More Toy Wreckage for the Repair Bench – Opening Boxes 1 to 3

 

cde8cd4b-f38f-4bf6-a99d-30d8880f237a
Box No1. Damaged horses and cavalry
c5728b34-6f5d-437a-b006-2530e33b04a3
Cowboy turning in the saddle to fire, nice pose
810ed9f1-96f0-4000-9493-f5d7e6aa2778
Box No. 1 Zoo animals and oddities – an elephant and a giraffe each with a broken leg.
858e3d68-e012-4e3e-9274-9e920f504500
Box. No. 1 Damaged foot figures and infantry – bits of Zulu, footballer, cowboys and soldiers and some stray heads and horse legs.

One of the delights of slowly unpacking presents after Christmas is to look in these wreckage and repair boxes. I bought these cheaply online over the least few months to store away, bought as part of my Christmas present in advance, paid for using my Christmas gift money.

Box No. 1 contained some interesting zoo animals, lots of cowboys and cavalry along with some battered foot figures.

Box No. 2 contained an equally eclectic mixture of damaged and destroyed figures to be repaired and converted. None have reached the stage of melting down.

63f74390-7ff9-4499-81bb-3326843eaa0e
Box No. 2 colourful Cowboys and Indian figures.
ad5f50cb-ac04-4aac-9cd7-66c81d4d76fa
Some spirited Cowboy and Indian poses to repair.
aa1106dc-651d-4099-9dc2-0c24a3c3cea2
Box No. 2 bronzed American Indian on horseback, nice pose

Box No. 3 contained another eclectic mix of makers and figures from cowboys to redcoats.

16ba9126-e60b-4833-8bf3-75ab75680536
Box No. 2 – Aluminium Yeoman of the Guard by Quiralu or Wendal?

Box No. 3 had an interesting mix of much less damaged figures. I photographed these fast against fading natural light.

aee704fa-c0a5-4cc0-8e3a-bc9ea5b14cac
Box No. 3 – An interesting mix of figures and makers. The cavalryman is a fine figure!
4483c5e8-1e19-463a-a1e7-7b0f594aa4b9
Box No. 3 – Some more serious “military miniature” figures 1805 Austrian Infantry by Prokop, and in Blue a damaged Fine Art Castings. Willie Figures horse at top.
743c6e72-70ef-4d2d-aee5-03e0e78cac81
Who could resist this cheeky wee chappie, whoever made him. See comment below – Zinnmeister 40mm moulding. 
e29927f6-7b35-4863-9f48-a636951b58a0
Box No. 3 Useful infantry figures for repair including a stretcher case with feet embedded in plasticine to make him stand and play again.

Box No. 4 – a shoebox of delight – still remains to be explored and photographed.

It is always a delight to explore these joblot boxes and work out what to repair first.

Some ragtag motley regiments may be possible, once repaired and repainted where necessary,  figures made suitable again for garden or floor games in the spirit of H.G. Wells.

Using some wonderful illustrated toy soldier  books by Norman Joplin, Andrew Rose and James Opie, I should be able to work out who made some of the less familiar figures. This gives me clues towards whether to repair, restore or convert.

Another order for Dorset Soldiers spare arms and heads may be due later in the year, once my current batch of Broken Britain’s figure repairs from 2018 are finally off the repair bench.

Blogposted by Mark, Man of TIN January 2019.

2018 blogposts on Broken Britains and broken lead toy soldiers include:

https://manoftinblog.wordpress.com/2018/12/10/man-of-tin-advent-calendar-day-10-the-boys-to-entertain-you-or-broken-britains-rearmed/

https://manoftinblog.wordpress.com/2018/06/25/rearming-the-native-american-indians-wip-1/

 

Advertisements

Man of TIN Advent Calendar Day 10 – The Boys to Entertain You or Broken Britains rearmed

IMG_3334

“Meet the gang, for the boys are here, the boys to entertain you …”

That was the  familiar opening to the 70s WW2 Jungle sitcom by David Croft and Jimmy Perry,  It Ain’t Half Hot Mum, stalwart of my childhood along with their other sitcoms such as Dad’s Army.

This group of Broken Britain’s have the look of  a dodgy ENSA show or music hall chorus line, cheap comics in a strange troops revue.

