Deutsche Homage
A toy soldier style range

A shot of Ian Allens' Darkest Africa collection, built from this range.

For lots more pictures of this great collection, and his new Greek war of liberation and "battle" comic projects, scroll to the bottom of the page.

You'll also find some of Alan Greens great projects there, some of Harald Bensens various Scottish figures, and Renaud de Spens imaginative Indian mutiny scenes.

(DHB1, DHH5) (DHB7, DHH14, DHA1), (DHB6, DHH9, DHA4)

Wounded British infantry,ACW zouave & late 19thC Prussian
DHB1, DHH5. DHB7, DHH14, DHA1. DHB6, DHH9, DHA4.

From Irregular Miniatures, designed,painted and photographed by Andy Partridge

Notes by designer Andy Partridge

For those of you that collect old toy soldiers, the naïve charm of many early German makers will not have gone unnoticed. Indeed, there are few who can resist the somewhat lumpen splendor of such makers as Heyde or Haffner etc., but there are many who can’t afford them. Today’s prices for these antiques can be shocking, to say the least.

As usual, Irregular rides to the rescue with our new ‘Deutsche Homage’ range. These figures and their accessories have been sculpted in the style of those old German makers, and are available for a tiny fraction of the cost of the originals. Nothing has been pirated – they are not recasts, but have the genuine flavour of these old, well-loved toy soldiers.

You can choose from an expanding range of bodies, heads and extras to make many thousands of different types of soldiers and enemies, ranging from the Victorian era right up to the Spanish Civil War. A quick (but gentle) animating with a pair of pliers, glue in a head and a gun, a lick of paint, and out strides a charming 42mm high character as diverse as a colonial redcoat ready to face the Boers, a Chinese boxer rebel, Pathan fighters or spear-wielding Zulus.

 If you like Heyde, you’ll love these.

Andy Partridge



French Zouave and Officer. DHB 7,2 DHH 14,8 DHA2,6 & 7



Striding, tunic



Marching, tunic



Attention, tunic



Striding, pack



Marching, pack



Striding, shooting


DHB7 Marching, Zouave, Turco £2
DHB8 Striding, Chinese, Arab £2

Boxer infantry DHB 8,6 DHH 15,20 DHA 1,8 16

Boxer period US Marines

DHB 2,5 DHH 6 DHA 2,14,16

Boxer period Japanese infantry

DHB 4,1 DHH 12 DHA 3,6,7 & 11

DHB9 Marching, pocket tunic £2
DHB10 Marching Scots £2
DHB11 Kneeling, tunic £2
DHB12 Marching, great coat £2
DHB13 Kneeling, shooting, tunic £2
DHB14 Wounded/resting, tunic £2

Fuzzy Wuzzy surrenders to the sound of the pipes.

Piper DHB10, DHH32, DHA68

Fuzzy Wuzzy DHB60, DHH72

(DHB15, DHH6, DHA3), (DHB8, DHH19, DHA12)

Mounted Boer & Boxer standard bearer
DHB15, DHH6, DHA3, & DHB8, DHH19, DHA12

DHB15 Cavalry, tunic £2
DHB16 Marching, 19th century, shell jacket £2
DHB17 Striding native £2
DHB18 Marching, shirt sleeves, Spanish Civil War £2
DHB19 Walking polar explorer £2
DHB20 Kneeling polar explorer £2
DHB21 Striding Zulu £2

Officer Berdans sharpshooters, DHB22,DHH8, & DHA3

DHB22 Walking in frock coat £2

Sailor sweeping the deck. DHB 23, DHH 42 & DHA22

Sailor repelling boarders. DHB23, DHH43 & DHA 2.


DHB23 Striding sailor £2
DHB24 Striding shooting Arab/Oriental £2

Arab kneeling firing. DHB25, DHH 40 & DHA 20

Arab/Oriental standing firing. DHB 24, DHH 14 DHA 4.

DHB25 Kneeling shooting Arab/Oriental £2
DHB26 Mounted Arab/Oriental £2
DHB27 Sailor in landing kit, striding £2
DHB28 Sailor marching £2
DHB29 Double breasted frock coat, marching £2

British infantry laying DHB30,DHH2 & DHA4

DHB30 Tunic, laying £2
DHB31 Woman/Nurse, walking £2
DHB32 Seated in tunic £2

The following bodies are suitable for Napoleonics and the period up to 1850, although many are suitable for later periods

Prussian landwehr DHB 36, DHH 24, DHA 19 & 23

Napoleonic French Infantry DHB 36, DHH 53, DHA 30

Napoleonic French Artillerist DHB 37, DHH 53

Napoleonic French Infantry DHB 38, DHH 53, DHA 30

Napoleonic Sweedish Infantry DHB 40, DHH 50, DHA 30

Napoleonic Bavarian Infantry DHB 39, DHH 49, DHA 29

Napoleonic French Carabinier DHHO 4, DHB 33, DHH 52, DHA 6

Napoleonic French Chasseur a Cheval DHHO 5, DHB 34, DHH53, DHA 5

Napleonic Commander DHHO6, DHB 35, DHH 48

General Picton! DHO4, DHB 35, DHH 50

Napoleonic Prussian infantry DHB38, 39 & 37, DHH 53, DHA 29 & 6.

