Sunday, 27 November 2011

Latest Additions

My second 'latest additions' post of the day. Strictly speaking, of the last two days but the first one was posted only a few hours ago so definitely the second in the last 24 hours

This one is just a quickie and concerns another purchase from those great guys and gals in Canada, The Toy Soldiers Club. On this occasion I bought three recently retired LAH motorcycle combinations from King and Country, one to add to my Lichterfelde Barracks display and the other two to lead the march past under the podium as part of my smaller Nuremberg display. Here they all are in situ

If all goes to plan I will be adding the LAH band to this display as well as the new CS Hitler staff car set and a couple of motorcycle escorts, and a few other odds and sods!

Plans for this display include the eagle bearing pillars from K+C as well as three LAH horses, some more personalities and a couple of trumpeters for the podium, and a few guards to line the perimeter. I haven't yet decided what to put behind the horses!

More 'latest additions' info and images soon. Until then, happy hunting!

Saturday, 26 November 2011

Latest Additions

Roughly a month ago I attended the Birmingham Toy Soldier Show and bought a few goodies. Since then I have been a bit lazy and haven't got round to publishing a post about them. Finally, here it is

I thought I'd start with the four First Legion German infantry pictured below. I've already got a few of these and I was lucky enough to be able to pick these up at a bargain price from Dave Marshall at TM Terrain who, as most readers will probably already know, has sadly decided to give up selling toy soldiers. Even when heavily discounted they cost more than some manufacturers individual figure sets, but they're well worth it

All four figures have found a home in my Stalingrad diorama, very much a work in progress at the moment. The backdrop has been made with posters from John Gittins and the terrain was created by Dave Marshall

As well as adding to my small, but growing, collection of First Legion figures I finally took the plunge and bought my very first pieces from Thomas Gunn and Figarti

The Figarti purchase came in the form of this rather smart Panzer IV, badged up as part of the Panzer Lehr Division and painted in a typical, and very nicely rendered, tri-camo colour scheme, just ready for the late war Normandy campaign

My Figarti Panzer IV was picked up from Grey Goose Collectibles

You don't get any additional opening hatches or blown up tank tracks with this model but what you do get is a very well put together tank made from a combination of resin, plastic and metal, and the way the wheel and track assembly has been rendered is far superior to the way King and Country are currently doing it, in my opinion. This model has been bought to sit behind my CS Tiger 1, number 222, as part of my Michael Wittmann diorama. Dave tells me the bases ought to be ready early in the New Year

And so to the Thomas Gunn figures I purchased from Ken at Maison Militaire. When I made my way over to their stand I saw a number of figures I really liked the look of, including the recently released machine gun team which I featured in a previous post, and a couple of infantry gun sets which look very smart indeed, and the new medical Kubelwagens, perfectly complimented with additional sets of a fallen soldier in the midst of being 'patched up'

I couldn't afford the KW to go with this set at the time, so I will have to take a chance on being able to get hold of one later. This set is being added to a 'stricken armoured convoy' diorama spread across two shelves

What really caught my eye though was the collection of Waffen SS cavalry, also featured in a previous post, which I had already convinced myself I would not be able to purchase in its entirety. TG make all their sets in limited runs of between 100 and 200 pieces, and they are selling very well at the moment. If I'm perfectly honest, that's the main reason I hadn't bought any before. As soon as I found out they had still got a complete set of the cavalry, summer version, I simply had to have them. I bought one to take away with me and put a deposit on the rest. I will have the remaining five by Christmas. At £55 a throw these mounted figures are simply delightful. Weighty, well painted with plenty of detail, and the sculpting is full of character. The horses, in particular, are tremendous. Plenty of bang for your buck!

Finally, I leave you with another purchase I made from Maison Militaire, two dead tankers from Collectors Showcase. They have been added to my CS Panther tank, the lead vehicle in my stricken armoured convoy display

Until next time, happy hunting!

Sunday, 20 November 2011

First Legion: November and December Releases

Now available for sale, and/or on pre-order, a small army of figures from First Legion covering a wide range of historical periods and theatres of conflict, starting with some Romans

The mounted officer pictured above is one of 8 new additions to the Roman range which also includes two casualty figures, two standard bearers, an officer on foot and a legionnaire attacking with a sword

All of the Romans are now available on pre-order and should be ready for shipping around the middle of December

The mounted crusaders I featured in an earlier post have now been officially announced and are available for closer inspection on the company's website. They include the following figures and look mightily impressive. I have included some of the company's advertising literature alongside the appropriate figures