Seen from another angle, they are more Broken Britain’s – East Kent Regiment in Khaki on guard –  from a donation by John Forman, all broken  figures that would otherwise probably be scrapped.

IMG_4485
The East Kent Regiment based and rearmed, defending my stylishly camouflaged gun emplacement.

https://manoftinblog.wordpress.com/2018/10/14/from-old-digital-radio-to-54mm-houses-and-coastal-gun-emplacement/

There were seven types of Broken Britain’s infantry in the group kindly donated by John Forman, variously missing feet and bases and all missing rifles.

IMG_3612

1. Britain’s Guardsmen firing – six classic figures with broken rifles – not sure which Guards Regiment, as they were play-bashed enough to have no obvious plume colours.

IMG_3335
The figures as they arrived from John Forman.

IMG_3614

IMG_3613.JPG
Rifles repaired, busby repainted and figures tuppeny based, otherwise I have kept the patina of battered body and face paint.

2. Britain’s Line Infantry (spiked helmet in black home service  with black facings firing  rifle – Royal Irish Regiment set 156, wearing gaiters – 1 figure.

3. Britain’s Line Infantry (spiked helmet white foreign service) with yellow facings  on guard with rifle – Worcester Regiment set 18 c. 1930,  wearing gaiters – 1 figure.

4. Britain’s East Kent Regiment on Guard, The Buffs Set 16 – yellow facings,  second version with square base, on Guard. Produced 1910 – 1930, wearing gaiters – 2 figures.

5. Britain’s  East Kent Regiment on Guard, service dress set 326a produced postwar in Steel Helmets (my “boys to entertain you”, above) – 5 figures.

6. Gloucester Regiment (Boer War) firing, produced 1901 to 1941 – 3 figures

7. The 3 charging Highlanders seen in a previous blog post

East Kent Regiment in Khaki Service Dress 

IMG_3333

They have rifles missing as well as feet or base missing, so replacement bases are required, easily made from Fimo polymer clay to suit tuppeny 2p coin bases.

IMG_3607
Rifles repaired, feet made from cocktail sticks glued into Fimo polymer clay bases. Third figure   East Kent Regiment in Khaki service dress  and fourth, Gloucester Regiment firing.

The rifle repairs are more fiddly, requiring drilling a hole with a 1mm pin vice or hand drill into the broken section. If this is a stubby section of broken rifle this is quite tricky, whereas it is much easier to drill into the hand section where it grips the rifle, which has a greater thickness of lead.

IMG_3483
Drilling into the rifle hand of another of John Forman’s damaged Britain’s Guards riflemen..

So finally  how did the ENSA “boys to entertain you” turn out in the end?

IMG_0395
My Boys to Entertain You (and Mr Hitler) from the Britain’s East Kent Regiment …just a little work to do on tidying and painting the Fimo and tuppenny bases.

IMG_0397

 

And for a suitable ear worm … the theme song to It Ain’t Half Hot Mum. Whilst the services / Seventies humour might have dated and the Indian characters would be handled differently today, as a child and still today, to me Windsor Davies is every bit the archetypal comic Sergeant Major to his “Lovely Boys”.

Blogposted by Mark Man of TIN on Advent Calendar Day 10, 10th December 2018.

 

 

Spot the toy soldier in the first episode of the new female Doctor Who

IMG_4464

I spotted this Britain’s New Metal Guardsman in the first episode of the  new Doctor Who series – and I claim my toy soldier Geek Points!

It appears briefly on a shot of the desk of Ryan, one of the new young companions to a new female Doctor Who (Jodie Whittaker). It stands next to a photo of his Granny, who is another important character in this first episode.

No plot spoilers for you but the presence of the toy soldier hasn’t yet altered the plot.

I haven’t watched Doctor Who for years and years, not properly since my childhood days of watching Jon Pertwee and Tom Baker.

Blog posted on 10th October 2018 – World Mental Health Day – by Mark,  Man of TIN.

He Who Walks On Legs of Wood

One of the unusual figure conversions or repairs that arrived in a jumble or joblot of figures about five to ten years ago was this lovely damaged Britain’s 54mm hollowcast lead Indian.

img_3872

Lots of original paint details: the headdress, a little belt sash of gold, metallic rifle paint 

As you can see, he has lost his original legs and someone somewhere has carved him simple wooden legs. They have even carved a little buckskin fringe on the back of his leggings.

