Friday, June 23, 2017

Collecting Toy Soldiers American History Summer Camp

I had a great week at Barstow Summer Camp with a group of kids that I got the opportunity to share the hobby of collecting toy soldiers.
This week long summer camp featured the American Civil War as our topic of discussion and gaming.  I used the BMC civil war plastic 54mm troops to explore the collection aspect of the hobby and to teach the kids to paint miniatures.

We set up a simple map campaign game.  Each student got to be an army commander.  I had 12 students during the week.

The campaign map.  Click to see a larger image.  I have used this map for three summers.

The battle of Quincy Crossing.  An encounter that occurred on the campaign map.

The miniatures started out as unpainted plastic obviously, but we explored the painting part of the hobby.  The students engaged in this at their discretion and some developed an interest in this part of the hobby.

At the end of the week we had a battle royale with all of the commanders take home army on the map.


  1. Replies
    1. Thanks Ross. I do three weeks during the summer at a school in Kansas City. Each of the weeks has a theme ancients, horse and musket, and then modern is coming up.

    2. Bravo! The HAWKS do an "Army for Kids" give-away every Historicon; each of 6 lucky kids takes home 2 painted armies, rules, dice, terrain, etc. Your having the kids paint their own figures is a great idea! How long did they have to work on them (not counting whatever they might have done at home)? There isn't all that much time at a convention, of course, but it's still a very interesting thought.

      BTW, did you use the VBACW rules you sent me a copy of awhile back?

      Best regards,

      Chris Johnson

  2. I actually used Neil Thomas's one-hour WarGames rules. Having the kids paint during the class time we had three hours a day together for a week so they probably painted for about 2 hours total the rest of it was all gaming and talking and farting around with toy soldiers. Each day involved a little bit of painting and then gaming so we couldn't paint we couldn't play with wet paint soldiers so was gradual process.