We are very pleased to release the first of many planned Mounted Crusader Knights! During the siege of Acre in 1291 the Crusader Holy Orders launched several mounted charges out of the city at the Mamluk Army in fruitless spoiling attacks. Hopelessly outnumbered, Grand Master Guillaume de Beajeau led 300 men out on horseback into ferocious melees in a vain attempt to destroy the Mamluk siege engines wreaking havoc on the walled city. Now, with our mounted Crusaders, these desperate struggles can be faithfully recreated in lifelike miniature displays the world over! With the superb sculpting and painting that you've come to expect from First Legion, these figures will make a wonderful addition to any serious Crusaders toy soldier collection
Guillaume de Beajeu was Grand Master of the Knights Templar from 1273 until his death at Acre in 1291. He joined forces with Jean de Villiers, Grand Master of the Hospitallers, in an attempt to stave off the imminent disaster facing them at the hands of the besieging Mamluk forces. At one point during the siege, he charged out with some 300 Mounted Knights in an attempt to destroy the Mamluk war machines but he and his men were beaten back. During the latter part of the siege, he heroically tried to prevent a Mamluk breakthrough with a mixed force of Templars and Hospitallers and was mortally wounded. Despite the heroic sacrifice of the Holy Orders, the city fell a few days later. Shipping, end of November

Mounted Templar standard bearer, shipping mid December

Mounted Hospitaller, shipping end of November

Standard Bearer of the Kingdom of Jerusalem, shipping mid December

Staying in the desert, but moving on a few hundred years, here are some seated infantry to ride in the back of the desert version of the Opel Blitz supply truck

If you've already bought into their Stalingrad winter range then you've probably been waiting with baited breath for the announcement of the following release, the winter version of the aforementioned Opel Blitz, together with a couple of hard pressed troopers desperately trying to get the thing started!

Troopers available separately

My particular favourite, this poor soul is trying to thaw out the frozen engine block with the aid of a lighted torch. Rather him than me!

Last, but by no means least, the first Renaissance Landsknechts are now available for pre-order and are due for shipping around the end of November. Here they are, in all their multi-coloured magnificence

The Renaissance is a fascinating period of history, spanning roughly from the 14th-17th Centuries.   Though primarily a cultural movement with a resurgence in art, science, and literature, as well as an age of great exploration, it was also a period marred by military conflict as the great European powers of the time vied for control and dominance. It was an age of military innovation where the use of gun powder and cannons first came to prominence and were used alongside the heavy cavalry from the previous centuries. As such, it is typically referred to as the "Age of Pike and Shot" as the pike and the arquebus/musket were two of the primary weapons of the period. Though we intend on providing broad coverage of the period, First Legion has decided to launch the range with the Battle of Pavia in 1525, the climax of the Italian Wars between France and the Spanish Empire resulting in Spanish dominance of the Italian States for the next 200 years. We sincerely hope you enjoy our initial effort at recreating this fascinating, and very colorful, period of history!


Standard bearers

Wow! Happy hunting!

More News From TG!

For those of you who may not already subscribe to the Thomas Gunn newsletter, I have reproduced the latest one from Tom which arrived in my inbox a few days ago
Dear Gunn Club
Exciting news!
I have been informed by our factory today that the first of our new WW1 series will be ready earlier than expected and some of the new line will now be ready in time for early December
Samples will be on display, and for sale, at the London fair for those of you attending in December, but not before then
As a little taster I am including a picture of one of my all time heroes, Lawrence of Arabia who will be the forerunner of our new 1/30th scale WW1 series. There will be 200 of this version available with a Turkish officer and 100 available with a German officer from the Pascha Expedition surrendering to Lawrence
I have centred this first release around the battle of Tafas. For those of you who remember the 1962 film this is where Lawrence's Arab forces set upon a Turkish column withdrawing from Tafas with the order "no prisoners!"
Some 250 Turks and Germans surrendered once they realised the battle was lost, however they were all massacred, supposedly on Lawrence's orders. Jackson Bentley, the famous news reporter, arrived on the scene to witness the carnage and said to Lawrence "Oh, you rotten man. Let me take your rotten bloody picture......for the rotten, bloody newspapers!"
More pictures are available on the website by clicking on the following link:
The Germans sent approx 12,000 troops to the Middle East during WW1 with over half becoming casualties - certainly no sunshine posting! These were the forerunner of the WW2 Afrika Korps although for some reason their contribution has been largely ignored by history. We will certainly be adding more Tropical Germans to our series along with some Western Front Germans later on next year
The Russian front was the winner in our recent survey for most requested new line followed by WW2 Far East and in 3rd place was French Foreign Legion! Hopefully we will see all of these in limited numbers next year - watch this space for news
Once again thank you for your support and please feel free to drop me an email with regards to queries on any of the above items
Kind Regards, Tom
I currently don't collect any WW1 figures, however, I am very keen to see what the new TG series looks like once it really gets started. I don't intend to collect the figures for the African or Middle Eastern theatres but these chaps do look rather nice. Promising beginnings, I'm sure you'll agree
Happy hunting!