Two short YouTube videos by UK charity Models for Heroes about the therapeutic value of plastic modelling and how having a hobby focus helps with mental health and PTSD: https://www.modelsforheroes.co.uk
May 25 2019 Geek Pride Day – time to get your Geek On!
We’re almost half the way through an irresolute year and its my 3rd Blogaversary, so time to say thanks to all my readers and commenters.
Celebrating my third happy year of random flibbertigibbet flitting from subject to subject this year ranging from repairing Broken Britain’s and lots of 54mm toy soldiers, the joy of the Job-lot, through cheap plastics, FEMbruary Land Girls, 15mm Mounties and on to my current project reproducing Scout Wide Games:
May 25 2018 last year my 2nd Blogaversary!
May 25 2017 was my 1st Blogaversary!
Geek Pride Day is another excuse for another Star Wars Day, being the first showing date in 1977 in the USA.
Alan of the Duchy of Tradgardland blog, the Tradgardmastre, my Scouting Wide Games co-conspirator, has sent me a bag more USA Tim Mee Galaxy Laser Team figures over on a International / intergalactic Scouting exchange – thanks Alan!
He also mentioned what Games Workshop does for Scouting with a sponsored Warhammer craft badge: encouraging the next Geek generation to use fingers and thumbs for more than swiping and clicking. I wonder if any historical miniatures companies will follow suit? https://fundraising.scouts.org.uk/warhammer
However you spend you Geek Pride Day, whatever your Geek is, enjoy the day!
Genuine 1980 Geek Pride? check out great little D and D BBC Archive clip from 1980 with 80s hair at https://poundstoreplasticwarriors.wordpress.com/2019/05/25/geek-pride-day-25th-may/
Blog Posted by Mark Man of TIN 25 May 2019.
Maudlin Jack Tar https://pampersandp.blogspot.com flagged up this interesting scenario he had spotted within the download of Baden Powell’s 1910 Scouting Games.
Two sides of French and Prussians? This sounds like Franco Prussian War of 1870 rather than 1910.
It could be a great little wide games or tabletop scenario.
In reality, scout casualties would get bored, so Scouts knocked out by a ball or pine cone ‘hit’ could return to an ambulance base to be restored to life.
Taken from Scouting Games (1910 but this is the sixth edition] free download http://www.thedump.scoutscan.com/bp_games.pdf
Blog posted by Mark Man of TIN (1970s Cub Scout, Bronze Arrow, Retired) on 21st May 2019.
This indoor wide game of Scouts Chess is in some ways similar to what I am trying to do in recreating Scout Wide Games as a ‘Tabletop Game’ or ‘Garden Game’.
The whole Scouting Games book is available free here:
“With these [maps or boards], various kinds of Scouting Games can be played” – Interesting to have a permanent map or game board or tabletop etc, mapped “on a very large scale” with marked in and restricted terrain, along with other game mechanisms of how to capture the runner scout (two cubs required) as well as movement rates.
Two scouts to catch one seems to be fairly standard form of capture in many Wide Games.
Suggested movement rates are: 1 inch per Scout each turn so if running, other scouts would presumably move 1/2 inch walking. Alternatively it could be 2 inches per runner and 1 inch walker per walker “or other distance according to the scale of the map”
I’m sure a Bob Cordery chessboard gaming board variation could be worked out. However Scout’s Chess seems to get its name from its chess piece scouts (or flags), rather than a chessboard, as the naturalistic map element of roads and tracks seems to be the important part, rather than the grid.
It reminds me a little of an old cornering Chessboard game called ‘Fox and Hounds’ that I used to play with my late cubmaster Dad.
Blog posted by Mark Man of TIN (1970s Cub Scout, Bronze Arrow, Retired).
Not reliable casting weather to cast a few more scouts to complete the Duchy of Tradgardland’s patrol
but a chance to get some more Scout painting done in between scribbling down more character card and Wide Games rules ideas. I have found a treasure trove of vintage scout manuals free here http://www.thedump.scoutscan.com/games.html
Alan as Chief Scout of the Duchy of Tradgardland Scouts has kindly sent my Boy Scouts the gift of a spare bicycle that he had in his Scout Troop stores.
I was hoping there was also a fun Pound Store Plastic alternative to buying or casting metal scout figures and the Wargaming Pastor had a good suggestion.
