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 ...
Researching early Boy Scouts as part of my Wide Games gaming project, I came across these two original photographs for sale at a very reasonable price.
They are WW1 era c. 1915, Surrey based, possibly in the Ewell area (from a brief description in a photographic album) and the seller said they illustrate Scout drill and protecting a road (?!?) from a WW1 era album.
They appear to be guarding H S Philpots Tea Rooms (?)
Whilst Scouts did valuable work for the war effort in WW1 and WW2, this young bunch of determined boys with staves might not stop the whole German Army.
What I liked about them was the mixture of home made uniforms, floppy brim hats and some of their lively expressions.
Their Scoutmaster and some of the Scouts reappear I think in other photos in my collection, the Scoutmaster in fetching light or white cape.
These are a few of the photographs of early Scouting in its first decade* that I have collected as uniform research for the Scouting Wide Games for the Tabletop project (* Scouting for Boys was first published in sections in 1908). https://tabletopscoutingwidegames.wordpress.com
These were surprise gifts at Christmas from the family, found in a local vintage shop.
Flats, homecast in appearance and charmingly painted, playworn and battered.
These roughly 40mm riders ride some odd but spirited horses!
The dark blue painted officer with red striped trousers is an attractive figure. It looks like his hat could be a steel helmet that has been painted grey to look more old fashioned. Attractive uniform for ImagiNations
These were Christmas gifts, these “Made of Wood” craft products from a local craft store – in the varied shapes of a lighthouse, wooden pine trees and Christmas decoration houses.
The label suggests that they are made from a very fast growing timber called the Paulownia tree, widely farmed and forested in China / East Asia and now across America as the ‘new balsa’ because of its lightness and valued for its attractive grain.
A light green wash or woodstain should bring out best features of these toy like pine trees.
There are some fantastic wooden buildings in this St Nazaire raid game that give an idea of how to make your own or use wooden buildings like these:
“Middle Eastern Swordsmen for Hire … will go anywhere … do anything … any period … please somebody buy us and paint us and base us.” I wonder if that’s what goes through the lead head thoughts of some of these unloved figures.
These Peter Laings have been sitting online on EBay for so long, that eventually I started to feel sorry for the tiny 15mm chaps.
Every time I went online to look for Peter Laing figures, these unloved and unwanted specimens would turn up.
Peter Laing Ancients seem on the whole less desirable than his later period figures ranges.
I didn’t have a “mounted Camel spearman”. Everybody needs at least one …
EBay retailer figures4sale listed the others as “M207 Turkish Horse Archer and M410 Hun cavalry” and the rather genetic “Middle eastern swordsmen x 5”. I have yet to check them in the catalogue. Maybe some of the MeWe Peter Laing community will beat me to it
Blog posted by Mark Man of TIN 25 January 2020
A Peter Laing pity party … tinier than the curious Puddles Pity Party at the Postmodern Jukebox HQ. Slowed down cabaret American punk – like an armoured camel, just what everyone secretly needs.