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Saturday, August 18, 2012

Cherilea - Toy Soldiers

Cherilea was an English firm founded right after WWII. Initially in the lead/metal toy soldier business, they started making plastic figures in the mid 50s, and through the 60s. Their range of figures is varied, across periods and genres -including some non-military figures. They produced figures in 54mm and 60mm, however their WWII plastic figures are mainly in 60mm. Today you can still buy Cherilea recasts, although it is unknown to me who owns the molds and manufactures them. Here you can see their WWII plastic range.

Cherilea British 8th Army
These guys are 60mm figures. The guy in the middle looks like he could be Monty. The rest of the guys are a decent addition to the unit, a bit upright in some cases, but still acceptable.

Cherilea Afrika Korps
These guys are 60mm tall, so if you want to include them in your DAK Army you should place them a bit apart from the Revell guys. The most interesting guy here is the one crawling on the far right. If you look closely, he seems to have received a shrapnel wound on his shoulder. The guy surrendering is unique, but would only be useful in very specific diorama scenes. And then there's another guy who could be Rommel or perhaps one of his staff officers.

Cherilea German Infantry - Vintage
These are old Cheriela figures, cast in darker colors to represent regular German Infantry. As you can tell there must have been multiple iterations based on the colors represented. One thing to note is that even if they are cast in darker tones, the laced up boots and the officer's (Rommel) shorts still give away the fact that they were originally sculpted as Afrika Korps figures. 

Cherilea Soviet Infantry
These guys are 60mm figures, but close enough in size to pass for some tall Slavic guys. They are also wearing a cossack outfit which is good to augment their number in my Soviet Army. The set comes with a flamethrower guy, a mortar, and a bazooka, which are welcome heavy weapons.

Cheriela Soviet Infantry - Vintage
Here are some of the original figures. Some of the factory paint is faded, but there is enough left to see that the pants were painted grey, while the shirt appears to have been left in the original plastic color. Not the most accurate, but I guess it made them lively and attractive. 

Cherilea Chinese Infantry
These Cherilea figures are 60mm tall. I've seen them advertised as WWII as well as Korean War soldiers. Even if they were the latter, they are close enough in time that it does not make much of a difference. I like the fact that they'll provide a mortar, a bazooka, a couple of MGs, and a flamethrower to the otherwise lightly armed guys issued by other manufacturers. The flamethrower guy is interesting because his fuel tank is round, like a slice of a cylinder. The detail is not the best, but considering that there are not many sets to pick from what are we going to do about it?

Cherilea Chinese Infantry - Vintage
Here are some original Chinese Infantry figures. It gives you an idea regarding the original paint color shcheme and the plastic that they were cast on. They definitely look nicer than the more recent recasts without any color on them. A good incentive to paint those recasts at some point. Plus I can then paint them in their actual uniform colors. 

Cherilea 60mm British Red Berets - Part I
I recently found these guys on eBay as they are no longer manufactured. Based on the weapon of the guy on the right they seem to be modern figures, but I think that once you paint them to match the WWII guys they will fit right in.
Cherilea 60mm British Red Berets - Part II
Here is the last guy that was missing from the set. Not the most exciting pose, but it rounds up the set of six nicely.
Cherilea 60mm Sikh Infantry
These guys are on the larger side of 60mm, but I think they will still blend in wth the other 54mm guys from other manufacturers once they are painted. The poses are well sculpted and dynamic, plus they provide the only Indian prone guy that I have come across.
Cherilea 54mm Sikh Infantry?
This guy came with the other 3 above, but I suspect he is from a different set as he is a bit smaller, plus the shape of the base is slightly different, not to mention the slightly different material. I have to say however that I don't know for sure if Cherilea also released a set in 54 mm, so maybe they are from an entirely different manufacturer. If you know, let me know!
Cherilea 60mm Sikh Infantry - Part II
Here is another guy from the same set. I got it after the initial post. Unfortunately the tip of the gun is missing, but overall it is a nice pose. Will need to give it a good scrub before painting it.
Cherilea 60mm Sikh Infantry - Part III
Here is the last guy from the set. A nice, intense action pose. I've had to get some of these figures individually as it is hard to find a complete set.

Cherilea Modern British Infantry
I really like the level of action and intensity depicted by these guys. And by that, I don't just mean that they have for instance, a guy who is charging, because some other manufacturers also have such a pose, but still, the movements of those other figures are sometimes not as fluid. They really captured well all the subtle angles of the joints and leaning of the body to give them a very genuine look. There is at least one more guy in the set, as I've seen a picture with 4 poses (a grenade thrower is missing).


Click here to see more Indian Infantry
Click here to see more Soviet Infantry
Click here to see more Chinese Infantry
Click here to see more British Paratroops

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