Spla-fiti and Skateboarders WIP

It’s a long time since I fell off a skateboard.

Blue Crue paint it pink – how very gender neutral.

This Spray-Fiti game (very much WIP or Work In Progress) developed out of my Spl-Attack boardgame gridded wargame / chessboard version of Nintendo’s Splatoon video game.

If Spla-fiti has a video game ancestor, this would be Subway Surfers, see the game trailer at https://youtu.be/tYysQOHTimo

It is another exploration of my interest in non-lethal ‘war’ games.

The Aim

** youth skateboard graffiti stereotype alert **

Here the game aim is to cover as much of the city walls with your own side’s graffiti art as you can, avoiding capture by the City Police and overspraying and replacing the graffiti of the rival skate crew where possible.

The Police and the Council Cleaners turn up after 2 x d6 turns to try and restore law and order, clean up the streets etc.

A range of player options – two skateboard crews versus each other

or one skate crew versus 1 police unit and / or council clean up unit.

Or two skateboard crews versus the city police and city council unit.

Victory Conditions? – At the end of so many turns (e.g. throw 2 or 3 d6) count up how many grafitti panels in your colour you have sprayed.

If you are the Council clean up team, you might have taken down and cleaned up more graffiti than the skate gangs sprayed or oversprayed.

WIP Rules Spla-fiti 1.0

You can MOVE one figure in a turn or you can SPRAY a wall in a turn but cannot do both.

IGOYUGO

Council staff and Police on foot are slower (moving two squares each turn) than skaters on boards (moving four squares).

Jumping up obstacles costs half the move.

Note: Adjust the following distances as you see fit.

Spraying a wall panel takes one turn (attach graffiti panel in your crew colour).

Respraying the other crew’s work takes one turn – change their graffiti panel for one of yours. Keep theirs in your base pile.

The Council repainting the wall also takes one turn. Council players – remove the grafitti panel and keep it.

You have limited or unlimited spray cans as you see fit (the Spla-fiti equivalent of ammunition). I have not added cans to the skaters’ hands yet.

Melee?

There is no melee fighting phase. If you choose to crash into another skater and knock them out of a game, a d6 dice throw of 1 knocks out another skater and yourself. However savings throws are thrown for both you and the other skater. Less than 6 knocks out the skater or yourself. 6 is unhurt.

You can decide for how long you or the other skater are out of the game until you respawn at home base.

Green Teem” make the city streets uncleen with their grafitti tagging – easy!

I didn’t have a big enough chessboard for it to work with 54mm skater figures and their cardboard city buildings so I drew up two cardboard grey city street grids with squares the same size as my chessboard.

To get that rundown urban feel, I made some simple city retail or industrial buildings out of biscuit boxes turned inside out to get the cardboard side. I improvised some downtown urban clutter and street furniture.

Did they not read the NO SKATEBOARD sign? DF62 Crew / Green Teem’s HQ and Blue Crue on the improvised skate ramp.
Spray-fiti including HGW LW 13? AG DT?

The City Council clean up, removing spray-fiti and repainting the city walls.

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Here you can see the magnetic strip by which the spray-fiti or graffiti panels are attached.

I tried the self adhesive magnet strips inside the card buildings to keep outer walls clean but it did not work so well as direct contact with the graffiti panels which have a small square of magnet strip on the back.

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Council Teams clean up the city walls. These are represented by flamethrower figures, repurposed to repaint the city walls.

The police officers are there to catch the skater grafitti artists. They can arrest skaters (if you can catch them) and take them individually away back to an off board jail square (or you can add a set-to-stun “Tazer” option.)

I have yet to add in programmed random NPC (non player character) city types to get in the way (from model railway civilians etc) – a chance to add in my hollow-cast lead tramp figure as a hobo etc.

DF62 Crew? The initials of other famous war gamers and games bloggers are here too!

Before anyone mentions it …

Keith Haring and other graffiti artists like Banksy might classify as Art.

I’m not endorsing spray-painting, graffiti art and tagging, much of the time in the wrong place it just looks ugly.

I did smile at the chalked-up message on the passageway walls into Shepherds Market in London when the Tradition of London toy soldier shop was still there. It simply said in big chalk letters – Cheer Up! It made others walking past smile reading it too.

However much I dislike graffiti in the wrong place, I enjoyed doing the mini graffiti panels. Some were based on examples I found online. In others, there are a few wargamers’ names or initials amongst ones for family and friends here “Tagged in This Photo”. Particularly proud of DF62 and PL15!

Sk8r figures are by AJ’s Toy Boarders – all sold out and now hard to find. I picked up a green and blue pack years ago online, along with their surfer dudes which I found second hand. You may now find them in set 1 and 2 together in tubs at Vat19 in the USA who ship reasonably cheaply to the UK:

https://www.vat19.com/item/toy-boarders-skateboard-figurines

All 8 of the different skateboard move poses are shown here, as listed on the card header. Pushing, Nosegrab, Smith, Cruising 1 and Cruising 2, Manual, Tailgrab and Ollie. Sounds like weird gang names.

