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Monday, July 13, 2020

Unknown makers of composition soldiers: Leyla

In 1936, Christian Friedrich Ley established LEYLA company in Roth (Bavaria) to start production of composition soldiers. However, this company had much broader diversified assortment of composition figures than the other companies. LEYLA was also known as a supplier of mass figures for the manufacturers of tin toys and the Schwarzwälder watch industry as well as for the Rother Christmas tree decoration company Riffelmacher & Weinberger . In 1948, LEYLA was also present on the market of toy soldiers with wild west, railway and animal figures, but ended the mass figure production at the end of the 50s because of the invasion of plastic soldiers.

German Mountain Troops (Gebirgsjäger) - Secret mission (Part 2)

Gebirgsjäger soldiers on secret mission (Elastolin 30s).

Thursday, July 9, 2020

Wednesday, July 8, 2020

Yossi Lemel anti-war posters (2005)

Yossi Lemel was born in 1957 in Jerusalem Israel. He graduated from the Bezalel Academy of Arts and Design in Jerusalem, where he later became a professor. He has had 18 solo exhibitions and has acted as a jury member in numerous biennials around the world, including Moscow, Paris, Venice and Mexico City.

Tuesday, July 7, 2020

Belgian RAF pilots

Between June 1 1940 and May 8 1945, 521 Belgian officers served as pilot or navigator in the Royal Air Force (RAF) and 128 were killed. Overall, 1,200 Belgians served in the RAF during the course of the Second World War. Many were also trained in the South African Air Force SAAF, and consequently took part in the operations in Africa. These composition pilots were produced by Belgian toy soldier companies : NB, Durso and Solido in 40s/50s. The soldier with a radio station was produced by Leyla for the Arnold Jeep.

Monday, July 6, 2020

Gendarmerie askari (Scale 7 cm)

The gendarmerie askari made by an unknown maker...

Sunday, July 5, 2020

Unknown makers of composition soldiers: Schusso

Georg Schuster's company "Schusso" started producing composition soldiers in 1931. Initially, the manufacturing process was similar to the processes implemented by Leyla and Froha - the oven-dried compacts were deburred and painted at home. In 1937, however, G. Schuster acquired the rights to a special manufacturing process that was practical became the forerunner of today's injection molding process. The manufactured thereby pellets had to be air dried. The rapidly expanding company was completely off track by the war thrown: Schuster was drafted into military service in 1939. In 1943, the company premises were confiscated for the war efforts. Georg Schuster died in Soviet captivity in 1945.

Wednesday, July 1, 2020

French World War 1 postcard: Il font dodo je veille

The French World War 1 postcard : il fon dodo je veille (they sleep I watch)...

Tuesday, June 30, 2020

The first Russian rocket-equipped submarine

In 1834 the Russian Army General Karl Andreevich Shilder (1785 - 1854) demonstrated the first rocket-equipped submarine to Emperor Nicholas I. This scale model of the Shilder's submarine (1834/1838) is demonstrated at Contemporary History Museum (former the Revolution museum) in Moscow.

Sunday, June 28, 2020

Unknown makers of composition soldiers: Armee

In 1938, Albert Heid established Armee company in Roth (Bavaria). Armee was one of the German makers of composition soldiers (base stamp: ARMEE). The Armee composition mass was made from wood flour, glue, kaolin and dextrin. The mass was heated to 60 ° C, air dried, deburred and painted by hand (partly in the Roth prison). Armee stopped producing toys in 1943 and after the war converted to mass baby dolls and chicken farm figures. The Armee toy production came to the end in 1953. Armee composition soldiers are comparatively rare. I have these two German infantrymen ...


Saturday, June 27, 2020

Gallic Wars

The Gallic Wars were a series of military campaigns waged by the Roman proconsul Julius Caesar against several Gallic tribes. Rome's war against the Gallic tribes lasted from 58 BC to 50 BC and culminated in the decisive Battle of Alesia in 52 BC, in which a complete Roman victory resulted in the expansion of the Roman Republic over the whole of Gaul (mainly present-day France and Belgium). While militarily just as strong as the Romans, the Gallic tribes' internal divisions helped ease victory for Caesar, and Vercingetorix's attempt to unite the Gauls against Roman invasion came too late. (Plastic toy soldiers made by Biplant).

Friday, June 26, 2020

Unknown makers of composition soldiers: Strola

Strola was one of the first companies founded was Strobel & Lades in Roth (Bavaria) in 1910.The company produced mass figures of farmers and menageries. Strola was taken over by August Schlemmer in 1920. Mass soldiers were in the company product range as well (6.5 and 7 cm). In 1935 the business filed for bankruptcy.I have two Strola figures : one Wehrmacht cavalryman and the Prussian flag-bearer. Do you have any Strola soldiers in your collection ?

Wednesday, June 24, 2020

Unknown makers of composition soldiers: Papelin

Roth was considered the most industrialized small town in Bavaria. There were around seven companies manufacturing composition soldiers (Massefiguren) in Roth and the surrounding area. These firms started production of composition soldiers from the early 20th century until the early 1960s. The oldest factory was founded in 1910, the youngest in 1935. The history of these companies shows striking similarities in terms of their business history, product range and political influences. The Papelin company, founded in 1932, belonged to the brothers Adam and Friedrich. Only composition soldiers were manufactured by this company, as well as other accessories for war toys from other manufacturers. The company used the mass prepared according to the conventional recipe used in the Roth area. The deburring of the pellets with soldiers were also done at home. Both brothers died during the war, Friedrich in 1941 and Adam in 1944. The company had to go out of business after the German economy was put on a "total war" footing in 1943.

Tuesday, June 23, 2020

Lineol Irish Army figures ?

There always have been a dispute among collectors about whether Lineol Irish figures have existed or not. Some Lineol soldier collectors are sure that Lineol produced Irish Army soldiers in 30s because of the Irish army helmets similarity to the German Stahlhelms. In reality, Irish Defence Forces decided to choose the German helmet used in the First World War, and in November 1926 the Irish government approached the German consulate requesting a modern sample. The German Foreign Office’s reply, dated 30 December 1926, advised that the export of steel helmets was prohibited under the terms laid down by the Versailles Treaty, and for that reason they were unable to comply. So the Irish Free State had to look elsewhere: an order for 5,000 helmets was placed with Vickers & Co. Ltd, London, and the design was to be based on the German pattern worn during the Great War. The helmet produced was similar to the German one except that the sides were more gently sloped and it was painted a dark shade of green. The most relevant features were the two small brackets affixed to the front to hold an officer’s pattern cap badge painted black and worn by all ranks when the occasion required. On the inside rim of the centre of the rear was a die-stamped inscription ‘V Ltd.’ with a serial number. The interior fittings were completed in Dublin and were stamped ‘T. Smith & Son, Dublin, 1927’.      
On the photos below you can see Lineol figures that are considered by some collectors as figures representing the Irish Army. It might be true. Lineol tried to extend its product range of "foreign" armies through simple painting of 
German army figures in different foreign uniform colors. This production approach worked for foreign armies wearing German Stahlhelms in 30s and 40s (i.e. Hungary, Bulgaria, Sweden).