More Dumb Soldiers in the Garden – The Clean Up Operation Begins

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I have been busy this week working on some wounded lead soldiers and horses.  Whilst waiting for recast arms and heads to arrive, I spotted this pile of metal detecting finds on sale online.

A couple of pounds later,  a tiny parcel arrived and as I cleaned them up, I posted the online auction picture to see what  battered lost treasures and delights my blog readers could spot in the pile.

https://manoftinblog.wordpress.com/2018/05/06/more-dumb-soldiers-missing-in-action/

Some of my blog readers were pretty accurate in their view of what was in this earthy pile of broken lead. They variously identified:  a bronco cowboy, an old toy racing car, a weird gnome, highlanders in kilts and guardsman. Well spotted!

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The toy soldier and sailor figures before clean up. Fragments of red coats of old enamel paint have survived on some. Possibly a section of a Johillco pilot (bottom right) and Crescent airman or Marine Officer with swagger stick (top right) 
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The animals from Cococubs to cowboys  and a beautiful fox.  An imp, a broken  Native American Indian and part of a petrol pump add to the strange mix. Many of these smaller objects will be put into a display box frame. 

The strangest of the lot was a metal dwarf or garden gnome figure. It might even be Father Christmas with the red paint?

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A strange gnome type figure, an old toy racing car and an ornate broken thing … this is a job for Bagpuss! 

As I cleaned the dry earth from inside and out, I recognised some broken bits as fragments of old lead toy soldier figures that I have in my collection by Britain’s and other makers.

Where I could, I checked them against my originals.

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Battered but common Britain’s Greandier Guardsmen firing (set 34) late 1930s to mid 1960s and marching (second grade fixed arm New Crown range figure No. 41P) 
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The bashed remains of two Britain’s sailors, with traces of blue paint, compared with my intact Royal Navy Blue Jackets No49N (second grade paint) based on the fixed arm Royal Naval Reserve figure (1907 – 1940). On the right, a Crescent airman with swagger stick. 
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Colonial and Khaki Highlanders – John Hill / Johillco (centre) and Britain’s (right) Khaki Highlander 34N second garden finish (with surviving traces of Khaki paint) compared with complete examples in my collection. 

I use Gloss Acrylic paints and will eventually varnish the figures to get that old toy soldier look.

As I began to clean ready for undercoat and painting, I started on some simple traditional repairs using glue, wire and matchsticks.

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Britain’s Guardsmen and sailors get an undercoat along with  the wood and wire start of new rifles and legs. 
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Highlanders and unknown Guardsman torso get their new legs. 
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New bases from Fimo, ready to paint sap green and mount on tupenny (2p) pieces for a bit of weight in the base. Two Britain’s Guardsman from the metal detectorists collection,  alongside two Broken Britain’s figures given to me by  John Forman. 

Repairs may not be pretty but they are designed to be robust, using what materials I have to hand, and aiming to get these lovely figures fighting on the tabletop or in the garden again soon.

Another order of recast heads from Dorset Soldiers will be required soon to finish these figures.

I shall post pictures of the completed figures, like RLS’ poem The Dumb Soldier,  back from the earth when suitable new recast heads arrive.

A very satisfying few days of tinkering and mancrafting.

Blogposted by Mark, Man of TIN, Bank Holiday weekend May 5 / 6 2018.

 

 

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Combat Mission 80 plastic pound store soldiers Part 1 Charge!

 

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These slender running infantry figures caught my eye in the packet … and three bags of “Combat Mission 80 Soldiers” figures later, I have 24 new copies of this figure.

Around at the moment in pound stores and seaside gift stores are these mixed bag of evolved , morphed, degraded or downsized  ‘pirate’ versions of Airfix WW2 figures – Combat Mission 80 soldiers for around £3.50 – £4.00.

After buying the first bag, attracted by one of my favourite poses of the charging rifleman, I bought two more bags to get more of this pose.

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Packaging for the Combat Mission 80 Soldiers pack.

The graphics for these suggest a more modern Iraq / Afghanistan “Desert Storm” type of content than the generic WW2 figures that are really inside.

The header illustration is more typical of the other Combat Mission figures that I  bought recently which retailed at just over a penny each, whereas these 80 soldiers cost about 4 to 5 pence each (2017).

https://poundstoreplasticwarriors.wordpress.com/2017/05/30/more-seaside-pound-store-plastic-warriors/

So whilst these 80 soldiers are not quite pound store prices, they are cheap in comparison to the Airfix originals. The equivalent 54mm / 1:32 WW2 Airfix figures would today at a average box price of £7 for 14 figures cost you about 50 pence per Airfix figure.

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The probable inspiration for this figure can clearly be seen alongside the original Airfix German infantryman. Over 40 years of Hong Kong / China Made cloning has reduced the detail and the original size into what looks more like a Britain’s lead charging soldier.

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Original Airfix 1:32 54mm figure, then the new Combat Mission 80 Soldiers copy and a similar pound store one found and painted toy soldier style c.2007/8.

As well as a half dozen similar figures painted in this toy soldier style c.2007/8, I now have 24 new charging infantry to paint up (out of 240 new plastic figures for around £11). They have shrunk a bit over the years to roughly 42mm, rather than the original 54mm.

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One part of the attractive old toy soldier look is to have multiple figures of the same pose to make up units.

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Chaaaarge! The first wave of painted figures almost completed …

I look forward to painting up this 30 strong unit of charging infantry, having used my other metal or hollowcast similar charging figures for inspiration.

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Chaaarge! Some of my favourite  charging toy soldier figures in pound store plastic,  new metal and  Britain’s, Taylor and Barrett and other manufacturer’s 54mm lead hollowcast, all in this slender style.
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My new Combat Mission 80 plastic, Britain’s almost 54mm hollowcast lead charging Russian infantry, original  Airfix Russian and German WW2 charging infantry.

I will show the other 9 poses  (such as those below) for the rest of the Combat Mission 80 Soldiers set in Part 2 (my next blog post).

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More Combat Mission 80 Soldiers set of slender toy soldiers. Really like the sub machine gun infantryman as well, matches the charging infantryman size and style really well.

Blogposted by Mark, Man of TIN for the Pound Store Plastic Warriors blog on a rainy 10th June 2017.