I’ve got a lot to do to get my Spanish Army back on schedule, but, to my surprise, I find I suddenly have a distraction I really didn’t expect. However, I’m pleased with it.
A couple of weeks ago there was a batch of unpainted, vintage Lamming French dragoons up for auction on eBay, and I put in a bid, though I most certainly have more than enough French dragoons. It wasn’t a very serious bid, and it quickly became obvious that someone wanted these more than I did, so I watched the price rise away past what I would have paid for them – I was calm and not troubled at all, but it got me thinking about Lamming figures.
Lamming are an enigma – the early figures are very pleasing, and right on the old “true 25mm” scale, but later much of the range was remodelled, bigger and often uglier. Normally I shy away from Lamming lots in auctions because you never know quite what you’re getting – I’ve called a few wrong, to my cost. Then, this week, there were some painted Lamming Scots Greys on eBay, and I liked the look of them – the photo showed that the listing also include some Miniature Figurines cavalry, and confirmed that the Lamming Greys were OK for size for my armies.
I decided what I thought they were worth, put in a moderate bid, and was very surprised to get an email telling me I had won them. They arrived within about 48 hours, nicely packed.
Now let’s be clear about this – I used to have a unit of Scots Greys. They were lovely, they were Phoenix Model Developments figures, I converted the officer and the trumpeter from PMD helmeted British Dragoons, and – apart from the standard, silly Les Higgins horses – they really were most attractive. Problem was that I had no wish to fight Waterloo, the Greys were no use at all for my Peninsular OOB, and – as part of my commitment to replacing my heavy dragoons with proper, bicorne-wearing fellows, I was persuaded to put them up for sale on eBay – this must be 6 or 7 years ago, I guess. I was confident they would go for a decent price, but it all went a bit wrong. Maybe it was the week everyone was watching the cricket on TV or something, but my Gorgeous Greys went out with a whimper - sold for the opening bid of £11.99, to a lady in Sussex who had a gift shop.
I was upset! I never quite got over it – I didn’t really want the figures, but the low selling price was somehow insulting. Serves me right, anyway – a fool and his soldiers are soon parted – if Confucius didn’t say that then he should have.
So, as from Wednesday, I have a replacement for my unnecessary Scots Greys, and I am pleased with them, though I’m not sure when they will get into action, and for the time being they will live in the Allied Odd Bods box. I had several attempts to decide what to do with them – stick them in the spares box, and one day strip them and repaint them? – that was my first idea.
But you know what? – these are old figures, they have been together since about 1970, and someone painted them a long time ago, rather better than I could ever have painted them. I decided to keep them as they are – clean them up a bit and retouch here and there – in particular, put fresh white paint on the crossbelts and gloves and plumes. I even chose to repair a couple of damaged swords and keep them at the original strength of 12, which is contrary to all known house standards (all my other cavalry regiments have 10).
|Here they are - some toys from another age - a little weathered, and a couple of |
S-Range command interlopers, but they are the business, aren't they?
Twelve cavalry in two rows, on a heavy cavalry frontage of 25mm per figure, will fit nicely on one of my standard sized light cavalry sabots, as it happens, and I can decide later whether the extra figures will gain them any additional clout in action – I suspect not.
They are ready for a temporary home in the Odd Bods box now – the officer and the trumpeter are Miniature Figurines S-Range, though Lamming had both of these in his range – in fact the cornet with the flag is a converted Lamming officer (BC/6) – all the rest are Lamming’s RSG trooper (BC/2), as illustrated in the Gallery on the VINTAGE20MIL website. They are not beautiful, but I’m pleased to have them.