The Wargaming Pastor on Death Zap suggested that my floppy bush hatted Boer type figure conversions from Pound store tubs might convert well enough: “I’m tempted to collect a few scouts now, I’m wondering how easy it would be to modify some Airfix WW1 Americans or some of those Poundland chaps? Your Boer conversions would go a long way, then all I have to do is chop off the gun.”
I have quickly paint-bashed these two 32mm examples up to see how this might go. The Wargaming Pastor’s clever suggestion does work!
From pound store figures to more expensive pewter figures.
Looking for a Scout Trek or Treck Cart, before I started converting home cast gun carriages for their wheels, I came across the Phoenix 43 series by S&D / Phoenix which featured a trek cart, two separate scouts pushing and a Scoutmaster and Patrol Leader.
Designed for model railways, I bought a sample of each, not quite sure of size at the time. They are not cheap at around £3 each figure but they are beautifully and crisply cast. They also have very speedy delivery.
Fortunately they do match with my Little Britons 42mm boys and will form a few character pieces such as a Patrol Leader and a Scoutmaster. The Treck Cart should form an interesting scenario focus for Wide Games.
So there we are … my Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts now have wheels in the form of bicycles and a trek cart.
The 20 scouts are closer to completed painting, mainly just touch ups and faces before a gloss varnish to match the toy soldier style.
I have also spent £3 on a single metal scout and made one from a penny plastic figure.
Blogposted by Mark Man of TIN (1970s Cub Scout, Bronze Arrow, retired) on 19 May 2019.
I am slowly trying to work out how to reproduce Boy Scout and Girl Scout Wide Games with miniature figures on the gaming table or in the garden.
Boy Scouts? Girl Scouts? Girl Guides? What’s in a name?
In Britain since 1910, we have not had mainstream Girl Scouts, after Guiding was set up to manage the enthusiastic adoption of Scouting for Boys by many Edwardian girls, sometimes originally in mixed troops.
However in some parts of the UK, across America and the world, Girl Scouts have survived in both name and spirit.
The Girl Scouts of America kept their distinctive Scout name since their formation in 1912, led by Juliette Gordon Low. In this Very good history guide to the early Girl Scouts of Britain before they became Girl Guides, it mentions Cuckoo Patrol Girl Scout troops, the fears about mixed groups, suffragette activities and WW1 and the fact when Guides was set up in Britain not all Girl Scouts apparently transferred …
Following the publication of Scouting for Boys in January 1908 girls were actively engaging in Scouting, they had been just as inspired by the ideas in the book as their male counterparts. Troops and patrols of Girl Scouts were encouraged by Robert Baden-Powell;
“I think girls can get just as much healthy fun and as much value out of scouting as boys can. Some who have taken it up have proved themselves good souls in a very short time. As to pluck, women and girls can be just as brave as men and have over and over again proved it in times of danger. But for some reason it is not expected of them and consequentially it is seldom made part of their education, although it ought to be; for courage is not always born in people, but can generally be made by instruction.”
Robert Baden-Powell, The Scout, May 1908
One group of Girl Scouts, sadly only known to us as “Kangaroo Patrol” were so inspired by this quote that they copied it out at the beginning of their patrol magazine in May 1909. Their magazine was full of adventure stories with Scouts preventing robberies and kidnappings, it also showed girls and boys Scouting together.
Sounds like a good mixed patrol name – Kangaroos!
The British Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts movement (1909), sometimes known as Peace Scouts, ran in parallel for a time, absorbing Girl Scouts who did not want to transfer into Guiding in 1910.
Wonderfully the BBS and BGS troops still exist in small numbers in Britain and elsewhere proudly wearing the old fashioned uniform, open to boys and girls and linked to the worldwide scouting movement.
Baden Powell was surprised but not antagonistic towards the enthusiatic uptake of Scouting for Boys by the kind of vigorous “intelligent sort of girl who likes boys’ games and books” as H.G. Wells observed in his preface to Little Wars a few years later in 1913.
“As records show, at this time Baden-Powell was clearly supportive of Girl Scouts. In May 1908 he wrote to one Girl who enquired that she would be welcome to set up a Patrol of Girl Scouts, and in his regular column in ‘The Scout’ in January 1909 he stated of the girls that “some of them are really capable Scouts” …”
“ …In the 1909 edition of Scouting for Boys the uniform suggestions included recommending blue skirts for Girl Scouts. Large Scout Rallies were held, including one at Scotstoun near Glasgow, where Girl Scouts were both specifically invited, and warmly welcomed.” Source: Leslie’s guiding history website.