“Charlie don’t surf …”

Blog posted by Mark Man of TIN July 2020

B.P.S. Blog Post Script

All Sk8r Boys? Sorry Avril Lavigne, sadly there was no skater girl in set 1, she was in set 2 which I couldn’t find for sale online.

Set 2 Skaters which I don’t have …

If I don’t buy more skaters from VAT19, I might be able to improvise one or two female skateboarders from 54mm model railway civilians on coffee stirrer boards (with cocktail stick wheels?)

Some of the model railway figure sets by Noch and Preiser have roller skaters, inline skaters and skateboarders in HO OO for tiny city scapes.

For a few clues on colours and “uniform painting”, you can now check out the slightly dated ‘skate punk’ music videos by Avril Lavigne such as Sk8r Boi from the early 2000s: https://youtu.be/TIy3n2b7V9k

Sandtables and the ABCA in a WW2 Training film

I recently completed a four week free FutureLearn course, a Military History sampler unit from the University of Kent / National Army Museum called From Waterloo to The Rhine: The British Army from 1815 to 1945 https://www.futurelearn.com/courses/waterloo-to-the-rhine

In the fourth and final week, there was a short section on this Future Learn: British Army From Waterloo to the Rhine course, which showed briefly a US Army training film clip on the British Army’s WW2 ABCA (the Army Bureau of Current Affairs). I spotted what looks like a sandtable in the midst of the education and training room, full of plane identification charts and models, German equipment and uniform.

Watch the ABCA film here, the sandtable is about 14:30 and 15:30 into the film:

Periscope Films YouTube ABCA film https://youtu.be/jtL3jQ3-87o

A screenshot close up reveals a little more fuzzy detail:

Donald Featherstone writes in War Games (1962) about the wargames use of the sandtables whilst almost wistfully for a former tank regiment sergeant, he remembers the military use of these at Bovington during WW2:

“… the author recalls, with some pleasure, a fascinating hut at Bovington Camp, Dorset, in the Second World War, where miniature tanks were made to move over realistic countryside, being made mobile by the movement of magnets under the table.” (P. 16, Featherstone, War Games, 1962).

There is more WW2 manual material on sandtable training for the Home Guard on my blogpost here as https://lookduckandvarnish.wordpress.com/2020/05/14/gaming-the-home-guard-with-sand-tables-1941/

Sandtables are a bit of a gaming rarity these days. They had many operational drawbacks, not least the weight of the sand, but several pages were devoted by Donald Featherstone to their use and construction in War Games (1962).

I recently spotted sand tables in use again for 1944 tank battles by some such as John Muzy on 1/72 forums and pages on Facebook, linked to a YouTube video here https://youtu.be/vNnOQJa7mvc

Blog posted by Mark, Man of TIN, 6th July 2020.

Splattaque Splattack Splattergy Paint Wars chess board grid game

Close Little Paint Wars for some useless poses of toy soldiers.

Crossposted by Mark Man of TIN from my Pound Store Plastic Warriors blog:

https://poundstoreplasticwarriors.wordpress.com/2020/07/01/spl-attack-spl-attaque-and-spl-attergy-games-close-little-paint-wars-rules-1-0/

Verda versus Griza FMS 20mm Pound Store Plastic Warriors skirmish now with added Esperanto!

Scene / seen from the Verdan border post, the attacking Grizan troops in grey

Cross posted from my sister blog Pound Store Plastic Warriors,

https://poundstoreplasticwarriors.wordpress.com/2020/06/28/verda-versus-griza-pound-store-plastic-soldiers-20mm-interbellum-fms-skirmish-now-with-added-esperanto/

Now with added Esperanto and a Blog Post Script on US army 1960s training using Esperanto as the enemy language

The Joy of Pound Store Play Sets

200 grey or green 2cm plastic soldiers, two tanks, three armed jeeps, a couple of flags, play mat and an aircraft all for £5. Felt river not included!

Cross-posted by Mark Man of TIN from my Pound Store Plastic Warriors sister blog on budget wargaming.

https://poundstoreplasticwarriors.wordpress.com/2020/06/23/the-joy-of-pound-store-play-sets/

Six types of grey or green 2cm figures included – a few poses that you might recognise!

Two ‘cute’ little light tanks or tankettes included, of indeterminate make or nation.

Enough here for a scratch skirmish WW2 / postwar / ImagiNations game and only a fiver!

More Gentle Repairs on Odd Sized Figures – 70mm Indians and 60mm Germans

Cherilea 60mm crumbling plastic jigsaw with missing bits .. Cherilea 1960s WW2 German Infantry.

This Cherilea German Infantry WW2 in dark green plastic with brown helmet, boots and webbing was from the early 1960s and was brittle and crumbling. It had so far lost an arm and part of a base.

I drilled, wire pinned and glued the back foot to the base. I then glued the base fragments to a new piece of mounting board (with magnet strip below to attach to a tuppenny base). This kept the fragment of Cherilea roundel logo on the base, visible for the future. As I made repairs I took a few rough photos on the repair desk as I went – not always best quality in great light but a rough notebook of work done.

What did the missing arm look like? Was the German surrendering? Did he have a rifle? A little web research was needed.

Aha! Here is our figure running or fleeing carrying rifle amidst a very defeated enemy range of poses.