General Blucher meets General Wellington

DHHO 5, DHB 35, DHH 11. DHHO 1, DHB 15, DHH 1, DHA 7 and a piece of card!

Painting and photography by Alan Green of California.

For more of Alans great pictures, see the bottom of the page.

DHB33 Cuirassier cavalry £2
DHB34 Napoleonic Light cavalry £2
DHB35 Caped greatcoat cavalry £2
DHB36 Greatcoat marching £2
DHB37 Napoleonic Coatee standing £2
DHB38 Napoleonic Coatee marching £2
DHB39 Napoleonic Coatee kneeling £2
DHB40 Napoleonic Coatee kneeling shooting £2
DHB41 Napoleonic Coatee standing shooting £2
DHB42 Napoleonic coatee, flank company, marching £2
DHB43 British Napoleonic/Crimean marching £2
DHB44 British Napoleonic/Crimean highlander marching £2
DHB45 Late 19th C Hussar cavalry £2

Napoleonic British bugler DHB43, DHH55, DHA21

Marshal of the milky way DHB46, DHH64, DHA54

Ambush in space!

Saturnian DHB 70, DHH 86

M.0.M.W engineer DHB 46 DHH 86 DHA 76

DHB46 Marshal of the Milky way spaceman marching £2
DHB47 Red Indian striding £2
DHB48 17th Century soldier striding £2
DHB49 17th Century soldier marching £2
DHB50 17th Century Musketeer firing £2
DHB51 Red Indian standing shooting £2
DHB52 Belt-less tunic walking (good for artillery/officer/civilian) £2
DHB53 Shirtless man walking (good for engineer/native levee) £2
DHB54 Native standing shooting £2
DHB55 Arab/oriental laying £2
DHB56 Mounted in frock coat/kurta and sash (good for Indian cavalry or officer) £2
DHB57 Mounted in hussar style tunic, sword attached £2
DHB58 Cantiniere/Camp follower £2
DHB59 Walking native £2
DHB60 walking Arab/Oriental £2
DHB61 Running in tunic and pack £2
DHB62 17th C pikeman advancing £2
DHB63 17th C wounded/resting £2
DHB64 17th C mounted in jerkin (dragoon type) £2
DHB65 Shell jacket firing £2
DHB66 Shell jacket falling wounded £2
DHB67 Running in tunic £2

Mounted, tunic, firing, painted as Boer DHB68, DHH31, DHA 3, DHHO 1

Dismounted cavalry, painted as USA union DHB 71, DHH 8, DHA 55

DHB68 Mounted, tunic, firing from saddle £2
DHB69 Walking in shirtsleeves, engineer/civilian, etc £2
DHB70 Saturnian death corps striding (enemies of the Marshals of the Milky Way) £2
DHB71 Dismounted cavalry walking 6/5/2012 £2
DHB72 17thC officer standing 6/5/2012 £2

3 20th century figures.

German infantryman DHB61, DHH9, DHA2

Dutch hussar DHB57, DHH32, DHHO1

Boxer sniper DHB55, DHH 19, DHA1

Maori DHB 59, DHH81, DHA 57 & 3

Cantiniere DHB 58, DHH 78, DHA 70

WW1 French grenadier (DHB 1 DHH 25 DHA  17,19 & 3)& officer (DHB 9 DHH 25 )

WW1 French Standard Bearer (DHB1 DHH25 DHA 19 & 11) & infantry (DHB 1 DHH 25 DHA 2 & 19)

WW1 German officer (DHB2 DHH 9 DHA 6 & 7) Standard bearer (DHB 5 DHH 9 DHA 11) and infantry (DHB 5 DHH 9 DHA 2)

WW1 German Stormtroopers (DHB 2,4 DHH10 DHA 5,15,17,3)

WW1 German stretcher team ( DHB 9 & 14 DHH 29 & 27 DHA 25,28)

WW1 Scots infantry (DHB2 & 10 DHH 4 DHA 2 & 5)

DHH1 Plain 65p
DHH2 Foreign service helmet 65p
DHH3 Bearskin 65p
DHH4 British tin helmet 65p
DHH5 Bandaged 65p
DHH6 Slouch hat 65p
DHH7 Lemon squeezer 65p

Prussian guard. DHB3, DHH 21 & DHA 2.

French foreign legion. DHB12, DHH 30 & DHA 2

DHH8 Kepi 65p
DHH9 Pickelhaube 65p
DHH10 German coal scuttle 65p
DHH11 Russian cap 65p
DHH12 Early Japanese peak 65p
DHH13 Fez 65p
DHH14 Zouave fez 65p

Indian Mutineer DHB 17,DHH15, DHA6 & 3

Fighting the mutiny.

Falling figure DHB 66, DHH 30.