Useful painting or colour scheme tip : blue skirts rather than the Boy Scout blue shorts mentioned in the 1909 Scouting for Boys. Dark Blue went on to become the colour of early Guide uniforms.
“So clearly, throughout 1908 and much of 1909, Girl Scouts were welcomed, both unofficially and officially” including the Crystal Place rally in 1909 where early Girl Scouts were photographed amongst the boys. It is reported that more than 1000 Girl Scouts were present.
“By late 1909 amongst the official Scout membership of 55,000 there were already over 6000 Girl Scouts officially registered, and more registering daily.” Leslie’s Guiding History.
By 1910, Guiding had been established to protect the reputation of these Edwardian girls and of the fledgeling Scout Movement. Scouting for Boys was adapted by Baden Powell and his sister Agnes into a Guiding Manual, “How Girls Can Help Build The Empire”, designed to equip girls with camping skills, homecraft and child care skills for adult life in Britain or upcountry in the Empire.
It would be almost 70 years before mixed older (Venture) Scout groups were established again in Britain.
Leslie’s Guiding Ideas Website also has some contemporary Guiding / Girl Scouts Wide Games Scenarios, worth coming back to:
Guiding and scouting being world movements, it is of course possible that fictional Imagi-Nations like the Bronte family’s Gondal and Gaaldine, or the many great Tintin-esque Imagi-Nations and Grand Duchys created by gamers could have their own Boy Scout and Girl Scout movements.
Girl Scouts of Gaaldine or Gondal?
Boy Scouts of Angria or Generica, anyone?
Blogposted by Mark Man of TIN (1970s Cub Scout, Bronze Arrow, Retired) 17 May 2019
Alan Gruber (Duchy of Tradgardland blog) and I have been independently reading the old scouting book Wide Games (1933) with ideas of how these outdoor games might translate into tabletop and garden games with figures.
As with any set of gaming rules, the basics have to be set out – Movement, Melee, Missile Firing, Morale, that sort of thing.
Victory Conditions – A lot of this scenario stuff is set out for us in the detailed briefings in Wide Games.
1 figure = 1 Scout.
A patrol is made up of 8 scouts including patrol leader and bugler.
A Scout at one early point could be a boy or girl. In the early days (1907-1910) Girl Scouts would have undertaken these Wide Games, possibly even alongside or against Boy Scout Patrols. Girl Guiding from 1910 carried this Wide Games tradition on.
Then there is the challenge of movement.
Depending what ground scale and figure scale that you are working with, you would need to set out a suitable movement rate of X inches, hexes or squares per turn.
Basic Walking Pace in Open Country – X inches or X hexes
Scout’s Pace – Walking Pace x 50%, so X x 0.5 per inches or hexes
Scout’s Pace is a curious hybrid of ‘walk 20 paces, run 20 paces’, designed to sustainably go faster and further without being too puffed to pass on messages.
How Terrain, Weather and Time of Day Affects Movement
Wide Games and Scouting For Boys often notes off-road terrain as Thick Or Open:
Thick Country takes twice as long to traverse. Half the normal walking or scouts Pace of X inches or hexes
Tracks – moves on paths have X inch bonus.
Open Country – normal Walking or Scout’s Pace
Walking On the Road – Normal walking pace or Scout’s Pace.
Bicycle on Road – 2 x Scout’s Pace. Edwardian bicycles probably wouldn’t go off road well.
Uphill – movement reduce by half. Downhill normal pace.
Fog and mist – half normal pace, recuced visibility. Scout’s Pace unavailable in fog and mist.
Night-time – half normal pace, reduced visibility. Scout’s Pace unavailable at night.
Snow and Ice – half normal pace. Scout’s Pace unavailable on snow and ice – Increased risk of accidents.
Bogs and marshland can be deemed uncrossable or at half speed.
All fields of standing crops must be placed out of bounds.
Speed of movement would vary with stealth and cover / ground.
Stalking / Quiet / Concealed Movement Pace – half normal pace. Scout’s Pace unavailable in stalking mode.
If you have the One rate for quiet moving through a wood etc, then the alternative Scout’s Pace for pursuit / rapid noisy movement.
‘Thick country’ is distinguished as taking twice as long to cross from ‘open country’ in terms of movement. Obviously roads would have faster pace / movement.
Resolving Capture and Combat
It takes two scouts to capture another enemy scout and take him or her blindfold captive back to their base.
‘Vikings’ (Wide Game 1, a Flag Raid scenario) mentions that the aim should be success “by strategy rather than force, so not more than two go together at one time and it is regarded as shameful for more than two to attack one man.”
