Frequently Asked Questions
Bonhams, London, England (expert James Opie)
Kurtz, New York, USA
Wallis and Wallis, Brighton, England
Britains Toy Soldiers, James Opie
Hollow Cast Figures, Norman Joplin
Discovering War Games, John Tunstill
Imre Risley did a book some years ago on Making and Painting Model Soldiers, with good articles on casting and mould making.
John Garratt produced an Encyclopaedia of Model Soldiers, with a good bibliography, I own the figure used to decorate the jacket spine.
My own book The World of Model Soldiers was never finally published although it went to proof edition. I have a proof copy but to make and despatch a photocopy would be fairly costly. The British Museum Library, the National Libraries of Scotland and Wales have copies, and it is being serialised on this site.
Windrow & Greene, 5 Gerrard Street, London, W1V 7LJ, UK., publish a catalogue of military hobby books.
Perhaps your local library can help.
World Toy Soldier Directory and Compendium, an excellent publication produced by Jonathan Crawford and available from Cullen and Coolidge Publishing, POBox 17695, Milwaukee, WI. 53217, USA. Almost everything you ever wanted to know about toy soldiers, but never dared ask!
and please tell them that I sent you!
I have currently available several hundred unpainted castings of the Soldiers' Soldiers range. Mainly officers, sergeants, drum majors etc.
Also see the lists of other figures of other manufacturers at the end of these pages.
Catalogues, sorry but no old ones available
But I can do you a reasonable copy if you want one, please ask again when placing an order. If no order then five pounds each, including postage and packing.
Old photographs or copies of old illustrated adverts, same as above.
Current Stock position
See stock lists on individual pages.
Always ready to swap links.
Magazines - currently in print
Military Modelling, MAP Publications, Hemel Hempstead, Herts., UK
Military Modeller, USA
Old Toy Soldier Newsletter, 209 North Lombard, Oak Park, Chicago, Illinois, USA
Toy Soldier Review, 127 74th Street, North Bergen, NJ. 07047 USA,
Toy Soldier Collectors of America, 5340 40th Ave. North, St. Petersburg, Fl. 33709 - 5610 USA
Collectors Gazette, 200 Nuncargate Road, Kirkby in Ashfield, Notts., NG17 9AGUK
Soldatini, CP 200, 43100, Parma, Italy.
Model Time, CP 200, 43100, Parma, Italia.
Toy Soldiers and Collectibles, POBox 301, Libertytown, MD. 21762-0301 USA
Woody's Word, 39 Seneca Trail, Wayne, New Jersey, 07470 USA
Today's Collector, 700 East State Street, Iola, WI. USA 54990 -0001
There is also a magazine for plastic figures called Plastic Warrior, 65 Walton Court, Woking, Surrey, GU21 5EE, England.
If any of them have moved, find their new address and THEN tell me.
and please tell them that I sent you
Magazines - out of print
My collection of over five thousand military hobby magazines has its own page, Magazines. The magazines are mainly in the English language and were published between 1890 and 1980.
Moulds for casting figures/ painting techniques/ hobby information
Military Modelling Magazine, Hemel Hempstead, Herts., England.
Toy Soldiers and Collectibles, PO Box 301, Libertytown, MD 21762-0301, phone 301 898 7686.
Toy Soldier Collectors of America, 5340 40th Ave. North, St. Petersburg, Fl 33709-56106
Dutkins Collectables, 1019 West Route 70, Cherry Hill, N.J. 08002 firstname.lastname@example.org
Prince August, Co Kerry, Eire
Also try your local library, hobbyshop and bookstore for more information.
Or try getting two pieces of cuttle-fish bone, used by parrots for beak sharpening, buy it in a pet shop. Rub the pieces together until both surfaces are flat. Take an original figure and place between the faces, press firmly and you will get an imprint made. Cut a pathway for the lead and try!
and please tell them that I sent you!
Old Toy Soldiers
See the references at the top of the page, adverts in hobby papers, various shows in England, Europe and USA, specialist auction houses.
In cash, if you send the money by registered mail. By international money order, from the Post Office. Or by a cheque drawn in Euro. But better still, use Pay Pal, it’s cheaper, quicker and probably safer
Sometimes the internet system converts the European Euro sign €,
(this should be like a script capital "C" with two bars across the middle), to "A3". Don't ask me why. My prices are in euro. If you’ve got a smart computer you should be able to find a currency converter
IDENTIFYING OLD SOLDIERS - of the lead or toy variety!
Some of you have asked me about clues to identify the figures you've found;
First tell me the size of a man, without helmet. Then identify the material of the figure, lead alloy, tin, cardboard, plaster/ pasta / sawdust & glue on a wire frame, etc., etc. Identify the uniform. Look for any writing on the figure or under the base, maybe a makers mark and then;
Look at figures that are similar and see if they were all cast from the same mould in the positions that they are in now. Some of the old soldier makers, 1880 - 1914, more or less, in Europe, always used to cast the figures in a spread- eagled way and then they animated them individually by hand, this allows for minor variations in figures which at first glance appear to be all the same.
Look for individually soldered weapons, flags, standards and accoutrements.
This styles of figures are well illustrated in the books I list, and their makers are well written up, try your local library.
Find out from the local museum or library which country the uniforms are from, manufacturers were making for local markets and usually, until export orders built up, they made figures that local people could recognise. Countries that were at war with the maker’s homeland, or countries that were being attacked by the maker’s homeland would feature in news reports and therefore act as publicity for the toy figure manufacturers. Britains made Boers when the English went to war with South Africa. Chinese and Japanese, Sino - Japanese war. Turks, Serbs, Croats, Greeks etc for the Balkan Wars. Ethiopians and Italians when Mussolini invaded Abyssinia. Germans when they invaded Czechoslovakia. And more recently, by myself in the Soldiers’ Soldiers range, British Royal Marines and paratroops "yomping" across the Falkland Islands (see Soldiers ‘ Soldiers figure No. 357).
..hope this helps!
What have I left out?
What do you know that would be helpful to other enthusiasts?
Let me know and I'll try to include it, but only information up to the1980’s.
Are there any sites that we should link to, and them to us?