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Toy Soldier Collector Casting around - October 2014 October 2014 Casting around - October 2014
October 2014
Paul Stocker looks at the latest castings to arrive on the market
Morgan Miniatures
Tuareg Warriors

Having depicted the French Foreign Legion during the Mexican Adventure and the action at
Camaron, Gareth Morgan has now moved on to the probably more familiar setting of North Africa with the release of six Tuareg Arabs to provide fresh opposition for his Legion figures.

In the 19th century, the Tuareg resisted the French invasion of their homelands and French troops met some of the strongest resistance in southern Morocco and Algeria. The Tuareg's often handmade jezals were made in smoothbore and rifled versions and rifling combined with their long barrels made them very accurate firearms for the time. Eventually the Tuareg territories were taken under French governance and their confederations were largely dismantled and reorganised.

Gareth's new releases are a Tuareg advancing with a distinctly medieval looking broadsword, one firing a characteristic jezal, one running with a knife and either a jezal or European rifle, one advancing with a knife and a jezal, one running with a jezal and one loading his jezal.

The castings are all of the usual high standard and the fit of parts is as good as ever so that assembly, simply fixing arms to torsos, is very easy. Gareth's pictures of painted versions show how good they look when carefully painted.

Gareth's castings measure 60mm approx. Foot figures cost £9.50 each and matt painted foot figures cost £30 each. UK recorded delivery P&P - £1.50 for the first figure, 60p for each subsequent figure; Europe - £2.50 for the first figure, £1.50 for each additional figure; Rest of the World - email for a quote to morganminiatures@hotmail.co.uk. Gareth accepts payment via Paypal for overseas customers.

Gareth is still not using a website for the time being. Gareth's blog at morganminiatures.blogspot.com displays his figures and invites discussion about them. UK and European customers can email Gareth and he will send pictures of figures they are interested in to help them chose the ones they want. American customers can view and order his figures on the Michigan Toy Soldier website http://www.michtoy.com.


     Morgan Miniatures
60 Warnham Court Road
Carshalton Beeches


Email: morganminaitures@hotmail.co.uk

Toy Soldier Collector New Releases - Part 1 October 2014 New Releases - Part 1
October 2014
Reviews of new metal figures to arrive in the hobby by Mark Avery
TM Terrain
Pegasus Bridge

Usually the work of David Marshall of TM Terrain gets covered within special scenic articles in this magazine however at the June show David previewed his striking Pegasus Bridge which I thought deserved a review all of its own. The bridge and the part it played in WWII should need no introduction and although one mainstream manufacturer (Figarti) has made a version of it in the past David's, like everything he does, he really a scratch built one off item rather than being 'mass produced.'

When chatting with David at the show he explained the hours and hours of work that went into the research and creation, especially trying to ensure that every detail is historically accurate on the bridge as it was in June 1944 (I'm led to believe some modellers/makers in different scales have got it wrong due to minor alterations to the bridge area post WWII!)

Obviously this is not a scenic item for those of us with a small cabinet, but for those of you out there with your own playrooms I'm sure this might be of interest. As David's work is all custom made then he assured me when we spoke that the price of a Pegasus Bridge can vary depending on exactly what each collector requires, some may want the whole thing, some only a part, not to mention the level of painted finish/style required. So if you're interested in what you see then I'd suggest contacting David and discussing exactly what you'd like.

A final, and interesting, thing to note is the railings around the bridge, it may be hard to spot in our photos but these are actually all made from wood. Not that unusual I hear you say for scenic items but if you look closely you'll see how uniform they are and that's because David has these all laser cut to ensure every single one is identical, a very nice touch in my opinion.

Review by Mark Avery


TM Terrain
12 York Road
LE11 3DA

Tel: 01509 828002

Item 313Fantastic Plastics - October 2014
October 2014
News for plastic collectors from Mike Blake
Airfix Vehicles & Buildings

Airfix have some other re-releases and I will cover them next time. There are both figures and vehicles, and even some buildings to use as setting for dioramas. Enterprising Steve Weston of Weston Toy Soldiers has even had some styrene bases cast for the buildings, to provide an instant base for the diorama. www.airfix.com.

