Happy 2nd Blogaversary and Geek Pride Day from the Man of TIN!

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Waving flags and cheers from or for my tip-off find of the year – 15mm Peter Laing Late Victorian Parade Range Civilians. 

Today 25th May 2018 is my second happy Blogaversary (blog anniversary) of the Man of TIN blog! Huzzah! Wave flags etc

May 25 is also Geek Pride Day around the world

https://www.thinkgeek.com/geekpride/

Or in my words “I didn’t choose the Geek Life … the Geek Life chose me.”

A big thanks to all my fellow bloggers and readers over the last year (or two) for all your likes, comments and support. Your blogs on my “blogs I follow” blogroll are my regular portals to games blogging, toy soldiers and gaming inspiration.

The last year of Man of TIN and associated blogs has seen a wide range of subjects, being the wargames and toy soldier butterfly that I am.

Some of my highlights from my latest year of Man of TIN blog

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1. Pound Store Plastic Warriors – my other blog https://poundstoreplasticwarriors.wordpress.com

Being mostly 42mm paint conversions and 36mm pound store plastic tat figures transformed into loveliness!

https://manoftinblog.wordpress.com/2018/01/28/pound-store-plastic-figure-conversions-and-comparisons/

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2. Sidetracked – my other railway gaming related blog and its Blowing Up Desert Trains games

https://manoftinblog.wordpress.com/2017/08/05/blowing-up-desert-trains/

all thanks to the gift of a Train in a TIN.

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Peter Laing 15mm troops  clash on the tracks in the desert
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192 Heroscape Hexes of Joy on my Portable Game Board

3. Expanding my Heroscape hex portable game board

https://manoftinblog.wordpress.com/2017/08/01/192-hexes-of-joy-a-larger-hex-game-board/

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4. The Remount Department and Broken Britain’s, all part of my ongoing interest in 54mm gaming and figure repair and restoration.

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Metal detectorist toy soldier finds restored.  

https://manoftinblog.wordpress.com/2018/05/20/recalled-to-the-colours-54mm-metal-detectorists-toy-soldier-finds-restored-to-fighting-condition/

5. My ongoing search for vintage Peter Laing 15mm figures, now they are no longer produced and the Peter Laing collectors Google G+ Community Page established by Ian Dury

https://manoftinblog.wordpress.com/2017/09/06/peter-laing-15mm-google-community-page/

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My best find of the last blogging year? A tip off towards Peter Laing 15mm Victorian Civilians.

6. Along with American painter and toy soldier collector Andrew Wyeth exhibitions, I have also enjoyed Forgotten Georgia,  still an enjoyable slice of old American life and buildings on this website

https://manoftinblog.wordpress.com/2017/06/27/forgotten-georgia-blog/

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7. Vintage Airfix OO/HO figure gaming

https://manoftinblog.wordpress.com/2017/09/16/another-vintage-airfix-hoard/

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The end of the Airfix ACW game and surviving Union troops!

One of my favourite games last year was a vintage ACW  Airfix game using the Train in a TIN!

https://manoftinblog.wordpress.com/2017/07/25/acw-battle-of-pine-ridge-vintage-airfix-full-game-write-up/

8. Using Donald Featherstone rules of course in the year of his Centenary (1918-2013).

Reading and transcribing BBC scripts from Don’s 1960s long-forgotten radio talks was another highlight, the contents now passed onto John Curry at the History o& Wargaming Project.

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From an early Featherstone interview in the newspapers which I tracked down.

https://manoftinblog.wordpress.com/2018/03/03/featherstone100-donald-featherstone-centenary-20-march-2018/

9. Unusual anniversaries and special months – MARCH and FEMbruary  featuring female figure painting challenges and history, along with “believable female miniatures” including buying some 28mm land girls from Annie at Bad Squiddo.

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100 years since the Vote was awarded to some British women – my suffragette conversions and Home cast Prince August policemen conversions. 

10. The Bronte bicentenaries – 200 years since several of the Bronte family were  born, inspiration for some of my Imagi-Nations games, based in their mythical juvenile worlds of Angria, Gondal and GlassTown.

May – Only about half the way through my New Gaming Year’s Irresolutions … and way off target already!

https://manoftinblog.wordpress.com/2018/01/01/tell-it-to-the-unicorns-new-gaming-year-irresolutions-2018/

Many thanks for sharing my latest blogging year and I hope you enjoy the next! Next posts will be more “Broken Britain’s” 54mm lead figure conversions.