Looking up these original Cherilea figures on Barney Brown’s Herald Toys Website archive pages of sold items, I found these figures but in enemy grey, not my dark green. https://www.heraldtoysandmodels.co.uk/catalog/

These ‘German’ figures were a bit weirdly dressed compared to the more authentically uniformed Airfix and Britain’s Deetail German figures that I had grown up playing with. These 1960s Cherilea plastic issue figures of WW2 Germans had almost 1980s US or NATO “Fritz” helmets.

The green colour? Outside of deserts, German Infantry were made in grey plastic, Americans and British in green or khaki, as every 1960s/70s child knows. I noticed in several books that Britain’s hollowcast and other manufacturers produced their pre-war Grey German Infantry figures as post war green German Infantry, reflecting the Cold War changes in uniform? Were these supposed to be West German Infantry? Allies at last?

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At first I thought the missing arm could be in the Hande Hoch! “Hands Up” surrender pose, one of those useless diorama poses along with ‘falling wounded’ beloved of toy soldier manufacturers in the 1950s to 1970s.

The surrender poses seem mostly confined to the enemy / Germans from 1950s and 1960s 60mm plastic down to 1970s OOHO Airfix Africa Korps version 2. The annoying waste of space wounded or dead diorama poses applied to figure sets of all nations.

Subtle propaganda reminder of Allied victory they may be, this was my limited childhood pocket money resources that the manufacturers were wasting on these and other useless diorama poses! I’m sure you could make a special thematic collection of useless enemy surrender poses. Such surrender poses exist from WW1 era with Germans wearing pickelhaube spiked helmets.

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This gave me an idea of what the original figure was supposed to be like.

To get the arm sort of right, I gently drilled the missing arm and inserted a long enough piece of fine jeweller’s wire to make the arm and hand. Having built up the bulk of the arm with masking tape, I wrapped the remaining fine wire round a rifle length of thicker wire to make the rifle.

These could then be built up with strains of masking tape into the hand and the rifle shape. Triangular pieces of masking tape starting at the small end of the triangle wrap around to make the triangular rifle butt shape.

The final stages of the figure was painting and colour matching.

Bronze Green Revell Acrylic Aquacolour Matt was used to match the dark green plastic. Afrika Braun desert colour matched the old flesh.

Next

Cherilea 60mm figure No. 2 Falling Wounded

The other Cherilea 60mm German WW2 Infantry was in the bizarre shot falling wounded category. The same drill, pin with wire and glue approach was needed. The rifle was barely attached in two places.

Cherilea 60mm Figure No. 2 in pieces

Again, Bronze Green and Afrika Braun desert colour Acrylic paints were used to roughly match the originals. Another Cherilea 60mm jigsaw of arms and legs repaired.

As these were the only two figures of this type I had in my childhood collection of these odd sized or oversized figures, I noticed a stray oversize Airfix Afrika Korps officer clone figure. He started life as a recent China made plastic parachute toy soldier. I quickly based and painted him up in the same green, flesh and leather brown gloss Acrylic colour to be their officer.

Cherilea 60mm German figures – ready to fight and fall over again, led by a new officer

Hanks 70mm big hollowcast Indian

This Hanks early 70mm figure of an Indian* c. 1916 turned up in a job lot, missing an arm. Identified by its base marking and in Norman Joplin’s Great Book of HollowCast Figures, this has to be a ‘plus-sized’ oddity well over a hundred years old.

Our Indian as one of four 70mm Hanks figures (right), Joplin’s Great Book of Hollow-Cast Figures

.* American Indian, Native American, First People – insert as appropriate.

Hanks Brothers’ hollow-cast figures were an early rival or pirate of William Britain’s figures, only made from 1893 through to the depression (1920s or 1930s?) Former employee of Britain’s, the Hanks brothers mostly made 54mm toy soldiers, with only a handful of 70mm figures.

Knowing this, I was unlikely to find a suitable recast or spare Hanks 70mm arm anywhere.

I made a quick rough arm through bending some old sparkler or garden wire into the rough arm length plus extra wire length for a tomahawk.

The arm was built up using masking tape in strips and a tomahawk blade made of masking tape too.

New arm tried on for size and fit.

Finally, I had to decide whether to repaint the whole figure or not. At the moment, I thought not.

A mixture of black and silver acrylic paint turned masking tape into bare old metal.

A few smudges of red, grey green and brown matched the worn paintwork of the original.

H. Hanks Copyright? in faint writing on the base above the hollowcast metal drain or pour holes.

New arm painted to roughly match the playworn Hanks Indian figure.

It’s a functional repair, good enough for gaming, with some ‘double sided’ folding masking tape holding it to a tuppenny base, keeping the H. Hanks name visible on the base for the future.

A new arm almost as good as old? Big Chief Tom-ahawk Hanks, ready for action for the first time in decades again alongside 60mm plastic Indians.

Job done …

Blog posted by Mark Man of TIN 20/21 June 2020.

Back on the Repair Desk – four crumbling WW2 Cherilea 60mm plastic paratroops

The jigsaw remains of Cherilea 60mm WW2 Paratroops

Fans of the BBC series The Repair Shop, a gentle hour’s watch of an evening, will appreciate the calmness of some quiet focussed mending.