Master Box Napoleonic War Series

Two boxes in this new series of 1:32 multi-pose figures from Ukrainian maker Master Box have come my way, a French Hussar and a Red Lancer. They really do look rather splendid, again the box art is a delight more next time. www.mbltd.info.

Toy Soldier Collector Casting around - July2014 July 2014 Casting around - July2014
July 2014
Paul Stocker looks at the latest castings to arrive on the market
Asset Miniatures
Papal Swiss Guard

Anne and Colin Randall's latest releases are three figures representing the Papal Swiss Guard (whose more formal title is the Pontifical Swiss Guard of the Holy See). The three marching figures are an officer, a halberdier, each wearing a cuirass, and a drummer.

The Pontifical Swiss Guard has served the popes since the early 16th Century. Up until 1970 they shared ceremonial duties with the Palatine Guard and Noble Guard but took over all such duties when those units were disbanded. Their dress uniform with its distinctly Renaissance appearance was created in 1914 and is coloured blue, red, orange and yellow and worn with a plumed helmet and cuirass. The simpler regular duty uniform consists of an all blue version of the dress uniform worn with a brown belt, white colour and black beret.

The castings are in the familiar elegant Asset style and are very cleanly cast so the fit of parts is good. Assembly consists of fixing heads, arms, swords and the drum in place and is very easy. The figures measure 56mm approx and cost £5 for the officer and halberdier and £5.25 for the drummer. There will be gloss painted versions as soon as possible and these are expected to cost £10 and £10.50. P&P: for the UK and EU add 10%; Rest of the World 15%.Rest of the World 15


Asset Miniatures
12 Norwood Drive
North Harrow

Tel: 0208 868 0422

Item 308Fantastic Plastics - July 2014
July 2014
News for plastic collectors from Mike Blake
The latest offering from AIP are not new figures but 'Battlefield Combo' sets, with previously released figures from both sides of the conflict in the same box, for instant games or displays.

The sets will be French & Indian War #5659 8 Rangers, 12 Indians; WWI #5661 10 French Army , 10 Germans in Stahlhelm Helmets; #5662 10 Scottish Highlanders, 10 Germans Pickelhaube; Zulu War #5663 8 Royal Navy,12 Zulus; #5664 6 British Army Shirt Sleeve Order, 12 Zulus; EGYPT AND SUDAN WARS #5665 10 British Army, 10 Dervishes; #5666 8 Royal Navy in dark blue and 10 Mahdist Riflemen; Russo-Japanese War #5667 10 Russians, 8 Japanese; Napoleonic Wars #5668 8 Russian Army, 10 French Army, French Cannon (no crew); #5669 8 Prussian Army,10 French Army, French Cannon (no crew); #5670 8 Prussian Landwehr, 10 French Army, French Cannon (no crew); #5671 8 Kings German Legion, 10 French Army, 6lb. Cannon (no crew); #5672 8 British Rifle Co. , 10 French Army, 6lb. Cannon (no crew); ACW #5673 10 Confederate Butternut, 10 Union; #5674 10 Union Zouaves, 10 Confederate Butternut in frockcoats; Boxer Rebellion #5675 8 Chinese Boxers and 8 US Forces; #5676 10 Russians, 8 Chinese Boxers; #5677 10 British Army, 8 Chinese Boxers; Modern Forces #5678 6 US Army, 12 Taliban; #5679 6 US Marines, 12 Taliban; #5680 6 US Peacekeepers, 12 Taliban.

Weston Toy Soldiers will have them at £10.00 a set or any 3 for £25.00.

There is also news of an additional five new elephant sets from AIP: Elephant with water barrel; Elephant with 9lb Cannon; Elephant with Howitzer; Elephant with Land Mortar; Elephant with 6lb Cannon. Once again the Elephant will be by Schleich, the platform and barrels will be resin, the artillery items plastic and the rider metal. Price will be £18.00 each.



Toy Soldier Collector New Releases - Part 2  New Releases - Part 2

Reviews of new metal figures to arrive in the hobby by George Phillips
Tommy Atkins
French and Indian War

The French and Indian War of 17541763 are a popular collecting theme for Toy Soldier Collectors. I believe that much of the appeal lies in the 'mash-up' of colourful 18th century European uniforms and war-painted woodland Indians.

