Happy 2nd Blogaversary and Geek Pride Day from the Man of TIN!

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Waving flags and cheers from or for my tip-off find of the year – 15mm Peter Laing Late Victorian Parade Range Civilians. 

Today 25th May 2018 is my second happy Blogaversary (blog anniversary) of the Man of TIN blog! Huzzah! Wave flags etc

May 25 is also Geek Pride Day around the world

https://www.thinkgeek.com/geekpride/

Or in my words “I didn’t choose the Geek Life … the Geek Life chose me.”

A big thanks to all my fellow bloggers and readers over the last year (or two) for all your likes, comments and support. Your blogs on my “blogs I follow” blogroll are my regular portals to games blogging, toy soldiers and gaming inspiration.

The last year of Man of TIN and associated blogs has seen a wide range of subjects, being the wargames and toy soldier butterfly that I am.

Some of my highlights from my latest year of Man of TIN blog

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1. Pound Store Plastic Warriors – my other blog https://poundstoreplasticwarriors.wordpress.com

Being mostly 42mm paint conversions and 36mm pound store plastic tat figures transformed into loveliness!

https://manoftinblog.wordpress.com/2018/01/28/pound-store-plastic-figure-conversions-and-comparisons/

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2. Sidetracked – my other railway gaming related blog and its Blowing Up Desert Trains games

https://manoftinblog.wordpress.com/2017/08/05/blowing-up-desert-trains/

all thanks to the gift of a Train in a TIN.

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Peter Laing 15mm troops  clash on the tracks in the desert
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192 Heroscape Hexes of Joy on my Portable Game Board

3. Expanding my Heroscape hex portable game board

https://manoftinblog.wordpress.com/2017/08/01/192-hexes-of-joy-a-larger-hex-game-board/

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4. The Remount Department and Broken Britain’s, all part of my ongoing interest in 54mm gaming and figure repair and restoration.

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Metal detectorist toy soldier finds restored.  

https://manoftinblog.wordpress.com/2018/05/20/recalled-to-the-colours-54mm-metal-detectorists-toy-soldier-finds-restored-to-fighting-condition/

5. My ongoing search for vintage Peter Laing 15mm figures, now they are no longer produced and the Peter Laing collectors Google G+ Community Page established by Ian Dury

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

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My best find of the last blogging year? A tip off towards Peter Laing 15mm Victorian Civilians.

6. Along with American painter and toy soldier collector Andrew Wyeth exhibitions, I have also enjoyed Forgotten Georgia,  still an enjoyable slice of old American life and buildings on this website

https://manoftinblog.wordpress.com/2017/06/27/forgotten-georgia-blog/

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7. Vintage Airfix OO/HO figure gaming

https://manoftinblog.wordpress.com/2017/09/16/another-vintage-airfix-hoard/

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The end of the Airfix ACW game and surviving Union troops!

One of my favourite games last year was a vintage ACW  Airfix game using the Train in a TIN!

https://manoftinblog.wordpress.com/2017/07/25/acw-battle-of-pine-ridge-vintage-airfix-full-game-write-up/

8. Using Donald Featherstone rules of course in the year of his Centenary (1918-2013).

Reading and transcribing BBC scripts from Don’s 1960s long-forgotten radio talks was another highlight, the contents now passed onto John Curry at the History o& Wargaming Project.

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From an early Featherstone interview in the newspapers which I tracked down.

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

9. Unusual anniversaries and special months – MARCH and FEMbruary  featuring female figure painting challenges and history, along with “believable female miniatures” including buying some 28mm land girls from Annie at Bad Squiddo.

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100 years since the Vote was awarded to some British women – my suffragette conversions and Home cast Prince August policemen conversions. 

10. The Bronte bicentenaries – 200 years since several of the Bronte family were  born, inspiration for some of my Imagi-Nations games, based in their mythical juvenile worlds of Angria, Gondal and GlassTown.

May – Only about half the way through my New Gaming Year’s Irresolutions … and way off target already!

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

Many thanks for sharing my latest blogging year and I hope you enjoy the next! Next posts will be more “Broken Britain’s” 54mm lead figure conversions.

And Happy Geek Pride Day

“I didn’t choose the Geek Life … the Geek Life chose me.”

Blogposted by Mark Man of TIN, 2nd Blogaversary, 25 May 2018.

 

 

 

 

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The magic number 793.9

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793.9 that magical number that ought to be the PIN number or four digit code of all gamers of a certain generation.

793.9 the most important bit of any school library or the adult section of the public library when you were too young to afford any gaming books except at Christmas or Birthday.

