A Quick Trip to the Works

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A quick trip into town on  dull family business was enlivened by popping into several charity shops (sadly no plastic tat, but a mass of obscure WW2 aircraft, mostly foreign 1/72 kits in one – resisted) and The Works.

The Works had a tiny selection of a few Nano Metal Figures, mostly Harry Potter / Fantastic Beasts and Halo SciFi, but at good prices – 2 for £3.00.

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“What’s in the suitcase, sir? Show us your Papers.” Nano Metalfigs Jacob Kowalski Figure  (centre) being questioned by Irregular Miniatures 42mm British Infantry.

I had previously bought one of this Nano range last year (above),  who with his suitcase and suit worked well as a civilian or spy figure in different eras  for some 40 – 42mm figures I have https://poundstoreplasticwarriors.wordpress.com/2018/09/02/pound-store-42mm-spy/

In terms of size these metal Nano figures are quoted as 1.65” (inch) or roughly 40 to 41 mm, equating to roughly 1:43 scale https://www.peoplescale.com/143-1625-in-TALL-41275-mm-TALL_c265.

As a result they should roughly fit with my 40mm figures to 42mm figures. They do slightly tower over my Pound Store Plastic Warriors penny dreadful conversions, which are roughly 32mm. There is only a slight size and build difference between the adults  and child / pupil figures  in the Harry Potter series.

The shiny colours are not a problem as I like old toy soldier Gloss paint styles.  It was the choice of colours that needed work on them to blend them in better as multipurpose civilians. Blue and silver trench coats were quickly repainted in dull khaki, a little more ordinary civilian or secret agent. A green Toy Soldier style base quickly altered the feel of the figures.

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Repainted Ron Weasley (teenage pupil) centre  alongside some slightly taller adult figures from the Fantastic Beasts film, Tina Goldstein (left)  and Newt Scamander  (right) both about 41mm – quick repaints. A woman wearing trousers – suspicious or a land girl in britches?

The original Nano figures can be seen here with their packaging, colours and a range of other figures for size comparison. I flagrantly ignored the instruction on the reverse “Caution: Heavy metal collectible figure  – not meant to be played with as action figure”

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C. 40mm – 42mm Halo and Harry Potter Nano Metal figures – 2 for £3 at The Works – with some 32mm boers (right), Spencer Smith Shiny Toy Soldiers Scout (centre) and Phoenix 43 (left) Scout figures.

These figures are diecast metal. Whilst I found that I could drill a hole without difficulty through Ron Weasley’s hand to take a Scout stave, I could not easily clip or cut the generously sized bases any smaller.

I thought that ‘Ron’ might somehow make a useful Scout Wide Games figure, alongside the two civilians. With the “Cloak of Romance” mentioned in the 1930s Wide Games scouting scenarios book , Alan ‘Tradgardland’ Gruber  suggested that we could adopt or re-use any available figures that the Boy Scouts are imagining themselves into being – pirates, smugglers, natives,  cowboys, Indians, settlers etc.

As well as as cheaper books, The Works also has a craft section of paints and crafting materials, small wooden boxes etc. I found this set of Scrabble style thin wooden tiles designed for crafting and scrapbooking. With the sticky backing dot removed, they could make quick and easy figure bases for 15 mm figures. 4 pence each a base.  This would make an alternative to penny bases for 20 – 40mm figures or an alternative to cutting  out squares of scrap mounting board, which is how I usually mount my Peter Laings.

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A useful (unknown maker, job lot) 15mm pirate / sailor / irregular figure on a ‘Scrabble’ base, next to a Peter  Laing 15mm Zulu on mounting board base.

Alongside the 32mm pound store plastic figure conversions of space figures, the Halo female figure of ‘Cortana’ is slightly taller at 41mm. But in space and sci-fi, different  races and cyborgs etc will vary in size. Just watch Star  Wars cantina scenes.

https://poundstoreplasticwarriors.wordpress.com/2017/11/05/poundland-space-marines-platoon-on-parade/

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A towering female form not to be messed with? 41mm diecast metal Cortana from Halo alongside my 32mm Pound Store Figure conversion into space troopers / marines.