A large number of the leading manufacturers of matt-painted metal figures have dipped their toes into the French and Indian War period and their outputs are regularly reviewed within the pages of this publication.

So it made a change to see some traditional gloss-painted sets on offer from Tommy Atkins. Paul and Mark Turner have produced a series of mounted woodland Indians and some two-figure dioramas that capture the ferocity of the North America conflict in a neat, easily displayable format.
The paint jobs on the mounted figures are vivid and varied and there is a range of poses available at £30 for horse and rider.

I was also impressed by the amount of detail that the Turner brothers have packed into their miniature dioramas and I can see how these will appeal to discerning gloss enthusiasts who are short on space to display their collections. The smaller two-man scenic pieces photographed for this report are £42 each and the larger one featuring a prone marksman and black-painted 'spotter' retails at £48.

Review by George Phillips


Tommy Atkins
1 Repton Close
PO12 2RY

Tel: 02392 585925

Toy Soldier Collector Casting around - May 2014 May 2014 Casting around - May 2014
May 2014
Paul Stocker looks at the latest castings to arrive on the market
Sarum Soldiers
'The 49ers'

Patrick Willis' most recent additions to his 'Wild West Show' range are three vignettes of prospectors at work during the 1849 California gold rush. Although many of those who joined the gold rush returned no richer than when they set out, the large numbers of hopefuls making their way to California contributed a great deal to the opening up of the West.

The three vignettes depict a prospector on the move with his mule (shown here), prospectors panning for gold in a stream and another group working their mine. Although the prospector with his mule is the smallest of the three, it had great charm and captures the very well the experience of some prospectors who made their lonely way from one claim to another. The prospector himself comes with separate arms, one carrying his rifle, to be fixed in place. The mule is in four parts, two body parts carrying a large pack, the head and the tail. The prospector's pan, shovel and blanket roll are separate items to fix in place. Prospector and mule fit onto a separate base. The castings are typically clean and nicely cast and assembly is quite straightforward.

The new castings measure 55mm approx. The prospector and mule kit costs £19.90 (£30 painted gloss). The two larger vignettes can be seen assembled and painted on Patrick's website and cost £45 each as kits (£95 painted gloss). Post and packing: UK 10%, EU 15%, Overseas 20%. There is a minimum value of £10 for orders.


Sarum Soldiers
Martin House

Tel: 01747 871343

Toy Soldier Collector Open Fire Figures May 2014 Open Fire Figures
May 2014
News for plastic collectors from Mike Blake
OFF attended the March London show and previewed some very exciting new masters depicting Delta Force and Afghan style figures. More exciting was the news that the company now plans to move into painted plastic/resin figures and away from painted metal, the correct name for the medium, according to OFF's founder Adam Gayford is 'restic'. More news on this as I get it!

Toy Soldier Collector New Releases - Part 1  New Releases - Part 1

Reviews of new metal figures to arrive in the hobby by George Phillips
John Jenkins Designs
WWI & F&I Wars

Reviews of new metal figures to arrive in the hobby by George Phillips

John Jenkins Designs (2 PAGES)
WWI & F&I Wars

It's always a treat to review new sets from John Jenkins Designs (JJD) and a recent crop of releases builds upon the company's highly successful World War One and Seven Years War collections.
First up is the Mark I British Gun Carrier from the Great War. Packing a 6-inch howitzer designed to lob high explosive shells onto German positions, the vehicle was the first piece of self-propelled artillery produced in the world.

According to the JJD UK website, it became clear to British army leaders in 1916 that in the case of frontline break-throughs by their new Mark I tanks, the heavy artillery units would have difficulty following and supporting advancing troops. This created the risk of successful offensives stalling almost immediately.

To solve this problem, Major Gregg, an engineer working for Britain's main tank producing company, pushed for the production of mechanised artillery, using parts from the revolutionary Mark I tank. The first prototype participated in trials at Oldbury in March 1917. An order of 50 vehicles was given to Kitson & Co. in Leeds and deliveries to the Western Front started in June and ended in July.