And Happy Geek Pride Day

“I didn’t choose the Geek Life … the Geek Life chose me.”

Blogposted by Mark Man of TIN, 2nd Blogaversary, 25 May 2018.

 

 

 

 

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15mm Peter Laing 19th Century Figures

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Attractive 19th Century 15mm Peter Laing figures

I have acquired second-hand a few dozen of these attractive 19th Century infantry from Peter Laing’s 15mm range, now commercially unavailable as the moulds have vanished.

With the tall shakos or tall kepis with the ball crests and long frock coats, they look mid 19th Century Crimean to Austrian  / Franco Prussian Wars. I think they are probably supposed to be French or Sardinian infantry, but they also look like French Foreign Legion 1850s.

They could be 15mm Peter Laing Crimean French (and dual use Franco-Prussian French with tall kepi)

F814 French Infantry advancing

F815 French infantry drummer

F816 French officer

F817 French standard bearer

 

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With almost Napoleonic shakos, they would do well as Imagi-Nation troops for the Bronte juvenile fiction of Angria, Gondal and Gaaldine. I have enough spare standard bearers for alternative flags and nationalities.

I would be interested to hear from other Peter Laing collectors if they have or recognise these figures as mid 19th Century French.

Some other figure suppliers have similar tall shako / kepis.

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Interesting post about Franco Prussian War French Infantry (in French) that reminds us that the 150th anniversary is only 2 years away (1870 / 2020). This will no doubt generate more gaming and historical interest in the FPW. The Austro-Prussian War anniversary was I suspect slightly overshadowed by the 1916 WW1 anniversary events.

http://pacofaitlezouave.blogspot.co.uk/2010/11/le-fantassin-de-1870.html

Blogposted by Mark, Man of TIN, 21/22 April 2018.

Sidetracked by WW1 Southwest Africa desert railway scenarios?

https://sidetracked2017blog.wordpress.com/2018/04/16/german-colonial-railways-southwest-africa-ww1/

Crossposted from my occasional Sidetracked blog by Mark, Man of TIN blog, 17 April 2018.

Away From The Western Front WW1 history blog

IMG_3368Away from the Western Front is a two year project (2017-2019) funded by the Heritage Lottery Fund, with additional grants from the British Institute for the Study of Iraq (Gertrude Bell Memorial) and the Centre for Hidden Histories. The project is being run by the ‘Away from the Western Front’, a registered charity.

https://awayfromthewesternfront.org/about-us/

Lots of information here on some unfamiliar aspects of WW1 from Africa to China, the Balkans, Gallipoli, Salonica and across the Middle East. Fascinating stories here. A WW1 Centenary website to watch for an alternative to the more familiar coverage of the Western Front.

Blogposted by Mark, Man of TIN, April.

 

 

Portuguese War Memorial WW1

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Unusual shaped headstones of Portuguese troops at the Portuguese War Memorial, Richebourg, France  (Image: Centenary News Twitter source)

The contribution of Portuguese troops during the Spring Offensive, Operation Georgette and the Battle of The Lys of March and April 1918 was commemorated by the French and Portuguese Governments today at the Portuguese War Memorial on the Western Front.

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Photo on Centenary News Twitter Feed 9 April 2018
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Joseph Zimet’s photographs on Twitter 9 April 2018

Interesting photographs taken by Joseph Zimet @josephzimet on Twitter.

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Close up of Portuguese troops at the ceremony  @josephzimet on Twitter

April 9th 1918 / 2018 is obviously an important day in Portuguese army history, as set out in The Portugal in WW1 Wikipedia entry: https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Portugal_during_World_War_I

April 9 1918: The Battle of La Lys, as it becomes known in Portugal, or Operation Georgette or the Battle of Estaires to the British, starts with a heavy artillery barrage from the Germans, followed by a German offensive with intensive use of lethal gas. The German Sixth Army deploys eight divisions (about 100,000 men), supported by intensive artillery fire. Against the force, the Portuguese have 20,000 soldiers and 88 guns. As a result, the Second Division is annihilated during the battle. The Portuguese CEP loses 327 officers and 7,098 soldiers, about 35% of its effective fighting capacity. The survivors are sent to the rear, some of the units being integrated into the British Army later on.

