This is the Pound Store Police!

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These 54mm / 1:32 policemen were bought via the Internet about five years ago in the absence of civilians for sandpit and floor games.

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They have a crude but strange cartoon quality that I quite like but I know isn’t to everyone’s taste.

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They come quite heavily armed and highly animated.

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Made in China, they have no maker’s mark.

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Strike a Pose! Pistol packing policeman or disco dancing diva?

Already I have started to explore the gloss acrylic toy soldier style  possibilities of these figures.

 

Could they be transformed into American Civil War Blues and Greys?

Could they be peaked cap officer figures in my pound store Close Little Wars?

Could they be revolutionary workers in flat caps?

Could they be Dan Dare inspired Space Force or Space Police, like the 1950s Dan Dare series of lead toy soldiers?

They offer lots of figure “paint conversion” possibilities, just like the recent Wilko police figures.

https://manoftinblog.wordpress.com/2016/05/31/more-poundstore-warriors/

Happy Painting and Happy Gaming!

Posted by Mr MIN, Man of TIN, July 2016

Peter Laing figures in carpet forests

 

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Amongst my Peter Laing scrapbook of magazine articles (this one from  Military Modelling September 1983) is this lovely article by Andy Callan about War Gaming The Maori Wars.

I loved Andy’s use of carpet offcut forest undergrowth for the New Zealand scrub, probably why I kept this article.

Good to see over 30 years later that Andy Callan is still producing simple interesting rules, ranging from Miniature Wargames magazine articles  in the 1980s  through to most recently his one sheet simple rules for Peter Dennis’ new Helion Publishers Wargame the English Civil War paper figures. http://www.helion.co.uk/published-by-helion/battle-for-britain-wargame-the-english-civil-wars-1642-1651.html

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Sadly I never bought any Naval Landing Party figures or tribesmen from Peter Laing, as pictured in the article, I was mostly buying Peter Laing’s English Civil War and Medievals with my schoolboy pocket money in the 1980s. Luckily I have now tracked down some lovely Peter Laing colonials over the last few years.

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Maybe in my am-bush version of Featherstone’s Close Wars rules (two page  appendix to his 1962 book Wargames) there is future space for some carpet forest  terrain on my Heroscape hex bases.

https://manoftinblog.wordpress.com/2016/06/09/close-little-wars-featherstones-simplest-rules/

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If you want Andy Callan’s  whole rules, track down a copy of  Military Modelling September 1983 through online magazine auction sites.  All I wanted to do was share the atmospheric Peter Laing figures pictures and the lovely carpet forest.

Even this simple set of Andy Callan rules were a puzzle to me in places then but they really do suit the unusual type of Maori fighting.

https://manoftinblog.wordpress.com/2016/06/23/close-little-wars-scenarios-and-inspiration/

For more about the Maori Wars see Ian Knight’s Osprey book. https://ospreypublishing.com/the-new-zealand-wars-1820-72

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Posted by Mr MIN, Man of TIN, July 1916.

Changing of the Cake Guard

“It’s all about the base, about the base, no trouble”

If  only all decisions or mistakes about basing or rebasing figures were so edible.

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Cake seems to feature quite heavily on this gaming blog, whether it’s making your own “Cakes of Death” figures from silicon cake decoration moulds to creating palm tree islands from cake and palm tree cocktail sticks.

Previously on Man of (cake)TIN’s blog:

So today’s toy soldier / cake / gaming “mash up” is this natty cardboard cake topper guardsman and matching guardsman cake wrapper combo.

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Sadly  I can’t recall the origins of either of these cakey guards items; if I do recall the manufacturers, I’ll add it to the blog here.

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(With apologies to Meghan Trainor)

Blogposted by Mr MIN, Man of (cake)TIN, July 2016.

 

Tiny Terrariums

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Help I’m a Peter Laing figure, get me out of this Terrarium!

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Available at all good bookstores near you from www.runningpress.com, it comes complete with tiny history of the terrarium mini book. A perfect little gift for those who love miniature worlds.

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Perfect for keeping your precious Peter Laing sheep safe if you exclude the plastic fox provided in your terrarium.

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Equally lovely terrarium boxes can be improvised from Ferrero Rocher clear plastic boxes but you have to eat the contents first.

Posted by Mr MIN, Man of TIN, July 2016.

 

Man Craft hero # 1

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Photograph of Nicholas and his beautiful fort, courtesy of the Advertiser  group of Newspapers,  Lancashire. Reprinted in Military Modelling, August 1983.

My first Man Craft Hero featured on this blog is shown here from the August 1983 Military Modelling magazine, one of the early editions of this magazine that my Dad bought home for me.

I love this fort (based on Ladysmith Barracks in Manchester) which matches the style of old toy soldiers, an excellent simple display frame for these figures.

There  is a nice depth to this fort and a lovely inner courtyard.  Although designed for display, this is a fort that any child would want to play with. It has a lovely ‘toy’ feel to it.

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Being myself a bit ‘cack-handed’  in the area of craft and woodwork, at the time I read this I was struggling through school woodwork lessons, so I was especially impressed that this obviously proud disabled young man called Nicholas managed to create this  beautiful fort. It must have taken a great amount of time and effort. One deservedly very proud grandfather!

I have always found the pride in his handiwork by Nicholas and his grandfather inspiring.

The barrack  gateway is nicely recalled in Nicholas’ fort. This gateway is all that remains of the Ladysmith Barracks which was demolished in 1985, two years after Nicholas made his model.

