Sunday 22 April 2012

First Legion: Update

It seems like only yesterday when I was writing the previous FL post for the blog, an indication perhaps of just how important this company is becoming, or has become, in the collectable toy soldier market

Anyway, here goes with another roundup of a few more figures now in stock or due for release in the not too distant future

We are very pleased to present the final set in our coverage of the 8th Illinois Cavalry dismounted at Gettysburg, ACW038 Union Dismounted Horse Holder. Though not often depicted in miniature, a dismounted civil war cavalry unit used 25% of its men to hold the horses back from the line while the other men in the regiment deployed for battle. We've done our ACW038 set with only two horses as this still provides the flavor of a horse holder without the added cost. We hope you agree that this is an absolutely striking set that really is a must have for ACW Civil War collections!

ACW038 Union Dismounted Cavalry Horse Holder - $199.95

This month’s sneak peek, the Confederate 13th Alabama at Gettysburg

More images are available on the company website

We are very pleased to present the first of our coverage of the AFV's and Vehicles of the Red Army with the T-34 76mm. Our version of what was arguably the finest tank of WWII is the 1942 76mm version produced at the Stalingrad Tractor Factory (STZ). We have presented two variants of the model, one with a cast turret and one with a welded turret to allow for slightly different models to add interest and variety to displays. We certainly hope you enjoy them!

RUSSTAL018 Russian T-34 76mm STZ with Cast Turret - $299.95
RUSSTAL019 Russian T-34 76mm STZ with Welded Turret - $299.95

RUSSTAL016 Russian Carrying Wounded Comrade Vignette - $129.95

RUSSTAL017 Russian Infantry Casualty - $64.95

GERSTAL043 German Heer Infantry Casualty - $64.95

Finally, but by no means least, some additional man-portable firepower for the assaulting German infantry in the shape of this lovely 80mm mortar team, and the first German personality figure

GERSTAL044 German Heer Infantry 80mm Mortar Team - $139.95

GERSTAL045 German Heer Infantry Feldwebel Directing Fire - $64.95

GERSTAL046 General Friedrich Paulus - $64.95

Happy hunting!


Battle of Mirbat 40th Anniversary@ Firepower, The Royal Artillery Museum

Woolwich, London, SE18 6ST

Sunday 15th July 2012, from 11:00am

Tickets : £15. Bbook now
[detailed running schedule and updates to follow]
Join SAS legends Pete Winner & Bob Podesta around the "Mirbat Gun" at the Firepower Museum to celebrate the 40th anniversary of one of the most remarkable moments in military history
Bob, himself a former Gunner, will talk about the background to the Oman War, the SAS' involvement and his own experiences in the region
Pete will present his gripping behind the scenes account of the Battle of Mirbat which took place on 19 July 1972
Following the talks there will be a Q&A session, book signing and meet & greet session. Guests will also have the opportunity to explore the museum's wonderful displays
Please visit and follow:
Further Training Wing news coming soon, wait out!

Thursday 19 April 2012

Thomas Gunn: New Releases

Hello again. A little late getting this up on the blog but here is the latest newsletter from TGM outlining their releases for April

Dear All

Well this is an exciting month for us with the release of our first tank. There were so many vehicles to choose from it was difficult to know where to start. I am hoping that our final choice and price bracket meets with general approval! 

The new NAPS figures are also in my opinion going to nicely fill out the French line a little more, with some British infantry following in a couple of months. The NAP line has been very successful so far along with the ATW series and I thank all of those who bought from us and support us in these 2 new series

Our website has now been updated and a big thanks to Dave Reynolds (who is also a TGM collector) for all his help with this, a labour of love I think for him!