This is so beautifully and simply done that I will keep Old Wooden Legs as he is, with unpainted legs of wood. Hence his title “He Who Walks on Legs of Wood”, to give him a suitable Native American Indian warrior name.

All I have done is glued him to a tuppenny base so he can join in with future garden, floor or tabletop games. He deserves to be a veteran warrior, maybe even a Chief.

Without a base and maker’s name I was a little puzzled as to his original appearance until one day looking at Britain’s mounted Indians, I realised that he had obviously lost both his horse and his legs somehow. A veteran from Britain’s Mounted Indian Set 152.

Close up of Britain’s mounted Indian set 152 from James Opie’s Britain’s Toy Soldiers 1893-1932

Hopefully this lack of repainting shows him the same respect and value that he obviously once had to someone to be worthy of repair, a Brave warrior or Chief.

Naming the Braves

Choosing names for my growing 20 to 30+ skirmish warband of Broken Britain’s restored Braves (to write on the bottom of their tuppenny bases) will be a challenge. There are fantasy name generators online amongst all the Bond Girl Name Generators but it is good to know what the real Tribal names mean at https://www.warpaths2peacepipes.com/native-american-indian-names/

Blogposted by Mark, Man of TIN, 20 July 2018.

American Indians First Nations or Imagi-Nations?

Another lucky bid online for a few pounds brought this haul of battered and colourful American Indians.

17N Britain’s brave with rifle or the similar posed John Hill Co. (JohillCo) post War Indian on Guard.

I wanted to pick up a cheap and colourful opponent for my Redcoats or Bluecoat Troops, a wily native ally to match my Zulus.

A few broken spears and rifles are no problem to fix.

These rifle, bow and spear toting native warriors should prove great for garden and tabletop games once repaired and mounted on tuppenny bases. They are almost perfect for Donald Featherstone’s simple Close Wars skirmish rules (in his appendix to his War Games 1962).

More correctly these figure should be known today as Native Americans, First Nations or First Peoples but the ones you can see here are pure Imagi-Nations,  wily natives straight out of Hollywood B Movies and Wild West TV shows.

A mixture of makers –  Johillco, Britains and Crescent 50 and 54mm. Bottom row 2 is a slim thin Crescent 1950s die cast, covered in cracks. 
FiguresA wide variety of  figures from a range of makers:  top left first 2 Britain’s figures , top row 3,4 and 6 are otherwise Crescent 1950s. Bottom right damaged Timpo archers, 1950s. 

Nicely animated crawling Braves sneaking up on an unwary opponent!

I get the feeling that some manufacturers might have quite enjoyed sculpting the animated poses and bright colours after producing regiment after regiment of increasingly khaki figures.

I’m sure after World War 1 these Indians  also fitted a need to get away from the reality and aftermath of modern war off and away to the lawless and heroic but imaginary frontiers of the ‘Wild Wild West’, so popular in its many formats in fiction, cinema and Buffalo Bill shows.

1950s Timpo Indian Drummer (left) and Crescent chief seated right (prewar?) 
Johillco Indian with Tomahawk (postwar)
Right – Johillco crawling Indian.
Not a Red Indian more of a bronzed one with this unusual red bronze metallic painted skin tone – Crescent 1950s figure with broken rifle. I have also seen this paint finish used on Crescent postwar American GI mortar crew troops stripped to the waist that may have suggested African Americans?
An animated Indian Chief figure on the hunt from William Britain 16N Crown Range of figures
Elaborate head dress on a Britain’s chief or Medicine Man with Tomahawk on movable arm (Pre and post war).
Fine Crescent 1950s Indian chief dancing with shield minus tomahawk and (right) medicine man with snake curled up leg!

A curious hole which may have held a pin to attach a shield? Not sure of maker yet. 

Two of the T and B (Taylor and Barrett) figures were a bit smaller scale, around 40mm. They blend quite well with the 40mm Holger Erickson Prince August Homecast moulds.

IMG_3703

IMG_3702

Taylor and Barrett Indians can be seen alongside my home cast and based 40mm Prince August figures.

