Well, I spent the majority of my waking hours yesterday unearthing and sorting these figures from the giant box in order to actually use them in my wargaming (you know, their intended purpose?). There were some surprises, some things that were sadly missing, and some that gave more questions than answers. Here's about a third of it, from what I call history's "poky" phase. Which means less guns, more swords and spears.
Edit: I was trying to do a rough chronological order here, but realized when I was done I had some pirates between the ancients and middle ages. Please just don't notice that...m'kay?
Cherilea recast Egyptians. I got these for a couple reasons. The first being I had just read "River God" and really wanted to wargame some Ancient Egyptian battles. The second being that the set came with the Cleopatra figure, which I thought was wild, as female army men, as the nomenclature implies, are exceedingly rare. These are good sculpts, though working with these now reminds me that the bases are a bit fiddly, and I had a difficult time working with them on carpets back when I got them (circa, I dunno 1999?)
Jecsan Recast Egyptians. I got these because they matched well (in terms other than color) with the Cherilea set above. Also, these guys had a greater variety of poses, and were more combat oriented in general. These had the same balance problem, and were quite prone to broken spears, as you can see in the photo. Also, I never did find horses that matched the rider poses well.
Marx Recast Pirates. I got these because I thought rival pirate crews would be great for Harold's Rangers, which was a wargame put out by toysoldierco.com (I think it can still be had, thought in it's second edition). This is where I start getting paranoid. I had more of these. In all the poses. There were 20 figures in 7 poses. Where are the rest?
Greek Soldiers and Cavalry. I don't know who made these or their provenance. My mom bought these for a project she did during her Latin class after she retired. This would have been 2-3 years ago in Southern California. I didn't have the heart to tell her they weren't Romans at all. Still, they are neat figures. I am a sucker for pre-painted figs, and the removable shields are nifty. Also, the cavalry fit their horses without too much aggravation, which always makes me happy.
Marx Recast King Arthur Knights. I don't remember when or where I got these, though I remember the primary motivation being the set had knights with weapons other than swords. Look, there's an ax guy, a flail guy, and the dude with what has to be the heaviest headed short spear in Europe. I do remember there being more of these fellows. Concern.
Accurate Medieval Men At Arms. At the time they were marketed as 100 Years War English Men At Arms, but this is what I see them marked as now. This purchase was inspired by Medieval Total War, which I played a lot of, because I was frustrated at how hard it was to find any middle ages soldiers who weren't knights in full plate. They are 1/35, which is frustratingly under-scale for most other makers, though I always rationalized it as being they were the only dudes not in full plate, which bulks you up, of course. These are troubling as well, since there were more, and some poses are missing. Specifically all the arches with angled anti-cavalry stakes. Looking up the info on these shows they have gone up in price...considerably, since I bought them.
Marx recast Robin Hood/Sherwood Foresters/ Merry Men. Again, middle ages figures that were not knights. Also, there was a Maid Marian, though she seems to have been lost. There were a LOT more of these guys as I recall. Though I am glad I managed to keep at least one copy of the guy running off with the treasure chest.
Monarch recast conquistadors. I got these chaps for wargaming as well. Primarily to go against Elizabethans and Musketeers, but they would have been good against Pirates, as well. Also, I at one point planned to get Aztec or some such figures for them to fight, though that never materialized. You will note, from his base, that the running guy is named 'Ned.' I have no memory of why.
Cherilea Elizabethans. I had a LOT more of these, as you can tell from the photo they are numbered into the 30s. That was for volley shot wound allocation, as I recall. Also, I only have 5 of the six poses. Though, the pose I am missing is a fellow with both hands in the air that I don't remember ever having. Still, if the rest ever turn up, we'll see if he's there. My favorite pose is the guy parrying with his hat. That was an honest to god fencing strategy in a time when hats were big and formed with wires!
Jecsan French Musketeers. Boy did I ever love these guys! I never understood why there was not more competition in this niche. Were kids in our era ever not excited by The Three Musketeers? I always thought it was pretty cool. These were great figures, heavy, solid, stood well. Durable too. I think I had 20, so a few are absent, but I seem to have all the poses here. Never did figure out what the guy on the far left, middle row was up to. Dancing? Again, never found the right horses for these garcons.
Cherilea English Civil War. I got these because you don't see a lot of swashbuckler type figures wearing period authentic armor, nor carrying polearms. The pose of the guy lunging with rapier, however, will not stand, carpet, hardwood, or otherwise. He will fall to his left. Every time. He is the reason I took all of these photos with the figures laying flat. Blame him, not me.
Ideal recast pirates. I'm pretty sure these are all I had. I bought fewer on purpose because there were so few poses. I seem to not have got any of the guy sitting in the crow's nest, which is curious. Still, I remember these guys being some of my favorite figures for my early, small scale wargaming with toy soldier experiments. Though their lack of bases made for some frustrating times on carpeting.
That's about it for now, folks. I plan on Part 2 being Age of Revolution to Modern, and Part 3 be Sci-Fi, Fantasy, and Weird Stuff. Look forward to it!