Some unprepossessing modern pound store plastic ‘penny’ figures (£1 for a tub of 100 or more recently 80 figures from Poundland) have proved great conversion potential for my skirmish games, at the slightly odd size of roughly 36mm.
Over the last few months I have been busy creating small skirmish forces of 25 to 30 figures a side for my portable hex game boards.
Strange modern Rambo-ish machine gunner figures become a set of Desert Warrior Spearman, to join my previous Desert Warrior riflemen shown here:
Some kilted Colonial Highlanders conversions to join my Redcoats, straight out of my favourite Carry On film, Carry On Up The Khyber with Private Jimmy Widdle of the 3rd Foot and Mouth, the ‘Devils in Skirts’ no less!
A free gift from the wider family, this versatile cardboard packaging. Great that it isn’t unrecyclable plastic. Even better that it suggests lots of scrap modelling possibilities.
There are a few felt tip marks from previous play owners that will need a gentle paint disguise. Otherwise I will probably leave the blocks as they are for now. Any detailing would diminish them or fix a scenario too much. They remind me of the desert and city scenery in Star Wars Rogue One.
They also work for multiple scales, another reason for not adding detail. At 54mm the deep pits make firing positions in an old fort or blasted village. At the 36mm scale of pound store plastic warriors, they are more like old tombs or excavations, an abandoned city in the Generic Badlands.
Being essentailly papier-mâché cardboard packaging, they may need hot glue gunning to some backing board and not leaving around in the garden. A thin brush over of PVA might waterproof them all.
When storage space becomes a problem, they “flatpack” back to cardboard with the happy aid of boots and into the recycling.
This airplane story is mentioned in the December 1982 interview in Military Modelling, one of the filleted magazines for useful article pages from my scrapbook. I found it really interesting to see who and where my figures came from.
Some illustrators I know use roll top desks for much the same tidy domestic reasons.
Henry Harris’ useful little book also has a 6 page chapter on Wargames by Donald Featherstone including a short rules section, reprinted here and those in Featherstone’s own Book Tackle Model Soldiers This Way (Stanley Paul, 1963) :