Firing figure DHB 65, DHH 30, DHA 1

DHH15 Turban 65p
DHH16 Turban with cone 65p

Arab tribesman DHB8,  DHH17 & DHA 1

DHH17 Arabic 65p
DHH18 Skullcap 65p
DHH19 Mandarin 65p
DHH20 Coolie 65p
DHH21 Plumed Pickelhaube 65p

Scots infantry DHB ,DHH22 ,DHA7,16 & 3

DHH22 Scots bonnet 65p
DHH23 Pugaree Helmet 65p

White hunters. DHB6,DHH23,DHA4.DHB9,DHH23,DHA1,15

White hunter and native guide. DHB9,DHH6,DHA3. DHB17,DHH36,DHA3

DHH24 Peaked cap 65p
DHH25 Adrian helmet 65p
DHH26 British tin helmet, gas mask 65p
DHH27 German forage cap 65p
DHH28 Adrian with gas mask 65p
DHH29 Coalscuttle with gas mask 65p

Indian Mutiny British officer DHB 16, DHH30,DHA5 & 7

Indian Mutiny British infantryman DHB16, DHH30, DHA 29

DHH30 Peak cap, havelock 65p
DHH31 Slouch pinned up 65p
DHH32 Isabellina cap 65p
DHH33 Balaclava helmet 65p

Polar explorer and ice feature! DHA 34,DHB 19,DHH 33,DHA 15

DHH34 Large beret 65p
DHH35 Isabellina cap (collarless) 65p
DHH36 African tribesman 65p
DHH37 Zulu 65p
DHH38 Russian fur hat 65p
DHH39 Besagliere 65p
DHH40 Bare head with beard 65p

Sailor in landing kit DHB27, DHH41 & DHA3

Naval officer DHB29,DHH12 & DHA 6,7

Drunken sailor DHB28,DHH42 & DHA23

DHH41 Sailor in cap 65p
DHH42 Sailor in Sennet hat 65p
DHH43 Sailor in Sennet hat, bearded 65p
DHH44 Ball topped picklehaube 65p
DHH45 French sailor 65p
DHH46 Kilmarnock bonnet 65p

British scout, Ashanti wars DHB17,DHH47 & DHA 1

DHH47 African feather head dress 65p
DHH48 Officers bicorne 65p
DHH49 Bavarian crested helmet 65p
DHH50 Top hat 65p
DHH51 Bareheaded with whiskers 65p
DHH52 Carabinier crested helmet 65p
DHH53 Bell-topped shako 65p
DHH54 Bell-topped shako with plume 65p
DHH55 British stovepipe shako 65p
DHH56 Kiver shako 65p
DHH57 Dragoon/cuirassier helmet 65p
DHH58 Old guard bearskin 65p
DHH59 Austrian bearskin 65p
DHH60 Hussar busby 65p
DHH61 Lancer czapska 65p

British home service infantry DHB3, DHH62, DHA1

Woman/nurse walking DHB31, DHH62

Vistorian couple on a Sunday stroll.

Man DHB52, DHH42, DHA25

Woman DHB31, DHH77

Victorian London

Officer in undress DHB 22, DHH 84, DHA 72

Builder DHB 69, DHH 83, DHA 77

DHH62 British home/foreign service helmet 65p
DHH63 Nurse  65p
DHH64 Space helmet 65p
DHH65 Bareheaded long hair 65p
DHH66 17th C broad brimmed hat 65p
DHH67 17th C Morion 65p
DHH68 Turban with cone, bearded 65p
DHH69 Plumed home service helmet 65p
DHH70 Tall kepi with plume 65p
DHH71 Pillbox hat 65p
DHH72 Fuzzy wuzzy 65p
DHH73 Pilot 65p
DHH74 Male bare head, no collar 65p
DHH75 Red Indian brave 65p
DHH76 Red Indian chief 65p
DHH77 Victorian lady in straw hat 65p
DHH78 Cantiniere/Woman on straw hat 65p
DHH79 17th Century Cabaset 65p
DHH80 Bicorne with feathers 65p
DHH81 Male or female hair in bun (Maori, etc) 65p
DHH82 17th C conical hat with plume 65p
DHH83 Civilian flat cap 65p
DHH84 Undress cap, mid 19th C 65p
DHH85 Marshall of the milky way engineer helmet 65p
DHH86 Saturnian head, no helmet 65p
DHH87 US sailor  "Dixie cap"  11/1/2013 65p
DHH88 German, Austrian or Russian sailor  11/1/2013 65p
DHH89 German askari, fez with neck-flap  11/1/2013 65p

Ethiopian war Italian command DHB9,DHH2,DHA6,7,13,1,19

Ethiopian War Italian infantry DHB9,DHH2,DHA1,19

Ethiopian War Italian askari DHB1,DHH13,DHA3

Ethiopian War Ethiopian officer DHB1,DHH24,DHA5,6,7

Ethiopian War Ethiopian regulars DHB1,DHH24,DHA12,2

Ethiopian Wars Haile Salasie

DHB3,DHH2 & piece of wire!


DHA1-4 are now cast without rifle bolts, and DHA 11 without tassels.