Last but not least some of you will know Guy Meire from the Treefrog Forum; I would personally like to thank him for his research with regards to our first Soviet tank. Although Guy did not know the exact vehicle we were producing, his research into captured German vehicles used by the Russians was invaluable

NAP007  Imperial Guard Kneeling to repel, features a French infantry soldier in the classic kneeling repel pose with bayonet fitted. The A version comes with a soldier wearing a hat and blue trousers whilst the B version offers a figure wearing cream, tan trousers with no hat and a nasty looking head wound! Limited to 150 of each version and priced at $34 each

NAP008  Imperial Guard Standing Repel, one of my favourite poses so far! A standing Guardsman with bayonet fitted ready to repel the British cavalry! The A version comes with blue trousers and the B version with cream, white trousers. Limited to 150 of each version and priced at $34 each

NAP009  Imperial Guard Standing Reload: A Guardsman drops a ball down the barrel of his musket having just let off a salvo, the next stage of the reload would be to pack everything down with his ramrod. The A version comes in the standard blue trousers and the B version comes in grey trousers and wears no hat. Limited to 150 of each version and priced at $34 each

NAP010  Imperial Guard Standing Reload with Ramrod: The last stage of the reload, the whole package of ball, wadding and gunpowder charge is then rammed down the barrel before the Guardsman brings the musket to his shoulder and fires again. The A version comes with blue trousers and the B version comes with tan trousers. Limited to 150 of each version with the normal price of $34 maintained

From Frenchies 'somewhere in Europe' we turn our attention to American Airborne troops 'somewhere in France'

ATW003  House Party Part 1: One of our most successful series to date the American Airborne soldier! This new set features 2 soldiers about to storm a suspect German held house/gun emplacement. The lead man prepares to pull the pin on a grenade whilst his buddy rapidly slips another clip out of his rifle mounted ammo pouch and into his carbine

The A version sees our figures dressed as members of the 101st Screaming Eagles Airborne Division. The B version features 2 ‘Pathfinders’ from the 82nd AB Division sporting their unique pattern camouflage uniforms! In real life this was achieved by painting olive drab green paint over the uniform and sometimes even over their webbing whilst wearing it! Both sets limited to 150 pieces and priced at $64

In addition to the American Airborne troops just mentioned TGM are also releasing some additional British Para's and Commandos

PARA008/COMM005  Tank Riders Part 2. Our final set of tank riders for the Para/Commando series! Featuring a Private laden down with a 2 inch mortar and ammo case, taking the weight off his feet by resting his butt on a wooden box! The second figure, a Corporal, kneels down whilst cradling a Bren gun

Both figures work nicely with last months release ‘Tank Riders Part 1’ and all we need now is an Allied tank of our own for these boys to hitch a ride on! Limited to 150 sets in both cases and priced at $64

Last, but by no means least, TGM's first foray into the world of the WW2 tank, and what a little cracker it is, too! Available in three colour schemes, one of them being Russian and representing a captured vehicle, most WW2 collectors will probably be able to find a place for this little beauty. I know I will!

SS034 Hetzer Our first tank and she’s a beauty! The Hetzer was yet another German tank based on the 38 tonne chassis from Czechoslovakia. Fitted with a 7.5cm cannon and a new armoured cabin with sloping armour this potent tank hunter was a source of great anxiety for the Allies. Around 2,600 of these vehicles were built as tank hunters; other versions included a flamethrower and tank recovery vehicle

The Western Front version comes in a typical 3 tone camouflage pattern and is limited to 199 pieces. The winter version comes in a whitewash pattern with battle damaged paint to the front and side where enemy shells have ricocheted off. The winter version is also limited to 199 vehicles

SOV001 Soviet Hetzer. Hopefully something of a surprise for some people! I was inspired and intrigued by photographs of a captured Hetzer driving through Sofia in April 1945, for our first Eastern Front vehicle. To make it slightly different from our German Hetzer offerings, I have included a Russian tank rider officer armed with a Panzerfaust, who sits nicely on the back

Only 100 of this model have been made and as such it is one of our rarest vehicles made so far. Priced at $175 this is bound to be a collector’s vehicle, highly sought after in the future. The WF and winterised versions will retail at $145 each

So, there you have it, the latest releases from TGM. Decisions, decisions! Happy [tank] hunting!!

