19th Century

This page show toy soldiers covering the British Colonial period, the various continental European wars and all those little wars in far flung places that were constantly flaring up throughout the 19th century (and perhaps a little after).


In 1877 Russia and Turkey went to war for the fifth time in the nineteenth century! Both sides were commonly portrayed in solid lead toy soldiers by contemporary German manufacturers such as HEYDE and it was seeing pictures of these that encouraged me to make my own. The infantry are converted from BMC American Civil War toy soldier with metal heads, the officer is by ACCURATE, again with a metal head. The flag is made from paper stiffened with wood glue.




More BMC toy soldier ACW converted to Russians, in fact, at this time the Russian army wore a kepi rather than the later field cap so no change of head is really necessary, just a repaint. So why did I go to the bother of changing the heads? well it makes them look more Russian, all those lovely old HEYDE solids had them in field caps and it allows me to use them in other scenarios.




The war of 1877 was particularly brutal and hard fought, the Russians advancing through the Balkans met well prepared and heavily fortified Turkish defences. Three battles were fought at Plevna which was then besieged, both sides building redoubts and entrenchments stiffened with artillery, as shown here.





The Turkish artillery reply, again converted from BMC toy soldier ACW with metal heads. The uniforms here are more like that of the Egyptian troops in the Turkish army but thats how HEYDE portrayed them so it's good enough for me.






Second left is Lieutenant-general Valentine Baker who joined the Turkish army and fought in the 1877 campaign after being forced to resign from the British army due to a conviction for indecent assaut. Converted from an ACW officer by MARKSMAN toy soldier of the UK with a metal head




The Turkish infatry advance to the attack. More conversions from BMC toy soldier ACW with metal heads, the flag made from paper stiffened with wood glue.






The first figure is a hollow cast Zouave or possibly a Senegalise Tirailleur, maker unknown,probably French. The 25mm askari from the Italian/Abyssinian war of 1936 is solid lead and was made in South Africa by SAE (Swedish African Engineers). The two boxers are also solid lead, manufactured in Eire by AUTHENTICAST.

The askari and the boxers were all sculpted by a swedish designer called Holger Ericsson who also produced his own range of connosieur collectors models. Ericsson figures have a very distinctive style as the wax masters are carved giving the finished product a chiselled look.




The askari from the Italian/Abyssinian war is most likely Italian made but the maker is unknown. The Cossack officer was made in France by BEFFOID. Next is a Spanish Foreign Legionaire and finally a Morocan Goumier (made in France, manufacturer unknown)







Zouaves and Tiraileurs cast in solid lead by AUTHENTICAST.








A classic toy soldier, the lancer officer turned in his sadle by BRITAINS, made in hollowcast metal the pose has been often copied but never bettered.





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