Wednesday, 12 July 2017


At the tender age of Sixty I have decided it is about time that I started to record my "Butterfly" approach to wargaming and toy soldiers in a blog...

I was given my first toy soldiers when I was about seven years old-A Kleeware Crusader Castle I think..


Not long after, I discovered H.G.Wells's Little Wars at the local library...

As time and birthdays passed I was given Donald Featherstone's War Games and Tackle Model Soldiers This Way...

Signed by the man himself

Followed by Blandford's Military Uniforms of the World in Colour and a subscription to Miniature Warfare...

I also received my first Lead soldiers-Hinton Hunt 20mm Napoleonic's- 25 British and 25 Saxons(I liked the white uniforms).
Sadly I can not show a picture of these as they are long lost in the mists of time.

Of course by this time I was hooked.

My Mother always says that when I saw my first toy soldier I said "I am going to get a job making these when I grow up".
And I did...(the toy soldier making bit...not the growing up).

After nearly forty years in the business and most of my life in the hobby I have come to terms with my inner butterfly and now happily flutter from one shiny thing to the next.
All the best.. Aly

My desk at the moment


  1. Welcome to the modern age of technology Aly I look forward to seeing more updates and if you want photos of sone of our games from the past I have quite a few.

  2. I've still got both those books but sadly mine's hasn't been signed by Mr Featherstone although I did have the pleasure of meeting him and chatting at Salute a number of years ago. I remember he was very interested in our Schleswig Holstein game we put on for the Continental Wars Society.

  3. Hi Dave...
    Hopefully I will manage to keep this I am such a butterfly there should be lots of variety.
    I do intend to post about past games so I will no doubt take you up on your offer.
    I certainly remember that Salute.... because it is where I got Donald to sign my books...
    All the best...Aly

  4. Welcome to the mad world of Blogger. Look forward to seeing lots of your toys in due course, sounds like they will be varied ;~)

    1. Hi Phil.
      I thought it was about time I joined the 21st century...
      I think there will be a lot of variety, Hopefully people will enjoy my butterfly approach to this hobby of ours.

      All the best Aly

  5. As a fairly recent blogger m'self (starting at the much more tender age of 57...), I say "Welcome!"

    So far, so good. Enjoy what you've done already.

    Ed M

  6. Gosh, I remember having a castle like that. It was hand made by my father and all pegged together with dowels so bits of wall could be "raised". Now i know where he got his inspiration from, probably on lunch time visit to Hamley's or Gamages. Real pity I do not still have it.

  7. Welcome to the blogosphere Aly!

  8. Congratulations on your blog. It is a wonderful start and I look forward to visiting here often.

  9. Hi Aly,

    obviously I found your blog and I'm looking forward to follow it.


  10. Enjoying this Aly great walk down memory lane👍

  11. Hello Aly! Looking very forward to future posts about your particular "spin" on the wargaming hobby.

    Best Regards,


  12. Aly,
    I have started reading about 1848 and Schleswig-Holstein. Being another butterfly I thought a few of the shiny toy soldiers for this. I know you have a few suggestions on using different bodies, heads etc on the Spencer Smith page ,but since the range has expanded could you give me some tips for a few Danish, S-H forces and some Prussians including lights!
    Many thanks. Love the blog

    1. Hi Mark...
      In the short term I highly recommend Ralph Weaver’s book... Tha Armies of the first Schleswig-Holstein War 1848-51...
      he covers a lot of the interesting uniforms....
      In the next month or so I intend to post pictures of all off my newly re-based Shiny Schleswig toys... my plan was to possibly say which bits I used... if I can remember that far back... ;-)

      All the best. Aly