"I knew that chap in the suit and fez couldn't be trusted, but what really scares me is that mummy on our flank..."
Last updated 16 June 2021
For many years I have indulged in wargaming with glossy 54mm toy soldiers. While certainly not my only wargaming passion, it is one which I always return to, helped by the fact that I am, among my various besetting sins, a collector of "new" toy soldiers (as well as a few of the glossy old ones, and a small number of 54mm models, too). For that reason, I have decided to create a portion of the site dedicated to this aspect of the hobby.
Over the years, I have published a small number of resources for toy soldier wargaming, so I will begin with a listing of these:
Edwardian Splendour: These are the rules I wrote some years ago. I still get e-mail from those who play and enjoy them - judging from comments, they are simpler than sets like "A Gentleman's War" and perhaps more suitable for play with younger gamers.
Sources for Toy Soldier Moulds: Note that this page is now out of date. Dunken (one of the companies listed) has acquired the Miniature Molds line, as well as the Dutkins line. All of the moulds from those companies can be purchased through Dunken (I was very relieved to find that all were still available!). Here is a PDF of an old Miniature Molds catalogue, since the Dunken site is still missing some of the needed pictures.
A Primer for Sculpting and Casting Wargaming Miniatures at Home: This is good for any scale, but in my experience, if you can homecast 54mm soldiers, you generally know most of what you need to sculpt, mold, and cast your own designs as well. Sculpting the larger figures is easier, and stylized toy soldiers are less demanding. You can start by experimenting with extra heads and arms, and go from there.
With the Colours in the Late War: This is an experimental toy-soldier wargame which I have run to good effect at various conventions and game days with (mostly) younger gamers. You need only a dozen soldiers per side. It is a computerized app for running dead-simple toy soldiers games, using handfuls of six-sided dice, recounting the adventures of a single regiment as it makes its way across the battlefield. There is a slightly updated version now available at the Application of Force site (a subscription service for wargaming apps), but this one - the original - is free.
I also sometimes play with glossy 40mm semi-rounds for the tricorne era. We developed a version of Ross Macfarlane's classic "With MacDuff to the Frontier," specialized for the War of the Polish Succession in the 1730s. It is titled Mit von Futsch zum Rheinland-Pfalz (that's "With MacDuff to the Palatinate," approximately translated into German!) It fits on two sides of an 8.5" x 11" page, and comes with a set of event cards.
This was inspired by an excellent game he ran at the 2019 Huzzah! convention in Portland, Maine, which I was fortunate enough to play in. (All credit and thanks to Ross for this!)
Russian grenadiers, Austrians, and Brandenbergers against the French - what's not to like? (Prince August castings from my collection.)
I will update this page on a periodic basis, to include additional material. (We have been running a few British home-service and Zenda-type scenarios of late, and I will perhaps do some reports on these.)
The Ladies' Temperance Union is not impressed with the local constabulary: "Do your job, men, or the ladies will do it for you!""