These discounted  Nano metal figures at £1.50 are good value alongside similar 1/43 or  40 to 42mm metal figures which are around / between  £2 to £3 such as:

The civilian, railway and military  ranges at at S&D Phoenix  1/43 https://www.sanddmodels.co.uk/products_43_figures.htm

STS Little Britons 42mm   (Spencer Smith website) http://www.spencersmithminiatures.co.uk/html/lb_gallery.html

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Still on the painting table awaiting toy soldier faces … Little Britons figures – two patrols of  LBB30 Boy Scouts and 4 Girl Scout or Guide conversions.

My Boy Scout LBB30 as a smaller single casting  figure in the adult 42mm range is only £1.25 compared to the £1.95 for an adult figure.

Irregular Miniatures 42mm civilian and military WW2 figures. http://www.irregularminiatures.co.uk/42mmRanges/42mmWorldWar2.htm

Meanwhile back in the post Edwardian years before WW1 …

Travelling back to a different time and different world, I have finished reading through ‘How Girls can Help to Build Up The Empire – The Handbook for Girl Guides’, c. 1912, the second of  my original Scouting texts that I have read as part of the scouting Wide Games Project. The paperback reprint American adapatations or versions of both books are on order.

Whilst H.G. Wells was working on Floor  Games and Little Wars, Robert Baden Powell’s sister Agnes was busily adapting his bestselling Scouting for Boys for an eager new audience.

This book is a fascinating period piece, along with Baden Powell’s 1908 Scouting For Boys, with lots of useful details to include early BP Girl Scouts and then the BP Girl Guides in the scouting Wide Games tabletop simulations. However from 1912 the new BP Girl Guides were discouraged from or not officially allowed to ‘romp’ or train alongside the Boy Scouts.

No fraternisation? This might have to be ignored in many circumstances on my table top simulation / gaming version. I will have to trust them to behave. Scout’s or Guide’s “Honour” is an important concept to bring into the gaming set up.

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More on these fascinating books in future blog posts. The Phoenix 43 Scout Trek Cart group is almost finished too.

Blog posted by Mark Man of TIN, 14 July 2019.

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More Girl Scout Conversions

 

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A couple of broken metal figures have found a brand new life as Girl Scouts.

These conversions  fit well with my slow reading ‘research’ for my Scout Wide Games tabletop project, poring through the earliest Scouting for Boys books and Girl Scout  equivalent, How Girls Can Help the Empire: The Handbook for Girl Guides.

I was delighted to pick up an early original copy of this Guides book  c.1912 or pre-WW1 version on EBay, much cheaper than the paperback reprint! Other originals were £100 or more! https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/How_Girls_Can_Help_to_Build_Up_the_Empire

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The Victorian or Edwardian sailor suited boy might  have come from the ‘bits and bobs’ box at Tradition of London (their old Shepherd Market shop). He had broken off at the ankles.

The archer was a small broken gilt figure minus its head.

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Drilled hand with wire staff and fixed feet and base – penny for size comparison.

The sailor boy was fixed by drilling holes in both feet and ankles with a fine pin vice or hand drill. Small pins  of wire joined body and feet together, secured with superglue.

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The repaired Boy

Something about that cheeky face said that this could be a Girl Scout recruit, rather than an Edwardian Boy Scout. I quickly made a tissue paper skirt fixed with clear PVA glue.

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Paper skirt and penny base in place

I was quite curious to see how these figure conversions would be enhanced (or not) by paint. I wanted an old-fashioned toy soldier look to the faces, along with a final spray of  gloss varnish.

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The floppy brimmed hat seems to work well as an Edwardian or 1920s Guiders hat. 
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Rear view of the conversions, the simple quiver was part of the original figure. 

And the scout mistress or archer? He started life as a man, then when I came across him, he had no head. A quick rummage in the spares box found a spare pound store figure about the right size. Off with his head!

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Hole reinforcer or hole punch hat brims, spare plastic figure and the headless gilt archer.

