New Gaming Year Irresolutions 2019

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Last January I set  out five  irresolute things that  I might or might not do in my gaming hobby for 2018.

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

I have achieved only a couple of these, becoming busy with new gaming and toy Soldier projects as is the way.

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NGY 2018 Irresolution One – Carry on Converting

January was all this on Poundland’s penny dreadful figures https://manoftinblog.wordpress.com/2018/01/28/pound-store-plastic-figure-conversions-and-comparisons/

Success! Lots of this happened and figure repair on Broken Britains took over mid year.

NGY 2018 Irresolution Two – More solo short small skirmish games

Very few of these, as my games table was usually covered in Broken Britains but some enjoyable games such as:

https://manoftinblog.wordpress.com/2018/02/25/pound-store-colonial-skirmish-parts-1-and-2/

https://manoftinblog.wordpress.com/2018/11/30/mountie-ambush-game-15mm/

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NGY 2018 Irresolution Three – Paint More Peter Laings

Apart from Deutsche Afrika Korps paint conversions, a handful of Mounties was all the Peter Laings I managed to paint.

https://manoftinblog.wordpress.com/2018/02/24/peter-laing-15mm-ww2-dak-desert-africa-korps/

https://manoftinblog.wordpress.com/2018/11/25/peter-laing-15mm-mounties-on-the-painting-table-rcmp/

I did even less or next to nothing about the next two.

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Pax Romana? A quiet year for my Peter Laing 15mm Roman Command Group (painted by Stuart Asquith!)

NGY 2018 Irresolution Four – Full Metal Hic Jacet – Whoops! did nothing this year.

NGY 2018 Irresolution Five – Return to Planet Back Yarden – I seemed to spend all year enjoyably preparing for a 42mm or 54mm Garden Skirmish that never properly happened.

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Repairs and repainted 54mm figures with the intrepid Colonel Fazackerley

As I mentioned “It should be fun to look back in a year’s time to find out what shiny distractions cropped up during the New Gaming and Painting Year of 2018”. So what happened and how did 2018 go so  enjoyably awry? 

January 2018 – more pound store conversions (see Irresolutions 1) –  on target so far

#FEMbruary 2018 – I didn’t expect this challenge of painting and collecting believable female models ranging  from Bad Squiddo Land Girls to Suffragette Conversions from Airfix footballers https://manoftinblog.wordpress.com/2018/02/18/fembruary-2018-progress-so-far/

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March 2018 – #MARCHing bands continued #FEMbruary activities – way off target already

https://manoftinblog.wordpress.com/2018/03/31/marching-for-votes-for-women/

More centenaries in 2018 (WW1, Votes for Women)  included two very different toy soldier folk such as Spike  Milligan (April 17th) and Donald Featherstone, who would have been 100 on 20 March 2018.

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

In March and April 2018, some unusual WW1 anniversary themes that were “Not On The Western Front” started to creep in, ranging from Portuguese and Bulgarian infantry to later in the year Belgian Cycle troops.

I could blame Marvin over at Suburban Militarism for much of this distraction.

https://suburbanmilitarism.wordpress.com 

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May 2018 saw the gift arrival of some Broken Britain’s from John Forman, which set off a spate of 54mm figure repair including someone’s toy soldier metal detecting finds.

This repair bench activity continued throughout June, building up repaired and repainted  54mm Skirmish natives such as American Indians and Zulus.

July and August 2018 saw a switch to 54mm aircrew and aircraft conversions. A lot of this was focussed on preparing for garden games that never happened this year.

https://manoftinblog.wordpress.com/2018/07/26/tsaf-aircraft-repaint-part-1/

https://manoftinblog.wordpress.com/2018/08/12/tsaf-new-flying-banshee-biplane/

and a quick return to (almost) #FEMbruaryish female figure repairs and reprints, thanks to The Duchy of Tradgardland.

https://manoftinblog.wordpress.com/2018/08/01/the-duchess-of-wellingtons-own/

August 2018 saw a brief dip of the toe in the waters of naval wargaming thanks to some eraser ships – maybe something to come back to in 2019?

