Donald Featherstone a 2013 tribute from his old club Southampton FC

I missed this post first time round. Donald Featherstone’s professional career and early work as an author was as a physiotherapist on work, dance and sports injuries.

Here is the club tribute to him by David Bull from 2013, copied in case this website post disappears.

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Saints Official Historian David Bull remembers Don Featherstone, the club’s physio in the 1950s, who has just died. 

https://www.southamptonfc.com/news/2013-09-18/don-featherstone-an-appreciation

Main pic: Physio Don Featherstone manipulates the knee of full-back Bill Ellerington, while manager George Roughton looks on.

Don Featherstone, who has died aged 95, was the club’s physio at a troublesome time in the Saints’ history.

After war-service in the Royal Armoured Corps, Don was practising physiotherapy in his native London, hoping ‘very much to get into sport.’ He had spent a couple of years at the Athletes Clinic in Harley Street; and then, when AIK Stockholm visited London in November 1949, to play Chelsea and Arsenal, he acted as their physio during their stay.

For the 1950-51 season, Don was the first-team trainer to Hounslow Town in the Corinthian League and was writing a column, in Topical Times, on sports injuries. When that magazine received an advert from Southampton FC for a physio, the editor shared it with Don in advance of publication.

Thus given a head-start, Don dispatched a one-page letter of application-cum-cv. He didn’t’ mess about. He told the club that only two Hounslow players had missed a match through injury and the team had gone 17 weeks, unchanged – not bad, he suggested, for a part-time physio, treating injuries two evenings a week and an occasional Sunday morning. Just think what he might achieve, working full-time. Don told the Southampton directors that he’d appreciate a club-house and ‘a salary on a level with the basic pay of First Team players.’  

He was appointed forthwith and started work in August 1951. It was an odd set-up, under Sid Cann, a former Manchester City and Charlton Athletic player who had qualified as a masseur. He had been Southampton’s masseur-cum-assistant trainer for three seasons, until the manager Bill Dodgin left in 1949. Of three internal candidates, Cann landed the vacancy. But trainer Sam Warhurst, an unsuccessful applicant, was still there. A former Saints goalkeeper, he didn’t have a lot of time for Featherstone, with his ‘new-fangled’ ways. At least Don felt that he got on well with the players, including the all-powerful captain, Joe Mallett – the “Godfather”, as Don saw it.

It was Mallett who tipped Don off about an odd development in December 1951. The side had been having a poor run, including an 8-2 defeat at Bury, when Cann resigned. So the Board apparently decided that, while they no longer wanted him as manager, it would be good to retain him as the physio, in which case Featherstone would have to go. Cann, to his credit, was having none of that.

So Don remained until 1955, when the chairman advised him that, despite his ‘excellent work’, the club’s ‘difficult financial situation’ required ‘the utmost economy’, which included dispensing with his services. Don was not without work – he had a private clinic round the corner from The Dell – but when Ted Bates became the manager in October 1955, Don did ask for his job back. 

Bates continued to plead that the club had no money. Before long, Don realised that his dismissal ‘was the best thing that ever happened’ to him.

He was soon writing books on physiotherapy and then branched out into military history and war-gaming, a field in which he would become an internationally-renowned author, with 40-odd titles to his name. 

DONALD FREDERICK FEATHERSTONE

20 March 1918 – 3 September 2013

https://www.southamptonfc.com/news/2013-09-18/don-featherstone-an-appreciation

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I have written a little about his early / other career:

https://manoftinblog.wordpress.com/2017/12/11/donald-featherstones-unusual-take-on-casualties-and-campaigns/

My small Featherstone “Saints” Southampton FC physio centenary tribute using Airfix 1:32 footballers in 2018 – I’m sure the Don wore a suit and tie and not a tracksuit.

https://manoftinblog.wordpress.com/2018/03/20/donald-featherstones-centenary/

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This blog post was incidentally inspired by this Dunfermline FC inspired one:

http://prometheusinaspic.blogspot.com/2022/01/hooptedoodle-420-whence-pars.html

And my 2020 blog chat with Marvin @ Suburban Militarism

https://suburbanmilitarism.wordpress.com/2020/10/22/return-of-the-macc/

Blog posted by Mark Man of TIN, 16 January 2022

The benefits of 15mm scale explained to the ’little woman’ in your life? Some early Peter Laing adverts in Wargamers Newsletter 1970s

I have spent a blustery wet day today inside in the dry and warm, reading through the superb website of scanned Donald Featherstone’s Wargamers Newsletters.

I have been searching for Peter Laing adverts and reviews from the early 70s, looking at how the new scale and ranges of 15mm figures by the “industrious” Peter Laing rapidly emerged.

https://collectingpeterlaing15mmfigures.wordpress.com/some-peter-laing-adverts/

One of the oddest Peter Laing adverts so far was December 1973 typed advert (above) about the benefits of 15mm and the first six figure series or ranges totalling 100s of items that Peter Laing produced in his first year!

