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
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).
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:
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.
2 thoughts on “Hello and Farewell to the Horses”
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.
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.