Tuesday, December 12, 2023

Ambulance conversion

I forgot to post this back in 2019.  I turned this Processed Plastics goods wagon into a downsized 54mm Civil War ambulance.

The comparison of the orginal horse (yellow) with a painted Marx 54mm horse.

The wagon was 70mm scale, so right away it went to the bandsaw to lose an inch and a half from the back.

The height of the top was reduced by scoring the plastic and snapping it off with an antique bending-break pliers  - which I finally got to use.

Clem, the Marx driver was dragooned into service with the U.S. Sanitary Commission.

These are Union ambulance drivers at City Point Virginia in 1864.

The ambulance top was temporarlly screwed to the wagon-box to keep it in place.

The back and tailgate were set aside for later installation.

All traces of the molded rear axle were removed by the belt-sander.

Little axle supports were fashioned from pine scraps and hotglued to the bottom of the wagon-box.

Four wheels from the spareparts box replaced the original oversize wheels.

The top was hotglued to the wagon-box and the screws were removed and filled.  Priming and painting were next.

A side-by-side with the Marx Blue and Gray ambulance on the right.  My new ambulance is now two stretchers in width.  On your next trip to Maryland, you can find the real thing here: https://www.civilwarmed.org/nmcwm/plan/

Shown with removed parts and a replacement 54mm team of horses.

On the way to the battle brewing at Greenbrier Maryland...

and the inevitable sad return.

Happy holidays from just down the road from the Greenbrier battlefield.

Soldier on!


Thursday, December 7, 2023

The year in brief

 This year saw great growth - to completion- of my W. Britains regiments, multiple improvements to the toy soldier studio, dozens of conversions, and a record number of blog entries.

Time to relax, and plan for the coming year.

Plan big, and...

Soldier on!


(Happy hoilidays)

Tuesday, December 5, 2023

Navarone deadline

 I want to get my Navarone battle underway so that I can clear the table early in the coming year. 

Here's a little video overview of the set-up.

 It's  been in place for a while and I'm eager to set up a Marx Giant Blue and Gray scenario.  stay tuned, and...

Soldier on!


Sunday, December 3, 2023

Season's greetings from the war room

Here's hoping that you find lots of toy soldiers under your tree.

Merry Christmas, happy holidays, and...

Soldier on!



The passing parade of W. Britain Civil War soldiers

W. Britain toy soldiers have always commanded a premium price, but a quick review of the troops through time indicates that one didn't always get what one paid for.  Let's take a look at how the quality of their product evolved and improved over a twenty-year period.

2001 represents the beginning of the modern era of Britains Civil War soldiers, and these early entries were positively primitive.

Note the absence of cartridge box, belt, capbox, bayonet and canteen.  One wonders what reference materials the sculptor was using.

Minimal effort was expended on the base.

2003 saw an improvement in attention to equipment, but the sculpting and animation were little improved.

The base is a combination of sickly yellows and greens, but at least they are now making an effort.

2008 ushered in a new level of sculpting, animation, and detail.  This is the beginning of a new era for W.Britain's sculpting.  The quality is wonderful.

The 2008 bases are characterized by these wonderful oak leaves .

2020 brings even finer sculpting and detail

I can't wait to see what the future brings.  Until then...

soldier on!


Saturday, November 18, 2023

More studio improvements

 I don't think that the fine-tuning will ever end.

This month I made sliding doors for one of the cabinets, and now I'm installing lights.

I spend more time improving the toy soldier studio than I do on the house.

Seek cover and...

Soldier on!


Little Heiskell, the happy hessian

For six or eight years the pot-metal doorguard of the toy soldier studio has been Little Heiskell, the happy hessian. (https://www.liquisearch.com/hagerstown_maryland/history/little_heiskell). 

He was finished in a beat-up, dingy, faded, and flaking rust-red, and was getting shabbier by the year.

Today he got spruced-up.

Stay vigilant, and...

Soldier on!


Wednesday, November 1, 2023

"Paper or plastic...or pewter"

It dawned on me today that I've slowly drifted from all unpainted plastic, to nearly all pewter (with a few hand-painted plastics in the mix).

This gradual "switcheroonie" (thanks Ella Fitzgerald) began in 2012 when I rolled-out my, 20 years in the making, Third Michigan Volunteer Infantry - in pewter (https://toysoldiersforever.blogspot.com/2012/02/old-third-all-present-or-accounted-for.html).  Since then, save for Marx Blue and Gray, my Civil War scenarios have pretty much been all metal

Speaking of Marx Giant Blue and Gray, I'm planning on having them battle it out on the toy soldier table over the winter.

I'll rub my hands in anticipation, as we all...

Soldier on!


Tuesday, October 31, 2023


Here's a little video showing the most recent improvement to the Toy Soldiers Forever! studio.

With this finished, I'll be closing the studio until next Spring.

Tonight, when trick-or-treating, look both ways before crossing the street and...

Soldier on!



Thursday, October 26, 2023

24th Michigan flag conversion

What I had, what I needed, what I made.


"Unfurl those colors!"  and...

Soldier on!