“If she * (the little woman – Mum – the Wife – the Girl Friend – or the better half!) complains that your army or collection is taking up too much room (or you are spending too much money) then Peter Laing’s figures could be the answer …”

https://collectingpeterlaing15mmfigures.wordpress.com/2022/01/08/peter-laing-15mm-wargamers-newsletter-december-1973-the-little-woman-the-benefits-of-15mm-and-the-new-colonial-600-series/

Peter Laing 15mm Colonial figures (including bagpiper) – the unusual route to marital bliss?

I wonder what Mrs Laing – Wife – Better Half – etc thought of the advert?

These “Little Women” in Peter Laing’s life didn’t emerge for a few more years in the Late Victorian Parade Range (and probably ACW and Indian Mutiny Series).

By Christmas 1973, interest was growing in the new smaller scales of 15mm and 5 or 6mm. Minifigs has also by then launched a 15mm and 5mm Range.

In December 1973 I was still literally cutting my teeth at “Floor Games” level on larger plastic Airfix figures. Ten years later c. 1982/83 I would be buying my first Peter Laing ECW figures with my pocket money and paper round earnings.

This cataloguing and celebrating my Peter Laing figures (all now sadly out of production) is one of my ongoing 2022 projects and New Gaming Year’s Irresolutions, counting down towards the 50th anniversary of the first figures in October / November 2022.

Why do this? Pertly it’s because Peter Laing never produced an illustrated catalogue before the range vanished in the late 80s / early 90s when he retired. Now the moulds have sadly vanished.

Fellow Peter Laing collectors from the MeWe Peter Laing collectors circle have already started to contribute photos of figures or ranges I don’t have and sometimes figures I have never seen.

https://collectingpeterlaing15mmfigures.wordpress.com

The first advert October / November 1972 Military Modelling (Ian Dury collection)

Blog posted by Mark Man of TIN blog, 8th January 2022

Paint it Red or Paint it Black?

Anyone else play period themed music whilst they paint? I often play themed music whilst I’m painting Toy Soldiers, usually music from the period

Today’s first painting day of the year saw me listening to a mixture of 90s Skate Punk and Spanish Armada music.

A curious mix, I hear you say?

but then I was was basing Vat 19 Skateboarders for my Skrafiti project – so Avril Lavigne’s Sk8tr Boi is good for 90s uniform colours, sorry skater baggy clothes from the late 90s …

First job, start basing the old AJ ‘s Toyboarder’s skateboarder figures (still available from Vat 19) on mdf tuppeny bases as they are forever falling over. Background peeg decal is a freebie with my last Bronte order from Annie Norman at Bad Squiddo, which reminded me of large urban graffiti murals … now to watch those skate punk videos for uniform colour scheme details, unless there’s a handy Osprey on SkatePunk?

For painting Spanish Armada era 54mm figures from Chintoys? Spanish Armada period music for my Arma-Dad’s Army Project, listening to the Saydisc recordings 1588: Music from the Spanish Armada on original instruments by the York Waits.

Arma-Dad’s Army project summary page: https://manoftinblog.wordpress.com/arma-dads-army-elizabethan-home-guard-1580s-1590s-operacion-leon-marino/

The red Tudor beret of the kneeling figure has a elite fierce special forces / Guevara revolutionary look. Good Queen Bess and Ralegh undercoated and glimpsed at the back by essential reading matter. A few Hingfat pirate figures have joined in as Spanish sailors.

Paint it Black or paint it Red?

Two black and red colour related songs kept popping into my head about the a-historical cartoon choice of colours for my Spanish Fury reinforcements:

“… I raise my flags, don my clothes / It’s a revolution, I suppose/
We’ll paint it red to fit right in” from Radioactive by Imagine Dragons, 2010s

Or Paint it Black – Rolling Stones from 1966

Why red and black? The Spanish Armada Osprey book title shows a good range of uniform colours, with no one dominant or exclusive national colour for Spanish or British Elizabethan era troops. Both sides had a white flag with a red cross. The St George + Cross for Britain, the saltire type X Cross for Spain. How confusing!

My growing muster of Elizabethan conversions and (right) ECW trained band figures in blue!

By the 1580s/90s various shades of Blue was quite common for English troops (green and white in earlier Tudor times), so my muster and trained band are in work clothes and military green and blue shades.

Black and Red: My previous or first set of Spanish Conquistadors from Chintoys https://manoftinblog.wordpress.com/2020/10/30/the-spanish-fury/

Inspiration for the black and red came from some vintage figures:

These two Elizabethan Monarch Cherilea 1960s figures have blazing torches. Watch out Cornish towns! Sold – These three lovely vintage figures joined my forces last Christmas 2020.

I really liked these fragile Cherilea figures with their black, red and silver colour scheme with leather brown.

This was it, dark colours, the black and red diabolical colours of flames! I have painted them as fearsome as Tudor Propaganda and the Cornish might have seen or talked about these Spanish ‘devils‘ who fired Cornish seaside towns and churches in 1595.