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

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August 2018 – I reached the heady heights of 50 blog followers. What I most enjoy about this is that many of them are regular readers who take the time to comment on the blog posts.

And from the 51st follower, I learnt another new little history nugget, one of several  this year.

https://manoftinblog.wordpress.com/2018/08/06/black-birding-and-the-reverse-underground-railroad/

Other such 2018 discovery of history nuggets to inspire scenarios include:

https://sidetracked2017blog.wordpress.com/2018/09/18/the-faked-railway-explosion-that-led-to-war-the-manchurian-or-mukden-incident-china-18-september-1931/

https://manoftinblog.wordpress.com/2018/12/09/man-of-tin-advent-calendar-day-9-the-russians-are-coming-1873-new-zealand-hoax/

https://manoftinblog.wordpress.com/2018/10/01/auckland-invaded-1873/

September 2018 – more repairs and 54mm conversions, along with an outbreak of skeletons on my other blog Pound Store Plastic Warriors

https://manoftinblog.wordpress.com/2018/09/08/skeletons-sir-farsunds-of-em/

October 2018 was distraction by scratch buildings

https://manoftinblog.wordpress.com/2018/10/14/from-old-digital-radio-to-54mm-houses-and-coastal-gun-emplacement/

November 2018 saw the passing of Thor Sheil and Stan Lee, more coastal forts and a looming commando theme for 2019?

https://manoftinblog.wordpress.com/2018/11/30/kaskowiski-1873-inspired-scenario/

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December 2018 was an Advent Calendar madness of blogposts every day on very varied topics, a good way to finish off part drafted blog posts accumulated over several years. Everything from punk rock singer Toy Soldier collectors to Victorian toy soldier scraps!

So what next for 2019?

Several Irresolutions from 2018 to carry forward and possibly ignore.

NGY 2018 / 2019 Irresolution One – Carry on Converting (and repairing). I have a whole desk full of these hollowcast casualties to keep me busy …

NGY 2018/19  Irresolution Two – More solo short small skirmish games

NGY 2018/19 Irresolution Three – Paint More Peter Laings

Linked to

NGY 2018/19  Irresolution Four – Full Metal Hic Jacet – if I can find my Ancients Skirmish Mojo.

NGY 2018/ 19 Irresolution Five – Return to Planet Back Yarden – those 54mm space figures won’t paint themselves, you know!

Not forgetting all those American Civil War / Colonial / War of Independence figures who need finishing off and basing to fight skirmishes in the garden and tabletop against those Broken Britain’s Zulus and American Indians. All inspired by Wells’  Little Wars and Featherstone’s Close Wars rules.  All of these duel purpose figures with a Bronte inspired ImagiNations twist of Angria Gondal and Glasstown, if real world, button-counting / ethical history proves too awkward. The Brontes! Arise Angria!

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Donald Featherstone’s Wargaming Airborne Operations (my childhood copy) and John Curry History of Wargaming Project at the recently published Commando follow up has lots of distractions to answer for!

Chuck in some likely shiny distractions such as conversions for Secret Project SFStrange Fruit Wars, some commando raid inspired skirmishes, lots more blogging and a bit of hot metal pouring (homecasting), who knows how the year will go?

I look forward again to reading everyone else’s foolishly optimistic Irresolutions and all your New Year of Gaming and Painting adventures.

It’s all for the love of Toy Soldiers!

Happy New Year!

Don’t forget – further distraction  from your own resolute tasks exists at my other occasional toy soldier and gaming related blogs

Sidetracked https://sidetracked2017blog.wordpress.com

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Pound Store Plastic Warriors https://poundstoreplasticwarriors.wordpress.com

And our Year reviews https://poundstoreplasticwarriors.wordpress.com/2019/01/01/colour-schemes-for-imagi-nations-uniforms/

Blogposted by Mark, Man of TIN / Pound Store Plastic Warriors blogs, 31st December 2018 / 1st January 2019.

The Brontes!

 

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More Log Cabins!