I have been doing some gentle repair work in between Forest Indian / Close Little Wars skirmishes and reorganising my 54mm toy soldier storage into those handy stackable 4L Really Useful Boxes.

This reorganisation of most of my various junk shop and online job lot purchases into “like figures with like” boxes (Red Guards, Red Line Infantry, Scots, Cavalry, Bands, Blue enemies, Zulus, Cowboys, Indians, Khaki troops, Farm etc.) has revealed a slight repair backlog.

I can now joyfully look forward to many hundreds of hours of repair work on damaged men and horses over the next few years. I’m sure I will be putting in a new order for spare arms and heads from Mike Lewis at Dorset Model Soldiers sometime this year.

Mostly my repairs involve repairing or repurposing bashed old lead hollow-cast figures into game playable condition.

I frequently get emails asking if I will repair someone’s toy soldiers or animals that belonged to their father, grandfather etc. Regretfully I explain that my repairs are functional and to my own rough and ready standards for gaming, not professional repairs.

Tools of the gentle repair task …

For a change from 54mm lead hollowcast figures, I decided to work on some fragile crumbling 1960s plastic figures, including oversize 60mm ones. Some of these have hung around in our family collection since my childhood. They never quite fitted with the Airfix others, so were usually left unloved in the toy box.

The completed jigsaw becomes four 60mm paratroopers in tan and green versions …

These four figures are Cherilea plastic 60mm WW2 Paratroopers c. 1960.

The two figures on the left have the look of French Resistance fighters, if any really damaged ones ever need a repaint. One of these needed the machine gun barrel repaired.

The grenade throwing figure needs a replacement hand and grenade built up from Fimo polymer clay, masking tape, glue gun or Multipose Airfix spares.

Over the past few years, a few more odd oversized ones have turned up in job lots, so slowly I have enough for a small skirmish game or two of khaki Infantry, Redcoats, Indians, American Civil War or Wild West.

I should be able to run soon a small Close Little Wars game in the Forest of Indians versus Troops (grey, khaki, Redcoat or blue), cowboys etc.

To identify these figures, apart from base markings, I have used Barney Brown’s Herald Toys web shop archive pages of sold figures:

http://www.heraldtoysandmodels.co.uk/catalog/index.php?cPath=128

Grenade man pictured! Some grey versions of these Cherilea paratroopers – enemy troops?

This post is for Brian Carrick of the Collecting Toy Soldiers blog and 1980s Big Wars article who says at the moment in a previous comment he feels like one of these brittle plastic figures – get well soon, hope the broken leg is mending well!

Blog posted by Mark, Man of TIN on 19 /20 June 2020

Repairing Old Oversize Oddities 60mm+ Figures

This week in the figure repair desk, I have three or four of these play-worn and paint-distressed oversized 60mm+ metal Scots Highlanders by Johilco (John Hill and Co).
Size comparison of 54mm Britain’s / Herald figures with 60mm figures

Hong Kong marked broken ‘Elastolin style’ Ancient warrior to rearm and repair, alongside my Cherilea ‘Viking’ as I have always called him.

The Cherilea ‘Viking’ over the years had lost spear, sword scabbard and finally one helmet horn. The spear and scabbard were roughly repaired with wire (old sparkler wire). The damaged helmet and missing horn was more difficult. A piece of foam and the round end of an old paintbrush were superglued into place. After painting, these should blend in.

For family household allergy reasons, I do not usually use epoxy fillers, Milliput or Green Stuff for figure repairs. Instead I improvise with PVA, UHU glue, matchsticks, cocktail sticks, wire, tissue paper, masking tape, superglue, Fimo polymer clay amongst other things such as cast metal 54mm spare heads, arms etc.

Cherilea plastic 60mm ‘Viking’ figure, an oversized oddity of my childhood.

One of the odd one out figures of my childhood, this oversize 60mm sized ‘Viking’ in my family’s collection may have arrived sometime in the 1960s/early 1970s in company with this pegleg pirate, which also needed repair from wear and tear.

Both oversized figures probably came from a job lot of odd plastic figures that my late Dad bought us all from the family next door in the 1960s once their children were grown up.

I kept them as crumbling curios. With so few and such weird choices of oversized figures, it was hard to fit them into games. Viking versus Pirate? Pirate versus Cowboy or Indian?

Plastic figures once marketed as unbreakable, indestructible – time & chemistry has changed this.

This fine 60mm Long John Silver figure by now had suffered a broken base, missing crutch and pegleg. A tuppeny base and garden or sparkler wire inserts wrapped in masking tape were secured with superglue. Not sure of maker, the base was so damaged.

Like Weebles and many other plastic figures in our house from the early 1970s, a basic Airfix grey home paint job needs replacing with something better.

The Viking’s attractive Cherilea roundel logo – sometimes I find similar figures with a more basic (pirate copy?) roundel with raised dots- then the basic Crescent Toy Co letter coding for each range or the simple ‘Hong Kong’ marking.

Size and scale comparison of Lemax Christmas Village figures (big 1:32) with 60mm Indians – a source of civilian figures?

