2020 Man of TIN New Gaming Year’s Irresolutions

NGY 2020 Irresolution One – Carry on Converting

Sadly I discovered that Carry on Converting, Carry on Gaming and Carry on Painting are not a trio of 1960s British comedy movies with Barbara Windsor and Kenneth Williams. Not to mention Carry on Basing and Carry On Flocking …

Paint conversions, figure conversions from Pound Store plastic figures and old Airfix through to repairing old 54mm lead figures – more needed in 2020!

Airfix Confederates or Angrian Bronte ImagiNations militia?

Saxby Bridge, Navvy Battles and Civil Unrest as small skirmish scenarios

NGY 2020 Irresolution Two – More solo short small skirmish games

Including 15mm Peter Laing, Airfix 20mm up to 54mm figures across a range of periods including Romans, Bronte ImagiNations etc. using simple Featherstone inspired rules.

NGY 2020 Irresolution Three – Paint More Peter Laings

I should be putting more content of painted figures and gaming with Peter Laing figures on the MeWe Peter Laing community forum

and

NGY 2020 Irresolution Four – Full Metal Hic Jacet

15mm Peter Laing Romans vs Picts and Ancients ‘Small Skirmish’ games. I’m fairly new to Ancients, if you don’t count Airfix Romans and Britons:

https://manoftinblog.wordpress.com/full-metal-hic-jacet/

It is Rosemary Sutcliff’s centenary in December 2020, Eagle of the Ninth was one of my favourite childhood books. https://manoftinblog.wordpress.com/2019/07/16/rosemary-sutcliff-birth-centenary-december-2020/

NGY 2020 Irresolution Five – Return to Planet Back Yarden

I seemed to spend all year on and off enjoyably preparing for a 42mm or 54mm garden skirmish game with plastics or old lead that never properly happened. Sci-Fi Space Wars, American Civil War, ImagiNations and colonial Little Wars or WW2 – who knows which period will make it into the flower bed battles? I foresee creaky knees and an aching back …

NGY 2020 Irresolution Six – Develop my Scouting Wide Games for the Tabletop

Developing my Scouting Wide Games for the Tabletop games and rules on my sister blog site including snowball fights rules and preparing for the Little Wars Revisited Woking 54mm Little Wars Saturday 14th March 2020.

NGY 2020 Irresolution Seven – Develop my Bronte inspired ImagiNations in 19th and 20th Century

2020 is another of the Bronte200 anniversaries https://manoftinblog.wordpress.com/gaming-the-bronte-family-imaginations-of-glasstown-angria-gondal-and-gaaldine/

Simple Airfix joy – I was so happily sidetracked by Tony’s gift …

 

How did the 2019 New Gaming Years Irresolutions go?

https://manoftinblog.wordpress.com/2019/01/01/new-gaming-year-irresolutions-2019/

I succeeded in a few (very few) of my vague irresolute hobby targets. 2019 The year just gone seems to have gone very quickly.

February or #FEMbruary 2019 saw the believable female miniature painting of modelling challenge with my Bad Squiddo 28mm Land Girls entered into my local spring flower show. https://manoftinblog.wordpress.com/2019/03/17/huzzah-for-boycraft-flower-show-craft-success/

‘Scouting’ happened along in April, when I picked up a copy of a vintage Wide Games book on a seaside holiday, which set me (and also Alan at the Duchy of Tradgardland) off on a new tangent.

In summer, the kind gift of a bag of old 1960s Airfix figures by Tony Adams at the Miniature Wood Screw Army led to some nice relaxed painting and rebasing of Airfix figures. This often feels quite relaxing to be like happy colouring in.

Who knows where my “gaming journey” will have taken me at the end of 2020 and by the end of the Twenty Twenties?

If it’s as fun as where it’s has taken me since 2010, I will be happy enough!

Moddelling and gaming and the company they bring (odd for a largely solitary prepping hobby) are good for your mental health. Just ask Models for Heroes

Here’s best wishes for the tabletop gaming year to come to all my blog readers, to all those whose blogs I enjoy reading and for all those online strangers that I have not met yet who stumble across my Man of TIN blog and my other blogs this year.

Happy New Year! Blog posted by Mark Man of TIN on 31 December 2019 / 1 January 2020.

