#MARCHing for Votes for Women

 

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My Suffragette Marchers and homecast Prince August police officers.

I have completed these Suffragettes as my final challenge as part of #MARCH 2018, being  my excuse to photograph a few of my MARCHing toy soldier and MARCHing Band figures each year. It coincides with Cupcakes and Machetes’ blog challenge for March as part of Women’s History Month (and stuff left over from FEMbruary).

https://cupcakesandmachetes.wordpress.com/2018/02/28/celebrate-the-ladies-blog-event/

6th Febraury 2018 was the Centenary anniversary of British women first being granted the vote after years of protest and campaigning, finally awarded for women’s work during WW1.

https://manoftinblog.wordpress.com/2018/02/21/fembruary-post-no-4-a-womans-right-to-vote-and-serve-march/

 

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Hobbycraft display box with glass removed, with small copy of an original suffrage poster.

I had been working on a small Suffragette vignette or boxed diorama for my local spring show art and craft  section but failed to complete it in time. I couldn’t get the glossy toy soldier look quite right.

Instead I added several more 54mm female figures that I had unpainted in my collection,  painted as suffragettes. I started work on such random figures as a bride (Tradition of London), two Salvation Army girls from Dorset Soldiers, a plastic Mexican peasant woman wielding a broom from Steve Weston figures and last but not least, my unsatisfactory conversion of an Airfix footballer into a Western saloon girl.

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The figures arranged on a makeshift plinth (a painted fence post cap) with Suffragette anniversary brooch.

I put the finished figures on a makeshift plinth (a painted fence post cap from B&Q) with a Suffragette anniversary enamel brooch.

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Individual suffragette figures have been converted from existing figures.

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Improvised plinth from a B and Q pine fence post cap.
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Simple paper sashes painted in Suffragette colours of purple, white and green.

Simple figure conversions turned surplus 54mm female figures into Suffragettes.

This Mexican peasant woman brandishing a broom from Steve Weston figures converts smoothly into a protesting Suffragette waving a placard. A large Edwardian style hat was added using a circle of stiff card with hole punched out in the middle to sit over the original bun hairstyle. Layers of white kitchen roll paper were added with PVA to simulate the floaty flouncy layers of the large hats of Edwardian ladies.

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The suffragette is holding a metal ‘prison arrow’ on a pole, symbolic of any suffragette who had been imprisoned as shown in this 1910 short film:

https://player.bfi.org.uk/free/film/watch-demonstration-of-suffragettes-1910-online

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A quick look at suffrage march photos show that this Mexican figure needed a hat as few women would go out without a hat on a formal occasion such as in a parade, demonstration or MARCH in the early Twentieth century, especially if you were out to prove that your Suffrage movement and arguments were reasonable and respectable. Bare heads in public and long hair were for girls or much younger  women.

One reason for getting on and finishing these MARCHing figures is the unfinished FEMbruary conversion of an Airfix Footballer into a Western saloon girl, as suggested by Donald Featherstone in his Wildwest chapter of Skirmish Wargaming.

The unfinished conversion using paint, PVA glue and tissue paper still looked heavily masculine, especially with the longer hair,  even more like Kevin Keegan in a dress. I repainted her in white with additional layers of frontal skirts to be more respectable and less revealing.  A white head covering over the long dark hair softened the masculine features slightly.

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Whilst wanting to keep the figures and paint scheme simple and glossy toy soldier like, I found the solid white clothes a little dull to look at. Knowing that light pale blue brings out white colours, dolly blue being added to white washing in the past,  a slight wash of pale light blue brought out a little shade and shadow.

So that is MARCH, Women’s History Month, the final bit of FEMBruary done for this year and another toy soldier conversion or painting challenge completed.

I have really enjoyed working on some different figures for a change.

Blogposted by Mark, Man of TIN as my final MARCH 2018 blogpost, 31 March 2018.

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The Crazy Breed Known as Wargamers 1979

“I have an interest in war as a hobby as I am one of the crazy breed known as wargamers … more interested in uniforms and tactics than in death.”

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Another “crazy” excuses to put in a picture of a Featherstone ACW war game …

Radio 1 Mailbag 1979 – Wargames

Radio 1 Mailbag BBC Radio 1 England, 7 November 1979 19.00
Appears in Radio Times, Issue 2921, 1 November 1979, Page 68
Synopsis: Anne Nightingale features listeners’ letters on almost any subject.

