Scene / seen from the Verdan border post, the attacking Grizan troops in grey
Cross posted from my sister blog Pound Store Plastic Warriors,
Scene / seen from the Verdan border post, the attacking Grizan troops in grey
Cross posted from my sister blog Pound Store Plastic Warriors,
This Cherilea German Infantry WW2 in dark green plastic with brown helmet, boots and webbing was from the early 1960s and was brittle and crumbling. It had so far lost an arm and part of a base.
I drilled, wire pinned and glued the back foot to the base. I then glued the base fragments to a new piece of mounting board (with magnet strip below to attach to a tuppenny base). This kept the fragment of Cherilea roundel logo on the base, visible for the future. As I made repairs I took a few rough photos on the repair desk as I went – not always best quality in great light but a rough notebook of work done.
What did the missing arm look like? Was the German surrendering? Did he have a rifle? A little web research was needed.
Looking up these original Cherilea figures on Barney Brown’s Herald Toys Website archive pages of sold items, I found these figures but in enemy grey, not my dark green. https://www.heraldtoysandmodels.co.uk/catalog/
These ‘German’ figures were a bit weirdly dressed compared to the more authentically uniformed Airfix and Britain’s Deetail German figures that I had grown up playing with. These 1960s Cherilea plastic issue figures of WW2 Germans had almost 1980s US or NATO “Fritz” helmets.
The green colour? Outside of deserts, German Infantry were made in grey plastic, Americans and British in green or khaki, as every 1960s/70s child knows. I noticed in several books that Britain’s hollowcast and other manufacturers produced their pre-war Grey German Infantry figures as post war green German Infantry, reflecting the Cold War changes in uniform? Were these supposed to be West German Infantry? Allies at last?
At first I thought the missing arm could be in the Hande Hoch! “Hands Up” surrender pose, one of those useless diorama poses along with ‘falling wounded’ beloved of toy soldier manufacturers in the 1950s to 1970s.
The surrender poses seem mostly confined to the enemy / Germans from 1950s and 1960s 60mm plastic down to 1970s OOHO Airfix Africa Korps version 2. The annoying waste of space wounded or dead diorama poses applied to figure sets of all nations.
Subtle propaganda reminder of Allied victory they may be, this was my limited childhood pocket money resources that the manufacturers were wasting on these and other useless diorama poses! I’m sure you could make a special thematic collection of useless enemy surrender poses. Such surrender poses exist from WW1 era with Germans wearing pickelhaube spiked helmets.
This gave me an idea of what the original figure was supposed to be like.
To get the arm sort of right, I gently drilled the missing arm and inserted a long enough piece of fine jeweller’s wire to make the arm and hand. Having built up the bulk of the arm with masking tape, I wrapped the remaining fine wire round a rifle length of thicker wire to make the rifle.
These could then be built up with strains of masking tape into the hand and the rifle shape. Triangular pieces of masking tape starting at the small end of the triangle wrap around to make the triangular rifle butt shape.
The final stages of the figure was painting and colour matching.
Bronze Green Revell Acrylic Aquacolour Matt was used to match the dark green plastic. Afrika Braun desert colour matched the old flesh.
Cherilea 60mm figure No. 2 Falling Wounded
The other Cherilea 60mm German WW2 Infantry was in the bizarre shot falling wounded category. The same drill, pin with wire and glue approach was needed. The rifle was barely attached in two places.
Cherilea 60mm Figure No. 2 in pieces
Again, Bronze Green and Afrika Braun desert colour Acrylic paints were used to roughly match the originals. Another Cherilea 60mm jigsaw of arms and legs repaired.
As these were the only two figures of this type I had in my childhood collection of these odd sized or oversized figures, I noticed a stray oversize Airfix Afrika Korps officer clone figure. He started life as a recent China made plastic parachute toy soldier. I quickly based and painted him up in the same green, flesh and leather brown gloss Acrylic colour to be their officer.
Hanks 70mm big hollowcast Indian
This Hanks early 70mm figure of an Indian* c. 1916 turned up in a job lot, missing an arm. Identified by its base marking and in Norman Joplin’s Great Book of HollowCast Figures, this has to be a ‘plus-sized’ oddity well over a hundred years old.
.* American Indian, Native American, First People – insert as appropriate.
Hanks Brothers’ hollow-cast figures were an early rival or pirate of William Britain’s figures, only made from 1893 through to the depression (1920s or 1930s?) Former employee of Britain’s, the Hanks brothers mostly made 54mm toy soldiers, with only a handful of 70mm figures.
Knowing this, I was unlikely to find a suitable recast or spare Hanks 70mm arm anywhere.
I made a quick rough arm through bending some old sparkler or garden wire into the rough arm length plus extra wire length for a tomahawk.
