Inspired by a conversation with fellow designer Marc Copplestone and a re-reading of The Great War in England in 1897 by William Le Queux, after three years in the making I present to you a new range from Shiny Toy Soldiers, LITTLE BRITONS.
So called because they are little (42mm) and mostly British Home Service types, they are, of course, also an homage to those big ‘Britain’s’ hollow cast toy soldiers from the beginning of the 20th century and made famous in H G Wells’s book Little Wars, celebrating its centenary next year (2013).
So what do we have?
As I have said, mostly classic British Home Service types, English, Highland and Lowland dress plus some Foreign Service and Indian Army troops. Also a few European styles that will allow one to make French, Russian or Prussian troops, if not more.
The miniatures follow the same basic format as the existing Shiny Toy Soldier range being a torso with a choice of head and arm or arms where appropriate. I have, though, decided to make the cavalry horse and riders as one piece (with a choice of arm and head plus a Holstered Carbine and Sword in Scabbard ) in a more ‘Britain’s’ style.
All the fittings on the LITTLE BRITONS range are the same as those on the rest of the Shiny Toy Soldiers range (2.5 mm), so as well as pitting the British Home Army against the Franco-Russian hordes (The Great war in England) and fighting battles between the Red Army and the Blue Army (Little Wars) you could use your imagination and expand your imagi-nations.
Within the HEADS section I have included head types that will allow you to create a number of the experimental uniforms trialled by the French Army during the early years of the 20th century.
The ‘Detaille’ uniform.
The Detaille uniform was designed by the renowned painter Edouard Detaille.
A formal style kepi was proposed in the classic red and blue but with a black leather top made to stop water gathering on it in the rain. This was to be worn with a blue grey overcoat and red trousers with dark blue leggings. Equipment was to be black leather or khaki drill canvas ‘Mills’ pattern. The most unusual aspect of this uniform was the black leather ‘Bourguignotte’ helmet which had a brass crest chin scales and edging on the front and rear peak.
Although the uniform itself was practical enough, the helmet proved uncomfortable and impractical in use.
The ’Reseda’ uniform.
The Reseda trial uniform was of a grey-green material not unlike the German Field-Grey uniform made famous at the start of the Great War. Emphasis was made on the tunic as the main item of wear rather than the more traditional overcoat.
The tunics had red cuff flaps and for dress wear red epaulettes. The trousers had a red stripe on the seam and puttees were to be worn in the field.
The helmet, looking very similar to the later Adrian helmet, was also covered in grey-green material with red piping. It also sported a bronze crest and chin scales.
To add to this rather none-French look it was also decided that the equipment should be natural tan leather.
Needless to say this rather innovative uniform was unpopular with both politicians and the public, even the addition of red trousers and red epaulettes on the greatcoat failed to make it French enough and it was rejected.
The 1906 trial uniform.
The 1906 trial uniform had an overcoat, puttees and trousers made of beige-blue cloth with a Spanish style kepi also made of the same coloured cloth. The colour is quite close to the Horizon Blue that was eventually chosen for the French army during the Great War. A helmet was also trialled, similar to the British Wolseley design. Sadly, this innovative design was set aside for various political reasons.
The 1902 Trial Artillery Helmet.
This helmet made of burnished steel with brass fittings had a relatively successful trial and was still in use by some units well into 1915.
BRITAIN AND COMMONWEALTH
The following bodies cover the most common types of uniform for the late Victorian/early Edwardian British and Commonwealth army.
The Home Service bodies can also be used for many other European and World armies.
The Highland bodies can be used for the London Scottish and a number of Commonwealth ‘Highland’ units as well as the more traditional Scottish regiments.
The Lowland bodies cover The Highland Light Infantry, The Royal Scots, The Royal Scot Fusiliers and The Cameronians-Scottish Rifles.
LBB01 Home Service Marching
LBB02 Home Service Firing
LBB03 Home Service Charging
LBB04 Home Service on Guard
LBB05 Home Service Running at the Trail
LBB06 Home Service at the Trail
LBB07 Home Service Full Kit
LBB08 Home Service Kneeling Firing
LBB09 Home Service Kneeling at the Ready
LBB10 Home Service Kneeling NCO/ Crew
LBB11 Foreign Service at the Trail
LBB12 Foreign Service Kneeling at the Ready
LBB13 Foreign Service Kneeling NCO/ Crew
LBB14 Highlander Marching
LBB15 Highlander Firing
LBB16 Highlander Charging
LBB17 Highlander Kneeling Firing
LBB18 Highlander Kneeling at the Ready
LBB19 Highlander Kneeling NCO/Crew
LBB20 Lowland Scots at the Trail
LBB21 Officer Home Service
LBB22 Officer Kneeling (requires both arms)
LBB23 Highland Officer
LBB24 Lowland Officer
LBB26 Indian Army
LBB28 Home Service Casualty
LBB29 Home Service Seated
LBB30 Boy Scout
These bodies cover the most common of the French uniform styles
LBB31 French Infantry
LBB32 French Zouave
LBB33 French Officer
These bodies cover those armies following the Russo-Prussian style of Jack boots and rolled greatcoat.
LBB34 Russian/Prussian Marching/At the Trail
LBB35 Russia/Prussian Charging
CAVALRY AND MOUNTED
The cavalry bodies are all dressed in tunic and cavalry boots thus allowing for the many variations of British, Commonwealth, European and World uniform types.
LBC01 Cavalry Trotting
LBC02 Cavalry Galloping
LBC03 Limber Horse
LBC04 Limber Horse Rider
BRITISH AND COMMONWEALTH
LBH02 Home Service
LBH03 Highland Bonnet
LBH04 Foreign Service
LBH05 Light Infantry Shako
LBH06 Rifle Regiment
LBH09 Household Cavalry
LBH12 Indian Army
LBH13 Service Dress Cap
LBH14 Ghurkha/Pill Box
LBH16 Broderick Cap
LBH17 Tam O Shanter
LBH18 Slouch Hat
LBH19 Sennit Straw Hat
LBH20 Generals Hat
LBH21 Lemon Squeezer
LBH22 Bare Head
These heads allow you to create the most common of French troop types plus a number of the more experimental uniforms from the turn of the 20th century.
LBH23 1912 Detaille Trial Helmet
LBH24 Cavalry Shako
LBH26 Formal Kepi
LBH27 1902 Trial Artillery Helmet
LBH28 1906 Trial Kepi
LBH29 1912 Reseda Trial Helmet
LBH30 1906 Trial Helmet
LBH31 Dragoon/Cuirassier Helmet
LBH34 German Full Dress Pickelhaube
Unless stated otherwise all are right arms
LBA01 Sword Thrusting
LBA02 Sword at Slope
LBA04 Rifle at the Trail
LBA05 Shouldered Rifle
LBA09 Map in left hand
LBA10 Slung Rifle
LBA13 Binoculars in both hands
LBA14 French, Shouldered Rifle
LBA15 French, Rifle at Trail
LBA16 Cavalry Carbine
LBA17 Lance, Slung
LBA18 Lance, Couched
LBA19 Lance, Upright
LBG01 4.7inch Howitzer
LBE01 Sword in Scabbard
LBE02 Holstered Carbine
Little Wars by H. G. Wells
The Great War in England 1897 by William Le Queux
The collector’s all colour guide to Toy Soldiers by Andrew Rose
British Infantry Uniforms since 1666 by Michael Barthorp
The Thin Red Line by D.S.V.&B.K.Fosten
Vanished Armies by A. E. Haswell Miller
The French Army in the First World War-to battle 1914 by Laurent Mirouze and Stephane Dekerle