Guisval Airfix derived metal figures

Beside the seaside …

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An interesting box of metal Airfix clones … and the original Airfix Commando figures.

I saw these strange metal mash ups of Airfix figures from the 1970s in a seaside antiques and craft market. I couldn’t identify them other than the plastic box marked Guisval.

Guisval is a Spanish based diecast vehicle company established in 1962.

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Defenders? Invaders? On a seaside wall “somewhere in England” …

The figures seem to be attached to military trucks and tanks, which are a marked Guisval Fabricado en Espana. They appear to be the equivalent of the British Matchbox Lesley and Dinky.

I remember that the Matchbox military offerings  sometimes had accompanying soldiers from or similar to the Matchbox OO/HO range of figures. http://www.plasticsoldierreview.com/ShowFeature.aspx?id=91

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Majorette diecast figures (on my Ebay recce / research) also had random plastic copies of Airfix figures.

Not much shows up when researching Guisval metal military figures until I found one Flickr site – RMJ68.

3 TANQUES CENTURION MK III + 1 CAMION VOLVO DESIERTO - GUISVAL

A quick web search of Guisval diecast vehicles revealed few useful photos of this type of military figures, except for a Flicker album of diecast vehicles by RMJ68 https://www.flickr.com/photos/41049565@N08/albums

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RMJ68’s figures by Guisval – the only other Guisval figures I found researching on the web.

Please note: RMJ68’s photos are Copyright to their Flickr site – I have included them with credit to the author as part of my research into the figures I bought.

http://www.flickriver.com/photos/41049565@N08/5332760731/#large

https://www.flickr.com/photos/41049565@N08/5332760731/in/album-72157625149638314/

 

This set of Guisval related photos by RMJ68 shows these figures with tanks and lorries. Reading the Flickr comments,  I am not sure that the plastic landscape and palm trees are Guisval issue or linked. Manufacture seems to be 1970s to 1980s.

The box they come in seems purpose built clear plastic lid with yellow plastic base with strange base clips to attach them in transit and slide / release them. A similar  type of clear box can be seen in RMJ68’s photos of Guisval military vehicles. Some tank or vehicle box bases have a plastic stud in the middle of the figure bases that appears in some of my figures to be broken off and still attached to the base.

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Airfix version 2 British Commando and the Guisval clones.
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Another Airfix British Commando and the Guisval clones.

My figures fit well with the figure types shown in RMJ68’s Guisval photo albums. They are  similar strange blend of Airfix British commando second version poses – seen here at

http://www.plasticsoldierreview.com/Review.aspx?id=386

and German or modern US ‘Fritz’ style helmets adopted by various NATO countries. This Fritz helmet was seen in the Airfix modern US / NATO infantry sets http://www.plasticsoldierreview.com/Review.aspx?id=431

The figures could be intended to be Spanish army wearing stalheim German style helmets? http://www.warrelics.eu/forum/axis-militaria/spanish-wwii-helmet-553819/

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An idea of where some of these Guisval poses began as Airfix British Paratroopers, much cloned …

Familiar or classic poses  of the Airfix British Paratroops are featured too – such as my  smaller radio man and kneeling firing figure, rather  than the Airfix second version Commando radio operator. In the RMJ68 photo examples are several of the much copied or pirated  Airfix British Para poses which were never issued by Airfix in smaller sizes. These may have been  pantographed down in size and then helmets altered.

They are cast or painted in two colours – a dark bronze to browny black and a shiny silver metal. These might be different sets joined or intended,  as in Green and Tan Army Men type toy soldiers, to be enemies (attackers and defenders) in different colours with the same poses.

I hope that RMJ68 enjoys my pictures of these curious little Guisval metal figures.

Blog posted by Mark Man of TIN 17 April 2019.

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Le Toy Van classic space rocket and pound store space figures

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Little green men have stylishly landed … Le Toy Van Space rocket 

A classic space rocket to match my Pound Store Plastic figure space conversions. More pictures at – Crossposted from Pound Store Plastic Warriors https://poundstoreplasticwarriors.wordpress.com/2019/04/16/le-toy-van-space-rocket

Blog posted by Mark Man of TIN 16 April 2019

Farewell Google +, ByeBye Google Plus, Hello MeWe

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Welcome to the new Peter Laing community on Me We, home to many Google+ refugees https://mewe.com/join/peterlaingfigures

Farewell Google+ Peter Laing pages (2017-2019).

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

Hello MeWe.

Thanks to Ian Dury.

There will no doubt be more gaming and figure related MeWe groups https://mewe.com/join/aminiaturesgroupaboutwargamesandtoysoldiers

Blogposted by Mark, Man of TIN on April 1st / 2nd, 2019.

