Thursday, October 30, 2008

The Upper Tiber Valley, Umbria, in the Great War

"The Upper Tiber Valley, Umbria, in the Great War", the First World War, 1914-1918. An exhibition which opens in a few days time in Citta' di Castello, to commemorate the 90th anniversary of the ending of this conflict, "The War to End all Wars", November 11th, at 11am 1918, and will be transferred later to San Sepulcro, the Tuscan town at the head of the valley near where the Tiber starts.

In the First War the Italians were on the side of the Allies, fighting desperately to throw off the domination of the Austrians, The Oest Reich, The Eastern Empire, and every small town and village lost brothers, fathers, sons and lovers in this conflict, many of whom are commemorated on memorials in the area.

This display is a unique opportunity to view a collection of local personal records of these times, uniforms, weapons, books, magazines, soldiers and momentos assembled from private sources in the area.

Never mind the chocolate festivals, the spaghetti and wild boar sauces, the wines and the beauty of the countryside, this is the real and deeply moving account of our valley, at war.

Monday, October 20, 2008

Minifigs S Range

Thanks for posting the information about the Hinton Hunter and The Old Metal Detector blogs on your blog. I have now added a third for Minifigs S Range which is at

Clive Smithers

Sunday, October 05, 2008

............a few more paper soldiers

Austrian Dragoons of the Grand Duke of Tuscany by Verbania

France - 5th Light Infantry Regiment by Verbania

France - Military Convoy WW1 by Epinal

Greece - Infantry WW1 by Epinal

Italy - Bersaglieri WW1 by Epinal

Montenegro - Infantry WW1 by Epinal

Friday, October 03, 2008

Walkerloo Toy Soldiers

Hi John,

Don't know whether you've yet heard or seen anything of my new 'Walkerloo' die cut card toy soldiers. I'd been developing them for several years and finally launched them at the re-enactment of Waterloo last June and then a week later at the London toy soldier show and I've just returned from Chicago where I spent a rather hectic weekend showing and promoting my collection to American enthusiasts.

I've only recently got my web site going showing pictures of the full collection here ... 2D paper based soldiers are some what of an oddity these days although I decided with the right production quality and expressive illustrations I could pull it off. So far so good. My soldiers are going on sale in all the related military museums in France and England and I'm now beginning to have success with some of the more exclusive toy shops, I hope others will follow these trend setters. Unlike most toys today my soldiers are made in France (the printing, gluing and die cutting) and England (the plastic stands) they also boast a composition which is 80% re-cycled. Toy soldiers have practically vanished from main stream toy stores yet I think they remain a great way to foster children's interest in history... especially if they're colourful and exciting as I hope mine are.

Thus far I've produced 10 different regiments, 5 French, 5 British all present at Waterloo, two each cavalry and infantry and one each artillery with generals and their staff. You'll see my illustrations do mess with figure proportion a little which is often not to the taste of older enthusiasts but they're not my primary market... I've made my soldiers for children to play with and the proportions I've used mirror those of children and of course the history of popular narrative art often uses this caricature device examples range from Gothic cathedral carvings to Walt Disney.

Kind regards,


Christopher Walker