Recycling Christmas Cracker Scraps

In these days of sustainability, climate change and avoiding SUPs (Single Use Plastics), it seemed wise if you have to choose crackers to recycle as much as you can of what is left “after the bang”.

Good modellers are scrap recyclers, looking at objects and wondering what they can be recycled into.

Loo roll type cardboard inners and jokes go into household recycling. The shiny red and gold textured foil outers go into the scraps box for household crafts.

Paper hats (tissue paper) of all colours go into the conversions box – a coating of PVA makes for a cloak, robe, skirt or turban to convert a modern figure into something for historical or fantasy gaming.

Ribbons? Good for fabric flags.

Plastic fir trees and berries? Potential trees or bushes. Cannonballs?

The plastic berries had two crafty claimants – me to use them as buffers or edgers for my milk carton conversions to Landing craft and somebody else claimed them for making plastic jewellery!

A bizarre fish skeleton keyring? Not sure yet.

A small silvered plastic picture frame? Obviously awaiting the portrait of The Queen, Empress, King or military hero etc for some ImagiNation.

The odd old pirate joke?

To me, used party poppers have the potential look of storage silos or gas tanks at different scales.

Christmas cards usually end up cut up into gift tags for next year’s presents, the rest recycled.

This odd gift tag caught my eye as a possible flag or symbol for a Bronte ImagiNations country or as a 1930s ImagiNations / VBCW type movement. It has a stylised new dawn, sunrise or tropical palm tree look to it.

New dawn? National sunrise? Tropical palm tree of leaf?

Previously on the Christmas Cracker Recycling section of Man of TIN blog:

https://manoftinblog.wordpress.com/2019/01/13/christmas-cracker-air-force-defence-cuts-2018/

https://manoftinblog.wordpress.com/2018/01/17/peter-laing-15mm-crackers-air-capability/

Other useful Christmas recycling includes the old Christmas satsuma box into a fort.

Can you see the fort potential yet in this satsuma wooden box crate?

Obviously the best way to make SUP Single Use Plastic sustainable is to recycle and reuse it like my small joy in restoring vintage Airfix, something that Alan Gruber (Duchy of Tradgardland) is up to as well.

Christmas decorations furnish lots of possible alternative modelling uses, as I mentioned in my most recent post:

https://manoftinblog.wordpress.com/2019/12/28/clipping-the-fir-trees-for-christmas/

I would be interested to hear what other favourite Christmas recycling tips for our varied gaming hobby that my blog readers and fellow bloggers have.

Blog posted by Mark Man of TIN 28 / 29th December 2019

Clipping the Fir Trees for Christmas?

A tiny 15mm Peter Laing figure to give a scale idea of these fir trees.

More useful Christmas gifts, making the most of the riches of the season in the shops, are these rocky snow ‘deco sand’ stone lumps and fir tree clips.

The fir tree clips are from Sainsbury’s HOME range, designed as “present clips”, whatever they are. I saw their potential as 15mm size snowy pine trees, once removed from the wooden pegs. They have their own wooden bases but might need the heft of washer bases or penny bases.

The spare clothes pegs themselves have other household or craft uses such as tiny Clothes Peg WW1 biplanes that I featured last year:

https://manoftinblog.wordpress.com/2018/12/06/man-of-tin-advent-calendar-day-6-clothes-peg-ww1-biplanes/

The ‘deco sand’ rocks are probably crushed white quartz and come in two sizes, presumably for inertly holding candles or flowers. They should add well to my snowy landscape Scouting Wide Games.

Blog posted by Mark, Man of TIN 2? December 2019

Tales of Derring Do: inspiring books for Scouting Wide Games on the Tabletop

New figures, new reading including a great little Shire Library book on The Scouts.
British and Dutch East Indies Sea Scouts encounter hostile Natives …

Christmas Present 2019: Some inspiring reading and some Scout Patrol reinforcements from STS Little Britons 42mm via Spencer Smith Miniatures, over in my Scouting Wide Games blog site:

https://tabletopscoutingwidegames.wordpress.com/2019/12/27/tales-of-derring-do-tabletop-scouting-wide-games-christmas-presents-2019/

Hope that you got some good “new shiny” this Christmas, ready for the New Year.

Blog posted by Mark Man of TIN (1970s Cub Scout, Bronze Arrow, Retired) on 27 December 2019

Happy Christmas 2019 from Man of TIN

“Bright and Early on Christmas Morn …” A few pounds from the Works, this useful little wooden church with LED lights.