ID of figures based on figure markings and Norman Joplin’s wonderful The Great Book of Hollowcast Figures.

Blogposted by Mark  Man of TIN, 21 June 2018.

 

 

Zulus or Ashantees Rearmed

img_2301
A jigsaw of a dozen Britain’s  classic Zulus
IMG_3686
Britain’s second grade Zulus on the repair table …

Britain’s second grade Zulus have been on the fixing table today, having the fragile and missing knobkerry stub replaced with a spear. Each  spear unusually started life as the the metal handle of an indoor firework sparkler!

Ten of these fine Zulu Warriors are awaiting a repaint. Some of the figures have the original rich brown skin colour, but others appear from what paint remains to have simply been painted black.

The reason for the difference may be their painting grade. The lower the paint grade, the less colours used. James Opie records this chunky Zulu figure in Britain’s Toy Soldiers 1893-1932  as “variously catalogued as  4R or 28C or with inferior third grade paint as 21P when sold singly between the wars.” James Opie in British Toy Soldiers 1893 to Present notes this chunky second grade set 22A figure as having been introduced  in 1913.

Simple paint schemes for Britain meant restricting the non uniform or irregular troops such as natives or American Indians to three different colours,  usually red, yellow or blue colours (Zulus) or red, green and blue (Arabs, Togoland warriors) for robes or loin cloths.

These classic slender Zulus have in their bashed surviving paintwork on loincloths some delightful colourful  stripy and spotty loincloths, maybe designed to be exotic animal furs. Too good to overpaint!

The original Zulus figures can be seen on a post from February 2017

https://manoftinblog.wordpress.com/2017/02/17/ashantees-or-zulus-reborn/

The jigsaw set of 12 Broken Britain’s 1906 – 1966 classic Zulus is now almost repaired and rearmed  with Dorset Soldiers recast arms – watch this space.

These will go on to become “Generican or Farican natives” as opposition for the colonial invading Redcoats etc, and as such fit as Ashantee warriors into my Bronte juvenilia Imagi-Nations based games.

Repairing  these fine but bashed Britain’s  is my contribution to the Britain’s 125th     Anniversary 1893 –  2018. Happy Anniversary to William Britain and his dynasty!

B.P.S Blog Post Script

As it’s Fathers Day on Sunday, this post is also dedicated to my late father whose lost wartime Britain’s lead figures and general love of Toy Soldiers, even the Airfix and plastic figures of my childhood, are probably the root of my interest in them. He would be pleased that I am still tinkering, drilling and painting such figures many years on.  Thanks Dad!

https://manoftinblog.wordpress.com/2016/07/20/fathers-day-raf-firefighter/

https://manoftinblog.wordpress.com/2017/06/18/national-service-days-1/

Blogposted by Mark Man of TIN on 16 / 17 June 2018

Lost Highlanders Rearmed

IMG_6806

I have been steadily working through some of the remaining damaged figures found and sold to me  by a metal detectorist, including three legless and headless Highlanders.

Previous restorations and the original state of the figures can be seen at: https://manoftinblog.wordpress.com/2018/05/20/recalled-to-the-colours-54mm-metal-detectorists-toy-soldier-finds-restored-to-fighting-condition

IMG_3551
Some of the last figures to repair – three kilted Highlanders and an odd Redcoated torso.

The surviving paintwork suggested that two of the Highlanders were Khaki colonials, the other two were a Redcoat Highlander lying firing made by Johillco and a headless Redcoat torso.

Matchstick legs were inserted into the body through the leg holes and then shaved to a more round shape with a scalpel. Masking tape was then wound round to thicken the leg up to a suitable width.

Suitable heads were mostly found in my homecast 54mm Prince August spares box.

Luckily with two of the figures, the Johillco lying firing Highlander and the Khaki Britain’s standing firing figure,  I had battered original figures with which  to compare the headless, legless torsos.

IMG_3657
Johillco Highlanders – at back the figure being restored, matchstick legs and wire rifle, prior to adding masking tape. At the front an original figure having the missing rifle replaced. Good for clues to paintwork.

The Highlanders had puggrees or wound strips of cloth around their pith helmets, so these were simply added with several fine thin strips of masking tape. The same technique was used to build up the sock strips on the legs.

