54mm Repurposed Space Figures

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Defenders of the Launch  Pad
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Attack of the Abutilons! Very odd poundstore thin tall plastic clone figure makes a good space invader (40 to 54mm)

I was lucky enough earlier this week to catch up in person with Alan The Tradgardmastre of the noble Duchy of Tradgardland on his Ducal travels. We met for a cup of coffee in a beer and coffee tavern  which is also a bookshop full of fashionable and political reading material. This sounds suitably Eighteenth Century for the Duke and the Duchy! Sadly it was too hot to wear a tricorne.

The Duke is a jolly nice chap, as you would expect from his blog (we were discussing A Very British Civil War at the time). We chatted variously about gaming, Toy Soldiers, interwar History, Scout Wide Games,  the events overlap of gaming and  re-enactors, the joy of simple rules and finished off talking about blogging and its many positive aspects such as the unusual openness about men’s mental health.

Unfortunately due to heavy traffic (too many stage coaches, ox waggons and sedan chairs on the road) I didn’t get a chance to make it home en route to pick up any ‘minis’ to show Alan such tiny delights as my new Phoenix 43  Scout trek cart or these space rangers to see if he recognised them. At least without ‘minis’ on the table, we were spared the curious, pitying  or withering looks of onlooking drinkers and customers.

Once Upon A Time in a Garden-axy Far Far Away …

In return for home-casting some metal Scout figures, Alan the Tradgardmastre of the Duchy of Tradgardland blog sent me via the Duchy Post Office last month some American Tim Mee plastic space figures and some odd homecast and lead figures.

Looking at the post war GI or paratroop  figures, I thought the unusual rifle and round helmet might make for some good space figures.

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In a garden-axy far far away … Strange slaty granite planet with alien plant forms and breathable atmosphere.

Just the ticket for a 1970s Airfix boy derailed by Star Wars and American 1970s Star Wars spin off sci-fi series …

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A bit of a stylish Flash Gordon / Dan Dare 1930s / 1950s Sci Fi thing going on here.

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Tim Mee Galaxy Laser Quest Space Officer and three metal troopers.

The heads on the kneeling metal figures look like they have possibly been swapped or repaired.

A grey painted tuppenny 2p base gives the kneeling or plastic figures some stability; grey I thought is more spaceship like, metallic and neutral than the traditional sap green or bright emerald green of many old toy soldiers. I wanted to keep that shiny gloss 1950s Dan Dare space figure / toy soldier look though.

Equally an army of these could be expendable minions for one of those James Bond style  private armies  guarding the inevitable secret base. I can see a link to the blue uniformed Polish Airfix Para clones featured from Etsy in my Christmas 2018 posts. https://manoftinblog.wordpress.com/2018/12/03/man-of-tin-advent-calendar-day-3-vintage-1980s-polish-toy-soldier-airfix-clones-on-etsy/

I can see an influence of the late Thor Sheil’s Homecast army men ‘Toy Soldier Art’: Berlin Greys and Air Police.

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http://www.thortrains.net/toysoldierart/colors3.htm

Anyway these three one-off 54mm figures  from Alan might give me the colour scheme for my ongoing 54mm space figure project, one that has worked in smaller Pound Store Plastic 32mm scale:

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Two of my 32mm space conversions of a Pound Store Plastic figure.

You can have too much of Khaki Grunge.  I like the chance to use some unusual bright colours from my collection of gloss acrylics – orange, sky blue, purple, gold, silver, red. I’m sure the Flash Gordon 1980 movie with the Queen soundtrack might have something to do with my space uniform bolder colour schemes.

https://poundstoreplasticwarriors.wordpress.com/2017/11/05/poundland-space-marines-platoon-on-parade/

https://poundstoreplasticwarriors.wordpress.com/2018/01/28/little-green-men-pound-store-plastic-space-warriors/

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More of my blue colour uniform scheme space figure 32mm Pound Store Plastic Figures. Haven’t we seen that pose before and bigger?

You can see the 32mm Pound Store Plastic basis of the 40-50mm Pound Store pirate clone figure above:

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Kev Robertson over in Australia, a long term sci-fi fan, has used his his past engineering skills to great effect on his latest blog post. As well as his own new series of 35mm space figures with a retro feel, he has been busy with scratch built sci-fi vehicles, walkers and mechs. Pure Pound Store Plastic Warrior blog scrap
build material this! Always an interesting blog to browse,  Kev has blogged on various projects from sci-fi figures to railways.

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Kev Robertson’s space creations … 35mm Eureka space figures

https://dwarfenrealm.blogspot.com/2019/06/spaceguard-new-35mm-scratch-models.html

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At the moment I can’t comment on many people’s blog posts (obviously a settings thing) so I thought I would mention  Kev’s whole blog site.

