From old digital radio to 54mm houses and coastal gun emplacement

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I loved making these unusual buildings over several weeks, using scrap materials.

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The larger house at Das terracotta clay stage onto a wooden radio base.

An old, long dead Roberts digital radio with wooden frame and stylish fabric print has been upcycled into several wooden 54mm buildings.

Brick ruin walls were provided with air drying Das terracotta clay.  This took a week or two to dry!

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The smaller house – yet to be painted – its shape dictated by the base, an internal piece of radio woodwork.

I wanted to create buildings that could serve a number of uses in a desert scenario or European Countryside on tabletop or garden games.

I wasn’t sure how best to paint these with Acrylics, so went for a ‘Blend’, inspired by two old stalwart childhood favourites, the Airfix Desert Outpost and the ruined house European strongpoint.

My Airfix Painting Inspiration?

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The amazing 1:32 Desert Outpost from Airfix
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The wonderful old 1:32 Airfix Strongpoint

After a non-descript base paint colour of sandy Afrikabraun  and brown Acrylic to suggest a sand or mud floor, I used a mixture of white and offwhite Acrylic for the whitewashed walls, followed by a dry brush of brown to weather the walls to a more ruinous state. Several coats of white / offwhite were required.

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The desert ruin setting
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Repaired Broken Britain’s and other 54mm hollowcast soldiers in this European ruin setting.
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Back view of the larger ruin.

Lolly sticks, cocktail sticks and wooden coffee stirrers provided the ruined window frames. Pushing a couple of ragged holes through the clay walls suggests that the building has been damaged by shell fire or the walls loopholed by troops.

I still have the smaller clay building to paint, which has been based on  another oddly shaped wooden internal section of the old radio.

Coastal Gun Emplacement?

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Looking at the other part of the old digital radio, once I had removed the electrics / electronics, the shape suggested some kind of camouflaged bunker.

I was inspired by some of the simple wooden  Hugar style buildings made in the 1930s for Britain’s. Paul Brookes has written a recent Illustrated History of Hugar, available via Amazon. 

https://www.brightontoymuseum.co.uk/index/Category:Hugar_Models

The metal front speaker grille that would form the bunker roof would be fine on a sci fi bunker. It didn’t look right on a 1930s/40s one, so was replaced by cardboard covered in some of the fabric pattern removed from the radio back before the back was used as the  larger terracotta house base.

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Inside the bunker, the simple gun mounting blocks and improvised crews.

Other internal bits of wood from the radio suggested two gun platforms.

I had no plyboard left and had already used the radio base for the larger house ruin, so I substituted stiff cardboard for a base. I tend to use whatever I have to hand, just to get on with the job whilst in the mood.

Amongst job lots of Broken Britain’s figures had been a couple of damaged old Britain’s AA guns without their trailer bases. I had been saving three of these guns for wooden gunboats but two seem to serve well enough here as requisitioned or improvised coastal guns.

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A scratch machine gun team from various damaged figures and pieces. The officer with binoculars was created from a trashed metal detecting find.

A scratch team of repaired Broken Britain’s and other hollowcast lead Khaki gunners  and  Infantry give the right feel.

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These steel helmeted Khaki infantry mounted on tuppenny bases are Britain’s East Kent Regiment on Guard, all broken figures gifted to me by John Forman rather than being scrapped, all of which needed base and rifle repairs.

I’m not sure who the textile designer was for the textiles on this limited edition (but dead) Roberts digital radio c. 2004/5, but I think the strong blotch camouflage colours are reminiscent of experimental wartime camouflage schemes.

For a bit of barbed wire, the metal spines of old notebooks come in handy.

On a scrap hound basis, I also have the old radio aerial  for mounting model aircraft at different heights, once a suitable wooden base turns up. Waste not …

Blogposted by Mark, Man of TIN, 13/14th October 2018.

 

 

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Spot the toy soldier in the first episode of the new female Doctor Who

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I spotted this Britain’s New Metal Guardsman in the first episode of the  new Doctor Who series – and I claim my toy soldier Geek Points!

It appears briefly on a shot of the desk of Ryan, one of the new young companions to a new female Doctor Who (Jodie Whittaker). It stands next to a photo of his Granny, who is another important character in this first episode.

No plot spoilers for you but the presence of the toy soldier hasn’t yet altered the plot.

I haven’t watched Doctor Who for years and years, not properly since my childhood days of watching Jon Pertwee and Tom Baker.

Blog posted on 10th October 2018 – World Mental Health Day – by Mark,  Man of TIN.

Time Spent in Reconnaissance … makes you smile!

 

 

 

IMG_4454I came across this spirited photo today and it made me smile!

To me, it is the  Snoopy “Born to Dance” Peanuts cartoon of Carrier pictures.

Titled: “Universal Carrier of 52nd Reconnaissance Regiment moving at speed over rough ground, Scotland, 10 November 1942.”

This is an Official British Army Photograph aken by Lieutenant W.T. Lockeyear, War Office official photographer, 10 November 1942. Imperial War Museum image H25279.

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

Who doesn’t like a nice tankette?

Blog posted by Mark, Man of TIN, 2 October 2018

On the Repair Bench – Rainy Day Update

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Repairs underway – wire spears, masking tape, matchstick, wire  and glue leg repairs. 

Rainy day last weekend,  so a chance to do some more 54mm figure repairs.

These figures are not intended to be fine restorations but were bought as a job lot of bashed up, broken figures to be restored to stout enough condition for future gaming use in the garden or on the tabletop.

Work in Progress

Like several of these figures, these two Cherilea Assyrian looking ‘Saracens’  originally had wide thin bases which would not fit onto a twopenny  (2p) base. So it gave me a chance using a strong wire leg to have some quite active, almost balletic battle poses.