Before I run into BLM (Black Lives Matter) and Woke history issues / problems, the Spanish raids of 1595 really did happen …

Caption/ image source: https://bradleybasement.wordpress.com/comedy/dads-army/a-soldiers-farewell-tv/

But I have also realised that this whole Arma-Dad’s Army scenario is another long period-costume cheese dream of one Captain George “Napoleon” Mainwaring or a fever dream for Private Frank “Nudgeof” Pike (Stupid Boy!) in the Warmington Home Guard. Thus, this Arma-Dad’s Army Project also links with my Look Duck and Varnish Home Guard Gaming.

That’s two or three ticks on my New Gaming Year Irresolutions 2022 already ..

Phew, useful a-historical “but it was all a strange dream” ethical get-out clause!

So that’s what’s in my ears and on the painting table to start the New Year …

How are all your New Gaming Year’s Resolutions going?

Blog posted by Mark Man of TIN 2 / 3 January 2022.

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B.P.S. Blog Post Script

The much covered sons “Radioactive” by US band Imagine Dragons has a suitably bizarre pop music video with illegal betting on a muppet style gladiatorial contest where kapok and fur literally flies – but don’t worry, justice is served in the end https://youtu.be/ktvTqknDobU

The “Radioactive” video all reminded me somewhere between Pokemon and the plush fur and toy soldier Fuzzy Heroes rules reviewed on Board Games Geek. As a fan of simple games rules I have not tried these yet but there is an interesting write-up on Fuzzy Heroes and role playing games with kids at Wired / Geekdad:http://www.wired.com/geekdad/2008/11/roleplaying-wit/

As I mentioned “Radioactive” is a much covered song, ranging from the genre morphing musical Time Machine of Postmodern Jukebox , the more acoustic covers of Radioactive by the Gardiner Sisters and First to Eleven.

What will 2022 bring?

Anyone else made any foolish unachievable resolutions for this year’s gaming?

Battling Bronte Sisters (Bad Squiddo 28mm Little Wolves Amazons) meet 25mm Prince August Homecast cavemen boggarts. As close as I will get to Silver Bayonet?

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It’s that time of the year when New Year’s Resolutions are optimistically made … but maybe not in this house.

My New Gaming Year’s Irresolutions for 2021 were kept deliberately vague …

https://poundstoreplasticwarriors.wordpress.com/2020/12/31/new-gaming-year-irresolutions-2021/

but even then my vaguest plans for New Gaming Year NGY 2021 often went awry, mostly due to COVID.

The local village Spring Flower and Craft show 2021 never happened so no #FEMBruary figures from Bad Squiddo painted as planned but I did paint some later in the year – The Battling Bronte sisters.

Thanks to Covid levels, I never made it to the Woking 2021 54mm Little Wars Revisited Games Day when it finally happened. Covid dependent of course, but hopefully I might make it in 2022 with my Boy Scouts and snowball fighters who need more gaming time https://littlewarsrevisited.boards.net/thread/847/woking-games-saturday-march-correct.

My local history research project talk on WW2 in my local area (as a fundraiser) was postponed by COVID from autumn 2021 to late May 2022.

I think the NGY Irresolutions 2020 will still stand after a year or two interrupted but who knows what might happen in 2022?

New Gaming Year’s Irresolutions 2022

In no particular order

1. Cataloguing Peter Laing 15mm figures as part of celebrating the 50th anniversary of the now out-of-production Peter Laing figures, possibly the first 15mm figures when they launched in October 1972.

https://collectingpeterlaing15mmfigures.wordpress.com

As well as cataloguing what I have over the next ten months, fellow members of the Peter Laing collectors circle on MeWe have been helping me identify figures and supplying photos of figures I don’t have. Then there’s painting and basing more of my unpainted Laing figure stash and getting in some more 15mm skirmish games?

Peter Laing 15mm Chasseurs d’Alpins (WW1 Range) complete with walking sticks!

2. England or Cornwall invaded – Variations on Operation Sealion / Leon Marino

Still playing around with skirmish ideas as part of my Look Duck and Varnish Blog ongoing Operation Sealion Home Guard games, but also found out more about the WW1 ‘Gorgeous Wrecks’ or Volunteer Training Corps, good for future VTC Wide Games and Victorian / Edwardian / WW1 era ‘what if’ games.

Arma-Dads Army! 1590s Home Guard Elizabethan Muster of conversions and ECW figures against the Spanish Fury, Chintoys Conquistadors and pound store Pirates …

https://manoftinblog.wordpress.com/arma-dads-army-elizabethan-home-guard-1580s-1590s-operacion-leon-marino/

3. More Close Little Wars forest skirmishes and Close Little Space Wars Games in 54mm … I didn’t get a backyard garden galaxy game in this year.

