75 years ago today WW2 came to an end on 15 August 1945 with the surrender of Japan after the two devastating bombs at Hiroshima and Nagasaki.
As a result of VJ Day, my Maternal Grandfather Len on his Royal Navy aircraft carrier out in the Far East had to fend off no more kamikaze attacks. He was then able to sail home to safety, demob and family. VJ Day was secured at a high price in suffering and lives, civilian and military. These two dreadful ‘atomic’ bombs might be argued to have saved the lives of Len and tens of thousands of Allied and Japanese servicemen.
As on VE Day75 in May, I will get out my family medals and photographs of my grandfather (whom I never met) and quietly ponder them before VJ Day is over.
A time to be thankful and thoughtful.
The pandemic has shut down many opportunities to mark this as a national event and publicly remember the efforts of the surviving members of the “Forgotten Army”.
It may seem trivial to some to now mention ‘Toy Soldiers’. Many toy soldier collectors have strong interest in military history. It’s where I learnt a lot of my world history at a young age. There is a short historical article about VJ Day and the Japanese war effort in this month’s issue of Toy Soldier Collector International, illustrated with King and Country toy soldiers.
I don’t buy many wargames or toy soldier collector magazines, even before the pandemic shut the High Street magazine racks for a while. This Toy Soldier Collector International magazine August / September 2020 issue however caught my eye. I was able to browse the contents page online, ordered it online and it swiftly arrived by post straight from Guideline, the publishers.
The attraction? I spotted interviews with Steve Weston Plastic Soldiers and Peter Johnstone of Spencer Smith Miniatures. As I have bought figures from both over the years (see Blog Post Script), I thought it would be an interesting read.
Sadly Steve Weston plans no more new releases of his own 54mm plastic figure releases for the foreseeable future due to the costs of production and the current state of the market. He still has his very useful plastic 54mm toy soldier shop online, selling his own figures and many other makers’ toy soldiers including the quirky Replicants range http://plasticsoldiers.co.uk
Other interesting news in the Peter Johnstone article, well illustrated with his Shiny Toy Soldiers in 42mm, is the forthcoming release of his new 42mm ACW range. This is another bonus for the slowly growing 40-42 mm end of the market with these and Irregular Miniatures etc. No longer will ‘Spencer Smith ACW’ automatically mean 30mm.
42mm is the new 28. Discuss.
Blog posted by Mark Man of TIN, 15 August 2020
Blog Post Script B.P.S.
Some of my Steve Weston Toy Soldiers can be seen on my blogs here:
WW2 British https://lookduckandvarnish.wordpress.com/2020/05/14/steve-weston-ww2-british-infantry-54mm-as-home-guard/
Spencer Smith Miniatures
Close Wars ACW AWI FIW 30mm https://manoftinblog.wordpress.com/2016/06/23/close-little-wars-scenarios-and-inspiration/
STS 42mm Boy Scouts for Wide Games