Sunday 15 April 2012

The Boyes are Back in Town!

The most recent edition of Toy Soldier Collector carried a summary of what follows as a news item on one of its opening pages so many of you may already know about this but I was certainly very encouraged when I read it

Apologies for the inferior quality of this image, nevertheless it gives you an idea of the products W Boyes and Co will be stocking in some of its branches for the duration of the pilot scheme period

There is no doubt that the internet has slowly but surely undermined the specialist model and hobby shop over the past few years. However, all is not lost for those that still like to make a personal trip to their local model and hobby store

The retail chain, W Boyes & Co Ltd, have recognised that every high street needs a specialist model and hobby outlet and have decided to run a pilot scheme in a select number of their larger stores. This pilot will see a considerable amount of shop space being dedicated to a plastic modelling and hobby department, with kits, figures, paints and modelling equipment available for purchase

W Boyes & Co Ltd will be selling the full range of Victrix plastic figure sets and Warlord Games box sets and books amongst others in 6 of their shops across the East Midlands and North of England. The 6 W Boyes & Co Ltd shops that will initially be carrying these ranges of modelling products are:


If the pilot scheme is successful W Boyes & Co Ltd could potentially open "in house hobby departments" in 41 shops across the Midlands and the North of England. If you would like to see a return to the high street of a dedicated modelling and hobby retail outlet please get down to your local W Boyes & Co Ltd store and support this noble venture

So there you have it. Happy hunting!

Fantastic Plastic

Plastic toy soldiers have been with us a long time, as have plastic wargames figures. Nevertheless, most toy soldier collectors probably have more metal on their shelves, and wargamers in their drawers, than PVC or hard polyurethane. I know I do!

Notwithstanding the almost instinctive attraction model soldier collectors have with metal, it seems that more and more of them are moving over to plastics, or at least including more and more plastics in their collections. Certainly as a wargamer, needing to put together sizable units of troops in order to play the game, plastic figures can represent a significant cost saving and with no immediately discernible loss of quality. Indeed, some would argue that plastic figures can outshine many metal ones in terms of the detailing that can be achieved as part of the 'casting'

There are certainly many more plastic figures coming on to the market including these from a relatively 'new kid on the block' namely Fire Forge Games. If you're thinking of putting together an army of medieval crusading knights, then you might want to consider these new multi-part plastics

The Teutonic knights pictured below are already available whilst the other two sets are still in the initial stages of production and due for release in the foreseeable future

Teutonic Knights

Templar Knights


Each box set contains twelve 28mm multi-part plastic figures with horses, which can be assembled with several choices of weapons, shields, heads and accessories. Each box includes options for a standard bearer and musician. For more information visit the site by clicking on the link at the top of this post

Happy hunting!

Wargamers and Toy Soldier Collectors Cross Swords

One of the demonstrations put on for patrons at the recent LTSS was a skirmish style wargame played with 54mm toy soldiers. Within the wargaming world it seems that playing smaller scale games with larger scale figures is once again finding favour

The truth of this is reflected in the fact that Victrix, a leading manufacturer of multi-part plastic figures, has recently started producing 54mm Napoleonics. They already have a couple of boxes of British Peninsular troops available and will be adding to their range shortly with some Frenchies!

There are 16 figures per set. The Grenadiers have a mixture of bearskins and covered shakos with an Officer, Drummer and Porte Fanion. The Voltiguers have a mixture of long plumed and thistle tufted shakos with an officer and bugler. All the figures from both sets can be mixed together to make even more variety 

The company is currently awaiting confirmation of the production schedule from the tooling company and then they will go on release. Also in the pipeline from Victrix are several sets of Ancient Greeks

The pictures below show the master resin castings of their first Athenians, Spartans and Thebans. They will be released in that order, with a 2-3 week gap between each release, and the first batch are scheduled for April or May

Each set will contain 48 figures with so many variations possible it is hard to count them all. Interchangeable heads with separate crests. Arm positions including thrusting, at rest and sword arms. We also have cloaks to add to figures and musician arms to make your command figures. The spears are cast separate to the hands so you can replace them with metal spears if you wish. However the plastic spears will be more flexible and less prone to breaking off than metal

Happy hunting!

