FORT MYERS – When Alfred du Moulin was first given a toy soldier by his grandmother, no one could have predicted that this toy would one day multiply into a toy army of nearly 1,000 figures, all hand-molded and painted by Mr. du Moulin.
The late Mr. du Moulin’s wife, Martha, now lives in Oakmont, where the one-of-a-kind collection is showcased.
“Al just hit on something that is very historical,” Martha said. The soldiers come from many different countries and time periods. Mr. du Moulin himself spent a great deal of time in Europe and the Middle East, so many of their soldiers are represented. He even created horses, camels, artillery, and flags.
“Dating back, as many of these do, to the 17th and 18th century, countries back then vied with each other and were distinguished by their uniforms. Uniforms were very important.” That is why du Moulin researched the crests and colors of each regiment – painting them accurately, right down to the tiny buttons on their jackets. “Al was an artist,” said Martha. “He could make a very fine line.”
For now, this miniature army is encamped for all to see in Mrs. du Moulin’s Oakmont apartment. Someday, she plans to donate them to a toy and miniature museum in Kansas City. “It’s going to be a hard thing to pack up,” she said.