A Homemade Museum of Military Figures and Sketches (Musée de L’armée dans Maison)

Some time before, I have mentioned about my vast collection of military figures from different historical periods. Now I have made a type of “museum” displaying these figures accompanied by my sketches of historical period soldiers, weapons, and siege items. This sort of museum in my house is called the “Musée de L’armée dans maison” in French, which means the homemade army museum based on the original Musée de L’armée in the Hôtel des Invalides in Paris, which shows a massive collection of the history of the French army from the 13th– 20th centuries. The one I put up on the other hand shows a small but extensive collection of military scale model figures from almost every country in Europe dating from antiquity (4th century BC) to the 17th century having all sorts of soldiers, knights, legionnaires, warriors, and even samurais. The first and ultimate collectors items military figures are above the upper shelf arranged left to right in chronological order, behind them are my sketches of siege weapons (the chart of Roman siege items behind the Roman figures and the Byzantine siege weapons behind the Byzantine figures) while a postcard of Renaissance swords, guns, and helmets are behind the Renaissance figures. The scale model figures go from Greek, to Roman, to Barbarian, to Byzantine, to Medieval, to Renaissance, to Ottoman, here’s the list of the figures:

  • Macedonian Cavalryman 4th cent BC.
  • Roman Legionnaire 2nd cent
  • Roman Auxiliary 1st cent BC.
  • Roman Praetorian Guardsman 1st cent
  • Roman Centurion 1st cent
  • Frankish Soldier 6th cent
  • Byzantine Cataphract 11th cent
  • Varangian Guardsman (Byzantine) 12th cent
  • Spanish Knight 15th cent
  • English Knight 15th cent
  • Italian Knight 16th cent
  • German Knight 16th cent
  • French Musketeer 17th cent
  • Ottoman Sipahi Guardsman 15th cent
  • Ottoman Janissary 16th cent
  • Macedonian Cavalryman, Roman Legionnaire, Praetorian Guardsman, Roman Auxiliary, Roman Centurion figures
    Macedonian Cavalryman, Roman Legionnaire, Roman Auxiliary, Praetorian Guardsman, Roman Centurion
    Frankish soldier, Byzantine Cataphract, Varagian Guardsman, Spanish Knight, English Knight
    Frankish soldier, Byzantine Cataphract, Varagian Guardsman
    Spanish Knight, English Knight, Italian Knight, German Knight
    Spanish Knight, English Knight, Italian Knight, German Knight
    French Musketeer, Ottoman Guardsman, Ottoman Janissary
    French Musketeer, Ottoman Guardsman, Ottoman Janissary

    Full view of the Figures on the shelf
    Full view of the Figures on the shelf

Displayed on the walls are sheets with some of my sketches of historical soldier sets, which happen to be the best of them. First of all is the sheet with the 2 Greek Hoplites, the one on the left with white armor, a helmet, red cape, and a spear with a shield, the one on the right has a blue cape, bronze plated armor, a large round shield and a Greek sword. Below it is the sketch of 3 Roman military figures of the Roman army, a centurion, a standard bearer, and a praetorian guardsman. The next one below it shows 2 Byzantine military figures, the Varangian guards, soldiers from Nordic countries and Russia who served in protecting the Byzantine empire, both these Varangian guards carry a sword and axe or mace, have scaled armor, and a green cape. Right below it are 2 charts of weapons, one showing ancient Greek weapons, the other showing Roman weapons. The set with Greek weapons shows some of them including swords, javelins, bows, and daggers but lacking in spears and large round shields; the Roman weapon set on the other hand shows some swords, daggers, shields, bows, a banner, helmet, but lacking spears. The other wall shows historical maps (my sketches too) one of them is Europe in the 500’s (6th century), the other is Europe in the 1200’s (13th century), and the other is Europe in the 1700’s (18th century). In each map, it shows how the geography of Europe has changed over the centuries; such as in the 6th century, Europe was still made up of large kingdoms ruled by different tribes, as in the 13th century Europe is made of some small but some large kingdoms, but in the 18th century Europe’s kingdom’s were larger and some started forming empires but some remained as small independent states. Anyway, there is still a lot more to go in the collection.