A recent letter expressed the following views:
“I have an interest in war as a hobby as I am one of the crazy breed known as wargamers. (We play with toy soldiers using complex rules to recreate the intricacies of battle.) People may find our hobby morbid but we are more interested in the history of war (a very important part of our heritage) and not in killing.”

“Our style of fighting has the advantage that at the end of the battle the armies are packed away on to shelves, all living to fight another day whilst there are no metal or plastic widows to write to. We treat our hobby responsibly, being more interested in uniforms and tactics than in death.”
Programme Producer SIMON MAJOR. Send your problems, comments, questions and criticisms to: Radio 1 Mailbag BBC …      (November 1979)

BBC Written Archives source:

http://genome.ch.bbc.co.uk/33095e6cb3304114939d5ef6d37c6361

I found this whilst researching Donald Featherstone’s radio talks. It ends much in the same sentiment as Featherstone that whilst real war is no game,  that war gaming leaves no lead widows or orphans and there is no one braver than a lead  soldier.

“Herein is contained the basic material in the form of rules and advice that will enable very enjoyable games to be carried on, with no bloodshed , widows, orphans or nuclear weapons …”

“The hobby and its players have done much to enrich the life of the author … War games have brought a glimpse of pageantry and colour to the lives of their adherents, and put a merciful glamour over war, thus giving it a quality that it has never deserved and which, in the light of modern events, it is never likely to achieve.”

Preface to War Games (1962/1970) Donald Featherstone

In terms of  its pop style (“crazy breed”) and the choice of Radio 1 as a station it appears to be a letter written by a young person of school or student age, obviously concerned with both proudly promoting and defending the hobby.

I wonder whether there is now an ageing gamer who remembers writing this letter to the Radio 1 Mailbag?

Blogposted by Mark, Man of TIN 29 March 2018

The magic number 793.9

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793.9 that magical number that ought to be the PIN number or four digit code of all gamers of a certain generation.

793.9 the most important bit of any school library or the adult section of the public library when you were too young to afford any gaming books except at Christmas or Birthday.

793.9 the public secret code to the portal of gaming. The cupboard to Narnia of toy soldier gaming. As I recall in one lovely tiny branch library of my childhood,  793.9 was round the back of shelving and out of view from the rest of the library.

What was 793.9 in the mysterious world of Dewey library numbers?

793 Indoor games & amusements
793.2 Parties and entertainment
793.3 Social, folk, national dancing
793.4 Games of action
793.5 Forfeit and trick games
793.7 Games not characterized by action
793.8 Magic and related activities
793.9 Other indoor diversions

http://bpeck.com/references/ddc/ddc_mine700.htm

793.9 other indoor diversions including Wargames 

793.9 has even generated its own 2014 book Dragons in the Stacks, as befits some of the more forward thinking libraries such as Kaptain Kobold’s local Australian library’s games events. http://hordesofthethings.blogspot.co.uk/2017/11/dragon-rampant-at-library.html

 

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Mainly focussed on RPG games, snippets can be read on Google books.

http://www.librarything.com/mds/793.92  suggests that Wargames now have their own unique number 793.92

So who was Dewey the decimal library wizard?  https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dewey_Decimal_Classification

Here is the man himself, American librarian  Melvil Dewey (1851-1931)

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The great man Melvil Dewey  1851–1931 (Image:Wikipedia source)

Would Melvil Dewey have approved of the activities categorised under 793.9?

Probably not, accorading to Anna Elliott’s article below. He did not seem too fond of “silly games” although arguably everything I have learned about history, psychology and tactics through gaming would class it as the sort of “self improvement activity” he enjoyed in place of “silly games” as a child.

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http://www.hwwilson.com/databases/PDFsample/WLB/dewey.pdf

What a singular man Melvil Dui turned out to be …

Blogposted by Mark, Man of TIN, player of Games not characterized by action

 

A Small Salute on Donald Featherstone’s Centenary

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My homecast Salute to Donald Featherstone’s Centenary (54mm Prince August).
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My toy soldier style tribute to Donald Featherstone, Don being the physiotherapist to Southampton FC for many years  (Airfix Footballers). He probably wore a suit and tie,  not a tracksuit.

