#FEMbruary 2020 Girl Scout Patrol Challenge completed on Leap Day

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Daisy Patrol completed at last …

Crossposted by Mark Man of TIN 29th #FEMbruary 2020 – more photos of my finished #FEMbruary Girl Scout Patrol figure conversion  challenge here at:

https://tabletopscoutingwidegames.wordpress.com/2020/02/29/fembruary-leap-day-2020-girl-scouts-patrol-finished/

Happy Leap Day 2020. How have you spent your extra Leap Day? 

Women Soldiers – Girl’s Own Paper Article 1893

As part of FEMbruary 2020, here’s an interesting article on Women Soldiers from a random edition of the Girl’s Own Paper that I once owned, dated November 4th 1893

G.O.P. was sister to the Boy’s Own Paper – I wonder what their boy’s take on an article about Woman Soldiers would be?

The opening page with herald – Taran Tara!

A Victorian take on women in the military:

Column 3

Article written by Laura Alex. Smith, Girl’s Own Paper November 4th 1893

The Dahomey Amazons featured in my FEMbruary blogpost of 2018: https://poundstoreplasticwarriors.wordpress.com/2018/03/10/more-dahomey-amazons/

https://poundstoreplasticwarriors.wordpress.com/2018/02/15/colonial-amazons-women-soldiers-of-dahomey-and-siam/

Blog posted by Mark Man of TIN, 27 FEMbruary 2020

This is the GOP edition that this Women Soldiers article came from.

And for good measure, a fine military looking gent  in GOP, December 3rd 1887:

“Weirdos and Misfits with odd skills” Wanted – No. 10, LRDG, SOE, Commandos, GCHQ and Bletchley Park

Dominic Cummings, some Tory Brexit politico adviser, in his blog set out a Churchillian request for hiring people to make No. 10 and the Civil Service (and his Brexit / post Brexit team) much less ” public school bluffers” and “Oxbridge English graduates”, more “misfits and weirdos“.

He writes: “We want to hire an unusual set of people with different skills and backgrounds to work in Downing Street with the best officials, some as spads (special advisers to ministers) and perhaps some as officials. If you are already an official and you read this blog and think you fit one of these categories, get in touch.” He says the categories he wants to recruit are:

  • Data scientists and software developers
  • Economists
  • Policy experts
  • Project managers
  • Communication experts
  • Junior researchers – “one of whom will also be my personal assistant”

Send your CV to Mr Cummings if you think this applies to you. You may only last a week, in our “hired and you’re fired” modern world, as instant dismissal is threatened, in which case you will no doubt be known as a “Cummings and Goings.”

Well intentioned and headline grabbing as it may be, the whole “weirdos and misfits” thing is a gift to cartoonists and satirists.

Oddly Mr. Cummings forgot to mention on his list: wargamers and “board game geeks”.

Not so long ago, top secret GCHQ was publicly looking for a more diverse modern workforce of “spooks” and “spies wanted

I am reminded of Churchill’s wartime request to “leave no stone unturned” to recruit the right people to staff Bletchley Park and SOE. Part of GCHQ’s ancestry, Bletchley recruited a strange team of debutantes, crossword puzzle champions, Post Office engineers, mathematicians, linguists and graduate oddities to break German cyphers.

Too busy to read? Just watch the cinema shorthand, myth-making movie versions of such an eccentric cast of characters: Robert Harris’ Enigma and the Imitation Game.

After meeting Alan Turing and his other eccentric colleagues at Bletchley Park, Winston Churchill reportedly said to MI6’s Stewart Menzies, “I know I told you to leave no stone unturned to find the necessary staff, but I didn’t mean you to take me so literally.”

Extraordinary jobs require unusual people. Polar explorer Ernest Shackleton would agree!

Which is why my mind straight way turned to SOE, inspired by Churchill “to set Europe ablaze”, Bletchley Park, inventive backroom boffins, the Commandos and the scruffy but tough and talented Long Range Desert Group. All the cast of Mr Churchill’s Ministry of Ungentlemanly Warfare as they were termed in a recent book title.

St Nazaire? See the inspiring terrain with the promise of vintage Airfix Commandos https://gridbasedwargaming.blogspot.com/2020/01/st-nazaire-raid-project-more-terrain.html

 

Such people and characters in small teams are perfect for small scale gaming scenarios.

Weirdos and Misfits wanted? Small teams of characters (figures) who can see what is going on in this gridded aerial reconnaissance photo and improvise a plan when it is not what it seems …

What can you see?

https://manoftinblog.wordpress.com/2020/01/02/aerial-reconnaissance-photos-western-desert-1941/

 

As pointed out in my comment to the vintage Airfix inspired Tradgardmastre himself,

“Sketch map in preparation by Desert Air Force Intelligence Officers, ready to brief some scouting parties of LRDG (D) – D For Demolition.

