An attractive paint scheme (if poor face painting) for a Charbens G I American infantryman figure of hollow-cast lead.
This colour scheme would work well in gloss acrylic on pound store plastic figures.
This figure in my collection is one half of a stretcher party, Charbens figure set No. 210.
They are notedly similar in style and paintscheme to Timpo lead hollow-cast GI figures of the 1950s.
Some of the other Charbens GI figures in my collection appear to have been simply repainted (by their original owners?)
Made of hollow-cast lead, they have an animation to them that you could see followed through into plastic figures like Airfix, Timpo, Crescent and Lone Star / Harvey. The lack of bases to the kneeling figure or minimal bases on the Grenade Thrower are ways of saving expensive metal and similar in this way to the American ‘pod foot’ dime store figures.
Their modern plastic pound store warrior equivalents often have similar minimal plastic saving bases, making them cheap but annoying if they keep falling over!
These repainted figures with few colours are not unlike some of the postwar paint colour reductions by figure manufacturers. To keep production costs down, an increasingly smaller palette of colours was used by many figure manufacturers. Some figure painters were paid according to / by the number of colours per hundred figures completed.
Reference numbers are to the Charbens figure list in Norman Joplin’s The Great Book of Hollow-Cast Figures (New Cavendish, 1993/99) which shows this range on page 77 / plate 143.
All these figures are postwar hollowcast lead figures produced by Charbens (London, 1920-66) from 1945 to 1960s when lead figures were phased out in favour of plastic.
The Charbens name came from brothers Charles and Benjamin Reid who set up their own hollowcast business in the early 1920s, one of them having previously worked for William Britain.
What I like about gaming and toy soldiers are all the incidental things you learn.
Such “Hobby Learning” you might assume to be all about battles, weapons and suchlike.
“The pleasure does not begin and end with the actual playing of the war-game. There are many pleasant hours to be spent in making model soldiers, painting them, constructing terrain, carrying out research into battles, tactics and uniforms …”
Donald Featherstone, War Games 1962
However you find out a lot about many other subjects, including art and painters such as Andrew Wyeth.
I had only known of Andrew Wyeth (1917 – 2009) through his famous and much reproduced Americana painting Christina’s World.
However reading Richard Scholl’s Toy Soldiers book about the Malcolm Forbes Toy Soldier Collection (2004, Courage Books USA) I came across this delightful ‘Borrowers’ style tiny figures by a sunlit window frame sketch by Andrew Wyeth, a 1962 painting known as “The British at Brandywine.”
After Richard Scholl’s book I looked up “Andrew Wyeth” + “Toy Soldiers” or “Military Miniatures” and found an interesting YouTube video “Andrew Wyeth Military Figurines” (Lora Engelhart, 17 April 2012) about his dimestore / composition collection of American Toy Soldiers at his house / studio being curated and conserved.
I have a few of these interesting American and composition figures in my own collection.
There are lots of other YouTube interviews and features about Wyeth and his artistic family and landscape to follow up.
Wyeth’s world was the terrain of the American War of Independence and where the Battle of Brandywine Creek was fought. Hence the gift of the Revolutionary War soldiers being highly appropriate.
Andrew’s father N.C. Wyeth was a well known illustrator of books featuring historical topics. He was part of the Brandywine School of painting, an artist’s colony set up by American artist and illustrator Howard Pyle, famous for his pirate and battle paintings.
The Brandywine School was a style of illustration as well as an artists colony in Wilmington, Delaware and in Chadd’s Ford, Pennsylvania, near Brandywine River. Both were founded by American artist Howard Pyle (1853–1911) in the late 19th century. Many of these pictures were widely published in adventure novels, magazines, and romances in the early 1900s. http://www.rockwell-center.org/essays-illustration/the-nation-makers/
As well as N.C. Wyeth, one of the other pupils that Howard Pyle tutored was American illustrator Jessie Wilcox Smith. Wilcox painted this interesting illustration of Robert Louis Stevenson’s Land Of Counterpane poem, about which we will post a separate future blog post on gaming and toy soldiers in bed.
The things you learn … All good gaming inspiration.
Sadly I never bought any Naval Landing Party figures or tribesmen from Peter Laing, as pictured in the article, I was mostly buying Peter Laing’s English Civil War and Medievals with my schoolboy pocket money in the 1980s. Luckily I have now tracked down some lovely Peter Laing colonials over the last few years.
Maybe in my am-bush version of Featherstone’s Close Wars rules (two page appendix to his 1962 book Wargames) there is future space for some carpet forest terrain on my Heroscape hex bases.
If you want Andy Callan’s whole rules, track down a copy of Military ModellingSeptember 1983 through online magazine auction sites. All I wanted to do was share the atmospheric Peter Laing figures pictures and the lovely carpet forest.
Even this simple set of Andy Callan rules were a puzzle to me in places then but they really do suit the unusual type of Maori fighting.
“It’s all about the base, about the base, no trouble”
If only all decisions or mistakes about basing or rebasing figures were so edible.
Cake seems to feature quite heavily on this gaming blog, whether it’s making your own “Cakes of Death” figures from silicon cake decoration moulds to creating palm tree islands from cake and palm tree cocktail sticks.
Previously on Man of (cake)TIN’s blog:
SAMSUNG CAMERA PICTURES
So today’s toy soldier / cake / gaming “mash up” is this natty cardboard cake topper guardsman and matching guardsman cake wrapper combo.
Sadly I can’t recall the origins of either of these cakey guards items; if I do recall the manufacturers, I’ll add it to the blog here.
(With apologies to Meghan Trainor)
Blogposted by Mr MIN, Man of (cake)TIN, July 2016.