Paint it Red or Paint it Black?

Anyone else play period themed music whilst they paint? I often play themed music whilst I’m painting Toy Soldiers, usually music from the period

Today’s first painting day of the year saw me listening to a mixture of 90s Skate Punk and Spanish Armada music.

A curious mix, I hear you say?

but then I was was basing Vat 19 Skateboarders for my Skrafiti project – so Avril Lavigne’s Sk8tr Boi is good for 90s uniform colours, sorry skater baggy clothes from the late 90s …

First job, start basing the old AJ ‘s Toyboarder’s skateboarder figures (still available from Vat 19) on mdf tuppeny bases as they are forever falling over. Background peeg decal is a freebie with my last Bronte order from Annie Norman at Bad Squiddo, which reminded me of large urban graffiti murals … now to watch those skate punk videos for uniform colour scheme details, unless there’s a handy Osprey on SkatePunk?

For painting Spanish Armada era 54mm figures from Chintoys? Spanish Armada period music for my Arma-Dad’s Army Project, listening to the Saydisc recordings 1588: Music from the Spanish Armada on original instruments by the York Waits.

Arma-Dad’s Army project summary page: https://manoftinblog.wordpress.com/arma-dads-army-elizabethan-home-guard-1580s-1590s-operacion-leon-marino/

The red Tudor beret of the kneeling figure has a elite fierce special forces / Guevara revolutionary look. Good Queen Bess and Ralegh undercoated and glimpsed at the back by essential reading matter. A few Hingfat pirate figures have joined in as Spanish sailors.

Paint it Black or paint it Red?

Two black and red colour related songs kept popping into my head about the a-historical cartoon choice of colours for my Spanish Fury reinforcements:

“… I raise my flags, don my clothes / It’s a revolution, I suppose/
We’ll paint it red to fit right in” from Radioactive by Imagine Dragons, 2010s

Or Paint it Black – Rolling Stones from 1966

Why red and black? The Spanish Armada Osprey book title shows a good range of uniform colours, with no one dominant or exclusive national colour for Spanish or British Elizabethan era troops. Both sides had a white flag with a red cross. The St George + Cross for Britain, the saltire type X Cross for Spain. How confusing!

My growing muster of Elizabethan conversions and (right) ECW trained band figures in blue!

By the 1580s/90s various shades of Blue was quite common for English troops (green and white in earlier Tudor times), so my muster and trained band are in work clothes and military green and blue shades.

Black and Red: My previous or first set of Spanish Conquistadors from Chintoys https://manoftinblog.wordpress.com/2020/10/30/the-spanish-fury/

Inspiration for the black and red came from some vintage figures:

These two Elizabethan Monarch Cherilea 1960s figures have blazing torches. Watch out Cornish towns! Sold – These three lovely vintage figures joined my forces last Christmas 2020.

I really liked these fragile Cherilea figures with their black, red and silver colour scheme with leather brown.

This was it, dark colours, the black and red diabolical colours of flames! I have painted them as fearsome as Tudor Propaganda and the Cornish might have seen or talked about these Spanish ‘devils‘ who fired Cornish seaside towns and churches in 1595.

Before I run into BLM (Black Lives Matter) and Woke history issues / problems, the Spanish raids of 1595 really did happen …

Caption/ image source: https://bradleybasement.wordpress.com/comedy/dads-army/a-soldiers-farewell-tv/

But I have also realised that this whole Arma-Dad’s Army scenario is another long period-costume cheese dream of one Captain George “Napoleon” Mainwaring or a fever dream for Private Frank “Nudgeof” Pike (Stupid Boy!) in the Warmington Home Guard. Thus, this Arma-Dad’s Army Project also links with my Look Duck and Varnish Home Guard Gaming.

That’s two or three ticks on my New Gaming Year Irresolutions 2022 already ..

Phew, useful a-historical “but it was all a strange dream” ethical get-out clause!

So that’s what’s in my ears and on the painting table to start the New Year …

How are all your New Gaming Year’s Resolutions going?

