My object in writing this book was not to turn through the pages of
model soldier history in an attempt to re-define and re-examine the
figures that have been made during the last two hundred years; nor was
it to wet the appetite of the collector with details of rare figures.
These aspects of the subject are more than adequately covered in a large
number of excellent books Although I have briefly described the early
figures and their manufacturers to remind the aficionado of what was
available and what may be found in shops and sale rooms, my main purpose
has been to explain to the collector what was being produced in 1979.
Large numbers of the figures then currently available were made of plastic
- a substance that tends to be reserved for children's toys and, however
well produced, it is almost impossible to resell such items either second
hand or through the sale rooms.
Metal is still the medium of the 'adult' model soldier and because it
has an intrinsic resale value I have concentrated on such figures. Manufacturers
come and go, ranges disappear and are replaced with new lines so rapidly
that it was impossible to be completely up-to-date and include all sources.
John Tunstill Lambeth, London, Spring 1979
It is impossible to write a book such as this without the help of many
other books on model and toy soldiers - my thanks go to all their authors.
Also to the makers, past and present, and to my employees
and customers, who every day made me realise how fortunate I was to
live in my own private world of model soldiers.
In particular, I am grateful to the following people, listed alphabetically,
who have taught and encouraged me some twenty-five years ago. Should
I have made any errors my late friends share none of the responsibility.
Roy Belmont-Maitland for my apprenticeship with his
Bill Carman for advice and help
Alan Clayton for his kindness and for encouraging me to collect model
Bryan and Don Fosten for help on matters of uniform and costume
Julian Franklyn for teaching me heraldry
Jim Johnston for advice on casting and moulding techniques
David Nash for playing early war games
Len Richards for advice and information on early toy soldiers
Elizabeth Talbot-Rice for editorial advice and information on the British
Lilliane Tunstill for encouragement, typing, and love