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Last Update: 18.06.2018, 20:48
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Figure Series by Haußer / Elastolin and Lineol

When collectors talk about their hobby of collecting composition toy soldiers, they usually refer to the 7 and 7.5 cm scale models as being their favourite. These have been the most collected sizes for many years. The reason is probably that these types of composition figures are the most common and they are easy to find. Also there are enough catalogues available to identify which models have been produced. However, this size stands at the very end of the pre Second World War history of manufacturing composition figures by Hausser and Lineol. Many other sizes were produced prior to them. Some for longer periods, some only for a couple of years until they were replaced by a new series in a different size. This is quite astonishing, because the development of a new model and the forms for producing them, were expensive items. There is a theory that Hausser and Lineol always tried to make their models a little bit larger then their competitor's models. However, if that is the case, why did they first produce the large series (17 cm by Lineol and 10 cm by Hausser) which both companies dismissed in order to produce the smaller, 6 and 6.5 cm, series. The most logical reason to me is that both companies produced whatever size sold best at the time and that followed the market trend. From all known information from available manufacturer's catalogues it is possible to identify quite a few series. The results of this are given in the following tables. Please note that the series are in ascending order matching their probable manufacturing dates.

size scale series prefix catalogues
8cm (10cm) 1 : 24 without 1912
10cm (23cm) 1 : 19 without 1912
20cm 1 : 10 unknown 1914
6.0cm 1 : 33 unknown before 1925
10.5cm (14cm) 1 : 18 2/.. 1925 - 1934
6,5cm (8.5cm) 1 : 30 0/.. 1925 - 1933
7cm (9.5cm) 1 : 28 0/.. until 1935, later without 1934 - 1945
4cm (5.5cm) 1 : 51 M/.. 1939 - 1945

Table 1: Hausser / Elastolin series. Size of mounted figures in brackets

size scale series prefix catalogues
14 cm 1 : 13 166/.. 1928
17 cm 1 : 11 168/.. until 1928
9 cm 1 : 21 12/.. 1925 - 1932
6 cm 1 : 33 unknown 1925
6.5 cm 1 : 30 10/.. 1928 - 1932
7.5 cm 1 : 26 10/.. after 1933 5/.. 7/.. 8/.. 9/.. 1933 - 1945
4 cm 1 : 51 1/.. 2/.. 3/.. 1938 - 1945

Table 2: Lineol series

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Series Prefix

This is only the prefix for the most common figures (mainly infantry) of a specific series. This is by no means complete and should only be used as a reference. Both companies changed their numbering system even during existing series. Lineol changed its prefix for infantry figures around 1933 from 10/.. to 5/.. . Just one year before it started changing the figure size from 6.5 cm to 7.5 cm. Probably because of the large variety of different models, it took several years to replace the smaller scale ones. Therefore you can easily spot a mixture of both scales, especially in the 1933 and 1934 catalogue. In 1937 Hausser dismissed the 0/.. prefix for its infantry figures of the 7 cm series without changing the actual models.

Lineol 4cm SerieLineol 4cm Serie
Lineol 7,5cm SerieLineol 7,5cm Serie
Lineol 9cm SerieLineol 9cm Serie


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Size

The specified size for each series was that of the marching soldier on foot. It was measured from the bottom of the pedestal to the top of the (steel-) helmet. This shows that figures wearing the pre World War I helmet can easily be up to 1.5 cm larger than a figure of this series without a helmet. In the table for Elastolin figures the size for cavalry figures is given in brackets as recorded by Hausser.

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Scale

The scale of each series is determined by assuming an average body-height of 180 cm for a soldier including boots, heels and helmet. From the average height of a figure, 0.5 cm has to be subtracted as this is part of the pedestal. An example calculation for the 7.5 cm series made by Lineol would be: 180 cm ------------------------- ~ 25.7 7.5 cm - 0.5 cm Therefore the scale for this Lineol series is approximately 1 : 26. Because of varying figure sizes and the assumption of the average height of a human body, it does not make sense to carry the decimal for stating the scale of a series.

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Catalogues

To determine the various model series made by Hausser and Lineol, more than 40 catalogues and flyers from as early as 1912 to 1943 have been used. Unfortunately even this did not help to clarify the various series made by these two companies. Some of the sources could not be dated for the exact time of print. It is important to note that the given dates only represent the years in which these models can be found in catalogues which were available.

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General

The figures of the early series (1 to 3 Lineol and 1, 2 and 4 Hausser) mainly represent soldiers in pre World War I uniforms. However they were also made in gray field uniforms but these are not as common. The 6 and 6.5 cm series are very often referred to as the 'Reichswehr' size. Mainly because nearly all of these figures are painted with the gray post war field uniform. It is important to note that the early 7 and 7.5 cm figures are also painted with this Reichswehr uniform. This last series are the most common series and are also the most collected size. When Hausser changed the size of its models from 6.5 to 7 cm it did not replace all of the old models with larger ones. Even up to the 1939 catalogue, figures in the old 6.5 cm scale were offered and sold. There have been more series produced by Hausser as well as by Lineol, but this should give a short summary of the most common series and their place during the production period.

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Sources

  • Hausser/Elastolin and Lineol sales catalogues from 1912 to 1943,
  • Reggie Polaine, Spielzeugsoldaten, Die Geschichte von Haußer-Elastolin, 1978, New Cavendish Books, London, Great Britain.
  • Dennis Fontana, The War Toys, Kriegsspielzeug, The Story of / Die Geschichte von Lineol, New Cavendish Books, London, Great Britain.
  • Die kleine Figur, Geschichte in Masse & Zinn, p. 283

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