About Man of Tin and 26 Soldiers of Tin

19th Century illustration of the Steadfast Tin Soldier (Wikipedia source)

This blog is my occasional musings about vintage toys, toy soldiers, gaming, writers, typography, games design, words and creative writing.

It’s my thoughts and sharing about miniatures gaming, DIY figure making, home casting and also the paracosmic worlds created by the Bronte family and other famous writers inspired by their toys and tiny men of tin.

19th Century papier mache European toy soldier figure and Geramn home cast moulds (in the cabinet some stray Britains and other lead soldiers) (Photo / collection: Man of TIN)


Having rediscovered some of my childhood figures ranging from tiny Peter Laing 15mm metal figures to vintage Airfix and plastic figures, I have also been collecting stray junk shop finds of toy soldiers by Britain’s and other makers that inspire conversions and “paint jobs” on my handmade figures.

Part of my ‘Cakes of Death’ series of handmade small 30mm+ polymer clay / Fimo gaming figures, made from silicon cake / sugar craft moulds. (Photo / figures: Man of TIN)


Another recent rediscovery was a pile of vintage Airfix Magazines and various history or modelling magazines brought home by members of my family, pages or whole 1980s issues from titles as varied as Railway Modelling, Military Modelling, early Miniature Wargames, toy soldier collecting and history magazines.


Original photograph used in several Donald Featherstone books – Tackle Model Soldiers this Way, Stanley Paul & Co (Wikipedia entry source)

Even more precious are some ex-library stock hardback books ranging from Donald Featherstone’s  first book on  Wargames to colourful history of uniform books, the very ones borrowed for me from the Adult Readers section. Some still bear my odd sticky paint mark or painty smudge …


I used to puzzle and pore over these on rainy days and draw from them for history homework,  that is on the rare occasions they were in stock and could be borrowed  from my local branch libraries. Old and familiar friends that I am very pleased to still have around me …

Inspired by a collection of vintage toys from my childhood or collected randomly since then, the Man of Tin blog posts will use photos of some of my favourites to inspire creative writing, games design and other eclectic, quirky or eccentric things.

I hope as these photos appear over the coming months and years that you will find some of them inspiring in your own way.

Rene Cloke illustrations of the Steadfast Tin Soldier story.

26 Soldiers of tin?

My blogger name / title comes from a famous quote attributed to many people “With these 26 Soldiers of Lead I will conquer the world” meaning of course the letters of the alphabet and lead type letters of the old fashioned printing press invented by Gutenberg.

Offcuts of such scrap lead type from printers were once  very useful for making your own toy soldiers at home, according to britsih gaming writer Donald Featherstone – a vanished world …

Posted by Mr. MIN, “Man of Tin”,

26 Soldiers of Tin blog spot 2016

(migrated from a previous WordPress blog)