Monday, March 2, 2015

Standard Toy Soldier Poses: The Standing Shooter

The Standing Shooter

One of the most common toy soldiers is the Standing Shooter. Be he a rifleman or musketeer, he points his weapon forward and stands steadily, aiming at the enemy. If we discount archers as vestiges of an earlier age, we get a line of standing shooters from the Revolution to the present. The standing shooter is a staple of every good set of combat-posed army men.

Standing to shoot was a common thing when the first firearms made their debut. The early arquebusiers actually rested their weapons on stake to fire. As the way to mass firepower was to mass the musketeers, the standard pose for shooting was a standing position. One rank of troops knelt beneath the muskets of standing men. Officers could position men so that more than one rank could fire standing.

Leave it to the armies to each invent their own "correct" way to stand and shoot. They had a proper way to place their legs and hold the weapon and a correct sequence for firing. As the firearms evolved from arquebuses to flintlocks to percussion rifles to modern long arms, the right way changed. Of course, our toy soldiers do not always reflect this.

In modern warm, the only right way to stand and shoot is from a foxhole or behind cover. The correct way to shoot is to get as low as possible and find cover. That has in no way diminished the place of the standing shooter in a set of toy soldiers. He is in bags and boxed sets, plastic and metal and composition.

To this day, all soldiers are taught how to stand and shoot. And to kneel and shoot and lie down and shoot. Little changes are made from generation to generation. Mine was taught to hold our shooting arm straight, elbow pointing out. These days, they tell them to keep the elbow in.

And more than a few toy soldiers have their poses adapted so as to make it cheaper to make the molds. Realism got sacrificed to save a few dollars. This was done mostly by British and European companies, not American.

You can see the actual firing methods taught to armies here:

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