More Shiny Toy Soldiers

19 Apr

Production of shiny toy soldiers seems to be taking a disproportionate chunk of my time these days. I can blame several people for this, but for now I shall single out a Mr Howard Whitehouse and his rules entitled, A Gentleman’s War or, Glossy Coats and Tin Bayonets (here). I got my copy of the new spick and span and tarted up rules from Amazon UK.

Last October, over a fun filled weekend in Framlingham, gentleman from the LAW forum played many games using these rules and, in all honestly, I can say that I’ve never enjoyed my wargames more. As an added bonus, my new shiny army performed rather well – which is always nice, and always very surprising when it happens.

Andy has done an excellent write up of the weekend here (day 1) and here (day 2).

My army then consisted of the Erbprinz Regiment (Spenser Smith Shiny Toy Soldiers), a regiment of Dystopian infantry, a Gatling gun and a field gun……

Dystopian infantry, with supports.
The Erbprinz Regiment (now transferred for a princely sum to the army of a close ally).

So, with the departure of the Erbprinz Regiment to a more reliable paymaster, there’s a pressing need to bring the Dystopian army back up to strength……….

The feedback my homemade toys received at Framlingham went along the lines of ‘they’re OK, but they’re not marching are they’ – they can be a hard crowd to please. So I worked on a marching figure and determined that I’d save myself much faffing in the future if I made a headless body and a selection of different heads. Naturally, I went for the hats I really like.

On the left, the basic marching figure master, which is simply a re-positioning of the arms and hands of the advancing figure. The collar is hollowed out to accept the appropriate head. On the figure on the right I’ve done a bit of tweaking – a bit more detail and sharpening up of the master for moulding.
The separate heads waiting to be moulded. L to R, a bicorne, the original peaked cap, a kepi type thing with a big plume and a grenadier cap. The facial details are beginning to fade a bit with successive castings, but they aren’t quite so bad as suggested in the picture. The hats are, of course, greatly over scale……..lovely jubbly.










The advancing figure has proved to be rather versatile.
This gentleman of the Gatling Gun crew enjoys a crafty tab during a lull. I simply re-positioned the left arm and added hands and a fag.



L to R, the original master, the advancing rifleman and the officer.

These are the Dystopia Carabinieri. In times of crisis this civil police force is required to provide a battalion of infantry for active service. They also act as the military police force and are thus generally disliked by both the regulars and the population at large. The carabinieri don’t give two hoots because they know they look the mutt’s nuts in their pretty, ever so tight, uniforms. Training is as per regular infantry but the dual role means that they lack the speed of manoeuvre and musketry skills of the regulars. However, in any kind of brawl they are second to none.

The Palace Guard will soon be taking the field. ‘Soon’ being very much open to interpretation.

Technical stuff.

I’m still adding 16 drops of the catalyst per 100g of silicon. I’ve had a couple of moulds tear but I think that was poor positioning of the master on my part rather than a weakness in the formula.

I’m struggling to get the noses to cast properly. I’ve tried pressing the mould halves together less firmly, even to the stage where the flash is excessive, but too no avail. I’m going to seek advice on this……could be temperature, could be the metal. Could be anything!

I’m finding that if a figure doesn’t cast well, it’s better to add fine air vents round the figure than to try to force more metal into the mould via a bigger pour hole.


Sooner or later, I’m going to have to do a horse. What could possibly go wrong?













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