From Black Prince Knight to Elizabethan “Arma-Dad’s Army” 54 mm plastic Muster conversion

The conversion process is shown in simple stages on the painting table here on my Pound Store Plastic Warriors blog:

https://poundstoreplasticwarriors.wordpress.com/2020/10/16/from-black-prince-knight-to-elizabethan-arma-dads-army-muster-or-militia-54mm-plastic-conversion/

Original figure and conversions

B.P.S. Blog Post Script

This one’s for Mr. Gruber!

The Elizabethan Home Guard – A Spanish Armada Muster in 54mm shiny toy soldier plastic

Watching the sea for Spanish ships from those Cornish granite cliffs … they’re behind you!

Work in Progress on the painting table.

Crossposted by Mark Man of TIN from his ‘sister blog’, Pound Store Plastic Warriors blog – enjoy!

https://poundstoreplasticwarriors.wordpress.com/2020/10/11/elizabethan-muster-for-the-spanish-armada-in-shiny-54mm/

Robert Louis Stevenson’s Toy Soldiers

Image source: Robert Louis Stevenson Museum / Nancy Horan / Pinterest

Reading again Robert Louis Stevenson’s toy soldier poem The Land of Counterpane on the Duchy of Tradgardland blog made me look again at some blog posts I had written about RLS’ toy soldier poems from A Child’s Garden of Verses.

I came across a link to these “old leaded soldiers” belonging to Robert Louis Stevenson at the RLS museum in California (currently closed due to Coronavirus):

https://stevensonmuseum.org/the-museum/collections/personal-objects/

Sounds a museum well worth a visit if you live nearby.

I wondered if there were pictures of these soldiers on their RLS Museum website or on the web of RLS’ “old leaded Soldiers”, RLS being a pioneer of early wargaming with his stepson Lloyd Osbourne, their battle or game reports written up stylishly in their “Yallobelly Times”.

I found this picture from the museum of these 19th Century (European? German manufactured?) tin flat toy soldiers with which RLS might have played these pioneer games.

Close up : Image source: Robert Louis Stevenson Museum / Nancy Horan / Pinterest

Famous as the author of Treasure Island, Kidnapped, and The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, Robert Louis Stevenson was also an early war gamer.

His role as ” grandfather” or “great uncle” in the history of wargaming (depending where you place H G Wells) was acknowledged by “father of the modern wargame” Donald Featherstone in his book War Games (1962), a book that began the hobby careers of so many of us.

RLS mention from Donald Featherstone, War Games (1962)

Stevenson at Play, a magazine article describes a complex strategic wargame that the author and his 12 year old stepson, Samuel Lloyd Osbourne, played in the early 1880s which you can read reprinted here:

http://vintagewargaming.blogspot.com/2009/11/robert-louis-stevenson.html

Stevenson’s complex game does not seem to have had the attention that H G Wells‘ Little Wars has had, even though despite the popgun driven firing system, there are many surprisingly modern features: four man units, concealed movement, ammunition logistics … well worth rereading.

Blog posted by Mark Man of TIN, 2 October 2020

Blog Post Script – some RLS and others toy soldier poems that I have featured on my blog over the years

https://manoftinblog.wordpress.com/2016/12/13/block-city-rls-and-

https://poundstoreplasticwarriors.wordpress.com/2018/02/17/more-dumb-soldiers-in-the-garden/

https://manoftinblog.wordpress.com/2016/10/07/rls-martial-elegy-for-some-lead-soldiers/

MGB’s new 54mm Wargaming and Toy Soldier Repair blog

I have been chatting by email to MGB recently about repairing old toy soldiers and received an interesting parcel of plastic figure bits and bobs for future conversion work. Thanks MGB!

MGB mentioned that he was starting a new blog about his 54mm repairs and gaming.

It’s well worth a look https://wargamingwith54mmtoysoldiers.blogspot.com/

Some very fine colourful medievals in his latest September post.

WW2, Medievals, Colonial era – lots of interesting things so far and some fine repairs and repaints.

Blog posted by Mark Man of TIN

Repairing Broken Britain’s: Thyer Brigadia Colour Party Finished in 54mm

My Thyer Brigadia Militia and Volunteer Firemen’s Colour Party is finished, made up of repaired or converted hollow-cast 54mm Britain’s toy soldiers.

I wanted them to look like a Britain’s style set with shiny factory painting, straight out of a red box.

