TSAF New Flying Banshee Biplane

++++++ TSAF Toy Soldier Air Force official Air Ministry photograph, Gondal. ++++++

++++++ Passed By Censor for Publication. ++++++

New Flying Banshee FLB Mark I has undertaken successful air trials in the skies over Gondal.

This new Dive Bomber Biplane variant of our previous Biplane is undergoing Air Trials at one of the TSAF field air stations.

+++ TSAF monoplane and new Banshee biplane Dive Bomber variant +++

TSAF Air Ministry Spokesman: “Our new Flying Banshee aircraft Mark I is designed to terrify ground forces or shipping from the air and smash the enemies of Gondal through aerial bombardment.”

TSAF Test Pilot and Squadron Leader “Lucky” Haworth: “Its rugged construction is designed to withstand the rigours of dive bombing targets on land or sea. It has recently completed some successful bombing trails from an undisclosed island air station. It can also operate from small island airstrips or forest clearings.”

This stocky Banshee Biplane variant is a development of our previous dive Bomber monoplane, pictured alongside it.

“The Flying Banshee FLB Mark I is a bit of a powerful beast to fly and has quickly became known to trainee or inexperienced pilots as the FLaB (or Flies like a Brick).”

Details of its armament, experimental wing whistles and performance are not yet being made public.

+++ TSAF Air Ministry communication ENDS +++    +++++++

 

Back to the Man of TIN blog

My regular blog readers might recognise the Moshi airplanes adapted for use with 54mm Toy soldier figures. If H.G. Wells had incorporated the Aerial Menace into his 1913 Little Wars rules, they might have looked a little like these biplanes or monoplanes.

https://manoftinblog.wordpress.com/2018/07/13/tsaf-new-aircraft-delivery

Upper wings were added from  three layers of stiff card, curved edged card scrounged from our household recycling, originally trainer sock packaging.

Stout struts were added using balsa wood, much in the model of the Curtiss Hellcat Dive Bomber variant. This machine will be in use in garden game scenarios so needs the ruggedness. Not elegant but sturdy!

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Two drawing pins hold the dip or angle on the main  top wing  / struts. This part was a bit of a pig!

Masking tape gives a doped canvas feel to the wing and also adds the  fake top flaps. Plenty of super glue used throughout.

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Colour scheme

Currently Test Flight or Interbellum Silver.

Status: Not yet on Active Service. So far we have not applied Gondalese or Gondalian Air Force markings or decals at this test flight stage.

Gondal is one of the North Pacific island Imagi-Nations invented by  the young Emily and Ann Bronte that we have fast forwarded  a Century into the future from its Bronte Juvenilia origins  (set in Napoleonic, late Georgian and Regency  / early Victorian  British Empire  period) through to the interbellum  1920s and 1930s.

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gondal_(fictional_country)

Ground Crew

Amongst the growing ground crew you can see some recent conversions or repaints  to become ground crew including LAC Leading Aircraftswoman “Penny” Farthing, a former Britain’s Land Girl or farm worker.

Old childhood plastic Starlux Engineers in Khaki ground crew overalls work on the Banshee biplane. Oiling up the plane, wearing  the stylish new TSAF Gondal Air Ministry issue Blue helmet,  is a Crescent Mine detector figure repaired and rebooted from a broken lead figure donated by Alan at the Duchy of Tradgardland.

Airfield Defence: Britain’s gun, pound store soldier sandbags and mix of old and converted Britain’s and homecast Air Force and  Navy figures,  Gondal being a proud island nation. Barbed wire is from spiral bound notebook wire after recycling a used small notebook.

Slowly building up suitable airfield accessories in  54 mm.

The planes now need a suitable adjustable altitude flight stand for garden gaming use.

The Banshee aircraft name was stimulated by the unlikely names of the Fantasy Name Generator aircraft names

https://www.fantasynamegenerators.com/airplane-names.php

Blogposyed by Mark Man of TIN, 12 August  2018.

 

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HMS Flying Tiger? Eraser Battleships

£2 a pack of Naval jollity from Flying Tiger stores everywhere.