The arm was built up using masking tape in strips and a tomahawk blade made of masking tape too.
New arm tried on for size and fit.
Finally, I had to decide whether to repaint the whole figure or not. At the moment, I thought not.
A mixture of black and silver acrylic paint turned masking tape into bare old metal.
A few smudges of red, grey green and brown matched the worn paintwork of the original.
H. Hanks Copyright? in faint writing on the base above the hollowcast metal drain or pour holes.
It’s a functional repair, good enough for gaming, with some ‘double sided’ folding masking tape holding it to a tuppenny base, keeping the H. Hanks name visible on the base for the future.
A new arm almost as good as old? Big Chief Tom-ahawk Hanks, ready for action for the first time in decades again alongside 60mm plastic Indians.
Job done …
Blog posted by Mark Man of TIN 20/21 June 2020.
Fans of the BBC series The Repair Shop, a gentle hour’s watch of an evening, will appreciate the calmness of some quiet focussed mending.
I have been doing some gentle repair work in between Forest Indian / Close Little Wars skirmishes and reorganising my 54mm toy soldier storage into those handy stackable 4L Really Useful Boxes.
This reorganisation of most of my various junk shop and online job lot purchases into “like figures with like” boxes (Red Guards, Red Line Infantry, Scots, Cavalry, Bands, Blue enemies, Zulus, Cowboys, Indians, Khaki troops, Farm etc.) has revealed a slight repair backlog.
I can now joyfully look forward to many hundreds of hours of repair work on damaged men and horses over the next few years. I’m sure I will be putting in a new order for spare arms and heads from Mike Lewis at Dorset Model Soldiers sometime this year.
Mostly my repairs involve repairing or repurposing bashed old lead hollow-cast figures into game playable condition.
I frequently get emails asking if I will repair someone’s toy soldiers or animals that belonged to their father, grandfather etc. Regretfully I explain that my repairs are functional and to my own rough and ready standards for gaming, not professional repairs.
For a change from 54mm lead hollowcast figures, I decided to work on some fragile crumbling 1960s plastic figures, including oversize 60mm ones. Some of these have hung around in our family collection since my childhood. They never quite fitted with the Airfix others, so were usually left unloved in the toy box.
These four figures are Cherilea plastic 60mm WW2 Paratroopers c. 1960.
The two figures on the left have the look of French Resistance fighters, if any really damaged ones ever need a repaint. One of these needed the machine gun barrel repaired.
The grenade throwing figure needs a replacement hand and grenade built up from Fimo polymer clay, masking tape, glue gun or Multipose Airfix spares.
Over the past few years, a few more odd oversized ones have turned up in job lots, so slowly I have enough for a small skirmish game or two of khaki Infantry, Redcoats, Indians, American Civil War or Wild West.
I should be able to run soon a small Close Little Wars game in the Forest of Indians versus Troops (grey, khaki, Redcoat or blue), cowboys etc.
To identify these figures, apart from base markings, I have used Barney Brown’s Herald Toys web shop archive pages of sold figures:
This post is for Brian Carrick of the Collecting Toy Soldiers blog and 1980s Big Wars article who says at the moment in a previous comment he feels like one of these brittle plastic figures – get well soon, hope the broken leg is mending well!
Blog posted by Mark, Man of TIN on 19 /20 June 2020
Hong Kong marked broken ‘Elastolin style’ Ancient warrior to rearm and repair, alongside my Cherilea ‘Viking’ as I have always called him.
The Cherilea ‘Viking’ over the years had lost spear, sword scabbard and finally one helmet horn. The spear and scabbard were roughly repaired with wire (old sparkler wire). The damaged helmet and missing horn was more difficult. A piece of foam and the round end of an old paintbrush were superglued into place. After painting, these should blend in.
For family household allergy reasons, I do not usually use epoxy fillers, Milliput or Green Stuff for figure repairs. Instead I improvise with PVA, UHU glue, matchsticks, cocktail sticks, wire, tissue paper, masking tape, superglue, Fimo polymer clay amongst other things such as cast metal 54mm spare heads, arms etc.
Cherilea plastic 60mm ‘Viking’ figure, an oversized oddity of my childhood.
One of the odd one out figures of my childhood, this oversize 60mm sized ‘Viking’ in my family’s collection may have arrived sometime in the 1960s/early 1970s in company with this pegleg pirate, which also needed repair from wear and tear.
Both oversized figures probably came from a job lot of odd plastic figures that my late Dad bought us all from the family next door in the 1960s once their children were grown up.
I kept them as crumbling curios. With so few and such weird choices of oversized figures, it was hard to fit them into games. Viking versus Pirate? Pirate versus Cowboy or Indian?