793.9 the public secret code to the portal of gaming. The cupboard to Narnia of toy soldier gaming. As I recall in one lovely tiny branch library of my childhood,  793.9 was round the back of shelving and out of view from the rest of the library.

What was 793.9 in the mysterious world of Dewey library numbers?

793 Indoor games & amusements
793.2 Parties and entertainment
793.3 Social, folk, national dancing
793.4 Games of action
793.5 Forfeit and trick games
793.7 Games not characterized by action
793.8 Magic and related activities
793.9 Other indoor diversions

http://bpeck.com/references/ddc/ddc_mine700.htm

793.9 other indoor diversions including Wargames 

793.9 has even generated its own 2014 book Dragons in the Stacks, as befits some of the more forward thinking libraries such as Kaptain Kobold’s local Australian library’s games events. http://hordesofthethings.blogspot.co.uk/2017/11/dragon-rampant-at-library.html

 

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Mainly focussed on RPG games, snippets can be read on Google books.

http://www.librarything.com/mds/793.92  suggests that Wargames now have their own unique number 793.92

So who was Dewey the decimal library wizard?  https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dewey_Decimal_Classification

Here is the man himself, American librarian  Melvil Dewey (1851-1931)

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The great man Melvil Dewey  1851–1931 (Image:Wikipedia source)

Would Melvil Dewey have approved of the activities categorised under 793.9?

Probably not, accorading to Anna Elliott’s article below. He did not seem too fond of “silly games” although arguably everything I have learned about history, psychology and tactics through gaming would class it as the sort of “self improvement activity” he enjoyed in place of “silly games” as a child.

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http://www.hwwilson.com/databases/PDFsample/WLB/dewey.pdf

What a singular man Melvil Dui turned out to be …

Blogposted by Mark, Man of TIN, player of Games not characterized by action

 

Dahomey Amazons

IMG_3169https://wordpress.com/post/poundstoreplasticwarriors.wordpress.com/4016

B.P.S. Blog Post Script

Having been asked about figure ranges, several manufacturers do Dahomey Wars ranges with Amazon females thanks to The Raft https://wargamingraft.wordpress.com/wargaming-warrior-women/list-of-figures-in-15mm-and-28mm/

Dixon 28mm Dahomey Range

http://www.dixon-minis.com/shop/dahomey-wars-1892-28mm/#pack-dahomey-warriors-4-pack

Irregular Miniatures 15mm 

http://www.irregularminiatures.co.uk

FZ148 Dahomey African Amazon lady warrior with musket 40p

Minifigs/Matchlock 28mm

– FIN11A Dahomey Female Warrior Officer £1.30 each

– FIN11B Dahomey Female Warrior Firing

– FIN11C Dahomey Female Warrior Attacking With Sword

http://www.miniaturefigurines.co.uk/ 

Matchlock Miniatures Catalogue – 28mm Catalogue – Falcon Late C19th/Early C20th & Boxer Rebellion Range

http://www.miniaturefigurines.co.uk/Catalogue.aspx?ScaleID=14&CategoryID=36&SubCategoryID=203

Found Object Dungeon Castle Tomb

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Dungeon? Old Tomb? Castle or Fort?

A free gift from the wider family, this versatile cardboard packaging. Great that it isn’t unrecyclable plastic. Even better that it suggests lots of scrap modelling possibilities.

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Versatile and suggestive of many scenarios.

There are a few felt tip marks from previous play owners that will need a gentle paint disguise. Otherwise I will probably leave the blocks as they are for now. Any detailing would diminish them or fix a scenario  too much. They remind me of the desert and city scenery in Star Wars Rogue One.

They also work for multiple scales, another reason for not adding detail. At 54mm the deep pits make firing positions in an old fort or blasted village. At the 36mm scale of pound store plastic warriors, they are more like old tombs or excavations, an abandoned city in the Generic Badlands.

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Exploring the Lost Tombs … Little Green Men – 36mm pound store plastic space alien conversions.  

Being essentailly papier-mâché cardboard packaging, they may need hot glue gunning to some backing board and not leaving around in the garden. A thin brush over of PVA might waterproof them all.

When storage space becomes a problem, they “flatpack” back to cardboard with the happy aid of boots and into the recycling.

Blogposted by Mark, Man of TIN 19 January 2018.

Greetings from The Christmas Village

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American Colonial kept simple without roof windows, OOHO railway figure and vintage Merit trees
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Templates to scan or photocopy, scale up and build once you have made the original buildings …
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Colonial and Alpine buildings …

Being the Christmas blogpost from the Man Of TIN. No Christmas Railway this year to entertain and entrain the troops, instead the first part of a new Christmas Village.

