With less furniture and overall clutter in the house after the divorce, I've had the opportunity to play with the living spaces and try out new configurations. It makes it easier to steam clean the carpet, and it also afforded the chance yesterday to dust off (quite literally) my embarrassingly extensive toy soldier collection. I had the whole thing out on the dining room floor while I shifted bookcases around, and figured this was as good a time as any to give you a good look before they go back on the shelves.
I started collecting 54mm matte finished metal toy soldiers from the American Civil War period back in the late 1990s. My historic interests and discretionary income, such as it is, are now directed elsewhere, and while there are a few things I would have liked to have added to what I have amassed, I no longer feel compelled to do so. I will never have the space to make the dioramas on the scale these deserve that I dreamed of as a boy, with my much less expensive toy soldiers, be they 1970s vintage Britains painted plastic or 15mm Airfix "model men". Heck, I am my own, life size toy soldier when I muster with the Jerseys with my Brown Bess and cocked hat.
There are half a dozen makers represented in this toy soldier army. The majority of them are from William Britian (1999-2001 and then again after the company was sold to First Gear with the current excellent line) or Conte Collectibles 2000-2004 before they became oversized and grotesque. There are a few from Old Northest Trading Company, and Troiani Historical Miniatures, both among the brilliant scultptor Ken Osen's ventures before he returned to Britains. Troiani is no longer in business, and neither is Forward March, nor is Soldier Gallery which made a few greatcoated Irishmen for Fredericksburgh, and from which an officer and drummer boy are part of my collection. There is also a union 1st sgt of cavalry and a firing line of Brooklyn chasseurs from Colletor's Showcase. and a Russian made color bearer from Kentucky's "Orphan Brigade". Lately, though, I have been strictly interested in Britains, and added a Union field hospital to the leadpile last year.