Many best wishes for Christmas and the New Year from Mark Man of TIN!

Thank you for another year’s blogging ‘company’ and comments from readers.

After a busy Blogvent Calendar of 24 days with many an old lurking draft polished up and published for your amusement, we will be back to the occasional posts after a busy few days of family gatherings.

So I have no plans for Twelve Days of Twixmas or Blogmas posts this year. There will inevitably be some posts of the ‘what I got for Christmas’ type. I very much enjoy reading these posts on other people’s blogs.

I’m looking forward to the samples of Jacklex figures for example: https://manoftinblog.wordpress.com/2019/11/08/a-jacklex-christmas-come-early/

At New Year, I will post my New Gaming Year’s Irresolutions of current and future projects for 2020. Ditto, I’m always curious and interested to read your blogs and comments about what you may (or may not) be up to in 2020 and beyond.

Last year I optimistically set out 2019’s possible Gaming and modelling plans, which were as reliable as the 2018 plans:

https://manoftinblog.wordpress.com/2019/01/01/new-gaming-year-irresolutions-2019/

https://manoftinblog.wordpress.com/2018/01/01/tell-it-to-the-unicorns-new-gaming-year-irresolutions-2018/

Invariably I got sidetracked onto other things, such as this year’s Vintage Airfix or Scouting Wide Games scenarios and figures. Keeps it all fresh. Who knows what 2020 will bring?

Whatever happens in 2020, thankfully we are all part of a supportive hobby and blogging community of a calming and creative hobby that is very positive for our mental health and wellbeing: https://www.modelsforheroes.co.uk

Repoussage or pressed aluminium sheet work to make a Man of TIN (or aluminium) decoration.

I hope you all have an enjoyable Christmas and New Year’s holiday with your families.

Blog posted by Mark Man of TIN on 25 December 2019.

Man of TIN Blogvent Calendar Day 24: Alfred Lubran’s “Peckitin” matchbox target game

When I was a child, I used to supplement my pocket money in various ways – catching cabbage white butterflies in summer to protect the family allotment (price one penny each) or mostly gutter-sniping.

Gutter sniping? This is an urban form of mudlarking on the River Thames or beach-combing.

guttersnipe (n.)

also gutter-snipe, 1857, from gutter (n.) + snipe (n.); originally Wall Street slang for “streetcorner broker,” attested later (1869) as “street urchin,” also “one who gathers rags and paper from gutters.” As a name for the common snipe, it dates from 1874 but is perhaps earlier.

Many interesting things were dropped and discarded in the street in preplastic days from coins to matchboxes and matchbooks,  before disposable plastic lighters became a staple of marine plastic waste on our beaches.

Picking these matchboxes  out of the gutter, you would look to see if it was a special Matchbox label in good enough condition to trade or sell on to collector friends, who were like stamp collectors. Added bonus – If they only wanted the label, once carefully removed, the wooden matchbox sides were good for figure basing.

Some Donald Featherstone books used sets of matchboxes for campaigns, surprise or Solo Games movement options.

Nowadays with few matchboxes around with less smokers, more vaping, less matchboxes, if you want enough matchsticks or matchboxes  for crafting, you can buy matchsticks or blank non-striker card ones in craft stores online.

I still have this gutter-sniping habit even today.

So what has my 1970s / 1980s gutter-sniping got to do with wargaming and handmade toys for a wartime Christmas? The answer – Alfred Lubran.

image

Following up the interest there was about Action (a kind of DIY gridded wartime chess) in my last Alfred Lubran post back in 2016 about his book Let’s Make A Game,

https://manoftinblog.wordpress.com/2016/10/21/alfred-lubrans-action-diy-wartime-chess-game-rules/

Several of Alfred Lubran’s friends or connections have contacted me since 2016 about this remarkable man.

Peckitin? 

I was reminded of another of Lubran’s six DIY games called “Peckitin” whilst looking at a post by Scottish Wargames blogger Jim Duncan about comic Naval Wargames encounters, his 2012 Cotton Wool Ball Battle:

http://jim-duncan.blogspot.co.uk/2012/04/cotton-wool-ball-battle.html

Recently  many Old School / Little Wars inspired gamers have been using every missile from the old matchstick firing guns, lawn darts to party poppers  and the like onto targets to simulate missile fire and party popper ‘flak’.  It seems to work equally well for solo or group games, exhibition or convention participation games.