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These log cabins are not what they seem … 20mm ish handmade FIMO figures 

These small little log cabins are another curious gift from the family for Christmas, knowingly bought  as destined for gaming use.

They suggest American backwoods or the forests of Northern Europe and Scandinavia.

They are Paine’s log cabin incense burners, made by an American company from American forests since 1931. They have a door but no windows.

https://paineproducts.com/shop/category/log-cabin-burners-2

https://paineproducts.com/about-us

These Paine’s cabins come ready assembled and are a very different size from the RoyToys Log Cabin Building Sets that suit 40mm plus to 54mm figures https://manoftinblog.wordpress.com/2018/12/27/roy-toys-usa-log-cabin-set/

For scale I have put a couple of my 20mm ish early handmade DIY figures made from Fimo polymer clay, suitably American figures:

https://manoftinblog.wordpress.com/2016/05/27/more-diy-gaming-figure-making/

Blogposted by Mark, Man of TIN during Twixmas on 29 December 2018.

Man of TIN Advent Calendar Day 22 – A Few 1930s toy soldier Hugar Buildings

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Interesting pre-war 54mm scenery (battle boards) from Hugar – rare and expensive!

A book I am looking forward to as a gift at Christmas is  The Illustrated History of Hugar published in Hardcover by Smart Media in 2014 by Paul Brookes. Available through Amazon. Perfect for a 54mm old Toy Soldier gamer …

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As original 1930s Hugar buildings are so expensive, the now defunct company of GBE Toy Soldiers used to manufacture replicas.

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Hugar  style  buildings no longer available on GBE soldiers.
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Again no longer available from GBE Toy Soldiers

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Simple and play-full buildings

http://brightontoyandmodelmuseum.blogspot.com/2016/04/donation-britains-farmyard-set.html

Blogposted by Mark Man of TIN, Advent Calendar Day 22 on 22 December 2018

Man of TIN Advent Calendar Day 20 – Wild West Americana Inspiration

Francoise Gaujour is a French photographer who has documented her recent travels across the “Wild Wild West”  of America.

http://francoisegaujour.net

There are some very atmospheric shots of buildings of many periods and landscapes.

https://www.behance.net/gallery/42204465/WILD-WILD-WEST-1American-Dream

https://www.behance.net/gallery/44088347/WILD-WILD-WEST-2How-the-west-was-won

“After a solid career as a radio and TV journalist Francoise Gaujour (France) began her photography in Mali in the 2000s, attracted by the colours of Africa. Since then she has exhibited in several galleries in Paris, in France, and abroad. Her series invites you to meditate on the beauty of the planet. She seeks how to colour the world and her approach is poetic, sometimes graphic, often in search of the abstract.” https://blinq.art/francoise-gaujour/1038-wild-wild-west-7.html

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http://forgottengeorgia2.blogspot.com

Don’t forget the lovely Americana blog Forgotten Georgia which features old and sometimes abandoned buildings across the state of Georgia USA, both historic sites or more modern. Barns, churches, farmhouses, railway depots, general stores. This website has inspired several American western gaming scenarios.

https://manoftinblog.wordpress.com/2017/07/13/forgotten-georgia-all-159-states-visited/

https://manoftinblog.wordpress.com/2017/07/04/dutchy-and-dade-the-confederate-history-of-forgotten-georgia/

This has inspired parts of my own occasional blog of railway and gaming related material https://sidetracked2017blog.wordpress.com

New Zealand Heritage

There is a similar list of lost vernacular buildings in New Zealand, including lots of small wooden colonial buildings with a surprising number of buildings lost in the earthquake and demolitions of 2011.

http://www.heritage.org.nz/the-list/lost-heritage

Blogposted by Mark Man of TIN on Advent Calendar Day 20, 20th December 2018.

Kaskowiski 1873 inspired scenario

The Kaskowiski invasion hoax of 1873 set me thinking about future games scenarios that could be based around the supposed or suggested incident. After all, that is what the author or newspaper editor of the Daily Southern Cross David Luckie intended in his May 1873 article,  published in February 1873, to stir up concern over New Zealand’s naval and land defences. Eventually continued concern led to the building of fortified batteries.

