About me

ANS

My name is Nino Serra. I live in Bologna, Italy. Like many of my generation, I spent most of my childhood playing with toy soldiers, switching from Plains Indians fighting US Cavalry (when not too busy with chasing buffalo on the living room carpet), to fearsome Vikings roaming aboard their shoe-box long ships, to never-surrendering WWII Germans…

I later developed a strong interest for military history with a focus on the 18th Century. As very few miniatures were available for the period, I started scratch-building my own ones and eventually put together a small range of white-metal and resin toy soldiers for skirmish war gaming and display.

I am now setting out to perfect and expand my range, and thought it might be fit to introduce my new miniatures to a wider audience of fellow toy soldiers enthusiasts.

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I hope you enjoy browsing my web site. And if you have any questions and comments on my toy soldiers, or inquiries, please feel free to contact me.

About my toy soldiers

farmhouse toy soldiers 54mm 1:32 War Austrian Succession SYW

Petite Guerre, Kleinkrieg, Guerrilla

WARFARE OF A LESSER KIND…

My period of choice is the mid 18th Century, the era known in Europe as the Rococo.

More specifically, my interest focuses on the Petite Guerre, the unconventional, small-scale warfare  that played such an important role in the conflicts of the 1740s and 1750s: the War of the Austrian Succession, the Seven Years War, and of course the French and Indian Wars.

French Hussars toy soldiers 54mm 1:32 War Austrian Succession SYW

thoroughly researched and true-to-life

HISTORICAL ACCURACY WITH A CHARMING LOOK…

I want my toy soldiers to be historically accurate, and make a point of basing my miniatures upon primary sources, or, in default of these, on reliable secondary sources and historical re-constructions. I also want them to be well proportioned and true-to-life.

At the same time, however, I like my miniatures to retain that somewhat naive look that in my view constitutes a most essential part of a toy soldier’s charm.

A note on poses…

The mid 18th Century has been the heyday of the linear battle. The regular infantry fought orderly deployed in lines three to four ranks deep, while regular cavalry units, also deployed in closed ranks, secured the flanks of the battle line.

I feel that regular figures should be posed so as to reflect their deployment in the closed-rank battle line. Although this will inevitably result in fewer, more repetitive poses, it may be compensated by allowing a certain degree of variation in dress and equipment within the same units, which in the 18th Century was certainly the case due to pre-industrial manufacturing practices and logistical supply difficulties…

Conversely, I am happy to allow my irregulars more freedom of pose, although as a rule I do not favor extreme, acrobatic poses and find that more neutral ones look better, and are better suited for skirmish war gaming anyway.

… and one on scale

I make my toy soldiers in the 1:32 scale, which is generally considered to be the same as 54mm.

Indeed, in the 1:32 scale, a man 1.73 m tall (if not the average, at least the ideal recruit for 18th Century standards) scales down to 54mm. But given a pair of shoes, he will stand about 1.76 m tall, that is 55mm.

As real people come in different sizes, 1:32 scale figures may well range between, say, 50mm (a boy or a woman about 1.60 m tall) and 60 mm (a tall man of 1.84 m wearing shoes), 54 to 57mm being the rule for adult male figures.

However, weapons and other standard objects should be reproduced exactly to their scale size, regardless of the size of the figures who hold them (a French M1728 military musket, 1.59 m long, scales down to 50mm. It may look long next to a 54mm soldier, but it is just right…).

SYW FIW war band
canadian militiaman FIW SYW

LATEST POSTS

Painting more French and Indians

I have recently enjoyed painting a few more of my French and Indians. While in the past I used to paint my figures with HUMBROL enamels (see a few of my older French and Indians in the GALLERY page, here and here), this time I have employed VALLEJO acrylics instead. Painting in acrylics is undoubtedly [...]

Now available! Cimarrons!

Here are the masters of a few more Cimarrons, or Maroon Negroes, which I have sculpted to increment the new range of Black African native figures that I have started some time back (see here and here). I have already made the rubber molds for most of the new figures, and resin castings are now [...]

More on the scale of my toy soldiers

At times people inquire about the exact scale of my toy soldiers. Although I have discussed this issue briefly in the home page of my website (here), I am happy to spend a few more words on this subject. Traditional toy soldiers used to be commercialized as being in the “54mm scale”, which, however, is [...]

Painted French Fusiliers

The general appearance of the French fusiliers of the 1740s was regulated by a King’s ordinance of 1736, which replaced the one issued in 1729. The subsequent ordinance of 1747 was issued only a few months before the end of the War of the Austrian Succession, but probably sanctioned changes that had already been informally [...]

Now available! Highland command figures!

I have added my two Highland infantry command figures to the CATALOGUE page (Officer here, and Sergeant here) .

Now available! French Line Infantry Fusiliers!

I have now completed the production molds for nine of my recently sculpted French Line Infantry Fusiliers (see here), which I have added to my CATALOGUE page. These are: FR-C-01: Standing, holding musket at ready. FR-C-02: Standing, firing musket. FR-C-03: Standing, thrusting bayonet. FR-C-04: Running, holding musket at level. FR-C-05: Running, thrusting bayonet. FR-C-06: Kneeling, [...]

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