I cannot find a manufacturer for either figure. It looks on the original gilt figure as if one hand is carrying an arrow. This fine detail may need to be added.

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The American “fritz” helmet does convert into a hat with twenties bobbed haircut.

Archery was certainly recommended as a sport for Guides by Robert Baden-Powell and his sister Agnes, who adapted her brother’s 1908 hand book Scouting for Boys  into the 1912 handbook, How Girls Can Help To Build Up The Empire: The Handbook For Girl Guides. The ‘Girl Guiding’ handbook replaced this first book in 1918.

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The Baden-Powells also recommended rifle shooting. Both boy and girl scouts  could attain a Marksman badge for rifle shooting. There was also a section on self defence (jujitsu) as you never knew what you might encounter as a young woman at home or in the colonies on the frontiers of the Empire! Tigers, mad dogs, brigands, insurgents?

Research is slow but enjoyable, being a comparitive reading of this first 1912 Girl Scout or Guide handbook, alongside its predecessor Scouting For Boys. The sections are mixed up and in a different order. It is interesting to note what is kept in and suitable for guides, what is substituted as specifically for girls.

For instance, Baden Powell mentions in Scouting for Boys in a section on marksmanship: “The Boers are all good shots, and so are the Swiss. In both countries, the boys begin learning marksmanship at an early age by using crossbows…”, something suggested to Boy Scouts but not to Girl Scouts or Guides.

Being an accomplished marksman, after the lessons of the Boer War,  was  also seen by Baden Powell as a patriotic duty for men (‘citizen soldiers’) and good for home defence.

There is no obvious suggestion in either book that women should be armed ‘citizen soldiers’ in Britain, only in the frontiers of Empire for self defence of property and family.

Certain of the original Wide Games scenarios are included for girls; the book often mentions to save space ‘as in Scouting’, so the 1912 Guides book and the 1908 original Scouting book are designed to read together.

Blog posted by Mark, Man of TIN 9th July 2019.

 

 

July 4th Part 2 – Vintage Airfix ACW Battle of Pine Ridge Revisited

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Loved this ACW vintage Airfix game from July 2017.

https://manoftinblog.wordpress.com/2017/07/25/acw-battle-of-pine-ridge-vintage-airfix-full-game-write-up/

I don’t check my blog stats that often but I noticed in passing a little spike on June 26th Of over 300 hits on one old blog post  from two years ago in a week of not posting much new. The referrer site was the TMP website http://theminiaturespage.com/boards/msg.mv?id=510247

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Some good looking clever Airfix paint conversions by Paul’s Bods. TMP Page forum

July 4th Blog Post Part 1 – https://manoftinblog.wordpress.com/2019/07/04/marx-boy-scouts-of-america-54mm-figure/
Blog Posted by Mark Man of TIN on the 4th of July 2019

 

 

Marx Boy Scouts Of America 54mm figure

GAmerica, America … no this is not a post about the Women’s World Cup.

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My battered Marx Boy Scout finally gets some paint after forty plus years. Still some gloss varnish and finishing touches needed.

To celebrate the 4th of July, here is a short blog post on the Marx Boy Scouts Of America figures. Of which I have exactly – one. No idea why I have it, it’s just part of the family collection.

Researching early Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts for my Wide Games on the tabletop, I frequently come across references to the American branch of the scouting family. They developed in different ways in a different culture than how scouting and guiding happened in Britain.

After 40+ years I have finally painted a fragile survivor in my family / childhood collection, what I discovered to be a Marx 54mm to 60mm Plastic Scout. He used to hang out with the Cowboys in my childhood games, his fragile scout hatchet long gone.

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The whole range of these American figures, the Boy Scouts Of America, can be seen individually here on this great  Marx Collectors site including a superb tin litho club house: https://www.marxwildwest.com/boy%20scouts.html

This fragile old figure needs a final coat of gloss acrylic, to get that toy soldier look, then final varnishing. There are some good details to pick out such as a torch or rope loop on the belt.

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Rear details of Boy Scout equipment and my metal Boy Scout moulds.

I could drill through the hand and insert a Boy Scout staff or stave but I think he is probably too fragile for this. Part of one foot and the base have already gone.