Vintage Pound Store Transport and Plastic Space Warriors

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Vintage transport for equally vintage Airfix WW1 20mm figures …works well with 15mm

Cross posted from my Pound Store Plastic Warriors blog, some more great little vintage plastic tat

https://poundstoreplasticwarriors.wordpress.com/2019/03/28/vintage-pound-store-transport/

and in a back garden galaxy far far away

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Tim Mee Galaxy Laser Team Space Patrol

https://poundstoreplasticwarriors.wordpress.com/2019/03/23/tim-mee-galaxy-laser-team-figures

Plastic joy! (In part, thanks to the Duke of Tradgardland).

Blog posted by Mark Man of TIN on 29 March 2019.

Peter Laing 15mm and Airfix 54mm German Paratroops

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Close up on the baggy, chunky but slight detail on Peter Laing 15mm WW2 German Infantry that could be dual use for paratroops.

I am currently painting up some 15mm Peter Laing WW2 German Infantry into dual 1940/41 use as German paratroops.

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Batch painting underway on these Peter Laing 15mm German Infantry / paratroops.

The beauty of these first 15mm figures is that Peter Laing deliberately made them with slight and muted detail so that they could be easily converted by paint or file to other figures. These will be gloss paint or gloss varnish when finished.

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“Detail is kept muted so there is no overscale effect … detail in the figure depends on the amount that is put in the painting ”  – Peter Laing catalogue introduction

These 15mm WW2 German rifleman infantry figures have a bagginess of trouser about them that suits paratroop jump suits.  Rifles were also quite widespread issue to paratroops, not all were carrying submachine guns.

A quick uniform check out of the ‘best’ uniform book of my childhood (Preben Kannik’s Military Uniforms of the World in Colour) shows that such grey dual use figures are possible.

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This is what I still think 1940 Germans in WW2 look  like … thanks to Preben Kannik.

The Andrew Mollo Uniforms of WW2 book (1970s Blandford), familiar from the childhood branch library, had these slightly grainier, grittier, more photo-realist illustrations.

Home Guard manuals of the time in my collection had interesting uniform plates – this book by John Brophy 1940.

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Home Guard manual by John Brophy c. 1940 – uniform plate. “The author of this handbook has a ‘hunch’ that adolescent enemy agents may be dropped in the uniforms of Boy Scouts or Sea Scouts”
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German Parachutists as shown on WW2 British Ministry of Information posters c. 1940/41 – note the camouflaged helmet cover.

This interesting ‘spot on sight’ enemy uniforms poster No. 1 shows a camo helmet cover, otherwise a grey uniform, worth bearing in mind when painting. This poster can be found at: https://arts.st-andrews.ac.uk/events/0611/presentations/Teaching%20website/images4/uniforms1.html

I’m not sure I fancy painting 15mm camouflage jackets or helmets in such detail as below on my Airfix figures or as Tim did in his excellent Tim’s Tanks Peter Laing 15mm WW2 Blog post.

http://timstanks.blogspot.com/2015/07/peter-laing-15mm-miniatures.html

My previous paratroop camo painting experience was on a much bigger scale, about thirty plus years ago, tackling the camo from the Airfix packaging onto their then-newish 54mm German paratroop figures.

I have recently rebased, renovated and gloss varnished these 1980s Airfix paint jobs for new use.

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A bit bashed, rebased but still looking good …

I first painted these German Airfix Paratrooper figures in the early 1980s and they have hung around since then, getting increasingly bashed. I kept them as I quite liked the camouflage effects I achieved then with Airfix / Humbrol enamels.

I must have been following the Airfix painting guide on the box backs or catalogues a5 the time, so checked this online.

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As originally painted (in Matt?) I wanted to get a little of the old gloss toy soldier style at a time when I had no lead hollowcast painted 54mm figures to base them on. I must have been reading old toy soldier books in the library.

Three things were needed to  refresh them for modern 54mm Skirmish gaming use.

1. A quick spruce up of the faces in old toy soldier style (pink cheek dots, the lot) matches the original old toy soldier style paint from the 1980s.

2. I have rebased them on tuppenny bases to add some weight.

3. A coat of (gloss acrylic) spray varnish to seal them for play.

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I have a few more unpainted ones lying around from job lots that I hope to paint in a similar toy soldier gloss style to match these figures. Then off to the “Operation Back  Garden or Garten” this summer using Don’s parachute “confetti” paper shapes tipped out of a box or toy plane method of simulating airdrops?

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My local childhood branch library copy of Wargaming Airborne Operations … now mine!