Blog posted by Mark, Man of TIN on 29 June 2019

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Homecast Scout Patrol Figures completed

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A patrol of eight wearing the blue scarves of Owl Patrol and a spare scout. I’m sure I intended the spare to be transformed into a Girl Scout. Too late …

In good weather a week or two ago I finished casting a few more 60mm semi round / semi flat home cast Scout figures for Alan Gruber, Tradgardmastre of the Duchy of Tradgardland blog.

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Like me, he also is working on some Scout game rules for Wide Games. http://tradgardland.blogspot.com/2019/05/scouts-for-wide-games.html

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Once Alan’s two patrols were cast and complete, I knocked out a spare patrol for future use of these strange  crude blocky 60mm home cast figures. It’s taken a while to get them painted in my usual gloss toy soldier style. They now need varnishing for garden or tabletop use.

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Half a patrol of Alan’s Scouts out in the garden – red was the colour of Bull patrol.
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The original metal moulds 60mm figures
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My first painted Scout 60mm figure, a red scarved patrol bugler.

Blog posted by Mark Man of TIN, 1970s Cub Scout (Bronze Arrow, Retired) June 2019.

 

 

Boy Scouts from Airfix WW1 American Infantry

Scout Figures converted from Airfix WW1 American Infantry

Crossposted from my Pound Store Plastic Warriors Blog https://poundstoreplasticwarriors.wordpress.com/2019/06/22/pound-store-scout-figures-from-airfix-ww1-americans/

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Blog posted  by Mark Man of TIN 1970s Cub Scout (Bronze Arrow, retired)

Martial Pride Restored at Circa Games USA

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Three of the bashed original vintage figures  from a bag for $6, money well spent by Scott.

Scott Larson of the Circa Games blog USA dropped me an email (via the Man of TIN blog comments page) to say that he had finished stripping and repainting his chance find of some hollowcast lead figures in a US junk shop. http://www.circagames.com/wordpress/this-doesnt-usually-happen-to-me/

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The finished figures here: http://www.circagames.com/wordpress/toy-soldier-update/

They look as smart and shiny as the day they were first painted and would have proved a joy to a small boy or girl somewhere  when the box was opened and they were seen strung into the card liner, ready for action!

Battle damaged and with playworn paint, who knows where and what heroic adventures these lead figures have had in the past with their original owners and down through the generations to Scott?

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Scott’s website or blog header is a colourful VSF scene with some great steampunk tanks.

Scott’s blog Circa Games is a varied and interesting read ranging from westerns to VSF, wooden figures … oh, and designing and building your own games shack out the back. A games shed that has to deal with both snow and termites, as casually mentioned in http://www.circagames.com/wordpress/onward-and-backward/

and more fully shown at

http://www.circagames.com/wordpress/a-room-of-ones-own/

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Designing his Games Shack – screenshot from Scott’s Circa Games website.

As a man who struggles to make even model buildings of plastic, card and balsa wood, I have “to take off my wargames hat” to Scott for this amazing bit of carpentry.  (P.S. Before anyone asks, sadly I do not own or wear a special wargames hat.)

There are more of these old lead figures on Scott’s painting table to look forward to.

Add to that the VSF resource pages and the Triggernometry (Old West) one, there is lots to read and refer too here!

Blog posted by Mark, hatless Man of TIN, 17 June 2019.

All images are screenshots from Scott’s Circa Games website and he retains copyright © of his images.

Father’s Day 2019

Usually on Father’s Day (UK) I post a link to a toy soldier figure that has some strong link back to my late Dad and the love of Toy Soldiers and History that he passed on to me.

2016: https://manoftinblog.wordpress.com/2016/07/20/fathers-day-raf-firefighter/

2017: https://manoftinblog.wordpress.com/2017/06/18/national-service-days-1/

2018: https://manoftinblog.wordpress.com/2018/06/16/zulus-or-ashantees-rearmed/

2019?

Although the last few months of blogging have been Scout Wide Games based, I think my Dad would have approved of this year’s family gifts.

This year the wonderful addition to my toy armoury was two handmade warships which I saw and liked in a vintage shop months ago, a small hollow-cast raiding force (a complete surprise, as a raiding force should be!) and an ACW book that I had put aside in case my family weren’t sure what to get.

Father’s Day 2019: Two wooden ships, a book and a small raiding force

Mannie Gentile recently posted a blogpost on the Golden Book of the American Civil War

http://toysoldiersforever.blogspot.com/2019/05/the-book-that-launched-thousand-careers.html

So Mannie is responsible for me buying a cheap secondhand paperback of this interesting book that launched the hobbies and careers of hundreds of Civil War enthusiasts and historians.

