Portable Wargames on Holiday

The Airfix NCO Guardsman at the back on white card is one of my veteran bravest troops!

What are your favourite veteran figures?

What’s your most favourite bedside games reading?

What games basics do your take on your travels?

Preparing for British wet weather and time inside ‘holed up’ on a recent trip away on holiday, I packed a tiny fishing tackle box full of old Airfix figures.

Not so much a tackle box, more my “Just in case”.


On a rainy day  I created a simple A3 hex gameboard out of paper, using one Heroscape hex tile as a template, waterproof illustrators pens and washed it over watercolour paint. Materials came from family holiday “art supplies”. The A3 board was masking or magic taped to scrap cardboard. It can be rolled up in a tube or flat-packed in a suitcase for future use.


Several other impassible objects (marsh, bridge and barricade of coffee stirrers etc) were made using available scrap and cardboard but proved frustratingly prone to warping. Mounted on stouter mounting board, they may prove useful in future again.

Scenarios were based around invading ‘Redcoats‘ (Airfix vintage 1959 Guards Colour Party) being repulsed by ‘Settlers‘. These settlers were a motley group of  Airfix  vintage 1961 Cowboys and one lone Airfix Indian ‘Scout’, 1962 Airfix Confederate Infantry and a lone 1961 Airfix Civilian.

As well as ‘running Cowboys with rifles’, there were ‘Cowboys with pistols’ as settler group leaders or officer figures.

Many of these individual figures I have had since childhood. If painted, their paint is now flaking and some  are becoming  fragile plastic with age but they are familiar and fun figures anyway.

The stout lone civilian’s role changed from ‘Settler leader’ in one game  to ‘person for redcoats to rescue’ in  different scenarios.


Other natural materials (stones, moss, twig logs) were found in the surrounding garden and forest as befits my hex version of Donald Featherstone’s Close Wars appendix to his 1962 book War Games. I often take this basic book with me as very familiar holiday reading.



Look out for my separate blog posts about my hex version of these rules, Close Little Wars.

Donald Featherstone, War Games (published 1962 Stanley Paul)

What are your favourite veteran figures?

What’s your most favourite bedside games reading?

What games basics do your take on your travels?

I’d love to hear from blog readers / followers / visitors via our comments page.

Posted by Mr. MIN, Man of TIN, June 2016.



Author: 26soldiersoftin

Hello I'm Mark Mr MIN, Man of TIN. Based in S.W. Britain, I'm a lifelong collector of "tiny men" and old toy soldiers, whether tin, lead or childhood vintage 1960s and 1970s plastic figures. I randomly collect all scales and periods and "imagi-nations" as well as lead civilians, farm and zoo animals. I enjoy the paint possibilities of cheap poundstore plastic figures as much as the patina of vintage metal figures. Befuddled by the maths of complex boardgames and wargames, I prefer the small scale skirmish simplicity of very early Donald Featherstone rules. To relax, I usually play solo games, often using hex boards. Gaming takes second place to making or convert my own gaming figures from polymer clay (Fimo), home-cast metal figures of many scales or plastic paint conversions. I also collect and game with vintage Peter Laing 15mm metal figures, wishing like many others that I had bought more in the 1980s ...

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