Greek Hoplites and Roman military figures sketches
Greek Hoplites and Roman military figures sketches
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Byzantine Varangian Guards sketch
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Greek weapons chart (above) Roman weapons chart (below)
Europe Map 13th century with medieval charts and sketches
Europe Map 13th century with medieval charts and sketches
Europe Map 6th century (above) Europe Map 18th century (below)
Europe Map 6th century (above) Europe Map 18th century (below)

The next shelf shows the medieval army collection, of course above it are a few charts and sketches, and one of them is a postcard showing a full-scale crusader knight’s armor, showing its parts and weapons, although it is in French. The sketches show 6 different medieval soldier units; a Hospitaler knight, a Jerusalem knight, a Saracen soldier, an English longbow archer, a French knight, and a Spanish knight. On the table are the 4 medieval soldier figures:

  • Flemish Cavalry Knight 13th cent
  • English Archer 14th cent
  • French knight 14th cent
  • Italian Cavalry Knight 15th cent
  • Medieval military figures (Flemish Knight, English Archer, French Knight, Italian Knight)
    Medieval military figures (Flemish Knight, English Archer, French Knight, Italian Knight)

The next table has more of the figures but before the figure; let’s first go with the sketches and charts above. First of all is my sketch of the Byzantine military basics with the Byzantium war flag, basic weapons, a shield, Byzantine symbols, and a figure of a Byzantine army captain. Below is the chart of Byzantine weapons such as swords, shields, daggers, spears, a banner, a crossbow, and an early rifle. There is also a postcard showing the different types of French imperial guards of the 19th century, though this may look out of place, so does the Japanese print beside it. On the table, there are 7 figures, one side shows some other medieval European figures, while the other side shows a distinct Japanese Samurai collection, here’s the list:

  • Saracen Soldier 12th cent
  • Hospitaler Knight 13th cent
  • Polish Cavalry Knight 15th cent
  • Samurai standard bearer 16th cent
  • Samurai Spearman 16th cent
  • Samurai Katana warriors 16th cent
  • Samurai Katana warriors, Samurai spearman, Samurai standard bearer, Polish cavalry knight, Saracen soldier, and Hospitaler knight (sadly broken down) and Japanese traditional print and French Imperial Guard postcard behind
    Samurai Katana warriors, Samurai spearman, Samurai standard bearer, Polish cavalry knight, Saracen soldier, and Hospitaler knight (sadly broken down) and Japanese traditional print and French Imperial Guard postcard behind
  • Sketch of Byzantine military basics and army captain (above) sketch of Byzantine weapons (below)
    Sketch of Byzantine military basics and army captain (above) sketch of Byzantine weapons (below)

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This is all now for my homemade military figures collection museum, if you were all wondering what it has, this is what. To give it more of a museum look rather than house decorations, I put different charts and panels with the warfare theme behind the figures to make it looks like it has a theme relating to the history period of each soldier, also there are flags beside the labels of the soldiers to point out which country it is from. The homemade museum of course is not overall the figures coming from different countries itself but on the charts and historical drawings it has, all of it put together to make history alive and visible in the same room, that’s all for now, thanks for viewing!

My military figures collections

For quite a time, and even till now I have an expanding collection of military figures from all the ages, mostly from ancient and middle ages. My vast collection of figures were attained through time, most of it I bought as a collectible from different places in Europe. My collections includes ancient soldiers, Medieval knights, Renaissance armed men, eastern warriors, and Japanese Samurai. All of them I classify in order to identify what their type is and where it was from.

I. Ancient military figures:

Ancient warfare collection
Ancient warfare collection

Shown above: Praetorian guardsman, Roman centurion, early Roman legionnaire, Frankish warrior, and Macedonian cavalryman

These figures shown here is a part of my collection, classified as ancient warfare figures, total of 5 so far. Here is a Roman Praetorian guardsman figure, the Roman military unit in charge of protecting Rome, seen with a gold metal chest plate, a helmet with a crest, and a sword pointing outwards. The other Roman figure, seen in front is a miniature size early Roman infantry unit with a long red cape, a unique helmet, and leather armor, a unit from the time of the Roman Republic. Behind is a Roman Centurion figure, an army officer with a large square shield, a helmet with the crest sidewards, and a chain-mail armor, this outfit was worn by army officers only. In this picture is also a Frankish warrior part of the Germanic tribesmen, seen with simpler armor which is only a tunic, also with a round helmet, and a round shield at the back. The one on the right is a Macedonian cavalryman figure, mounted on a horse holding its sword. The 3 Roman figures, I got them in Rome during my trips, the Frankish warrior is from Germany, while the Macedonian cavalryman is from Greece. (sorry the photo mat be a lot blurred)