MARCH is my excuse to photograph my MARCHing figures and MARCHing bands in my collection  so these are a small tribute to Don, the sort of Britain’s figures that he would have seen in his inspiration – H.G. Wells’ Little Wars.

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A tiny parade of some of my vintage Britain’s Guards,  MARCHing  to celebrate Donald Featherstone’s Centenary.
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Some Donald Featherstone inspiration – his 30mm Spencer Smith figures in the Plattville Valley, an ACW game from his first book (and my favourite) War Games 1962 

 

Donald Featherstone (1918 – 2013) would have been 100 years old today.

https://manoftinblog.wordpress.com/2018/03/03/featherstone100-donald-featherstone-centenary-20-march-2018/

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Happy Birthday Donald Featherstone! An inspiration to us all.

A little suitable light reading for the day …

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Blogposted by Mark, Man of TIN, 20 March 2018

Climbing Mount Lemax

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It’s snowing again where I live in the Southwest.

Earlier this month I didn’t get around to photographing these Lemax resin mountaineer figures (set #62433) in the snow for my snow blog post https://manoftinblog.wordpress.com/2018/03/02/snow-and-ski-troops/

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Same photo given a black and white grainy treatment.

Lemax resin figures are sold for European or American Christmas villages and railways.

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Clip2Comic black and white cartoon setting

They are slightly larger than Airfix 1:32 and usually quite garishly prepainted.

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They need a spot of repainting. Add a rifle each, then they would have a proper Mountain Man look.

 

Blogposted by Mark, (Mountain) Man of TIN, 18 March 2018.

MARCH Reading Minor Galactic Epic Fail

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I hope the  other bloggers on the Cupcakes and Machetes blog challenge have been getting along slightly better with their March reading plans than mine.

https://cupcakesandmachetes.wordpress.com/2018/03/12/celebrate-the-ladies-week-2/

Being Women’s History Month, many of the blog followers are exploring female authors, including cartoon or graphic novels.

I had thought that I would get back into Bronte reading  mode  and started off reading the first few chapters of Charlotte Brontes novel Shirley (1849),  which has interesting potential gaming scenario material. Inspired by recent 1830s and 1840s Chartist riots but set during the late Napoleonic Wars episodes of  Luddite machine breaking, there is an interesting attack and defence of a textile mill.

Alongside this,  I had lined up in my bedside table for reading another Bronte book from their edited juvenilia High Life in Verdopolis, A Story from the GlassTown Saga edited by Christine Alexander. Unpublished for over a hundred and fifty years since being written in 1834, this edition also has quite Gothic or Romantic illustrations of the main male and female characters by Charlotte herself.

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March reading for Man of TIN

What I ended up reading by accident instead, having found the Bronte books hard to get into, were the first two Star Wars film paperback novelisations that I had not read since childhood and the 1978 Battlestar Galactica novelisation, all well thumbed paperbacks.

Arguably, despite the male authors, there is one attractively feisty female role model in Star Wars and The Empire Strikes Back in the form of no-nonsense Princess Leia.

Watching the Star Wars prequel stand-alone film Rogue One and sequels film Star Wars VII The Force Awakens and VIII The Last Jedi, I was pleased to see that in Disney’s version of the Star Wars franchise, outer space is now (alien races excepted) more multiracial and equal opportunities in its humanoids  than it was in the 1970s Sci-fi days.  More main female characters (Jyn Urso and Rey), more female fighter pilots of a mature age, more multiracial female role models, all this will hopefully attract a wider age range and demographic to these films, the sci-fi genre and potentially sci-fi and fantasy gaming.

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Nicely posed and animated 54mm Princess Leia from the Star Wars Battlepacks: Commanders 30th anniversary 77/07 set

After reading the Service Ration Distribution (Hobby) blog  I found a fabulous free  / cheap little app to turn photos into graphic novel / comic frames called Clip2Comic on AppStore https://servicerationdistributionhobby.blogspot.co.uk/2017/09/kursk-action-comic.html  which allowed me to do this to photos. Bliss!

