I had a great time at the East Coast Toy Soldier Show today in Hackensack, NJ. It had been over 10 years since the last time I had gone, something always came up. It had a nice balance of vintage & new plastic and painted metal figures. There were also playsets, Hess trucks and some other vintage toys. Plus some historical weapons and reenactors. It looked busy with people coming and going, plenty of vendors too. I spent almost 4 hours looking around and talking to dealers and collectors. I saw Mr. Stad from Stad’s Stuff, a really nice guy, also from Pennsylvania. Some of dealers I talked to were from Minutemen Toys Soldiers, Treefrog Treasures, Hobby Bunker, W. Britain and a bunch of other dealers. Plus Mike Russo was there, I got most of my Conte figures from him. I also talked to Patrick Falci, the actor who played A.P. Hill in “Gettysburg”film. I found some more Conte Vikings and Normans, most from sets number 1 and 2. I glad to find the Viking swinging the axe over his head and the little kid with the dagger. I was missing those figures from my collection. I spent about $1.00 for each Conte figure, not bad these days. I also picked up my W Britain Saxon figures from George at Minutemen Toy Soldiers. He spends a lot of time displaying the toy soldiers at the shows and does a great job. A great guy to deal with too, keeps you up to date with items that you are interested in and contacts you when he has them or finds something that you have been looking for. I even found some Playmobil at the toy soldier show!!!! A few old medieval figures and incomplete green medieval cottage, paid $21 for that.
Me and Patrick Falci
Some pictures of the layout of the show.
Here are the Playmobil items that I picked up.
Some BMC cannons and mortars for a $1.50.
I joined the W. Britain Collectors Club and this was my first figure.
50068C – WWII / German Fallschirmjager with G-43, Winter 1944-45
Finally got the Conte Viking swinging the axe over his head and the little boy with the dagger.
Here is the hoard of Conte Vikings and Normans that I got, most of these are the poses from sets #1.
Here is the displays by Minutemen Toy Soldiers
Some more pictures from the show.
Another group of pictures.
If you want to read more about the show you can read this article from the NorthJersey.com
The East Coast Toy Soldier Show is almost here, next Sunday October 30th 2016. It is a great show with plenty of vendors for anybody near the NJ-NY area. Check out the link below for more information. I will update this page with some pictures after the show.
Hi again everyone, I am making this post about the Medieval Toy Soldier dioramas that I am working on. I wanted to make this post to help other people out that might be thinking about do the same thing. I am new to dioramas with toy soldiers, I have done things in the past with Playmobil. Working with Playmobil is a little easier. Anyway let me show different things you can get to build up an Medieval world. First there are a few different companies out there that have made plastic medieval figures over the years and I could spent hours just posting pictures and talking about this. But I am only going to talk about what I think are the best figures out there right now that will go with the new W. Britain, First Legion and the older Conte painted metal figures. In the future I post more about each group that I am using, and today I will give a brief outline.
The first question that I see collectors talk about is Scale!!!! Are these bigger than those??? This can be a little tricky at times, some times you will have a figure that is bigger for some reason that the rest of the line is about the same. Anyway, for the most part the painted metal figures from Conte, W. Britain and First Legion look nice together. First Legion detail is the best in my option, that said it would be a personal choice to included these figures with and other brands.
As for the plastic figures, Conte I think made some of the best Vikings, Saxons and Normans ever made. Barzso has some nice sculpts too with the Merry Men and Sheriff’s Men. Also I like the old Dulcop figures, I am going to get more of these and most likely convert them. But they fit in nicely with the other plastic figures that I am going to use. I also got lucky the other day of eBay, I picked up some TSSD barbarians that included a Conte Viking that I had missing from my collection. It was the guy swinging an axe over his head. The TSSD figures are large in my option, but I will add a few of these as Vikings or Saxons. I will not get any more of these for this project, most of them don’t really fit and I will have to convert some to make them fit. But an extra pose might make it worth it. And Lastly are the Russian made Pvblivs figures, they are expensive. But they look really nice, so I might be tempted to get some more if they make any new figures in the future.