Identifying some of these Crescent and other 60mm figures is made easier by the great photos at Barney Brown’s Herald Toys and Models http://www.heraldtoysandmodels.co.uk/catalog/index.php?cPath=26

A growing war band of 60mm Indians – I may leave the well worn paint as found on some of these. The front one is repaired Crescent, the others are unknown makers, the bases marked with a round circle with a pattern of dots and lines.

I hope that I can gently use these Indian figures with some ACW and cowboy figures for a Forest Indian oversized figure skirmish in the next few weeks. This might be the first time in decades that they have seen any play action.

Two red painted oddities from my childhood, a Crescent 54mm or 1:32 scale Friar Tuck and a ACW or 7th Cavalry 60mm plastic podfoot. We must have had a surplus of red gloss or a shortage of other paint at home. Well worth a repaint, especially so Tuck can rejoin my other 54mm Robin Hood figures.

The unmarked seventh cavalry type figure was unstable as a podfoot so I have added a tuppenny base.

Downsized back to 54mm figures now

The last three figures came from joblots and from amongst the wider family – original Airfix 1:32 paratroopers from 1969 that I never saw or knew of as a child. I was familiar with their poses from the smaller OO/HO Airfix paratroop figures.

Fragile early Airfix 1:32 paratroopers 1960s, repairs to one’s fractured legs and missing SMG. The damaged one will get a repaint or paint job.

These crumbling, fragile plastic figures, where broken, needed careful keying or roughing up of the broken joint areas with a scalpel tip and gentle pin drill holes with an insert of very fine jewellery wire. Finally masking tape covered difficult joins or damage. This one damaged figure has both cut marks (lawnmower?) and teeth marks!

1968/69 issue figures, replaced quite shortly by the familiar 54mm 1:32 paratroops I grew up with.

More about these first 1968/69 54mm figures here at Hugh Walter’s excellent Small Scale World plastic figure blog including pictures of all the 1:32 poses –

http://airfixfigs.blogspot.com/2010/05/01-british-paratroops-1st-vertion-132.html

Repro cardboard Airfix brown boxes are available on eBay in Australia!

More figures on the repair and repaint desk next time include a jigsaw of arms and legs that were once oversized 60mm plastic paratroops and a 54mm Timpo Napoleonic British standard bearer in bits.

No crumbling plastic man left behind!

Blogposted by Mark Man of TIN, 19 June 2020.

Patch the Dog patched up and a Fort MacGuffin Update

Concerned readers will be pleased to know that Patch the dog, heroic hound and defender of his mistress Kate MacGuffin in the recent skirmish with the Forest Indians, is making a steady recovery.

Patch the Dog (Tradition of London Street scenes model) alongside Wendal aluminium ponies

Here Patch is pictured inside the Fort with his relieved mistress, the daughter of the Commanding office of the Forest Fort, receiving a treat from Captain Snortt.

Herbal remedies from the Fort’s new garden are part of his recovery plan.

Captain Snortt has been torn off a strip (thankfully not literally) by her father, Major MacGuffin, for getting them both lost whilst collecting herbs for the Fort’s herb garden and medicine chest.

There will be no such jaunts unaccompanied without a full patrol of Redcoats for the foreseeable future!

Patch has been awarded a fine engraved metal dog tag in lieu of the Gondal Star medal for his brave defence of Kate MacGuffin. Bravo, brave dog!

A Tour of the Forest Fort, North Gondal, Northern Pacific, 1870s

Let us take you on a tour of the small confines of the Forest Fort and Trading Post. Fort MacGuffin is the hub of several smaller defensive outposts in the area, developed and fortified by Major MacGuffin from an old Trading Post.

The timber for the Fort was all cut locally, much to the chagrin of the normally peaceful Forest Indians in what they regard as their sacred forests.

An Eagle’s Eye view of the Fort layout.

Inside the Fort, Kate MacGuffin has replanted the herb patch and added some floral colour. No doubt these are flowering medicinal plants of the area.

A small well of spring wate, separate from the moat, is topped with an attractive well.

The Fort’s small stock of timber and firewood is running low. Redcoats will have to set off into the surrounding forests to collect wood and even occasionally fell more trees.

On the other side of the small Fort and trading post, Captain Snortt checks recent Fort supplies.

A planked drawbridge in two removable sections crosses the small moat.

A small artillery piece protects the gate. (Toy soldier collectors might wish to know it began life as a novelty seaside pencil sharpener)

Rounding up the Fort livestock and patrolling the walls keeps the Redcoats busy.

Several goats, chickens and geese are kept for fresh eggs and milk (not mentioning meat in siege situations). These are now the charge of Kate MacGuffin, along with the Herb Patch inside the Fort and small veg gardens in the surrounds of the forest.

Redcoats are deputed to exercise the Regimental goats and protect them from the Forest Indians. They sometimes slip their halters and wander off into the Forest.

Freshwater fish are stocked in the moat in case of encirclement. Bored redcoats can fish from the ramparts as needed. Dynamite fishing also secures a ready catch in times of trouble, ready to be salted down or eaten fresh.

They await a travelling signwriter to spruce up their temporary sign by the Fort’s ‘Jack of all trades’ ASC Private Fuller.

