Hello and Farewell to the Horses

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British Heart Foundation pound bags of random horses and some new reading

Too likely to rain to do any homecasting in the garden so I headed to the coast. In a nearby seaside town I found no new seaside shop plastic soldiers but two charity shop ‘pound bags’ of random plastic toy horses.

Oddly one of the newish paperbacks that caught my eye today is German author Ulrich Raulff’s history book / memoir ‘Farewell to the Horse’ (2015) about the changing relationship of horses over the last century or so. Translated into English by Ruth Ahmedzai Kemp,  it was published in the U.K. by Penguin 2017/18 https://www.penguin.co.uk/books/294/294612/farewell-to-the-horse/9780141983172.html

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Some of the smaller horses – 2nd and 3rd row from top are mostly Airfix OOHO horses
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Bottom right some Airfix OOHO 20-25mm horse, pony and French infantry figures for scale, alongside some Pound Store 32mm-ish figures – a little too big?

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When making my Pound Store conversions, Doug Shand in the comments asked about horses for making these cheap figures into cavalry. I tried casting some Prince August Holger Erikkson forty millimetre scale horses. A bit too big and wide. I scoured the internet for cheap horses but it was difficult to find any I judged from pictures to be the right scale.

I think the larger horses are closer in size to 28 to 30mm figures than my Pound Store 32mm-ish conversions, unless you want big troops or natives on small ponies.

I placed several Spencer Smith metal and plastic horses and infantry on or alongside the horses to see if they were suitable. Some figures like the AWI tricorne officer might work on horseback. However Spencer Smith already do perfectly good cavalry. I have few 28mm figures but put a WW2 Russian female officer from Bad Squiddo on horseback for comparison.

As with all toy horses, many of them have no base and do not stand up on their own. The smaller ones (smaller than most of the Airfix ones) may be slender OO railway modelling horses (and the solitary cow).

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The bizarre non-equine extras – a kneeling cow, a statuesque duck and random prehistoric reptile / fish. Duck cavalry anyone?

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Farewell to the Horse?
The horse book (being partly based in Germany) should be interesting to read in relation to the email comments that Tony Adams at The Miniature Wood Screw Army has made to me about the Not Quite Mechanised state of the horse drawn German Army of WW2, compared to the more motorised transport of the armies of Britain, France and America. Amptly illustrated here on these online forums:

https://forum.axishistory.com/viewtopic.php?f=132&t=152124&sid=88c88e726c705a885e3e80b76d8088a9

http://ww2talk.com/index.php?threads/german-horse-drawn-transport-and-other-nations.6088/

Not a bad haul for a grey mizzly day by the sea. A little money gone to charity, a little less plastic tat gone to landfill. Single use plastic? Not this stuff, as it’s at least second owner.

Blog posted by Mark, Man of TIN on 21 September 2019.

Author: 26soldiersoftin

Hello I'm Mark Mr MIN, Man of TIN. Based in S.W. Britain, I'm a lifelong collector of "tiny men" and old toy soldiers, whether tin, lead or childhood vintage 1960s and 1970s plastic figures. I randomly collect all scales and periods and "imagi-nations" as well as lead civilians, farm and zoo animals. I enjoy the paint possibilities of cheap poundstore plastic figures as much as the patina of vintage metal figures. Befuddled by the maths of complex boardgames and wargames, I prefer the small scale skirmish simplicity of very early Donald Featherstone rules. To relax, I usually play solo games, often using hex boards. Gaming takes second place to making or convert my own gaming figures from polymer clay (Fimo), home-cast metal figures of many scales or plastic paint conversions. I also collect and game with vintage Peter Laing 15mm metal figures, wishing like many others that I had bought more in the 1980s ...

2 thoughts on “Hello and Farewell to the Horses”

  1. Excellent find. Were the bags made up by the shop from donations or commercially produced?? The book sounds right up my street, I shall now find a copy from somewhere.

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    1. Hello Tony, I assume that they are made up from donations of loose toys. They seem to be one offs and quite a recent and clever addition to certain charity shops. They had other things in similar bags there like loose action figures, bags of marbles etc.
      The Farewell to the Horse book is proving very interesting, drawing on several countries for its examples. I hope you find it interesting.

      Like

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