This fine 60mm Long John Silver figure by now had suffered a broken base, missing crutch and pegleg. A tuppeny base and garden or sparkler wire inserts wrapped in masking tape were secured with superglue. Not sure of maker, the base was so damaged.
Like Weebles and many other plastic figures in our house from the early 1970s, a basic Airfix grey home paint job needs replacing with something better.
Size and scale comparison of Lemax Christmas Village figures (big 1:32) with 60mm Indians – a source of civilian figures?
Identifying some of these Crescent and other 60mm figures is made easier by the great photos at Barney Brown’s Herald Toys and Models http://www.heraldtoysandmodels.co.uk/catalog/index.php?cPath=26
A growing war band of 60mm Indians – I may leave the well worn paint as found on some of these. The front one is repaired Crescent, the others are unknown makers, the bases marked with a round circle with a pattern of dots and lines.
I hope that I can gently use these Indian figures with some ACW and cowboy figures for a Forest Indian oversized figure skirmish in the next few weeks. This might be the first time in decades that they have seen any play action.
Two red painted oddities from my childhood, a Crescent 54mm or 1:32 scale Friar Tuck and a ACW or 7th Cavalry 60mm plastic podfoot. We must have had a surplus of red gloss or a shortage of other paint at home. Well worth a repaint, especially so Tuck can rejoin my other 54mm Robin Hood figures.
The unmarked seventh cavalry type figure was unstable as a podfoot so I have added a tuppenny base.
Downsized back to 54mm figures now
The last three figures came from joblots and from amongst the wider family – original Airfix 1:32 paratroopers from 1969 that I never saw or knew of as a child. I was familiar with their poses from the smaller OO/HO Airfix paratroop figures.
Fragile early Airfix 1:32 paratroopers 1960s, repairs to one’s fractured legs and missing SMG. The damaged one will get a repaint or paint job.
These crumbling, fragile plastic figures, where broken, needed careful keying or roughing up of the broken joint areas with a scalpel tip and gentle pin drill holes with an insert of very fine jewellery wire. Finally masking tape covered difficult joins or damage. This one damaged figure has both cut marks (lawnmower?) and teeth marks!
More about these first 1968/69 54mm figures here at Hugh Walter’s excellent Small Scale World plastic figure blog including pictures of all the 1:32 poses –
Repro cardboard Airfix brown boxes are available on eBay in Australia!
More figures on the repair and repaint desk next time include a jigsaw of arms and legs that were once oversized 60mm plastic paratroops and a 54mm Timpo Napoleonic British standard bearer in bits.
No crumbling plastic man left behind!
Blogposted by Mark Man of TIN, 19 June 2020.
Crossposted on my Pound Store Plastic Warriors blog
May 25th – it is Memorial Day Weekend in America (thanks VSF for the reminder),
it’s also Geek Pride Day (anniversary of Star Wars, various Sci-fi Discworld and Hitchhiker’s Guide links etc), which we have celebrated here over the last few years:
… which means it’s my Fourth Blogaversary of Man of TIN blog.
Happy Blogaversary to Me! Thanks for reading and all your comments, ideas, interest and support.
“A Romantic Forest Walk, Interrupted” is the follow up duelling skirmish suggested by Tony Adams after reading my recent Forest Indians vs Redcoats skirmish posted yesterday:
North Gondal Forests, 1870s somewhere near Fort MacGuffin
Fed up with the security lockdown at the Fort MacGuffin, our feisty frontier heroine Miss Kate MacGuffin persuades the Fort’s founder and commanding officer, her father Major MacGuffin to reluctantly let her out of its confines for an afternoon’s plant and herb collecting in the Forest to restock the Fort’s medicine chest.
Unaccompanied botanising would be too risky with aggrieved Forest Indians Hunting in the forest, and “The Major’s Daughter” would be a fine hostage and bargaining chip. So young Captain Snortt, hero of the hour and commander of the Besieged Wagon Skirmish, is entrusted with accompanying Kate and keeping watch over her as her guide, guard and chaperone. A very different Wheel Meet Again scenario indeed!
Well met again, Miss MacGuffin and Captain Snortt set off hiking through forest glades with their collecting basket, stout walking poles and her faithful dog Patch. They intend to stay near the Fort but enjoying each other’s company a little too much, they lose track of time and the blazed forest trails.
Lost? Not to worry, says the Captain.
Suddenly from out of the forest behind them burst a small deer, pursued by a Forest Indian Hunting Party.
Both parties stared at each other for a split second.
The deer fled but a fine hunting prize this hostage would make.
All that Miss MacGuffin and Captain Snortt have to defend themselves is his sword, their two hiking staffs, her revolver and whatever else they can find around them.
All set for a duelling skirmish where a valuable live hostage is at stake!