DHA1 Rifle 65p
DHA2 Rifle with bayonet 65p
DHA3 Rifle with sling 65p
DHA4 Rifle shooting with puff of smoke 65p
DHA5 Pistol shooting 65p
DHA6 Sword 65p
DHA7 Scabbard with sword 65p
DHA8 Chinese/native sword 65p
DHA9 Chinese poleaxe 65p
DHA10 Spear 65p
DHA11 Flag blowing 65p
DHA12 Oriental flag 65p
DHA13 Flag hanging still 65p
DHA14 Telescope 65p
DHA15 Binoculars 65p
DHA16 Side drum with sticks 65p
DHA17 Potato masher grenade 65p
DHA18 Club 65p
DHA19 Blanket roll 65p
DHA20 Jezail 65p
DHA21 Bugle 65p
DHA22 Broom 65p
DHA23 Bottle 65p
DHA24 Box with handle 65p
DHA25 Map 65p
DHA26 Large round shield 65p
DHA27 French backpack 65p
DHA28 Stretcher 65p
DHA29 Musket with bayonet 65p
DHA30 Musket 65p
DHA31 Musket shooting 65p
DHA32 Musket with sling 65p
DHA33 African tribal shield 65p
DHA34 Iceberg £1.30
DHA35 Small explosion 65p
DHA36 Hole in the ice 65p
DHA37 Machine gun (Tommy) 65p
DHA38 Zulu Shield 65p
DHA39 Knobkerrie 65p
DHA40 Assegai 65p
DHA41 Lance with pennant 65p

Indian lancer tackles a mutineer

Lancer DHB56, DHH68, DHA41, DHHO2

Mutineer DHB54, DHH18, DHA1

Pilot and native

Pilot DHB9, DHH73

Native DHB53, DHH74

Red Indian chief and brave

Chief DHB47, DHH76, DHA57 & 63

Brave DHB51, DHH75, DHA62

DHA42 Large explosion £1.30
DHA43 Artillery rammer 65p
DHA44 Artillery shell 65p
DHA45 Canister 65p
DHA46 Wire cutters  65p
DHA47 Artillery linstock 65p
DHA48 Barrel 65p
DHA49 Basket 65p
DHA50 Fascine 65p
DHA51 NCO's halbard 65p
DHA52 Spontoon/half pike 65p
DHA53 Hussar pelise 65p
DHA54 Atomic rifle 65p
DHA55 Carbine 65p

Musketeer DHB48, DHH 65, DHA 58

17thC soldier marching DHB49, DHH66, DHA 59

17thC musketeer striding DHB48, DHH66, DHA59

17thC soldier DHB49, DHH65, DHA56

17thC musketeers (same body)

Left hand figures DHB50, DHH66, DHA59

Right hand figure DHB50, DHH67, DHA60

17th Century standard bearer and camp follower.

Standard bearer DHB49, DHH79, DHA65

Camp follower DHB58, DHH81, DHA 23 & 67

17th C clash

Pikeman DHB 62, DHH 79, DHA 61

Wounded DHB 63, DHH65

Pistolier DHB 48, DHH82, DHA 73

17th C soldiers

Drummer DHB 42, DHH 82, DHA 78

Officer DHB72, DHH 79, DHA 10

17th C mounted trumpetor

DHB 64, DHH 66, DHA 74, DHHO 8

DHA56 Coil of rope 65p
DHA57 Tomahawk 65p
DHA58 Rapier sword 65p
DHA59 17th Century musket and rest 65p
DHA60 17th Century musket firing and rest 65p
DHA61 17th Century pike 65p
DHA62 Bow and arrow 65p
DHA63 Feathered round shield 65p
DHA64 Seperate bicorne hat (good for waving at troops or carrying under arm, etc 65p
DHA65 17th Century fringed standard 65p
DHA66 Ray pistol 65p
DHA67 Basket with bottle 65p
DHA68 Bagpipes 65p
DHA69 Bow and arrow seperate 65p
DHA70 Cantiniere barrel with strap 65p
DHA71 Pack animal load (fits any of our DHHO animals) £2
DHA72 Rolled umbrella and walking stick 65p
DHA73 17th C pistol firing 65p
DHA74 17th C trumpet with banner 65p
DHA75 Marshall of the milky way standard 65p
DHA76 Marshall of the milky way detector equipment 65p
DHA77 Wheelbarrow 65p
DHA78 17thC drum and beaters 65p
DHA79 Anchor £1.30
DHA80 Large oar 65p
DHA81 Whip  28/2/2013 65p

Kneeling pack camel DHHO 7, DHA71

Bavarian Infantryman (DHB6,DHH49,DHA2 and DHA19)

Large explosion DHA42

Prussian artilleryman (DHB2,DHA19 and DHH44)

Boer leader (DHB29,DHH50,DHA3 and DHA14)

Confederate cavalry (DHHO1, DHB15, DHH8 & DHA11)

DHHO1 Walking horse £2.00

Arab on galloping horse. DH02, DHB 26, DHH 17 & DHA 20

DHHO2 Galloping horse £2.00

Egyptian Camel Corps. DHO3, DHB15, DHH17 & DHA 20

DHHO3 Walking Camel £3.00
DHHO4 Walking horse sheepskin holster cover £2.60
DHHO5 Galloping horse saw-toothed sheepskin shabraque £2.60
DHHO6 Galloping horse swallow-tailed shabraque £2.60
DHHO7 Kneeling camel £3.00
DHHO8 17th C horse, pistols etc, walking £2.60
DHHO9 Draught horse, walking 7/5/2014 £2.60

DHHO 9 limber horse.