Not sure if you can paint erasers …

Black Birding and the Reverse Underground Railroad

I have reached the huge goal of 50 followers on the Man of TIN blog, so thanks to all who read my blog(s). You are all very welcome here.

I try not to pay much attention to the blogstats but I noticed a 51st follower, Pat G and I usually check out the person’s website out of courtesy and curiousity.

On Pat G’s blog Irregular Warband Fast I found an interesting article and scenario / game write up by Pat G on Black-Birding

https://irregularwarbandfast.blogspot.com/2018/05/goldfinching.html

I know some colonial history but I knew nothing about the barbarous practice of Blackbirding:

Blackbirding is the coercion of people through trickery and kidnapping to work as labourers …

In the 1870s, the blackbirding ship trade focused on supplying labourers to plantations, particularly the sugar cane plantations of Queensland and Fiji … between 1842 and 1904. Those “blackbirded” were recruited from the indigenous populations of nearby Pacific islands or northern Queensland.

So many ships entered the blackbirding trade (with adverse effects on islanders) that the British Navy sent ships from Australia Station into the Pacific to suppress the trade.

Islanders fought back and sometimes were able to resist those engaged in black-birding …  Wikipedia article source

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Blackbirding

Disturbingly the Wikipedia article mentions that Blackbirding has continued to the present day sourcing plantation workers  in developing countries such as Central America. All the more reason to support Fair Trade.

The causes of the American Civil War are complex, whether it was states rights or slavery or both that triggered the secession and conflict. The arguments,  tensions and legacy continue to this day in America.

Blackbirding was new to me. I also knew nothing about the opposite of Harriet Tubman’s heroic Underground Railroad (to help free escaped slaves from the Southern USA to the freedom of the North around the time of the American Civil War), the opposite being now  known as the Reverse Underground Railroad.

“The Reverse Underground Railroad was the pre-American Civil War practice of kidnapping free blacks and fugitive slaves from U.S. free states and slave states and transporting them into  the Southern slave states for sale as slaves …

The Reverse Underground Railroad operated for 85 years, from 1780 to 1865.” Wikipedia article source

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Reverse_Underground_Railroad

Solomon Northrup published Twelve Years A Slave in 1853, a memoir of his kidnapping from New York and twelve years spent as a slave in Louisiana. This became the award-winning film, which I have not yet seen, nor yet read the book.

Some interesting alternative history and some sources of gaming scenarios, instead of Redcoats blasting away at rebellious natives, you can feature powerless or resisting islanders, a wicked blackbirding gang and the Royal Navy to the rescue, whether on this planet or on another VSF one!

Thanks Pat G!

Another interesting nugget of Colonial gaming history like the female warriors of Dahomey, featured on my blog in February:

https://poundstoreplasticwarriors.wordpress.com/2018/02/15/colonial-amazons-women-soldiers-of-dahomey-and-siam/

Blosposted by Mark, Man of TIN, August 2018.

Flying Tiger Palm Trees

The heat, the sand, the endless sand. Need shade and a cool drink.

We must March or Die …

The Lost Oasis –  Tiger.com palm tree decorations on Heroscape desert hex scenery on my board with Peter Laing 15mm French Foreign Legion figures for scale.

I realise that I have spent lots of time recently repairing Broken Britain’s 54mm toy soldier size figures and somewhat neglected my smaller 15mm Peter Laing figures.

Tiger.com palm tree (cake?) decorations

Painted resin palm  tree decs £1 each.

On my travels “upcountry” (everything above my rural Southwest part of England / the U.K. is “upcountry”) I recently  visited a Flying Tiger store. Fortunately they do not yet do mail order.

https://uk.flyingtiger.com

Flying Tiger  of Copenhagen are European (and worldwide) stores selling strange and wonderful things.

A small six by six by five inch high Opbevaringsbokse or stackable storage box. Useful for storing spare heads and arms etc.  Cost £2.

Three layers of sorting. 

Three blurry Flying Tiger shelfies of things I did not buy but could be useful for gaming:

Shelfie 1: Resisted buying these fake grass toothbrush holders or soap dishes – or fake grass clumps for gaming. £3 each.