My lovely Bold Frontiers cardboard trees didn’t get enough of an outing in 2021…

Two Britain’s Ltd. broken Scots charging – a favourite pose – with part repaired rifles, two more figures from the Waifs and Strays group of figures 2021 – “Waifs and Strays” sounds like it should be a Victorian Regimental nickname.

4. I look forward to some more enjoyable tinkering with 54mm repairs of broken lead figures to add to various units. Over the years I have been stashing away battered and broken figures from various donations – cowboys, Indians, redcoats, Scots and Khaki figures – along with the odd intriguing figure bought online.

Arrived last year and put away for Christmas – some very heavy, solid lead and fairly paint distressed Terraton 54mm-ish German semiflats to repair and rebase. Indians, redcoats, trees and farm animals …

5. What else might happen?

Weather permitting maybe will even get some more home casting done outdoors?

Pound Store Plastic figures, Early War Miniatures 1940 Range (for Svenmarck invaded!) and vintage Airfix OOHO figures to restore or rebase for some skirmish games.

More time for Bronte ImagiNations?

My Boy Scouts, Girl Scouts and Snowball Games need attention!

My skateboarders could do with painting!

Not going to run out of fun things to do …

What are your New Gaming Year plans?

I hope that your gaming plans for 2022 go agreeably awry as well.

Blog posted by Mark Man of TIN, NYE 31 December 2021 / 1st January 2022

What will 2022 bring?

Anyone else made any foolish unachievable resolutions for this year’s gaming?

Battling Bronte Sisters (Bad Squiddo 28mm Little Wolves Amazons) meet 25mm Prince August Homecast cavemen boggarts. As close as I will get to Silver Bayonet?

*

It’s that time of the year when New Year’s Resolutions are optimistically made … but maybe not in this house.

My New Gaming Year’s Irresolutions for 2021 were kept deliberately vague …

https://poundstoreplasticwarriors.wordpress.com/2020/12/31/new-gaming-year-irresolutions-2021/

but even then my vaguest plans for New Gaming Year NGY 2021 often went awry, mostly due to COVID.

The local village Spring Flower and Craft show 2021 never happened so no #FEMBruary figures from Bad Squiddo painted as planned but I did paint some later in the year – The Battling Bronte sisters.

Thanks to Covid levels, I never made it to the Woking 2021 54mm Little Wars Revisited Games Day when it finally happened. Covid dependent of course, but hopefully I might make it in 2022 with my Boy Scouts and snowball fighters who need more gaming time https://littlewarsrevisited.boards.net/thread/847/woking-games-saturday-march-correct.

My local history research project talk on WW2 in my local area (as a fundraiser) was postponed by COVID from autumn 2021 to late May 2022.

I think the NGY Irresolutions 2020 will still stand after a year or two interrupted but who knows what might happen in 2022?

New Gaming Year’s Irresolutions 2022

In no particular order

1. Cataloguing Peter Laing 15mm figures as part of celebrating the 50th anniversary of the now out-of-production Peter Laing figures, possibly the first 15mm figures when they launched in October 1972.

https://collectingpeterlaing15mmfigures.wordpress.com

As well as cataloguing what I have over the next ten months, fellow members of the Peter Laing collectors circle on MeWe have been helping me identify figures and supplying photos of figures I don’t have. Then there’s painting and basing more of my unpainted Laing figure stash and getting in some more 15mm skirmish games?

Peter Laing 15mm Chasseurs d’Alpins (WW1 Range) complete with walking sticks!

2. England or Cornwall invaded – Variations on Operation Sealion / Leon Marino

Still playing around with skirmish ideas as part of my Look Duck and Varnish Blog ongoing Operation Sealion Home Guard games, but also found out more about the WW1 ‘Gorgeous Wrecks’ or Volunteer Training Corps, good for future VTC Wide Games and Victorian / Edwardian / WW1 era ‘what if’ games.

Arma-Dads Army! 1590s Home Guard Elizabethan Muster of conversions and ECW figures against the Spanish Fury, Chintoys Conquistadors and pound store Pirates …

https://manoftinblog.wordpress.com/arma-dads-army-elizabethan-home-guard-1580s-1590s-operacion-leon-marino/

3. More Close Little Wars forest skirmishes and Close Little Space Wars Games in 54mm … I didn’t get a backyard garden galaxy game in this year.

My lovely Bold Frontiers cardboard trees didn’t get enough of an outing in 2021…

Two Britain’s Ltd. broken Scots charging – a favourite pose – with part repaired rifles, two more figures from the Waifs and Strays group of figures 2021 – “Waifs and Strays” sounds like it should be a Victorian Regimental nickname.

4. I look forward to some more enjoyable tinkering with 54mm repairs of broken lead figures to add to various units. Over the years I have been stashing away battered and broken figures from various donations – cowboys, Indians, redcoats, Scots and Khaki figures – along with the odd intriguing figure bought online.

Arrived last year and put away for Christmas – some very heavy, solid lead and fairly paint distressed Terraton 54mm-ish German semiflats to repair and rebase. Indians, redcoats, trees and farm animals …

5. What else might happen?

Weather permitting maybe will even get some more home casting done outdoors?

