Joan of Arc according
to the Foyatier's statue in Orléans

About one of my hobbies :


Model Soldiers,
Witnesses of History

 by Jean-Claude COLRAT

Through out the centuries, "model soldiers" were a part of world history. We find soldiers made of painted wooden or terracotta in the tombs of ancient Egyptian princes. Our European princes learned military strategy by using "model soldiers" made from silver, bronze or even gold. Napoleon's son, "L'Aiglon", had his owned collection of silver soldiers. Working class children played with model soldiers that were made out of wood, cut out paperboard or tin. Famous flat tin moulded soldiers of Nuremberg went from being considered only toys to objects prized by collectors. Owners and collectors now proudly showcase the toy soldiers of their childhood.

During the past decades, the hobby of painting model soldiers has grown by leaps and bounds. Model soldiers become objets-d'art and those who create and paint them are rightly called artists. The actual model soldiers represent (in the context of their time) actual historical figures in their correct uniforms and real costumes. They truly represent the history of the world down through the centuries.

Currently model soldiers are classified as either "flats" made out of tin, or "solids" made out of white metal, but also from plastic or synthetic resin. Their size is according to the height between the heel and the eyes of the figure standing at attention: 54 mm (about 1/30th), 70 mm, 90 mm, 110 mm, etc. They are sold either painted, or in parts ready to be assembled and painted. Some "artists" have made audacious conversions of their personalizes collection: changing a cuirassier of the Napoleonic period into Joan of Arc... I did it myself! (See above)

Click on vignette to see full plain screen and text (actually in French).
(For better visualization press the function F11 of your PC)