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.
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.
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/
TSAF Recon Mission Report, somewhere in the twin mists of The Great River and the 1930s:
The TSAF (Toy Soldier Air Force) is continuing and widening its search of the Yarden Forests of South Generica for any traces of missing explorer Colonel Bob “Jumbo” Fazackerly.
The skilled TSAF Pilots and their Observers / Navigators in their newly delivered Hybrid twin seater single engine monoplanes are scouring a wider and wider area around the upper reaches of the Great River, the Colonel’s last known position.
Colonel Fazackerley, a seasoned veteran of many a past military campaign, was last seen several months ago heading off “Up River” into the South Generican forests and mountains. Some say the Colonel was in search of inscriptions and artefacts in a rumoured lost cave temple of a lost ancient Generican tribe etc. etc.
Others mention that it is also known that descendants of these ‘lost’ tribes are not always friendly to outsiders. Rumours of unrest amongst these Yarden and Great River tribes have also reached the Colonial Governor, one of the many sons of Sir Sidney Ruff-Diamond.
The exact nature of the Colonel’s Mission or Expedition has not been disclosed by the Governor.
How I made Colonel Fazackerley
Colonel Bob started life amongst the ranks of Johillco Line Infantry (shown right below).
At some point during his previous life or military career he lost his head and his rifle, as well as his left arm.
When he arrived amongst a job lot of Broken Britain’s and other damaged hollowcast lead toy soldiers that I am repairing, he barely had any paint left either.
I repainted his scarlet jacket and blue trousers with Gloss Acrylics but then had other ideas.
The Colonel was reborn from my Bits Box, Frankenstein style, thanks to a spare Dorset Soldiers head, and a homecast officer’s sword arm from the Prince August 54mm Traditional Toy Soldier set.
I could have repaired or restored him, as I have done with other similar broken Johillco figures, back to his original Line Infantry firing role.
However something about the look of the stub of the broken rifle reminded me of a chunky automatic American style revolver. This suggested an officer, so next it was finding the right individual sort of hat.
Johillco 54mm figures are a little heftier than the more slender Britain’s figures, so can more easily take the Prince August 54mm cast arms and head. I tried various heads. Eventually I settled on a Dorset Soldiers head with slouch or bush hat from my Bits Box.
This still left the problem of the missing left arm.
Rather than making a new one from a wire “arm-ature” wrapped in masking tape and a Fimo polymer clay hand, I rummaged through my Bits Box again and found a spare Prince August officer’s right sword arm from a past casting session.
Snipping and filing this sword arm at the elbow to match the left arm stump, it was simply attached by drilling stump and arm with a fine 1mm drill bit to insert a short wire stub which joined the two, secured by superglue.
This gives the look of a sword or long machete for slicing through jungle creepers and stylishly seeing off any hostile natives or fierce animals.
A shaved cocktail stick glued on made a simple scabbard.
A spare Dorset Soldiers backpack made a knapsack.
All that remains to make or find to equip the Colonel for campaigning is a suitable water bottle and pistol holster.
Leather knee boots and Sam Browne type belt / knapsack strap were simply painted on.
His shiny new shooter was painted in silver.
This Dorset head had no cast moustache, so I added a painted one and pink cheek dots to keep that old toy soldier look to the face. A coat of Gloss varnish over the Matt Acrylic Khaki suggested a more vintage toy soldier look too.
What I wanted to achieve was a simple, old-fashioned toy soldier factory paint scheme, nothing too fussy or realistic, more toy soldier or Tintin cartoon.
The Natives are (not always) Friendly …
I have spent several weeks repairing and repainting broken Britain’s and other 54mm hollowcast figures to form some suitable native tribes and troops for future garden, yarden and tabletop skirmish games. Spears and weapons were often missing, sometimes bases, legs and arms.
A mixture of Broken Britain’s and Johillco Zulus, Crescent and Britain’s Indians have so far joined the North and South Generican native tribes defending their hard-won territories against various civilising (for which read aggressive) Colonial Imperialists of many nations.
Rifles or spears were repaired or added with wire and masking tape.
These natives will give Colonel Fazackerley and friends something to watch over the shoulder for. I shall show more of these rearmed and repainted colourful tribes in the coming weeks.
A Man of Many Missions
When he is not lost in the Generican forests and mountains of my Yarden, Colonel Bob can relive the glories of his youth out and about on campaign with a variety of field forces from the Bore War (sorry, Boer War) to the North West Frontier, Boxer Rebellion, Burma, the old West and WW1 East Africa, a military family career stretching back and far and wide to his relatives fighting in the American Civil War (but on which side is not fully known). Did he ever tell you
Danger follows him where others fear to tread …
Look out Fazackerley, they’re behind you!
He is rumoured to have disappeared and spent some time in his youth soldiering in the ranks of the French Foreign Legion.
Fazackerley is a man who has served in many forces on many expeditions and missions under many Aliases, thanks no doubt to his gift for getting by in many languages.
Not all the Natives are Unfriendly …
Soon all will be ready for the forests, mountains and rocky plains of the back garden, Yarden or cluttered Close Wars terrain of the tabletop.
In between planning airplane conversions, I have been repairing Broken Britain’s hollowcast 54mm Indians and casting more Prince August 40mm Cowboys and Indians ready for some garden skirmish games soon.