Pound Store Plastic figures, Early War Miniatures 1940 Range (for Svenmarck invaded!) and vintage Airfix OOHO figures to restore or rebase for some skirmish games.

More time for Bronte ImagiNations?

My Boy Scouts, Girl Scouts and Snowball Games need attention!

My skateboarders could do with painting!

Not going to run out of fun things to do …

What are your New Gaming Year plans?

I hope that your gaming plans for 2022 go agreeably awry as well.

Blog posted by Mark Man of TIN, NYE 31 December 2021 / 1st January 2022

Happy Christmas to all my Man of TIN Blog readers

Happy Christmas to all my Man of TIN blog readers – wishing you many shiny toys!

Image: From a lovely old 1978 British Royal Mail stamp set of Christmas customs (see below), the 13p stamp postcard is in my 1580s – 1590s / 1940 “Arma-Dads Army” Elizabethan Sealion project scrapbook. New summary blog page for this project here:

https://manoftinblog.wordpress.com/arma-dads-army-elizabethan-home-guard-1580s-1590s-operacion-leon-marino/

During my childhood, my late dad as a lifelong stamp collector used to buy me the postcard versions and sometimes the highly educational presentation packs or first day covers, which had insert pages all about the stamp topic. Stamp collecting and model railways are two of the family hobbies in the blood (in a malarial or genetic way) that I am resisting from lack of time, storage, space and money.

Happy Christmas to all my readers & fellow bloggers from Mark Man of TIN!

Happy Christmas from the whole Man of TIN family of spin off blogs:

Man of TIN blog two – all set up ready for when I fill up and run out of my free 3GB WordPress Man of TIN blog site sometime in early 2022.

Pound Store Plastic Warriors Blog – including tabletop snowball fight fun!

https://poundstoreplasticwarriors.wordpress.com/2021/08/03/pound-store-snowball-fight-2021/

Scouting Wide Games for the Tabletop – also with festive snowball fight fun!

Look Duck and Varnish – my occasional Home Guard and Sealion gaming blog

Sidetracked2017 – where model railways meet toy soldiers and wargaming

Warrior and Pacific Magazine 1901 one-off handwritten children’s magazine 1901

Collecting Peter Laing 15mm figures – cataloguing my collection of these figures ahead of their 50th anniversary In October 1972

Enjoy your family and festive time.

Who knows what Christmas and the New Year will bring? Keep safe and well, here’s wishing you happiness and health, if not wealth. Whatever happens, we have our marvellous hobby to enrich our lives and deplete the coffers.

Blog posted by Mark Man of TIN, Christmas Eve, 24 December 2021

This set was designed in 1978 by British artist and book illustrator Faith Jacques (1923–1997) who had an interesting wartime career as a WREN (Women’s Royal Navy Service):

“She was posted to Oxford where she was stationed in the New Bodleian Library. Her duties included control of a filing department containing over a million photographs, holiday snaps included, of Germany and Occupied Europe, with particular attention given to pictures of coastlines and village approaches.Wikipedia source.

The 13p (most expensive) stamp design was the 16th Century carollers singing the Boars Head Carol.

Booster Bleurrgh? Try Timpo Figures and Yorkshire Folklore.

Unlike many in the world I am fortunate enough, being of “the Airfix generation” and clinically vulnerable, to have had my third Covid ‘booster’ jab on Friday. Thanks NHS.

**** Pre-emptive note: Any Anti Vaxxers or conspiracy theorists who are upset reading this first paragraph, please note that I am not debating this topic on my hobby blog or for that matter, politics or religion either. Enjoy the toys instead. Thank you.****

Knowing that I might feel a bit rough, as indeed I have done with the common side effects of aches, tiredness and headaches, I planned a quiet weekend with two good books to see me through.

The Timpo Model Toys (A to Z of TIMPO) 4th edition 2020 by Michael Maughan

This was a family gift, as I ‘look after’ the family “hand-me-down” collection of Timpo 54mm / 1:32 figures.

It is a great little book, akin to the Airfix OOHO reference books, and fully colour illustrated. This will help greatly in putting our surviving collection back together as close as I can manage – right legs, heads, torsos, horses etc. – with a slight nod towards Timpo purism!

Available through Amazon (Amazon Createspace online publishing) at a very reasonable £26.

The book has the cheerful feel of a Plastic Warrior magazine series of articles, which is what it originally developed from. Fourth edition – this is obviously an ongoing labour of love for the writer Michael Maughan.

The book covers only the ‘swoppet’ style plastic Timpo range, not the solid Action Pack boxed figures or original metal hollowcasts.

Seeing the illustrations of packaging, buildings and the railway stuff was a rare treat, and this book ultimately saves me from bankruptcy having to track down, buy and store this stuff!

The Timpo Silver Dollar Saloon: Front and back book cover, based on a 1970s Timpo catalogue image.

