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My object in writing this book was not to turn through the pages of model soldier history in an attempt to re-define and re-examine the figures that have been made during the last two hundred years; nor was it to wet the appetite of the collector with details of rare figures.

These aspects of the subject are more than adequately covered in a large number of excellent books Although I have briefly described the early figures and their manufacturers to remind the aficionado of what was available and what may be found in shops and sale rooms, my main purpose has been to explain to the collector what was being produced in 1979.

Large numbers of the figures then currently available were made of plastic - a substance that tends to be reserved for children's toys and, however well produced, it is almost impossible to resell such items either second hand or through the sale rooms.

Metal is still the medium of the 'adult' model soldier and because it has an intrinsic resale value I have concentrated on such figures. Manufacturers come and go, ranges disappear and are replaced with new lines so rapidly that it was impossible to be completely up-to-date and include all sources.

John Tunstill Lambeth, London, Spring 1979


It is impossible to write a book such as this without the help of many other books on model and toy soldiers - my thanks go to all their authors.

Also to the makers, past and present, and to my employees and customers, who every day made me realise how fortunate I was to live in my own private world of model soldiers.

In particular, I am grateful to the following people, listed alphabetically, who have taught and encouraged me some twenty-five years ago. Should I have made any errors my late friends share none of the responsibility.

Roy Belmont-Maitland for my apprenticeship with his firm, Tradition
Bill Carman for advice and help
Alan Clayton for his kindness and for encouraging me to collect model soldiers
Bryan and Don Fosten for help on matters of uniform and costume
Julian Franklyn for teaching me heraldry
Jim Johnston for advice on casting and moulding techniques
David Nash for playing early war games
Len Richards for advice and information on early toy soldiers
Elizabeth Talbot-Rice for editorial advice and information on the British Army
Lilliane Tunstill for encouragement, typing, and love