Jim Duncan uses cotton wool balls onto a ship template to see if a broadside hits and where damage occurs. Having problems with the first smaller target, he quickly redrew a larger target ship on cardboard.

In the lively comments section which ensued, Wargames bloggers such as Bob Cordery suggested simulating torpedoes using cotton buds, fired from matchstick cannons etc. Inventive and ingenious!

All this throwing adds some skill or randomness as an alternative to dice, once the target is in range. Range firing can be simulated by throwing the missiles from closer of further away.

Landing cotton wool ball so onto a fact 2D ship outline  takes some skill.

I wonder what would happen to the skill level if the cardboard target was made with some matchbox sections, like Alfred Lubran’s Peckitin DIY matchbox target game?

image
Second page of Lubran’s Peckitin games instructions

Lubran uses any available tiddlywinks or buttons in his wartime DIY scrap game, rather than cotton wool balls.

As ever, levels of complexity or alternatives are built into Lubran’s games to increase the challenge level.

The idea of tilting the cardboard structure or raising the target off the table adds to this, whilst adding deflection barriers at a certain points level could also be adapted. These could be tank armour plating or spaceship deflected shields.

It would take a little time and gunnery practice to get the tilt level of the target right for the cotton wool ball or button missiles to remain in the matchboxes. A book rest, IPad or cookery book stand or pyramid of books would all help here or some angled cardboard.

image

image

I foresee several adaptations of Lubran’s target game, mashed together with Jim Duncan’s target outline and cotton wool ball missiles.  A generic modern war ship target from the side  is by far  the simplest. Merchant ship versions could also be drawn.

Designs could include a wooden ship of the line with compartments for gun decks etc, masts etc.

A generic tank outline of matchboxes would need front / back / left and right sides templates for its 3D nature. That’s a lot of matchboxes!

A genetic starship  outline is another possibility, hit by laser guided cotton wool balls or cotton wool asteroids.

Deflection shields’ could be placed in front of tanks or spacecraft, building on a suggestion by Lubran of matchbox screens to be fitted in front of or onto the matchbox targets. This adds some difficulty.

Even a castle outline with matchboxes would be suitably blocky for siege games. Sometimes my past childhood experience throwing cotton wool balls at an Airfix coastal defence fortress and beach invasion scenario  was an equally satisfying and 3D way of simulating off table naval gunfire, especially when it falls short as friendly fire! Better still, none of the figures got damaged, just flattened if using unbased or lightly based plastic figures.

All together, a mad fairground game requiring lots of big or small matchboxes or some clever woodwork!

Q. Now where do I get lots of matchboxes, and what can I build with all the surplus matches? A. Craft shops

B.P.S. Blog Post Script

Inspiration for this blog post came from Alfred Lubran, and many thanks to :

Jim Duncan http://jim-duncan.blogspot.co.uk/2012/04/cotton-wool-ball-battle.html

Shandy and Vauban  http://shandyandvauban.blogspot.co.uk/2016/07/experiments-in-artillery-or-bigger-balls.html

Megablitz and more ‘s inventive party popper flak http://megablitzandmore.blogspot.co.uk/2016/08/somme-enchanted-evening.html

And many other garden gamers.

Blogposted by Mark, Man of TIN, (Guttersnipe, third class), only one more sleep till Christmas 24 January 2019.

 

Man of TIN Blogvent Calendar Day 23: Kraznir Revisited and RPG Tinkering

Another old random unfinished draft polished up for the Man of TIN Blogvent Calendar.

Escape from Kraznir

This role playing scenario was published in the late 1980s or early 1990s in an English textbook as an attempt to encourage literacy and group work through fantasy, especially amongst boys. Hence all the writing exercises mentioned. I don’t have and can’t find this old English text book but found examples on Miss Ransom’s teaching website:

https://missransom.files.wordpress.com/2012/02/escape-from-kraznir-writing1.docx

Thanks, Miss Ransom! As web materials vanish, I have taken some screenshots for future reference:

Many cheap to expensive plastic and metal fantasy ‘minis’ (miniature figures) based on these fantasy archetype characters are available in many places, some pictured on my sister blog : https://poundstoreplasticwarriors.wordpress.com/2019/02/24/fantasy-plastic-warriors/

Miss Ransom has added various character illustrations from the web but some of the original characters and fantasy creatures (unknown illustrator) are here: IMG_2187IMG_2188

Pupil creative writing version by a young man called James https://rapturerise.wordpress.com/2010/06/14/escape-from-kraznir/

Kraznir Screenshot from James’ Rapture Rise blog post

Hopefully this may be of use for scenario writing in the future.