I didn’t buy many Timpo ‘swoppet’ type figures myself, except the Vikings and a few WW2 figures (probably in the Toyway packaging). Most came down to me through the family toy box, a motley collection of knights, romans, Mexicans and Wild West figures alongside a few solid Action Pack figures.

Usually the weapons were missing, losable parts being one of the things that I disliked about Timpo and Britain’s Deetail, especially when gaming in the garden.

No Timpo purist as a child (or now), all of these figures were mixed together in my skirmish games alongside a happy medley of 60s plastics, Airfix and my own Britain’s Deetail figures. I played with what we had. Our few Timpo figures, both solid and swoppet, provided some great character figures.

Timpo, like Airfix, sadly crashed out c. 1980 in the Great British toy company apocalypse of the early Eighties, so supplies of much of the fun stuff (waggons, railways, buildings) was not around for me to buy. This ‘boom and bust’ supply drought or even complete wipeout of toy ranges still affects my approach to collecting gaming figures today – buy them when you see them, even if you have to store them away in the ‘next Christmas’ cupboard!

The Timpo wagons etc. looked really good alongside hollowcast and early plastic figures in F.E. Perry’s Second Book of Wargaming which I bought in the late 1970s / early 1980s. Oddly I didn’t find the First Book (of Wargaming) to make it all make sense until a few years ago, a gap of almost forty years.

Looking through, I don’t recall seeing many of the short lived 1970s Timpo ranges at all in toy shops, even if I had the pocket money.

This fascinating A to Z of Timpo book by Michael Maughan showed me what I had missed. It’s a little like having a book of beasts or birds which became extinct within living memory. Well worth buying.

Timpo rarity value?

About ten to fifteen years ago whilst sorting our family 1960s-70s toy collection, we sold off a small handful of some spare Timpo bodies and bits that did not make up whole figures. We were astonished when one torso went for £20 to £30 on eBay, obviously we had a rare-ish colour variation without knowing.

Not missed – from a purely gaming point of view, who cares about the rarity of colour combinations?

My second book to curl up with this weekend:

The Folklore of Yorkshire by Kai Roberts (The History Press 2013)

This book is a lucky survivor of Storm Arwin blowing open our parcels box and soaking the contents. There’s wuthering for you!

Fortunately a shiny book cover and the very soggy Blackwells cardboard eco packaging took the brunt of the water and protected the contents.

https://www.thehistorypress.co.uk/publication/folklore-of-yorkshire/9780752485799/

I bought this as part of developing the Battling Bronte Sisters skirmish duels or possible RPG Games wit’ Boggarts and the like.

My Bad Squiddo Bronte figures conversions and Prince August boggart home cast (cavemen) https://manoftinblog.wordpress.com/2021/11/21/battling-bronte-sisters-and-branwell-conversions-from-bad-squiddo-little-wolves-figures-wip/

Lots of interesting gaming ideas and Yorkshire folklore characters from:

  • witchery and cunning wise women
  • black dogs and other such beasts
  • screaming skulls,
  • giants (or the Devil) relocating large boulders and landscapes,
  • secret tunnels,
  • holy wells and water lore,
  • Robin Hood (!),
  • buried treasure,
  • fairish, fairy, elves, hobs and boggarts,

as well as the calendar yearly or ritual year (of wassail, mummers etc.) and a chapter on protection charms and talismans.

https://manoftinblog.wordpress.com/gaming-the-bronte-family-imaginations-of-glasstown-angria-gondal-and-gaaldine/

Haworth gets the odd mention, the Brontes very few.

What struck me was the overlap in English folklore from my ancestral Cornish folklore and the Yorkshire versions. The fairish, fairy, changeling or elf stories were very similar. This was of interest to me because the Bronte sisters (and brother Branwell) had a Cornish mother and aunt.

Admittedly some overlap in folklore was by direct migration – the ‘ghostly shift’ tales of Yorkshire miners were similar to those of the Cornish hard rock miners with their tales of mine spirits (known as “Knockers”). Skilled Cornish miners were recruited to other mining districts in Britain or they emigrated further afield, especially when times were hard.

Anyway an interesting book on Yorkshire folklore that joins the Cornish folklore and Bronte books on my book shelf.

Beyond the Booster bleurrgh?

Normal ‘gaming butterfly’ blogging service will hopefully soon be resumed, booster bleurgh over. Hobby blogging is usually interrupted or slowed as it is each year at this time by the dark winter nights, festive preparations and working for a living.

I will now return to my year long project of cataloguing my Peter Laing 15mm collection ahead of the 50th anniversary of this 15mm pioneer next October 2022.

That is all …

My repaint and repair of Bad Al outside the Timpo bank … great little buildings.