The Brontes maybe, but the redcoat Militia and heroines in Jane Austen all dressed up for balls were never like this, except maybe with zombies, and the books are all the poorer for it in my opinion.
Previously on duelling skirmishes, some fine blogposts, borrowed rules and entertaining Bartitsu Youtube videos – Suffrajitzu anyone?
And Happy Geek Pride Day
“I didn’t choose the Geek Life … the Geek Life chose me.”
Blog posted by Mark Man of TIN, fourth Blogaversary, 25 May 2020
The Forests of North Gondal, 1870. A stranded wagon, its wheel off and axle broken. Awaiting rescue and surrounded, the small group of defenders listen to their Captain.
Captain Snortt of the Yestershires is busy briefing his Redcoats, drawing lines in the surface of the Forest Road with his swordpoint.
The Forest Road is a glorified name for a track to the Forest Fort and old Trading Post Fort MacGuffin to the North. Its edges were cleared of timber to make the Fort itself and also make it easier to spot an ambush.
Invading and clearing their sacred forests and hunting grounds had caused tension with the usually peaceful Forest Indians who over the years had traded and stolen many Redcoat muskets and rifles.
Snortt: “We can expect reinforcements to march from the Fort to the North here, unless Ambushed en route. Forest Indians may well appear from here and here to the East, as well as travelling in from the West. We will keep a sentry posted in cover at each point of the compass.”
Snortt: “On first sight of the enemy, fire when you sight them. Whilst it will reveal your location, we need to keep them at a distance and away from accurately counting our numbers. We need to keep them at long range and stop them from closing in too quickly. They will be sounding us out. We need to give them an idea that we have troops all around the perimeter.”
“Only when they are too close and you are likely to be surrounded, may you fall back towards the wagon using what cover you can.”
Snortt: “Meanwhile, Private Fuller and you Miss MacGuffin will remain with the wagon and try to fix the axle and wheel whilst we wait for the repair team and reinforcements from the fort. Miss MacGuffin has also volunteered along with myself to make sure you have enough ammunition.”
“We also have taken off the Wagon two small barrels of gunpowder supplied for the Fort’s cannons that we can explode if we need.”
“Good luck, Men. To your posts. You too, Miss MacGuffin.”
Snortt saluted Major MacGuffin’s daughter and hurried off to post his few men at compass points around the Wagon.
Thus began the desperate situation of the Yestershire Regiment’s daily supply column to Fort MacGuffin, broken down with a damaged wheel and axle, stranded at the plank bridge. The Forest Indian Drums have been heard and glimpses of movement amongst the trees.
Read Post 1 The Set Up and Scenario in full:
Addressing his Braves and Hunting Parties – Forest Indian Chief Old Wooden Legs
A big 54mm game in a small space.
Post 2: The Skirmish
Forest Indian Chief Old Wooden Legs spoke to his assembled braves, now arriving in the grove, from hunting parties across their forest.
Translation of Old Wooden Legs’ words: “I will split you into three groups, one to travel north and circle round to delay any reinforcements and appear to the North and the West side.
“The other two hunting parties will split up and approach through the trees and stream valley to their East.”
“We will raid their supplies, take civilian hostages to barter with the Redcoats and make the Forest Fort Warriors fearful of their supply wagons being attacked again.”
“They rely too much on their slow beast of two wheels, rather than hunting the swift beasts on four legs. The Redcoats are foolish and have not learned to live off the land as we can without destroying it.”
“When they see we can strike without warning and melt away again into the trees like spirits of the mist, maybe then they will become fearful and wise enough to leave our Forests in peace and return to their own places.”
“To your places and may the hunting go well with you!”
The Forest Indians disappeared back into the forest.
Pre-dice roll depositions
2xD6 thrown to decide when the Forest Fort reinforcements will arrive from the North forest road. On Turn 6, Snortt’s reinforcements will arrive on foot at the northern baseline at 4A.
The Forest Indians do not know how many soldiers there are with the wagon or how many will be sent to rescue them.
Snortt did not send the Major’s daughter back to the safety of the Fort on horseback as he did not know if his rider will got through with the message until he hears two of the Forest Fort guns fired in recognition. The Forest Indians will also have heard this sound echoing down the valley.
The Relief Party is setting out on foot. There is a shortage of horses and pack animals in general in Gondal in 1870 due to the ‘Tropical Yorkshire’ North Pacific climate and the horse sickness, horses not being native to the island or the four kingdoms of Gondal. The Forest Indians have become adept at stealing and hiding those horses that are imported and bred.
D6 are thrown for letter and number coordinates on the map
Forest Indian Hunting Party 1 starts out from map point D1 on Turn 1.
