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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Airfix WW2 Kits and WW1 Figures limited reissues 2018

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Screenshot, not an active link.

Look them up at http://www.Airfix.com shop section Vintage Classics 

https://www.airfix.com/uk-en/shop.html

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Limited edition May 2018 Announcement and currently on Pre-order:

The 1:76 / 20mm Airfix WW1 figures and WW1 British Tank are back, along with a selection of classic WW2 tanks, lorries and guns. There are also a few classic ship models.

A limited few 1:76 OO/HO WW2 figures are already on sale.

All good classic figures and kits for WW2, WW1 games and Conversions for  Wargames.

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Screenshot of classic kits and figures

Grab them while you can.

Blogposted by Mark, Man of TIN on 14 May 2018.

Portuguese War Memorial WW1

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Unusual shaped headstones of Portuguese troops at the Portuguese War Memorial, Richebourg, France  (Image: Centenary News Twitter source)

The contribution of Portuguese troops during the Spring Offensive, Operation Georgette and the Battle of The Lys of March and April 1918 was commemorated by the French and Portuguese Governments today at the Portuguese War Memorial on the Western Front.

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Photo on Centenary News Twitter Feed 9 April 2018
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Joseph Zimet’s photographs on Twitter 9 April 2018

Interesting photographs taken by Joseph Zimet @josephzimet on Twitter.

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Close up of Portuguese troops at the ceremony  @josephzimet on Twitter

April 9th 1918 / 2018 is obviously an important day in Portuguese army history, as set out in The Portugal in WW1 Wikipedia entry: https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Portugal_during_World_War_I

April 9 1918: The Battle of La Lys, as it becomes known in Portugal, or Operation Georgette or the Battle of Estaires to the British, starts with a heavy artillery barrage from the Germans, followed by a German offensive with intensive use of lethal gas. The German Sixth Army deploys eight divisions (about 100,000 men), supported by intensive artillery fire. Against the force, the Portuguese have 20,000 soldiers and 88 guns. As a result, the Second Division is annihilated during the battle. The Portuguese CEP loses 327 officers and 7,098 soldiers, about 35% of its effective fighting capacity. The survivors are sent to the rear, some of the units being integrated into the British Army later on.

During this battle, one of the most courageous acts in Portuguese military history is perpetrated, as private Aníbal Milhais (also known as “Soldado Milhões” [“A Soldier as good as a million others” in his commanding officer’s words]) defends the retreating allied forces with nothing but his machine gun, allowing them to fall back and regroup. Once he runs out of bullets, he escapes the battlefield.

After defeating two German regiments and forcing the remaining German forces to go around him (they find it impossible to defeat what they believe to be an heavily armed post), he gets lost along the way, having to eat nothing but the sweet almonds his family had sent him from Portugal for three days. Lost and exhausted, he is able to rescue a Scottish major from drowning in a swamp. The major leads him to the Allied camp and tells of Milhais’s deeds.   (Infomation source: Wikipedia)

More about the Portuguese Expeditionary Forces in WW1

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

Plans for a memorial in England were recently suggested here  http://www.centenarynews.com/article/memorials-for-a-king–country-plans-for-tribute-in-uk-to-portugals-fallen

56,500 Portuguese troops were sent to the Western Front, of these approximately 2,100 were killed, 5,200 wounded and 7,000 taken prisoner.

The Portuguese Fireplace is an unusual Memorial of Canadian and Portuguese troops on forestry duty in the New Forest.  https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Portuguese_Fireplace

There is a small amount of information about the Portuguese Army in Britain and Western Front in WW1 on the Imperial War Museum website.

https://www.iwm.org.uk/collections/item/object/205305030

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A curious handful of junk shop find, painted Airfix WW1 British figures in sky blue. 

I knew that the Portuguese Army of WW1 fought in French sky blue coloured  British Army cut uniforms with unusual fluted steel helmets from a comment on  some sky blue painted Airfix WW1 British figures I had posted online in 2016.

https://manoftinblog.wordpress.com/2016/06/16/obe-repaint-figures-1/

I couldn’t remember where I had seen coloured illustrations of such troops, it wasn’t in my usual reference of  Preben Kannik’s Military Uniforms of the World in Colour. Instead I found a page on Portugal 1917-18 in Andrew Mollo’s Army Uniforms of World War 1.

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Portuguese Uniforms  in Andrew Mollo’s Army Uniforms of WW1

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Uniform notes in Andrew Mollo’s book

Modellers and gamers should be able to adapt WW1 British Army figures with steel helmets or soft caps into suitable Portuguese troops.

Aly Morrison featured some beautifully painted Portuguese WW1 conversions and colourised photographs of WW1 Portuguese troops.

http://alystoysoldiers.blogspot.co.uk/2018/04/partizan-2018-few-more-portuguese.html

Including a superb colourised photo of some drummers and Portuguese troops marching

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An interesting bit of WW1 history that I knew little about.