Where would I get a suitable coastal fort or battery as a focus for a game?

I  have explored Victorian and later adapted wartime forts and gun batteries  in the West Country ranging from Pendennis Castle

https://www.english-heritage.org.uk/visit/places/pendennis-castle/

in Falmouth and its sister fort of St Mawes (both English Heritage) along with the St. Antony Battery and Lighthouse nearby (National Trust) and similar adapted fortifications in the Scilly Isles. I was familiar with the underground passageways and ammunition stores, mess rooms, ventilation grilles and concrete gun emplacements that might be found in such coastal  forts.

There are some interesting photographs of Victorian coastal forts and artillery on the internet, ranging from Britain to New Zealand.

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Fort Jervois (New Zealand) https://nzhistory.govt.nz/media/photo/fort-jervois

Closed by recent earthquake damage, Fort Jervois has been photographed by Urbex photographers https://urbexcentral.com/2016/01/27/earthquake-island/fort-jervois-ripapa-island-95/

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A little picture research brought up this massive gun (or tiny people)

Seeing these last few pictures of grassy concrete batteries and giant coastal guns convinced me that I had a  suitable fort or two packed away from childhood – the Airfix Gun Emplacement.

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With a little repainting, these would serve from Victorian times onwards. At a pinch they should suit my 15mm Peter Laing figures as well as  the larger OO/HO 20 to 25mm plastic Airfix sort of figures.

 

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Repainted and flocked, this old Airfix fort with gun shield off makes a reasonably old-looking  coastal gun position.

My 15mm and 20mm figure bases are a little large for the narrowest passageways, so I may have to trim any bases slightly before painting up a suitable garrison or attackers. I remember it being a tight fit anyway with the later larger Airfix OO/HO second version figures (the first version 1960s  ones had smaller but more topply bases).

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I also have a passable Airfix coastal defence fort from childhood that could be added, much like the one featured on the front of John Curry’s recent reprint of Donald Featherstone’s unpublished Wargaming Commando Operations.

The 1873 Kaskowiski Russian Invasion of New Zealand Hoax focuses on an amphibious raid or landing by Russian Marines, Naval Infantry  or Sailor, supported by a Russian Ironclad like the PavelPavlosk.

The closest ‘Russian marines’ I currently have are some 15mm Peter Laing Russians (painted as Bulgarians)

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Russian Ironclad of the 1870s the Petropavlovsk https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Russian_ironclad_Petropavlovsk

I do have about four Russian Marines from a brief flirtation in the 1980s with new Platoon 20 figures  (metal, 20mm, which wiped my pocket money). These Platoon 20 figures are still available.

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The officer with pistol and rifleman with bayonet might be suitable for such Kaskowiski scenarios, rather than the LMG and SMG figures.

I shall have to look through and see what Peter Laing figures I have that are suitable. Here are my 15mm Russians, disembarking near a lonely customs post.

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The customs officer and volunteer rifle Militia man confront the Russian Marines.
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The good old Airfix Pontoon Bridge boat makes a handy pinnace or Invasion barge. Heroscape Hex landscape.

It will be interesting to research suitable Victorian uniforms for 19th century Colonial figures.

The Volunteer Rifle movement had reached New Zealand by the time of the Kaskowiski invasion hoax of 1873, as this account shows in the Daily Southern Cross  newspaper around the hoax date of 17 February 1873.

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O should the Cask of Whisky / Kaskowiski come? The Volunteers will sort it out, as this ditty poem suggests.

Blogposted by Mark, Man of TIN, November 2018.

From old digital radio to 54mm houses and coastal gun emplacement

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I loved making these unusual buildings over several weeks, using scrap materials.

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The larger house at Das terracotta clay stage onto a wooden radio base.

An old, long dead Roberts digital radio with wooden frame and stylish fabric print has been upcycled into several wooden 54mm buildings.

Brick ruin walls were provided with air drying Das terracotta clay.  This took a week or two to dry!