In addition to the recent difficulties between the Forest Indians and the Redcoats of the Fort, worrying news has reached MacGuffin that some illegal loggers and miners have been seen neat the old boarded up mines.

Rumours of gold and limitless forest timber from time to time tempt roving bands of Outlanders and failed Settlers into the Forest, stirring up ill feeling and conflict with the native Forest Indians on their hunting grounds. MacGuffin is there as part of a Redcoat force to keep the peace and watch the borders and coasts of Gondal with the other surrounding kingdoms.

From childhood onwards, setting up Forts like these, they have had to have some logic to their structure, contents, exploitable weaknesses and other possible story lines.

A Small Fort Apache from Tiger Toys

The Fort was a gift from within the family, a find in a charity shop near where the Fort was made by Tiger Toys of Petersfield, Hampshire. The accompanying Timpo Swoppet figures or copies were sold through eBay but when I heard about the Fort, I expressed an interest and it arrived last Christmas.

For Fort enthusiasts, it is a Tiger Toys Fort Apache No. T550.

Tiger Toys, made in England, “Part of Growing Up” in the 1960s apparently.

An attractive flag and 7 Swoppet type (copies) of Cowboys and Indians (included?) can be seen.

Fort Apache – 45 shillings, so bought predecimal (pre 1971) for Graham, the original owner …

“Dear Graham, your Birthday Fort is in good hands, albeit with new defenders.”

I would quite happily collect Toy Forts and Castles, if I had the space to store or display them, which sadly I haven’t.

This isn’t the cowboy fort I grew up with, which was slightly different with a watch tower in the corner but hopefully Graham loved his Fort as much as I did ours. It too had internal preprinted buildings. Our 1950s / 1960s family wooden Cowboy Fort did not survive several generations of children and damp, reportedly its rather simple inexpensive wooden pieces went ‘beyond repair’. Sadly no photos of this Fort survive. Luckily the family Toy Castle of the same vintage is still in good condition at home.

The base folded in half, hinged like the doors with thick gummed taper or paper

What I liked about this is its fold-away flatpack construction, including a fold in half base. Our childhood Cowboy Fort base and walls were permanently fixed, so more awkwardly big to store.

The walls slot easily together. Only the tape holding the doors and the horse hitching rail post needs some repair. The flag had also vanished.

Woodworkers and makers of model Forts might find these construction shots of interest:

For those who care about such things, the wall sections are 16 inches long and 5 inches high. The building is 15 inches long and 3.5 inches high. The board unfolded is 18 inches wide by 18 inches (9 inches when folded).

Who were Tiger Toys?

Without the original box, I would have no clue to manufacturer. Other Tiger Toy Forts that I have seen have small round Tiger Toys stickers or labels.

A brief history of Tiger Toys 1959 to 1971/78 is given on this Hilary Page Toys website

The Hilary Page Toys website about Kiddicraft designs of the 1930s – 1950s has a page on Tiger Toys but does not mention Forts.

Researching on the web, I found several past sales pictured on Worthpoint and PicClick post auction value sites showing Tiger Toys forts, including the larger or more complex Fort Sioux and my simpler Fort Apache.

The more complex Fort Sioux T55? has two (fixed or removable?) watch towers, ladder, loopholes walls and doors and what looks like a grander flag.

What looks like a Tiger Toys sticker on the roof. The building print seems to vary over years between models.

Past sales page shows Fort Sioux in detail including different building print detail with sentry

After Robert Hirst’s death in 1971, W. Graeme Lines of the famous Lines Bros (Brothers) family toy firm mentioned in a long Victoria and Albert Museum / Museum of Childhood interview talked about his short relationship with the Tiger Toys team of Petersfield until its closure in 1978.

Other interesting British toy companies including Airfix are mentioned in the interview listings https://www.vam.ac.uk/moc/british-toy-making-oral-histories/

Tiger Toys also appear to have made more Kiddicraft style bright colourful preschool toys.
An attractive Tiger Toys village in a box, a toy also made by Kiddicraft
https://catalogue.millsarchive.org/durford-abbas-mill-rogate?sort=alphabetic&listLimit=20

I must have driven past the turn-off to the old Tiger Toys home factory, several times en route to somewhere else, little knowing that this Durford Mill in Rogate (Petersfield, Hampshire) was the 60s birthplace of my new vintage Fort.

Blog posted by Mark Man of TIN, 9 / 10 June 2020.

B.P.S. Blog Post Script

We end with an interesting video about the early designer of many of these preschool toys, Hilary Page of Kiddicraft from the Hilary Page Toys website, arguably the designer of the Lego brick (only patented in the UK). https://youtu.be/ClzySyzwi3k

The Warrior and Pacific August 1901 tiny handwritten magazine

Around the time in 2019 that Charlotte Bronte’s last surviving little book was saved by fundraising to be returned home to Haworth, I was lucky enough to spot this charming little handwritten book online. I bought it and asked its origins but the seller knew little about it, other than his father had picked it up somewhere.

Now The Warrior and Pacific August 1901 issue will be shared with the world to boost its tiny circulation and family readership.

Warrior and Pacific Magazine August 1901 Front Cover – Illustrated by ‘D. Iberville’ – portrait of the Queen Regent?

