The Volunteer Inn

One of a number of Rifle Volunteer or Volunteer named public houses glimpsed on my travels over the last few years – this one in Lyme Regis, Dorset, UK.

This uniform looks to be Napoleonic rather than Mid Victorian Rifle Volunteer, as befits a Regency seaside town.

Blog crossposted from my Man Of Tin Blog Two (my progression or migration site for when Man Of TIN Blog one reaches its free 3GB Max after 5 to 6 busy blogging years).

Wellington’s 250th Birthday Playlist BBC Radio 4 Extra

Peter Laing 15mm Wellington and British cavalry


Wellington’s 250th birthday celebrated today 1st May by the quirky radio programme on “Wellington’s  Playlist”, his music choices  – catch it on repeat and BBC I-player  / BBC Sounds

Prince August chess pawn toy soldiers

The 54mm Alamo Chess Set pawns from Prince August –  ‘pewtered’ by applying then quickly  wiping off black paint before it dries. Small casting error on one of the rifle butts to repair.


A special  offer or ‘promotion of the month’ for March 2017 on the Prince August website led me to try these Alamo Chess set pawns at a reduced price, which I bought alongside their American Civil War and Napoleonic chess set pawn moulds.

These 54mm toy soldier chess pawn moulds in silicone rubber are available separately from buying the whole chess set moulds.

An interesting selection of 54mm figures

These figures cast well and cleanly, using Prince August Model Metal,  aside from the occasional glitch on the Alamo American figure rifle butt which is easily repaired.

Close up of the background and front of some of the  Alamo and American Civil War chess pawn figures Home cast from Prince August moulds.

By mixing the sets together, a varied Confederate or Union type Army or Militia can easily be created. I like the powder horns on the Alamo figures, and think that these could serve for figures from earlier periods than the Alamo.

Close up of the Napoleonic moulds 54mm chess pawns alongside the Alamo Mexican infantry figure (Prince August).

These figures with different paint schemes will bulk out the ranks of any 54mm toy soldier army.

Officer figures are included only in the whole Chess Set of moulds, admittedly on a slightly raised base. These bases could of course be adapted or removed. Alternatively other suitable figures could be used.

Standard bearers should be easily created from the rifleman figure by adapting the musket into a flag standard.

These figures are of course great for “Imagi-nation” games with some alternative paint work.

Slender of build as these chess pawns are, I was concerned how they matched up to other 54mm castings. Some castings from home cast and vintage moulds seem closer to 50mm.

Size match with 54mm Prince August chess pawn soldier Napoleonic British Infantry compared with (left to right) homecast red greatcoated infantry, Britain’s Napoleonic British, Prince August 54mm saluting Guards officer (my Man of TIN gravatar)  Herald Lifeguard, my Fimo Guards officer, Herald Guardsman. 

However in a quick line up with other manufacturers , they match these slighter figures and my previous castings from metal home cast moulds well enough.

Prince August chess pawn soldier Imperial Guard Napoleonics prove a reasonable size match for other 54mm figures (left to right) Britain’s AA Patrol, Airfix Imperial Guard, Britain’s line infantry and Guards marching, Herald Lifeguards. 
54mm American Civil War chess pawn Soldiers size match for other manufacturers including (left to right) my Fimo Union style Infantry, Herald confederate bugler, Britain’s Line Infantry (repainted). 

Perefect for parades, perfect for gaming – lots of possibilities.

Blogposted by Mark, Man of TIN, March 2017.

In These Times

imageI missed this book first time round in 2014 in the run up to the Waterloo 200  Annversary, but was really interested to have finally read Jenny Uglow’s In These Times: Living in Britain Through Napoleon’s Wars.

The book is a social history of Britain and Europe throughout the Napoleonic Wars, covering events overseas from North America to Europe, naval battles and trade wars.

From the terror of the French Revolution and ending of slavery to riots at home and the threat of espionage and  invasions by the French, the book is well supported by diary entries, letters and the story of ordinary people as well as the notable figures of the day.


Georgian Britain is not an area I knew much about, having previously mostly read about the Victorians and 20th Century.

There are lots of interesting details about the Militia movement, how the arms industry expanded and reacted to the threat of invasion, the switch from peace to war, truce to war again as Napoleon and the French threat grew and receded.

I remember seeing the ghost marks and signs of the remnant of the gun making trade in Birmingham during its redevelopment, now vanished firms that would have sprung up with different companies and areas making the flint lock, wood stock and the metal barrel separately then bringing them all together for completion – “lock, stock and barrel”.

The book is rich in many of these interesting details.

The Volunteers from the invasion scare (including Robert Burns, mentioned in our blogpost recently) are also fascinating

If you wanted a “what if” scenario, it would be  a Napoleonic or revolutionary France invasion of Georgian Britain defended by its stout citizens, an  Opération Sealion  1780s 0r 1790s style.

Certainly a must-have history book for the wargamer, as well as for anyone interested in the social history of the period,  it makes for interesting reading as background to the dashing red uniforms that crop up in Jane Austen novels.

Jane Austen’s brothers Francis and Charles  were both in the Royal Navy. There is good coverage of the Royal Navy during this period, its equipping and maintenance, mutinies, careers, Nelson’s career and Trafalgar as well as Merchant shipping.

I felt like I had lived my way through two decades of conflict engulfing a whole generation or two by the time I had finished the book. To make up for missing the book on publication the first time round, as soon as I finished reading it the first time, I sat down to read it all over again!

Well worth tracking down.

Blogposted by Mark, Man of TIN blog, February 2017.