Airfix British Redcoat Infantry 1960

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Trying out different colour schemes:  Airfix Guards Colour Party repaints escort the Governor General’s Daughter (originally / promoted  from the  Airfix Waggon Train) Photo/ figure paints: Man of TIN. 

Amongst the proliferation of so many plastic gaming figures today , I sometimes  wonder what would have happened if the gaming clock was a reset to 1962, the year of first publication of Donald Featherstone’s War Games book.

Imagine, Groundhog Day style, that all you had available (going back in an “it’s 1962 again” time loop) were conversions of these figures:

  • Airfix  S1 Guards band 1959
  • Airfix S2 Guards Colour party 1959
  • Airfix S3 Combat Infantry Group 1960
  • Airfix S4 Farm Stock 1960
  • Airfix S5 WW2 German Infantry 1960
  • Airfix S6 Civilians 1960
  • Airfix S7 Cowboys 1961
  • Airfix S8 Indians 1961

Donald Featherstone in his WW2 example game used Airfix figures and tank kits, featuring Set S3 Combat Infantry and Set S5 WW2 German Infantry. These gave me much pleasure as a gaming child as they were the same as figures that I recognised and had in our family collection.

By 1962 when Donald Featherstone’s War Games went to press and was published, the following lovely Airfix sets were issued, expanding the conversion possibilities:

  • Airfix S9 8th Army 1962
  • Airfix S10 Foreign Legion 1962
  • Airfix S11 Afrika Korps 1962
  • Airfix S12 American Civil War Union Infantry 1962
  • Airfix S13 American Civil War Confederate Infantry 1962
  • Airfix S14 American Civil War Artillery 1962
  • Airfix S15 Wagon Train 1962
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Some simple ideas on wargaming with the available figures 0f the time in this much thumbed (Ex-library) copy of Donald Featherstone’s Tackle Model Soldiers This Way, written in 1963. 

So circa 1960-62, what were the paint and conversion possibilities available to gamers then or vintage gamers today?

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From sketch book to first draft painting or repaint, I’m happy with the results so far with these Victorian British redcoat paint conversions of Airfix 1960 Infantry Combat Group:

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Still a few final details to add to these figures, along with some natives or opposition.

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The opposition could be these blue coated Danish style guardsmen, still unfinished in fine detailing.

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I hope the late Donald Featherstone would have liked these simple redcoat figures c. Airfix 1960/2.

Several years later, many of the conversion ideas of his and others featured in his book Military Modelling were made easier by production of WW1 figures, the American War of Independence figures and the Waterloo range.

Colonial redcoats could by 1966 be made from Airfix WW1 German Infantry:

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These are part-painted, first draft Victorian Redcoats formed from some spare  Airfix WW1 German Infantry, a suggestion made in books at the time.

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Unfinished / Rough first draft repaint into  Airfix British redcoats or steampunk VSF Victorian British infantry? Some more brass and silver required for steampunk! (Figures / photo: Man of TIN.)

And if these redcoats on land required any naval back up, Airfix Cowboys could make a passable Royal Naval landing party …

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turning these Cowboys (top right) from American Civil War infantry conversions into Victorian sailors something like these Fimo cake mould conversions sailors.

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More paint conversions and retro / vintage Airfix c. 1962 to share with you in future blogposts.

Back, back, back into the past in our Airfix time machine …

Happy gaming!

Posted by Man of TIN, June 2016.

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The Prince’s Quest board game

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Another interesting junk shop find, this book of reprinted Six Edwardian and Victorian Board Games compiled by Olivia Bristol.

One of the interesting games is called The Prince’s Quest, a ‘fairy race game’ with plenty of random setbacks, depending where you land, access to secret paths and a starting mechanism of rolling a d6 to find which path you set out on.

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One of the drawbacks of the reproduced game (which originally covered three game panels) is the tiny spaces to put game counters on.

Marcia Malia’s comment below suggests that her original game board is quite small, like the reproduction.

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Peter Laing metal 15mm colonial figures serve as game counter pieces. Photo / figures: Man of TIN.

One solution is to use 15mm Peter Laing figures on simple small bases – I grabbed the nearest figures to hand but should probably have chosen Peter Laing 15mm Knights to match the theme.