Previously on Man of TIN blog, some TIMPO related posts:

Wild West buildings and cowboys (see above)

https://manoftinblog.wordpress.com/2020/07/30/big-bad-al-or-heap-good-al-you-decide/

Desert Fort packaging (online auction image) https://manoftinblog.wordpress.com/2018/08/29/timpo-desert-fort-pictures/

https://poundstoreplasticwarriors.wordpress.com/2021/09/20/timpo-figures-in-toy-soldiers-short-1999-film/

http://www.spanglefish.com/hallmarkstoysoldiers/index.asp?pageid=169845

Blog posted by Mark Man of TIN on 28 November 2021

Battling Bronte Sisters (and Branwell) conversions from Bad Squiddo Little Wolves figures WIP

My Battling Bronte Sisters (and Branwell!) are almost done, painted and based. Photographing them close up always throws up a few area to finish.

When they are not role playing their heroic parts in their juvenilia ImagiNations of Glass Town, Angria, Gaaldine and Gondal, they are all of course battling with the Dark Forces of Yarkshire folklore.

Such tales were told to them at an impressionable young age by their Haworth born servant Tabby Ackroyd.

This is part of my ongoing Bronte ImagiNations gaming project

https://manoftinblog.wordpress.com/gaming-the-bronte-family-imaginations-of-glasstown-angria-gondal-and-gaaldine/

These green skinned creatures are boggarts, wild creatures of the Dark Moors and marshes …

boggarts who might have started life as Prince August 25mm homecast Cavemen.

Before you ask, mountain backdrop by Peco, Croft cottage by Lilliput Lane.

How I converted these figures

What started out as two packs of Bad Squiddo ‘Little Wolves’ (youngsters or child sized figures in Annie Norman’s 28mm Amazon Range) have been subtly converted to capture some of the make-believe of children at play.

I thought that they could be painted both as dressed as children role playing games and as heroic figures tackling Dark folkloric forces of Yarkshire.

Distinguishing the sisters is usually done by hair colour, especially in films.

I referred to the famous Bronte portrait by Branwell (centre, who later painted himself out) as well as the recent BBC drama To Walk Invisible for my colour palette.

Reddish hair – Anne – painted in grey with red sash

Brown hair – Emily – painted with longer skirt and green tunic, red belt

Black hair – Charlotte – painted with blue dress and red sash

Clothes – I kept the colour scheme quite dark coloured, sober and practical for parsons’ daughters in wet damp Tropical Yorkshire, even through early Victorians were often more colourful than our image of sober Late Victorians.

The BBC TV drama To Walk Invisible opens with a section of the Bronte children adventuring inside their minds or in their play world, discovering the wooden box of soldiers coming to life, the wooden soldiers that first inspired their play: https://manoftinblog.wordpress.com/2017/01/04/brontes-waterloo-soldiers/

Conversions

Swords were filed down to look more wooden and childlike.

Home made sashes from the dressing up box were attached by PVA glue and tissue paper, to give that dashing military air.

Charlotte (left) and Ann (right) with their PVA and tissue paper sashes. Only late in painting these two figures did I notice that they have a subtle belt section hanging down.

The added sashes or in Branwell and Emily’s case an existing belt sash were painted carmine red to add a dash of martial colour.

This was inspired by the red military sashes and uniform designs in Isabel Greenberg’s Bronte ImagiNations graphic novel Glass Town.

Image: Isabel Greenberg’s Glass Town. She uses the same hair colour system.

All paints were Matt Revell Aquacolor Acrylics, starting with a Matt black undercoat.

Faces – in keeping with the overall drab Matt colours of their clothes, boots or clogs etc, I avoided my usual bright gloss colours and toy soldier faces with pink cheek dots etc. Instead I chose a subtle mouth or lip colour ( a trace of carmine red) and a darker flesh using Revell Afrikabraun (or desert brown) instead of flesh.

To add that grungy, muddy feel of children out on the moors or getting mucky playing around the Parsonage, I used a brown shade or wash of Citadel Agrax Earthshade on flesh, faces and folds.

The Branwell ‘problem’

The two packs I bought from Annie Norman at Bad Squiddo were all female.

As I failed to find any suitable 28mm boy figures, I set about converting one of the girl figures into a red haired brother Branwell boy figure.

Filing down an excess of plaited hair, I covered the rest of the luscious plaited locks with an old hooded travelling cape (it were wet, dark and cold up on those moors) made of tissue paper and PVA.

Charlotte (left) with red sash and Branwell (right), showing a flash of red belt.

I considered adding breeches or trousers with tissue paper and PVA but thought that Branwell as a boy was the only one in Victorian times who could get away with bare legs and ankles. The parson’s three surviving daughters probably could not.

Branwell’s poems show a familiarity with the classical and heroic epic, so I painted him bare legged, just wearing his ankle boots. His trouser legs are probably rolled up and he is wearing an old smock to look like a classical hero with tunic and cape. All make-believe or possibly real, playing around with that dual use notion.

Branwell (left) and Charlotte (right). Branwell’s cloak hood needs defining by shadow.

Basing

Basing is onto 1 penny MDF bases from Warbases, with PVA used to fix a rough mix of grassy flock and fine Cornish beach sand to suggest the moors. Appropriate enough as the Bronte children’s mother was born and grew up in Penzance, not far from the source beach in Cornwall.

