Flying Tiger Palm Trees

The heat, the sand, the endless sand. Need shade and a cool drink.

We must March or Die …

The Lost Oasis –  Tiger.com palm tree decorations on Heroscape desert hex scenery on my board with Peter Laing 15mm French Foreign Legion figures for scale.

I realise that I have spent lots of time recently repairing Broken Britain’s 54mm toy soldier size figures and somewhat neglected my smaller 15mm Peter Laing figures.

Tiger.com palm tree (cake?) decorations

Painted resin palm  tree decs £1 each.

On my travels “upcountry” (everything above my rural Southwest part of England / the U.K. is “upcountry”) I recently  visited a Flying Tiger store. Fortunately they do not yet do mail order.

https://uk.flyingtiger.com

Flying Tiger  of Copenhagen are European (and worldwide) stores selling strange and wonderful things.

A small six by six by five inch high Opbevaringsbokse or stackable storage box. Useful for storing spare heads and arms etc.  Cost £2.

Three layers of sorting. 

Three blurry Flying Tiger shelfies of things I did not buy but could be useful for gaming:

Shelfie 1: Resisted buying these fake grass toothbrush holders or soap dishes – or fake grass clumps for gaming. £3 each.

Shelfie 2 and 3: A kid’s thick card cottage lunchbox with front down flap. Or a Q-Cottage? Excellent for concealing a Home Guard field gun? £7.

Resisted the roll of fake grass AstroTurf table runner £4

Resisted the wooden plant holder in the shape of 54mm+ picket fences – cheaper than making?

Things I did buy

Magnetic boards £2 each A4 paper size, thin enough to cut and use in reverse as tray bases. It could be mounted on card or wood or tray as an A4 magnetic board to hold figures in place.

Mixing palette £1 each, a fraction of the cost in an art supplies shop.

The rest of the (Naval) gaming related purchases will follow in future blogposts.

Blogposted by Mark, Man of TIN, 5 August 2018.

Below are pictured my testing out of my magnetic sheets – not strong enough for metal 54mm figures mounted on tuppenny and penny pieces (which are slightly magnetic after 1992). A few of my plastic pound store figures I discovered to my surprise that I had based on pre-1992 tuppennies – whoops!

The heady lure of inexpensive things …

The heady lure of Pound Store or inexpensive things …
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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.

 

 

 

 

15mm Peter Laing 19th Century Figures

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Attractive 19th Century 15mm Peter Laing figures

I have acquired second-hand a few dozen of these attractive 19th Century infantry from Peter Laing’s 15mm range, now commercially unavailable as the moulds have vanished.

With the tall shakos or tall kepis with the ball crests and long frock coats, they look mid 19th Century Crimean to Austrian  / Franco Prussian Wars. I think they are probably supposed to be French or Sardinian infantry, but they also look like French Foreign Legion 1850s.

They could be 15mm Peter Laing Crimean French (and dual use Franco-Prussian French with tall kepi)

F814 French Infantry advancing

F815 French infantry drummer

F816 French officer

F817 French standard bearer

 

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With almost Napoleonic shakos, they would do well as Imagi-Nation troops for the Bronte juvenile fiction of Angria, Gondal and Gaaldine. I have enough spare standard bearers for alternative flags and nationalities.

I would be interested to hear from other Peter Laing collectors if they have or recognise these figures as mid 19th Century French.

Some other figure suppliers have similar tall shako / kepis.

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Interesting post about Franco Prussian War French Infantry (in French) that reminds us that the 150th anniversary is only 2 years away (1870 / 2020). This will no doubt generate more gaming and historical interest in the FPW. The Austro-Prussian War anniversary was I suspect slightly overshadowed by the 1916 WW1 anniversary events.

http://pacofaitlezouave.blogspot.co.uk/2010/11/le-fantassin-de-1870.html

Blogposted by Mark, Man of TIN, 21/22 April 2018.

Sidetracked by WW1 Southwest Africa desert railway scenarios?

https://sidetracked2017blog.wordpress.com/2018/04/16/german-colonial-railways-southwest-africa-ww1/

Crossposted from my occasional Sidetracked blog by Mark, Man of TIN blog, 17 April 2018.