Shelfie 2 and 3: A kid’s thick card cottage lunchbox with front down flap. Or a Q-Cottage? Excellent for concealing a Home Guard field gun? £7.

Resisted the roll of fake grass AstroTurf table runner £4

Resisted the wooden plant holder in the shape of 54mm+ picket fences – cheaper than making?

Things I did buy

Magnetic boards £2 each A4 paper size, thin enough to cut and use in reverse as tray bases. It could be mounted on card or wood or tray as an A4 magnetic board to hold figures in place.

Mixing palette £1 each, a fraction of the cost in an art supplies shop.

The rest of the (Naval) gaming related purchases will follow in future blogposts.

Blogposted by Mark, Man of TIN, 5 August 2018.

Below are pictured my testing out of my magnetic sheets – not strong enough for metal 54mm figures mounted on tuppenny and penny pieces (which are slightly magnetic after 1992). A few of my plastic pound store figures I discovered to my surprise that I had based on pre-1992 tuppennies – whoops!

The heady lure of inexpensive things …

The heady lure of Pound Store or inexpensive things …

The Duchess of Wellington’s Own …

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Almost finished paint jobs on these shapely WTC figures of the Duchess of Wellington’s Own. Broken rifles repaired but  needs  a trouser stripe etc along the mould line.

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I received an unexpected gift in the post this week from Alan the Tradgardmastre of the Duchy of Tradgardland

Four welcome new lead recruits to my Imaginations Army and Air Forces!

I had identified some slender leggy toy soldiers as short-lived WTC Wellington Toy Company figures amongst a batch of old lead figures that Alan was paint stripping.

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Two WTC figures on the left have now left the ranks of the Duchy of Tradgardland and headed south …

I mentioned to Alan that I was working on some paint conversions of my few examples of these Wellington Toy Company figures into female troops.

Almost finished, the Duchess of Wellington’s Own (from old WTC figures).

Very kindly Alan sent me from Tradgardland these two extra paintstripped WTC figures to join my female rifle squad, along with two useful but battered GI mine detectorists by Charbens. Thanks Alan!

The footless one of the two Charbens GIs mine detectorists may well end up as aircraft ground crew as he looks like he is refuelling or oiling something.

Wellington Toy Company figures 1916-1923, Liverpool

In mixed batches of figures over several years I have picked up the odd leggy WTC figure, along with a cache of 6 dark green Rifle Brigade type Regiment ones from the 1920s/30s amongst some French Rivolet guns and gilt cavalry from a Miss Sanderson, selling her father’s boyhood collection to find it a safe home.

Not much is written about WTC figures but in my two most used reference books by Norman Joplin and Andrew Rose, both reference books very much worth the money, I found these few photographs.

The three types of WTC figures I have so far out of the Twelves known WTC are Rifle Brigade / Cameronians, Redcoat line infantry and Bluecoat Line Infantry …

They can be identified through their slender build, along with WTC marked on the untidy circular / oval base.

Three WTC figures in my collection and two new ones (right) from the Duchy of Tradgardland.
A few WTC Figures in Andrew Rose’s Collecting Toy Soldiers
Twelve known types of WTC figures identified in Norman Joplin, The Great Book of Hollowcast Figures. Ones I will be keeping an eye out for …
A brief history of WTC in the Norman Joplin book. B and T used the Waterloo infantry mould  (shown eighth from left above) in the 1950s.
WTC figures repackaged for Chaterhouse shown in Norman Joplin, the Great Book of Hollowcast Figures.
A Small Boys Delight or Cheap Target Practice and Cannon Fodder? as shown in Andrew Rose’s Collecting Toy Soldiers.

Andrew Rose suggests, when discussing Unity Toys and O.H. and Co (Oliver Harper) range of guns, that these WTC figures are also found as the Unity Series of Metal Soldiers Manufactured in London as a cheap range of target figures made for them by WTC. Cheap, they may have been to some, but they would have been to some small boy a great colourful delight.

Base marked WTC, seen here on one of the few legible bases in my collection.

The untidy semi circular puddle bases are marked WTC for Wellington Toy Company and a number, possibly 724. Other markings suggest Made in England Copyright.

