I bought a Scottish Croft for only £1

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After a cool early morning stroll through my nearest local village I walked past a fundraising car boot sale. I was tempted to start a small Sylvanian Army by equipping small furry clothed creatures with shields, swords and spears (Redwall style) but kindly left them all to be discovered with delight by a  local child.

Instead I bought a Scottish Croft for a Pound.

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Thankfully I don’t now have to upsticks and move Northwards to embrace the Good Life of Self Sufficiency anytime soon, only to find both the off-grid smallholding novelty and the delusion wear out quickly. Then write a book about it.

Or maybe not – because it is a very very tiny Croft House and a very small piece of land. It also comes with a tiny flock of sheep built in!

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Instead I moved in some suitably tiny tenants into this little resin Lilliput Lane building – some of my vintage 15mm Peter Laing 1715 or 45 Rising figures. I’m not too sure if they are happy about the sheep or the related Highland Clearances that will follow in the next century.

These 15mm Peter Laing highlanders that I bought as a youngster are here:
https://manoftinblog.wordpress.com/2016/11/04/more-peter-laing-scots/
https://manoftinblog.wordpress.com/2016/10/24/all-about-the-base-about-the-base/

Those precious few Peter Laing sheep have a lot to answer for! Posted when I thought only had one surviving 15mm sheep: https://manoftinblog.wordpress.com/2016/06/29/peter-laing-sheep/

Crofting, Clearances, Sheep or People?
The Highland Clearances (or  the “eviction of the Gaels”) were the forced evictions of many tenants in the Scottish Highlands and Islands, mostly in the period 1750 to 1860.

“After the initial swift and bloodthirsty retribution for the Jacobite rebellions, laws were instigated to prevent any further groundswell of support for the previous monarchs. In 1747 ‘The Act of Proscription’ was passed. Clan tartan had become popular during the Jacobite years and this was outlawed under this new act, as were bagpipes and the teaching of Gaelic. The Act was a direct attack on the Highland culture and way of life, and attempted to eradicate it from a modern and Hanoverian-loyal Scotland.”

So says:
https://www.historic-uk.com/HistoryUK/HistoryofScotland/The-Highland-Clearances/

The article continues:  “It was not only Highland culture that disappeared over this period but also the Highlanders themselves, for the most prosaic of reasons: money. It was deduced by those landowners on whose lands the clans lived and worked, that sheep were exponentially more financially productive than people. The wool trade had begun to boom and there was literally more value in sheep than people. So, what followed was an organized and intentional removal of the population from the area. In 1747, another Act was passed, the ‘Heritable Jurisdictions Act’, which stated that anyone who did not submit to English rule automatically forfeited their land: bend the knee or surrender your birthright …”

The hundred or so years between 1750 and 1860 saw the bulk of the Highland Clearances, forced eviction from farms or a move into alternative Crofting tenancies. For many, it led to eventual forced emigration to avoid famine and failed industries like kelp farming. It is still an emotive area of many people’s family histories scattered around the world. https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Highland_Clearances

So a Scottish Croft for only an English Pound has a lot of complex and partisan economic, social, colonial and military history lurking behind it.

With such big spending, I could have posted this blog post on Pound Store Plastic Warriors.

Two other wargames blogs on a 1:72 Jacobite theme

Rod’s interesting Airfix conversions https://rodwargaming.wordpress.com

Tony Kitchen at Tin Soldiering On http://tonystoysoldiers.blogspot.com/search/label/The%2045

For more of my Lilliput Lane buildings of this sadly vanished uk manufacturer: https://manoftinblog.wordpress.com/2017/06/11/lilliput-lane-buildings-for-15mm-figures/

Now back to researching those early Scouting handbooks and Wide Games scenarios. Scottish Scouts were allowed to wear kilts.

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Image source: Pinterest

Blog posted by Mark Man of
TiN on 28 July 2019

Models for Heroes film trailer

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

Unboxing Box No. 4

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An EBay glimpse and hunch that paid off? 

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.

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!

 

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.