This is a mixed bag made up of various disruptive elements from the Royal Angrian Defence Force from West Africa (Bronte ImagiNations), some men of the Yestershire Regiment (Man of TIN Imaginations), various other upper class desert traveller, novelist and travel writer misfits, and some Royal Engineers and Commandos in training.

Two tooled up long range fast Desert Jeeps called “Ragtag” and “Bobtail” (Pound Store finest) being prepared.”

Vintage 1960s Airfix LMG teams and modern China plastic tat playset jeeps.

So a quick bit of internet searching brought me to various LRDG websites, seeking the childhood memory of LRDG box lids of Tamiya and unavailable vintage Matchbox LRDG kits (oddly featured in January 2020 Airfix Model World).

https://www.scalemates.com/kits/matchbox-pk-173-lrdg-30cwt-chevrolet-willys-jeep–130346

So preparing my teams, here are the vintage Airfix LRDG and 8th Army desert teams:

Vintage Airfix OO HO 8th Army (version 1) from my childhood collection and Tony Adams’ gift

Vintage Airfix 1960s Commandos and crawling woolly hatted (version 1) 8th Army
OMG! Vintage Airfix SMG, LMG and HMG teams – Airfix Commandos & 1960s 8th Army

Research and further inspiration:

https://gridbasedwargaming.blogspot.com/2020/01/st-nazaire-raid-project-more-terrain.html

LRDG Preservation Society (Research and Reenactment) website http://www.lrdg.org

Combined Ops Website https://manoftinblog.wordpress.com/2019/12/01/man-of-tin-advent-calendar-day-1-the-greek-sacred-squadron-combined-ops-1940-to-1945-ww2

I’m doing Popski on the cheap with vintage Airfix, inspired by this article in Wargames Illustrated Infamous Squads issue November December 2019

Donald Featherstone ‘Wargaming Commando Operations’ http://www.wargaming.co/recreation/details/dflosttalesvol2.htm

Weirdos and Misfits – your country needs you!

Blog posted by Mark Man of TIN on 3 January 2020

And finally for The Tradgardmastre on LRDG Buffs Film Club:

https://www.imdb.com/title/tt0053935/mediaviewer/rm2816642305

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

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 Advert Calendar 2019 Day 19: a few more photos of some handmade wooden modern warships

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A few more photographs of these beautiful handmade vintage wooden battleships and accompanying maker’s Naval service ephemera: a gift from the family earlier in the year. Still some minor repair work required.

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Missiles, helicopter pad – obviously post WW2.

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Documents (and photo?) belonging to AB Thomas E Owen – the maker?

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1957 date stamp?

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HMS Pembroke mentioned on the discharge document was the name given to a Royal Navy shore barracks at Chatham. It was commissioned in 1878, moved ashore in 1903 and was paid off in 1983. The buildings, designed by Sir Henry Pilkington, now house the Universities at Medway.

Blog posted on 19 December by Mark Man of TIN.

Man of TIN Blogvent Calendar Day 14: Rice Diets and the Problems of Beriberi in the Japanese Army and Navy

I first came across this story whilst researching Naval gaming ship bases on a TMP page, an intriguing late 19th century naval and military history story

https://warisboring.com/eating-too-much-rice-almost-sank-the-japanese-navy/

If an army marches on its stomach then this colourfully illustrated article explores how the nutrition expertise of  British surgeon William Willis and Dr Kanehiro Takaki was used in curing the Japanese Navy’s medical problems.

The Japanese Army was much slower to accept this and were still affected by this Beriberi malnutrition problem decades later during the Russo Japanese War of 1905.

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From the Jacklex website a finely painted  20mm  Japanese Infantry figure early uniform Russo-Japanese War 1904/5

You might find this article interesting in case you are tempted invest in some fine 20mm Jacklex Russo Japanese War figures with your Christmas money. The Jacklex website helpfully has free uniform painting guides, ORBATs and Mukden to Megiddo rules from Andy Callan.  There is a useful 2004 Osprey on the subject and a RJW section in Featherstone’s Wargames Through the Ages Vol 4 1861-1945.

This is a different sort of article for naval gamers and military history enthusiasts but hopefully an interesting one.

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Further articles in English

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3725862

This article mentions: “In 1915, Kanehiro Takaki received the ‘Grand Cordon of the Order of the Sacred Treasure’, one of the highest decorations in Japan. He died in 1920, and received posthumously the ‘Grand Cordon of the Order of the Rising Sun’ in that year. In 1959, a peninsula in Antarctica – The Takaki Promontory (65° 33′ 0″ S, 64° 34′ 0″ W) – was named after him.”

Never underestimate logistics …

Blogposted by Mark Man of TIN, 14 December 2019