I often wonder how we acquired just a single American plastic scout figure. I never remember any others as a child.

Coming from a scouting family, he might have been bought by or given to my cub master Dad. He might also have come from a 1960s / 1970s job lot of odd plastic figures that my late Dad bought for us all (c. Very Early 1970s) from a neighbouring family when their boys were grown up and beyond such childish things. (This stage thankfully hasn’t happened to me or many of my blog readers yet).

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Copyright image: Marxwildwest.com website

Here is a glimpse of the gorgeous tin club house, a tiny part of a large and interesting Marx website. Looking through this website, I realised that I have or had no other Marx figures in my childhood toy collection. This makes the single Marx Boy Scout more of a mystery!

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An American flag for the 4th of July. The Marx tinplate Boy Scout log cabin

https://www.marxwildwest.com/boy%20scouts.html

Repeat to myself: “I don’t need one of these”

I don’t need one of these.

I don’t need one of these – as I have some lovely genuine American log cabins from Christmas 2018.

https://manoftinblog.wordpress.com/2018/12/27/roy-toys-usa-log-cabin-set/

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My Fimo polymer clay 20mmish American figures and Paines Log Cabins.

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https://manoftinblog.wordpress.com/2018/12/29/more-log-cabins/

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Down at the old log cabin in the woods: my single Marx Boy Scout Of America hosts a visiting  Britains Boy Scout with spare replacement Dorset Soldiers bush hat head.

Look out for my July 4th part two blogpost. https://manoftinblog.wordpress.com/2019/07/04/july-4th-part-2-vintage-airfix-acw-battle-of-pine-ridge-revisited/

Posted by Mark Man of TIN, 1970s Cub Scout (Bronze Arrow, Retired) June 2019.

 

54mm Repurposed Space Figures

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Defenders of the Launch  Pad
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Attack of the Abutilons! Very odd poundstore thin tall plastic clone figure makes a good space invader (40 to 54mm)

I was lucky enough earlier this week to catch up in person with Alan The Tradgardmastre of the noble Duchy of Tradgardland on his Ducal travels. We met for a cup of coffee in a beer and coffee tavern  which is also a bookshop full of fashionable and political reading material. This sounds suitably Eighteenth Century for the Duke and the Duchy! Sadly it was too hot to wear a tricorne.

The Duke is a jolly nice chap, as you would expect from his blog (we were discussing A Very British Civil War at the time). We chatted variously about gaming, Toy Soldiers, interwar History, Scout Wide Games,  the events overlap of gaming and  re-enactors, the joy of simple rules and finished off talking about blogging and its many positive aspects such as the unusual openness about men’s mental health.

Unfortunately due to heavy traffic (too many stage coaches, ox waggons and sedan chairs on the road) I didn’t get a chance to make it home en route to pick up any ‘minis’ to show Alan such tiny delights as my new Phoenix 43  Scout trek cart or these space rangers to see if he recognised them. At least without ‘minis’ on the table, we were spared the curious, pitying  or withering looks of onlooking drinkers and customers.

Once Upon A Time in a Garden-axy Far Far Away …

In return for home-casting some metal Scout figures, Alan the Tradgardmastre of the Duchy of Tradgardland blog sent me via the Duchy Post Office last month some American Tim Mee plastic space figures and some odd homecast and lead figures.

Looking at the post war GI or paratroop  figures, I thought the unusual rifle and round helmet might make for some good space figures.

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In a garden-axy far far away … Strange slaty granite planet with alien plant forms and breathable atmosphere.

Just the ticket for a 1970s Airfix boy derailed by Star Wars and American 1970s Star Wars spin off sci-fi series …

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A bit of a stylish Flash Gordon / Dan Dare 1930s / 1950s Sci Fi thing going on here.

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Tim Mee Galaxy Laser Quest Space Officer and three metal troopers.

The heads on the kneeling metal figures look like they have possibly been swapped or repaired.

