Two short YouTube videos by UK charity Models for Heroes about the therapeutic value of plastic modelling and how having a hobby focus helps with mental health and PTSD: https://www.modelsforheroes.co.uk
Join me in a virtual rummage through (Christmas 2018) Box No. 4. Who knows what you’ll find!
Crossposted from my other blog Pound Store Plastic Warriors https://poundstoreplasticwarriors.wordpress.com/2019/04/22/unboxing-box-no-4/
If you enjoyed this cross-post, you might also enjoy this recent rummage of a blog post https://poundstoreplasticwarriors.wordpress.com/2019/03/30/my-plastic-warrior-show-in-a-box/
Blogposted by Mark Man of TIN, April 22 2019.
Last January I set out five irresolute things that I might or might not do in my gaming hobby for 2018.
I have achieved only a couple of these, becoming busy with new gaming and toy Soldier projects as is the way.
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:
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.
I did even less or next to nothing about the next two.
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.
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/
March 2018 – #MARCHing bands continued #FEMbruary activities – way off target already
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.
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.
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.
and a quick return to (almost) #FEMbruaryish female figure repairs and reprints, thanks to The Duchy of Tradgardland.
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?
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.
Other such 2018 discovery of history nuggets to inspire scenarios include:
September 2018 – more repairs and 54mm conversions, along with an outbreak of skeletons on my other blog Pound Store Plastic Warriors
October 2018 was distraction by scratch buildings
November 2018 saw the passing of Thor Sheil and Stan Lee, more coastal forts and a looming commando theme for 2019?
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
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!
Chuck in some likely shiny distractions such as conversions for Secret Project SF – Strange 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
Pound Store Plastic Warriors https://poundstoreplasticwarriors.wordpress.com
Blogposted by Mark, Man of TIN / Pound Store Plastic Warriors blogs, 31st December 2018 / 1st January 2019.
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.
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:
Blogposted by Mark, Man of TIN during Twixmas on 29 December 2018.
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 …
As original 1930s Hugar buildings are so expensive, the now defunct company of GBE Toy Soldiers used to manufacture replicas.
Blogposted by Mark Man of TIN, Advent Calendar Day 22 on 22 December 2018
Francoise Gaujour is a French photographer who has documented her recent travels across the “Wild Wild West” of America.
There are some very atmospheric shots of buildings of many periods and landscapes.
“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
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.
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.
Blogposted by Mark Man of TIN on Advent Calendar Day 20, 20th December 2018.
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
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.
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/
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.
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.
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).
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)
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.
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.
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.
Blogposted by Mark, Man of TIN, November 2018.