The Christmas Parade this year is mostly the old Lone Star / Harvey series (the stocky ones with the squareish bases) in various states of original and repaint or their TIMPO recasts in fresh glossy acrylic.
No Scots or Irish pipers this year (save that for Hogmanay!) and this is as many as could fit on our mantelpiece with tinsels and lights mixed in. Plenty of bandsman left in the box for another Christmas parade.
Mixed in you might spot the odd Crescent / Kellogg’s Guards bandsman, a couple of aluminium Wendal Salvation Army bandsmen in peaked caps and even one hollow cast Guards Band figure.
Our parade centrepiece is this three jolly guardsmen Christmas card illustrated by Clare Wilson for the Museums And Galleries collection. Some of my blog readers that I have been in postal contact with about toy soldiers might even have received one of these cards in the post!
I hope you had a happy Toy solder filled Christmas ready for a happy Gaming New Year.
I will post some of my new toy soldier or gaming arrivals over the almost Twelve days of Christmas or “Twixmas” as this next week or so are becoming known.
Blogposted by Mark Man of TIN on Boxing Day Twixmas 2018.
Are you sitting comfortably? Then we’ll begin. This is the story of a very suitable present for a toy soldier household – of Guardsmen Trooping the Cushion.
These were a recent gift of a pair of these Boden cushions, which handily can be camouflaged by reversing them onto their red spots on white side. Toy soldier cushions? What toy soldier cushions?
Alongside Cath Kidston’s Guardsman and London ranges (that form my everyday mug collection), these British designed Boden cushions are obviously generic stylised Guardsmen with an almost Union Jack flag.
Boden may not be my taste in clothes but I like these cushions. They have a toy soldier parade look. Sadly this design and cushion seems to be no longer available.
Another Guardsman cushion no longer available online is this more toylike John Lewis design, one which I don’t have. It reminds me a little of my Man of TIN profile picture of the Prince August Guardsman saluting that I made.
Blogposted by Mark, well cushioned Man of TIN, 30 August 2018
On a rainy day on a recent seaside holiday, various members of my family booked in for a ‘paint your own ceramics’ workshop for a couple of hours including tea and cake.
As the only man there that afternoon amongst assorted female holidaymakers of all ages, I declined the more floral patterns and the seaside inspired designs to design and paint my very own ceramic toy soldier parade on a plate.
Thinking of those wonderful Herald plastic toy soldier guardsmen or the Britain’s hollowcast lead bands and parades, the Airfix Guards Colour Party set amongst others, I sketched these figures freehand out on an unfired ceramic plate in pencil.
I wanted a 1950s / 1960s nursery tea set ceramics feel, so kept the design nice and loose.
What was so different from painting real toy soldiers with acrylic or enamel model paints, matt or gloss, is that ceramic paints are a different colour (almost pastel and chalky) from how they appear on ceramics when fired.
With ceramic paints you have no strong idea how the design will look when finished, other than the helpful colour range plates to look at when choosing paints. These have the final fired colour and paint name marked on, which gives you some idea which ceramic red paint is closest to a Guardsman’s scarlet jacket for example.
The eventual fired richness of colour and coverage were not always in places (such as deep blue trousers) what I had envisaged or was used to from a model paint tin but I was still very happy with my first attempt.
Several days later, the collection and reveal of the fired plate was quite exciting, wondering – Had it survived firing? Would it look alright?
The original light touch pencil sketch marks are burnt off in firing, which makes outlining the fine detail difficult on faces for example. You cant see where you have outlined in paint and what is pencil. None of yer fine finicky model paint brushes here either!
As well as painted detail, you can scratch lines into the ceramic paint to create the shiny white dot of well polished black boots or a line of braid, then picked out with yellow paint.
Two to three hours of design and paint, tea and cake, quickly shoot by, so you have to restrict the complexity of your design to what can be finished in the time. This is why I kept the toy fort sketchy in outline.
The whole circular parade on a plate design started with this rushing private soldier, who has either just slipped or is rushing to catch up the others. He has earned a suitable glare from a stern looking Sergeant Major.
The toy soldier plate will eventually be framed and hung above my work desk at home as part of my toy soldier collection.
I enjoyed the experience very much. I hope one day to do another session and paint a toy soldier design on a different object such as a mug to store my paintbrushes and pencils in.