It is perfectly dice led as board games go with absolutely no skill element at all, just the luck of dice,  so perfect for solo gaming if you fancy controlling two figures and rolling two dice yourself!

Interesting game and several other techno / scifi almost comedy steampunk games of diving for treasure and an airship inspired A Trip to Mars, beautifully colour reproduced.

Well worth tracking down a copy.

Posted by Mr. MIN, Man of TIN.

 

 

A Curious Figurehead

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imageAnother strange bargain purchase (this time in a ships and seaside store about ten years ago) was this battered ship’s figurehead model in a curious uniform.

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About 60mm or 6 inches high, the figure was attached to a nautical anchor sort of clothes hook for wall mounting. The bargain as broken figure (rifle is damaged) is made of resin or plastic. It caught my eye, despite the gaudy toy soldier style painting because of its unusual uniform.

Having read Tod  Buk-Swienty’s book 1864 about the Danish Prussian War and Battle of Dybbol that inspired the recent Scandi TV series, the uniform looks similar to the Danish uniform. It certainly looks mid Nineteenth century.

However, another possibility are the many and varied dapper Rifle Volunteer uniforms in Britain from the 1860s and 1870s onwards, units formed, extravagantly uniformed and drilled  as an early form of Territorial Army against numinous threats to Britain from ‘Foreign Powers’.

This was the strange Victorian period of the Palmerston Forts against a supposed new Napoleonic French threat to Britain.

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

http://www.napoleon.org/en/history-of-the-two-empires/articles/palmerstons-follies-a-reply-to-the-french-threat/

All very ripe scenarios for What If? gaming.

Any positive ID of this ship’s figurehead model appreciated.

Toy Soldier Spa Treatments?

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Plastic toy soldier figures (from Airfix to pound store figures) made in soft slightly flexible polythene frequently arrive still covered in traces of a chemical mould releasing agent that stops the plastic sticking to the mould. It also unfortunately stops paint sticking easily to plastic.

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Before painting up in toy soldier glossy style, a little preparation and washing is required of these useful pound store figures. (Figures / photograph: Man of TIN)

So before you start undercoating with paint (usually black, white or the base / core colour) picking out even simple details in flesh, silver or black, a quick wash is required.

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Airfix RAF Personnel 1973 Blue Box back panel – I still love these simple line drawings of the figures inside, as much as the front cover ‘Box Art’ (from the Collection of Man of TIN) 

Looing back ( I never noticed or did this as a child) even vintage Airfix from its earliest blue box  days advised that “to ensure a clean painting surface, it is advisable to wash with detergent before painting.”

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Exciting and lively box art (and handy uniform painting guide) on the Airfix Blue Box 1973 HO OO scale RAF Personnel front box cover art (from the collection of Man of TIN) 

So a washing of the spears and rifles, of warriors and their  weapons is required.

  1. First a quick squirt of washing up liquid into a washing up bowl of warm water to degrease your figures, followed by a gentle soapy scrub of handfuls of figures with a soft washing up brush.

2. I usually use a kitchen drying rack to pile up and drain figures. Check that no escapees can go down the plug hole.

3. Pop the still  slightly soapy figures into fresh cold water, then use a kitchen sieve or strainer to scoop the figures  out.

4. Again a drying rack will help then pop them onto a tea towel  spread them around and leave them to dry slowly for several hours.

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Second plunge to get the soap suds off! 

A bit of a surreal swimming lesson or amphibious landing to look at.

Oddly some colours of the same figures (like the mini red ones here) float whilst the same figures in green or silver don’t.

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This amounts to pampering and spa treatment of tiny plastic soldiers!

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Drying off on a tea towel before packing away or painting. 

Raking through and spreading out the figures has a lovely almost shellfish sound, indeed the whole process feels like a bizarre cooking lesson.

You now have shiny, smart and clean figures ready for painting, ready to attack and defend and express your imagination and character.

The range of  Poundland smaller figures can be seen on this previous blogpost:

https://manoftinblog.wordpress.com/2016/05/28/more-pound-store-warriors/

There are plenty of other plastic and pound store warriors, gaming ideas and budget gaming ideas featured throughout this  blog. Enjoy!