Peter Laing 15mm Bulgarian WW1 Infantry

 

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I have bought the odd small mixed lot of gaming figures recently online because they contained small caches of 15mm Peter Laing figures. Now that the moulds are missing, this is one of the few ways to acquire new Peter Laing figures.

Amongst one lot was a small group of about a dozen WW1 Russian Infantry figures with rolled greatcoats F759 and officer F760  but  all painted brown with unusual black and white cross-gartered boots.

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Ahead of many other makers, Peter Laing produced 15mm WW1 figures of many of these nations.

A quick check in Military Uniforms of The World in Colour suggests that the original owner painted them as WW1 Bulgarian Infantry. They needed basing and some of the paint touching up, whilst about half of them have no fixed bayonets.

An unusual choice of figure. I had to go and look up which side the Bulgarians fought for in WW1  – with Germany and the Central Powers from 1915  – and against whom.  After a period of early neutrality, courted by both sides, they joined the Central Powers and fought initially against the Serbs, then against other Allied troops including the British on the stalemate of the Macedonian / Salonika Front.

“The Kingdom of Bulgaria participated in World War I on the side of the Central Powers from 14 October 1915, when the country declared war on Serbia, until 30 September 1918, when the Armistice of Thessalonica came into effect.” (Wikipedia)

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bulgaria_during_World_War_I

The unusual leggings are called Opankers and a dull brown woollen uniform was already in use amongst other ranks.

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Bulgarian Infantry information in Military Uniforms of the World in Colour

During basing and flocking, I managed not to obscure the well painted opanker leggings too much.

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Bulgarian troops in WW1 with distinctive foot gear (Wikipedia public domain image source)

So these Bulgarians were  part of the army that invaded and pushed back the Serbian army, whose soldiers  that Marvin at the Suburban Militarism blog has been  beautifully  painting recently, albeit in slightly larger 1:72 plastic figures.

https://suburbanmilitarism.wordpress.com/2018/01/28/soldiers-of-serbia/

Alongside the painted Peter Laing Bulgarians were some unpainted original figures of  Russian infantry and others in peaked caps that may be British, Russian or other figures.

With Peter Laing  figures details being so slight at 15mm size, there are a range of similar looking figures in similar helmets or soft and peaked  hats which are almost interchangeable with some suitable painting.

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Unpainted Peter Laing WW1 Russian infantry, F759 and officer F760, the originals of the Bulgarians and an artillery figure with shell British A703? Russian A728? German A711?

A suitbale painting guide for these figures as Russian WW1 infantry can also be found in the same uniform guide.

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Russian and Serbian infantry from Military Uniforms of The World in Colour.
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Useful uniform notes on WW1 Russian Infantry.

Amongst some of the other mixed figures were these artillerymen, one type medieval and the other Russian fur hatted artillery men.

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A749? Soviet Gunner kneeling with fur hat, flanked by medieval range A904 kneeling gunner.

There were also a couple of machine gunners. Not sure which nation or side the left  hand figure represents, the right hand figure may well be ANZAC machine gunner Fseven five two.

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With so few of these Russian figures it is difficult to know whether to paint the remaining nineteen unpainted infantry as Russians.

Alternatively I could paint most of them as Bulgarians  to make a small Bulgarian skirmish force of about thirty to thirty five figures to fight my British pith-helmeted infantry in a Macedonia or Balkan scenario, aided by the WWI Turkish infantry that I have.  The two uniforms are pretty close anyway to paint and use interchangeably with a bit of gamer’s licence. I may keep one figure back to use as a future mould original and one to paint as a Russian figure.

Snow and Ski Troops

 

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Inspired by Tradgardmastre’s snow pictures!

It has stopped snowing where I live and stormy winds and rain  have replaced the snow clouds. The snow is beginning to melt but not before I found one of my Britain’s style ski Troops in my toy soldier collection. Not sure if he is an original or a repair or recast, certainly he has been repainted.

Many of my Airfix 1:32 German Mountain Troops from childhood have long since disintegrated, one of those sets where the plastic turned  brittle and crumbled fast. The newer Airfix replacements (available recently) that  I have bought are not yet painted. So this solitary metal Ski trooper, picked up in a job lot of metal figures, stands in for them.

