It’s New Years Eve so time for some drink hanger figures?


Drink markers …

Another comedy Christmas gift from my family destined for gaming use. Well they look like 54mm plastic soldiers, they just lack a uniform.

Welcome to the bizarre (or tasteless) world of drinks markers (depending on your sense of humour).


Beach babes, wrestlers, YMCA uniform types, ‘Full Monty’ type firemen, cowboy chaps, even Queen Elizabeth and even more oddly Jesus, all get the drinks marker treatment.

Not sure what these 54mm Plastic figures will become on the gaming table yet. I have a Quiralu aluminium Zulu type white Tarzan – could this be an idea for these as ancient figures?

Man of TIN endorses responsible drinking.

Toy Soldier selections occasionally appear in stag and hen do drinking games – see my blogpost

Happy New Year!

Blog posted by Mark Man of TIN on New Years Eve 31 December 2018.

A Toy Soldier Christmas?


A few more Toy Soldier orientated gifts this Christmas, all pretty ephemeral.

Attractive sweet packaging tin and a chocolate lolly from Marks and Spencers. Interesting ImagiNations uniform, part circus band, part Danish Hans Christian Anderson and part Napoleonic.


Some of my Christmas gifts arrived wrapped in Toy Soldier wrapping paper.  This Christmas there were quite a few  Toy Soldier decorations around in the shops, which mostly  seemed to be  the Nutcracker Russian ballet style soldier figures, big and small (2018).

I kept parts of these sheets for my scrapbook but also kept several other sections in case I want to knock up or rather  glue up some cardboard Russian Nutcracker soldier figures.

Blogposted by Mark Man of TIN on 30th December 2018 – Twixmas is nearly over.

More Log Cabins!

These log cabins are not what they seem … 20mm ish handmade FIMO figures 

These small little log cabins are another curious gift from the family for Christmas, knowingly bought  as destined for gaming use.

They suggest American backwoods or the forests of Northern Europe and Scandinavia.

They are Paine’s log cabin incense burners, made by an American company from American forests since 1931. They have a door but no windows.

These Paine’s cabins come ready assembled and are a very different size from the RoyToys Log Cabin Building Sets that suit 40mm plus to 54mm figures

For scale I have put a couple of my 20mm ish early handmade DIY figures made from Fimo polymer clay, suitably American figures:

Blogposted by Mark, Man of TIN during Twixmas on 29 December 2018.

Labyrinth or Terrain Squares?


Found this in a old second-hand book of mazes. It might look like maths homework. However they could be the basis for something like terrain squares, roads  and also dungeons.


I’m sure hex versions would work, even marked out onto  Heroscape hexes.

There is also a good cracker style puzzler.

A matchstick maze puzzler …

Henry Hyde of Battle Games fame has produced some interesting terrain squares, the first set of which are available as a free PDF gift for subscribing to his Gladius newsletter.

Blogposted by Mark, Man of TIN, 27 December 2018.




Roy Toys USA Log Cabin Set

Attractively retro packaged Roy Toys cabin building set  


A well built log cabin lasts several generations …

Safari Toob Jamestown Settler pioneer figures (plastic 54mm) make suitable cabin builders. 


Safari Toob Wild West figures including Annie Oakley 

You can get your Little House on The Prairie geek on  with this log cabin building set! 

Like those grainy old black and white western log cabin photos.

Roy Toys?

I had heard of Lincoln Logs building Toys as I have some of their metal toy soldiers and civilians.  Roy Toys however were a  new company to me, thanks to a surprise kind family gift for Christmas.


I  like the retro packaging, I like the simple product and the story behind its creation and remarkable family revival.


The history of the product, maker and company are given here

Blogposted by Mark Man of TIN on 27 December 2018. 

B.P.S. this log cabin was apparently sourced through quirky British supplier Labour and Wait in London – they have some still reduced in their sale. 


Christmas Parade by the Guards Band

Not quite 11 pipers or 12 drummers this year but a good turn out by the plastic Guards Band.  A Wendal stowaway civilian farmer watches the Parade.
Spot the odd recent Timpo remakes, recently painted in gloss acrylic.

The Christmas Parade this year is mostly the old Lone Star / Harvey series (the stocky ones with the squareish bases) in various states of original and repaint  or their TIMPO recasts in fresh glossy acrylic.