DHHO 7 Kneeling camel


SCW Carlist DHB18,DHH34,DHA1

     SCW Legionaire DHB18,DHH35,DHA37

SCW Republican voulenteer DHB16,DHH10,DHA1

SCW Madrid Guard DHB5,DHH24,DHA5,13,1.



DHG1 Early muzzle loading cannon £4.50
DHG2 Breech loading gun £4.50
DHG3 Howitzer £4.50
DHG4 French '75 gun £4.50
DHG5 German 7.7cm gun £4.50
DHG6 Machine-gun on tripod £2
DHG7 Machine-gun on wheeled carridge £2
DHG8 Miltreleuse machine-gun on wheeled carridge £4.50
DHG9 Limber with 2 horses, 1 outrider & 1 seated figure (please specify heads £13.50
DHG10 Limber with 4 horses, 2 out riders & 2 seated figures (please specify heads) £24.00
DHG11 Mountain/Screw gun £2.40
DHG12 Gardner machine gun on wheeled carriage £2.40
DHG13 Gardner machine gun on naval mount £2
DHG14 Gattling machine gun on wheeled carriage £2.40
DHG15 Congreve rocket £2
DHG15 Coach with seated general and 2 draught horses with outrider 5/3/2012. To add extra horses use DHHO 9 £26.00

DHG 15 coach

DHG1 with DHC crewman








DHG 11, 12, 13 & 14


For more 42mm artillery pieces, see our 42mm Really useful guns range. Pictured below is the British and empire 18 pdr field gun from that range



You can also use our  mules from the 42mm 19th C and colonials range

Gun can be placed on pack mules or pack camel, or deployed, as below

(Head & Weapon Moulded On)

DHC1 & 4 Mohecans. Painting by Andy Partridge.


DHC1 Mohican advancing with musket 27/2/06 £2.10
DHC2 Mohican standing firing musket 27/2/06 £2.10

DHC2 & 3 Mohecans firing. Painting by Andy Partridge.

DHC3 Mohican kneeling firing 21/2/06 £2.10
DHC4 Mohican standing loading musket 27/2/06 £2.10
DHC5 Ranger in squirrel hat & buckskins advancing with musket 27/2/06 £2.10

DHC6 & 17. They must be surrounded.

DHC6 Ranger in squirrel hat & buckskins standing firing musket 21/2/06 £2.10
DHC7 Ranger in Glengarry & buckskins advancing with musket 27/2/06 £2.10
DHC8 Ranger in Glengarry & buckskins standing firing musket 27/2/06 £2.10
DHC9 Militia in tricorn & buckskins advancing with musket 27/2/06 £2.10
DHC10 Militia in tricorn & buckskins standing firing musket 27/2/06 £2.10
DHC11 French Marine in stocking cap advancing with musket 27/2/06 £2.10
DHC12 French Marine in stocking cap standing firing musket 27/2/06 £2.10
DHC13 Regular Infantry in tricorne advancing with musket 27/2/06 £2.10
DHC14 Regular Infantry in tricorne standing firing musket 27/2/06 £2.10
DHC15 Regular Infantry in tricorne kneeling firing musket 27/2/06 £2.10

DHC16 & 18 with DHA43

DHC16 Regular Infantry in tricorne standing loading musket 27/2/06 £2.10
DHC17 Officer in tricorn & buckskins firing pistol 27/2/06 £2.10
DHC18 Artillerist standing with open hands 21/2/06 £2.10
DHC19 French Marine, stocking cap, kneeling firing 8/4/06 £2.10
DHC20 French Marine loading musket  8/4/06 £2.10
DHC21 French Marine in tricorn, advancing with musket 8/4/06 £2.10
DHC22 French Marine in tricorn, standing firing musket  8/4/06 £2.10
DHC23 French Marine in tricorn, kneeling firing musket  8/4/06 £2.10
DHC24 French Marine in tricorn, loading musket  8/4/06 £2.10
DHC25 Mohican standing at ready with musket  8/4/06 £2.10
DHC26 Mohican kneeling at ready with musket  8/4/06 £2.10
DHC27 Ranger in squirrel hat kneeling firing musket  8/4/06 £2.10
DHC28 Ranger in squirrel hat loading musket  8/4/06 £2.10
DHC29 Ranger in squirrel hat in glengarry kneeling firing musket  8/4/06 £2.10
DHC30 Ranger in squirrel hat in glengarry loading musket  8/4/06 £2.10
DHC31 Militia in buckskins kneeling firing musket  8/4/06 £2.10
DHC32 Militia in buckskins loading musket 8/4/06 £2.10
DHC33 Mohican in buckskins advancing with musket 8/4/06 £2.10
DHC34 Mohican in buckskins standing firing musket  8/4/06 £2.10
DHC35 Mohican in buckskins kneeling musket  8/4/06 £2.10
DHC36 Mohican in buckskins loading musket  8/4/06 £2.10

DHC18, DHA43 & DHG1

DHC7 & 1, with DHA 35 & 42, explosions cunningly painted as bushes!

Painting and photography by Michael Barlow

Zulu (parts - DHB21, DHH37, DHA38, DHA40)
Zulu (parts - DHB21, DHH37, DHA38, DHA40)
Photo credit: Andrew Thom

Zulus (parts as above, but also DHA39 & DHA10)
Zulus (parts as above, but also DHA39 & DHA10)
Photo credit: Andrew Thom

African native. DHB17,DHH36,DHA10.

