbook in my collection
Wikipedia source.



7 thoughts on “Wooden Soldiers and Toy Cannons”

  1. “They look almost well padded or as a comedian like Max Miller would say “like a roll top desk, all front.””
    As the drill sergeant used to shout, “Attention! Stomachs in and chests out.”
    Not an easy stance for a wooden soldier?

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Does the gun fire? Dare you try it out against the unsuspecting guardsmen? Cruel I know, but it’s what they signed up for when they joined up!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Charming figures! Dare I say even FEMbruary possibilities given their unusual sculpting? My MJ Mode Wrens had round disc bases too. From their uniform (bearskins and braid) I’d declare them to be volunteer Horse Artillery.


    1. I too can see the FEMbruary sculpt shape! Round disc bases are quite widespread on many older toy soldiers including the lovely Britain’s Herald plastic guards.
      The horse artillery idea is a novel one – a horse holder and gun crew. I shall keep an eye out for some wooden? rocking? horses for them!
      I have some much smaller wooden cavalry in a similar style to put online tomorrow.

      Liked by 1 person

    1. CT – yes, Toothpicks work well enough as toy cannon ammunition (I use lots of them for scratch building and finely carved to a point for small detail painting) Matchsticks also. They are suitably gentle. Some of the lead figures I have repaired have obviously been hit and caved in or drilled through by proper Little Wars Style toy cannon metal ammunition (or possibly air gun pellets).


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