of Model Soldiers
Part 5 (cont'd.) : The 25 mm To 35 mm Range of Figures
The London-based firm, Soldiers, is currently exploring the possibilities of producing moulds for war gamers for use at home and their intention is to produce a mould made of vulcanized rubber which will turn out three figures at a time that can be broken apart later. They will be cast in white metal, lead alloy, will be round in style, and 25 mm high. The figures will all be of simple straightforward line infantry soldiers – these are the figures that have always been most popular as for each figure of, say, Napoleon that one buys, one will probably want the better part of 1,000 foot soldiers.
Rose Miniatures have made a range of 25 mm war-game figures in metal, as has Charles Stadden whose figures were marketed through the firm of Tradition which at one time had a shop in London’s Piccadilly. Tradition have recently brought out another size of small soldiers suitable both for war gaming and dioramas. They are made by Clive Knight and represent combatants of World War I. Standing 35 mm high they are of a size that (at the time of writing) is made only by this firm.
The German company Elastolin Hausser manufacture a good range of 30 mm plastic figures, very finely detailed, and in fierce action positions, of a variety of ancient and medieval peoples. Their figures are always engaged in combat and to enable them to carry on their warlike pursuits, the company also makes an excellent range of fortresses, wagons, carts, artillery pieces, and siege engines. These figures, in Britain at least, are quite expensive because of the current rates of exchange.
To complement the range of tiny figures one or two companies are now producing model houses, and terrain and scenic effects.. Bellona are probably foremost in this field and are constantly producing different sizes and styles of buildings, roads, and walls.
These are plastic, vacuum-formed items which can be used together with the war-gaming figures to lend a scenic effect to the battlefield, or they can be built into a diorama. Warfare Card Constructions, a company based in Hull, in the north of England, also make a range of 25 mm buildings – from houses of the period of the American Civil War to a variety of European Houses suitable for periods from the medieval to the present times.
One of the greatest difficulties for wargamers these days is to complete the regiments they begin to collect. The firms of Hinchliffe and Miniature Figurines, for example, primarily in order to compete with each other, are constantly changing their master figures – they say ‘improving’ them – which from the collector’s point of view is extremely frustrating.