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