A grey painted tuppenny 2p base gives the kneeling or plastic figures some stability; grey I thought is more spaceship like, metallic and neutral than the traditional sap green or bright emerald green of many old toy soldiers. I wanted to keep that shiny gloss 1950s Dan Dare space figure / toy soldier look though.

Equally an army of these could be expendable minions for one of those James Bond style  private armies  guarding the inevitable secret base. I can see a link to the blue uniformed Polish Airfix Para clones featured from Etsy in my Christmas 2018 posts. https://manoftinblog.wordpress.com/2018/12/03/man-of-tin-advent-calendar-day-3-vintage-1980s-polish-toy-soldier-airfix-clones-on-etsy/

I can see an influence of the late Thor Sheil’s Homecast army men ‘Toy Soldier Art’: Berlin Greys and Air Police.

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http://www.thortrains.net/toysoldierart/colors3.htm

Anyway these three one-off 54mm figures  from Alan might give me the colour scheme for my ongoing 54mm space figure project, one that has worked in smaller Pound Store Plastic 32mm scale:

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Two of my 32mm space conversions of a Pound Store Plastic figure.

You can have too much of Khaki Grunge.  I like the chance to use some unusual bright colours from my collection of gloss acrylics – orange, sky blue, purple, gold, silver, red. I’m sure the Flash Gordon 1980 movie with the Queen soundtrack might have something to do with my space uniform bolder colour schemes.

https://poundstoreplasticwarriors.wordpress.com/2017/11/05/poundland-space-marines-platoon-on-parade/

https://poundstoreplasticwarriors.wordpress.com/2018/01/28/little-green-men-pound-store-plastic-space-warriors/

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More of my blue colour uniform scheme space figure 32mm Pound Store Plastic Figures. Haven’t we seen that pose before and bigger?

You can see the 32mm Pound Store Plastic basis of the 40-50mm Pound Store pirate clone figure above:

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Kev Robertson over in Australia, a long term sci-fi fan, has used his his past engineering skills to great effect on his latest blog post. As well as his own new series of 35mm space figures with a retro feel, he has been busy with scratch built sci-fi vehicles, walkers and mechs. Pure Pound Store Plastic Warrior blog scrap
build material this! Always an interesting blog to browse,  Kev has blogged on various projects from sci-fi figures to railways.

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Kev Robertson’s space creations … 35mm Eureka space figures

https://dwarfenrealm.blogspot.com/2019/06/spaceguard-new-35mm-scratch-models.html

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At the moment I can’t comment on many people’s blog posts (obviously a settings thing) so I thought I would mention  Kev’s whole blog site.

Blog posted by Mark, Man of TIN on 29 June 2019

Homecast Scout Patrol Figures completed

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A patrol of eight wearing the blue scarves of Owl Patrol and a spare scout. I’m sure I intended the spare to be transformed into a Girl Scout. Too late …

In good weather a week or two ago I finished casting a few more 60mm semi round / semi flat home cast Scout figures for Alan Gruber, Tradgardmastre of the Duchy of Tradgardland blog.

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Like me, he also is working on some Scout game rules for Wide Games. http://tradgardland.blogspot.com/2019/05/scouts-for-wide-games.html

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Once Alan’s two patrols were cast and complete, I knocked out a spare patrol for future use of these strange  crude blocky 60mm home cast figures. It’s taken a while to get them painted in my usual gloss toy soldier style. They now need varnishing for garden or tabletop use.

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Half a patrol of Alan’s Scouts out in the garden – red was the colour of Bull patrol.
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The original metal moulds 60mm figures
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My first painted Scout 60mm figure, a red scarved patrol bugler.

Blog posted by Mark Man of TIN, 1970s Cub Scout (Bronze Arrow, Retired) June 2019.

 

 

Boy Scouts from Airfix WW1 American Infantry

Scout Figures converted from Airfix WW1 American Infantry

Crossposted from my Pound Store Plastic Warriors Blog https://poundstoreplasticwarriors.wordpress.com/2019/06/22/pound-store-scout-figures-from-airfix-ww1-americans/

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Blog posted  by Mark Man of TIN 1970s Cub Scout (Bronze Arrow, retired)