More Girl Scout Conversions

 

AF8EB2A2-613D-44A9-8DDF-E26C7F3D8D73

A couple of broken metal figures have found a brand new life as Girl Scouts.

These conversions  fit well with my slow reading ‘research’ for my Scout Wide Games tabletop project, poring through the earliest Scouting for Boys books and Girl Scout  equivalent, How Girls Can Help the Empire: The Handbook for Girl Guides.

I was delighted to pick up an early original copy of this Guides book  c.1912 or pre-WW1 version on EBay, much cheaper than the paperback reprint! Other originals were £100 or more! https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/How_Girls_Can_Help_to_Build_Up_the_Empire

1A314778-A7D8-43E3-8983-71806288B2AC

The Victorian or Edwardian sailor suited boy might  have come from the ‘bits and bobs’ box at Tradition of London (their old Shepherd Market shop). He had broken off at the ankles.

The archer was a small broken gilt figure minus its head.

53C5B415-9172-42DC-8D3F-9C544C0FC3B5

F215A2DE-E30A-4870-9FCE-D73EB253CEF5
Drilled hand with wire staff and fixed feet and base – penny for size comparison.

The sailor boy was fixed by drilling holes in both feet and ankles with a fine pin vice or hand drill. Small pins  of wire joined body and feet together, secured with superglue.

EF354462-AEBC-4002-9EA2-D2CC490FC725
The repaired Boy

Something about that cheeky face said that this could be a Girl Scout recruit, rather than an Edwardian Boy Scout. I quickly made a tissue paper skirt fixed with clear PVA glue.

1CA4D2B4-7A33-4E6E-9B5F-65980B09AF8B754A7F19-9B41-4983-A370-F10958DA563F

0937B72B-CEE7-4EBC-9FBC-028D7FABF77D
Paper skirt and penny base in place

I was quite curious to see how these figure conversions would be enhanced (or not) by paint. I wanted an old-fashioned toy soldier look to the faces, along with a final spray of  gloss varnish.

AF8EB2A2-613D-44A9-8DDF-E26C7F3D8D73
The floppy brimmed hat seems to work well as an Edwardian or 1920s Guiders hat. 
23C59B10-D549-4566-928A-52C6C4F938F8
Rear view of the conversions, the simple quiver was part of the original figure. 

And the scout mistress or archer? He started life as a man, then when I came across him, he had no head. A quick rummage in the spares box found a spare pound store figure about the right size. Off with his head!

B4217822-7B24-41D0-AE34-F21BC0234A89
Hole reinforcer or hole punch hat brims, spare plastic figure and the headless gilt archer.

I cannot find a manufacturer for either figure. It looks on the original gilt figure as if one hand is carrying an arrow. This fine detail may need to be added.

4FBE9AC1-AD19-4A21-A3B3-9FEDC47413D3
The American “fritz” helmet does convert into a hat with twenties bobbed haircut.

Archery was certainly recommended as a sport for Guides by Robert Baden-Powell and his sister Agnes, who adapted her brother’s 1908 hand book Scouting for Boys  into the 1912 handbook, How Girls Can Help To Build Up The Empire: The Handbook For Girl Guides. The ‘Girl Guiding’ handbook replaced this first book in 1918.

24124689-1F75-4F2E-95A3-52B28AEE5A5C

4D1FA03E-0B08-49B6-863C-5DAB5AB1DE3F

The Baden-Powells also recommended rifle shooting. Both boy and girl scouts  could attain a Marksman badge for rifle shooting. There was also a section on self defence (jujitsu) as you never knew what you might encounter as a young woman at home or in the colonies on the frontiers of the Empire! Tigers, mad dogs, brigands, insurgents?

Research is slow but enjoyable, being a comparitive reading of this first 1912 Girl Scout or Guide handbook, alongside its predecessor Scouting For Boys. The sections are mixed up and in a different order. It is interesting to note what is kept in and suitable for guides, what is substituted as specifically for girls.