Blog posted by Mark Man of TIN 2 / 3 January 2022.

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B.P.S. Blog Post Script

The much covered sons “Radioactive” by US band Imagine Dragons has a suitably bizarre pop music video with illegal betting on a muppet style gladiatorial contest where kapok and fur literally flies – but don’t worry, justice is served in the end https://youtu.be/ktvTqknDobU

The “Radioactive” video all reminded me somewhere between Pokemon and the plush fur and toy soldier Fuzzy Heroes rules reviewed on Board Games Geek. As a fan of simple games rules I have not tried these yet but there is an interesting write-up on Fuzzy Heroes and role playing games with kids at Wired / Geekdad:http://www.wired.com/geekdad/2008/11/roleplaying-wit/

As I mentioned “Radioactive” is a much covered song, ranging from the genre morphing musical Time Machine of Postmodern Jukebox , the more acoustic covers of Radioactive by the Gardiner Sisters and First to Eleven.

Matchbox German Infantry copies 1:76

One of the cheaper and cheerful toy soldier arrivals I unwrapped at Christmas this year with some good old fashioned ‘vintage’ colourful packaging, bearing no relation to what is inside!

Lots of Matchbox 1:76 German Infantry copies in an American Infantry box? That’s the joy of cheap plastic figure sets!

Crossposted – refreshed link

https://poundstoreplasticwarriors.wordpress.com/2021/12/27/vintage-pound-store-matchbox-german-infantry-copies/

Crossposted from my Pound Store Plastic Warriors Blog by Mark Man of TIN, 27 December 2021

Charity Shop find of Airfix and Matchbox copies slowly morphing into others

The curious pleasure of watching familiar Airfix and Matchbox figures slowly change and shrink slightly over time into Generic Infantry.

Crossposted from my Pound Store Plastic Warriors Blog

https://poundstoreplasticwarriors.wordpress.com/2021/12/12/charity-shop-find-of-slowly-morphing-shrinking-copies-of-airfix-and-matchbox-figures/

Booster Bleurrgh? Try Timpo Figures and Yorkshire Folklore.

Unlike many in the world I am fortunate enough, being of “the Airfix generation” and clinically vulnerable, to have had my third Covid ‘booster’ jab on Friday. Thanks NHS.

**** Pre-emptive note: Any Anti Vaxxers or conspiracy theorists who are upset reading this first paragraph, please note that I am not debating this topic on my hobby blog or for that matter, politics or religion either. Enjoy the toys instead. Thank you.****

Knowing that I might feel a bit rough, as indeed I have done with the common side effects of aches, tiredness and headaches, I planned a quiet weekend with two good books to see me through.

The Timpo Model Toys (A to Z of TIMPO) 4th edition 2020 by Michael Maughan

This was a family gift, as I ‘look after’ the family “hand-me-down” collection of Timpo 54mm / 1:32 figures.

It is a great little book, akin to the Airfix OOHO reference books, and fully colour illustrated. This will help greatly in putting our surviving collection back together as close as I can manage – right legs, heads, torsos, horses etc. – with a slight nod towards Timpo purism!

Available through Amazon (Amazon Createspace online publishing) at a very reasonable £26.

The book has the cheerful feel of a Plastic Warrior magazine series of articles, which is what it originally developed from. Fourth edition – this is obviously an ongoing labour of love for the writer Michael Maughan.

The book covers only the ‘swoppet’ style plastic Timpo range, not the solid Action Pack boxed figures or original metal hollowcasts.

Seeing the illustrations of packaging, buildings and the railway stuff was a rare treat, and this book ultimately saves me from bankruptcy having to track down, buy and store this stuff!

The Timpo Silver Dollar Saloon: Front and back book cover, based on a 1970s Timpo catalogue image.

I didn’t buy many Timpo ‘swoppet’ type figures myself, except the Vikings and a few WW2 figures (probably in the Toyway packaging). Most came down to me through the family toy box, a motley collection of knights, romans, Mexicans and Wild West figures alongside a few solid Action Pack figures.