African natives. DHB17,DHH36,DHA1&4.

Boer artillerists.DHB1&3,DHH31,LWA 18 shell.

Boers kneeling.DHB13,DHH6&31,DHA3.

British Boer war city imperial volunteers.DHB1,4,DHH31,DHA5,7&3.

British Boer war doctor & wounded.DHB11&14,DHH1&2.



      Deutsche Homage is the name of a figure range ,in approximately 45mm size, made to echo the primitive charm of many 19th and 20th century German makers,such as Heyde,Haffner,Noris etc and France's CBG Mignot.These figures would be cast headless,requiring the correctly coiffured or hatted choice to be inserted later, and with their arms hanging by their sides to be bent,or 'animated' to the correct position.This method meant that many thousands of different types of combatant could be made with simply the choice of headgear and the right paint scheme from a relatively small selection of castings.Irregular have followed this path with their Deutsche Homage series and i'd like to share a few tips and wrinkles with you on how to get the best from these little fellows.



    You've bought your figure,to make say an American civil war infantryman,maybe the marching man in a tunic DHB2,with a kepi head DHH8 and his rifle DHA1.Well, before we paint we have a little fixing to do.After making sure your figure has no excess metal flash from the casting process under the base or in any other unsightly spot,we can proceed.If you're unlucky enough to get any, simply have at it with a file or metal snips,dont worry the great German and French makers had this problem too and employed people in their workshops solely to clean it away before the animation and painting stages.

    Next,put a drop of super glue or similar on the bottom of the neck stalk and insert the head into the hole in the torso,making sure he's facing the right way before it sets.Now you've decided that you want him to be holding his weapon in front of his chest in a kind of 'high port' pose,so we'll need some pliers.I have a good pair without ridged teeth inside their jaws as I dont want to mark the metal when I bend it.If you cant find a pair of these you can always insert something softer {felt,leather etc}in the jaws to cushion their grip.

    Take the pliers to each arm in turn,inserting them up to the elbow in the jaws and GENTLY bend.A word of caution,dont go too over the top as you dont want to tear the metal,i'd stick within a range of less than 90 degrees.

When you have both arms in place we'll need to fix the rifle.Again a drop of super glue on each of his hands will be your best bet.Its a brave man who uses solder,I tried it a few times and only succeeded in melting finely cast weapons and a few hands,you see the melting point of soldier is almost identical to that of the metal these chaps are cast in.I believe the older makers actually used different metals for their weapons than they did for the figures and so could soldier with impunity.Now,if super glue had been invented then...

    Before you know it you'll be the owner of a fine fellow you've helped bring to life,striding off to do toy war against his foe.Now we need to really make him shine with a lick or two of paint.