Talking about cost, everything these days is expensive!!!!! From unpainted plastic to painted metal figures. If your lucky you can get a set of 14 to 16 Conte Viking or Norman plastic figures on eBay for around $15.00. If you want Conte Saxons, you would be lucky first to find any and I don’t want to even tell you about the cost. The later sets of Conte Vikings and Normans are expensive too. I was lucky enough to pick up a collection Conte Saxons, Vikings and Normans for a fair price. I wish I would have picked these up years ago. Barzso figures are also hard to find and can be expensive too. I like Barzso figures, but some of the Merry Men are a little bulky. I have a few of the Barzso Norman figures. I will try to convert the Barzso figures that I have, maybe add different weapons, shields and helmets to them.
Talking about Barzso, I think the archers that are in the Merry Men set are excellent. They fit in nicely with the Conte figures. Also the Dulcop archer is nice, you just have to twist the head so he is looking at what he is shooting at!!!!!
Talking about changing or converting figures, that’s one thing that I will be working on in the future. Once you have a 2 or 3 figures, depending on the poses there is so much that you can do to make them look different with a painting scheme. So what I will “try” to do next is add some small details to figures. Maybe using some putty to make a beard, add a shield, change the direction of the arms or by adding some other things. The bigger conversions will be cutting up figures to make new poses, or cutting off weapons to have them using a different weapons, or replacing heads or add a different arm. So much to do!!!!!
Now that you have seen some painted metal figures and plastic figures together you can see the difference in scale and detail. In a few weeks, I should have most of these figures that I started painting a few weeks ago finished. I will then post some pictures showing my finished work compared against painted metal figures that were done from the companies. I think they will look good enough to blend in with the Conte and W. Britain figures. The First Legion figures will be tough, they have excellent paint jobs and great details too.
So here are the last of the comparison pictures of different figures, I will add a few more pictures of stock groups now.
Here are the Conte Vikings, Normans and Saxons. I will list some sets, some of these sets could be different with poses when you find them, but for the most part this is what you will find. I will one day take pictures of the figures that I have and do a separate posts on Conte medieval plastic figures. So sorry in advance with some of these pictures and the amount of detail. Also some of same the Vikings, Saxons and Norman figures are used in different sets as either Vikings, Saxons or Normans. You can mix of some of the figures into different armies for more poses.
So here are most of the plastic figures done by Conte, they have to be the best plastic figures out there or one of the best. There are some other poses in rare sets or that came in playsets that Conte has done over the years. Hopefully one day they will be recast by Conte again, so they will be easier to find and cheaper. And if they ever are done again, by as many as you can get. They won’t last long in stock.
Barzso Saxons and Normans. I say this, because basically that what they were. The outlaws of Robin Hood, were mainly Saxons. And the Sheriff’s men were mainly Normans soldiers.
Here are the Russian made Pvblivs figures that you can get for about $50.00 a set. They are expensive, but they are sculpted really nice. The last two sets are the best in my option.
The last plastic figures that I will use, and will have to convert to use are Dulcop Robin Hood Merry Men and their Normans. They are ok, I like the archer figure. So I will find another set of these to convert with different heads. And will have to convert the others, like the Normans. They need new weapons and shields.
Ok, so what started as a simple post on talking about comparing different figures has grown into this. I will be posting some other articles over the next few months and next year about Viking Longships, my painted figures, and other playset items. The next few months and following year with be exciting for medieval collectors. Hopefully Conte will have new items and recast the older plastic figures, W. Britain talks about creating a Village. Will we see cottages, farmers, or who knows what?? I would like to see something that we can use to set up a village, the last one was by Conte. Too bad I missed that. Maybe somebody will make another Viking Longship? W. Britain and First Legion should be coming out with more figures next year. I think we shall see more Vikings, Saxons and Normans to add to our armies 🙂
I have to say this before I forget, but if you are not that good at painting and want some nice figures. Then W. Britain is the way to go, they have some great sculpted and painted metal figures that are priced fairly. Plus I think they are going to expand this range with scenic pieces. Also the new poses they are coming out this fall are really nice, they will make a scene pop out. Vikings and Saxons fought a lot in the Shieldwall formation and this is what I am going to try to do in one of the dioramas I am planning. The Britains have a bunch of figures in a shieldwall pose, plus do the Conte Saxons. I will try to do that in the future too, showing the different figures that I will use for this.