Hopefully gritty and northern enough? Until I can go up on the moor and gather some proper Yarkshire grit and dirt.

Battling the Bronte Sisters

These figures are great for duelling games using simple ‘parry and lunge’ (Gerard de Gre) dice or card rules from Donald Featherstone’s Solo Wargaming.

https://poundstoreplasticwarriors.wordpress.com/2017/04/26/duelling-in-the-sandpit-lunge-cut-and-stop-thrust/

Allocate as many life, health or wound points as you wish to each character – Bronte sister, Boggart, Gytrash or Shuck the Black Dog etc. – and play.

Winner gets health points back or victory life points awarded, you decide.

Kaptain Kobold simplified these Gerard de Gre rules for me into dice throws, speedy enough to resolve melee.

https://poundstoreplasticwarriors.wordpress.com/2017/05/09/more-duelling-inspiration-mexicans/

Such games proved short and brutal, mostly involving fast melee, using the Kaptain Kobold modification or d6 dice version of Gerard De Gre’s Lunge Cut and Stop Thrust rules for melee or duelling.

1&2 Hit on Attacker (attacker loses one point)

3 – Both Hit (lose one point each)

4 – Both  Miss

5&6 Hit on Defender (defender loses one point)

Some of Tabby’s Gritty Northern Yarkshire folklore to be going in with

Boggarts, boggles and others

https://www.northyorkmoors.org.uk/visiting/see-and-do/land-of-myths-and-legends

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Category:Yorkshire_folklore

https://www.foyles.co.uk/blog-folklore-of-the-yorkshire-moors

https://www.sykescottages.co.uk/blog/6-yorkshire-folktales-to-discover/

Lots more to be discovered …

How they arrived in the quirky packaging of Bad Squiddo

https://manoftinblog.wordpress.com/2021/10/28/battling-little-bronte-wolves-arrive-from-bad-squiddo-and-we-raised-the-money-to-save-the-bronte-manuscripts-too/

Blog posted by Mark Man of TIN 21 November 2021

B.P.S.

Interesting History Extra article from a few years back by Emma Butcher https://www.historyextra.com/period/victorian/the-brontes-at-war-how-charlotte-and-branwell-brought-waterloo-into-their-drawing-room/

Happy Robert Louis Stevenson Day 13th November 2021

Thanks to this reminder from the Robert Louis Stevenson Museum in USA I am reminded that it’s Robert Louis Stevenson’s birthday today, 13 November!

Born in 1850 in Edinburgh, today would have been his 171st birthday.

They have a full day of pirate birthday activities planned at the RLS museum – enjoy – but as it’s in St Helena CA (California) in another country, sadly I won’t be going.

RLS and his American wife Fanny Osborne stayed in this area of California when they married.

The Museum has the largest collection of Stevensoniana on public display in the world https://stevensonmuseum.org/the-museum/history/

Source: Pinterest / Nancy Horan, Roberts Louis Stevenson Museum collection

including some of RLS’ toy soldiers:

https://manoftinblog.wordpress.com/2020/10/02/robert-louis-stevensons-toy-soldiers/

***************************

Not able to pop over to Mt. Helena to the RLS Museum?

You could of course celebrate RLS’ birthday at home by reading some Stevenson or even playing a toy soldier wargame.

Whilst convalescing, RLS played complex toy soldier war games written up by his stepson Lloyd Osborne in Scribners Magazine as the Yallobelly Times

http://vintagewargaming.blogspot.com/2009/11/robert-louis-stevenson.html

Famous as the author of Treasure Island, Kidnapped, and The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, Robert Louis Stevenson is less well known as an early war gamer.

His role as ” grandfather” or “great uncle” in the history of wargaming (depending where you place H.G. Wells) was acknowledged by “father of the modern wargame” Donald Featherstone in his book War Games (1962), a book that began the hobby careers of so many of us.

Toy soldiers also feature in several of his famous poems feature toy soldiers including “The Land of Counterpane” https://manoftinblog.wordpress.com/2016/12/12/the-land-of-counterpane/

which inspired one of my toy soldier wargames last year

https://poundstoreplasticwarriors.wordpress.com/2021/04/07/the-land-of-counterpane-invaded-part-2-the-battle/

Chaos and carnage on the Counterpane with RLS’ poem and Jessie Wilcox Smith’s famous illustration https://www.gutenberg.org/files/25609/25609-h/25609-h.htm

and the garden game focussed “The Dumb Soldier”.

https://manoftinblog.wordpress.com/2016/12/13/block-city-rls-and-

https://poundstoreplasticwarriors.wordpress.com/2018/02/17/more-dumb-soldiers-in-the-garden/

https://manoftinblog.wordpress.com/2016/10/07/rls-martial-elegy-for-some-lead-soldiers/

Happy birthday RLS!

Blog post by Mark Man of TIN, 12 / 13 November 2021