Monday, September 10, 2018

Cover your ears! Britain's cannoneers!

These two little guys, purchased on ebay complete my collecting of batterymen for battery B 4th US artillery.  Now I'm acquiring W. Britains Iron Brigade men.  These two units provided mutual support during the early morning hours of September 17, 1862 in the battle of Antietam.

Here's a little video I did a few years ago of some artillery action at Antietam National Battlefield where it was my privilege to have been a park ranger for the best eight years of my career (so far!):

These figures manufactured in 2002, are numbered 166 on the left and 165 on the right.

Regular readers may note that my postings of late have been focusing on Britains rather than plastics, my conversions, or my original pewter castings.  The only unit of my own creation that remains to be completed is the 3rd South Carolina Infantry Battalion as it appeared at the Battle of Gettysburg when it faced off with the good old 3rd Michigan at the Peach Orchard (you can see my hand-cast and mostly unique Wolverines of the Old Third here).

The 3rd SC at the Peach Orchard was comprised of 232 rebels, of which I have 90 painted and many more cast.  I think it'll be another three or four years before the project is complete...the 3rd Michigan took eighteen years to finish.  Patience is a virtue in the world of homecasting. 

Otherwise I've started buying store-bought soldiers, Britains specifically, and it's all due to the efforts of president Franklin D. Roosevelt.  You see, high-end toy soldiers that were out of my reach previously, are now being bank-rolled thanks to the miracle of my hard-won Social Security checks, which I started getting three months ago.  Thanks FDR!

I've been getting my Britains from several sources including, Crown Military Miniatures, Treefrog Treasures, and W. Britains themselves (now under the stewardship of Ken Osen),  and of course, ebay. It's been exciting seeing those scarlet and gold boxes arrive in the mail (my wife says "Oh boy, another candy box").  

Though many consider W. Britains figures "miniatures"  I think that I've been pretty clear in the past, that any little man that joins the ranks in my house is a "toy soldier", to do battle with even the cheapest plastics in the combat that takes place on my toy soldier table (which you can see here).

Ringing in the ears and hearing loss in later life, were things that were typical of Civil War artillery veterans.  In those days before high-tech industrial ear protection, the best that a batteryman could do was to stuff his ears with cotton batting, or simply cover his ears as these 54mm guys are.  More often than not, however, they just had to grimace and bear it.

Recent entries to this blog have contrasted the level of detail in the of  a decade or more ago to those of  today.  This 2002 figure has a level of detail that seems quite rudimentary compared to those of recent years; though one thing that I really like about the earlier ones are the rosey cheeks...something that typifies all of my homemade guys.

Although sculpted in the United States, final assembly and painting take place in China (see my previous post for a sobering look at the Chinese toy industry).

These two little fellows are much welcomed to the toy soldier table and will be ready for action later this year when I stage their moment of glory at Antietam.

Until next time...

Soldier on!


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