Scouting Wide Games in art and on postcards and as RPGs – links

Scouting Wide Games in Art, on Postcards and in Role Playing Games

Happy Father’s Day to all!

My late Dad was an (Assistant) Scoutmaster for many years, who enjoyed Wide Games as a wartime child and as a Boy Scout, so I think he would appreciate this post.

Here below are a collection of links to some of my recent posts on interesting scouting paintings and postcard images, along with RPG elements, which have provided me with inspiration for gaming scenarios for my Scouting Wide Games for the Tabletop Project.

The Scouting Wide Games for the Tabletop Project started out in 2019 as a simple page and posts on this Man of TIN blog but has since grown to become an entirely separate blog.

Here for Man Of TIN blog (and Man of TIN Blog Two) readers are these links as a quick update on this ongoing tabletop gaming project.

Postcards

I own so far only a couple of these curious silent film type Davidson Brothers postcards (above) and have found more images online. I hope to acquire some more affordable examples over time:

https://tabletopscoutingwidegames.wordpress.com/2022/06/17/scouting-on-postcards-the-davidson-brothers-boy-scout-series/

The Wide Game and Scouts in Paintings

I have also enjoyed finding some fantastic scouting paintings such as ‘The Wide Game‘ by George Hillyard Swinstead from the Scouts Heritage Service online via Art UK:

https://tabletopscoutingwidegames.wordpress.com/2022/06/05/the-good-turn-by-george-hillyard-swinstead-1916-scout-painting-and-first-aid-scenario-photos/

https://tabletopscoutingwidegames.wordpress.com/2022/06/05/the-wide-game-painting-by-george-hillyard-swinstead-scout-heritage-service-art-uk/

There is an interesting detail of a wounded Tommy in his Hospital Blues in ‘The Good Turn’ painting by Swinstead, painted in 1916.

Scouting Photographs

These staged photographs and paintings capture a little of the outdoor spirit Wide Games from my original scouting photo snaps collection:

https://manoftinblog.wordpress.com/2020/02/17/ww1-boy-scout-photographs-in-my-collection-1/

https://tabletopscoutingwidegames.wordpress.com/2020/02/20/more-early-scouting-photos-from-ww1/

All good inspiration for my Scouting Wide Games for the Tabletop Project.

Role Playing Game Characters and Badge Skills

With the help of Alan (Duchy Of Tradgardland) Gruber, I am thinking through how to add a Role Playing Game RPG / NPC elements of character ability (and badge skills) to the simple Wide Games and snowball fight rules.

My D&D / Stranger Things related blog post introduces this topic:

https://tabletopscoutingwidegames.wordpress.com/2022/06/13/scouting-wide-games-rpgs-dungeons-and-dragons-and-stranger-things/

It could be The Shire, the Upside Down or a D&D scenario map? Your local woods transformed with The Cloak of Romance and a suitable Wide Games gaming scenario and imagination …

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Scouting Wide Games – for Girls?

Along with uniform research for figure conversions on early Scout uniform and that of other youth movements such as Camp Fire Girls USA and British Camp Fire Girls, each having their own page on the blog.

Figure conversions from 42mm range of STS Little Britons Spencer Smith Miniatures LBB30 Boy Scouts to African-American Camp Fire Girls USA – work in progress

There – that brings us up to date with the ongoing Scouting Wide Games for the Tabletop Project. This also fits my DMZ Demilitarised gaming mood.

Blog posted on 18/ 19 June (Happy Father’s Day!) by Mark Man of TIN, 1970s British Cub Scout (Bronze Arrow, retired).

Camp Fire Girls USA on the Painting Table

Ready for gloss spray varnish, the finishing touch to my Camp Fire Girls USA figures:

It’s been a busy month both at work and preparing a local history talk in the evenings, so these Camp Fire Girls figures got stuck on the painting table in their tissue paper bloomers for a few weeks! Sorry, Girls!

The original STS Shiny Toy Soldiers 42mm Little Britons Range LBB30 Boy Scout figure (a stout little chap!) can be seen on the left.

Finally after more research into uniforms for African American Camp Fire Girls, out came the paint brushes for some prototype figure painting in gloss shiny toy soldier (pink face dot) style.

I have chosen variations on the patriotic ‘Minute Girls‘ WW1 era red, white and blue Camp Fire / YWCA uniform that lasted through to the 1960s.

You can read and see more about all this at my Scouting Wide Games for the Tabletop blog post:

https://tabletopscoutingwidegames.wordpress.com/2022/05/30/camp-fire-girls-usa-on-the-painting-table/

Not everything worked, I have learnt a few lessons about history, painting skin tones in gloss toy soldier style (no pink face dot!) and also some further ideas for refining or diversifying my figure conversions for making up the rest of each eight girl team or patrol of African American and a patrol or two of White American / Latin American Mexican patrols.

