May 25th Geek Pride Days and my fifth Man of TIN blogaversary 2021

Happy Geek Pride Day May 25th 2021!

Not just a day for Star Wars but also Pound Store Wars?

Five years ago today, I Man of TIN / 26soldiersoftin cautiously launched the Man of TIN blog.

Happy fifth Blogaversary to all my readers!

The very first Man of TIN blog photograph of Redcoat steampunk shiny toy soldier style conversions of modern pound store soldiers

Geek Pride Day is also appropriately the fifth blogaversary of starting this my Man of TIN blog.

“To begin at the beginning…” (as Richard Burtin would say in his deepest Welsh tones in Dylan Thomas’ Under Milk Wood)

It is always interesting to look back at the first posts of people’s blogs, which for me began on Man of TIN blog in May 2016 with a short post titled ‘Pound Store Wars’:

to see how these toy soldier and gaming themes develop.

Early themes in my first post or posts:

  • Pound Store plastics and pirated figures
  • Cheap Hollowcast figures
  • Paint conversions
  • Donald Featherstone
  • A dose of childhood nostalgia
  • Airfix
  • H. G. Wells’ Little Wars
  • 54mm figures
  • Steampunk and ImagiNations
  • Garden wargaming

And within the first month, various posts covered:

Painting Pound Store Plastic tat figures as if they were ‘run of the mill’ factory hollowcasts was an early and still ongoing theme.

25 May 2016 first blog post

The list of blogs I was discovering and listing then in my first posts in May 2016 includes many I still read and follow on a daily or weekly basis:

And South American toy soldiers

Bob Cordery’s Wargaming Miscellany blog roll soon led me to the Duchy of Tradgardland and Battle Game of the Month blogs, which rapidly became my three daily or weekly portal sites.

It took several weeks, even a month or two before any reader comments appeared. I presume I saw some views and reader stats, otherwise this could be very dispiriting for a fledgeling blogger.

Part of the pleasure of blogging is the many comments, emails and even conversations in person that the Man of TIN blog has led to over the last five years.


Donald Featherstone’s quote from my favourite Wargames rules book since childhood War Games (1962) has served well to summarise my approach to “Toy soldiers, gaming, Imagi-Nations” as my Blog strapline says:

“There is a great deal of satisfaction in making one’s own armies, either in their entirety or by conversions.” (Page 21)

“Part of the fun of being a war gamer lies in the making of one’s own soldiers as distinct from purchasing figures  of different sizes obtainable from makers in various parts of the world.” (Page 18, War Games) 


Although I had been involved in regular blogging for work projects since 2008 and also buying toy soldiers online on EBay since 2008, it took another eight years to develop my first toy soldier blog.

By the time that I started Man of TIN blog in 2016, some veteran gamers such as Bob Cordery (2008), Alan Gruber Duchy of Tradgardland (2007) and the Emperor vs Elector blog group (2009 or earlier?) had been blogging for almost a decade.

Without Whom – thanks!

Although my blog is essentially a personal scrapbook, journal or Work in Progress diary made public , my blogaversary is also an opportunity to thank my loyal, passing and occasional blog readers and comment writers. Thanks gentlemen and ladies for your kind words and challenges.

My Spin-off and Sister Blogs

As well as establishing separate pages within Man of Tin blog for H.G. Wells’ Little Wars, Bronte ImagiNations, Roman 15mm games and Scouting Wide Games (now itself a spin off blog), there are now several sister or spin off blogs from which to crosspost.

Fairly quickly my Man of TIN blog had spin off blogs for different materials and to spread the megabyte heavy photo content across several WordPress Free 3GBs.

Pound Store Plastic Warriors September 2016 (which has its origins in these early Man of TIN blog posts on Pound Store plastics)

Sidetracked 2017 (where gaming meets model railways)

Scouting Wide Games for the Tabletop (April 2019)

Look Duck and Varnish – Gaming the Home Guard (2019/ May 2020)

And Man of TIN Blog Two, established in 2020 for when Man of TIN blog 1 is (very nearly) full of its Free 3GB WordPress limit, which will be within the next few months / this year? Man of TIN blog will then continue its weekly blog life there.

Man of TIN blog WordPress stats as of w.c. 24 May 2021

I don’t check blog stats often or have a page / view counter thing, likewise across on my sister blogs. So far by w.c. May 24th 2021, a surprising 157,000 views by 78,000 people have stumbled across my Man of TIN blog and hopefully been distracted from something useful if only for a few moments.

A small number of readers return on a regular basis. If you are one of them, thank you!

Why Wednesday evening is a popular reading time, I have no idea – Hump Day at work? Halfway through the week, dreaming of the weekend hobby? I’ve no idea why 29 May 2018 was a two thousand+ views day either.

The next five years 2021-2026?

I wonder where the next five years of blogging will take me and the other bloggers I regularly read?

Forward towards 3D printing and computer assisted gaming (touted since the Wargames Manual 1982/3)? Maybe.

Backwards or retro to Old School, 60s Airfix nostalgia, back of a postcard rules, flats and hollowcasts? Much more likely.

Forward Men! Going forward and back, back, back … for the future!

5th Blogaversary post by Mark Man of TIN, 25 May 2021