Sunday, July 15, 2018

W. Britain Limber and two-man crew #17431

Happy is the boy who gets that distinctive scarlet and gold box in the mail that epitomizes excellence in toy soldiery.  I purchased, from the fine folks at Crown Military Miniatures, the W. Britain set 17431, two-man limber and crew from 2003.

It's a peach of a set and just the sort of thing I'm looking for my next big series of scenarios focusing on Battery B 4th US Artillery at Antietam.

The project is slowly but surely coming together, I'm assembling guns, horses, limbers, caissons and artillerymen to tell the story of Battery B on the morning of September 17th, 1862 when fate reunited them with their former commander - General John Gibbon.

For the next few weeks I'll be painting artillerymen, many of which are conversions.  For unique poses I looked outward toward W. Britain (the maker of all my guns) for some really great artillerymen.  This two-man limber set is very much a welcome addition to the battery.

My six horse-drawn limbers for the battery are the classic Britain's Deetail models from the late sixties, some of which I've featured in earlier battle scenarios (go here).

Those venerable Deetail limbers compared to the metal 2003 version demonstrate the difference between "toys" and "miniatures"....though please note, on my table everything, no matter how upscale, is a toy meant for playing with.  I'm very happy to find that there's a whole lot of nine-year-old left in me.

The detail is wonderful, including the Table of Fire for a Napoleon affixed to the inside of the limber lid, in the regulation manner.

These guys are from the 2003 generation of W. Britian's figures.
The attention to detail has come a very long way in the past fifteen years.


Compared to the 2016 figures the 2003 guys look cartoonish.

The scenario presented by this three-piece set is a welcome one on the table top battlefield.  With the limber lid raised and the projectiles visible, the limber man is passing a ball into the gunner's haversack to be taken up to the waiting gun.

A disapproving Dunker (Anabaptist) Mrs. Mumma looks on skeptically.

I have advance-ordered the yet to be released 2018 Britian's three piece limber kit, and the photos on the W. Britain website demonstrate again that the detail in the intervening fifteen years has improved exponentially.

I'm watching my mailbox, and will post an entry when it finally shows up, which may not be for a while yet.

Really nice model, and really nice people at Crown Military Miniatures.

Soldier on!


Wednesday, May 2, 2018

Not dormant!

Hi everybody.

I'm gratified that I have followers of this blog believe me that's half the fun, and, it's a little humbling.

After my recent post (the Gettysburg toy soldier show) one kind commentor noted that it was great to have me back.

I'd just like to say that I haven't gone anywhere.  There will certainly be lapses, much like the long lull prior to the six installment Battle of Greenbrier series. I'm still here, but my postings come when I have something interesting to show or say.  So stick with me.  I'm planning a series this summer about classic Britains artillery pieces that I hope you'll enjoy...I know I will :-)

Thanks for all your kind comments...they mean a lot.

Soldier on!


Monday, April 30, 2018

2018 Gettysburg Toy Soldier Show

It was with some anticipation that I headed out the door to go to the Gettysburg Toy Soldier Show.  The 'burg is only about 45 minutes from home, an easy and scenic drive over  Catoctin mountain - and past Camp David no less.

I arrived at the Eisenhower Conference Center and no sooner had I walked in the front door than the power went out.  People ended up being lost in pitch-black restrooms, extricated from elevators, and wandering around in a state of bewilderment.

Inside the big room, forlorn dealers were desperately trying to conduct business in the gloom.  The only light was coming from the propped-open exit doors and the light from the flashlights of the patrons phones.

I heard more than one vendor lamenting the fact that he wasn't even going to make back his table fee. It was from one of these unfortunates that I made a charity purchases.

Although the darkness prevented me from finding all of the bargains nonetheless I found a few which I share here.

From a very congenial collector/dealer named Michael I acquired, for a neat bargain, three Imrie/Risley items; an ACW caisson and two limbers.  Used, with a very small amount of wear, they're going to look really great for the next artillery duel on the toy  soldier table.

Teamed up with the classic Britains horse-drawn limber, this caisson is ready for the front

The pair of limbers is equally nice.  The lids come off to show the projectiles inside.

Also from Michael, an again at a bargain price, I got this nice little Britains howitzer.

From one of the dealers who was afraid he wasn't going to make back his table fee, I bought this nifty little semi-flat heavy cruiser.  Every little bit helps, even six dollars at a time.


I picked up an original MARX General Grant, only to get home and find that I always have one.  Well, I guess that when you're in a tight spot on the 54mm battlefield, there's no such thing a too many Grants.

My triumph was the 1/16 Lindberg ACW horse-drawn limber and six-pounder gun.  The dealer was eager to sell and the price reflected his mood.

Today, I took a break from yard work and spent not quite two hours assembling the gun.

Flash-free and beautifully injection molded, the detail was excellent and the fit was perfect.

This is going to be a major undertaking as all of the tack and harness for the four horses is incredibly involved and detailed.  The assembly and painting of this kit is going to take a very long time.  The gun I put together specifically for this blog post.   Otherwise, I'll be setting this project aside until, perhaps next winter. 

The kit purports itself to be 1/16, but it's much closer to a robust 1/12 scale.


Well, as you see, I picked up some pretty nice items.

If you're in the area next April I'd recommend that you check out this show.  And while you're out here, come over to my side of the mountain for a tour of the toy soldier table.

Soldier on!