Hunting Party 2 from map point D4, starting out on Turn 6.
Hunting Party 3 from map point 4C starting out on Turn 10.
Wheel takes 1xd6 turns to repair once the Engineer arrives, in this case six turns.
D6 to decide if the Redcoat Relief Party appearing at Turn 6 is in one or two groups and how many turns apart. D6 1,3, 5 Apart or d6 2,4,6 Together. Dice roll says – They will arrive together.
Close Little Wars Rules tweak 1
Playing on a small corner table 2 foot by 4 foot meant that the generous Wells and Featherstone movement rates of 9 to 12 inches were too big and the game would come to blows too fast. This is stealthy forest movement in cluttered terrain of logs and hills, marsh and swamp. I simply cut movement rates and terrain modifiers in half but kept all weapons ranges the same. The effect is of halving each turn into two turns to reflect short skirmish times.
Going up hills, across streams and marshes really does cut into rapid movement.
Firing from cover or sometimes blindly at cover in confined spaces and cluttered terrain of Bold Frontiers trees, hills and streams requires the dice modifiers of casualty savings throws and extras for cover or no cover. Bullets and arrows get blocked by trees and rocks.
If firer is undercover and target in open, 5 or 6 scores a hit.
Casualty Savings Throws if hit
4, 5,6 – slightly / not wounded, carries on
3, 4, 5, 6 – If target undercover, slightly / not wounded, carries on.
Turn 1 and Turn 2
Close Wars rules. IGOYUGO. Dice thrown for A who moves first, sort out melee, B who moves second, sort out melee, A shoots first, B shoots second. End of Turn.
Redcoats assume their compass positions in cover around the wagon as centre. Sentries at N, NW, E, SE, S, SW and W.
Forest Indian Hunting Party move off from D1 towards wooded hill at B1 /C1.
No shooting – none within range.
First firing by Redcoat sentries to East of wagon – several hits on Forest Indians along the stream bed B3/C3. One killed, others saved by casualty savings throws.
Further exchanges of fire between both sides sees another Forest Indian killed by the stream.
Both parts of Hunting Party 1 are now moving in from the stream bed and downhill from the wooded hill, firing on the Redcoat sentries at E and SE positions. The Redcoat sentry at East by the stream is killed. Third Indian in the stream bed area is killed by Redcoat fire.
However three Forest Indians are closing in on the wagon, close to sentry posts around the E and SE positions.
Aware of the risk, Captain Snortt and Miss MacGuffin draw rifles from the wagon and stand behind it, ready to see off any marauding Forest Indians from raiding the supplies and taking Miss MacGuffin hostage.
Relief party of the Yestershires sighted in the distance on the road coming up the hill.
However the immediate threat remains the three Forest Indians getting close to the wagon. Two Indians engage the Redcoat sentry at SE (the Redcoat with the turban) in Melee.
Point markers for duelling from the old Heroscape Game.
Redcoat sentries to the southeast engage in hand to hand duelling with rifles and bayonets. Three life points given to each, attacker is the Indian. Card each detailing at random which blows and blocking blows are dealt are hit points removed. The Redcoat Sentry at SE sees off first one Indian, then the second Indian closes in.
Melee Duel 2 – cards reset, melee begins and one of the random cards sees the second Forest Indian retreat, his weapon broken.
Over the next few turns, the retreating Indian heads back up the wooded hill for safety to join Chief Old Wooden Legs, where he looks to pick up a spare musket or rifle from one of his fallen comrades.
The sentry due south on the road rushes over to cover the fallen E. sentry and is brought down by the Indian archer.
However Captain Snortt and Miss MacGuffin steady their rifles from behind the wagon and aim at the archer. He is brought down by Captain Snortt’s first shot, removing the nearest threat to the wagon and its defenders.
The Redcoat Relief Party of the Yestershires passes the Fallen Tree across the road. The black helmeted section spread out into the trees, whilst the white helmeted section head up the road to surround the wagon. Amongst them you can glimpse the Fort Engineer in his bush hat, ready to fix the wagon axle and wheel over the next six turns.
The Forest Indian Hunting Party 2, who set off at Turn 6, continue up the stream valley closer into range. They are now outnumbered by the Relief Party.
The Forest Indian Hunting Party 2 in the stream bed fire at the Redcoat sentries at long range but fail to kill one. Fire is returned and two further Indians are brought down.
The chief Old Wooden Legs notices that his forces are now down close to half strength, even with the third Hunting Party due to appear at Turn 10. Should he call them and recall them to fight another day?
A further exchange of fire between the remaining Indians on the Stream valley, including a Redcoat grenade being thrown. There was one further Indian dead, with no further Redcoat casualties, once casualty savings throws and being undercover taken into consideration.
