It’s behind you, Mulder and Scully …

It’s behind you! I liked The Borrowers style scale disparity in this photo as ‘Mulder’ and ‘Scully’ of The X Files investigate the giant children terrorising the (Babbacombe) Model Village in Devon, Southwest UK.

I have always said The X Files should have been set in the slightly weird, folkloric and legendary southwest of Britain.

Or set it back in the Bronte period, tracking down the godly, the ungodly and the Gothic … although arguably Jane Austen’s Pride, Prejudice and Zombies got there already?

Seven series of The X Files watched over the last few months, over a 160+ episodes down and I still have four more series to go to the finishline of 218 episodes and a couple of feature films. (Maybe I should have gone for charity sponsorship …)

It might explain why I am not painting figures or blogposting every spare hour of leisure daylight. Like our hobby itself as observed by someone in Facebook forum, it is all “Time Well Wasted“.

More of the few years old colourful leaflet for Babbacombe Model Village

What might I have possibly gained for my other hobby time well wasted of gaming, toy soldiers and figure painting?

Some interesting toy soldier figure links and scenario ideas so far:

Others? If I had been very well organised, I should have kept an “ideas from idle viewing” gaming scenarios logbook. I didn’t. It’s all those “To Be Continued” episode cliffhangers. I can always look back through the Wiki lists of episodes to remind me.

Any Toy Soldiers in the X Files?

Lots of Army, Air Force, police and shadowy government figures in this series. And some toy soldiers …

Toy soldiers turn up only once (so far) during an early 1995 X Files episode The Walk about dead or badly wounded US soldiers from the recent Kuwait or First Gulf War (The X Files Season 3, Episode 7 ‘The Walk’).

Poor young Trevor, the US Army General’s son, ends up buried in the sand by a sand pit monster version of the phantom warrior. There is obviously some ‘meaningful’ sandpit / toy soldiers / Desert Storm / Desert Warriors symbolic echoes going on as well.×07.html

Play indoors. Don’t play in the sandpit, Trevor! (BRENNAN KOTOWICH as Trevor Callahan)

Screengrab camera shots of The X Files Season Three E pisode Seven ‘The Walk’ shows Trevor playing with standard plastic Hing Kong / China pound store versions of Airfix British Paratroops and some tanks. These Airfix copy soldiers in 1995 have new smooth helmets, pretty commonly available still

What series or TV programmes distract from or inspire your gaming scenarios?

Blog posted by Mark, Man of TIN 25 June 2021

B.P.S. Blog Post Script

Who doesn’t love a model village?

11 thoughts on “It’s behind you, Mulder and Scully …”

  1. ‘A Magnum for Schneider’, which became the pilot show of the TV series: Callan.
    I was a new graphic designer. Shortly after it was broadcast one of my first clients, inspired by Callan asked me to paint some Hinton Hunt figures for him. I’ve been painting figures ever since.


    1. Strange how a single to episode can affect your whole life in such a way! Callan is another series that I must watch sometime, having seen the film / a few episodes including the odd wargames table.


  2. I liked Callan, but was disappointed that it did not feature wargaming more regularly, except in two standout episodes. I absolutely love Edward Woodward’s introduction to wargaming in the first episode of Battleground:

    As for books and films… that’s kinda why Games Workshop has a publishing arm. I’ve been lucky enough to meet some of their staff at library conventions! It really does drive their manufacture; most recent is a set of figures representing characters from the Gaunt’s Ghosts series by Dan Abnett, as a tie-in to several new volumes. I’ve been listening to the first audiobook while cutting out Paperboys.

    There are wargames (and roleplaying games) patterned after so many movies, books, and comics that it beggars belief. I’ll probably discuss some on my blog eventually.

    Right now I’m working my way through the Sharpe movies (again while cutting out Paperboys), and trying to stop myself from buying the Wofun Peninsular War collection. The South Essex bridge-blowing action in the second ep could actually be played one-to-one, because one fault of the series was never having enough reenactors in the background – the regiment and their French opponents are represented by about fifty men apiece!

    My historicals group always plays appropriate films in the background of whatever we’re running that day – Zulu! for Rorke’s Drift, Hornblower during Age of Sail games, Gettysburg for ACW, Last of the Mohicans for 18th-century frontier games. They keep us in the mood.


    1. Wargames are often an easy quick symbolism about an (often evil) TV or a film character – megalomania, tactical, etc. You could say the same about chess as well.
      The literary route into gaming is also very important, from Fighting Fantasy to GW Black Library.

      I have only seen scraps of Sharpe, it came out at a time that I didn’t have a television for ten years or so and historical Napoleonics are not quite my thing.

      Very good point about low number of skirmishers on historical fiction adaptations to TV and film. Always a heavy reliance on filming people’s period footwear tramping along in history documentaries …

      At least even the most thinly personed historical fiction adaptation hopefully has an inspiring mood setting soundtrack to listen to during gaming and painting (and cutting out Paperboys).
      I have bookmarked a Musi YouTube loop of Last of the Mohicans that runs for about three hours, good for painting (and cutting out)

      And why not give into the Wofun figures?


  3. A marathon indeed Mark. Talking of model villages my brother and sister in law were here last week enjoying sitting together in deck chairs chatting in the garden. As we talked my brother in law seemed fascinated by something behind me he couldn’t take his eyes off- the houses for my garden railway. He just looked said nothing and looked more. I wonder as a non Modelling household what he was thinking…


    1. About 120 hours in, that’s about 5 whole days well wasted that I will not get back. 🙂

      I wonder if your model village book or a garden railway kit house might be a suitable Christmas present for the in-laws? The entry level drug …


  4. I can’t pin it down now, but surely the Avengers had an episode involving Steed and Mrs Peel in some wargames-related jeopardy? Or maybe I’ve conflated it with Callan. Did you notice how the wargamer in Callan was – of course – a twisted evil genius? Of course, we’re not like that at all (cue evil laughter).


  5. Why not the Wofuns? 1) expense 2) I’m running out of storage space and that’s a BIG collection 3) I have the actual book!

    I try to remind myself that cutting out and assembling Paperboys is still impressively faster than assembling and painting plastic and pewter.

    And then I recall a couple of years spent painting hundreds of space marines and their vehicles in tiger stripes, and another couple years spent hacking off the helmets of metal guardsmen and replacing them with Australian bush hats. Both armies have been in storage in my closet for at least seven years, though I did send the tanks off to my brother who is now making better use of them.

    It doesn’t help. I still want those Wofuns so I can just pop them out of their sheets and put ’em on the table.

    BTW, there is a one-day sale of the Paperboys books at the Helion website today; just five pounds for the 3-versions. I finally completed my collection, even though I doubt I’ll ever run or build some of them. Eye candy is one of the things that got me buying magazines and wargames books…


    1. The Paperboys books themselves are just lovely and inspiring things to have. As you say, Eye candy!

      I am on the Helion newsletter mailing list to pick up such tempting offers.

      Ah, those endless Tiger Marine and bush hat projects that take such time, time well wasted and that you still have something to show for it later. They shall have their time in the sun again one day, I’m sure.


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