British Camp Fire Girls (in brown) to follow.

https://tabletopscoutingwidegames.wordpress.com/2022/05/30/camp-fire-girls-usa-on-the-painting-table/

African American YWCA Girl Reserves (NYPL)

This month I have been reading South Side Girls by Marcia Chatelain and listening to Chicago South Side Girl and former FLOTUS Michelle Obama’s autobiography Becoming. https://tabletopscoutingwidegames.wordpress.com/2022/05/08/radical-brownies-monarchs-and-black-camp-fire-girls-usa/

Blog crossposted from https://tabletopscoutingwidegames.wordpress.com by Mark Man Of TIN, 1970s British Cub Scout (Bronze Arrow, retired) on 31 May 2022

African American YWCA Camp Fire Girls USA

A great shot of the YWCA Girls or Camp Fire Girls on Camp!

They are wearing white Middy tops and sailor type and sprawling black, red or blue neck ties.

Photos from:

https://digitalcollections.nypl.org/items/510d47de-1d3d-a3d9-e040-e00a18064a99

These badges or insignia look like YWCA (Blue Triangle League?) badges for these organisers and officers – photo from the The Work Of Coloured Women by Jane Olcott 1919. These uniforms are businesslike and very similar to British women’s police constable or Women’s Royal Navy uniforms in WW1.

(African American?) Camp Fire Girls under canvas “Camping in Old Kentucky”.

Another view of the YWCA Reserves photo c.1919, the YWCA version of Camp Fire Girls?

YWCA Reserves? Camp Fire Girls activities like Scouting and Guiding could be adopted in part or whole within other existing youth programmes.

The activity looks quite odd – I’m not entirely sure if this is rope callisthenics with individual ropes, long group ropes or staff drill.

In this photograph, you can see an interesting range of variations of uniform of the Middy Top and neck tie, as well as knickerbocker / bloomers or skirt and white Keds type sport shoes. In an old black and white old photograph, it’s difficult to tell details.

They are not ‘uniform’ from skin tone and hair style to clothing.

Some have no neckties. One girl (far right) has an off white or khaki Middy Top.

Some have white Keds type sport shoes and white socks.

Some have full knee skirts, others have bloomers or knickerbockers.

Interesting that none of these African-American girls in any photos are wearing hats. Some have head bands and big white ribbons, obscuring the faces of those behind.

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You can see more on African American Camp Fire Girls and YWCA Blue Triangle League uniforms and activities at my previous post:

https://tabletopscoutingwidegames.wordpress.com/2022/05/08/radical-brownies-monarchs-and-black-camp-fire-girls-usa/

All good uniform reference for my LBB30 Little Britons Boy Scout figure conversions (left) into Girl Scouts (right) and Camp Fire Girls (middle).

Here in preparation, these figures have tissue paper PVA skirts and hair and filed down scout hats with tissue paper softening or brim changes.

The Middy Top is quite loose and smock / slops like without a belt but it proved difficult to file down the belt details on the front. I used a thin layer of tissue paper to smooth the belt out.

The Camp Fire Girls Necktie is bigger, flatter and less Scoutlike but difficult to file. I left this in place as it fills out the curves on the figure in a more feminine way.

Unlike the scout scarf, the back of the neck tie is hidden under the collar of a large Middy flap, like a triangular sailor suit neckcloth.

I didn’t manage to put bed rolls on this first batch of Camp Fire Girls.

I shall have to remedy this on the next batch.

More on the painting here: https://tabletopscoutingwidegames.wordpress.com/2022/05/30/camp-fire-girls-usa-on-the-painting-table/

Blog posted by Mark Man of TIN, 1970s Cub Scout (Bronze Arrow, retired) 27 / 30 May 2022

Happy 6th Blogaversary Man Of TIN Blog 25th May 2022 finds me DMZ Demilitarised

May 25th is my Blogaversary, the 6th anniversary of my first Man of TIN blog post.

Crossposted by Mark Man of TIN

https://manoftinblogtwo.wordpress.com/2022/05/25/my-6th-blogaversary-2022-finds-me-dmz-demilitarised/

Image source: Marcia Chatelain, South Side Girls.

Shiny New Wide Game Recruits for the Boy Scouts, Girl Scouts, Guides and Camp Fire Girls

More Spencer Smith Miniatures 42mm Shiny Toy Soldiers Little Britons range LBB30 Boy Scout figures for conversion – and some unusual uniform research.

Part of my ongoing DMZ Demilitarised Tabletop Gaming project.