Usually the weapons were missing, losable parts being one of the things that I disliked about Timpo and Britain’s Deetail, especially when gaming in the garden.

No Timpo purist as a child (or now), all of these figures were mixed together in my skirmish games alongside a happy medley of 60s plastics, Airfix and my own Britain’s Deetail figures. I played with what we had. Our few Timpo figures, both solid and swoppet, provided some great character figures.

Timpo, like Airfix, sadly crashed out c. 1980 in the Great British toy company apocalypse of the early Eighties, so supplies of much of the fun stuff (waggons, railways, buildings) was not around for me to buy. This ‘boom and bust’ supply drought or even complete wipeout of toy ranges still affects my approach to collecting gaming figures today – buy them when you see them, even if you have to store them away in the ‘next Christmas’ cupboard!

The Timpo wagons etc. looked really good alongside hollowcast and early plastic figures in F.E. Perry’s Second Book of Wargaming which I bought in the late 1970s / early 1980s. Oddly I didn’t find the First Book (of Wargaming) to make it all make sense until a few years ago, a gap of almost forty years.

Looking through, I don’t recall seeing many of the short lived 1970s Timpo ranges at all in toy shops, even if I had the pocket money.

This fascinating A to Z of Timpo book by Michael Maughan showed me what I had missed. It’s a little like having a book of beasts or birds which became extinct within living memory. Well worth buying.

Timpo rarity value?

About ten to fifteen years ago whilst sorting our family 1960s-70s toy collection, we sold off a small handful of some spare Timpo bodies and bits that did not make up whole figures. We were astonished when one torso went for £20 to £30 on eBay, obviously we had a rare-ish colour variation without knowing.

Not missed – from a purely gaming point of view, who cares about the rarity of colour combinations?

My second book to curl up with this weekend:

The Folklore of Yorkshire by Kai Roberts (The History Press 2013)

This book is a lucky survivor of Storm Arwin blowing open our parcels box and soaking the contents. There’s wuthering for you!

Fortunately a shiny book cover and the very soggy Blackwells cardboard eco packaging took the brunt of the water and protected the contents.

https://www.thehistorypress.co.uk/publication/folklore-of-yorkshire/9780752485799/

I bought this as part of developing the Battling Bronte Sisters skirmish duels or possible RPG Games wit’ Boggarts and the like.

My Bad Squiddo Bronte figures conversions and Prince August boggart home cast (cavemen) https://manoftinblog.wordpress.com/2021/11/21/battling-bronte-sisters-and-branwell-conversions-from-bad-squiddo-little-wolves-figures-wip/

Lots of interesting gaming ideas and Yorkshire folklore characters from:

  • witchery and cunning wise women
  • black dogs and other such beasts
  • screaming skulls,
  • giants (or the Devil) relocating large boulders and landscapes,
  • secret tunnels,
  • holy wells and water lore,
  • Robin Hood (!),
  • buried treasure,
  • fairish, fairy, elves, hobs and boggarts,

as well as the calendar yearly or ritual year (of wassail, mummers etc.) and a chapter on protection charms and talismans.

https://manoftinblog.wordpress.com/gaming-the-bronte-family-imaginations-of-glasstown-angria-gondal-and-gaaldine/

Haworth gets the odd mention, the Brontes very few.

What struck me was the overlap in English folklore from my ancestral Cornish folklore and the Yorkshire versions. The fairish, fairy, changeling or elf stories were very similar. This was of interest to me because the Bronte sisters (and brother Branwell) had a Cornish mother and aunt.

Admittedly some overlap in folklore was by direct migration – the ‘ghostly shift’ tales of Yorkshire miners were similar to those of the Cornish hard rock miners with their tales of mine spirits (known as “Knockers”). Skilled Cornish miners were recruited to other mining districts in Britain or they emigrated further afield, especially when times were hard.

