Wednesday, 30 October 2013

The 23rd Birmingham Toy Soldier Show

A couple of weeks ago, on Sunday 13th October, I visited The Birmingham Toy Soldier Show. By all accounts visitor numbers were a little down on last year and there was certainly a drop in the number of traders. Nevertheless, there was still plenty there to have a gander at, as I hope the accompanying images will testify to, and I passed an enjoyable two or three hours chatting with dealers and model makers and making the occasional purchase of architectural items, figures, coffee and a bacon bap!

Next year's show, the 24th, will be held on Sunday 12th October 2014 at The Clarendon Suite, just off the Hagley Road in Edgbaston, Birmingham

As usual at the BTSS plastic figures in general, and old Timpo figures like these in particular, were very well represented. Quite a few dealers had a wide variety of soldiers like these, that I have fond memories of from my younger years, available for sale including Cowboys and Indians, US Cavalry figures, Knights and Crusaders, Eskimos, Tepees, Tents and Buildings

From cheap and cheerful, mass produced plastics we travel to a rather different place on the spectrum that makes up the toy soldier scene. This somewhat more serious and considerably more expensive reconstruction of an Imperial Roman watch tower was painstakingly built by a pair of model makers who together go by the name of Small Wonders Model Makers

Take a look at their website at or feel free to contact them using the details below

As usual, King and Country UK were there in force at the show but they have been scaling down their operations somewhat according to Mike Neville. They have decided to display predominantly new and upcoming figure releases at the shows and simplify the dioramas on which they are displayed, all in an effort to cut down on set up times, make the figures the centre of attention and allow the customer to see more clearly what's new across the many different ranges produced by the company

Most of the display boards for K&C UK's dioramas, including this one, have been made by Dave Marshall at TM Terrain

A selection of British Paras, part of the new Premier Figures series that has recently been announced by the company displayed alongside building facades and terrain modules by John Gittins

The series of Normandy buildings shown here really are lovely. I picked up the recently retired church facade whilst I was there along with two of the eagle-topped columns for one of my LAH/SA dioramas

Two shots of the very impressive Figarti figures available from Clive at Grey Goose Collectibles, beautifully displayed alongside yet more tremendous terrain from Dave

Two shots of some of the trench sections being produced by Britains. I have to confess I'm not a great fan of their figures but I'm pretty impressed with the terrain pieces they're turning out to accompany their WW1 range. I reckon they'd set any group of WW1 figures off really well

I particularly like the dead trees and water-filled shell craters. I can picture them now set out on one of Dave's terrain boards together with some of John's debris and liberal sprinklings of his plastic soil

Last but by no means least, a selection form the company that to my mind are fast establishing themselves as 'First Among Equals', First Legion, courtesy of Ken and the team at Maison Militaire

This proudly defiant German warrior, severed Roman head in hand, was another of my purchases from the show

You won't find Waffen SS camo patterns painted any better than this outside of one of the Russian studios. For my money, they are simply the best on the market

Thanks to all the traders who showed up to show off their treasures, and a special thank you to Dave and Pat for organising another successful show. See you at the next one and, in the mean time, happy hunting!

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