Wednesday, March 2, 2011

More Cavalry Hijinks!

 Last weekend Susan and I drove up to Gettysburg to listen to Park Ranger Matt Atkinson give a really good program on General Sickles.  As is my usual custom when in G'burg, I also stopped by Gettysburg Miniature Soldiers not merely to see what was new, but to complete a set of Britains cavalrymen.  

A friend of mine recently gave me a Britains Deetail Federal cavalryman, and it prompted me to go online to see what it would cost to get a few more.  The results were pretty daunting; a set of six, after postage, would cost around $45.  These days that's a little rich for my blood.

So I figured that if I poked around the toy soldier shop I'd find them for a better price plus no shipping charge.

And I was right.  Four dollars per, Huzzah!

And here, for your edification they pass in review with the Toy Soldiers Forever! studio in the background.

The box was a mixed lot with newer figures having the dark green base...

and older figures sporting the light green.  Other differences will be discussed momentarily.

This mounted officer had a badly bent saber, though the tried-and-true hot water treatment
restored his blade to armoury condition.

This trooper was the gift that motivated me to recruit him some comrades.  I think the sculpting and animation of the Britains horses is some of the very best available.  The riders are pretty fine too.

Superior sculpting aside, there are some quality differences between the older and newer figures, notably in the painting, which can be a little haphazard in those earlier pieces with the light green bases.

This trooper, with the wildly immodest open-front shirt provides the only "character" figure, with a spitting image of...

The "Hof"!

 Saddle up, night rider.

Here's Hasslehof from another angle, note the poor painting and the pecular saddle arrangement.  That saddle holster is also somewhat pedestrian and poorly sculpted.
 Here's  a side-by-side with one of the earlier figures on the left and later on the right.  Note the superior painting of the newer figure as well as the better sculpted integral saddle.

 From a second angle the fragility of the paint on the lighter green bases is also apparent.

And here comes our surprise twist...

Here is the marking of the slightly inferior older Britians figures...

and here comes the markings on the superior, and newer, recasts...

Gasp!  Say it ain't so!  Red Chinese treachery unseats John Bull!  Who among us ever thought to see the day?

Regardless of pedigree, British or Red Chinese, A.P. Hill appears equally threatened by either.  A little lesson in tolerance, perhaps?

On my tabletop the Deetail horsemen operate as an integrated unit.

Beautifully sculpted and ready for battle.

The worst nightmare of the infantryman who neglected to keep his musket in good repair.

These twisted rubber bands, though so simple, make very convincing reigns.

Against a beautiful blue sky this Federal is ready for the advance.
And signs in my front lawn indicate that...

the spring campaigning season is nearly upon us.
And, may I add, not a moment too soon.

Soldier on!


Tim Gow said...

These look great. I'm pleased (and a bit jealous) to hear that Spring has sprung where you are - it is 1 degree C here today.

Mannie Gentile said...


That's the upside of living just (just barely) below the Mason-Dixon line.



check out the crescent cowboy i turned into a 7th cavalryman with metal pistol. i'd like to get these unpainted and make a few conversions.

Scott B. Lesch said...

Mannie, I had some of those and now I may get some of the new ones just from reading your blog entry. The only thing I remember from 1971,and it's confirmed by the pictures on your entry, is that Britains is TOO fond of rearing horses.
The rearing horse do look go in a melee.
BTW I am still looking a foot of dirty snow from my workshop window.

Paul´s Bods said...

I too had a load of these...unfortunately thrown away by ma brother!!! That looks one well stocked toy shop!!!Don´t see anything like that here anymore.I´m jealous :-)