And lastly the First Legion Vikings, I wonder what else the will release next year.
So there it is, lol. Sorry that I kept rambling on. I thought I would never finish this post. So if you want just plastic, you can chose from the ones above. There are other brands out there, maybe you have one to add? Also most of the old Marx, Airfix and other brands are to small for me to include or too big for me to include. If you just want painted metal and don’t want to spend to much, go for the W. Britain figures and you can find some of the old Cone figures on eBay for a deal here and there. Thanks for reading and keep an eye out for future posts 🙂
Hi again, here is a new set that just came out from Xforce or Expeditionary Force. They continue their Zulu War line with some British Artillery, and they look great. The set contains 9 figures and 2 cannons. They are 54mm in size and the cannons are 9 pounders. They come in 2 different sets, one with plain helmets and the other with spiked helmets. The cost is around $35.00.
Last week I finally picked up some of the Russian made Publius Vikings. I got sets number 2 and 3. I missed out on the first set, because at the time I didn’t want to spend the money to get these. They cost about $50.00 for six figures, it is expensive. But then I started collecting different Viking figures after First Legion came out with the Viking Range. So I have been picking up First Legion Vikings, W. Britain Saxons, Conte Vikings, Saxons & Normans and Barzso Robin Hood Merry Men. Plus all kinds of other brands of medieval type figures. But more of this for future posts.
When I saw the Publius Viking Set #3 on eBay, I took the plunge and purchased that set and #2 set also. They are sculpted really good and go well with Conte, First Legion and W. Britain figures. I took a few pictures and found some stock pictures from around the net to post here. I will do another post either tomorrow or Saturday comparing the different figures that I am collecting and painting to show how well they go together. Thanks for reading 🙂
Publius Viking Set #2
Publius Viking Set # 3
Here are some different brands of Vikings figures together with Publius to show how the look together. I will do another post showing both plastic and metal Viking figures together.
Now that your waiting for the new Barzso Tower set to come out, I wanted to review some of their Medieval Stone Cottages from their Medieval Collection that came out over the past year. In one word, they are “Great”. They will fit with any Medieval scene that you want to do and could be used for other eras as well. I took a few pictures with some Barzso, Conte and Dulcop figures that are 54mm to 60mm in scale. I think the scales are the “Big” 54mm and more close to 60mm in scale. Anyway, they would look good with either scale. These cottages will help me with my latest project that I am working on. The larger cottage measures approximately 10 inches wide, 6 inches deep and 7 inches tall and goes for $39.99. The smaller cottage measures approximately 6 inches wide, 4 & 1/4 inches deep, and 5 inches tall and goes for $24.95. Ok, thanks for reading. They actually don’t look to bad with Playmobil too. I am going to touch up the doors and paint them brown.
Hi everybody, I like to thank everybody for taken their time and reading my blog. I am working on a few projects right now and hope to finish most by the end of the year. Most of them a with painting figures, customizing some figures and some ships, plus making different items like houses or other simple items. Most of this will be for the Toy Soldiers, but I still have some plans with working with the Playmobil too. Every thing I do, has to do with some interest that I have with History. The main project that I am planing is a diorama of a Viking Raid on a Saxon village. I have a 2 ships that I am customizing or touching up, gathering up figures that I am painting now, then customizing figures, and lastly building up a base to put everything together. I going to be a long term project. I hopefully finish most of the painting of figures and the ships by the end of the year. Ok, Thanks for reading.