What will 2022 bring?

Anyone else made any foolish unachievable resolutions for this year’s gaming?

Battling Bronte Sisters (Bad Squiddo 28mm Little Wolves Amazons) meet 25mm Prince August Homecast cavemen boggarts. As close as I will get to Silver Bayonet?

*

It’s that time of the year when New Year’s Resolutions are optimistically made … but maybe not in this house.

My New Gaming Year’s Irresolutions for 2021 were kept deliberately vague …

https://poundstoreplasticwarriors.wordpress.com/2020/12/31/new-gaming-year-irresolutions-2021/

but even then my vaguest plans for New Gaming Year NGY 2021 often went awry, mostly due to COVID.

The local village Spring Flower and Craft show 2021 never happened so no #FEMBruary figures from Bad Squiddo painted as planned but I did paint some later in the year – The Battling Bronte sisters.

Thanks to Covid levels, I never made it to the Woking 2021 54mm Little Wars Revisited Games Day when it finally happened. Covid dependent of course, but hopefully I might make it in 2022 with my Boy Scouts and snowball fighters who need more gaming time https://littlewarsrevisited.boards.net/thread/847/woking-games-saturday-march-correct.

My local history research project talk on WW2 in my local area (as a fundraiser) was postponed by COVID from autumn 2021 to late May 2022.

I think the NGY Irresolutions 2020 will still stand after a year or two interrupted but who knows what might happen in 2022?

New Gaming Year’s Irresolutions 2022

In no particular order

1. Cataloguing Peter Laing 15mm figures as part of celebrating the 50th anniversary of the now out-of-production Peter Laing figures, possibly the first 15mm figures when they launched in October 1972.

https://collectingpeterlaing15mmfigures.wordpress.com

As well as cataloguing what I have over the next ten months, fellow members of the Peter Laing collectors circle on MeWe have been helping me identify figures and supplying photos of figures I don’t have. Then there’s painting and basing more of my unpainted Laing figure stash and getting in some more 15mm skirmish games?

Peter Laing 15mm Chasseurs d’Alpins (WW1 Range) complete with walking sticks!

2. England or Cornwall invaded – Variations on Operation Sealion / Leon Marino

Still playing around with skirmish ideas as part of my Look Duck and Varnish Blog ongoing Operation Sealion Home Guard games, but also found out more about the WW1 ‘Gorgeous Wrecks’ or Volunteer Training Corps, good for future VTC Wide Games and Victorian / Edwardian / WW1 era ‘what if’ games.

Arma-Dads Army! 1590s Home Guard Elizabethan Muster of conversions and ECW figures against the Spanish Fury, Chintoys Conquistadors and pound store Pirates …

https://manoftinblog.wordpress.com/arma-dads-army-elizabethan-home-guard-1580s-1590s-operacion-leon-marino/

3. More Close Little Wars forest skirmishes and Close Little Space Wars Games in 54mm … I didn’t get a backyard garden galaxy game in this year.

My lovely Bold Frontiers cardboard trees didn’t get enough of an outing in 2021…

Two Britain’s Ltd. broken Scots charging – a favourite pose – with part repaired rifles, two more figures from the Waifs and Strays group of figures 2021 – “Waifs and Strays” sounds like it should be a Victorian Regimental nickname.

4. I look forward to some more enjoyable tinkering with 54mm repairs of broken lead figures to add to various units. Over the years I have been stashing away battered and broken figures from various donations – cowboys, Indians, redcoats, Scots and Khaki figures – along with the odd intriguing figure bought online.

Arrived last year and put away for Christmas – some very heavy, solid lead and fairly paint distressed Terraton 54mm-ish German semiflats to repair and rebase. Indians, redcoats, trees and farm animals …

5. What else might happen?

Weather permitting maybe will even get some more home casting done outdoors?

Pound Store Plastic figures, Early War Miniatures 1940 Range (for Svenmarck invaded!) and vintage Airfix OOHO figures to restore or rebase for some skirmish games.

More time for Bronte ImagiNations?

My Boy Scouts, Girl Scouts and Snowball Games need attention!

My skateboarders could do with painting!

Not going to run out of fun things to do …

What are your New Gaming Year plans?

I hope that your gaming plans for 2022 go agreeably awry as well.

Blog posted by Mark Man of TIN, NYE 31 December 2021 / 1st January 2022

Battling Aggie and the Bald Headed End of the Broom!