Remembering many gallant Portuguese soldiers 100 years on.

http://www.remembrancetrails-northernfrance.com/history/nations-in-war/the-portuguese-in-the-great-war.html

Blogposted by Mark, Man of TIN 9 April 2018

 

 

 

#MARCHing for Votes for Women

 

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My Suffragette Marchers and homecast Prince August police officers.

I have completed these Suffragettes as my final challenge as part of #MARCH 2018, being  my excuse to photograph a few of my MARCHing toy soldier and MARCHing Band figures each year. It coincides with Cupcakes and Machetes’ blog challenge for March as part of Women’s History Month (and stuff left over from FEMbruary).

https://cupcakesandmachetes.wordpress.com/2018/02/28/celebrate-the-ladies-blog-event/

6th Febraury 2018 was the Centenary anniversary of British women first being granted the vote after years of protest and campaigning, finally awarded for women’s work during WW1.

https://manoftinblog.wordpress.com/2018/02/21/fembruary-post-no-4-a-womans-right-to-vote-and-serve-march/

 

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Hobbycraft display box with glass removed, with small copy of an original suffrage poster.

I had been working on a small Suffragette vignette or boxed diorama for my local spring show art and craft  section but failed to complete it in time. I couldn’t get the glossy toy soldier look quite right.

Instead I added several more 54mm female figures that I had unpainted in my collection,  painted as suffragettes. I started work on such random figures as a bride (Tradition of London), two Salvation Army girls from Dorset Soldiers, a plastic Mexican peasant woman wielding a broom from Steve Weston figures and last but not least, my unsatisfactory conversion of an Airfix footballer into a Western saloon girl.

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The figures arranged on a makeshift plinth (a painted fence post cap) with Suffragette anniversary brooch.

I put the finished figures on a makeshift plinth (a painted fence post cap from B&Q) with a Suffragette anniversary enamel brooch.

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Individual suffragette figures have been converted from existing figures.

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Improvised plinth from a B and Q pine fence post cap.
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Simple paper sashes painted in Suffragette colours of purple, white and green.

Simple figure conversions turned surplus 54mm female figures into Suffragettes.

This Mexican peasant woman brandishing a broom from Steve Weston figures converts smoothly into a protesting Suffragette waving a placard. A large Edwardian style hat was added using a circle of stiff card with hole punched out in the middle to sit over the original bun hairstyle. Layers of white kitchen roll paper were added with PVA to simulate the floaty flouncy layers of the large hats of Edwardian ladies.

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The suffragette is holding a metal ‘prison arrow’ on a pole, symbolic of any suffragette who had been imprisoned as shown in this 1910 short film:

https://player.bfi.org.uk/free/film/watch-demonstration-of-suffragettes-1910-online

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A quick look at suffrage march photos show that this Mexican figure needed a hat as few women would go out without a hat on a formal occasion such as in a parade, demonstration or MARCH in the early Twentieth century, especially if you were out to prove that your Suffrage movement and arguments were reasonable and respectable. Bare heads in public and long hair were for girls or much younger  women.

One reason for getting on and finishing these MARCHing figures is the unfinished FEMbruary conversion of an Airfix Footballer into a Western saloon girl, as suggested by Donald Featherstone in his Wildwest chapter of Skirmish Wargaming.

The unfinished conversion using paint, PVA glue and tissue paper still looked heavily masculine, especially with the longer hair,  even more like Kevin Keegan in a dress. I repainted her in white with additional layers of frontal skirts to be more respectable and less revealing.  A white head covering over the long dark hair softened the masculine features slightly.

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Whilst wanting to keep the figures and paint scheme simple and glossy toy soldier like, I found the solid white clothes a little dull to look at. Knowing that light pale blue brings out white colours, dolly blue being added to white washing in the past,  a slight wash of pale light blue brought out a little shade and shadow.

So that is MARCH, Women’s History Month, the final bit of FEMBruary done for this year and another toy soldier conversion or painting challenge completed.

I have really enjoyed working on some different figures for a change.

Blogposted by Mark, Man of TIN as my final MARCH 2018 blogpost, 31 March 2018.

Climbing Mount Lemax

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It’s snowing again where I live in the Southwest.

Earlier this month I didn’t get around to photographing these Lemax resin mountaineer figures (set #62433) in the snow for my snow blog post https://manoftinblog.wordpress.com/2018/03/02/snow-and-ski-troops/

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Same photo given a black and white grainy treatment.

Lemax resin figures are sold for European or American Christmas villages and railways.

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Clip2Comic black and white cartoon setting

They are slightly larger than Airfix 1:32 and usually quite garishly prepainted.

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They need a spot of repainting. Add a rifle each, then they would have a proper Mountain Man look.

 

Blogposted by Mark, (Mountain) Man of TIN, 18 March 2018.

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

Featherstone100 – Donald Featherstone Centenary 20 March 2018

 

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March 1918 Late War German Infantry in 15mm by Peter Laing from my collection.

20th March 1918 is an important date in WW1 anniversary terms as the shock troops of German storm troopers stood trained, in position and poised ready to roll through Allied lines on the dawn of 21 March 2018 – Operation Michael, The Kaiserschlact or the Kaiser’s Day.