One scout however can take the wool ‘life’ of an enemy scout, effectively removing them from the game. The scout who loses a wool life can take no active part until he or she has returned by the most immediate route back to the (neutral) Ambulance base, where a new life is restored. A scout who has lost a wool ‘life’ can be indicated by a curtain ring or other token.
How this affects points is mentioned at the end.
In the Scouting for Boys examples of Wide Games, the Snow Fort scenario sees Snowballs being used as ammunition.
Whiting Balls or wooden darts with blunt ends marked in chalk are also recommended. Hits on enemy scouts would be clearly visible to an umpire.
Weapons Range: X inches or hexes / squares, to be decided, further than normal walking pace?
Some of these sections come not from Wide Games but straight from Donald Featherstone’s Close Wars simple rules (appendix to War Games).
One dice thrown for each scout firing – 6 scores a hit.
If the scout firer is undercover whilst the scout target is in the open, then a 5 or 6 will secure a hit.
Featherstone Savings Throws
Each Scout casualty has the chance of only being judged lightly wounded and fighting on. Each Scout casualty has a dice thrown for him, a 4, 5 or 6 means that he is only lightly wounded and carries on. If the scout casualty is under cover, then he or she is saved by 3, 4, 5 or 6.
If scouts come into contact (adjacent squares etc / bases touching) then some form of Melee ensues. Some Hand-to-Hand Fighting does take place in early scouting ranging from Jujitsu, boxing, Cornish or Celtic wrestling and quarter staffs / staves, all permitted.
Scout versus Scout with each man having one dice throw, the highest number wins. The losing Scout who loses a ‘wool life’ must return to base camp / ambulance camp to restore his life.
Quarter Staves / staff fighting can take place using Gerard De Gre duelling rules. Each Scout has so many life or melee points, which reduces with each hit.
Melee Concealed Number System
An alternative Melee system from Wide Games no. 3 – Staffs – has a hidden numbering system, 1 to 8 being allocated to each patrol and concealed from the enemy (maybe on their base). The number was only revealed when challenged – sometimes finding out that you have challenged a higher number too late, if you are low numbered! This solves the taking of the wool life, based on whether Scout is higher or lower.
Interestingly in Scouting for Boys (1908), BP suggests Patrols have regular numbers: Patrol Leader 1 with whistle, Corporal 2, scouts 3 and 4, scouts 5 and 6, scouts 7 and 8 working in pairs. No mention of the bugler!
As mentioned in Staffs (Wide Games no. 3) a kind of wild card that no 1 (patrol leader) can take number 7, so is both strong and vulnerable.
These could be inscribed on the figure bases of scout models.
Morale and Scouts Honour
“Camp raiding is strictly prohibited” (Rule 340) – against Scout’s Honour. Scout’s Honour could be an interesting alternative scoring system or points system. For example:
- Points are deducted from a patrol or Scout for each Scout being captured or losing a “life”.
- Points are gained per patrol or Scout for attaining another’s wool life, captive or token object.
Morale (health or energy points) could be boosted by good turn cards or weather. Wet weather, lack of food, cold etc might affect a Scout’s combat effectiveness if using RPG type cards. Still to be worked out …
Chance Cards or Event Cards – still to be worked out.
Commonly used in Wide Games, further change of instructions or note of wounded casualties were issued as letters opened after so many turns, hampering or altering the briefing to each patrol.
These are some initial rules notes ideas … to be tried, discarded, continued and added to.
The Duchy of Tradgardland Scouts
Alan, as Chief Scout of the D of T Scouts, seen here: http://tradgardland.blogspot.com/2019/05/scouts-for-wide-games.html
added some new suggested interesting ideas that he is working on:
Alan and I both thought of some kind of Skirmish / RPG type character cards, as we are only dealing with small numbers of a couple of patrols of eight Scouts each, not huge battalions.A range of hair and skin colours for the Boy and Girl Scouts when painting might help link a figure to these character cards with suitable Edwardian to 1950s nicknames: Ginger, Carrots, Snowy, etc.See here for name ideas: https://www.britishbabynames.com/blog/2012/04/7-ways-to-create-an-edwardian-baby-name.htmlAlan suggests of this individual cards:
Blog posted by Mark Man of TIN (1970s Cub Scout, Bronze Arrow, retired) on 15 May 2019.