Build a Christmas Village by Leonard Hospidor, 2011, Sterling Innovations, New York, USA

The pre-punched cardstock buildings come with a sheet of see-through Vellum paper for the window glass, which can have details inked in with a suitable pen or black biro. This window element looks extra festive and good at night if you put a small LED battery candle inside.

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Portrait of a very clever man, the author or creator Leonard Hospidor, USA

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The box and book were created in 2011 by US papercrafter Leonard Hospidor and published by Sterling Innivation. They are still available online. I bought mine in a shop a Christmas or two ago for about fifteen pounds. The website BuildAChristmasVillage.com sadly appears to be no longer functioning.

The pressout buildings seem to be suitable for about 20 to 30mm scaled figures.

What makes this set extra useful is the reusable template section  of the book that can be freely scanned or photocopied and scaled up or down as basic buildings for gaming, such as the American Colonial house for Revolutionary War or Civil War Games. The snowy bits can be overpainted as needed.

We have yet to build the church or English Tudor Revival timber framed building, but the glue supplied was good PVA craft glue that stuck card quickly. There is also a doghouse (small barn for tiny figures?), stark winter oaks and green snowy fir trees. All useful. All a bit of fun for all the family.

I have resisted the masses of  other Christmas village houses and figures, the all-singing, musical LED  ones etc around in the shops at this time of  year, even though the gaming mind thinks “Hmm, useful civilian figures, useful country cottage in snow …”

Wishing all my Man of TIN blog readers and Pound Store Plastic Warriors blog readers a  very happy toy filled Christmas and a Happy and Healthy New Gaming Year 2018. 

2017 has been a good hobby and blogging year. Thanks for all your comments, likes and emails this year and for sharing your hobby on your blogs too. It’s been fun! 

Blosposted by Mark, Man of TIN, 22/23 December 2017

Look out for a suitably cheap plastic festive offering on our other blog soon!

https://poundstoreplasticwarriors.wordpress.com

 

In a tiny wartime French village

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In  a wartime French village, shots ring out as the defending troops rush from house to house.

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In a previous blogpost I explored the world of Gault buildings and Peter Laing WW2 15mm figures.

I mentioned that I would try the buildings out with the few 4 or 5 10mm WW2 German and American figures that turned up in a job lot of 15mm figures.

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In beautiful sun washed colour … past the Boulangerie and La Vielle Auberge. A sniper lurk somewhere on the first floor balcony of the bakery.

I am not aware of the name of  the maker of these tiny figures. They have the slim tiny look of early series 1 Airfix figures.

A skirmish with only two or three figures a side does not take long!

You can read more about the Gault Buildings and compare their use with Peter Laing  15mm figures.

https://manoftinblog.wordpress.com/2017/08/20/gault-miniature-ceramic-houses/ Blogposted by Mark, Man of TIN, September 2017

Gault Miniature Ceramic Houses

 

 

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15mm Peter Laing WW2 British Infantry proceed cautiously through a Southern French village, guided by the brave ladies of Resistance, somewhere in France Summer 1944. (Sadly both Peter Laing figures and Gault Houses have ceased production).

 

A lucky find on a collectibles or junk stall was a £10 teabag box full of a small jumbled collection of miniature ceramic French houses  produced by Gault.

 

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An old PG Tags box of tiny French houses … signed Gault Made in France.

 

I had never heard of ‘Gault Made in France’ but I saw the games potential of this ‘bric a brac’ straight away. They looked close to 15mm scale.

About Gault France ceramic houses

“The magic of Gault houses was born from the combination of the talents of 2 brothers: Jean-Pierre, architect, painter and sculptor, and Dominique, designer and businessman”. http://gault-france.com/gault-history/

Sadly ceramics  production of this attractive little French houses by Gault ceased for a while in 2001 and finally by 2010, due to the expensive production costs of these individually made and painted houses, after about thirty years of production.