The Redcoat Relief Party and Fort Engineer cross the bridge and begin work on repairing the wheel.
The Indian Chief calls to the Hunting Party 2 and 3 to retreat as they are now past 50% casualties and outnumbered.
The Redcoats fire upon these retreating Indians in the stream valley and bring down these three Indian. The battle is over – for now.
The shadowy stream valley of death …
Whilst the wagon is repaired, the Redcoat reinforcements keep watch on the trees, quickly bury the native dead and recover the native rifles.
Turn 11 onwards.
The Forest Indians regroup further in the woods. Snortt keeps his sentries posted watching for further attacks.
Will there be another attack from different directions?
Snortt keeps his troops quiet and watchful. It’s not over yet until they reach the Fort.
He thinks – There are no signal drums.
The forest sounds of trees and birdsong return amongst the sound of the wheel and axle being fixed.
They know we are still stranded. The Forest Indians will be watching and listening. The Forest is always full of eyes and ears.
Will they face further ambush and sniping on the road ahead?
The Chief recalls his remaining Warriors. They will return to retrieve their dead warriors after dark.
Later that evening
Back at Fort MacGuffin as he writes his report by oil lamp for Headquarters, Snortt reflects on the day and how things went.
From this – the stranded wagon and brave cool Miss MacGuffin …
Captain Snortt and the Major’s daughter Miss MacGuffin as ASC Private Fuller helps the Fort Engineer mend the wheel
To this – Relief or Rescue – and the wagon fixed, his young passenger safe with only two privates dead. Things could have been very different.
Miss Macguffin’s secret weapon … whilst her Guard dog Patch hopes Snortt has biscuits or a ball.
A Captain may dream of promotion – and other things …
I have a feeling we have not heard the end of Captain Snortt of the Yestershires, Miss MacGuffin and the aggrieved Forest Indians of Gondal led by Chief Old Wooden Legs.
The Forest returns to quietness and wild animals – for now.
Eagle-eyed readers may have spotted that I have painted in the top of the shorter flat tree markers with green and white Acrylic paint, as they show when photographed from above.
Close Little Wars Scenario Post-mortem – initial thoughts
Playing solo, I had to work hard not to have favourites. I wanted both sides to succeed in their aims. If in doubt, a dice decided.
The opening turns for the Redcoats were those of stand and wait in cover until first contact and melee, but playing as solo player and umpire, I had to assume for the storyline that the Redcoats could be attacked from any angle and Snortt could not weaken any one side.
The presence of the delayed third Hunting Party who could loop in at the top North and attack from the NW or NE or engage the Relief column had to be borne in mind by Snortt.
Had the outcome of the dice throw for the arrival of the Relief Party been different, say for example Turn 6 plus 1d6, the game could have had a very different outcome.
Firing through cover and related savings throws had a big influence on the events. Strength of numbers and some lucky dice throws (or excellent shooting) made things easier for the Redcoats.
Melee – Duelling by cards – made it feel in places like a skirmish game.
I wish I had taken time to name the initial Redcoats and Forest Indian Hunting Parties, instead of talking about the SE or NW Sentry.
The lumps and bumps of the cluttered terrain of Bold Frontiers trees, book hills and felt streams (with attendant movement modifiers) works well for me. It slows down movement as it would in real life and provides a longer lasting target for concealed riflemen.
Judging Line of Sight (LOS) from the character’s eyeline in cluttered forest was tricky. I used a small mirror from a Christmas cracker to help me see what they could see.
Using a 12 inch ruler in cluttered forest terrain was tricky at times. A ruler half that size would help.
50% loss of strength as part of the Victory Conditions governed the retreat by Forest Indians.
An enjoyable and fulfilling solo skirmish game ImagiNations scenario of which I feel we have not heard the end.
I hope you have enjoyed the game, the terrain and the build up. I look forward to hearing reader’s thoughts and reflections.
Blog posted by Mark, Man of TIN, 24 May 2020.
The set up
Redcoats of the Yestershire Regiment versus the aggrieved Forest Indians – Forests of North Gondal, North Pacific Coasts, 1870s.
A supply wagon to the Forest Fort has broken down. The Redcoat escort also protecting a civilian passenger, the Major’s Daughter Kate MacGuffin …
The game is now played – I am writing up the Skirmish / Battle Report this weekend.
Who won? Who lost? Who survived?
What happened to Captain Snortt and the Major’s Daughter?
Did the Rescue Party from the Fort arrive in time?
Watch this blog space!
Blog posted by Mark Man of TIN, 23 May 2020
Eighty years ago today 14 May 1940 was the founding day of the Local Defence Volunteers, the LDV or the “Look Duck and Vanish” as some unkindly folk called them – you might now them by their Churchillian rebrand as “The Home Guard”.