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Ladysmith Barracks, Manchester (Wikipedia, Gerald England, geograph.org.uk 1033130.jpg)

Once home of the late Manchester Regiment, the  Ladysmith Barracks is pictured on the following web sites:

http://www.tameside.gov.uk/museumsgalleries/mom/history/ladysmith

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

http://www.c5d.co.uk/ladysmithbarracks.php

Look out for my future Man Craft Hero blog posts of the next few months.

Blogposted with admiration by Mr MIN, Man of TIN, July 2016.

 

Toy Boats Tiny Men

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Toy boats of wood well crewed by tiny men of lead …

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The tiny metal sailors are 25mm Crescent figures, c. 1950s /60s.

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The FH 133 West Wind Falmouth boat was locally made by the former Tree of Life Toys company  of Paul, Penzance.

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These two small wooden boats were picked up from a charity shop in Cornwall c. 2007. They are just the right size for Peter Laing 15mm figures or for the smaller OO/HO  Airfix figures and these Peco railway modelling sailors.

They also do quite well for my DIY Fimo cake mould figures of a Victorian naval landing party:

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Lostwithiel in Cornwall is an interesting cluster of antique and bric-a-brac shops, a great stop-off on the railway. There I saw this handmade 1950s much larger wooden toy boat.

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Bashed but with ‘patina’, this one probably won’t need much painting or repair.

It suits larger toy soldier or sailor  figures, 30mm to 54mm.

Excellent scenic items for a harbour scenario, garden “floor wars” or H.G. Wells’ The Game Of Islands.

Blogposted by Man of TIN, July 2016.

Reverse Colours Khaki Redcoats # 1

 

As well as the odd redcoat repaint of dull khaki figures, some figure manufacturers did the opposite and painted their ceremonial or redcoat figures khaki.

This interesting khaki Scotsman figure joined my collection as a Father’s Day gift. It has a damaged base but was with several Johillco khaki figures.

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Left is the base of Johillco Khaki British soldier, right the damaged base of my khaki Scotsman. Figures: Man of TIN collection.

Several of these khaki redcoat figures are featured in the interesting “Unknown or Unidentified Manufacturers” section of Norman Joplin’s beautiful Great Book of Hollowcast Figures.

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Sketch book of possible Khaki highlanders – I think mine is a Charbens Khaki highlander. Figure / sketches: Man of TIN

Maybe this was wartime expediency, converting a parade or ceremonial range into utility khaki for topical or patriotic appeal?

Maybe this was a childish or parent overpaint?

Interestingly Norman Joplin notes of toy soldier manufacturers that: “Khaki was sometimes repainted with red or blue when Khaki uniforms fell from favour” (page 95, The Great Book of Hollowcast).

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Ladybird Leaders first information books No. 16 Soldiers with text by John West and illustrations by Frank Humphris (1975),  another of my bashed childhood information sources.

When Khaki replaced Red

Khaki came into use during Victorian Colonial Wars; the redcoats last were regularly worn by British troops in 1885 at the Battle of Gennis in the Sudan Campaign.

Insert your own reference to Corporal Jones in Dad’s Army here in his old red coat, fixed bayonets and “they do not like it up ’em!” Several companies now make redcoat and khaki figures of Corporal Jones.

The factual basis of Corporal Jones’ character in his redcoat and khaki days is set out here:  https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lance_Corporal_Jones

A fascinating illustrated article on the development and decline of the Redcoat uniform in Britain and its ceremonial survival worldwide can be found here:

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Red_coat_(British_Army_and_Royal_Marines)

Another good example of hobby learning: how technology of cloth, dye and weapon along with politics, geography, climate and (social) history are all to be found in the now deemed slightly odd but still pleasurable hobby of painting toy soldiers!

The two Boer wars were probably the turning point in tactics and uniforms, developing a trend for clothing matching the battlefield and climate that had unifficailly been going on in India and across Empire since the early Nineteenth century.

It was the end of black powder and smoky battlefields, an age of more individual fighting, snipers and improved rifles, not to mention binoculars, balloons and aeroplanes; all these made bright colourful uniforms too conspicuous. The French poilu soldiers in their red and blue, almost Napoleonic French flag uniforms learned this the hard way in the first years of World War One. The age of drab camouflage colours and in the toy world  “green army men” had arrived.

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The drab but interesting final page of Ladybird Leaders No. 16 Soldiers, 1975,  illustration by Frank Humphris. Interestingly  the Germans are not pictured in this book from about 1870 onwards.

Repainting the drab green toy soldiers in bright colours has been my mild reverse protest against the age of drabness ever since:

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Figure Painting / photo: Man of Tin
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Pound store warriors: Figure painting / photo: Man of TIN.

Other people’s repaint efforts now in my collection: https://manoftinblog.wordpress.com/2016/06/16/obe-repaint-figures-1/

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Airfix 1960 Infantry Combat Group  repainted as Victorian redcoat British Infantry (figure painting / photo Man of TIN)

Including my  Trumpton / Camberwick Green Pippin Fort inspired redcoat repaint of Pound Store figures and Airfix Japanese infantry:

RIP Gordon Murray, inventor of Trumpton, Chigley and Camberwick Green.

Happy hobby learning, painting, collecting and gaming to you all!

Posted by Mr MIN, Man of TIN, 30 June 2016.