IMG_6802

A puggaree, puggree, puggry or puggary (from a Hindi word ) is a strip of cloth wound around the upper portion of a hat or helmet, particularly a pith helmet, and falling down behind to act as a shade for the back of the neck.

IMG_6810

Fimo polymer clay feet were required to finish off the legs, modelled on a Britains Khaki firing British infantryman with feet pointing outwards.

IMG_6801

One of the Khaki Highlanders lying firing acquired a WW2 tin hat and arm with binoculars, both recast spares from Dorset Soldiers. An added pistol in a holster from Airfix Multipose spares should suggest an officer’s side arm. A spare right arm had to be built up with wire and masking tape.

img_6811.jpg

This quirky figure should fit well with many World War Two scenarios and match those kilted Matchbox British Eighth Army Khaki Highlander and Piper 54mm figures in kilts or shorts and Tam O’ Shanter berets. http://www.airfixtoysoldiers.com/Matchbox%20sets.htm

img_6799.jpg

The standing firing Highlander also needed a small hole drilled into the missing arm stump with 0.9mm hand drill, a wire arm or armature added (secured with superglue) and built up with masking tape. Glue and paint stiffened and secured the masking tape, stopping it from unravelling.

IMG_6809
The restored figure (right) is not an exact match of the original Britain’s figure in my collection (shown on the left)  but it gave a rough idea of what to aim at.

This figure was easier to do because of the lucky fact that I had a battered Britain’s  original Khaki Highlander standing firing figure in my collection to compare it with. This standing firing original figure also needed repair of a broken rifle, so I did that as well.

The looser repaired arms lack the neat slender precision of the original Britain’s limbs but provide character one-off  figures. The repaired figures here remind me a little of the looser limbed but spirited poses of Heyde of Germany and Lucotte or Mignot figures of France.

Milliput might be easier for sculpting but I cannot use this due to a family / household allergy, so  I used what I safely had to hand.  I could have ordered and waited for further Dorset Soldier recast Britain’s heads, but impatiently used what Dorset heads or Prince August heads I had in my spares box, even though Prince August 54mm figure heads are a little bigger and heftier than Britain’s original or recast ones. It adds to the toy soldierness of the figures anyhow.

The final non Highland figure was the redcoated torso.

IMG_3659
Prince August head, armature arm and rifle, matchstick legs …

This was the trickiest figure, the Redcoated  torso,  as  I was not sure who the maker was or what the original figure looked like. It had the chunky, slightly oversized look of an early Britain’s Fusilier but having no other fusiliers in my armies,  I chose instead found a suitable Prince August line infantry spiked helmet. This would more closely match my other  line infantry figures. The legs and base were easy enough to make out of matchsticks, masking tape and the usual Fimo feet and base to fit a tuppeny base for stability.

48CE7169-FB3C-49B1-8403-8478AE94F094.jpeg
The near-finished slightly clunky figure. 

The right arm was half missing, so I drilled a small hole to insert a bent wire armature that would be both an arm and shouldered rifle all in one piece. Not the usual rifle position for marching or sloping  arms, but it kind of works.

img_6807.jpg

A few more useful finishing touches – NCO stripes, maybe some medals – should complete this tiny lead Frankenstein figure.

A satisfying few evenings’ work, mixed in with other figure repair work in progress on more Broken Britain’s, some more Zulus etc to feature in future blog posts.

Hopefully these once lost and battered figures are as bright and proud, as fighting fit as the day they were cast, painted and bought home from a toy shop in a red box. As shiny again as they once were before their curious fate to be bashed, buried and eventually found again over many years by a metal detectorist called Frank in the Southeast of England.

I have based them on tuppeny pieces and made them stout repairs to arms, legs and rifles, stocky rather than thin and elegant,  as these figures will eventually will fight once more in gardens and on tabletops. Huzzah!

You might also be interested in my previous blog posts over the last few weeks about other toy soldier repairs.

Just two more tricky figures left from the figure part of the original haul, the headless driver figure who will become a pilot and a half a body figure in longcoat and gauntlets – possibly originally a pilot?

Blogposted by Mark, Man of TIN on 11  January 2018.