No Scots or Irish  pipers this year (save that for Hogmanay!) and this is as many as could fit on our mantelpiece with tinsels and lights mixed in. Plenty of bandsman left in the box for another Christmas parade.

Eleven Pipers piping popped up last Christmas

alongside twelve drummers drumming

Mixed in you might spot the odd Crescent / Kellogg’s Guards bandsman, a couple of  aluminium Wendal Salvation Army bandsmen in peaked caps and even one hollow cast Guards Band figure.

Our parade centrepiece is this three jolly guardsmen Christmas card illustrated by Clare Wilson for the Museums And Galleries collection. 

Our parade centrepiece is this three jolly guardsmen Christmas card illustrated by Clare Wilson for the Museums And Galleries collection. Some of my blog readers that I have been in postal contact with about toy soldiers might even have received one of these cards in the post!


All watched over by a friendly giant robin redbreast  …
All fifty eight bandsmen on Parade.

I hope you had a happy Toy solder filled Christmas ready for a happy Gaming New Year.

I will post some of my new toy soldier or gaming arrivals over the almost Twelve days of Christmas or  “Twixmas” as this next week or so are becoming known.

Blogposted by Mark Man of TIN on Boxing Day Twixmas 2018.

Happy Christmas 2018 from the Man of TIN


I hope you have enjoyed the last 24 days chaotically themed or eclectic blog posts as the Man of TIN Advent Calendar.

From your likes and comments, it seems that many of you have enjoyed the varied nature of these December posts and thank you for taking the time to leave these comments, I really enjoy reading them.

This is my other Advent Calendar, part of the beautiful traditional Toy Shop Advent Calendar that we have been opening at home this Christmas, designed by talented modern British artist Emily Sutton.

You can see the whole thing at

I photographed the two panels which feature toy soldiers, another one of a long running theme of traditional toy soldier blog posts.

The tiny pictures by Emily behind hidden numbered doors or windows were equally whimsical and charming, such as the dolls house interior of the dolls house (at No. 8).


Giving away no secrets, this tipsy bunch of toy soldiers popped up behind another window. So maybe that’s why Toy soldiers have their traditional red cheeks?

Blog posted by Mark for the  Man of TIN blog on Christmas Day 2018. Happy Christmas!

Man of TIN Advent Calendar Day 24 – Plastic Nativity Figures


Christmas is almost here!

Here is a white plastic Nativity set of 54mm figures and animals (by a German maker?) that I was given by a relative. Some of the white plastic is brittle and the halos on Mary and Joseph had broken.

These did not take paint well. I used Acrylic and these are almost finished. A little work on faces is still required.

It looks like the Shepherd crook has broken? Worth repairing.

Three Wise Men and their gifts
The Holy Family – Mary is unfortunately missing a hand, due no doubt to brittle ageing plastic.

Made in Germany? Hugh at Small Scale World has a post about these figures
A charming repaired plastic camel, much like some of the older hollow cast camels.

Blogposted by Mark Man of TIN as Advent Calendar Day 24, Christmas Eve, 24th December 2018.

Man of TIN Advent Calendar Day 23 – Victorian Paper Soldier Scraps

A dashing cavalry figure! With disturbingly, two heads …
More dashing Victorian cavalry – paper scraps
18th Bengal Infantry – Victorian paper scrap.

Not sure how accurate these (German printed?) uniform scraps are. They are however  certainly excellent for the spirit of painting toy soldiers and imperial swagger and pride they represent.

Royal Artillery and Grenadier Guards – Victorian paper scraps.

Blogposted by Mark Man of TIN, Advent Calendar Day 23, 23 December 2018



Man of TIN Advent Calendar Day 22 – A Few 1930s toy soldier Hugar Buildings

Interesting pre-war 54mm scenery (battle boards) from Hugar – rare and expensive!

A book I am looking forward to as a gift at Christmas is  The Illustrated History of Hugar published in Hardcover by Smart Media in 2014 by Paul Brookes. Available through Amazon. Perfect for a 54mm old Toy Soldier gamer …


As original 1930s Hugar buildings are so expensive, the now defunct company of GBE Toy Soldiers used to manufacture replicas.

Hugar  style  buildings no longer available on GBE soldiers.
Again no longer available from GBE Toy Soldiers


Simple and play-full buildings

Blogposted by Mark Man of TIN, Advent Calendar Day 22 on 22 December 2018