Basic information about various hobby and craft topics.

Thursday, June 29, 2006

Plastic Toy Army Soldiers

Plastic toy soldiers are available in three major scales, or sizes. The largest of these is 1/18 scale, which are about four inches, or 103 millimeters high. These measurements are only approximate as different manufactures tend to do things their own way. The major manufactures in this scale are BBI, McFarland Toys, Papo and Bullyland. There are others. 1/32 scale soldiers, which are approximately 2 ¼ inches in height, or 56 millimeters. The smallest scale commonly manufactured is 1/72 scale, 25 millimeter, or approximately one inch in height. The 1/72 scale are more consistent in size between manufacturers.

Plastic toy soldiers run the gamut from action figures, toys and collectables with each manufacturer pretty much producing one type of product. Action figures tend to be larger, up to twelve inches tall and include usually include accessories like uniforms and weapons which can be interchangeable between figures. They usually have moveable arms, legs, and head. Plastic toy soldiers tend to be smaller, but still large enough for small hands to grip. These are usually in the 1/32 scale category. The smaller 1/72 scale plastic army soldiers tend to be collectables, for war games or diorama building. Some of these are unpainted.

There are many manufactures of plastic toy soldiers. A few are outlined here.
Dusty Trail - six inch, 1/12 scale action figures. This is a small but interesting line.

Airfix - manufactures and extensive line of mostly World War 2 1/72 and 1/32 scale plastic army soldiers. The line includes other historical soldiers such as Napoleonic soldiers and spacemen.

BMC - A nice line of plastic toy soldiers. It includes World War 2 plastic soldiers and accessories. There are also Civil War soldiers, Revolutionary War soldiers, an Alamo play set, and some cowboy and Indian play sets.

Armies In Plastic - Collectable 1/32 scale line of plastic toy soldiers. This interesting company has American Civil War, Napoleonic Wars, American Northwest, Spanish American War, Boxer Rebellion, and Colonial Africa plastic soldiers included in its offerings.

Plastic toy soldiers are offered in a variety of different scales and types from action figures to collectable plastic soldiers. Plastic army soldiers are fun toys for kids, used in war gaming, or for the serious historical collector who wishes accurate representation of the soldiers from other eras.

Wednesday, June 28, 2006

Short History Of The Knight - Knight Toy Figures

The knight is a romantic figure which beckons to us across the misty pages of history. Pledged to be brave, loyal, courteous, and to protect the innocent, the knight epitomized the best ideal that a man could strive to become. The knight was usually a man of noble birth who had served first as a page, or attendant in a knights household. Later the knight errant served as a squire to the knight. His duties now were to take care of the knights horse and armor.

The class of knights, or mounted warriors, came into existence to meet a specific threat. European kingdoms were under threat from a number of sources – Vikings from the north, Muslims from the south and east, and invaders from the east. The kings in the ninth century had only infantry to defend against these threats. Infantry alone was vulnerable to the mounted invaders.

So the class of knights arose. The training and maintenance of these mounted warriors
was a hardship to the courts. Feudalism arose as a process to maintain the knights. The knight, after pledging an oath of loyalty to the king, received a parcel of land, called a fief, to support him. With the land went serfs who were to serve the knight. The knight then had to answer the call when the king sent word that he needed assistance in battle. Usually this entailed a certain number of days a year that the knight had to serve the king. He rest of the time he resided at his fief.

Chivalry as a code of conduct for knights arose from this feudalistic system. This code of honor entailed a number of practices which included not attacking an unarmed knight, and ensure that the knight fight only for Christian glory and honor, among other things.

Toy knights and figurines serve to replicate the honor and glory of that past age. Many of the ads here on this page will have an assortment of toy knights to suit your purposes. William Britains, Conte Collectables, and Forward March all offer selections of 1/32 scale toy knight figures.

Tuesday, June 27, 2006

A Brief History Of The Castle

The romantic vision of the knight is often accompanied by the image of a castle, high on a hill. The history of the castle is imbedded in our culture. The word castle is derived from the Latin word castellum, or small fortified place.

The cities of Rome were walled to provide for their defense and this is the origin of the first castles. These were usually constructed of wood, on top of a mound, or motte. A ditch was usually dug around the structure to make approach more difficult.

As the art of warfare developed, the castle needed to be made more complex to make it harder to capture. Multiple walls were constructed, one inside another, the area between the walls being called a bailey.

The history of the castle continues with its still further development of large towering structure in the center of the castle called the keep by the Normans. This was the last defensive position within the castle and featured thick masonry walls and small defensive window to allow archers and other defensive measures. The keep would also contain living quarters for the castle dwellers, a well for water, and stores of food and weapons.

Keeps were first constructed as rectangular structures, later they were made round because
that shape is easier to defend.

At about this time the moat replaced the ditch as the outside defense of the castle. The moat was wider and deeper, and preferably filled with water. It was crossed by a drawbridge which could be raised and lowered at will.

