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Antique Shop Rescue: 1971 Britains American Civil War Figures


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Okay,... this is not really modelling, but I figured this would get the most appreciation on this Forum.


There is a saying that collectors seek out the things they could not have, or have enough of when they were a kid. I used to love the detailed plastic figures done by Wm. Britains, but they were generally beyond my budget. And they weren't that easy to find.


Fast forward to a couple of years ago. In this part of the country, it is not unusual for the antique shops in the small towns to be run as a seasonal business. I finally got into a small shop that I had my eye on and poked all over it for militaria. I came up with very little, but I did spot a box full of mounted cavalry figures. The gentleman quoted me a price which was more than I was willing to pay that day. I left empty handed while the wife of course had a pile of vintage lace, thread and buttons.


We finally got back there this summer. The vase I wanted for my daughter was gone, and the militaria was still sparse and limited. But I had been thinking about these brave soldiers waiting for the day they were released.


Sure enough the were still there. We negotiated a price, and they were retrograded to the safety of the trunk of my car. Truth be told I probably paid just shy of their retail value, but the seller got what he had put into them and it was a win win for everyone. (Although the wife had thought I'd gone around the bend.)

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When I unpacked them... I think I counted 22 or so figures. There was a complete Confederate and Union Cavalry set, a complete Union infantry set. There were a couple of extra Union cavalry, and of all things a plow horse.


I have since beefed up the Confederate side with additional infantry and a three piece cavalry set.


They are all set to do battle across my home work station.

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If this was not enough... a complete 1971 US 7th Cavalry set. The only thing missing is the sword that should be in the lead horseman's hand. I was going to parse these out to help pay for things, but the sculpts are so well down I think I will keep them around for awhile.

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As I said, this is not modelling in the least... but they still just as fun as when I was a kid.


Britain's still offers these, but has also gone with high end ($35 each) individual metal sculptures. I think I will hold off on those for awhile.... I am just having too much fun with these!

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Beautiful... Britains were the most desirable little figures! I had them all but unfortunately they're all gone now. The Confederate Cavalry was my favorite. I wish I had them today on my shelf riding near my King&Country Kosaken Kavallerie Korps figures.

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I forgot to mention, as I was paying for these, some dude comes walking in and with a smirk said "What are you doing... reenacting Gettysburg?"


Before he could snicker I replied "Yes, of course!" I am sure he was there for his manly Royal Dalton teacups.


My only regret was that I didn't say "Oh no... I am doing the Battle of Brandy Station!" One should not be critical of another's collecting interests!

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Thanks for the memories.


I remember them well too, I got a the the CW ones in Williamsburg VA in 75, or I should say more of them, I had a few already for a few years. I remember the Greeks too that I had.

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Great looking pieces. I used to collect Britians soldiers but the price and local availability put them out of range for me. I still love 'em tho.

Too bad the 7th Cav. troops are wearing those stupid yellow bandanas just like a John Ford western. I do Indian Wars living history and have many folks ask why the Cav. isn't wearing yellow bandanas like in the movies or "F" Troop. They are surprised to learn that was only in the movies!

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WUNDERBAR! Yours seem to be complete sets in mint/museum condition. Excellent figures, your pictures bring back great memories! I only have a few remaining. As you can see we've played a lot with them:



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Did they have a Nazi officer with a Luger??


I believe they did. More recently manufactured versions of these sets can be found on eBay and Amazon.com, as well as various on-line dealers.

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