II. Crusades military figures:

Crusades warfare collection
Crusades warfare collection

shown above: Hospitaler knight, Italian cavalry knight, Byzantine infantry soldier, German cavalry knight, and French knight

These figures shown above are 5 Medieval figures from the time of the crusades, 4 are knights, one is a Byzantine soldier. Shown here is a knight of the Hospitaler order in the Holy Land during the crusades, wearing a black cloak over the chain mail armor holding its sword. The larger figure beside it on the horse is an Italian cavalry knight with full armor and chain mail, with a red cape. At the center, the miniature figure is a Byzantine infantry soldier, probably a Cataphract unit, however not wearing the lamellar but a chain mail, a long narrow shield, and thin longsword. To the right of it is a French knight, with the French blue-design cloak over its full armor underneath, with the French pointed-front helmet opened, holding a broadsword and a shield with the French coat of arms, the 3 fleur-de-lys. Behind it is a German/ Flemish crusader knight on an armored horse, wearing chain mail with a yellow tunic over and a square helmet, holding a shield with the Flemish coat of arms and a broadsword. The Hospitaler knight is from Germany, the Italian cavalry knight and Flemish cavalry knight from Belgium, the French knight from France, and the Byzantine soldier from Turkey.

IV. Eastern military figures:

Eastern warfare collection
Eastern warfare collection

shown above: Ottoman warrior, Saracen warrior, Ottoman Janissary

The 3 figures above are of the eastern armies during the Middle-ages , from the Islamic Empires such as the Saracens.The one on the left is an Ottoman warrior with chain-mail and padded armor, the cone helmet and holding a kijil sword. The one at the center is a Saracen soldier from the Crusades, wearing a coat over the chain mail, the cone helmet with a scarf, holding a scimitar sword and a narrow oval shield. On the right is an Ottoman Janissary, the elite protectors of the Ottoman Empire and guards of the sultan, instead of armor, the janissaries wear layers of robes, a headpiece, holding a gun pole, 2 guns sheathed, and a kijil sword. The ottoman warrior together with the Janissary came from Turkey, as from Spain is the Saracen warrior at the center.

IV. Medieval/ Renaissance military figures:

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Medieval/ Renaissance warfare collection

These figures shown above are each from the Medieval and Renaissance age, from the 1300’s, 1400’s, and 1500’s, most include full-armored knights. On the left is an English knight from the hundred year’s war, (13-1400’s) in full armor but with a red tunic over, the English knight has a full helmet and carries a longsword. Next to it is a miniature German cavalry knight of the late Middle ages, mounted on a horse with full armor and a large cape. At the center is an Italian Renaissance knight, with full detailed armor, used during the Renaissance holding a lance. To the right is a Spanish Medieval knight in full armor, sitting down, holding a helmet and a war hammer. Behind it is a Renaissance French knight, seen in the new invention of black armor and is shorter than older armors, having a helmet with a large feather giving it a Renaissance look,it carries a Renaissance sword, and a full metal shield. The English knight figure came from Belgium, so did the Italian knight, the Spanish knight was from Spain, while the German knight from Germany, and the French knight from France. The armor of these figures show the development of armor at the end of the Middle Ages.

shown above: English knight, German cavalry knight, Italian Renaissance knight, Spanish knight, French Renaissance knight

V. Japanese military figures:

Japanese Samurai warfare collection
Japanese Samurai warfare collection

shown above: 2 Samurai katana warriors, naginata warrior, flag bearer

As the European knights had strong armor and weapons, the Japanese knights, called the samurai did too. The 2 metallic figures at the back do not have color but show in exact detail how samurai padded armor looked like. The one on the back-left has a lighter padded armor but with a wider helmet, only carrying a katana sword; the one on the back-right has larger heavier armor and the same type of helmet, holding a naginata, or samurai spear. The 2 figures at the bottom include a samurai katana warrior (left) with black armor and a katana blade; on the right is a samurai flag bearer with red armor but a cloak over it, instead of a weapon, it carries a war standard with the Tokugawa Shogun seal. The 2 metallic figures were from Japan, while the other 2 are simply action figures.

This collection of mine at the start was mostly Medieval knights, though I wanted to improve by suing other sets which expanded it having Renaissance, Roman, Turkish, and Japanese figures. This collection of mine is still yet progressing.