At 13 inches long, the JJD model of the Gun Carrier is a large, eye-catching chunk of armour that was attracting a lot of attention at the London Toy Soldier Show in March. The howitzer gun sits at the front of the vehicle and around the edges of the central area of the hull, designed to house the gun crew, are easily accessible piles of brightly-coloured 6-inch shells. The vehicle's throaty Daimler 105 hp power plant, coupled with a Mark I tank transmission, was housed in the large, square-shaped engine compartment at the rear of the vehicle.

For collectors of 1/30 scale fighting vehicles from the Great War period, this is an unusual and highly engaging new piece that retails at £248 in the UK. In the pictures of the vehicle that accompany this report, our photographer also threw a couple of excellent new two-figure Allied infantry sets into the mix. The first presents two British Territorial Army figures from the London Regiment. Seated on wooden ammunition cases, the figures have an earthy charm and will make a great addition to any non-combative Great War diorama. The other set features two French riflemen from the 123rd Regiment of Infantry. In muddied, Horizon Blue uniforms and trench coats, the figures have the appearance of two war-weary Gallic warriors in deep conversation about the state of the current campaign. Another great piece for diorama-building. Both sets will cost you £55.

Woodland warriors

The final two releases are from the popular Raid on St Francis range from the JJD French and Indian Wars collection. The first is two beautifully painted Mohican tribesmen unleashing the deadly power of their muskets. These will display well individually, or within a woodland battle scene diorama. I'm sure that the rich colours and varied textures of clothing created in the painting of these figures is a large part of their appeal. These two figures would be £59 well spent.

We also photographed the new mounted Woodland Indian, this time directing the fire of his musket from a sturdy-looking horse. For me, this set captures the final seconds of aiming before the blast of the flintlock weapon causes the horse to jolt in surprise. Again, this figure has an eye-catching paint job and would be a terrific addition to your Woodland Indians collection. The set is priced at £67.

Review by George Phillips


John Jenkins Designs
Unit 6H, TOWER 1
King Ley Industrial Building
33-35 Yip Kan Street
Wong Chuck Hang
Hong Kong

Tel/fax: +1 852 2553 9313

In the UK:

John Jenkins Designs UK
Arena Buildings
Vulcan Road North

Tel: 07522 659 442

Toy Soldier Collector From Russia With Love  From Russia With Love

Canadian writer Michael Cross returns with a look at the work of Russian figure kit producer Chronos Miniatures
John Jenkins Designs
WWI & F&I Wars

As a boy growing up in Canada, Russia meant one of two things to me; the 1972 Summit Hockey 8-Game Series when the then Soviet National Team almost defeated a stunned NHL star-laden Team Canada (at the height of the Cold War to boot) and a very memorable James Bond flick with the equally memorable Bond girl Tatiana Romanova.

I did eventually mature and expand my world view enough past my own personal borders and sports biases to realize that Russia, or the Russian Federation, had not only blessed the world with skilled hockey players and great Bond storylines, but had for centuries blessed the world with a seemingly endless array of artistic talents; Tolstoy, Dostoyevsky, Pushkin, Rimsky-Korsakov, Rachmaninoff, Prokofiev, Tchaikovsky, Stravinsky, Chagall and Kandinsky, Nureyev, Pavlova, Yul Brenner of Magnificent Seven and Ten Commandments fame and one of my favorite more recent Russian exports Anna Kournikova, (though not technically 'artistic' but very well designed none-the-less).

As model soldier enthusiasts we are all familiar with Saint Petersburg as being not only the cultural epicenter of the Russian Federation but also the home of some of the most beautifully sculpted and painted miniatures found anywhere in the world. Figures from Russia, especially Saint Petersburg have become synonymous with excellence and quality and will at times fetch upward into the thousands of dollars range for a single figure, elevating the hobby from what is normally viewed as a casual interest, into the realm of pure investment.

Though the Russian-crafted model soldier may now be defined by the Saint Petersburg brand, the high standards and unparalleled quality that the Saint Petersburg brand represents in the model soldier world does not end there; the country is in fact, overflowing with remarkable creative talents and inspired entrepreneurs.

Chronos Miniatures, the name Chronos relating to the God of Time from Greek mythology and the father of Zeus, is the personal project of one (non-mythological) Dmitry Karamnov, a 36 year old creative demi-God from Russia.

