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'A gaping silken dragon,/Puffed by the wind, suffices us for God./We, not the City, are the Empire's soul:/A rotten tree lives only in its rind.'

Friday, 22 March 2013

100% Toy...

... Scouts. Every now and then I am seized by classic Toy Soldier mania, usually in 54mm, but occasionally in 42mm. This year, as you will know, is the 100th anniversary of H G Wells' Little Wars. I'm rather in two minds about Wells. He was clearly a cad, believed in world government, 'scientific' politics, the way of the Samurai applied to said politics (all that was very popular among the middle class Left of pre-Great War Britain), and many of his later novels needed a good editor. So far, so bad. But, he did write Little Wars, he does appear to have been rather a fun pater, he was friends with Jerome K. Jerome (a fine fellow, and Three Men in Boat is still a laugh out loud book), and he sported a moustache. So it's probably 65/35 bad/good. As a result of the 'Funny Little Wars' revival (TM, the Padre), I painted up a few regiments of Army Black last year, infantry and Uhlans (anyone remember 'The Uhlans are coming!' on the front of The Victor comic, some time in the late 1960s??), and intended to round up various unpainted toy soldier types and draft them into Army Black. Well, I haven't, but surveying that stalled project yesterday, I did dig out some 54mm chaps who have been waiting for paint for so long that I can't even remember where I got them from (Soldier Pac??). So, after a nice, simple, straightforward toy soldier painting session, I have:


Toy Scouts ... wearing the uniform that they were famous for over decades, until that cheap, nasty decade of mad egotism - the 1960s - saw the end of the Wideawake hat and khaki; although when I moved up to the Scouts in 1971, the oldest boys still wore that kit.


These fine youths (from Owl patrol) would go well with a FLW army (though clearly not Army Black), acting as messengers and guides.  Just, in fact, as they did for the British Home Guard in the Second World War:


The photo above is from my history of the Home Guard - a very reasonably priced volume, elegantly and clearly written, and, although I say so myself, the new standard history of the force. On that big headed note, I'll sign off, and return to my PSC universal carriers.

10 comments:

  1. I agree with your assessment of Wells, he was certainly a man like Shaw who Chesterton maintained had his heart "in the wrong place."

    Your scouts look rather good by the way.

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    1. I agree with you on Shaw, too, old chap. An odd bunch those Fabians (although, of course, Wells' ego was too big to even let him find a home there. Mind you, the rest of the buggers probably thought Wells 'common'). The worst of the lot were Mr and Mrs Statistics - the Webbs. Dry, stick like, Stalinists. Interestingly, their great legacy - the LSE - has gone the way of all Left wing flesh - i.e., over to gobal capitalism, with added Qaddafi.

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  2. I enjoyed your post.I read War of the Worlds for O grade ,enjoyed it then and enjoy it still. I also love the film of the time machine .As a boy I was transfixed by the scenes of travelling through time and the shop window changing...
    I too agree with you re Wells. Give me GKC or even Belloc anytime.
    Your scouts look great.What about some toy soldier Home Guardsmen to go with them?I'm sure you could buy a few for a reasonable price.
    I went to cubs for a time but didn't like it so never was a Scout.I guess the gap was filled for me by the army section of the CCF.
    My daughters went through Rainbows,Brownies and one to Guides.They had a splendid time.
    Winds howling round Tradgardland this morning and snow flurries too!!!

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    1. War of the Worlds for 'O' grade - you lucky fellow! I had Great Expectations and something else fat and heavy that I can't even recall now (!). Wasn't there a rather ok 1950s film (with Kenneth More?) of WotW ? I remember the shop scene was done rather well.
      I've just take delivery of a reasonably recent book on Chesterton - 'Chesterton & the Romance of Orthodoxy', by William Oddie (OUP, Oxford, 2008). I'm hoping it might be good.
      I was an uber Cub Scout, but, sadly, the Scouts were very badly run, so my 11 year old's dream of being a Queen's Scout died. I wasn't a great CCF (Army) cadet and only did two years (awful ill health... still have that, at least!).
      Actually, I do have 54mm Home Guard - Johillco ones - somewhere. I will seek 'em out.

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  3. Spencer Smith now do a Boy Scout straight from the book 'Little Wars' but in 40mm I'm afraid.

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    1. Mmmm. Another size.... Well, why not?

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  4. Excellent scouts. Useful as Clarence Chugwater in The Scoop by Wodehouse.

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    1. Now, that's a fellow I'm unfamiliar with, but your mention of Wodehouse led me to buy a copy of 'Leave it to Psmith' today.

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    2. The Scoop is well worth reading, an fictitious invasion of Blighty by all the foreign superpowers is deflected by a Scout patrol.

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  5. Glad they finally earned their paint, fine looking fellows. I liked the Montana Hats but we had green shirts and blue shorts with berets so looked more contemporary military.

    I believe Dorset has 54mm boy scouts, I;m eyeing the Spencer Smith 42mm ones (I was going to abbreviate to SS Boy Scouts but that just sounded wrong)

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