Anyway an interesting book on Yorkshire folklore that joins the Cornish folklore and Bronte books on my book shelf.

Beyond the Booster bleurrgh?

Normal ‘gaming butterfly’ blogging service will hopefully soon be resumed, booster bleurgh over. Hobby blogging is usually interrupted or slowed as it is each year at this time by the dark winter nights, festive preparations and working for a living.

I will now return to my year long project of cataloguing my Peter Laing 15mm collection ahead of the 50th anniversary of this 15mm pioneer next October 2022.

That is all …

My repaint and repair of Bad Al outside the Timpo bank … great little buildings.

Previously on Man of TIN blog, some TIMPO related posts:

Wild West buildings and cowboys (see above)

https://manoftinblog.wordpress.com/2020/07/30/big-bad-al-or-heap-good-al-you-decide/

Desert Fort packaging (online auction image) https://manoftinblog.wordpress.com/2018/08/29/timpo-desert-fort-pictures/

https://poundstoreplasticwarriors.wordpress.com/2021/09/20/timpo-figures-in-toy-soldiers-short-1999-film/

http://www.spanglefish.com/hallmarkstoysoldiers/index.asp?pageid=169845

Blog posted by Mark Man of TIN on 28 November 2021

Pirate Ship Playset Joy Ahoy – cross posted!

Out of scale crew and stylised pirate play set joy alert – Ahoy there, Ship Mates!

Re-Crewed on a smaller scale by my mystery 15mm Chinese pirates …

Crossposted from my Pound Store Plastic Warriors sister blog

https://poundstoreplasticwarriors.wordpress.com/2021/09/18/pirate-ship-play-set-ahoy/

Yukigassen Snow Battle snowball fight rules for the Tabletop

My try out rules version 1.0 https://tabletopscoutingwidegames.wordpress.com/2021/08/22/yukigassen-snow-battle-tabletop-game-rules-try-out-1/

based on my

Yukigassen background research, useful YouTube match clips from real Yukigassen tournaments

https://tabletopscoutingwidegames.wordpress.com/2021/08/22/yukigassen-japanese-snowball-fights-capture-the-flag-version-research/

Using 40mm-ish cheap plastic pound store soldiers as snow balling figures.

Crossposted from my Scouting Wide Games for the Tabletop blog, 22 August 2021 by Mark Man of TIN.

Type 1 Airfix Desert War figures repainted by Wargaming Pastor of the Death Zap blog

Some bold and colourful ImagiNations repainting of a handful of Type 1 vintage Airfix Desert War OOHO figures by the Wargaming Pastor, author of the Death Zap blog (Strapline: ‘Anyone can afford wargaming’).

https://thedeathzap.wordpress.com/2021/08/03/north-and-south-cameria-go-to-war

Previously I have posted on his colourful reappointing of cheap pound store figures and also of instant Airfix WW2 games, often using simple Featherstone rules https://thedeathzap.wordpress.com/2019/09/27/instant-ww2/

Some interesting simple cheap fantasy sci-fi conversions and repurposing as well, enjoy browsing on his blog.

https://poundstoreplasticwarriors.wordpress.com/2018/11/27/poundland-space-marines-on-the-deathzap-blog-site/

https://thedeathzap.wordpress.com/2021/04/24/getting-back-into-deathzap/

Blog posted by Mark Man of TIN, 8 August 2021

Pound Store Plastic Soldiers Snowball Fight 2021

Avoid the heat of August with a quick snowball fight using Pound Store figures

https://poundstoreplasticwarriors.wordpress.com/2021/08/03/pound-store-snowball-fight-2021/

Cheaply continuing our work with the Duchy of Tradgardland (Tradgardmastre) on Scouting Wide Games for the Tabletop and snowball fights,

https://tabletopscoutingwidegames.wordpress.com/2019/11/10/snow-patrol-and-polar-dashes-wide-game-scenarios/

https://manoftinblog.wordpress.com/2019/10/29/packing-sugar-at-freddie-snowball-fight-wide-games-scenario/

https://tabletopscoutingwidegames.wordpress.com/2019/10/11/gladys-and-the-daisy-patrol-see-it-through-snow-forts-gaming-scenario/

Cross posted from my Pound Store Plastic Warriors blog by Mark Man of TIN 3 August 2021.