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

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

Thousands of British and Allied troops were surrounded, killed or taken prisoner. My eighteen year old Maternal Great Uncle  serving with the British Fifth Army was killed several days later in this confused fighting. Only stubborn Allied resistance by scratch regiments like his and logistics – the Royal Naval Blockade of Germany starving it of war materials – saw this German knockout blow rapidly  run out of fuel and men.

Events of the Russian Revolution in 1917  through to the 3rd March 1918 – the Treaty of Brest Litovsk between Bolshevik Russia and Germany – released thousands of German troops from the Eastern Front back to the Western Front.

A more joyous event – Donald Frederick Featherstone was born on 20th March 1918.

** Some newspaper obituaries have him listed as born on 12 March 1918 but other newspaper obituaries and his death certificate listing says he was born on 20th March 1918.

That makes Tuesday 20th March 2018 the late Donald Featherstone’s Centenary anniversary or #Featherstone100.

As he came into the world, Allied victory in the Great War stood in doubt. He often said in interviews, that he chose the Tank Regiment on enlistment in 1939 because of all his family stories about the slaughter of Poor Bloody Infantry  in the trenches.

How can we best celebrate in our own small gaming ways the Centenary and life of  a man who changed my hobby life – man and boy – for the better, as he did for many gamers of a certain age?

Like many others, I owe a lot to Donald Featherstone.  Many were the warm and richly deserved tributes and obituaries on Don’s death aged 95 in 3 September 2013.

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Donald_Featherstone_(wargamer)

I’m  glad a Featherstone gaming weekend happens each year with Don’s lucky dice as the annual prize. http://www.wargameshc.co.uk/event/donald-featherstone-tribute-weekend-chancellorsville-march-23-25th-inc-2018/

#bestFeatherstonemoment

My best Featherstone moment this year  was tracking down at the BBC archives and receiving a PDF of the almost illegible typed and hand annotated talk scripts of two Donald Featherstone radio talks.  As John remarked, I may have been the first person to read these since Don Featherstone in 1962/63. I have passed the copyrighted transcripts to John Curry for future use and publication through the History of Wargaming Project.

https://manoftinblog.wordpress.com/2017/12/01/donald-featherstones-bbc-radio-talks-1962-1963/

I have also been tracking Don Featherstone through the newspaper archives

https://manoftinblog.wordpress.com/2017/12/01/donald-featherstone-tabletop-generals-daily-herald-article-march-21-1961/

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Daily Herald March 21 1961 – almost a nice 43rd birthday present!

How should we best celebrate the Centenary of Donald F. Featherstone? 

1. Read one of Don’s many books?

Plenty of military history titles as well as his wargaming books to choose from. Reprints are available through the  History of Wargaming Project set up by John Curry. http://wargaming.co

2. Play a Featherstone inspired game?

Plenty of scenarios in his books across all periods. Plenty of his simple “Back of postcard” rules on  my blog or in his books.

3. Watch the great little short video with Don and John Curry on YouTube

 

4 Listen to a podcast by Don about his WW2 experiences  from Bovington Tank Museum

http://tankmuseum.org/download?id=41236

How amazing that the author of the handtyped 1960s Wargamers Newsletter and BBC Radio talks  should be recording a podcast and only missed the games blogging age by a few years.

5. Do a Featherstone themed conversion such as finishing my Airfix footballer to saloon girl conversion?

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Don was famous for his homecasting or his conversion of one available figure into many others.

This inspired many others and does still today including Rod MacArthur who had the privilege of gaming and figure making with Donald Featherstone and Tony Bath  from 1960 onwards  https://rodwargaming.wordpress.com/about/

https://manoftinblog.wordpress.com/2017/12/11/donald-featherstones-unusual-take-on-casualties-and-campaigns

 

 

 

 

#MARCH-ing bands aside, my Featherstone footballer turned wildwest showgirl is my current unfinished work in progress. #MARCH

https://manoftinblog.wordpress.com/2018/02/21/fembruary-post-no-4-a-womans-right-to-vote-and-serve-march/

Arguably every gaming day is a Featherstone day for many gamers, every day that we use a version of his rules, read his books or do our hobby thing, especially if you were inspired by Donald Featherstone’s books out of the library as a child, we celebrate his life, his hobby and his work.

What might you do to celebrate Donald Featherstone’s Centenary or #Featherstone100?

I’d love to hear your #Featherstone100 plans or your #bestFeatherstonemoment through your blogs or my comments page.

“The pleasure does not begin and end with the actual playing of the war-game. There are many pleasant hours to be spent in making model soldiers, painting them, constructing terrain, carrying out research into battles, tactics and uniforms …” Donald Featherstone, War Games 1962. Wise words indeed!

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The very library book that started it all for me – used in my Airfix ACW game last year.

Blogposted by Mark, Man of TIN blog, 3 March 2018 (Centenary of the Treaty of Brest Litovsk)