Thursday, August 28, 2008

Purchasing of lead mouldings

Dear Sir,

I was interested in purchasing some mouldings to make lead soldiers.

...............try "moulds" rather than "mouldings", and try "Prince August" a company in Eire who specialise in home casting, lead-soldier kits.

Best wishes............John Tunstill

When I was younger my father melted down some lead for my brother who had some mouldings and cast them into various soldiers. As the years went by I have not seen these mouldings anywhere and therefore I wish to pick your brains so to speak.

As I acquire small amounts of lead through working in the building trade I though it may be possible to still purchase the mouldings and still cast and paint these fine items.

I cannot see reference to any mouldings on any web site and although lead is an expensive metal it would be a shame to hold onto off cuts of lead just for some scrap value rather than to create some interesting items for future family to enjoy.

I hope to hear from you in the near future.

Kindest Regards

Mr S.Oakman

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Miniature Warfare

Hi John.

I will pick up some Euro's on Monday....for Miniature Warfare.

Looking at the cover of volume 1 No 12. I can now tell that the lovely 7 years war figs have been converted (very nicely) from Airfix WW1 Brits and ACW Cavalry!!!

I havent seen Joe Dever (Lone Wolf) in years. He did some work with Games Workshop, on a couple of books and some articles for White Dwarf magazine. If you find youself in contact with him again please send him my regards..

As far as blame is concerned....for getting me into the business I should also blame you...along with Donald Featherstone, Blandfords Military Uniforms of the World, the T.V. series Callan and my English teacher (for reading me the Hobbit)!!!!!

I too make my living from Toy Soldiers and Wargaming...

A 'Senior' Designer at Games Workshop...!!

And I thank you all....

All the best Aly..

Monday, August 25, 2008

Hinchliffe, Benassi, Stadden model soldiers

Hello and thanks for the swift reply.

I appreciate your help on this; I am sure it is tedious helping a rookie, but I don't really want to start collecting. The wife says no more hobbies. (I referee football, perform in community theatre shows and am active with the Masons; as a result, I am never home).

.......................give them all up and collect soldiers. Then you'd be
home more often

Here are more details which may help:

All do appear to be metal; they clunk when tapped. They are reasonably heavy for their size.

.............therefore probably lead or lead alloy

One unpainted one with rifle held upside-down over shoulder has Coldstream Guards' name and star inside shield emblem in the base; another appears to be a US Miniteman wearing a tricorn hat, and has an American-eagle-like crest on the base, which is hollow and attached to the feet. Both have Made in England stamped inside the base. The Miniteman appears to have some sort of markings inside the base, rather like a silver hallmark. Both have an incribed signature which appears to be Chas. L. Staldon, or something similar in flowery lettering on the top of the base., there's a clue you didn't tell me about! It's like
pulling teeth! OK Charlie Stadden worked for me when I was the General
Manager for the firm Tradition. Maybe you should read the text of the World
of Model soldiers on my site. He went independent and produced his own
figures, which probably are the ones you own. How about their height? How
about a photograph?

The third unpainted one is a bugler and is the only foot soldier who looks as if the feet may detach from the small, flat base (I have not tried it).

A couple of the painted ones appear to have wooden bases, but the bodies are all metal.

There is an inscription on the removable base of the horse. It has a crown and the raised lettering J. Benassi with a hallmark-like emblem underneath that looks like rugby goalposts and a triangle coming down from the crossbar and circle between the uprights as if J. Wilkinson has just booted one thru.

............This man was another figure maker, Julian as I recall, but after
my time I believe. But the mark sounds similar to one used by Frank
Hinchliffe in the 1970's, when he too used to work for me at Tradition.

Underneath this appears scratched 75 J.B.C. 1 and a copyright sign.

................. 75mm? Julian Benassi, But of course without a height it's
only a guess, and he's written up in The World of
.......................which you haven't yet looked at.

Does any of this mean anything to you? Is there another contact of yours who would be interested in following up?

.............I'll blog this letter and see if anyone turns up. Obviously you
haven't bothered to do a Google search on these two names.

Thanks again for all your help!

..........Best wishes



Sunday, August 24, 2008

Model soldiers inherited - a question

Dear John Tunstill

I read your bio. on your web site and knew if anyone could help me it must be you. You have led what sounds like a fascinating life, to say the least.


Here's my story. I am an ex-pat Briton living in America and have inherited a half-dozen or so metal soldiers from my favourite uncle who was a history buff (a great bloke - he won Bisley and fought with the Gurkhas).

...........Sounds an interesting bloke

They are about 4 inches tall. Two are unpainted; the rest have been painted - it looks very carefully. They look like Napoleonic era (except for one Indian lancer) and indeed Uncle Ollie left a Waterloo uniforms book with them. My Mum says he would have gone out of his way to be authentic as that's the way he was.

.............Photos? Marks on the underside of the bases?

So what to do with them?

...........Keep them and start a collection

Are there good places to sell them?


Do collectors still like them?

............You must have looked on the web and seen hundreds of sites. So

Are they lead (I know that might be a problem).

............Are they heavy, are they plastic, do they ding if tapped with a
metal object.......if so perhaps an alloy or maybe even
mazak/alluminium/tin/pewter, ...........or clunk........lead

I welcome your thoughts.

..............& I your answers

.........Best wishes

John Tunstill

Patrick Webb
Long Beach, Washington USA

Thursday, August 21, 2008


Surprise visit yesterday by Alejandro Borel, his two sisters, and all their family to the soldier collection at La Preghiera. (

Alejandro was an old customer of mine at the Soldier Shop in Kennington Road, south east London. Not that he is old now, but that then he was very young, if you get my meaning.
However, Alejandro is now the director of a wonderful soldier museum in Valencia in Spain, and whilst my offerings are just a collection, his are a serious museum, housed in a magnificent building in the heart of one of the more beautiful cities in Spain. The website is, and if you haven’t already looked at it you really must, a joy to the eye, and fuel to the soul of any serious lead-soldier collector.

I’ve been away for the last few days scrabbling around Etruscan ruins and remains in nearby Tuscany ( Etruscan). These early settlers in Italy came from the near east, probably Turkey, and colonised the central, western and northern parts of Italy some 500 years before the Romans were thought of. Splendid, interesting, cultured and gentle people, overwhelmed by the SPQR and, for amost 1500 years given a bad press by succeeding historians, both Roman and Christian.

Last week we had another famous soldier collector staying with us, Joe Dever, who is the author of the hugely popular Lone Wolf series of fantasy, game, role-playing, dungeons and dragons books. Joe was the guest of honour at the Italian Lone Wolf Convention held at Lucca, northern Tuscany. He blames me for his success, because as a youngster he also used to visit my shop in Lambeth. Joe is now part of the Waterloo re-enactment group who are organising a huge Battle of Waterloo in time for the 200th anniversary. Joe is also creating a vast 25mm army in order to recreate the Battle of Borodino, with dozens of adjoining tables and 50 players!!! My goodness, what, in my innocence did I create? Move over Doctor Frankenstein!

Do any of you have news of forthcoming events, or items of interest, that you wish to publicise? Let me know, because there is always room on this site for all of you.

John Tunstill