For instance, Baden Powell mentions in Scouting for Boys in a section on marksmanship: “The Boers are all good shots, and so are the Swiss. In both countries, the boys begin learning marksmanship at an early age by using crossbows…”, something suggested to Boy Scouts but not to Girl Scouts or Guides.

Being an accomplished marksman, after the lessons of the Boer War,  was  also seen by Baden Powell as a patriotic duty for men (‘citizen soldiers’) and good for home defence.

There is no obvious suggestion in either book that women should be armed ‘citizen soldiers’ in Britain, only in the frontiers of Empire for self defence of property and family.

Certain of the original Wide Games scenarios are included for girls; the book often mentions to save space ‘as in Scouting’, so the 1912 Guides book and the 1908 original Scouting book are designed to read together.

Blog posted by Mark, Man of TIN 9th July 2019.

 

 

Advertisements

Author: 26soldiersoftin

Hello I'm Mark Mr MIN, Man of TIN. Based in S.W. Britain, I'm a lifelong collector of "tiny men" and old toy soldiers, whether tin, lead or childhood vintage 1960s and 1970s plastic figures. I randomly collect all scales and periods and "imagi-nations" as well as lead civilians, farm and zoo animals. I enjoy the paint possibilities of cheap poundstore plastic figures as much as the patina of vintage metal figures. Befuddled by the maths of complex boardgames and wargames, I prefer the small scale skirmish simplicity of very early Donald Featherstone rules. To relax, I usually play solo games, often using hex boards. Gaming takes second place to making or convert my own gaming figures from polymer clay (Fimo), home-cast metal figures of many scales or plastic paint conversions. I also collect and game with vintage Peter Laing 15mm metal figures, wishing like many others that I had bought more in the 1980s ...

10 thoughts on “More Girl Scout Conversions”

  1. What utterly splendid conversions, they are so effective. I really enjoyed the photos of the process as well as the end result. You have a good eye for the potential that lies in a figure. The book purchase is most fortuitous. Looks like it will really help the project move forward. A most enjoyable and interesting post.

    Like

    1. I think these should be real ‘characters’ – I also think the girl could equally well have a catapult behind her back. Minnie the Minx! The silent huntress will be excellent in any future “Girl Scouts versus zombies” scenario.
      The 1912 Guiding handbook retains a lot from Scouting for Boys. It might slow it down a little but I have the US Girl Scouts and Boy Scouts Of America paperback reprint first versions on order as well to see how Ernest Thompson Seton and Juliette ‘Daisy’ Lowe developed the Wide Games Ideas in America.

      Like

    1. Reading more of the original texts slows down the game creation and rules writing but gives you more spirit of the period and is fascinating in itself. I have the American Girl and Boy Scouts handbook paperback reprints on order.

      Liked by 1 person

    1. My money is on the Girl with the stave, a much quicker weapon than trying to load a bow and arrow.
      Once I have finished reading the Edwardian background material, I shall update the rules ideas for Girl Scouts and Boy Scouts alike. Then Wide Games play shall commence …

      Liked by 1 person

  2. You did well to pick up that book so cheaply. It’s often the case that while antique dealers are seeking a hefty price some other individual will put it on sale cheaply.

    With the paint applied, the figures have worked out great too. The attitudes of both seem to work perfectly – while the confident girl with a hint of cheekyness about her, the leader has a school mistress feel, looking concerned over at what the girls over there are up to…

    Like

    1. It’s a fair price, as the cover is more well worn, more well thumbed with frayed pages, the odd page turning tear and slightly splitting end boards. I’m glad it’s been in action!
      The £100 copy was in an Oxfam online shop so obviously priced to make some money from Guide nostalgia for a worthwhile charity. Even the paperback reprints are in the £40 mark. For what I need it for, fine condition was not an issue.
      The original archer figure had a lackadaisical feel, whilst it’s amazing what a floppy brimmed hat and bob hair does for the feeling of a character.

      Like

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s