Fans of the BBC series The Repair Shop, a gentle hour’s watch of an evening, will appreciate the calmness of some quiet focussed mending.
I have been doing some gentle repair work in between Forest Indian / Close Little Wars skirmishes and reorganising my 54mm toy soldier storage into those handy stackable 4L Really Useful Boxes.
This reorganisation of most of my various junk shop and online job lot purchases into “like figures with like” boxes (Red Guards, Red Line Infantry, Scots, Cavalry, Bands, Blue enemies, Zulus, Cowboys, Indians, Khaki troops, Farm etc.) has revealed a slight repair backlog.
I can now joyfully look forward to many hundreds of hours of repair work on damaged men and horses over the next few years. I’m sure I will be putting in a new order for spare arms and heads from Mike Lewis at Dorset Model Soldiers sometime this year.
Mostly my repairs involve repairing or repurposing bashed old lead hollow-cast figures into game playable condition.
I frequently get emails asking if I will repair someone’s toy soldiers or animals that belonged to their father, grandfather etc. Regretfully I explain that my repairs are functional and to my own rough and ready standards for gaming, not professional repairs.
For a change from 54mm lead hollowcast figures, I decided to work on some fragile crumbling 1960s plastic figures, including oversize 60mm ones. Some of these have hung around in our family collection since my childhood. They never quite fitted with the Airfix others, so were usually left unloved in the toy box.
These four figures are Cherilea plastic 60mm WW2 Paratroopers c. 1960.
The two figures on the left have the look of French Resistance fighters, if any really damaged ones ever need a repaint. One of these needed the machine gun barrel repaired.
The grenade throwing figure needs a replacement hand and grenade built up from Fimo polymer clay, masking tape, glue gun or Multipose Airfix spares.
Over the past few years, a few more odd oversized ones have turned up in job lots, so slowly I have enough for a small skirmish game or two of khaki Infantry, Redcoats, Indians, American Civil War or Wild West.
I should be able to run soon a small Close Little Wars game in the Forest of Indians versus Troops (grey, khaki, Redcoat or blue), cowboys etc.
To identify these figures, apart from base markings, I have used Barney Brown’s Herald Toys web shop archive pages of sold figures:
This post is for Brian Carrick of the Collecting Toy Soldiers blog and 1980s Big Wars article who says at the moment in a previous comment he feels like one of these brittle plastic figures – get well soon, hope the broken leg is mending well!
Blog posted by Mark, Man of TIN on 19 /20 June 2020