Links with RPG and fantasy gaming?

Jennifer or Jen Burdoo, a gaming librarian in the USA, has been working on simple Dungeons and Dragons (D & D) type RPG Scenarios and rules to use in the ‘community outreach’ setting of a public library, alongside simple Featherstone Rules for historical figure gaming.

She recently posted on my Angria ImagiNations related Blogvent post some links to simple RPG rules and games mechanic sites using very few figures:

Jennifer has been using material from the RPG Tinker blog, a great web name, proof that it’s not just Historical figure gamers or wargamers who cannot resist taking rules apart and tweaking and tinkering with them:

http://rpg-tinker.blogspot.com/2019/05/play-world.html

Comment on Man of TIN blog by Jen Burdoo

For those of us who play mostly solo games without opponent, umpire or dungeon master, Jennifer recommends an interesting RPG Tinker page or post:

Some ideas for RPG Solo play

http://rpg-tinker.blogspot.com/2014/12/roll-and-read-method-for-solo-rpg-play.html

 

For those who cannot pick up Google docs here is a summary doc by Jennifer Burdoo of RPG Tinker’s Playing the World character generator. (Screenshot)

Google Doc – Ready to play summary sheet by Jennifer Burdoo of Andrei Baltakman / RPG Tinker’s Play the World character generation sheet. Screenshotted with permission 

Kraznir as it was used in schools was probably inspired by Games Workshop and the popular Fighting Fantasy type books still in print and in Apps by Tin Man Games (no relation to this my Man of TIN blog) https://fightingfantasyapps.com/books/the-warlock-of-firetop-mountain/

RPGs and historical wargaming?

I can see several rules tinkering uses for this RPG character elements in the forthcoming gaming year 2020

Oh no, it’s the roaring Twenties all over again! There will probably in gaming and wider culture be a nod to 20s style Flappers, Bugsy Malone, Prohibition, Pulp, but hopefully not a rerun of mass unemployment, world recession, the rise of fascism and dictators …

Possible RPG or character driven ‘grit’ could be given to the kind of small scale skirmish games you can find on Man of TIN blog and its Bronte and Scouting sister blogs such as:

Small scale Commando Raids including Operation Hardtack and Greek Sacred Squadron  

Scouting Wide Games scouting patrols

Home Guard related Operation Sealion Games

French Indian War SYW Featherstone Close Wars type of games

Angrian and Bronte based ImagiNation skirmishes

There is nothing new under the gaming sun as Donald Featherstone was doing this in his 1960s and 70s  Skirmish Wargaming book and chapters on “Personalised Wargaming” in Solo Wargaming and Advanced Wargaming. All these Featherstone titles are still available in reprint or digital via John Curry’s History of Wargaming project

Playing at the World?

Play the World – Not to be confused with Jon  Petersons’s book and RPG blog http://playingattheworld.blogspot.com

Blog posted by Mark Man of TIN 23 December 2019

Man of TIN Blogvent Calendar Day 22: First Corps 28mm Boy Scouts VBCW figures

C5A58BBC-F013-4424-864C-91BD69C3C97D

Some useful Boy Scout figures in 28mm from First Corps https://1stcorps.co.uk/product/boy-scouts-leader/

I am really looking forwards to our 2020 game plans for Scouting Wide Games such as an outing at 54mm scale at the Woking 54mm games day

http://littlewarsrevisited.boards.net/thread/404/lwr-forum-games-day-2020

More about these scouting figures, rules and scenarios (working with Alan ‘Tradgardmastre’ Gruber of the Duchy of Tradgardland blog) can be found at:

https://manoftinblog.wordpress.com/wide-games-scouting-games-page/

A few of my painted STS Little Britons 42mm range LBB30 Boy Scouts figures http://www.spencersmithminiatures.co.uk/html/little_britons.html

Blog posted by Mark Man of TIN (Cub Scout, Bronze Arrow, Retired) 22 December 2019

That Vintage Airfix Afrika Korps Gun 1962

My recent post about my Vintage Airfix Version 1 Afrika Korps received a nostalgic welcome from many readers who started their wargaming hobby (career?) with these slight plastic 20mm figures.