By the 1200’s the final evolution of the history of the castle occurred as they became increasingly complex. The keep was made smaller and stronger. The apartments were moved out of the keep and into larger structures located in the bailey.

The early sixteenth century saw the invention of gunpowder and the development of cannon, missiles, and guns. The history of the castle as a military tool came to an end, as they were no longer impregnable to these modern weapons.

Back to Toy Soldier

© 2012 Hobby Hobnob

Monday, June 26, 2006

Toy Soldiers - Military - Army Toys - Model Soldiers

Most adult men had toy soldiers as young boys. We didn’t have just a few, either. I had enough to fight several wars at one time. Army and military toys are still popular with children. With adults, too, with the advent of vast selections of collectable toy soldiers and military toys.

Toy soldiers are manufactured from a variety of materials. You will find plastic, wood,tin, metal, and resin. Some are prepainted, some require painting and some minor assembly.

There are collectable toy soldiers, soldiers for war games, and soldiers for kids.

There are many different types of soldiers. You will find soldiers in the character of American Civil War, American Revolutionary War, World War 2, Alamo, and Cowboys and Indians. Other model soldiers from other armies can also be found.

You will find two basic sizes of toy and model soldiers - 1/72 and 1/32 scales. 1/72 scale is 25 millimeter and 1/32 is 54 mm tall. From model train manufacturers you will also find some 1/87 (HO Scale) toy soldiers.

Army and military toys are also popular. These consist mostly of plastic and diecast
military airplanes and vehicles. These are available in several scales including 1/87, 1/64,
1/48, and 1/24 among others.

You will find in this section various articles about toy and model soldiers, army and military toys. You will also find links to companies selling these products. Hopefully the information provided by these articles help you choose the products which suit your needs

Toy Soldier Catalog

Toy Metal Soldiers

A Brief History Of Castle

Back To Hobby List

Short History Of The Knight – Knight Toy Figures

American Revolution Soldier

American Civil War Toy Soldier - Metal And Plastic

© 2012 Hobby Hobnob

Friday, June 23, 2006

Build A Bird Feeder Kit

Building a wood bird feeder from a kit is easy and a great project for kids. The kits can
be assembled in one session, another can be used to paint and decorate. Bird feeders and houses
may be painted on the outside, but should be left unfinished on the inside.

A short pictorial guide is located at this URL:

For available bird house and bird feeder kits as well as other wood crafts, visit our Ebay store:

To Check Availability and Purchase Products Featured Here
Visit Our Online Store

Thursday, June 22, 2006

Ship In A Bottle

The art of model ship building dates back many centuries. The Egyptians, Phoenicians and Greeks all
built model ships of varying sizes and shapes. Glass bottles have also been around for a long
time. Archeology indicates the Phoenicians had glass bottles, so they have also been around for
thousands of years, also.

It wasn’t until the mid-1850’s that glass technology advanced enough to give a reasonably clear,
bubble free bottle suitable for model building. Sailors at sea whiled away the long hours carving
and making many things and a high degree of skill was developed by many of these mariners. No one
knows who first put a model ship in a bottle, but it occurred sometime during the mid 19th century.

The sailors used available materials, scraps of wood, thread and sail. The common tool was the
jackknife most sailors carried. Usually the mariners modeled the ship they were on, or other ships
they were familiar with. These were built outside the bottle, carefully measured to ensure the
completed model would fit through the neck. The masts were folded down and rigged so that they
could be pulled up after the model was inserted into the bottle.

The ship in a bottle is a type of mechanical puzzle called an impossible bottle. It is called this
because items thought be impossible to fit inside a bottle are placed there, leaving the observer to
wonder how it came to be. Many types of items can be found in this traditional puzzle, including
decks of cards, tennis balls, scissors, and of course the ship in a bottle.

Thursday, June 15, 2006

Wood Bird House Kits Make Ideal Cub Scout Crafts - Youth Group Activity

Wood crafts are an ideal activity for youth groups and as cub scout crafts.
These wooden bird house kits are easy to assemble
and include all parts necessary to build them. All you need are paints, nails and glue. Some of the
kits have the nails included in them.

Youth group activity leaders of Church groups, Cub scout troops, and other childrens
organizations are always looking for inexpensive crafts for the kids to do as activities, and these
wood crafts are ideal as children's group activities. Wood
crafts teach kids valuable lessons in organizing, reading and understanding instructions, and the
satisfaction one gets from a job well done. And these wood crafts are useful when finished.

Wooden bird bird house kits are
great crafts for kids! Create a backyard nature center.

We have a very good selection of wooden bird house kits. See our
Online store
for availble models and quantities.

These kid crafts kits make an excellent activity for cub scout troops!
Wood craft kits are fun and easy to assemble and these bird house kits are sure to please both kids and the
our little feathered friends when they are built.

Wood projects also make ideal activities for summer camps. They are quick to assemble as all parts
are pre cut.