Gilt Finish Terracotta Warrior

 

image

This Terracotta Army  Chinese warrior came from an  unlikely pound store source of a local Spar shop a few years ago, embedded in a block of plaster like those ‘dig your own dino’ gifts.

In these blind bags you had no idea if you were going to get a warrior, a horse or what inside the plaster block.

What I like about this figure, once excavated, is the black undercoat with simple gilt finish. A quick and simple  to try on smaller plastic or pound store figures maybe?

I wrote about quick gilt finishes and pewter effects on homecast figures in a previous blog:

https://manoftinblog.wordpress.com/2016/06/26/home-cast-antique-and-gilt-paint-finishes/

The figures are about 50mm high, so almost 1:32 scale and would make an interesting figure for various games.

The figure  would look good painted up as a space emperor – Ming the Merciless from Flash Gordon?  They also have a slightly automata robotic look about them. These figures have no weapons.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Terracotta_Warriors_and_Horses

Similar terracotta army figures can be made in silicon cake moulds using Fimo or other mould materials; look on Etsy or EBay for example at https://www.etsy.com/listing/155432388/terra-cotta-warriors-3d-flexible

image

The Terracotta Army Chinese Horse figure also surfaced in my sometimes chaotic collection recently again showing the black and gilt paint finish.

image.jpg

image

If you want to build up a Chinese Terracotta Army in tiny plastic  you could of course bulk buy on a retail scale,  minimum order only 10,000 pieces,  here is the current link: https://www.alibaba.com/product-detail/Terra-cotta-warriors-archaeological-fossils-toys_60399762717.html?spm=a2700.7724857.0.0.wO6hVa

Happy painting! Happy excavating!

Blog posted by Mr MIN, Man of TIN, July 2016

Advertisements

Charbens US Army Men

An attractive paint scheme (if poor face painting) for a Charbens G I American infantryman figure of hollow-cast lead.

This colour scheme would work well in gloss acrylic on pound store plastic figures.

image

This figure in my collection is one half of a stretcher party, Charbens figure set No. 210.

 

They are notedly similar in style and paintscheme to Timpo lead hollow-cast GI figures of the 1950s.

Some of the other Charbens GI figures in my collection appear to have been simply repainted (by their original owners?)

Made of hollow-cast lead, they have an animation to them that you could see followed through into plastic figures like Airfix, Timpo, Crescent and Lone Star / Harvey. The lack of bases to the kneeling figure or minimal bases on the Grenade Thrower are ways of saving expensive metal and similar in this way  to the American ‘pod foot’ dime store figures.

Their modern plastic pound store warrior equivalents often have similar minimal plastic saving bases, making them cheap but annoying if they keep falling over!

image
Charbens American GI soldier No. 200 repainted 
image
Charbens American GI soldier Mine Detector No. 209
image
Charbens American GI figures Grenade Thrower No. 200, Mine Detector no. 209 and Kneeling Firing No. 203 (Photo / figures: Man of TIN Collection)

image

These repainted figures with few colours are not unlike some of the postwar paint colour reductions by figure manufacturers. To keep production costs down, an increasingly smaller palette of colours was used by many figure manufacturers. Some figure painters were paid according to / by the number of colours per hundred figures completed.

Reference numbers are to the Charbens figure list in Norman Joplin’s The Great Book of Hollow-Cast Figures (New Cavendish, 1993/99) which shows this range on page 77 / plate 143.

All these figures are postwar hollowcast lead figures produced by Charbens (London, 1920-66) from 1945 to 1960s when lead figures were phased out in favour of plastic.

The Charbens name came from brothers Charles and Benjamin Reid who set up their own hollowcast business in the early 1920s, one of them having previously worked for William Britain.

Blog posted by Mr MIN, Man of TIN, July 2016.

 

Hobby Learning # 1: Andrew Wyeth

What I like about gaming and toy soldiers are all the incidental things you learn.

Such “Hobby Learning” you might assume  to be all about battles, weapons and suchlike.

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

Donald Featherstone, War Games 1962

However you find out a lot about many other subjects, including art and painters such as Andrew Wyeth.

