Saturday, 18 January 2014

Marching and drill exercise

Since the age of 5 or so I have been a collector of 54mm lead soldiers. I have quite the collection which I have gathered from around the world over all these many years. I am running out of space to arrange and present my miniature army. Since they are not all the same era, I try to arranged it so it matches historical moments with some kind of consistency.

So this afternoon I decided to re-organise my soldiers, this I did under the gaze of the Philosopher King Frederick II the Great of Prussia, a sometimes friend of Voltaire, who by the way was a real pain at times.  His father the Sergeant King Frederick-Wilhelm  and his grandfather Frederick I who proclaimed himself King of Prussia, thus creating the Kingdom.

I have run out of space really, in two display cases, I have XVIII century Imperial Chinese soldiers, Greek soldiers, Sparta and Athens, from Antiquity, Russian Imperial Soldiers period 1900, Saxon Soldiers, Napoleonic and 1812 Russian Artillery and military band, French and English soldiers from Canada 1759, Italian Carabinieri and Papal Swiss Guards, Pope John XXIII in his black Mercedes Benz, and many more in boxes, including some Ottomans.

So I decided after much playing around with formations to retire for the time being the French and English Soldiers of the Seven Years War in Canada 1759 and their commanding officers Montcalm and Wolfe.
This way I can give more room to the Coronation Coach of Queen Elizabeth II, the Beefeaters, the Canadian RCMP and other British military troops. Also not to forget the Duke of Wellington, the Austrian troops with their great big Hapsburg flag and give Napoleon and his grenadiers more room. Czar Alexander I of Russia comes with artillery and a military honour guard and band of the Preobrazhensky guards. It looks more orderly now.

Putting away the other soldiers took me part of the Saturday afternoon, exhausting task. They have to be carefully place into respective boxes, I have hundreds of such boxes. I also have a very large collection of other pieces not on display.

Camille Saint-Saens accompanied us with his Marche Militaire Française.

Below some photos of the display case which I got in Rome at a furniture store on Via dei Serpenti.

 Austrian Troops charging French soldiers.

 French Cuirassier Officer shooting Austrian Officer 

 Tsar Alexander I receiving military honours.

 Coronation Coach with military escort

 Duke of Wellington with British troops


  1. Interesting collection! Have you ever had it valued?

  2. Yes I did and you know what it is worth less today than 30 years ago. The reason is the same as with silver and other metals. Todays society looks at Sterling silver for the price per ounce. Lead soldiers were once a valuable collectible base on rarity. Nowadays few younger people want it. So what use to be worth $75 dollars now is worth only a few dollars. But I still like them regardless of the price.

  3. What a marvelous and delightful hobby; I've never met anyone who collected soldiers. My brother had dungeon and dragons characters but this is nothing to the exquisite collection of yours
    By any chance, do you have one one-legged, made of tin?

    1. No I don't. No one is injured in my army, simulated violence as you can see in the cuirassier firing his pistol on an Austrian Officer. Even my Greeks who fight each other with swords and javelins, all for show.

    2. I was making a discrete reference to a story by Hans. C. Anderson

    3. OK now I have not heard of this story in such a long time. Now I know what you mean.

  4. What an incredible collection and display. I could imagine getting lost in this for days!

  5. my son Thom would absolutely go nuts over your a kid he collected army men..not the nice one like yours the cheap ones that came a 100 in a bag..he must have had 4-5 thousand of them..really..and he would lay books blankets and cover them with fighting men..tanks, helicopters the whole works..maybe that's what I should get him for his birthday..get him a couple of really nice ones and if he wants to continue the collection he can..hmmm.