The Bronte family wrote tiny book parodies of magazines and adverts of their early Nineteenth Century and Victorian times as part of their ImagiNations of Glasstown, Gondal, Angria and Gaaldine. These are housed at the Bronte Parsonage and have inspired my ImagiNations Games for many years.

Jump forward to the end of the Victorian era in 1901.

Entitled the Warrior and Pacific magazine, this tiny postcard sized ‘magazine’ appears to have been hand written and hand drawn around Maidstone in August 1901, possibly by a group of young boys or girls on summer holiday.

Some of the pen names are suitably grand – Montagu Fontenoy, John Fitzgerald, Major Pearl, Dick Iberville, Lady Sagasso …

Queen Victoria had died months earlier, this was written in the first Edwardian summer, August 1901.

Why was it written? It mimics and maybe mocks the thrilling, moralistic, mawkish and dull magazines of the day, based on the small sample that I have read. I have a few such random bound volumes of the Strand, Boys Own Paper and Girls Own Paper, Windsor Magazine etc. which make great Wellsian Little Wars hills.

Page 1 – Maidstone News Cs and B’s

“As the inhabitants of Maidstone seem to have left their native town to its solitary fate, Maidstone news is not flourishing. In fact about the newest thing about Maidstone is its emptiness.

The Creepers have joined the Boswells at Felixstowe where we hope the united forces will spend happy times.

This month saw two little Creepers born. Princess Winifred celebrates her eighth birthday on the twenty ninth and Princess Cecily her fifth on the nineteenth.

We congratulate them and wish them many happy returns on their respective birthdays.

We may expect in the near future to hear something definite about a certain Princess Eloise and a certain Earl Haynaught.”

Portraits of Cecily and Winifred appear on page Seven, alongside ‘Mary’ and a dog Maurice Bernard. The C’s and B’s are presumably the Creeper and Boswell families.

Are these real people?

A quick check on Ancestry and Find My Past on 1901 Census and elsewhere reveals no Winifred or Cecily Creeper born on those dates or at all anywhere, not just in Maidstone, although the Creeper surname does really exist. Similarly there is no R. Springfield in Maidstone but there were several Boswell families living in Maidstone in 1901 and 1911.

The main editor or illustrator appears to be one R. Springfield, ‘Warrior and Pacific, Maidstone.’

Page Ten And Eleven – ‘A Brother’s Revenge’ poem and remedies for sunburn

Page Ten and Eleven – A ‘Brothers Revenge’ and remedies for sunburn in the August issue 1901

Memories – “In the heart are many spots / sacred to Forget-Me-Nots”

Montagu Fontenoy? This may be an unconscious echo of “Lieutenant-General Sir Charles Montagu KB (died 1 August 1777) who was a British Army officer. He was the son of Brigadier-General Edward Montagu, colonel of the 11th Foot and Governor of Hull, nephew of George Montagu, 1st Earl of Halifax, and great-nephew to the celebrated minister Charles Montagu, 1st Earl of Halifax. He had an elder brother, Edward, who was killed at the Battle of Fontenoy, being lieutenant-colonel of the 31st Foot.” Or maybe just a good made up name?

Some of the portraits look as if they have sketched from magazines and may or may not be based on real people. Captain Earl Haynaught appears to be a made up name (the Earl of Hainault appears in medieval times in Froissart) but his portrait does look like Victorian army officer’s hat.

Other contributors include the grandly named Montagu Fontenoy, Major Pearl, Dick Iberville, Lady Sagasso and illustrator R. Springfield.

Page 2 – Editors Notes

“This is our grand August double seaside number and is generally considered the best paper of the month. We do not think that this year it will fall far below its usual high standard. We have many articles of interest this month that we have not had before and it bids fair to be a good success.”

“There is very extra special superfine, pluperfect competition specially designed for the pupils of Ronde College belonging to the Lower School and we hope to have a great many competitions for it. The prizes offered will be very handsome ones. There will only be two prizes for the two sets which are nearest right.”

Page 3 – ‘Model Mothers to Be – An Improvement on Home Chat Model Mothers’ by Lady Sagasso. An amusing little mock article about a warring celebrity couple and their darling only child that could have been written today …

Home Chat was obviously a style model to follow or mock – to make “an improvement on”. Alfred Harmsworth founded Home Chat which he published through his Amalgamated Press in 1895. The magazine ran until 1959. It was published as a small format magazine which came out weekly. As was usual for such women’s weeklies the formulation was to cover society gossip and domestic tips along with short stories, dress patterns, recipes and competitions. https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Home_Chat

Page Four ‘Modern Mothers to Be’ second page and onto Page Five – some boats ‘Seen through Mist’

Illustrators D. Iberville, H. Vaughan, C.U. Boswell, K. Selagein, S. Howard …

“It is an insoluble Chinese puzzle to Maidstone why they ever did it” is a good closing line to ‘Model Mothers to Be’.

Page Six and Seven – Dog breeds, royal portraits of Princess Winifred and Cecily (the Creeper sisters, with Cecily’s Fifth Birthday on the nineteenth, see page 1 Cs and B’s?) ,

Scene or art competitions ‘you have to sketch a scene in pencil or crayon. It may be a landscape, seascape, fire escape or any other scape. Size half this page. Paper provided’. R. Springfield.