The box listings suggest the kneeling officer should also crew the German anti tank gun as the Gun Commander.

There were also some interesting reader comments about the strange inclusion of the “weird anti-tank gun” which was correctly identified by Ian Dury as a taper bored German anti-tank weapon called the 2.8cm schwer Panzer Busche 41 with a link to https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/2.8_cm_sPzB_41

2.8 cm schwere Panzerbüchse 41 (sPzB 41) or “Panzerbüchse 41” was a German anti-tank weapon working on the squeeze bore principle. Officially classified as a heavy anti-tank rifle (German: schwere Panzerbüchse), it would be better described, and is widely referred to, as a light anti-tank gun …

The sPzB 41 was used by some motorized divisions and by some Jäger (light infantry), Gebirgsjäger (mountain) and Fallschirmjäger (paratrooper) units. Some guns were supplied to anti-tank and sapper units …

The last gun was built in 1943; the main reason for the discontinuance was the lack of tungsten for projectiles (Wikipedia)

Wikipedia image source
The gun is slightly more clearly seen in this picture of a captured gun, one of several on Wikipedia Commons.

A crew of three for our “weird anti-tank gun” on an armoured car, not unlike our Airfix model.

The illustrations show a fairly clear depiction of this early antitank gun which featured in both the first version German Infantry and the Afrika Korps figures.

Vintage Airfix Box art showing the German anti-tank gun pictured in Jean-Christophe Carbonel’s excellently illustrated book, Airfix’s Little Soldiers HO/OO from 1959 to 2009.

The sPzB41 Gun shown on the Airfix box art.

… and some opposition on the painting and basing table – 1962 version 1 Airfix 8th Army Figures, that I first painted as a child in the late 1970s / early 1980s.

A crew of three for the Airfix 8th Army heavy weapon – a Vickers Heavy Machine Gun

Blog posted by Mark Man of TIN, 21 December 2019

Man of TIN Blogvent Calendar Day 21: Angria Rebooted

It has been interesting chatting by email to other gamers like John Patriquin or Alan the Tradgardmastre about Imagi-Nations campaigns as I delve deeper into the involved worlds of the Bronte family’s young fictional countries and characters.

https://manoftinblog.wordpress.com/gaming-the-bronte-family-imaginations-of-glasstown-angria-gondal-and-gaaldine/

What to keep and what to invent or extrapolate?
In some ways I am finding working inside or through the Bronte fictions are hard work because there is so much detail to them but also much is missing or that only made sense inside their four different imaginations / heads.

I want to steal their fictional geography and fill in the gaps as best I could. Here is my sketch map of a Bronte island country of Gondal, based on Yorkshire:

https://manoftinblog.wordpress.com/2017/03/19/bronte-imagi-nations-maps/

There are lots of scenario ideas here.

However I think another solution that I will explore further is to jump forward a decade or generation or two, past all the mess of complicated political and personal relationships of the Bronte characters to the Mid and Late Victorians. The Bronte tales are written in the decade before Queen Victoria was on the throne and into the early years of her reign, roughly 1830s / 1840s.

What would the Bronte countries have made of the expanding British, French and Other European Powers throughout the Victorian era?

Jump  forward to the Palmerston forts scares of Napoleon 3rd and the French in the 1850s, along with European Colonial expansion throughout the mid to later nineteenth century.

The Oxford Companion to the Brontes has entries on some of the conflicts before they were born (the Napoleonic Wars) and during their 1830s -1850s lifetime such as the Ashanti Wars, the Crimea and First and Second Afghan War, First Opium War, Russo Turkish War 1828 and Greek war of Independence 1821 – 1828. They would have read about these in the newspapers and journals that their father allowed them to read from a young age.

There were many Wars in the few years after their deaths which give the pattern for what was happening in their late Regency /  early Victorian world. The Second Opium War, the Indian Mutiny, American Civil War, Franco-Austrian War are all mentioned in the Oxford Companion to the Bronte chronology and timeline.