The Duchess of Wellington’s Own? 

I think these WTC soldiers are quite attractive figures, slender and surprisingly shapely fore and aft. They remind me of Suburban Militarism’s series of posts about female soldiers illustrated on postcards and prints including the comic Ellam series of haughty female Household Cavalry. As if women could be soldiers, the postcards joke!

https://suburbanmilitarism.wordpress.com/2017/04/26/girl-soldier/

Looking back through Marvin’s posts on Suburban Militarism, this female squad in their strange kept caps could have made a fine set of Flora Sandes type Serbian soldiers.

However Imaginations Army Blue they now are and Imaginations Army Blue they shall remain – with two new recruits …

Blogposted by Mark, Man of TIN, 1st August(a) 2018 – the 1st Augustas sounds like a Lady Regiment too, albeit more European or Roman. Is it #FEMbruary already again?

B.P.S Blog Post Script  

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Unfortunately as with Prince August homecasts, the WTC noses are not always very distinctive until the moulds warm up or the metal just right. Such heads should usually go back in the melting pot. On cheap target figures, with simple quick factory paint jobs and little  quality control, who would notice?

This does not make for the most attractive haughty ladies.  So as well as the toy soldier pink cheek spot highlight, which maybe should have been a little redder,  I have done the same pink paint highlight for a nose on some of the five figures so far.  Leading to a variation on the old music hall joke,

My Lady Soldiers have got no noses.

How do they smell?

Deliciously fragrant.

 

 

 

TSAF Aircraft Repaint Part 1

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First undercoat paint layers on these planes  and recently repaired Crescent pilot with flight plans, repaired with new feet.

Like many bloggers, with the current heatwave I have done little figure painting this week.

However I  have started repainting or undercoating  the first two of the three Moshi aircraft.

Interwar Silver has replaced pink, whilst Desert brown with a silver belly has replaced the orange and red.

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They started out like this in pink and orange. https://manoftinblog.wordpress.com/2018/07/06/tsaf-toy-soldier-air-force/

The eye and shark teeth decals are worth keeping on the desert brown aircraft. Eventually a darker  brown camo disruption pattern will be overpainted, to get the look of a Curtiss Tomahawk.

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Several more coats of paint, some Imagi-Nations decals and a finish with Gloss varnish are all required before these aircraft are game and garden ready. Once it cools down …

Blogposted by Mark Man of TIN 26 July 2018

He Who Walks On Legs of Wood

One of the unusual figure conversions or repairs that arrived in a jumble or joblot of figures about five to ten years ago was this lovely damaged Britain’s 54mm hollowcast lead Indian.

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Lots of original paint details: the headdress, a little belt sash of gold, metallic rifle paint 

As you can see, he has lost his original legs and someone somewhere has carved him simple wooden legs. They have even carved a little buckskin fringe on the back of his leggings.

This is so beautifully and simply done that I will keep Old Wooden Legs as he is, with unpainted legs of wood. Hence his title “He Who Walks on Legs of Wood”, to give him a suitable Native American Indian warrior name.

All I have done is glued him to a tuppenny base so he can join in with future garden, floor or tabletop games. He deserves to be a veteran warrior, maybe even a Chief.

Without a base and maker’s name I was a little puzzled as to his original appearance until one day looking at Britain’s mounted Indians, I realised that he had obviously lost both his horse and his legs somehow. A veteran from Britain’s Mounted Indian Set 152.

Close up of Britain’s mounted Indian set 152 from James Opie’s Britain’s Toy Soldiers 1893-1932

Hopefully this lack of repainting shows him the same respect and value that he obviously once had to someone to be worthy of repair, a Brave warrior or Chief.

Naming the Braves

Choosing names for my growing 20 to 30+ skirmish warband of Broken Britain’s restored Braves (to write on the bottom of their tuppenny bases) will be a challenge. There are fantasy name generators online amongst all the Bond Girl Name Generators but it is good to know what the real Tribal names mean at https://www.warpaths2peacepipes.com/native-american-indian-names/

Blogposted by Mark, Man of TIN, 20 July 2018.