Feel free to share ideas and leave comments via the comments page.

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

OBE repaint figures #1

 

imageOBE figures are what Wargaming Miscellany blog author Bob Cordery calls “Other Bugger’s Efforts”, being figures painted by others that you have acquired and their credit shouldn’t be claimed by yourself.

This bunch of six repurposed or repainted Airfix WW1 British Infantry picked up in a £1 mixed bag of bashed painted OO/HO Airfix figures from a favourite second hand shop in Cornwall. (This shop  is only occasionally open when I visit, being that sort of shop, a big like the erratic supply / production of Airfix figures themselves).

Dissecting this “Airfix owl pellet”, the mixed remains of someone else’s spare or unwanted figures, I found these interesting troops.

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I like their blue and red “Imagi-Nations” sort of uniform and look forward to painting them some reinforcements.

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These give me some paint inspiration for Schneider home cast metal figures:

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imageWatch this space!

Posted by Mr MIN, Man of TIN.

Small World Domination

Inspired by a gift a few years ago of some Prince August moulds:

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Today the playroom … Tomorrow the (small) world

This is a quick sketch for an anonymous “secret squirrel” type postcard competition / exhibition run through an art gallery a few years ago,inspired by the website http://www.postsecret.com

Oh well, the secret’s out. Plans for (small) world domination unmasked.

Quick, time to keep building and casting as fast as I can!

Home Casting 

If you want to take part in this arms (legs head and body) race, head to the traditional 54mm toy soldier multipart  moulds at http://shop.princeaugust.ie/54mm-traditional-toy-soldiers-moulds/

The great joy of these home casting ‘mix and match’ is the creation of figures – soldiers and civilians of all nations – in box sets and parades that never existed in the heyday of lead figures, before they vanished in favour of safer, unbreakable (and often now crumbling) plastic from the 1960s onwards.

Of these, in future blogposts, I’ll feature some of the stranger ones from the bands, parades, civilians and soldiers of all my ‘imagi-nations’.

The other creative way to acquire the figures of your wilder “Imagi-nations” was through conversion (plenty of collecting toy figures books in the library or out of print online for this topic) or repaint.

The toy soldier version of a car respray, some of the odd figures found online or in junkshops in my collection are childish repaints or very slop happy repaint jobs in whatever colours were available for whatever figures were required for play or parades. Again a future subject for blogposts …

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My Man of TIN Gravatar, blog icon, a Guardsman saluting, made years ago as a brooch gift from Prince August 54mm multi part traditional toy soldier mould. (Photo / figure: Man of TIN) 

Favourite gaming figures #1

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Much repainted veteran  Airfix Jungle / Australian adventurer.

Do you have a favourite gaming figure?

One of mine is this Airfix 1:32 54mm Australian WW2 officer – or as I often used him in childhood, as a garden jungle adventurer?

He made a passable Indiana Jones (yet produced several years before the film!)

This was a great figure also available in the tinier OO/HO 1:72 – 1:76 20mm scale.

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This one figure creates ideas for lots of scenarios.

Generally the Airfix Australian and Ghurka figures in 1:32 or 1:72 scale prove great adaptable ‘jungle adventure’ explorers or troops, even if you exclude the ‘modern’ machine guns etc. to add a more 19th century / early 20th century feel.

http://www.airfix.com/uk-en/shop/figures/world-war-2.html

In the smaller scale, add some of the adventurer and natives figures from the tiny Airfix Tarzan set (reissued by Hat c.2001/3 as Jungle Adventure). Throw in repainted Airfix Indians as ‘Jungle Warriors’ and you have the figures for an excellent jungle Close Little Wars scenario. Poundstore cowboys and natives can also be used in the larger figure scales.

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

The Airfix Jungle Outpost occasionally available in 1:32 or smaller scale is a great addition to Garden Wargames or Close Little Wars game.

Alternatively the resin fish tank drowned temples from your local garden centre and aquarium store are also great fun. http://www.airfix.com/uk-en/shop/dioramas-buildings/dioramas-airfield-sets/bamboo-house-1-32.html

Raid the DVD cabinet for Indiana Jones and other B movie Jungle inspiration.

Get out into those flowerbeds with the larger figures and explore!

Happy Gaming!

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