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Skielober 1811by Johannes Senn,  depicting Norwegian Ski Troops (Wikipedia Source)

There is an interesting section on Ski Troops on Wikipedia, including some references to Norwegian Ski troopers in Napoleonic times. Napoleon’s Troops famously were famously routed by winter weather in 1812, the Germans again in 1942.

Apart from the disastrous British involvement in the Norway Campaign of 1940, I was not aware of much mountain warfare in WW2. I knew that the Finns fought successfully against the Russians  for a time in 1939/40. I always thought that this Britains Ski trooper in white snow suit represented in sets 2037 / 2017 was based on these  brave Finnish troops.

Reading the Wikipedia entry https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ski_warfare

I was surprised to learn of Australian ski Troops fighting Vichy French in the mountains of Lebanon in WW2. Equally I was surprised to discover Greek WW2 ski Troops  http://greek-war-equipment.blogspot.co.uk/2009/05/ski-troops.html

I thought that my tiny 15mm Peter Laing WW1 Italian Alpini with their great feathered cap  might disappear into the snow, so rescued them and sought out my Britains 54mm Ski trooper.

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Peter Laing 15mm Italian Alpini Troops in the Snow (F772)

Peter Laing did do a WW1 French Chassueur D’Alpin along with Soviet and Finnish ski troopers in their WW1 Russian Civil War range but sadly I never bought any of these.

Somewhere I have some fine Atlantic Alpini OO/HO WW2 Italian Mountain Troops, a great set with a truculent mule as well. Recently Waterloo 1815 have issued Alpini and US Mountain troops.

Winter War in Napoleonic Times 

In my  IBooks I have stored an interesting short PDF by George Falco de Mats or De Mas called Winter War in Napoleonic Times – unfortunately I cannot find a link or URL – with interesting pictures of  ski scouts.

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Picture from Winter Warfare in Napoleonic Times PDF by George Falco de Mats / Mas

 

 

 

The author George Falco De Mats / Mas’  photographs in the PDF from the Kongsvinger Museum also show an ingenious sledge cannon and a Norwegian 1808 Jäger uniform

https://www.visitnorway.com/listings/kongsvinger-museum/182352/

There are some excellent reenactor pictures of Norwegian Napoleonic era ski troops here in superb costumes:

http://www.napoleon-series.org/military/battles/c_viciouswar1808.html

This whole area of the Napoleonic Wars is unknown to me. Thankfully Wikipedia has a summary:

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dano-Swedish_War_of_1808–09

“The Dano–Swedish War of 1808–1809 was a war between Denmark–Norway and Sweden due to Denmark–Norway’s alliance with France and Sweden’s alliance with the United Kingdom during the Napoleonic Wars. Neither Sweden nor Denmark-Norway had wanted war to begin with but once pushed into it through their respective alliances, Sweden made a bid to acquire Norway by way of invasion while Denmark-Norway made ill-fated attempts to reconquer territories lost to Sweden in the 17th century. Peace was concluded on grounds of status quo ante bellum on 10 December 1809.” (Wikipedia source)

There was also a Norwegian war of independence in 1814 between https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Swedish–Norwegian_War_(1814)

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/English_Wars_(Scandinavia)

“The English Wars (Danish: Englandskrigene, Swedish: Englandskrigen) were a series of conflicts between England and Sweden with Denmark-Norway as part of the Napoleonic Wars.

It is named after the most prominent region of its other main participant, the United Kingdom, which declared war on Denmark-Norway due to disagreements over the neutrality of Danish trade and to prevent the Danish fleet falling into the hands of the First French Empire.

It began with the first battle of Copenhagen in 1801 and its latter stage from 1807 onwards was followed by the Gunboat War, the Dano-Swedish War of 1808-1809 and the Swedish invasion of Holstein in 1814.” (Wikipedia source)

Lots of interesting Napoleonic conflicts that I have not heard of before, beyond Copenhagen, the sources being mostly not in English and ones which I have not seen on a gaming table. There are some interesting gaming blogs on this subject.

http://blundersonthedanube.blogspot.co.uk/2014/01/the-norwegian-army-of-napoleonic-wars.html

I was unaware of English involvement in the Swedish- Danish / Scandinavian Wars.

George Falco De Mas /Mats refers to a book available in reprint Narrative of The Conquest of Finland by The Russians which is a dispirited free download PDF on Google Books; it looks an interesting book.

