Trooping the Cushion

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Reversible Boden Cushion Big Red Spots on White or this side – Guardsmen!

Are you sitting comfortably? Then we’ll begin. This is the story of a very suitable present for a toy soldier household –  of Guardsmen Trooping the Cushion.

These were a recent gift of a pair of these Boden cushions, which handily can be camouflaged by reversing them onto their red spots on white side. Toy soldier cushions? What toy soldier cushions?

Alongside Cath Kidston’s Guardsman and London ranges (that form my everyday mug collection), these British designed  Boden cushions are obviously generic stylised Guardsmen with an almost Union Jack flag.

Boden may not be my taste in clothes but I like these cushions. They have a toy soldier parade look. Sadly this design and cushion seems to be no longer available.

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With your musket, fife and drum …

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The Boden inspiration? Could be Second grade Britain’s fixed arm Guardsman.

Another Guardsman cushion no longer available online is this more toylike John Lewis design, one which I don’t have. It reminds me a little of my Man of TIN profile picture of the Prince August Guardsman saluting that I made.

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Blogposted by Mark, well cushioned Man of TIN, 30 August 2018

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Timpo Desert Fort pictures

Using my blog as a scrapbook (kind of what Pinterest was invented for), here are a couple of cheeky screen shots from an online auction site of the Timpo Desert Fort.

Never had this fort or knew it existed. However I still have my childhood Timpo Arabs and Foreign Legion, some of them in need of repair from brittle joints.

I have been slowly collecting the odd beaten up Timpo cowboy buildings for 54mm games.

There are lots more Timpo buildings at this site for some Timpo Nostalgia:

http://www.spanglefish.com/hallmarkstoysoldiers/index.asp?pageid=169845

Blogposted by Mark, Man of TIN, 29 August 2018.

“That more intelligent sort of girl who likes boys’ games and books”

 

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Nice field gun! I wonder if this Mademoiselle Strategie was “that sort of intelligent girl” that H.G. Wells had in mind who would enjoy playing his Little Wars ? Xavier Sager  postcard, “Strategy” c. or pre WW1.

 

“Little Wars: a game for boys from twelve years of age to one hundred and fifty and for that more intelligent sort of girl who likes boys’ games and books” is the long and unusual title of H.G. Wells famous book that started modern war gaming back in 1913.

H.G. Wells had an eye for intelligent girls or ladies, such as Amber Reeves, a pioneering feminist Socialist student at Cambridge University  https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Amber_Reeves with whom Wells had a child outside marriage in 1909. Wells called Amber  “Dusa”, a shortened form of his pet name (!) for her of Medusa.

Wells proved himself to be more than just the father of modern war gaming!

The years before Floor Games (1911), an account of floor games with his two sons,   led onto the “Sandgate Cannonade” of Little Wars (1913) were certainly busy ones for Wells, personally and professionally.

I wonder if this Xavier Sager designed Strategie / Strategy postcard girl  is “the sort of intelligent girl who likes boys games and books” that Wells had in mind? It’s certainly a nice field gun shooting at what looks like tiny men or toy soldiers.

I came across this curious “Little Wars” style postcard online attached to a completely unrelated foreign language medical website about heart disease.

I was puzzled – Any reason why it was on a medical website?

It’s an interesting little card from somewhere in the early 1900s through to WW1. Look carefully and you will see that the ammunition for her toy gun is hearts!

What Strategy is it that she proposes?

Why the Gulliver Lilliputian style differences in size between giant lady and puny male victims?

Are these her tiny fallen lovers?

Is she a Femme Fatale figure? A Dusa or mythical fate spinner, a fatal woman?

What of the tiny fallen or wounded figures on the floor, including one in uniform, cursing or crying out? He must have a very revealing view of  Mademoiselle “Strategie”.

What would the spirited Amber Reeves make of it all?

Strategy was produced as a comic or satirical postcard by Xavier Sager.  Sager was a European  postcard artist whom I had not heard of before but a quick internet search reveals him to have been most prolific.