Good news for many gamers that those lovely magnetic (post 1992) 1p and 2p coins are staying in UK circulation after a recent consultation https://www.independent.co.uk/news/business/news/penny-coins-1p-2p-access-save-hm-treasury-a8897936.html
1p and 2p coins are so useful for basing gaming figures, especially giving that little bit of weight and magnetic bases to plastic figures. I have been using this penny basing method for Airfix figures since about 2001.
Credit where credit is due (we are talking money after all) I learnt about this magnetic aspect from Bob Cordery’s blog http://wargamingmiscellany.blogspot.com/2010/01/single-figure-bases-cheap-bases.html
So it is still possible to keep asking for bags of penny and Tuppence coins, if ever in my local bank branch. Trips to the seaside also have those fabulous seaside amusements with the 2p change machines – I sometimes get a couple of pounds of these, quickly and discreetly select through them. I then use the pre-1992 non magnetic ones in the copper waterfall and tuppenny flipper machines, at which I rarely win anything back . So the amusements people can’t complain too much!
Blogposted by Mark Man of TIN 9 May 2019 – The third anniversary of creating the Man of TIN blog.
However my blog birthday remains the date of my first tentative Man of TIN post on the 25th May, which is coincidentally Geek Pride Day, Towel Day, a Discworkd / Pratchett day and a Star Wars anniversary too!
Further thoughts from Alan Gruber, the Duchy of Tradgardland as we individually read our way through the 1933 booklet Wide Games by Gilcraft of the Scout Association, looking for useful tips for game scenarios.
Weather like snow and rain would also affect how easy it was to read tracks, leave tracks etc.Lots of other ideas here to affect character card number ratings or add chance and event cards.
I think this is an interesting idea for random chance cards or Umpire intervention. Most Boy Scouts and Scoutmasters would have some First Aid training; some Wide Games introduced instructions during the game with ‘casualties’ that would need treating and taking to collection points (where points would be given for their dressings).The HQ base or Red Cross / Ambulance Base was where Scouts also have to return if they lose a ‘wool life’ and temporarily have left the game.
World Thinking Day, formerly Thinking Day, is celebrated annually on 22 February by all Girl Guides and Girl Scouts. This was Baden Powell’s birthday, along with that of his wife Olave, one of the early Chief Guides. It is also celebrated by Scout and Guide organizations and some boy-oriented associations around the world.
Puck of Pook’s Hill is a fantasy book by Rudyard Kipling, published in 1906, containing a series of short historical fantasy stories set in different periods of English history.
Alan also wrote: “I like the comment on page 40 of the Wide games book
Wide Games or Weird Wyde Games rules – very much still Work in Progress.
20 Boy scout figures on the painting table, 2 patrols of 8, leaving four who will become Girl Scout figures with full skirts.
More on British Girl Scouts in a forthcoming blog post.
Blog posted by Mark Man of TIN (with comments from Alan Gruber, Duchy of Tradgardland) 5 May 2019.
Sad news that another of the original Star Wars cast has passed away, Peter Mayhew the very tall actor who played Chewbacca, announced on the eve of International Star Wars Day (May the 4th – be with you!)
In honour of the day and Peter Mayhew’s memory, here is a small parade of some my childhood Star Wars figures from the early films. Each represents a part of my mis-spent youth, literally, as if I spent no other pocket money I could scratch together in 1978 about one pound a month. That was what each Star Wars figure cost in the shops. Birthdays and Christmas might stretch to a spaceship or a playset.
By hiding the fiddly bits like guns away in a tin, I still have a few of them left, surprisingly as they have now been played with by several generations of the family over the last forty years.
The bases stopped them being quite as tippy, although lining them up for a photo, they were still fairly unbalanced. On their own they could not stand up well at all which made play a problem, but with no bases they could fit into vehicles or onto lugs on playset bases.
Star Wars remains one of my favourite films, one of the few films I have seen twice in the cinema as a child. It enlarged the scope of my imaginative games beyond soldiers, knights, cops and robbers and cowboys and Indians. Suddenly everything was space crazy again.
Collecting these figures put a serious dent in my pocket money, so the Airfix figures came second place for several years. Star Wars and action figures must have been a serious challenge for toy and model firms like Airfix and Britain’s.
I haven’t used these large Action figures in any space gaming scenarios since the 1980s. However I do have some smaller 54mm figures that I still use: https://manoftinblog.wordpress.com/2016/09/25/close-little-space-wars/
Star Wars formed part of my childhood reading too!
However you spend today, have a Happy International Star Wars Day. May the 4th be with you!
Blog posted by Mark Man of TIN on May the 4th 2019. Another new film due this year …