Unusual Airfix endorsement? Charles Grant, The War Game and Battle!

In my battered (and so affordable) copy of The War Game (1971) by Charles Grant, the final chapter XXX lists War Games Figures and Equipment –

After a roll call of eight 1960s now classic / vintage figure makers, the last at No. 9 is surprisingly Airfix Ltd. –

No. 9 Airfix Ltd, Haldane Place, Garratt Lane, London SW18

“It would be improper not to mention the products of this firm, whose inexpensive plastic war games figures (20mm to 25mm – they do vary) have started the career of many a junior and not a few senior wargamers.”

“They are quite the cheapest on the market (about 15p for boxes of 20 to 30 figures) and the war-gaming world owes Airfix a not inconsiderable debt.”

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The “war-gaming world owes Airfix a not inconsiderable debt” … true words indeed.

By 1970/71 when this book was written, Airfix had by the mid 60s issued horse and musket era figures for the American Civil War, the first Waterloo figures arrived in 1969 although the most suitable American War of Independence bicorne and grenadier figures for The War Game had yet to arrive, advertised in the Airfix Catalogue and Airfix Magazine for late 1971.

Had they been available, a few well placed Airfix box pictures of these AWI figures (as Featherstone did for the latest Airfix releases in his books) would have done much to make The War Game 18th Century era even more accessible to many war gamers.

Some of my childhood painted AWI Airfix veteran figures … recently flocked and based.

No Airfix figures appear on the hallowed pages of Grant’s The War Game.

Ironically all the photographs in The War Game book are of Charles Grant’s 18th Century figures, mostly Spencer Smith Miniatures in 30mm plastic that appeared to have vanished by 1971:

Chapter II – “The bulk of the photographs used in this work to illustrate various tactical points and battle narratives show 30mm figures. It is sad they are no longer obtainable, especially as they were do startlingly inexpensive that a few shillings would enable one to recruit a brigade or a regiment. They were immensely durable …”

Interestingly, just as Spencer Smith figures disappeared for a time, Airfix historical figures like the AWI sets often disappeared from the Catalogue and the shelves in the 70s and 80s.

I do recall that SSMs reappeared in plastic c. 1982 in the back pages of gaming magazines at affordable bag prices for me to buy a few ACW figures.

Plastic SSM figures from the 1960s are now becoming brittle with age, snapping at the ankle or hoof joint, like some 1960s Airfix figures also have.

These classic figures remain available, albeit in individual “and durable” metal from Spencer Smith Miniatures.

The War Game is still available / in print

https://kentrotman.co.uk/newbooks/the-war-game/

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Charles Grant and Airfix … WW2

Charles Grant’s Battle! WW2 Wargaming book has recently been reprinted with additional chapters from the first incarnation as chapters or articles in Meccano Magazine in the 1960s to 1970 when Battle! was first published in book form.

https://wargaming.info/2011/charles-grant-battle-practical-wargaming/

Screenshot: Some Airfix Russian figures converted into an Bazooka team.

Here is a Wargames Illustrated “flip through”of Charles Grant’s Battle! book on this short video on YouTube: photographs in the book clearly shows early Type 1 Airfix figures in action.
https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=0JW9-pcLaw0

Screenshot from Battle: First generation or Type 1 Airfix German Infantry

A reprint of Battle! is available, recently updated with six Meccano Magazine articles not included in the original book, by Charlie M. Grant, grandson of Charles Grant. https://www.caliverbooks.com/bookview.php?id=20554

The “war-gaming world owes Airfix a not inconsiderable debt” … true words indeed.

Blog posted by Mark Man of TIN, 31 July 2021