There are many other historical events to take into account of the ‘real’ world that formed the backdrop to the Bronte  Imagi-Nations or Paracosms of GlassTown, Angria, Gondal and Gaaldine.

There are other world events such as the Irish famine and emigration, the Bronte’s father being Irish,  the California Goldrush, along with more Britain based situations 1840s Chartist movement and riots (following on from the 1830s Luddite riots) whilst the late 1840s saw revolution in many European countries. Charlotte  Bronte’s novel Shirley covers this industrial revolution and Luddite period.

Victorian era constable faces down a rabble of Airfix Waggon Train  folks (Battle of Saxby plans)  

The Battles of Saxby

Even the railway boom led to conflict with landowners and aristocrats who did not wish to have the populace on the move and intrusion on their land such as the Battle of Saxby Bridge around Stapleford Park. I’m sure that some of the  Glasstown and Angrian aristocracy would have some of the same concerns.

https://sidetracked2017blog.wordpress.com/2019/11/24/the-battles-of-saxby-or-lord-harboroughs-curve-1844-to-1846/

https://manoftinblog.wordpress.com/2019/11/24/the-railway-raid-in-the-spectator-23-november-1844/

https://www.le.ac.uk/lahs/downloads/WarnersmvolumeLXI-7.pdf

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Stapleford_Park

Twentieth Century Bronte ImagiNations?

What of the Angria, Gondal and GlassTown involvement with the First and Second World Wars? Who did they side with?

I’m pretty sure that, being set in fictional Central West Africa and the fictional tropical Pacific islands Gondal (North Pacific) and Gaaldine (South Pacific), they would continue to be at risk of being Invaded by or invading “real” countries into the 20th Century such as Britain, German East Africa and Japan. Had the Brontes been alive they would have reflected these real events transformed into their imaginary worlds.

There is also the throwing off the Colonial leash and independence from Empire in the 1950s and 1960s.

I wonder how the Angrian Defence Forces dealt with WW1 colonial campaigns in Africa? Problems with the WW2 Vichy French rulers of Frenchysland off the coast of Angria?

I wonder how the rival provinces and rulers in Gondal or Gaaldine dealt with the Spanish / American colonial conflicts in the 1890s or the Japanese Pacific campaign after 1941?

I can see it now, the Bronte fictional countries but armed with early light tanks, bicycles, biplanes and Machine guns skirmishing in the tropical grassland jungles moors and rivers (fused / mixed with their familiar Yorkshire moors).

Vintage Airfix – Angrian Defence Force late 19th / early 20th Century

Being Imagi-nations, there are no restrictive uniform charts, and there is little or no guidance from the text to such things. This gives lots of freedom to experiment or invent with colour schemes but this is frustrating also. No comfort zone of uniform books or Osprey titles, but lots of period inspiration from them!

I’m trying to loosen my paint schemes on existing 15mm and 54mm figures and ones on the painting tray to make them flexible for real or fictional campaigns. Rebrand them with officers and flags and then campaign away, much as James is doing on the Quantrill’s Toy Soldiers blog.

Some of the Bronte books such as Branwell Bronte’s books edited by Victor Neufeldt are £30+ academic reprints each – in a trilogy – ouch! I have one. The others out of stock / print.  Maybe another time.

So I am “making do” with the digest of these stories in the extensive footnotes in cheaper paperback reprints secondhand, including Charlotte Brontes Tales of Angria edited by Heather Glen (Oxford) and the Oxford Companion by Christine Alexander, a useful A to Z of the Brontes lives and works. Helping me puzzle out and fill in my fictional Maps more …

I think if the Brontes had been born a generation or two later, the Bronte sisters and brother would have been part of the H.G.Wells science fiction generation, contemporary with H.G. Wells, Floor Games, Little Wars, matchstick firing guns, Gardens and lead soldiers.

100 plus years later, would the Brontes have been writing fantasy / dungeon / Victorian Science Fiction / Steampunk games and scenarios?

All inspired by Branwell’s original box of toy soldiers …

B.P.S. Blog Post Script

Interesting comic graphic novel and gaming site which revisits the Brontes ImagiNations https://butwhythopodcast.com/2018/12/05/review-die-issue-1/

https://www.comicsmnt.com/?p=1784

Blog posted by Mark Man of TIN, 21 December 2019.