Beware the Bald Headed End of the Broom!

A simple scrap kitchen towel for a headscarf transforms one of Steve Weston’s 54mm plastic Mexican peasants into a spirited serving girl, scolding Goodwife or feisty fender-off of invaders from medieval to Tudor times through to the English and American Civil Wars and the Wild West onwards.

This is another figure for my slowly developing 54mm figure and pound store conversions towards a raggle-taggle Arma-Dad’s Army militia muster and civilians to fend off the Spanish Fury of Armada invaders of the southwest coast in the 1590s.

And the title?

Crossposted from my Pound Store Plastic Warriors blog – read the more fully illustrated blog post here:

https://poundstoreplasticwarriors.wordpress.com/2021/04/26/the-bald-headed-end-of-the-broom-battling-aggie-defeats-the-spanish-fury/

Blog post by Mark Man of TIN, 25/26 April 2021

Snowball Fight at Camp Benjamin – new BMC Plastic Army Women arrive!

The new BMC Plastic Army Women have arrived from America – the first Kickstarter I have ever backed. A snowball fight breaks out at Camp Benjamin on the parade and assault course amongst the new female recruits, watched by their officers on the rope bridge …

Crossposted with other snowball fight links and rules (including by Alan Gruber) posted by Mark Man of TIN on his Pound Store Plastic Warriors blog, 26/27 December 2020

https://poundstoreplasticwarriors.wordpress.com/2020/12/27/snowball-fight-at-camp-benjamin-bmc-plastic-army-women-arrive/

Support the Tank Museum – Wooden Tank Models

WW1 mark IV and Churchill Tank with two of my 54mm hollowcast figures for scale.

I notice on the Tank Museum webshop some intriguing wooden tank model kits used in their half term “make and take” activities – a WW1 British Tank (Mark IV) and a WW2 Churchill tank.

I had no real idea from the website of their size but I thought they looked jolly robust, so ordered them in support of the Tank Museum.

Like many museums, galleries and charities, it has a had a tough year of restricted income. It has an incredible collection to support and with its tanks and ‘tanker’ stories is an active part of our national Remembrance.

Two of my 54mm Johilco hollowcast lead WW1 infantry for scale

Tempatation: Comes with 10% offer leaflet for sales between Christmas between Christmas and the 31 January 2020.

Quickly assembling them (they have easy dowel construction) to check scale and size, they seem to suit 54mm – 60 mm figures. They are remarkably only £6 each (plus postage).

Compared to the time, effort and skill required to make these in a workshop at home that I don’t have with tools I don’t have, these seem a very good deal to me. A fun kind of charitable giving!

As they arrived packed and wrapped …

Please note: Last postage dates from the Museum guaranteed in time for Christmas delivery are soon in the next three or four days.

Now these wooden tanks are going back into the family present cupboard for Christmas or a future birthday gift for me.

Blog posted by Mark Man of TIN, 11 December 2020

Close Little Wars – Wheel Meet Again Forest Ambush

North Gondal forests, 1870s – a supply column, deep in the forest, approach a stream

Ahead of the supply column, few yards over the old bridge, a large dead tree had fallen over the road, neatly blocking it.

Suspicious? Old dead trees fall over, and they had had heavy rain storms recently. The old plank bridge wasn’t looking in too good shape either. Must have happened overnight. The Forest Fort foot patrols should have noticed this damage and made good a repair.

They would need to proceed cautiously. Steady there! The weekly supply waggon for the Forest Fort (Fort McGuffin) tipped precariously over and backwards as it crossed the old wooden bridge over the stream.

Crack!

The Redcoat troops of the Yestershire Regiment heard the sound as one of the wheels skewed off at an odd angle. Barrels and boxes tipped out onto the rough forest road and stream. Some of the bridge had washed away … or maybe the rope and timbers had been hacked away?

Assessing the damage to the wheel, Captain Snortt of the Yestershires,  the officer in charge of the supply column, quickly sent the wagon horse and rider ahead to summon reinforcements and a repair team from the Forest Fort (Fort McGuffin).

As the horse and rider disappeared up the forest road, Snort sent his small column of seven redcoats to fan out and protect the cart whilst one of the Army Service Corps men Private Fuller tried to fix the axle and wheel.

The scattered barrels and boxes were stacked to make temporary cover positions.