This is much the same story of British firm Lilliput Lane which begin in 1982 and ceased production  in 2016 that  https://manoftinblog.wordpress.com/2017/06/11/lilliput-lane-buildings-for-15mm-figures/

Judging by the long individual making process, I am not surprised that they had high production costs:

Two months were needed to produce a house through 14 manufacturing stages. Sculpting of roofs, shaping and modelling of balconies, pavements…Natural drying, firing at 700°C; rinse-bath with oxides, painting, patina, dust removal, cold enameling at 1000°C and shop-fronts miniaturising. All those stages were necessary to produce a piece finally worthy of seal of Gault. The world of Gault: the charm weaves its spell.” http://gault-france.com

The Gault France site (above) by Stephane is the only English language site I can find about them. It is well worth a visit, a real labour of love. It features pages of a rare Japanese book about them, showing the commonest Provence range that my houses belong to and many more ranges on his website http://gault-france.com/

“J Carlton houses are made of resin instead of ceramic and are generally a bit smaller than the Gault Original (ceramic) houses. A key difference between the ceramic and resin houses is that the ceramic houses were entirely made by hand; each one was unique as the window styles, doors, business name and other aspects of the pieces was different on each one of the same model. The resin houses are made from highly precise molds and therefore each one of the same model are identical.”  Taken from http://gault-france.com website

The resin replacements of the Gault houses still produced and available on the ‘J. Carlton’ website. These are resin moulded, much brighter and, to me, have far less character or texture than the ceramic Gault originals. Like old metal figures, the ceramics also have a satisfying weighty heft about them.

Dominique Gault personally created the design for the comic little metal figurines, vehicles, and town furniture working with a French sculptor or artist  Jean-Pierre Lobel. They do not feature on Lobel’s Art Miniature range, produced surprisingly in the former French colony of Madagascar since 1995. www.figurine-artminiature.com

However the Gault / Lobel figures  are still produced in metal, hand painted and sold through J Carlton or second hand online sites.  I am not too sure of their size, online auction sites suggest about 1 inch high, but they turn these model French towns into something charming and comic, somewhere between Trumpton and Tintin. http://pxlentreprise.fr/jcarlton/categorie-produit/figurines/

This motley collection of Gault houses suggest lots of gaming possibilities, especially in 15mm (they would probably work with 10mm too).  You can mix and move the smaller side buildings around, much as you can in the traditional wooden German toy villages beloved of gamers, to create new combinations of buildings.

 

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Grainy black and white shot of Peter Laing 15mm WW2 British infantry figures still moving cautiously  through this southern French town, Summer 1944..

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It is difficult to resist moving these little houses and outhouses around to make new village or townscapes.

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Like all new gaming finds, these houses rearranged into  a square, a small hamlet or long street suggest gaming scenarios or just atmospheric scene setting.

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The red pantile roof (fairly similar to Roman roof tiles) suggests southern France or Spain, Portugal and ‘the Med’. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Roof_tiles

With the bell tower, it could a Mexican, Spanish Colonial  or southern states desert village for some of my 15mm Peter Laing  Boers as cowboys or bandits with other American Civil War figures.

With some Peter Laing 15mm Romans stashed away for Christmas to look forward to as opponents  to my Peter Laing Ancient troops, I can see these working as simple Roman buildings. Instead of the maker’s mark of Gault written on the back wall, I may find the words Romans Go Home written instead!

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A more Peninsular feel to these buildings used with Peter Laing 15mm British Infantry of the Napoleonic Wars and Heroscape hexes.

I have tried the smaller Gault buildings out on 4.5 cm Heroscape hexes and they work quite well in a token ‘toy town’ kind of way.

The bigger houses do not sit so well on the hexes, an issue we discussed about ground scales, overhand etc. with hex grids. https://manoftinblog.wordpress.com/2017/08/03/192-hexes-of-joy-affronted-by-re-basing-and-ground-scales/

However they do well enough on a felt gaming cloth.

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Napoleon (Le Petit Caporal)  stops off at “La Vielle Auberge” for “le vin” and the “Boulangerie” for his daily bread with his tiny escort and colour party of 15mm Peter Laing French Napoleonic Infantry figures.

 

Behind the scenes and underneath Gault Houses

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Signed by Gault on the back  –  ceramic graffiti – but what great texture and patina the two month Gault production process leaves.

For those who know such things, here are the maker’s marks or catalogue numbers of the pieces I picked up.

Looking on online sites, now that these Gault ceramics are out of production, even the smallest outhouse seems to be selling for at least twice the price I paid for the whole cardboard tea box of jumbled houses. A lucky day.

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.

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More maker’s marks or catalogue numbers underneath.

 

So I can now say that I own a property in Provence or two … albeit in miniature.

With thanks to Stephane’s excellent Gault-France website http://gault-france.com/gault-original/ for the information.

Blogposted by Mark, Man of TIN or Homme d’ ETAIN (Homme de PLOMB or Man of Lead sounds even better!), 20 August 2017.