During this battle, one of the most courageous acts in Portuguese military history is perpetrated, as private Aníbal Milhais (also known as “Soldado Milhões” [“A Soldier as good as a million others” in his commanding officer’s words]) defends the retreating allied forces with nothing but his machine gun, allowing them to fall back and regroup. Once he runs out of bullets, he escapes the battlefield.

After defeating two German regiments and forcing the remaining German forces to go around him (they find it impossible to defeat what they believe to be an heavily armed post), he gets lost along the way, having to eat nothing but the sweet almonds his family had sent him from Portugal for three days. Lost and exhausted, he is able to rescue a Scottish major from drowning in a swamp. The major leads him to the Allied camp and tells of Milhais’s deeds.   (Infomation source: Wikipedia)

More about the Portuguese Expeditionary Forces in WW1

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

Plans for a memorial in England were recently suggested here  http://www.centenarynews.com/article/memorials-for-a-king–country-plans-for-tribute-in-uk-to-portugals-fallen

56,500 Portuguese troops were sent to the Western Front, of these approximately 2,100 were killed, 5,200 wounded and 7,000 taken prisoner.

The Portuguese Fireplace is an unusual Memorial of Canadian and Portuguese troops on forestry duty in the New Forest.  https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Portuguese_Fireplace

There is a small amount of information about the Portuguese Army in Britain and Western Front in WW1 on the Imperial War Museum website.

https://www.iwm.org.uk/collections/item/object/205305030

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A curious handful of junk shop find, painted Airfix WW1 British figures in sky blue. 

I knew that the Portuguese Army of WW1 fought in French sky blue coloured  British Army cut uniforms with unusual fluted steel helmets from a comment on  some sky blue painted Airfix WW1 British figures I had posted online in 2016.

https://manoftinblog.wordpress.com/2016/06/16/obe-repaint-figures-1/

I couldn’t remember where I had seen coloured illustrations of such troops, it wasn’t in my usual reference of  Preben Kannik’s Military Uniforms of the World in Colour. Instead I found a page on Portugal 1917-18 in Andrew Mollo’s Army Uniforms of World War 1.

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Portuguese Uniforms  in Andrew Mollo’s Army Uniforms of WW1

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Uniform notes in Andrew Mollo’s book

Modellers and gamers should be able to adapt WW1 British Army figures with steel helmets or soft caps into suitable Portuguese troops.

Aly Morrison featured some beautifully painted Portuguese WW1 conversions and colourised photographs of WW1 Portuguese troops.

http://alystoysoldiers.blogspot.co.uk/2018/04/partizan-2018-few-more-portuguese.html

Including a superb colourised photo of some drummers and Portuguese troops marching

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An interesting bit of WW1 history that I knew little about.

Remembering many gallant Portuguese soldiers 100 years on.

http://www.remembrancetrails-northernfrance.com/history/nations-in-war/the-portuguese-in-the-great-war.html

Blogposted by Mark, Man of TIN 9 April 2018

 

 

 

Peter Laing 15mm Bulgarian WW1 Infantry

 

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I have bought the odd small mixed lot of gaming figures recently online because they contained small caches of 15mm Peter Laing figures. Now that the moulds are missing, this is one of the few ways to acquire new Peter Laing figures.

Amongst one lot was a small group of about a dozen WW1 Russian Infantry figures with rolled greatcoats F759 and officer F760  but  all painted brown with unusual black and white cross-gartered boots.

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Ahead of many other makers, Peter Laing produced 15mm WW1 figures of many of these nations.

A quick check in Military Uniforms of The World in Colour suggests that the original owner painted them as WW1 Bulgarian Infantry. They needed basing and some of the paint touching up, whilst about half of them have no fixed bayonets.

An unusual choice of figure. I had to go and look up which side the Bulgarians fought for in WW1  – with Germany and the Central Powers from 1915  – and against whom.  After a period of early neutrality, courted by both sides, they joined the Central Powers and fought initially against the Serbs, then against other Allied troops including the British on the stalemate of the Macedonian / Salonika Front.

“The Kingdom of Bulgaria participated in World War I on the side of the Central Powers from 14 October 1915, when the country declared war on Serbia, until 30 September 1918, when the Armistice of Thessalonica came into effect.” (Wikipedia)

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

The unusual leggings are called Opankers and a dull brown woollen uniform was already in use amongst other ranks.

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Bulgarian Infantry information in Military Uniforms of the World in Colour

During basing and flocking, I managed not to obscure the well painted opanker leggings too much.