They wedged the damaged axle on a haybale that they had been carrying for the horse.

Snortt knew that the Forests this far North had eyes everywhere. The local Native Indians were increasingly hostile, they did not enjoy their sacred hunting grounds being carved up by roads and forts, loggers and the land claims of settlers.

To add to his problems, the column included a rare civilian passenger, Kate the youngest daughter of Major McGuffin, the Fort Commander, who was travelling to visit her father. A fine hostage and bargaining chip she would make, if the Indians captured her.

Luckily for Snortt, young Kate was used to frontier life and quickly unpacked a pistol from the baggage, loaded it and watched the surrounding forest. There were spare rifles in the wagon if needed.

An Indian Scout spots the Redcoat supply column and sees the wagon founder on the bridge.

The Indian Scouts who were scattered around hunting through the forest return to their chiefs. They bring news. “The wagon is broken on the bridge.”

“The horse has gone to the fort.”

“Several redcoats have stayed to protect the wagon.”

“There are supplies and a passenger for the Fort.”

Meanwhile back at the bridge, the Redcoats of the Yestershires  heard drums. The low sound of a native signal drum in the distance. Snortt was not sure how far away. Drums talking across the forest trees. Someone may have seen their difficulty and was even now summoning the local hunting parties.

Damn that bridge! Damn that wheel.

It looked to Snortt now that the fallen tree and the storm damaged bridge may not have been such natural events after all.

Meanwhile amongst the trees, the Indian Braves gathered with their spears and hunting rifles. Their tribal chief Old Wooden Legs spoke to the dancing Medicine Man who was blessing their hunt and ordered the drums be silenced. The Summoning was over.

“Let us harry the Redcoats and their wagons to remind them this is Our Land. There may be much of value in the Wagons – firesticks, metal bees* (bullets) and other important supplies for the Forest Fort, a Fort made from the timbers of our sacred trees.”

“Let us use the shadow and cover of these trees to approach the wagon and take something back in return for what these Redcoat devils have done to our forests. Civilians may prove good hostages. If the Redcoats attack or resist, we will use force to defend our forest.”

* The native Gondal Forest Indian name for bullets, “metal bees that sting death”.

Thus the die is set for a confrontation. In part 2 (or chapter 2?) of this small skirmish solo game I shall set out the terrain map, troop dispositions, aims and victory conditions.

Figures, Terrain and used.

Close Wars rules requires a cluttered terrain. Rather than clutter up the kitchen table with a 54mm Close Wars game and have to move it for meals, I wanted to leave this set up to play over several days squeezed in next to my desk and painting table.

I put sheets of felt over my usual portable hex boards for a change, using some chunky bound old volumes for hills. I used strips of felt for added streams and paths, exploiting the dips added some slate chips and chunks from the garden, some twigs and railway modelling bushes.

The damaged bridge was quickly made from a raft of coffee stirrers, superglued and ‘painted’ with felt tips. The bridge provides a “pinch point” between hills and stream for the wagon.

Hopefully it all keeps some of that improvised terrain spirit of our childhood games, of H. G. Wells’ Little Wars and early Donald Featherstone War Games 1962 (the book from which the two page ‘Close Wars’ rules appendix came).

The only large sheet of felt in the house when I was a child, a beautiful thick dark green, was the heat protector under the table cloth for our family dining table, so borrowing this or the dining table itself (above or below) meant toy soldier games had to fit in and finish around family mealtimes.

For a few moments I considered this as a garden game, but with creaky knees and changeable weather, I decided against this. The trees I use for pop-up 54mm games would not like being left outside.

The forest trees are beautiful preformed preprinted thick card ones from Bold Frontiers Australia, a recent gift to aid my Close Little Wars forest games. The three tree sets bring a real pop-up 3D picture book feel to this forest landscape.

My recent figure painting has been inspired by the Frank Humphris illustrations in the Ladybird Classics children’s book Last of the Mohicans, working on Close Wars Natives and Soldiers at 30mm US plastic flats scale. https://manoftinblog.wordpress.com/2020/05/10/classic-close-wars-and-comic-book-soldiers-back-to-the-forest/

Scenario

The scenario of ‘Wheel Meet Again’, the broken wagon to defend in hostile territory is loosely based on one by the late Stuart Asquith that I used as a memorial game last November. Add a dash of Last of The Mohicans.