They started out looking battered and broken like this:

https://manoftinblog.wordpress.com/2020/09/06/old-britains-54mm-on-the-repair-table-thyer-brigadia-troops/

These battered Britain’s Redcoats needed new heads, new arms, rifles repaired and a repaint to restore a little shiny pride.

The recast rifle arms and firemen heads were ones that I had in my spares box, obtained from Dorset Model Soldier Company.

Two of the headless Britain’s guardsmen had rifle points missing, the other four were missing their moving right arms completely.

After drilling a hole with a pin vice, the missing rifle points were repaired with fine wire, masking tape and superglue. One has a fixed bayonet, the other doesn’t – a small oversight.

In my Forgotten Minor States of Europe ImagiNations world, this is the colour party of the Thyer Brigadia Militia and Volunteer Firemen.

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Their Thyer Brigadia national story is told here:

The proudest part of the Thyer Brigadian uniforms is the brass cavalry style plumed dragoon helmets which are often copied by Fire Brigades worldwide. Interestingly these Volunteer Militia troops are also the Volunteer Fire Brigade in their various towns and villages (hence the variations in uniforms), making sure that their native Alpine wooden houses and mountain forests do not catch fire. A fireman’s axe is carried on fire duty and state occasions.

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They display the Thyer Brigadia Volunteer Firemen’s flag of blazing red orb symbol on a yellow background, a flag proudly made by some of their wives and mothers.

Shiny Toy Soldier style faces with the pink cheek dot fit complete the look

Alan Gruber suggested that they should have some ‘wheels’ in the form of a Fire Engine. In the absence of an old fire engine (I’m sure I have the reissued 1/32 Airfix unmade kit one stowed somewhere) I made do with a 1940 Ford 1:32 scale fire truck (obviously imported from America). The uniform has obviously not changed by the 1940s.

Suitably red and silver and shiny … this 1940 1:32 fire truck is from Texaco c. 2008

I shall have to track down a suitable Dalmatian fire dog to accompany them on parade.

This gives me another unit / outlet for broken figures, once I have ordered some further arms and heads from Dorset in future.

Happy with the shiny!

Blog post by Mark Man of TIN, 12 September 2020.

Old Britain’s 54mm on the repair table … Thyer Brigadia troops

Some battered hollowcast Britain’s from job lots that are long overdue for repair.

They are due to lose their battered Redcoats and acquire new heads, new arms and handsome navy blue jackets. I shall keep the navy blue trousers and red trouser stripe.

I have some Dorset Soldiers recast arms and spare firemen’s heads so this seemed a good chance to create some 54mm shiny toy soldier versions of my scrap 15mm Thyer Brigadia Militia and Volunteer FireFighters.

They will eventually look like armed Victorian Firemen in their shiny brass helmets.

Combined Militia and Fire Brigade, now where have I seen that before?

Dad’s Army BBC TV episode “Brain versus Brawn” where the Home Guard become firemen …

These are part of my ImagiNations Forgotten Minor States (FMS) in MittelMittel Europe pictured and described here in the mid to late 19th Century

https://manoftinblog.wordpress.com/2020/04/19/scrap-napoleonics-ready-to-scrap-forgotten-minor-states/

WIP Work in progress …

Blog posted by Mark Man of TIN 6 September 2020

Scrap modelling a Steampunk Tank

From Milk Carton and Scrap to a Steam Punk / Sci-Fi tank,

“His and Her Majesty’s esteemed shipwrights and steam boiler makers have used all the available materials including scrap to make His and Her Majesty’s first Land Ship”

His or Her Majesty’s Land Ship, as yet unnamed … name suggestions welcome.

Further pictures and ‘how to’ guide cross posted from my Pound Store Plastic Warriors (Man of TIN budget sister) blog – designed for Victorian Redcoats through to Steampunk Sci-fi 50 – 54mm figures

https://poundstoreplasticwarriors.wordpress.com/2020/08/29/scrap-modelling-a-steampunk-tank/

Tools of the scrap modelling trade …

Blog crossposted by Mark Man of TIN 28/29 August 2020

Steampunked Pound Store Plastic Warriors or WW2 tankers?

More strange plastic tat penny figures lovingly painted and based in gloss toy soldier style.

