A lost post draft from June 2016, in my first month of Man of TIN blog: I have several copies of Hans Christian Andersen’s “The Steadfast Tin Soldier“, which was originally published close (1838) to the Brontes imagi-nations writing of the Angria and Gondal stories, also inspired by a box of toy soldiers.
The illustrations and story sections in some illustrated Andersen editions are darker and more troubling than others. A quick Google or Pinterest search on images throws up dozens of different illustrations for the Steadfast Tin Soldier.
There is more about Andersen’s disturbing or inspiring tale of ‘steadfastness’, interpretations of its psychology and its many variations from Balanchine ballet to punk songs on the Wikipedia entry for the story:
On his birthday, a boy receives a set of 25 toy soldiers and arrays them on a table top. One soldier stands on a single leg, having been the last one cast from an old tin spoon.
Nearby, the soldier spies a paper ballerina with a spangle on her sash. She too is standing on one leg and the soldier falls in love. That night, a goblin among the toys in the form of a Jack in the box angrily warns the soldier to take his eyes off the ballerina, but the soldier ignores him.
The next day, the soldier falls from a windowsill (presumably the work of the goblin) and lands in the street. Two boys find the soldier, place him in a paper boat, and set him sailing in the gutter … (Wikipedia summary)
25 Soldiers of lead (or tin), so nearly our blog title!
Surely there is the opportunity for further adventures or alternative endings rather than what usually happens. Is this the making of a board game, a figure game, a new story?
The usual ending goes:
… the boat and its passenger wash into a storm drain, where a rat demands the soldier pay a toll. Sailing on, the boat is washed into a canal, where the tin soldier is swallowed by a fish.
When the fish is caught and cut open, the tin soldier finds himself once again on the table top before the ballerina. Inexplicably, the boy throws the tin soldier into the fire.
A wind blows the ballerina into the fire with him; she is consumed at once but her spangle remains. The tin soldier melts into the shape of a heart. (Wikipedia plot summary)
Prince August do a superb little home metal casting starter set based around the Steadfast Tin Soldier: http://shop.princeaugust.ie/pa111-the-brave-tin-soldier-mould/
Metal and wooden toy soldier inspiration from the Steadfast Tin Soldier:
These steadfast toy soldier figure styles can be achieved by imaginative gloss paint schemes, such as these Pippin Fort Trumpton inspired figures using spare 54mm Airfix Japanese infantry.
Posted by Mr. MIN, Man of TIN, June 2016.