       In the last thirty five years of painting and restoring old toy soldiers i've picked up quite a few tips that will help to make your figures look a little more aesthetically pleasing and accentuate their folksy charm.I know that a lot of people still dont like to paint their figures,a mixture of a lack of confidence or a fear that they're going to somehow ruin the figure.Relax,we're going to be painting them in a toy style,that is the kind of colours,finish and quality that they would have had on leaving a factory 100 years or so ago.We are going nowhere near the stellar artwork of a so called connoisseur collectors figure,all shading and high lighted buttons,no,the chaps we're going to be painting are meant to march out in rows across the carpet fighting toy wars.Not to stand alone on a plynth hidden in a cupboard. 
    So that we're singing from the same hymn sheet,if you know what I mean,whenever I talk in shades of colour i'll try to give you a PANTONE reference number so that you'll have a grasp of what i'm going on about.PANTONE is a set of internationally accepted colour charts used by the printing industry and can be found quite easily on line if you cant get hold of a swatch.
    To get the best finish on your Deutsche Homage figures,i'd recommend working in oil based Gloss colours like the little tins you can find in hobby shops by such makers as HUMBROL or REVELL.For an even better bargain if you have a lot of one specific colour to paint then you could buy slightly larger tins of gloss from a hardware store.Same sort of stuff.Older figures were painted in gloss way back when but the shine was slightly less 'spikey' looking than what we're left with from modern paints,but i'll show you a few tricks that might help with that.Some makers ,such as Heyde in Germany did sell figures painted in matt but these were more expensive to buy,and considered more for adult collectors tastes than the mass market toy finish of gloss.I prefer the glossy toy look as it seems to bring little soldiers to life.Plastic acrylic paints wont give you the right look nor will painting in matt and coating them later with gloss varnish.This latter move will save a little time but it just seems to imprison the figure in a remote skin of varnish shutting him off cruelly in an airtight prison.
     If we were painting a collectors type of figure we would undercoat it first,but traditionally toy figures had the paint applied straight to the bare metal,so thats what we'll do as well.This is the point where I have to talk a little of good brushes.Get youself to an art supplies shop and buy three or four of the best quality sable brushes they have.These will help all your painting tasks and make it a good deal easier.Dont be fooled by the Poundland sort of option.Cheap brushes will make your painting look bad and you will be forever trying to get loose rogue bristles from off of your figure.Dont bother with cheap its really a false economy.The sort of brush sizes to go for might be 0000,00,1 and 2.,these sizes will be self explanatory when you see them.
     Its a good thing if you can work on  a reasonable number of soldiers at the same time as gloss paint takes quite a long time to dry,so working in a kind of production line will save time in the long run.By this I mean paint all the jackets of one colour then all the trousers of another and so on.So lets go through colouring a figure and you'll see how things unfold.
     Before we start applying any paint let me chat about colour shades first.I've seen a lot of toy figures,old and new, painted badly,and by this I'm not referring to any unsteadiness of hand or of one shade cutting over another,no,I mean bad because of the wrong shades of paint.There are very few colours one can use straight from the pot,maybe black and yellow being the exceptions.Just a moments mixing, blending the right shade will look so much nicer in the long run.I'll talk more of specific shades as we come to colouring those parts.
     Paint any large areas first,such as jackets,trousers,horses,flags etc.,using a larger brush size.This is because we will be cutting in or painting over smaller details later.So at this stage dont fret about 'going over the lines'.We can always tidy up later,but do you know,a certain amount of scruffy vigour will give your soldier life and personality.If you take a look at factory painted figures of Britains ,Heyde or Mignot you'll notice that the painting ladies really slapped on the colours,being not too careful in their task and it does imbue them with an animism that 'perfect 'painting doesn't have.
    Mentioning Britains leads me on to talking more of shades of colour.The tones used on early Britains figures,especially those from their Paris office are almost a perfect template for what we are trying to achieve.They have a richness and subtlety that I think is unsurpassed in toy painting.How do we achieve this? By mixing.
    Here are a few rules.Never use pure white,its looks horrible and far too plastic.Much better to go for an off white,and its amazing how 'off' you can go.We want to get somewhere like a PANTONE
 454 PC or a warmer 4545 PC. If you mix in a spot of brown with your white you'll soon find the shade.A good little tip for all mixing is for your small amount of additive or darkening colour try using a matt paint.This will help to take away some of the super gloss of modern paints.If your
 figure is a British guardsman in a red jacket,the kind of shade to go for might be PANTONE  1797 PC which is the brighter end of the spectrum,or a 1807 C.This more stately shade you could get with the addition of a spot of reddy brown.Likewise his trousers would be the very dark blue of PANTONE 5395 C,almost black,and great for those Prussian jackets,sailors tunics etc. Adding a spot of black to your tin of navy blue will get you there.
    One of the howlers I see the most is chaps just opening a tin of emerald or Buckingham green and thinking that'll do for the base.Again mixing will do the trick.Put a spot of mid brown into that to arrive at a more natural grassy shade, its much more appealing.PANTONE 575 or 576 are near.If your painting up a Bedouin or Boxer remember they wont be standing on grass but more probably a grubby sand shade made from mixing a little black into a yellow,PANTONE 617 is not too far off. Yellows themselves look good as a deep sunflower shade,PANTONE 109 PC or 116 PC.Stay away from lemon shades ,they'll come over mean and acidic,your Arabs and Chinese for instance,will appreciate their robes in this deeper shade.Do think about slightly darkening down all colours as it makes for a more appealing figure.We aren't trying to fake old but to be reminded a little.
    Now to what for some is the colour that is hardest to get aesthetically right,flesh.
    Britains and Johillco's appealing early figures had a tricky flesh colour to emulate,and I know as i've restored plenty.They went for a flesh tone that was particularly dark and greyish,PANTONE 479 is not too far off ,but then again i'm using an actual swatch of colour and not the on line version.You can make it with a mixture of red,yellow,a lot of white and a spot of black.African flesh is a chestnut brown with some black mixed in,4695 C is close,with Indian skin somewhere between the two,4705 C.Now to put some more of these colours on.
    Lets assume we have the jacket,a very deep blue,and the trousers of brilliant red painted in and dry.Lets add in some straps over the top.This is where your finer brushes will come into their own.Making sure your colour is mixed up to a flowing thin cream consistancy,charge your brush and lets have at it.The secret is to do it quickly,one brief swipe.If you hover and shake,fidgeting slowly along the line it'll look rotten.We are after a bit of dash,not dither,the quicker you paint it the better it will look,trust me on this one.Same with buttons.Using the most shiny gold or silver you can find,dab on those buttons,sashes and epaulettes as swift as you like.One trait from Heyde that Irregular have borrowed is the fact that if something is not modelled on the figure,simply paint it in.Conversely,if it is modelled and you dont want it,simply paint over it.Thats the toy soldier way.
     With rifles theres a couple of ways to go.British makers painted the whole thing in a kind of metallic brown{mix gold with dark brown},while our continental cousins wiped the stock in a reddy mid brown and either left the barrel and bayonet bare metal or touched them in with silver.Both look fine.You choose.
     A good point to remember before you start is to keep your choice of colours limited.Most toy soldier manufacturers kept to about eight or less,primarily for cost but it does also have an attractive limited pallette feel.Remember we're going for that toy soldier look here,not the connoisseur model.Too many different shades and it just looks messy.