However  little appears online or in print about Sager’s life. Xavier Sager may have been born in Austria in 1870 or 1881 and died in the USA in 1930. He mostly illustrated Paris life in the first few years of the 1900s. You can see many of his designs here and on Pinterest:

https://aboutcards.blogspot.com/2006/12/xavier-sager-belle-epoch-postcard.html

http://perso.wanadoo.es/xsager/_marcs-eng.htm

French website: http://wilfrid-sager.blogg.org

Sager’s image reminds me of this curious Gibson Girls comic drawing by American artist Charles Dana Gibson entitled “The Weaker Sex” (1903).

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Caption this for female Wargamers or modellers?!? Sager’s images reminds me of this curious 1903 Gibson Girls drawing by American artist Charles Dana Gibson entitled “The Weaker Sex” (Wikipedia image source public domain)

Xavier Sager reputedly produced over 3000 designs of what in America would later be called pin ups, nose cone art  and far more relaxed and revealing than the fashionable Gibson Girls of America at the time.

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Howard Chandler Christy WW1 poster
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Howard Chandler Christy WW1 US poster

These Sager postcards are much more similar in cheeky style to the Howard Chandler Christy girls of WW1 American forces recruiting.

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Lots of “military terms” or puns illustrated on postcards by Xavier Sager c. France WW1. As the old saying goes, Time spent in Reconnaissance is seldom wasted!

Many of the military ones seem focussed on cheeky, erotic or patriotic subjects such as flags, national songs, uniforms and female company for Allied soldiers including the Americans after their 1917 entry into WW1. They must have sold like hot cakes or donuts to the American doughboys.

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Bersaglieri, part of a Sager postcard series on Allied national flags and uniforms  WW1. A similar female Bersaglieri postcard by Sager exists.

This post is for Marvin, a talented painter of WW1 miniatures!

These  images sit interestingly alongside the fantastical and unrealistic images of women or girl soldiers that Marvin of the Suburban Militarism blog has been researching, alongside the real female soldiers and support services https://suburbanmilitarism.wordpress.com/2017/04/26/girl-soldier/

There are plenty of Xavier Sager’s collectable vintage postcard images for sale online or viewable on Pinterest, if you want to look up his work any further, along with websites below.

Blog posted by Mark Man of TIN, 26 August 2018

B.P.S. Blog Post Script 

Mademoiselle Strategie with her ammunition of hearts may well be the female version of the man collecting a Jar of Hearts (conquests, hopefully, not real human organs) in Christina Perri’s recent song Jar of Hearts, better heard in the remix of the  time travelling Postmodern Jukebox, court musicians to the Duke of Tradgardland. Enjoy!

https://youtu.be/G_4Qf2yV0KQ

 

Featherstone and Co. Naval War Games

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That magical number again 793.9 and the end of its (much borrowed?) library career.  

As mentioned in my recent blog posts on my Flying Tiger Pound Store Navy of eraser ships, I have sent off for two books on Naval  Wargames.

https://manoftinblog.wordpress.com/2018/08/19/my-pound-store-naval-convoy/

One is old, one new, one much borrowed, both are hopefully blue, as blue as the cruel sea …

I await my Lulu order of  Bob Cordery’s recent Gridded Naval Wargames, highly recommended by several people, no doubt being printed and despatched at this very moment.

The distinctive 60s Book jacket design surrounded by my Pound Store ships

However first to arrive, full speed ahead, at the end of its hopefully much borrowed forty year library career, was Donald F. Featherstone’s Naval War Games.

It has its fans, others condemned on my blog comments it as dry as dust. A reprint is available thanks to John Curry’s History of Wargaming Project:

http://www.wargaming.co/recreation/naval.htm

This used copy (in better condition than I expected) cost only a few pounds from Better World Books, an Abe Books Internet supplier of ex-library stock whose profits go to literacy and library projects worldwide. What’s not to like?

I never borrowed this Featherstone title from my local library, it was always out on loan.

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Stirring stuff? Do you always read the book jacket blurb? Would you be inspired and buy or borrow this book? 
The Tabletop Islands chapter by Joseph Morschauser is unusual!

A wide range of Naval rules by Featherstone “and company”

Some supposedly simple ‘back of postcard rules’ by different gamers that Featherstone starts with.

Slightly hieroglyphic for beginners like many “back of postcard rules”?