Saturday 14 April 2012

The London Toy Soldier Show

For those of you who didn't manage to make it down to the LTSS in March there is a very detailed discussion and photo report available on the Treefrog Treasures Toy Soldier Forum. I have included some photos below of a few pieces that caught my eye

First up, Thomas Gunn Miniature's first foray into the world of 54mm heavy armour in the form of the recently announced Hetzer which will be available in three colour schemes. You can find out more about this vehicle in my Thomas Gunn update

The next two photos are of Figarti Miniature's Nashorn, complete with the add on set of crew actively reloading the main weapon, and their new T34 loaded up with Russian infantry hitching a ride into battle

Clearly visible in the background is one of Figarti's fabulous aircraft. The company is renowned for its large centre-piece display models but it's no longer the only company producing very good looking WW2 German aircraft. The next two pictures show a couple of 'Stuka' dive bombers being released by John Jenkins Designs

Fantastic though these planes are, I simply don't have the room to display them. Nor do I have the room to display one of the items on Dave Marshall's stand, a one off commission piece depicting a farmstead during the days of the American Civil War and comprising the main farmhouse, a sizeable quantity of white picket fencing and a number of outbuildings. The main farmhouse is pictured below

The final picture shows something I do have room for, namely the ruined Russian house being released by First Legion. The prototype for this was actually designed by Dave at TM Terrain so, once again, you have him to thank, in no small part, for this fabulous model terrain

You can also see two of the modular terrain sections also being released by the company and referred to in one of my previous First Legion updates. They measure 15" X 8" and come in a variety of finishes. As you can see they look very good alongside a building but would be ideal also as stand alone bases for a small selection of figures on a narrower shelf

So there you have it. A very small selection of what was on offer at the recently held LTSS. For more details and a much more comprehensive report, visit Treefrog Treasures TS Forum via the link at the top of the post

Happy hunting!

Wednesday 4 April 2012

First Legion: Early Germans

First Legion is pleased to present the first of the enemies of Imperial Rome, the Ancient Germans! The Ancient Germans were among Imperial Rome’s staunchest adversaries. Though the Romans won many of the wars, they were never able to fully subjugate Germany the way that they had most of their other enemies. Throughout the late Republican and Imperial periods there were a series of wars and uneasy truces and eventually the Ancient German tribes were among the many who went on to sack Rome. Though useable throughout the entire period, we have presented the Ancient Germans during the Marcomannic Wars between 166 and 180 AD facing off against Marcus Aurelius. These figures are perfect to represent such tribes as the Marcomanni, the Quadi, and so many others. They will make a wonderful and much needed addition to any serious Roman toy soldier collection!

First Legion really are becoming increasingly prolific with new releases coming thick and fast. This month sees the announcement of the first batch of Early German tribesmen to pitch against the fabulous Romans that have been available now for some time. These ferocious looking warriors won't be shipping for a while but they are available to pre-order right now

German Noble Chieftain

Three views of the standard bearer, the last of which shows the detailing on the shield slung across his back

Musician wearing a wolfskin

In addition to the command group pictured above FL are releasing two fighting tribesmen, one of whom is particularly well armed with an axe, a sword and a shorter blade!

Last, but by no means least, also scheduled for release as part of this first batch is this striking vignette depicting a stricken German warrior propping himself up on the ground whilst his erstwhile compatriot does his best to exact revenge on the outnumbered Roman Legionary

I don't have any of the Roman figures but, in keeping with the theme I have chosen to build my collection around, I will certainly be after these! Happy hunting!