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Short Google Books extract – Sir John Moore later escaped home with his small British army.

https://books.google.co.uk/books/about/Narrative_of_the_Conquest_of_Finland_by.html?id=RbwDWtFpamYC&printsec=frontcover&source=kp_read_button&redir_esc=y

Published in 1854 around the time of the Crimea this refers to the events of 1808-9.

Imagine Napoleonic British troops and Royal Navy  in action in support of the Swedish  King Gustavus  against the Russians. Apparently the ‘mad’ Swedish King Gustavus would not let the British troops land and even arrested Sir John Moore, according to a brief entry in Jenny Uglow’s In These Times.

I will see if I can find the original URL or link of the PDF by George Falco De Mas or DeMats; until then I have cut and pasted some of  the photographs onto the blog, suitably credited.

Blogposted by Mark, Snow-Man of TIN, 2 March 2018

 

 

 

Peter Laing 15mm WW2 DAK Desert Africa Korps

 

 

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Peter Laing 15mm WW1 Late War German infantry, converted to WW2 Desert DAK Deutsche Afrika Korps. Almost finished except for faces,  fine details and gloss varnish.

You won’t find a Peter Laing 15mm WW2 Western Desert range as his WW2 range was a limited WW2 range of Americans, British and Germans.

Now that the Peter Laing figures are sadly no longer available and the original moulds probably lost, there will be no specific WW2 Western Desert range. However the slight detail of Peter Laing’s 15mm figures, which were painstakingly carved from laminated plasticard, here proves to our benefit:

“Detail is kept muted so there is no overscale effect, the detail in the figure depends on the amount that is put in the painting.” (Peter Laing Catalogue intro)

“It is naturally difficult to cover every Army type, but I have tried to give a good representative range to enable satisfactory games to be played. In 15mm scale it is possible, by judicious use of paint, to vary one figure to represent various army types, and of course the use of a file and knife can extend the utility of a figure even further.” (Peter Laing Catalogue Ancients section)

Conversion was something Peter encouraged through his suggestion of Dual Use Items / Suitable Items from other  ranges.

As Peter produced an unusually comprehensive WW1 range at a time when few makers (except Airfix) had any WW1 gaming figures, there are perfectly good WW1 Late German infantry and artillery that can be used for WW2 troops.

F743 German Infantry Advancing, Steel Helmet

F745 German Infantry grenade thrower, Steel Helmet 

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Simple paint detailing of straps on the rear side.

This set of unpainted WW1 German figures came with a few Feldgrau painted figures, some with red insignia and piping etc of a WW1 German soldier or a colourful early pattern camouflage of a Stalheim or Steel helmet.

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Peter Laing 15mm field grey WW1 Late War German Infantry F743, also suitable for WW2.
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Some of these already painted but second-hand WW1 Peter Laing figures needed a little repaint but arrived with some useful conversion  details such as the  Plasticard square / rectangle knapsacks. The centre figure has the colourful WW1  stalheim camouflage.

 

At some point when I have acquired enough Peter Laing British steel helmet figures, picked up online in ones and twos, I shall  paint these spare British infantry in desert colours for a small WW2  desert skirmish force. Some of the khaki Indian infantry with Turbans would complement these well.

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My 2017 WW1 era desert skirmish with Indian troops and a trial  Desert DAK type German figure with WW1 Turks.

I have also experimented with filing down the pointed dome of the pith helmet on some spare WW1 British Infantry Tropical Helmet F748, working on spare figures who have broken bayonets etc,  in order to make more of a steel helmet WW2 “desert rat”. They already have the desert shorts. I should be able to make a scratch  rifles Platoon / section  for small skirmish games in this way.

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Peter Laing 15mm WW2 figures

I have posted previously about Peter Laing’s WW2 range and skirmish games

https://manoftinblog.wordpress.com/2016/07/22/peter-laing-ww2-figures/

which also mentions the excellent Tim’s Tanks blog about Peter Laing WW1 and WW2 range.

https://manoftinblog.wordpress.com/2016/10/02/peter-laing-15mm-ww2-skirmish/

and a WW1 blowing up desert train sounds scenario using the Indian troops

https://sidetracked2017blog.wordpress.com/2017/08/03/blowing-up-desert-trains-part-1/

Blogposted by Mark Man of TIN blog February 2018.