Where needed, a Fimo polymer clay base on the metal 2p was made for each figure and baked hard still on the 2p base. The figure was secured to the base when its wire or wooden leg was then glued into place.

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First row of figures repaired and rebased on Fimo polymer clay twopenny bases. 

I discovered looking up the  Cherilea ‘Saracen’  figures  that they have some opposition amongst the figures to be mended – an English Archer.

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Source Oldtoysoldier auctions reference image online. 
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Repaired Cherilea ‘Saracen’ Warriors and what I have discovered to be an ‘English Archer’ from the same postwar series. They all have certain Flash Gordon quality …

The ‘Robin Hood’ English archer figure again was too wide for the 2p base but for balance, I gave him anatomically too long a leg that touched the ground. I may have to shorten this and put a small gravel rock under his foot. A spare Dorset head was attached, as in keeping as the spares box would manage.

To outer Space

The Hilco / Cherilea spaceman was missing a head and leg, as well as a broken space rifle weapon. A Dorset Soldiers recast of a Britain’s style infantry recast head was the most spacey head I had in my spares box. The astro-mech leg you might recognise from the plastic skeleton’s musical horn standard thingy.

https://poundstoreplasticwarriors.wordpress.com/2018/09/08/pound-bag-skeleton-warriors-1-a-bag/

The Hilco Cherilea space figure as mended has some balance problems. Finding pictures of original figures online gave me an idea of what instrument or weapon was being carried – in this case, a sort of space rifle.

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A simple podfoot base for his other foot may be required. The Dorset Soldiers head could work as it is, as a robotic face or metal face mask. Alternatively it could have a flesh coloured or green alien skin face.

From the Arctic to the Air Force? 

The Timpo Eskimo or Arctic Explorer turned WW1 pilot figure in warm sheepskin clothes has worked well. I have inserted a map or flight docs in his hand, a nice touch that  I have seen on another hollowcast pilot figure.

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The Eskimo or Arctic Explorer fits in pretty well with the other pilots, alongside my “work in progress” Moshi Monster monoplane conversion to a Thirties biplane. 

The other Indian or tribal figures have shaped up nicely. Where possible I have kept the original paintwork.

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Three Timpo Indians and a Johillco Zulu repaired and rebased, before further paintwork 

A simple metallic copper paint skin tone covers the masking tape repairs well enough. All that is needed now on many figures are some spear tips from plastic scrap or Fimo polymer clay.

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(Left) Timpo running brave with spear. (Right) Colorful postwar Johillco Zulu or Maori figure, the broken fragile knobkerry replaced with a spear. 
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Hands Up? Slight differences in the Fimo bases give a bit of variety to these oddly posed Timpo Indians.  
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Two Britain’s Indians on Guard, two Crescent Indians with rifles, badly damaged on the body and largeish Harvey 1950s Indian with spear replacing Tomahawk.

The Crescent Indians with rifles had crush body damage, so I filled gaps by hot glue gun for any large holes and then glued masking tape over these areas.

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On one Crescent Indian,  I covered some crush damage holes by adding a thick loincloth of several layers of masking tape over the leggings. A few layers of paint should cover the joins.

The largeish  Harvey Indian was completely broken in half, so I hot glue-gunned both halves together for a secure join.

I have photographed these figures as they are slowly being repaired, just to keep a record.

I will post pictures of the finished figures when painted and varnished. I look forward to doing the fine details points of faces etc.

A rainy day last weekend,  so perfect for getting on with these figure repairs.

Blog posted by Mark, Man of TIN, 22 September 2018.

Little Tin Gods – Egyptian Gods

Another source of sometimes expensive but unusual figures for gaming involves museum gift shops.

I picked up these two Pewter 54mm Egyptian gods, Thoth and Anubis, about ten to fifteen years ago for £2 each.

They have now been replaced by the Westair manufacturer with a smaller scale set (closer to 30mm?) of four Egyptian gods. You gets yer learning off the tiny writing too! Very educational.

Here you can see them for scale opposite a 54mm Johillco rifleman conversion into lost explorer type Colonel Fazackerley.

Colonel Fazackerley encounters some Ancient Egyptian gods …

Scenario uses

They should look good guarding the entrance to an H. G. Wells type Floor Games / Little Wars type of building block temple.

They might need sandstone or colour paint for this.

French Napoleonics in Egypt and Sudan Egyptian campaign onwards.

Night at The Museum scenarios and superhero / Pulp genre games.

All those weird Egyptian setting Tintin books …

They would also look good with the few old 1:32 Atlantic plastic Egyptian Warriors that I have.

Blog posted by Mark, Man of TIN, 21 September 2018.

9.18 the Mukden Incident, Tintin and The Blue Lotus

At 10 o’clock in parts of China each year today on 9.18 or the 18th September, sirens will sound and a bell will be rung in Mukden (Shenyang) in China.

What does this have to do with Tintin?

https://sidetracked2017blog.wordpress.com/2018/09/18/the-faked-railway-explosion-that-led-to-war-the-manchurian-or-mukden-incident-china-18-september-1931/

Crossposted from my occasional railway history and gaming blog Sidetracked, by Man of TIN, 18th September 2018.

On the Repair Desk

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A varied selection of broken figures. 

Here are some more bashed and broken 54mm lead hollowcast figures that are on the repair bench.

A real mix from various manufacturers – some tribal warriors, Britain’s native Indian warriors on guard, a Robin Hood archer, a Hilco spaceman, an Eskimo and Assyrians …

The Timpo Eskimo will make a fine WW1 pilot.

They are sharing the painting desk with some Peter Laing 7th Cavalry figure recruits from the Duchy of Tradgardland.

Blog posted by Mark, Man of TIN, 16 September 2018.