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Bulgarian troops in WW1 with distinctive foot gear (Wikipedia public domain image source)

So these Bulgarians were  part of the army that invaded and pushed back the Serbian army, whose soldiers  that Marvin at the Suburban Militarism blog has been  beautifully  painting recently, albeit in slightly larger 1:72 plastic figures.

https://suburbanmilitarism.wordpress.com/2018/01/28/soldiers-of-serbia/

Alongside the painted Peter Laing Bulgarians were some unpainted original figures of  Russian infantry and others in peaked caps that may be British, Russian or other figures.

With Peter Laing  figures details being so slight at 15mm size, there are a range of similar looking figures in similar helmets or soft and peaked  hats which are almost interchangeable with some suitable painting.

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Unpainted Peter Laing WW1 Russian infantry, F759 and officer F760, the originals of the Bulgarians and an artillery figure with shell British A703? Russian A728? German A711?

A suitbale painting guide for these figures as Russian WW1 infantry can also be found in the same uniform guide.

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Russian and Serbian infantry from Military Uniforms of The World in Colour.
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Useful uniform notes on WW1 Russian Infantry.

Amongst some of the other mixed figures were these artillerymen, one type medieval and the other Russian fur hatted artillery men.

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A749? Soviet Gunner kneeling with fur hat, flanked by medieval range A904 kneeling gunner.

There were also a couple of machine gunners. Not sure which nation or side the left  hand figure represents, the right hand figure may well be ANZAC machine gunner Fseven five two.

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With so few of these Russian figures it is difficult to know whether to paint the remaining nineteen unpainted infantry as Russians.

Alternatively I could paint most of them as Bulgarians  to make a small Bulgarian skirmish force of about thirty to thirty five figures to fight my British pith-helmeted infantry in a Macedonia or Balkan scenario, aided by the WWI Turkish infantry that I have.  The two uniforms are pretty close anyway to paint and use interchangeably with a bit of gamer’s licence. I may keep one figure back to use as a future mould original and one to paint as a Russian figure.

The Crazy Breed Known as Wargamers 1979

“I have an interest in war as a hobby as I am one of the crazy breed known as wargamers … more interested in uniforms and tactics than in death.”

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Another “crazy” excuses to put in a picture of a Featherstone ACW war game …

Radio 1 Mailbag 1979 – Wargames

Radio 1 Mailbag BBC Radio 1 England, 7 November 1979 19.00
Appears in Radio Times, Issue 2921, 1 November 1979, Page 68
Synopsis: Anne Nightingale features listeners’ letters on almost any subject.

A recent letter expressed the following views:
“I have an interest in war as a hobby as I am one of the crazy breed known as wargamers. (We play with toy soldiers using complex rules to recreate the intricacies of battle.) People may find our hobby morbid but we are more interested in the history of war (a very important part of our heritage) and not in killing.”

“Our style of fighting has the advantage that at the end of the battle the armies are packed away on to shelves, all living to fight another day whilst there are no metal or plastic widows to write to. We treat our hobby responsibly, being more interested in uniforms and tactics than in death.”
Programme Producer SIMON MAJOR. Send your problems, comments, questions and criticisms to: Radio 1 Mailbag BBC …      (November 1979)

BBC Written Archives source:

http://genome.ch.bbc.co.uk/33095e6cb3304114939d5ef6d37c6361

I found this whilst researching Donald Featherstone’s radio talks. It ends much in the same sentiment as Featherstone that whilst real war is no game,  that war gaming leaves no lead widows or orphans and there is no one braver than a lead  soldier.

“Herein is contained the basic material in the form of rules and advice that will enable very enjoyable games to be carried on, with no bloodshed , widows, orphans or nuclear weapons …”

“The hobby and its players have done much to enrich the life of the author … War games have brought a glimpse of pageantry and colour to the lives of their adherents, and put a merciful glamour over war, thus giving it a quality that it has never deserved and which, in the light of modern events, it is never likely to achieve.”

Preface to War Games (1962/1970) Donald Featherstone

In terms of  its pop style (“crazy breed”) and the choice of Radio 1 as a station it appears to be a letter written by a young person of school or student age, obviously concerned with both proudly promoting and defending the hobby.

I wonder whether there is now an ageing gamer who remembers writing this letter to the Radio 1 Mailbag?

Blogposted by Mark, Man of TIN 29 March 2018