Like most, or let's just say rather all of us, Dmitry began his model soldier journey quite young, playing with, painting and collecting 1/72 armies related to his particular interest, the Wars of the 17th-19th centuries. Dmitry's love for the hobby was to remain a lifelong one, but as some of us have also experienced there was a notable sidetrack, that being the years where we abandon our pursuits of childhood for social opportunism and higher education. My own sidetrack led to a lot of hangovers, memory loss and my loving but misguided mother giving away all of my soldiers to an ungrateful nephew, whereas Dmitry's sidetrack led him to much loftier spiritual studies and pursuits (Psychedelic Goa-Trance and the culture of India, Tibet, Ancient Egypt, Aztecs and Mayans) which would eventually become subject matter for his current career as owner and creative guide of Chronos Miniatures.

Though this venture did not begin until 2012 the output of Chronos is staggering to say the least. What began as a single 54mm figure of a Swedish Musketeer from the Great Northern War and due in part to the positive response it received from the model soldier community - Chronos has now turned into a fulltime occupation for Dmitry and a current company output of twenty 54mm figures, with plans for many more to come as well as figures in 75mm, 90mm, 120mm, accessories and hyper-detailed model bases.

The current 54mm line of resin kits is as diverse as you'll find in any of the more well established figure makers and consists of:

1. Swedish Musketeer of Infantry Regiment, 1708-21
2. British Pioneer of the Grenadier Guards Regiment, 1856-57
3. Spanish Conquistador, 1560-1600
4. Havildar (Sergeant) 15th Bengal Native Infantry Regiment, British India 1890-98
5. Russian Unter-Officer (NCO) of the Life-Guard Regiment, 1812-14
6. Russian Grenadier Infantry Regiment (Crimean War), 1853-56
7. Ancient Egypt Infantrymen (New Kingdom), XV-XIII Century B.C
8. French Knight, 1420-1425,
9. Akali (Immortal) Warrior. Sikh Army. India, XVIII-XIX Century
10. Roman Centurion, I Cenutry A.C.
11. Philistine Heavy Infantryman, XIII-XII Century, B.C.
12. Sherden Warrior, XIII-XII Centruy, B.C.,
13. British Sergeant 60th (Royal American) Regiment, 1813-14
14. Russian Grenadier (NCO) of Infantry Regiment, 1812-14
15. Havildar (Sergeant) with machine gun. Indian Infantry Regiment, 1916-18
16. Russian Fusilier of Infantry Regiment, 1709-20
17. Westphalian Jager of Royal Guard, 1809-11
18. Russian Drummer of Grenadiers Regiment, 1812-17
19. Swedish Grenadier of Mellin's Regiment, 1700-05
20. British Private 24th Regiment of Foot, 1879

The kits are beautifully sculpted, full of character and are some of the cleanest castings (virtually flash free) I have ever seen using resin. The resin is of a much harder variety so the clean up, what little there is to do, is a breeze. Details are sharp throughout the figures and accessories, and painting, as you can see from the photos, is a real pleasure.

I think that the subject matters alone elevate these kits to a level where they can compete with many of the more well-established makers (Andrea, Pegaso etc.), even considering the metal versus resin discussion. The Swedish Musketeer was an instant success with kit enthusiasts and collectors, and with the two separate heads that come with the kit there was an added value option of being able to portray a number of regimental uniform variations.

Though Chronos Miniatures would be well considered an up-and-comer in the model soldier industry (barely two years old), their uncompromising quality of output and commitment to serving as wide a range of historical interests as possible makes them on the verge of elite status and I for one hope to see much more from them moving forward.

So now, whether I catch myself humming along to Rimsky-Korsakov, enjoy another (attempted) reading of War and Peace, find a wall to hang my ChagaIl (copy) on, watch the Magnificent Seven for the umpteenth time, or repeatedly sit through highlight's from Wimbledon (Kournikova) I will have a much deeper appreciation of what Russia has for centuries blessed the world with and continues to do so in the hobby I love.

I have however still not completely forgiven Russia for the 1972 hockey series. That will take some time.

Chronos Miniatures are on sale in model shops all over the world including; Russia, USA, Canada, Mexico, Great Britain, Spain, Italy, Germany, Australia and Japan or you can contact them direct at: www.chronos-miniatures.com.

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