My reference book for such past figure games was the curiously patchy 1977 Wargaming Airborne Operations by Donald Featherstone, still available in reprint from the History of Wargaming Project. http://www.wargaming.co/recreation/details/dfairborne.htm

Now I need to finish these Laing paratroop figures and get working on the Home Guard rifle platoon to see them off …

Remember – be on your guard – “adolescent enemy agents may be dropped in the uniforms of Boy Scouts or Sea Scouts.”

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Blog posted by Mark, Man of TIN on the 24th March  2019.

If in doubt, undercoat! Peter Laings on the painting table

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Peter Laing 15mms on the painting table

In gaming, if you’re not sure what to do, it’s generally wise to make a rule  and roll a dice.

Equally some wise advice I remember from someone’s ‘black dog’  post – if you’re not sure what to do next, undercoat stuff.

I’m busy undercoating Peter Laing 15mms today. I was reminded that I had not painted or posted about Peter Laing figures for a while by the imminent closing of the Peter Laing Community pages on Google Plus and many people’s migration to the social media platform Me We. You can find like-minded Laing enthusiasts  on the Peter Laing section set up by Ian Dury: https://mewe.com/join/peterlaingfigures

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Eagle eyed readers can spot about 30 WW2 German infantry that I intend to have use as paratroops, along with about the same number of WW2 British Infantry riflemen to double up as Home Guards.

I feel some 1940 /41 ‘Sealion’ type Skirmish rifle platoon  scenarios coming up in future, joining my small number of Laing WW1 and WW2 figures that are so far painted and based. https://manoftinblog.wordpress.com/2016/10/02/peter-laing-15mm-ww2-skirmish/

A cluster of backwoodsmen and settlers in buckskins will double up as Confederates and Boers, useful from French Indian Wars through the war of Independence,  Civil War and beyond. Versatile figures! Likewise there are a small number of very useful Native Americans with bows and arrows.

A few more redcoats in slouch hats as Mounties for Skirmish and Imaginations Games. Some Union or Seventh Cavalry or more Mounties  on horseback to join my few finished ones https://manoftinblog.wordpress.com/2018/11/30/mountie-ambush-game-15mm/

A few strips of redcoats in tricorne hats and grenadiers, along with a mixed handful of British Napoleonic era Infantry.

A mixed bag, some of whom have been waiting patiently on the painting table for a long time.

Getting my eye back in to painting 15mm after a long period on 40 to 54mm seems  a bit strange.

If you’re not sure what to do next, undercoat stuff. Wise words indeed …

Blog posted by Mark Man of TIN on a  rainy Saturday 23rd March 2019.

Donald Featherstone’s Birthday!

IMG_2632If the father of modern wargaming were still alive, Donald Featherstone would be 101 today – Happy  Birthday!

Last year I marked his centenary with several blogposts including:

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

I was delighted to discover this year, after reading recent articles in Miniature Wargames, that Don Featherstone’s collection of figures still exists – some colonials are in regular gaming use in the UK and the rest with his manuscripts and books can be seen in the collection of Daniel Borris in Canada. They can be visited by appointment. Daniel has filmed and photographed much of the collection to put them online on his website: https://www.borrisfeatherstone.com

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Toying with some eraser merchant ships I revisited Featherstone’s Naval War Games and noticed another interesting connection:

https://manoftinblog.wordpress.com/2018/08/23/featherstone-and-co-naval-war-games/

Celebrating some of the “old guard” of the hobby, one of the figure makers that Don admired and contributors to Don’s Naval War Games book – Jack Alexander –  is 90 years old and still actively modelling ships.

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I always admired the Jacklex figures seen in Donald Featherstone’s books but had no idea where to buy them from in the 1980s, or if they were still made. His beautiful  Jacklex figures are still available from Spencer Smith Miniatures and so a few maybe added this year to complement my vintage Airfix figures, just as Jack intended in their size and design. http://www.spencersmithminiatures.co.uk/html/jacklex.html

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There is also a delightful blog about Jacklex, well worth reading and following.
http://jacklex.blogspot.com

Another excellent Featherstone related and still active blog is by Rod MacArthur, one of Don’s original 1960s young opponents in Southampton, His blog Rod’s Wargaming features some great Airfix conversions, some like the Zulus cast or aided by Don himself.

https://rodwargaming.wordpress.com/about/

Happy Birthday Donald F. Featherstone! His simple book War Games (1962) is still one of my two Desert Island gaming books. I like the simplicity of his rules including his Close Wars appendix. https://manoftinblog.wordpress.com/2016/06/09/close-little-wars-featherstones-simplest-rules/

Still inspiring many gamers today!

Blogposted by Mark, Man of TIN on 20th March 2019.