Wednesday, 3 April 2013

Good Soldiers

Good Soldiers is a British company producing boxed sets of metal figures.

A colour party of six Federal Irish Brigade soldiers from the American Civil War, purchased thru ebay.


Cofalu is a French company specialising in Cycling Board Games. Boards are sold representing major cycle races, including the Tour de France. Seemingly, customised figures are sold to represent major cycling teams but a set of six figures in basic colours are produced. These are 1:32 scale and are effectively tokens for the game.

I bought sixty of these figures, ten in each colour via ebay in Belgium.

Blue Box

Blue Box, die cast figures of around 60mm. I have seen small and expensive sets of Romans, American Civil War and Napoleonic figures. Not really my favourite.

Napoleon and Wellington.

Linenhall Barracks

Linenhall Barracks is a small company based in the North of Ireland. They produce metal figures of Irish interest.

Michael Collins.

A boxed set of six figures, Irish Republican Army personnel from the 1980s.

Friday, 29 March 2013

Del Prado

My prime interest is PLASTIC Toy Soldiers but occasionally I pick up metal figures which interest me. Del Prado are quite expensive.

The Marlborough Cavalry Blenheim 1704 figure was issued with a  magazine Cavalry Through The Ages. I now have eighteen of these guys, all "converted" and "customised to represent Fitzjames Horse, a Franco-Irish Wild Geese regiment.

The Confederate General Jeb Stuart was picked up in a second-hand store.

Thursday, 28 March 2013

Toy Soldiers in Texas

Last month I spent two weeks in the United States in a college town in Texas.
I was looking out for some interesting toy soldiers which I would not see in Ireland.
Hobby Lobby was an interesting store.
I bought bags of BMC Yorktown and Alamo figures. These are available by mail order in my part of the world. Essentially the American War of Independence and the Mexican War are "American" subjects so it was good to be able to see them in the American context.
I also bought two Safari African Village and Workers. These were pre-painted, a little pricey for just seven figures in each "toob" and they were sold as educational toys rather than "soldiers" which I found refreshing. On reflection, I should have bought they are pretty good, even if scale is a bit "erratic".
Elsewhere in the town, I found a quirky store with friendly staff...which sold "loose" pre-painted figures. The manufacturer was a new name to me....CP Inc, a Chinese firm. I bought Sports figures...Basketball, Baseball and American well as two Pirates.
I also picked up some Boy Scout figures (no manufacturer).
And...I picked up four "babies"...two boys and two girls (no manufacturer but I think these are cake decorations for newborns etc).
This quirky little store will be the first place I call when I return to Texas in 2015 as some of the figures on sale there have excellent "conversion" potential.
I visited The Alamo at San Antonio and there is an excellent Toy Soldier in the Alamo Plaza. The store sold wonderful metal figures and the dioramas were amazing. Unfortunately these figures were out of my price range. But I picked up some more BMC Yorktown and Alamo figures.
Having already bought bags of these figures in my college town...this seemed like I had bought too many. But I am glad that I did. One Yorktown bag did not contain a Washington character figure and one Alamo bag did not contain a Jim Bowie figure.

Very much looking forward to going back to Texas in 2015.

Tuesday, 26 March 2013

Fitzjames Horse?

I blog under the name "Fitzjames Horse". This is a tribute to the Franco-Irish "Wild Geese" Cavalry Regiment. I am involved in a research project on the Wild Geese. And I have a very tenuous family connexion.
The photograph is of a Del Prado Marlborough Cavalryman at Blenheim 1704. I have eighteen of these figures, which I have customised, colour, hair colour, facial hair, trumpet, standard into a rough approximation (I am not an expert converter) of how Fitzjames Horse would have looked.

Monday, 25 March 2013


Dia Duit. Hello. Tá an-fáilte romhat. You are very welcome.
My name is John Mooney. I live in County Armagh, Ireland. I was born in 1952.
This Blog is about collecting Toy Soldiers.

Collecting plastic toy soldiers sounds a very childish hobby for an adult male.And what can I say? is!! But it is also good fun and relaxing and hey I enjoy it.

Like most boys of my age,I played with toy soldiers and my favourite figures were "Robin Hood" figures and "US Cavalry" figures.I dont suppose it was coincidence that my two very favourite TV shows were "The Adventures of Robin Hood"(starring the great Richard Greene) and a little remembered western called "Boots And Saddles".
So in my house in Belfast,Ireland in the early 1960s was a wooden "Fort Laramie" which was inhabited by a strange collection of military figures,mostly U S Cavalrymen,some Civil War figures including Confederate "deserters",and occasional refugees from Sherwood Forest,the French Foreign Legion and even some Astronauts caught in a bizarre Time Tunnel.
I guess our living room floor was no different from thousands or millions accross the world.Some time around 1967,the fort and its strange garrison was gifted to a younger cousin but still very occasionally when visiting my mothers house,I came accross the odd much played with plastic figure.Or more likely at swap meets etc,I see a Lone Star or Crescent figure,or cereal box figure...a brother-in-arms of my old multi-national,multi-ethnic Brigade of Heroes.
In the mid 1980s,I found myself happily married to a beautiful lady who has given me two wonderful sons and the excuse to play with toy soldiers again.When my older son reached "toy soldier age" (three),I was initially disappointed to find that the plastic warriors of my generation were now overlooked in favour of more directly TV merchandised toys such as the Ninja Turtles.Worse,some manufacturers such as the fore-mentioned Lone Star and Crescent had disappeared.
I was however happy to see that some brave adult souls were doing their best to keep alive those gloriously happy play days of the 1950s and 1960s.
I was actively collecting plastic figures from 1986 to 1993 when we moved house(many figures went "missing in action" during the upheaval)and became active again in 2001.Many thanks to my long-suffering and patient wife who never....well very rarely...complains about model paint stains on the carpet and is very supportive of me.
I should point out that I am not a Wargamer and I am not interested in Militaria.I am however very interested in Irish history and American history.I am not a model maker or diorama maker.My interest is solely buying cheap plastic figures,painting them to my best ability and moving on to the next project.I only collect 1:32 scale.
In terms of numbers,I only have about 2,500 figures (all now painted).My favourite figures are Airfix,Accurate and Timpo.