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A book I never saw as a child growing up in Britain …

This book is richly illustrated and includes some fabulous battlefield “bird’s eye view” maps whose detail I would have found fascinating as a child.

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This is what my childhood Airfix ACW games aspired to, without knowing this book. (First Bull Run, detail)

The toy hollowcast soldiers are a  treat – a surprise gift from my family found all together in a local vintage shop that they “hoped were all right”.

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Crescent figures metal American infantry in 54mm and smaller 50mm range with the round backpack flamethrowers. All postwar issues.

Any vintage lead soldiers are all right in my eyes!

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Curious Cherilea figures c. 1954 – designed to carry a firing mortar or bazooka?
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Similar figures by Cherilea in Norman Joplin’s The Great Book Of Hollow-Cast Figures.
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At first sight I thought these Cherilea bazooka or mortar  teams might be gimmicky paratroopers with parachutes or engineers with carrying arms.
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Two fine Crescent Khaki Infantry with green helmets, figures issued postwar. I like the lively animation of the grenade thrower.  John Hill (Johillco) Bren Gunner?
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American troops by Crescent 1940s – 1950s. Paratroop type helmets

I was interested to see the kneeling American infantryman  as he appears quite similar in style  to a trio of (solid lead home cast?) soldiers sent to me by Alan as reservists from his Duchy of Tradgardland forces. The kneeling green Crescent trooper has a knee ‘flange’ to give him more stability.

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The three Duchy of Tradgardland reservists have acquired new blue uniforms for a mission in a galaxy far far away. They have an odd space look to them with their helmet and rifle. They are now acquiring blue uniforms and white or silver boots, helmets and weapons to come.  They should soon have a 30s /  50s space ‘thing’ going on to match some of the Tim Mee Galaxy Laser Team and Airfix Space Warriors.

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The lady in the vintage shop thought that all these four items belonged together, so maybe the photo and  1940s / 1950s Royal Navy trade certificate of AB Able Seaman Thomas C. Owen are of the man who made  the two fine warships?

The two fine handmade boats have some battle damage that needs sympathetic repair. They deserve a blog post of their own as they are repaired and researched, along with their paperwork. They came from what can be a “grey port” at times of naval vessels in for refit.

Are they accurate handmade models or spirited imaginative examples of “modern warships” with guns and rockets? It will be interesting to find out.

Blogposted by Mark Man of TIN, Father’s Day 16 June 2019.

 

Close Little Wars Raging Across The Duchy of Tradgardland

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Screenshot. Image copyright: Alan Gruber / Duchy of Tradgardaland

Huzzah! Good looking Wellsian game by Alan the Tradgardmastre on a small gridded games board using Replica 54mm figures and accessories of old style hollow-cast Soldiers.

Because of some setting thing I can’t comment on Alan’s Tradgardland blog at the moment. Worth visiting as its good fun stuff.

Replica Model Soldiers can be found at  https://www.replicametalsoldiers.co.uk

Close Little Wars Rules https://manoftinblog.wordpress.com/2016/06/09/close-little-wars-featherstones-simplest-rules/

Huzzah for the Duchy of Tradgardland, Huzzah for H.G. Wells’ Little Wars and Huzzah for Donald Featherstone, writer of the Close Wars rules!

Blog posted by Mark Man of TIN, Close Wars enthusiast, 16 June 2019

Stealth’s Take on Close Little Wars

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Following up my post about Jen B’s version of Featherstone’s Close Wars Rules, fellow games blogger Stealth contacted me to say that he had been playing around with his own variant of Donald Featherstone’s simple Close Wars rules.

These were first published in Don’s appendix to War Games (1962) and Stealth had been looking at my variants Close Little Wars.

Here is Stealth’s variant are in detail for you to peruse: https://stealthswargaming.blogspot.com/2019/05/stealths-close-little-wars-variant-rules.html

and his classic first wargames minis are first version 1960s tiny Airfix figure conversions, always a charming joy to see

https://stealthswargaming.blogspot.com/2019/06/i-emerge-from-painting-cave-to-give-you.html

Stealth’s rules have a slight D & D influence or feel (see his other blogs) in that carrying or capturing crates forms part of the victory conditions, scoring and scenarios. Interesting idea for ambushing a supply column etc.

I hope you find something of rules variants interest here. I enjoy seeing how people adapt and tinker, go back to basics and then elaborate a bit more.

Blog posted by Mark Man of TIN on 16 June 2019.