So adding a Western train set isn’t so surprising …
Vintage 54mm Pound Store Plastic Cowboys and Indians fight over the cargo and caboose of my new Wilko Western Express train.
A snip of a plastic battery operated railway set at £10. Read more at:
At a coastal air station a mixture of navy staff and pilots have their photograph taken to celebrate the delivery of a new patrol aircraft.
Rumours are that a biplane version is being developed.
In the background, a naval sentry keeps an eye out for danger and guards the entrance to the control and signal tower
My third aeroplane of Moshi Monsters origin has arrived. Stripped of its colourful decals, I have been looking at this plane with an intention to make a biplane out of it.
The Moshi toy plane is a hybrid of many aircraft. I found a picture online of the old Matchbox Curtiss Helldiver kit that gives me some idea of what a biplane conversion may look like. A silver paint scheme might work well too for experimental, inter War and civilian aircraft.
My previous blog post featured two other Moshi planes and aircrew figures that will fit into future garden games somehow.
Two fabulous vintage Johillco (1939 era) Running Pilot hollowcast figures, one in Khaki, the other in civilian white pilot or technicians overalls run to “Poppet” their waiting Hybrid Corsair / Hellcat / Buffalo.
I have now tracked down for a fiver a third Moshi Monster aeroplane. This one will be converted in time to a string bag biplane. Up Up and Away!
Thanks to the quickly passed plastic craze of Moshi Monsters, I have now acquired two interesting hybrid fighter bombers. Perfect for any Imagi-Nations Air forces.
They weresourced through my family for free or a few pounds online. They are roughly suitable for 54mm or 1:32 figures, arguably the only true scale for H.G. Wells Big “Little Wars”.
These planes are hybrids, garishly coloured with their pink countershading (female Super Moshi Poppet character) and orange paint scheme (Male cat Super Moshi character Katzuma). I recognise bits of different WW2 aircraft moshed, morphed or mashed together to make this generic hybrid.
I especially like the orange bulbous nosed “Shark Teeth” fighter, originally belonging to SuperMoshi Katsuma.
I looked through a cheap modern reprint of another old childhood branch library Blandford favourite, Fighters 1939-1945 by Kenneth Munson, tosee if I could find the Moshi Monster plane’s forebears.
Grumman Hellcat? Tomahawk with the shark teeth motif? Bulbous Brewster Buffalo, one of my odder childhood aircraft models?
My naval grandfather may have recognised the type. He served on various Royal Navy aircraft carriers during the Pacific / SE Asia naval campaigns including the Kamikaze raids on carriers.
His photo album shows similar carrier based planes but with fold up wings to stow neatly above and below decks.
I would be surprised if you recognised the pilot of the orange aircraft but you might have seen part of him on the blog a few months back amongst the metal detectorist’s toy soldier finds.
Here is how he looks now with a charming Dorset Soldiers recast Pilot head. A hint of Dastardly and Muttly here? Maybe a bullet-holed flying scarf might be required.
Here is how he appeared amongst the toy soldier finds:
The Johillco running pilots in civilian or technician white flying overalls and also khaki flight suits will eventually be joined by some ground crew. Somewhere I have a mould to homecast more RAF Regiment ground crew and also a Britain’s WAAF amongst others to add to the Toy Soldier Air Force at some point.
Army Red and Army Blue will get one plane each, after some removal of some stickers (the shark teeth, eye and katsuma stickers will stay!) There will also be some paint adjustments to their desert orange or desert pink camouflage schemes, such as lighter bellies as part of aircraft countershading.
Interestingly these navy and aircrew figures link into both sides of my family with a Naval grandfather who served on aircraft carriers and an RAF ground crew Grandfather, both of whom had passed away before I was born.
Not quite sure how these aircraft will fit into the 54mm outdoor or indoor games. Defending the airbase will be one scenario. I currently have no rules for aircraft, but I’m sure F.E. Perry’s First and Second Book of Wargaming and Featherstone’s Air Wargames Books may have some clues. Not quite sure what sort of ground spike or stand will be needed yet for a mix of garden and floor / tabletop use.
Little Air Wars?
If I encounter another Moshi aeroplane at good price, the next one gets turned into a “string bag” Biplane, even more suitable for H.G. Wells Edwardian / WW1 era Little Wars. He missed including military biplanes in Little Wars by a few years.
Meanwhile the Aerial Menace of my floor and garden is added to by my favourite (toy) pilot of all time – well worth watching the recent Peanuts movie for the dogfight scenes against the Red Baron.
Some great 1983 packaging too!
Chocks Away! Bandits at 5 o’clock! Tally Ho! Blam blam blam etc.
and finally … here is the original Super Moshi March music video on YouTube.An
George Phillies has recently retired from lecturing about polymers and physics but also from running an interesting course on board games design for video games students courses at Worcester Polytechnic Institute WPI in America
This dicetowernews article has the YouTube link embedded.
I found them interesting for looking at the design of different types of games and the sections on Games mechanics, even though I do not play many of the strategy and board games mentioned.
Phillies introduces these games and their mechanics to his video game design students who have to collaboratively design a playable strategy board game as part of their university course.
George Phillies has also published several books on designing wargames or board strategy games with co-author US games designer Tom Vasel, which you can see on his Amazon page, many of them on Kindle editions.