Here is the text of Anthony Eden’s original radio appeal for volunteers on the evening of 14 May 1940 – http://www.staffshomeguard.co.uk/J1GeneralInformatonEden.htm
It would take another twenty five years and a TV sitcom for them to earn their modern nickname of “Dad’s Army.”
Over my last forty odd years or more of shoving tiny plastic figures meaningfully around a felt covered tabletop, vaguely inspired by historical events, the Home Guard has been a World War Two theme that I have often returned to.
Small numbers of Airfix German Paratroops and Infantry frequently encountered the lightly armed Airfix British infantry who were my “Dad’s Army” figures, invading some fictional village or small town, lashed together from spare buildings and scenery borrowed from my model railway making family. Sadly, being the 1970s, no photographs exist of these tiny titanic struggles.
After the 1984 40th anniversary, gaming D-Day with my Airfix landing craft felt a little too close in history. It was well within living memory. My game scenarios often shifted and reversed then to a British setting for the familiar Airfix Beach Head and Coastal Fort play-sets, manned by spindly Airfix British Infantry seeing off tankloads and Landing Craft loads of determined Germans and, after 1976, OO/HO German Paratroops.
Watching the Dad’s Army movie and episodes, then and now often on TV, obviously had some influence on my childhood games. So too did the glimpse of the odd pillbox, dragons teeth by the railway line and occasional blank .303 bullet, found with a metal detector.
The fact that Britain wasn’t invaded keeps the tabletop game of war as one of “what if?” historical fantasy, rather than gaming people’s lived experience as I grew up.
Growing up in the 1970s, there were plenty of older men and women around who lived through the war as children, civilians or service personnel, my evacuee parents included, some of whom had unpleasant experiences.
I wish now I had spoken to them more about this period of history but the general rule of “getting on” and “putting it behind you” meant that if they didn’t readily tell, you didn’t ask. As an older child, I slowly felt slightly conflicted that I did not want to trivialise their real-lived and often unpleasant experiences of war into my ‘games of toy soldiers’.
The Home Guard and the early war period of Operation Sea Lion, preparing for the invasion of Britain that thankfully never happened, were a different matter.
These Sealion and Home Guard games were in many ways an Imagi-Nation of Britain in 1940 and 1941 in much the same nostalgic way many railway layouts are a fictionalised portrait of “Britain in Steam in the 30s to 50s”. “The past” as L.P. Hartley wrote in The Go Between (1953) is a “foreign country, they do things differently there.”
What happened during four years from 1940 to stand down in late 1944 was effectively a series of mostly realistic gaming scenarios, live action role play, played with a deadly earnest and a determined purpose. These are set out in Home Guard training manuals (and often form the episodes of Dad’s Army, drawn out by Mainwaring in chalk on his black board ).
Dad’s Army at the same time on TV also gave me a key that it was possible to explore this invasion scenario in a respectful but imaginative way. It also gave the strong impression of the boredom, bravery and occasional buffoonery of service life.
The training against other Home Guard patrols and regular troops also gives some interesting possibilities for “non-lethal warfare”.
Adapting rules to Home Guard “non-lethal training exercises” against other Home Gaurd or regular units as “the enemy” should prove interesting.
These non-lethal training exercises are quite similar to the Scouting Wide Games that I have also been exploring on the Tabletop, working with fellow blogger and Tabletop gamer Alan Gruber, Tradgardmastre of the Duchy of Tradgardland.
I posted recently about Wide Games in Richmond Park based on a fabulous map drawn up by the First World War version of Dad’s Army, the Volunteer Training Corps (VTC) (dubbed at the time Grandad’s Rejects, Grandad’s Army or Gorgeous Wrecks).
Alan has also been posting recently about gaming the Home Guard.
The inscription reads: “For Freedom. This seat and the path leading to it thereto have been provided as a memorial to the men of the Number [1?] Company (Falmouth) Home Guard who during 1940, 41, 42, 43, 44, after their day’s work, nightly patrolled this coast armed and vigilant against German landings. Thus they watched 1000 dawns appear across these great waters which form our country’s moat.”
There are some excellent reprints of Home Guard manuals around, a short Shire History volume and some great resources for your local area about the Auxiliary Units of the Home Guard from Coleshill House, the British Resistance Archive.
The Home Guard look to be a suitable focus for future WW2 themed games.
As my free 3 Gigabytes of Man of TIN blog on WordPress are now three quarters full or used with photos since 2016, I will give “Look Duck and Varnish” WW2 Home Guard Games for the Tabletop their own separate blogspot as needed, as I have done with Scouting Wide Games for the Tabletop:
There are many excellent training scenarios to try out and even a section in the Home Guard Manual 1941 on military use of the Sand Table for training games with a map and scenario, explored here https://lookduckandvarnish.wordpress.com/2020/05/14/gaming-the-home-guard-with-sand-tables-1941/
Now where do I source some cheap OO or 54mm Nuns for my next Home Guard game? Typical Shabby Nazi Trick!