Crossposted from my Pound Store Plastic Soldiers blog:

https://poundstoreplasticwarriors.wordpress.com/2020/08/23/steampunk-pound-store-plastic-warriors-or-ww2-tankers/

Blog posted by Mark Man of TIN 23 August 2020

Support the Smaller Figure Companies: Early War Miniatures 1940 range

Danish troops in Greatcoats 1940 – 20mm metal Early War Miniatures

Dutch 1940 Troops Rifle Squad – Early War Miniatures

If I was going to run a small metal miniatures company it might look a little like Early War Miniatures.

Unusual metal figures for WW1, Interbellum and WW2 in a traditional 20mm scale.

20mm.

That’s right – not a typing mistake – 20mm. Not 28mm. Not everything has to be 28mm and one day that scale will fade from dominance as much as 30mm or 40mm has done. A few years back it was all 15mm / Flames of War etc … and relax.

20mm.

In a recent blog post I suggested that in the absence of supporting traders at games shows, if we could, we should support smaller figure manufacturers like Bad Squiddo with the odd order through the pandemic.

I have been buying ahead of time some small orders for my Christmas gifts to help out those in my family who don’t know what to buy me (and they don’t have to post it either!)

I have looked before at the EWM 1940 range of Early War Miniatures. Tempting enough. Do I really need another shiny new project? Playing small solo skirmish sized games of a few dozen figures each side, it is easy enough to have a number of small projects on the go in different scales if needed.

Stocking the Man of TIN Christmas Stocking ahead of time, I chose a few sample packs – 2 rifle squads each of Danish Infantry and of Dutch Infantry – enough for an unusual WW2 skirmish game against my trusty old Airfix German WW2 Infantry.

I had been intrigued by the short lived but hard fought Danish resistance to the German Blitzkreig portrayed in the recent Danish Language film 9 April

https://manoftinblog.wordpress.com/2020/04/09/remembering-denmark-april-9th-1940/

I hope to use some of my existing childhood WW2 figures, rather than buy even more tempting EWM figures from their WW2 German range (including paratroops). Whilst I had some of the EWM figures unpacked, I thought I would check them for scale against my other WW2 figures.

In size comparison with my existing plastics, such as the WW1 and version 2 Airfix WW2 Germans, they look a little slender in comparison with EWM but to be fair they are figures without greatcoats.

I have also added Atlantic German Infantry for comparison and some odd hard plastics from my Blue Box of stored games bits and bobs from the modern 1980s. These were some curious “larger 20mm” Germans that I have identified as Esci hard plastic Afrika Korps from the 1980s.

Now painted grey, at last a use for these odd “big 20mm” Afrika Korps from Esci in hard plastic kit form.

Easy assembly – these are flash free metal figures, some with separate heads, packs and weapons that fit easily in place together with superglue.

I have yet to paint them up but they are crisp, sharp castings with nice animation and detail.

Each online supplier has their individual quirks. Peter Laing added in a few extras, sometimes new sample 15mm figures from new ranges to offset postage and breakages. Mark Lodge at Jacklex packs these 20mm figures in a lovely red box of sawdust. Annie Norman at Bad Squiddo adds in herbal tea bags or scribbled thank you messages and doodles on the compliments forms. Paul at Early War Miniatures added in a complimentary little packet of resin scenics.

I have had the pleasure of chatting by email to the EWM owner Paul Thompson about the disputed WW2 German commando raid in 1943 on a radar station on the Isle Of Wight. This was covered in a recent book by Adrian Searle, Churchill’s Last Wartime Secret. I had reviewed the book in my blog for possible skirmish games scenarios.

https://manoftinblog.wordpress.com/2019/02/28/churchills-last-wartime-secret-the-1943-german-raid-airbrushed-from-history-book-review/

Paul Thompson at EWM has written a couple of blog posts on his website about finding possible new evidence in 2017 for the possible IOW German Commando Raid:

https://earlywarminiatures.com/nazi-commandos-uboats-and-cliff-top-raid-on-radar-station-in-england/

https://earlywarminiatures.com/update-on-the-german-commando-raid-on-england-in-1943-finds/

Overall, EWM are a great little company with lots of tempting shiny new things including their Vichy French WW2 range and new Siam WW2 range. A company well worth watching and supporting.

https://earlywarminiatures.com

Now these EWM figures must reluctantly go back into the Christmas cupboard. In the mean time I can paint and base their opposition. Only four months to go …

Next time on my next “support the small manufacturer post” – Sergeant’s Mess i20mm Scout figures and then more Mexicans from Jacklex 20mm.

Blog posted by Mark, Man of TIN (and delayed gratification) 20/21 August 2020