Tuesday, September 26, 2023

Classic Toy Soldiers (CTS) ACW Figures


A group of CTS figures plus a "Replicant" officer waving his hat and a rather large
60mm TSSD sergeant pointing and firing his revolver

Remember to click on the pix to enlarge

I picked up a couple of bags of 54mm Classic Toy Soldiers ("CTS") at last week's Chicagoland Toy Soldier Show. I finished painting them this morning so I want to post some pictures of what they look like when they are painted.

The Classic Toy Soldiers Company is a retailer of largely 54mm plastic figures from the likes of Marx, Barzo, Timpo, Harold, and other brands that many of us probably played with when we were youngsters. Most of these companies (other than Barzo) have long been out of business and it seems that various companies are legally able to "recast" these figures and sell them on the retail market. Maybe they have purchased the original moulds or essentially do what we would call "pirating figures" in the wargame industry. I presume that this is all on the up and up given that the figures are available seemingly everywhere.

Some companies have created their own brand of 54mm and 60mm (1/32 scale and 1/30 scale, respectively) for the toy soldier market. Some examples that come to mind are LOD Enterprises, TSSD, BMC/Americana, and of course, CTS.

I really like the CTS figures because they have some amazing animation to them that I haven't seen in many other figure brands. They look very dynamic and full of movement and personality when a unit of the figures are assembled. CTS also has some poses that I have not seen from other brands of ACW figures. I am specifically thinking of the right shoulder shift pose.

Here are some pictures of the charging poses from CTS. Note the right shoulder shift running pose in the center. The high bayonet charging figure on the left in these photos is one of my favorite poses in the CTS figure range.

Here are some of the firing line figure poses.

The big fellow in the center pointing his pistol is a 60mm TSSD figure. 
Everyone in his company call him Little John.

A very animated firing line grouping when all of the figures are put together.
The kneeling/ram rod figure is unusual. The casualty with the sucking chest wound
is a good looking figure too. The officer is from the Replicant range.

And here is the whole group having a reunion. I can't wait for my reinforcements to arrive in the mail.

I have probably mentioned this before, but I like to mix up figures from different figure ranges into an infantry regiment because it gives the unit a lot of character and individuality. They may be different sizes, slightly, but then people come in different sizes too, right?

My CTS reinforcements are on order and my plan is to have two regiments: one advancing/charging and one in a firing line. As Flounder said in Animal House, "oh boy, this is going to be great!"

Painting Update:

I finished my sixth Confederate infantry regiment two days ago and I still have eight Union regiments plus a half regiment (15 figures) of the US Sharpshooters. So that is 420 infantry figures painted in August and September so far. I am getting nearer to the 50% mark relative to the planned 900 to 1,000 figures that I need for my Pickett's Charge Project. I probably have about 15 to 20 more artillery crew, foot officers and mounted officers painted that I have not included in the figure totals above.

I might take a little pause in the painting action and work on making the flag bearers for both armies. The Americana figure range has standard bearers and I will be converting these by cutting off the plastic flag pole and replacing it with a metal North Star Spear and then gluing on a GMB Designs flag.  Armies In Plastic also has a soldier ramming a cartridge down the barrel of his rifle, with the rifle butt resting on the ground. I did a zouave conversion by cutting out the rifle and drilling holes through the hands to accommodate a wire spear for the flag pole. I will post a picture of the conversions within the next several days.

The Battle of Gettysburg Podcast

If you have a particular interest in the battle of Gettysburg, or the American Civil War in general, then I highly recommend listening to the "Battle of Gettysburg" podcast. There are 47 episodes in the archives at this date and I have been listening to them whilst painting my ACW figures. Jim and Eric do an excellent job of bringing their topics to life and the episodes are fun to listen to (no dry history retelling here).  Both fellows are licensed Gettysburg Battlefield Guides. You can tell that they come prepared to discuss the particular episode's topic. They are unabashed Daniel Sickles boosters ( I went on a Gettysburg battle field tour conducted by Eric this summer) and I have to say that I have a new appreciation for General Sickles. Well, as they would say, let's put a bow on this blog post and tie it up. 

1 comment:

  1. Like you, I think the mix of poses etc looks really good. In relation to ACW I often read the expression "right shoulder shift" but it's not part of my language. What exactly does it mean and where does it come from? Was it a command used as part of drill or battle drill? Is there a "left shoulder shift" too?