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The smaller house – yet to be painted – its shape dictated by the base, an internal piece of radio woodwork.

I wanted to create buildings that could serve a number of uses in a desert scenario or European Countryside on tabletop or garden games.

I wasn’t sure how best to paint these with Acrylics, so went for a ‘Blend’, inspired by two old stalwart childhood favourites, the Airfix Desert Outpost and the ruined house European strongpoint.

My Airfix Painting Inspiration?

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The amazing 1:32 Desert Outpost from Airfix
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The wonderful old 1:32 Airfix Strongpoint

After a non-descript base paint colour of sandy Afrikabraun  and brown Acrylic to suggest a sand or mud floor, I used a mixture of white and offwhite Acrylic for the whitewashed walls, followed by a dry brush of brown to weather the walls to a more ruinous state. Several coats of white / offwhite were required.

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The desert ruin setting
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Repaired Broken Britain’s and other 54mm hollowcast soldiers in this European ruin setting.
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Back view of the larger ruin.

Lolly sticks, cocktail sticks and wooden coffee stirrers provided the ruined window frames. Pushing a couple of ragged holes through the clay walls suggests that the building has been damaged by shell fire or the walls loopholed by troops.

I still have the smaller clay building to paint, which has been based on  another oddly shaped wooden internal section of the old radio.

Coastal Gun Emplacement?

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Looking at the other part of the old digital radio, once I had removed the electrics / electronics, the shape suggested some kind of camouflaged bunker.

I was inspired by some of the simple wooden  Hugar style buildings made in the 1930s for Britain’s. Paul Brookes has written a recent Illustrated History of Hugar, available via Amazon. 

https://www.brightontoymuseum.co.uk/index/Category:Hugar_Models

The metal front speaker grille that would form the bunker roof would be fine on a sci fi bunker. It didn’t look right on a 1930s/40s one, so was replaced by cardboard covered in some of the fabric pattern removed from the radio back before the back was used as the  larger terracotta house base.

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Inside the bunker, the simple gun mounting blocks and improvised crews.

Other internal bits of wood from the radio suggested two gun platforms.

I had no plyboard left and had already used the radio base for the larger house ruin, so I substituted stiff cardboard for a base. I tend to use whatever I have to hand, just to get on with the job whilst in the mood.

Amongst job lots of Broken Britain’s figures had been a couple of damaged old Britain’s AA guns without their trailer bases. I had been saving three of these guns for wooden gunboats but two seem to serve well enough here as requisitioned or improvised coastal guns.

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A scratch machine gun team from various damaged figures and pieces. The officer with binoculars was created from a trashed metal detecting find.

A scratch team of repaired Broken Britain’s and other hollowcast lead Khaki gunners  and  Infantry give the right feel.

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These steel helmeted Khaki infantry mounted on tuppenny bases are Britain’s East Kent Regiment on Guard, all broken figures gifted to me by John Forman rather than being scrapped, all of which needed base and rifle repairs.

I’m not sure who the textile designer was for the textiles on this limited edition (but dead) Roberts digital radio c. 2004/5, but I think the strong blotch camouflage colours are reminiscent of experimental wartime camouflage schemes.

For a bit of barbed wire, the metal spines of old notebooks come in handy.

On a scrap hound basis, I also have the old radio aerial  for mounting model aircraft at different heights, once a suitable wooden base turns up. Waste not …

Blogposted by Mark, Man of TIN, 13/14th October 2018.

 

 

Timpo Desert Fort pictures

Using my blog as a scrapbook (kind of what Pinterest was invented for), here are a couple of cheeky screen shots from an online auction site of the Timpo Desert Fort.

Never had this fort or knew it existed. However I still have my childhood Timpo Arabs and Foreign Legion, some of them in need of repair from brittle joints.

I have been slowly collecting the odd beaten up Timpo cowboy buildings for 54mm games.

There are lots more Timpo buildings at this site for some Timpo Nostalgia:

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

Blogposted by Mark, Man of TIN, 29 August 2018.