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My Princess Leia figure after the Clip2Comic treatment.
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Star Wars Battlepacks: Commanders 2007 

It is a long time since as a child I saw bits and bobs of Battlestar Galactica on TV in the late 1970s and early 1980s. I completely missed the recent 2005 remake. The 1978 book and background scenario was surprisingly complex, including the metal clad robotic Cylon Warriors (Battlestar’s  version of Star Wars storm troopers?). The Cylon villains regard the irrational, emotional nature of the human characters, along with the human imperialist or colonial expansion to other planets searching for resources, as a pest or threat to the peace of the rest of the galaxy. Interesting idea. I look forward to finishing this battered old paperback.

Being an American TV serial or movie like Star Trek, there are more black and female figures in the 1978 Battlestar Galactica than in Star Wars. The female characters in the book do get to pilot shuttles and analyse data but do seem more ‘eye candy’ than feisty. They often need rescuing. At least they get to do more than scream a lot at aliens like many of Doctor Who’s 1970s female companions. Some viewers may disagree.

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These paperback novels (including the  Star Wars Special Young  Readers Edition that I think we bought cheaper through the school paperback book club) had not only the story and fairly accurate dialogue from the movie but x “pages of fabulous colour” pictures from the film. A bit of colour in the otherwise brown and orange 1970s colour palette.

In the late 1970s, before DVDs, videos, downloads and websites made film photos and footage easily available, this added feature of real colour movie photographs was really exciting. Alongside film still colour picture trading cards,  I would have drawn these scenes many many times and used them to learn to draw the characters and spaceships.

These Cylon Warriors reminded me of some of the figures of the short lived 54mm / 1:32 Airfix Space Warriors.

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Lizard man legs but Battlestar Galactica Cylon type helmets – 54mm Airfix Space Warriors

The  Airfix Space Warriors were only around in shop space in 1981 for a short while. I had one box. I missed these when reissued briefly in silver plastic 6 figure bags in 1995. Since then I have picked them up in ones and twos whenever seen and affordable.

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Several more of the Airfix 1981 characters look as if they have a Flash Gordon (1980) Star Wars (1977) Battlestar Galactica (1978) Buck Rogers  influence to this cloaked Starbuck / Apollo like space pilot figure.

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These Space Warrior figures also contain the only fighting female 54mm figure made by Airfix, the Star Princess with space blaster. They are not often found second hand compared to the other figures. Maybe jealous sisters nicked them all?

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I hope to get these figures painted and into action for the summer, added to pound store plastic ‘space warrior’ conversions, especially for future  galactic garden games.

https://manoftinblog.wordpress.com/2016/09/25/close-little-space-wars/

What would Charlotte Bronte and sisters have made of these fighting Star Princesses as their fantasy heroines?

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One of Charlotte Bronte’s illustrations gets the  Clip2Comic treatment into graphic novel style. 

Next week on Tuesday 20th March 2018 the Donald Featherstone Centenary. A change of reading matter maybe for that one!

https://manoftinblog.wordpress.com/2018/03/03/featherstone100-donald-featherstone-centenary-20-march-2018/

Blogposted by Mark, Man of TIN 17 March 2018.

#MARCH no. 1

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Wendal aluminium marching bandsman – Salvation Army or Circus uniforms. British made.

As well as March being Women’s History Month (a continuation of FEMbruary), it is  an excuse for painting, modelling or photographing more of my MARCHing toy soldier figures and MARCHing bands.

I love a marching figure and given the choice, I would rather have a set of marching toy soldiers than the more realistic modern multiple poses, just for that classic toy soldier look.

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Here’s one I made earlier … they look great on parade or the battlefield. Prince August 54mm home cast metal Traditional Toy Soldier set. Cast your chosen arms,  head and body, assemble, paint  and you have your own home made figure. Still magical.

https://shop.princeaugust.ie/54mm-traditional-toy-soldiers-moulds/

So here are a few of my marching figures for this MARCH.

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Two Britain’s Scottish marching troops with the moving arm still attached. Left,  Highland Light Infantry from set 213 (prewar manufacture) and Right, The Royal Scots from set 212.

More will be MARCHing across this blog for a small parade on Donald Featherstone’s Centenary on 20 MARCH 2018.

https://manoftinblog.wordpress.com/2018/03/03/featherstone100-donald-featherstone-centenary-20-march-2018/

We might even get time for a small suffragette March before the month is out.

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A simple tartan and lace trimmings … in Scottish doublet and tartan trews.

The simple beauty and joy of a MARCHing figure or a MARCHing band.

Blogposted by Mark, Man of TIN,  MARCH 2018