Jack Alexander (Jacklex figures) design: how to make a WW1 era battleship
Three completed ‘simple’ ship models shown
An innovative Fred Jane no dice approach to calculate firing and damage!
That eternal boy Donald Featherstone dreams of Pacific War Airfix Combined Ops games
Another inspiring Featherstone image from Naval War Games …

First impressions?

No obvious simple (solo) convoy game rules but should be some interesting ideas. Add Bob Cordery’s book and ideas as well, it should promise to be an interesting few months puzzling out some rules for protecting my eraser ship convoy from the Wolf Pack.

Blogposted by Mark Man of TIN, 23 August 2018.

My Pound Store Naval Convoy

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My convoy of Merchant Shipping
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The Wolf Pack

It might be stretching it a bit to call Flying Tiger a pound store, although these two packs of eraser ships cost £4 in total.

https://manoftinblog.wordpress.com/2018/08/09/hms-flying-tiger-eraser-battleship

It’s come quite a way since picking up these in Flying Tiger a few weeks ago.

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Two stubby cruise ships joined together to make a hospital or troop ship maybe? 

I now look forward this autumn to working out some kind of (solo) convoy gaming simulation, once I have puzzled  out what to do for escorts. I might have to raid the card ships from our old family copy of the Dover Patrol game for now.

Thanks to many of you for all the excellent suggestions regarding simple naval wargames rules. I have now ordered a paperback copy from Lulu of the Bob Cordery’s new Gridded Naval Wargames which received most recommendations, as well as a £2 bashed up, ex-library copy of Donald Featherstone’s Naval Wargames.

If these rules don’t suit an old infantry skirmish gamer, there were other helpful suggestions. Thank you all.

It will be interesting moving out into new territory or terrain, a whole new language of ships and naval warfare, a world or ocean apart from H. G. Wells type Little Wars or the small infantry skirmish game of Featherstone’s Close Wars.

https://manoftinblog.wordpress.com/2018/08/15/dipping-my-little-toe-in-the-big-ocean-of-naval-wargaming

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What next for my Merchant Shipping Convoy? 

Two tone grey camouflage makes it difficult to identify individual ships, which is the point of the dark grey lower and light grey upper sections. However it makes identifying individual cargo ships in any future naval game a problem, so a few pre-war coloured funnels might return as they did in WW2.

Paints used are several coats of Revell Aquacolor Acrylics, Gunship Grey and Stone Grey for the ships and  painting separate layers of Ultramarine Blue and Mossy Green onto the black card bases made from scrap art framing or mounting card. What colour the sea?

Big ships don’t leave such a wide angle wake as a small river craft. Getting some kind of bow wave and wake was more tricky, a blob of off-white paint on the bow brushed along the side of the ship and its aftermath seemed to do the trick in most cases.

I also have to name and label my convoy ships, probably with some Bronte inspired Angria, Gondal and Gaaldine names: Angrian Princess, Gondal Queen, that sort of thing that suits possible  Imagi-Nation naval campaigns.

Blogposted by Mark, Man of TIN, 19 August 2018

Rearmed Again by Dorset Soldiers

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Lots of spare arms for repairing Broken Britain’s old 54mm toy soldier figures

Huzzah! Rearm-ament continues. My order has arrived from Dorset Soldiers

http://dorsetmodelsoldiers.com

 

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Line Infantry, cavalry and Guards head  recast replacements

 

Unpacked ready for repairing more headless armless Broken Britain’s 54mm figures this Autumn.

Blogposted by Mark Man Of TIN August 2018.

Dipping my Little Toe in the Big Ocean of Naval Wargaming?

 

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Out of the packet …

 

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Grey painted undercoated merchant shipping with matchstick funnels where needed. Simple bases need painting. 

I am not by nature a naval gamer. Some of my school friends were but it didn’t immediately ring any bells for me as someone who likes Simple 1:1 figure gaming, none of this 1 figure equals so many men. You could argue even more so, that one ship represents even more men.

Buying HMS Flying Tiger eraser battleships as recruits for a Pound store navy?

https://manoftinblog.wordpress.com/2018/08/09/hms-flying-tiger-eraser-battleships

The next question – What simple rules to use? Track down Featherstone’s Naval Wargaming?

What scale or range would a few cheap metal escorts be for a convoy game?

Hmmm …

 

Blogposted by Mark, Man of TIN, August 2018.