Page Seven – Hints on Etiquette …

“When introduced to a complete stranger, there is no need, as a general rule, to shake hands, but to bow.”

“It is now fashionable for a bridegroom to wear lavender suede gloves”

“A gentleman should precede a lady in a crowded street, in order to clear a way for her.”

Page Eight and Nine – Portraits- some great names pencilled in Cedric Alfonso Mabel Creeper Elsie Winnie Daisy?

Page Twelve – ‘My First Attempt at Novel Writing’ a comic article by ‘John Fitzgerald’ – ‘extracts from JF’s novel next month’ – were there more issues of Warrior and Pacific?

Page Thirteen – Nature Competition’ – for the best pressed flower leaf or seaweed “sent to us before September 1st.” [1901]

Page Ten – ‘A Brother’s Revenge’ poem

A Brother’s Revenge by Montagu Fontenoy

Stretched on the ground her lover lies,

With dagger drawn, her brother stands

“My brother, go” she sadly cries

“Oh Philip, hasten from these lands.”

He turns, then mutely kneeling down,

Beside that prostrate form,

With lips compressed, and beating heart,

She ———– his lifeblood warm.

She see the face she dearly loves

Now stamped with death’s grey hue

Grow fainter, fainter as she looks

With loving eyes and true.

One glance, one kiss, one gasp, one tear and all is o’er

She knows that brave heroic heart

Will beat on earth no more.

Then rising quickly from her knees

With a steadfast upward glance

She stoops beside the fallen man

And holds his fatal lance.

“I will not live my life” she cries,

With the passion of despair

Then with one sharp homeward thrust

She lies beside him there.

———–

Stirring stuff!

A variety of article styles are parodied or pastiches from dramatic poems, romantic gothic melodrama stories to nature notes and etiquette observations.

Page Fourteen – a portrait of Dick Iberville by R. Springfield ‘An Eminent Member of our Staff’

Page Fifteen – ‘By The Old Style’ [Styal?] story by Major Pearl: the heroine’s face “beautiful it is beyond doubt. Beautiful in the full beauty of womanhood and yet there is a winning girlish charm about it. She raises expressive blue grey eyes to the man’s face …”Etc, etc.

Page Sixteen and Seventeen – ‘By the Old Style’ story continued

‘To be continued in our next’ issue – by Major Pearl – do any other issues of Warrior and Pacific exist?

Hold the Back Page! For the next 120 years …

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I shall type out a few more of these strange little mock articles in the coming weeks.

Warrior and Pacific Magazine – Excellent for the ImagiNations?

I feel the Warrior and Pacific should have a travel writer or war correspondent. Maybe we can send an eminent member of our staff Dick Iberville or hope that Captain the Earl of Haynuaght is not too busy with Princess Eloise to provide some Churchill style dispatches from the front?

Warrior and Pacific – It ought to have a railway company named after it.

I feel sure that we should ‘find’ a few more back issues of the Warrior and Pacific, (c/o The Editor Maidstone) in future.

Why do I like this tiny very fragile magazine?

I really like the mixture of tones in the article, faithfully recreating or mocking the magazines of their day.

As a comic book writer and cartoonist at school, I was part of an underground 1980s fanzine / samizdat culture of small comics and magazines satirising events and caricaturing school and national personalities. These were often in small runs of a couple of hand stapled photocopies or hand-drawn originals circulated to avoid unwanted attention from “the authorities”. A scurrilous rival comic in the sixth form got busted, snitched or grassed to teachers (not by me, I hasten to add), shortly before we left school and expulsions were threatened.

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Interesting comment from Rosemary Hall on the handmade little books, worth sharing:

A delightful find! It reminded me of a handwritten (but full-size) Edwardian magazine, written by members of a family, at least one of whom was awarded a military award – as featured in episode 3 of History Hunters, originally shown on Yesterday, and still, I think, available on catch-up (UKTV).

The writing of such magazines was not unusual, in the days before the availability of commercial entertainment – think of the Hyde Park Gate News, the magazine that Virginia and Vanessa Stephen (to become Virginia Woolf and Vanessa Bell) and their siblings produced during their childhood. &, while not a magazine, there was the Journal that Beatrix Potter kept for several years, a journal that was not just in tiny writing (like the Brontes’ little magazines) but in code.

Another example of the kind of writing produced for amusement by young people in the past is the collection of handwritten little books produced by the Nelson brothers in 19th century America. The collection was discovered by Pamela Russell when she was at an auction house in southern New Hampshire, and came across a ‘flimsy, old shoebox filled with tiny carefully handwritten books’ – a collection consisting of over 60 volumes!

They are described as comprising ‘an astounding, one-of-a-kind trove of stories and drawings [revealing]…what life was like for …[youngsters] growing up in rural 19th century America.’ The books are now in the collections of Amherst College. To find websites describing the collection, go to a search engine, and type in ‘Amherst Nelson brothers’- and on one website there are digital images of pages from some of the booklets (which always made me think of the Brontes.) You see how the brothers combined accounts of their ordinary daily life with imaginative embellishments.

Blog posted by Mark Man of TIN 6 / 7 June 2021.