Crossposted from my Scouting Wide Games for the Tabletop blog

https://tabletopscoutingwidegames.wordpress.com/2022/04/30/new-recruits-for-the-boy-scouts-girl-scouts-and-camp-fire-girls/

Blog cross posted by Mark Man Of TIN, May Day 1st May 2022

British Camp Fire Girls in the 1920s

The little known British version of the American Camp Fire Girls (1925 British handbook photo)

Another enjoyable research ‘rabbit hole’ for my Scouting Wide Games for the Tabletop Project, in hobby terms let’s call it obscure uniform research and gaming scenarios for my DMZ demilitarised Project:

Crossposted from my Tabletop Scouting Wide Games Blog:

https://tabletopscoutingwidegames.wordpress.com/2022/04/19/british-camp-fire-girls-in-the-press-1920syy/

This will eventually make it onto the tabletop or garden in the form of gaming figure conversions to match my Girl Scouts, Guides, Boy Scouts Figures.

Blog crossposted by Mark Man Of TIN, 1970s Cub Scout (Bronze Arrow, retired) on 23 April 2022 – Shakespeare’s Birthday and St George’s Day. Be nice to Dragons!

History Of The War Game article Illustrated London News 1970

Great pictures of Peter Young, Derek Guyler, Donald Featherstone and of the war Games scene in 1970.

Read and see more at my ManofTIN Blog Two post here: https://manoftinblogtwo.wordpress.com/2022/03/19/illustrated-london-news-article-29-august-1970-on-the-history-of-the-war-game-then-and-now/

Donald Featherstone War Games published 60 years ago this May 1962

Today is Donald Featherstone’s birthday (born 20 March 1918, died 2013).

This is one of two birthday posts I have done for Featherstone’s birthday, the other being on my Man of TIN Blog Two about his views on the ethics of playing at war on the tabletop. https://manoftinblogtwo.wordpress.com/2022/03/20/happy-104th-birthday-donald-featherstone-in-the-60th-anniversary-year-of-war-games-1962/

60 years ago this May 1962, the 44 year old WW2 veteran Donald Featherstone published his first book on War Games.

War Games was published with the background of the Cold War; my late Dad had recently finished amongst the last National Service men as conscription in Britain was coming to an end. The Cuban Missile crisis was only a few months away in October 1962.

In 1962 Featherstone’s own war service as a young Tank NCO in the Royal Armoured Corps in Italy was only 17 years behind him. Since WW2 he had established a successful business as a sports physiotherapist.

The Courier’s Timeline of Historical Miniatures Gaming has an interesting link to this first May 1962 publication, a copy inscribed by Don Featherstone to fellow Southampton gamer Tony Bath.

http://www-personal.umich.edu/~beattie/timeline2.html

Cut this page out and stick this in your copy for inspiration … “Hazardous career”?!?

There is an affordable paperback reprint available from John Curry’s History Of Wargaming Project. Second hand copies of the original 1962 hardback and reprints can be found for reasonable prices online.

I’m sure many gamers cut their teeth on this first War Games volume. I did but it was 15 to 20 years later before I found this first book as a youngster (by then second edition, reprinted many times) in the adult section of my local branch library. I still have this exact well thumbed copy, bought when the library cleared old stock in the 1990s.

I also have a tatty 1962 edition picked up quite cheaply several years ago.

When did you first read or encounter this book?

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Other tabletop gaming events of 1962 from the Courier Timeline.

Added highlights to this 1962 list should be the arrival of an increasingly varied range of cheap Airfix figures from 1959 onwards, according to Featherstone, “the latest and possibly most vital contribution to the wargames world”.

My tatty 1962 edition lists the existing and following figures to arrive in 1962:

Part of what piqued my interest when first borrowing this book from the branch library was seeing these older first version Airfix figures, ones that I had a few of, in use in this ‘grown up’ gaming book. These photographs said to me: I can do this, I don’t have flats or Spencer Smiths, but I have Airfix.

https://manoftinblog.wordpress.com/2021/05/11/final-flocking-and-basing-done-after-thirty-odd-years-some-airfix-and-featherstone-first-versions/

Most of the Wargamers’ Newsletter has now been scanned and is available at https://www.fourcats.co.uk/mags/

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What are your first or early memories of this ground-breaking book?

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Donald Featherstone’s radio talks

Transcripts have been passed to John Curry for future publication; BBC Written Archives do not allow for easy publication on a blog. Some of the early sections of War Games is roughly there:

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

Thanks Don Featherstone for providing so much inspiration, distraction and fellowship through your “hazardous career” in writing this book and many others.

Blog posted by Mark Man of TIN, 20 March / May 2022

Previous posts: Featherstone’s centenary anniversary 2018:

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