The Home Guard 1940 – 1944, Brave men (and women) all.
Blog posted by Mark Man of TIN on the 80th anniversary of the LDV / Home Guard forming on 14 May 1940.
Work in progress … Minutemen from the 1960s 1970s Lucky Products USA
My thoughts recently have been about redcoats and simple Featherstone rules like Close Wars, about painting what I own that I have bought in the past and put away for future occasions (though who would have envisaged our Lockdown situations?)
My scratch / scrap Napoleonics and Tricorne figures in 15mm had no Forest Indian opponents and I had no great wish to buy even more 15mm figures during the Lockdown. Instead I looked through my hoard for some odd-looking plastic flat Indian and Redcoat figures that I had bought for Close Wars and put away unpainted for a rainy day.
US comic book artist Russ Heath’s illustration c. 1961 https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Russ_Heath
On the painting table this week but not finished are a box of Revolutionary War Lucky Products Comic Book Soldiers from the USA in the 1960s/70s. I was intrigued by these crude 30mm plastic flat figures in their rare appearance on U.K. eBay, so bought them quite cheaply. I have not seen any ‘this side of the Pond’ recently.
Eventually I tracked down what they were, thanks to Doug Shand’s website.
Doug sets out pictures and comments on each of the flat figures, as well as the later smaller rounded figures, along with some superb old adverts which tell you how many figures there should be and what the poses are meant to be.
This Boy and Girl are very happy with their $1.98 toys! 99 cents each?
Many children were apparently disappointed with what 2D flat figures they eventually received. https://web.archive.org/web/20061225135945/http://home.att.net/~1.elliott/comicbooktoysoldiersintro.html
This website interview with comic book artist the late Russ Heath claimed “Surprisingly, Russ never actually saw any of the Toy Soldiers themselves! However, he knew they were Flats and he certainly heard about them. He says “No, I never saw them [the Toy Soldiers.] You know it’s funny, I got letters too that they forwarded to me from the company and everybody was bitching, they said ‘they’re not three dimensional, they’re only in relief [2D Flats] and it was really a rotten thing to do to the kids’. (laughs) Perhaps in his own humorous defense, Russ says “I tried to make, especially with the Revolutionary Soldiers Ad, I tried to make them look somewhat stiff and like the soldiers [Flats] would look.”
What I liked about these plastic flat figures was their curious cartoon or 18th Century print appearance, rather like these Revolutionary War ones in 1775. To both Doug and myself, the look as if these were satirical prints designed by Rowlandson or Gillray. The figures also really do look curiously like these American prints by Amos Doolittle.
So this Pinterest haul and web search, along with several Ladybird classics such as Soldiers and The Last of The Mohicans, gave me an idea a little of how I want these figures to look.
These redcoats are not specific but generic redcoats like my 15mm Coastguard Excisemen of previous posts. The rigorous uniform research I have done these include Ladybird book of Soldiers here:
I did look in Preben Kannik’s Military Unicorns of The World (sorry, Uniforms) and other Blandford books but wanted to keep these Redcoat / Tricorne era figures loose and generic.
I don’t expect to find any Lucky ‘Flat’ Revolutionary War figures easily and cheaply anytime soon in the UK. So I will make use of what I have and in time paint a small detachment of these figures as white coated French Infantry, along with some gun crews and the few Hesseans or redcoat Grenadiers. The cavalry are a little bit on the small side.
There are too many of some poses. Spare officers could make some gun crew. There are probably enough spare drummers and fifers to make up a small military band for some fun.
This gives me a range of small skirmish units for Close Wars in the forest.
I also liked these generic Redcoat / tricorne soldiers endpapers by Peter Spier in his Crash Bang Boom! Picture book (c.1973)
Not sure how much detail of lace or buttons etc I will manage with these 30mm flat figures or how to get that 18th Century Print look. They certainly won’t be the exquisitely painted flats I see online as these plastic flats will be roughing and tumbling on the games table and hopefully out in the garden. They arrived playworn, with engrained mud on some bases so I am glad they have already had a previous play life.
Close Wars usually requires a cluttered forest terrain. Throw in some stylised or stylish trees like the interesting card ones from Bold Frontiers of Australia or the ones on the painting table which are simple paint your own Made of Wood ones, a present bought for me from a local craft shop at Christmas.
Undercoated wooden craft shop forest trees WIP
Blog posted by Mark Man of TIN, 9 / 10 May 2020