    Heres a couple of good rules that seem to work well.After you've painted the face you must add THE one toy soldier ingredient,cheeks.They are naked without them.Virtually every maker filled in the ruddy blush of their little heroes,you must do the same.Mix up some red and white to make a pink that is tonally similar to the flesh but with no darkening,it will zing out more.Load the brush and wipe it in a patch on either side of the face.If your soldier is a real Victorian man he will of course have a moustache,some thin black on a fine brush will do well,quickly{always!} apply across the face.If he is the fresh faced type dab a spot of red in a small blob where the mouth might be.Dont be tempted to add a mouth under a moustache,one or the other,never both please,it always looks wrong,Britains and others knew that.Same rule applies for beards.Hair can be a swift wipe with black or a reddy mid brown across the back of the head but dont bother with sideburns as they always look like you've over messed with the face.
    You have a choice with eyes.Most makers painted one simple black dot each side,which oddly looks better the farther away they are from each other.Nearer in to the nose comes over rather cross eyed.Its a matter of taste as to wether they'll have eyebrows or not,the rule seemed to be the farther back or simple the headgear,the more the likelihood of brows.Britains tended not to paint them in except for Scotsmen and some sailors?? I always leave them out.
   Dont try to give them whites of the eyes.Again it looks too fussy and not classic.A few German makers did so on their larger scale figures but even then the soldiers still looked like stunned madmen.Shell shocked?.Unfortunately for its minstrel connotations,Africans were always given whites to their eyes,but it seems okay as the contrast makes them look more toyish.Check the photos of the 'native' figures in the Deutsche Homage picture section.
   Dont know why I do this,just habit I guess,but I always leave the base painting until last.Maybe because £2.80'm holding it by that as well.One good trick to get over that spikey pin point look of modern gloss is this.When your figure is dry, brush it over with talcum powder,then brush,wipe or blow away any excess.This will take down some of the crazy shine of the paint and leave you with a soldier that has a pleasing older feel,and it'll smell nicer.Right I've gassed on for long enough now,time for a cuppa and to think which of the Deutsche Homage fellows i'll paint next,or rather,in which guise i'll paint them.Good luck and enjoy yourself.Let me know how you get on.

    Bearing in mind that the Deutsche Homage range is expanding all the time,I thought i'd mention a few conflicts and figures that you can currently put together from the present range.All can be achieved with the correct paint job{gloss or egshell please!}and of course fitting the 'near enough' head to the 'close enough' body,thats the toy soldier way.So what takes your fancy?...
THE ZULU WARS-British infantry,cavalry and artillery and a great choice of native or Zulu types.
THE BOXER REBELLION-Virtually every western nation can be made,also great boxer foot and imperial cavalry figures.
THE GREAT WAR-Most nations can be made in infantry and cavalry,under gas attack or not.
SPANISH CIVIL WAR-Let your imagination run riot here with the rag bag of different uniforms and countries represented.
THE BOER WARS-British army,all branches,Indian types and of course those wily Boers.Lots of fun to be had here.
US CIVIL WAR-North and south,regulars,zouaves,all cavalry types and artillery.Roll back the carpet.
NORTH WEST FRONTIER-British army and enough native types to fight across the rockery.Mules coming soon.
COLONIAL WARS-In the desert or the jungle,be they arabs or African tribesmen let your imagination run riot with SAILORS landing ashore or GERMAN EAST AFRICAN campaigns.ASHANTI WARS or carpet combat across Egypt or Sudan.
INDIAN MUTINY-You can get up and running with some British infantry and a selection of native types to make murderous mutineers,and we will be adding more cavalry choices soon.
Perhaps you fancy really letting your imagination fly and coming up with fictitious countries and conflicts,think of the uses of the polar explorers,the civilian type figures and the million and one ways that you can combine the bodies ,heads and accessories of the military figures that we have already.
   Perhaps take the marching tunic figure,add an Adrian helmet.Paint the jacket in a lilac tone with the headgear in brass? Arm him with an out of date musket and voila! the first recruit to your small but brave FANTOVIAN army.Sky's the limit,go on make HG Wells proud of you.

Ian Allens' darkest Africa collection



The Yorkes

Miss Bell and party

Ludhina Sikhs

Meeting at the church

Mkosi directs his warriors

Boggs Baker form a line

Imperial court and HMS Defiant (scratch built)

Imperial court Umpopoland

Imperial left flank

Ladies of the court

Rugga Rugga

Slavers join the attack

The Buffs

MPopo advance

The navy's here

The rifles

Observing and reporting the attack

MPopo up close!

The lost valley of She (who must be obeyed)!

Greek freedom fighters from the Greek war of liberation

"Darkies mob" from the 1970's comic Battle!

Alan of Californias' creations

Danish Guards



Swedish guards

Scratchbuilt US monitor

Scratchbuilt Spanish monitors

Spanish sailors

Spanish colonial artillery

Spanish colonial infantry

US infantry of the 1920'2

79th Highlanders

Harald Bensens Scots

1st Alloa and 2nd Tillycounty rifle voulenteer

72nd highlanders

Australian 84th (goldfields) infantry reginment.

Renaud de Spens Indian mutiny scenes

Highlanders under attack.

The tree is from our 42mm Scenics range.



Jimmy, Jimmy, o where for art thou?