Christinasworld
Andrew Wyeth, Christina’s World  (Image source: MOMA / Wikipedia)

 

I had only known of  Andrew Wyeth (1917 – 2009) through his famous and much reproduced Americana painting Christina’s World.

image
Harold Pestana’s lovely redcoat toy soldiers feature on the front cover of Richard Scholl’s Toys Soldiers book.

 

However reading Richard Scholl’s Toy Soldiers book about the Malcolm Forbes Toy Soldier Collection (2004, Courage Books USA) I came across this delightful ‘Borrowers’ style tiny figures by a sunlit window frame sketch by Andrew Wyeth, a 1962 painting known as “The British at Brandywine.”

image
Andrew Wyeth toy soldier sketch in Richard Scholl’s book Toy Soldiers (Courage Books, USA, 2004) about the Malcolm Forbes Toy Soldier Collection.

This letter / sketch was sold at Sotheby’s in 2010: http://www.sothebys.com/en/auctions/ecatalogue/2010/the-malcolm-forbes-toy-collection-n08706/lot.197.html

After Richard Scholl’s book I looked up “Andrew Wyeth” +  “Toy Soldiers” or “Military Miniatures” and found an interesting YouTube video “Andrew Wyeth Military Figurines”  (Lora Engelhart, 17 April 2012) about his dimestore / composition collection of American Toy Soldiers at his house / studio being curated and conserved.

image
1940s composition pilot in my collection (Photo / figure: Man of TIN collection)

I have a few of these interesting American and composition figures in my own collection.

There are lots of other YouTube interviews and features about Wyeth and his artistic family and landscape to follow up.

Wyeth’s 1962 “The British at Brandywine” seen in the top right of the framed letter features a typical Wyeth “looking out of a window or slanting light through a windowpane” motif,  repeated through over 300 Wyeth sketches and  paintings, something picked up in a recent US National Gallery of Art in Washington exhibition: https://andreapawley.wordpress.com/2014/07/30/andrew-wyeth-at-the-national-gallery-of-art/

There is also a very interesting blogpost biography and a few photos of his toy soldiers seen during a visit to Wyeth’s preserved studio at Chadd’s Ford, PA (Pennsylvania).

http://ashorthistoryblog.com/andys-world-the-life-of-andrew-wyeth/

Wyeth’s world was the terrain of the American War of Independence and where the Battle of Brandywine Creek was fought. Hence the gift of the Revolutionary War soldiers being highly  appropriate.

Andrew’s father N.C. Wyeth was a well known illustrator of books featuring historical topics. He was part of the Brandywine School of painting, an artist’s colony set up by American artist and illustrator Howard Pyle, famous for his pirate and battle paintings.

image
Nationmakers, painting by Howard Pyle in 1903 depicting Washington’s troops at  the Brandywine Creek battle of the Revolutionary War (now hanging in the Brandywine Creek Museum) Image Source: Wikipedia.

The Brandywine School was a style of illustration as well as an artists colony in Wilmington, Delaware and in Chadd’s Ford, Pennsylvania, near Brandywine River.  Both were  founded by American artist Howard Pyle (1853–1911) in the late 19th century. Many of these pictures were widely published in adventure novels, magazines, and romances in the early 1900s. http://www.rockwell-center.org/essays-illustration/the-nation-makers/

See the collection in http://www.brandywine.org/museum/collection

including an interesting N.C. Wyeth dream painting http://www.brandywine.org/museum/collection/collection-highlights/dream-i-meet-general-washington

As well as N.C. Wyeth, one of the other pupils that Howard Pyle tutored was American illustrator Jessie Wilcox Smith. Wilcox painted this interesting illustration of Robert Louis Stevenson’s Land Of Counterpane poem, about which we will post a separate future blog post on gaming and toy soldiers in bed.

image
Land of Counterpane by  Jessie Willcox Smith  (Image source: Wikipedia)

The things you learn … All good gaming inspiration.

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

This is the Pound Store Police!

image

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

image

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

image.jpeg

They come quite heavily armed and highly animated.

image

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

image

image
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

 

image

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

11813453_521619401319208_6902525798247360772_n

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.

image

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/

image

image

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

image

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.

image

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.

image

 

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.

image

(With apologies to Meghan Trainor)

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

 

Tiny Terrariums

image

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

image

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.

image

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

image

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.