Gondal is a borrowed ImagiNation, one of the four kingdoms on a North Pacific ‘Tropical Yorkshire’ island created in the 1830s and 1840s by the Bronte family as youngsters. Other Bronte versions of ‘Tropical Yorkshire’ include Glass Town and Angria (roughly West Africa), whilst Gaaldine is Tropical Yorkshire on two South Pacific islands. Gondal is similar to my ImagiNations continents of North, Central and South Generica, roughly equivalent to the historical Americas.

https://manoftinblog.wordpress.com/2019/12/21/man-of-tin-blogvent-calendar-day-21-angria-rebooted/

The Redcoats

I don’t have any French Indian War / Revolutionary War bicorne figures or redcoats in 54mm at the moment. The BMC 54mm ones are in a box patiently awaiting painting, a year on from Christmas 2019. Instead my 42mm Pound Store Redcoats have stepped in and borrowed the scout trek cart. This overloaded wagon is pulled by a flat cavalryman who disappears to take news to the Forest Fort, Fort McGuffin.

A few smaller Britains hollow-cast figures were added in. The Fort Commander’s daughter is a plastic seaside pirate girl with concealed pistol behind her back, her faithful hound from the old Tradition of London Victorian street figures.

Barrels are buttons from the local craft shop, hay from Britain’s farm series, the baggage from the old Herald cowboy raft.

The Natives

I do have a host of repaired, tuppenny based hollow-cast 50 to 54mm Indians that I have repainted over the last two years. I have generally chosen the non Britain’s Indian figures as they tend to be a little smaller in the mid 40s to 50mm size.

https://manoftinblog.wordpress.com/2018/06/20/american-indians-first-nations-or-imagi-nations/

https://manoftinblog.wordpress.com/2018/06/25/rearming-the-native-american-indians-wip-1/

As I sit, they are in the foreground, so they can be bigger.

The skirmish should be over and written up in the next few days?

Blog posted by Mark Man of TIN 16/17 May 2020.

Turning Pound Store Plastic soldiers into Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts

When no one makes cheap 54mm plastic scouts, what can you do but convert some of the cheapest rackety cloned and distorted toy soldiers into Boy and Girl Scouts? Some of this worked well. Read more at:

https://tabletopscoutingwidegames.wordpress.com/2019/10/17/turning-cheap-pound-store-army-figures-into-boy-scouts-and-girls-scouts/

Crossposted from my Scouting Wide Games for the Tabletop blog site by Mark, Man of TIN (1970s Cub Scout, Bronze Arrow, Retired) 17 October 2019

Landing Craft (Carton)

IMG_1085

How to avoid landfill and land your pound store plastic warriors on the beach – cross posted from my other blog:

https://poundstoreplasticwarriors.wordpress.com/2019/07/21/milk-carton-creation-no-1-cheap-landing-craft/

IMG_1064
Hit the beach, fellas! 

Raid the fridge and get cutting. Enjoy! Posted by Mark Man of TIN 21 July 2019

Man of TIN Advent Calendar Day 10 – The Boys to Entertain You or Broken Britains rearmed

IMG_3334

“Meet the gang, for the boys are here, the boys to entertain you …”

That was the  familiar opening to the 70s WW2 Jungle sitcom by David Croft and Jimmy Perry,  It Ain’t Half Hot Mum, stalwart of my childhood along with their other sitcoms such as Dad’s Army.

This group of Broken Britain’s have the look of  a dodgy ENSA show or music hall chorus line, cheap comics in a strange troops revue.

Seen from another angle, they are more Broken Britain’s – East Kent Regiment in Khaki on guard –  from a donation by John Forman, all broken  figures that would otherwise probably be scrapped.

IMG_4485
The East Kent Regiment based and rearmed, defending my stylishly camouflaged gun emplacement.

https://manoftinblog.wordpress.com/2018/10/14/from-old-digital-radio-to-54mm-houses-and-coastal-gun-emplacement/

There were seven types of Broken Britain’s infantry in the group kindly donated by John Forman, variously missing feet and bases and all missing rifles.

IMG_3612

1. Britain’s Guardsmen firing – six classic figures with broken rifles – not sure which Guards Regiment, as they were play-bashed enough to have no obvious plume colours.

IMG_3335
The figures as they arrived from John Forman.

IMG_3614

IMG_3613.JPG
Rifles repaired, busby repainted and figures tuppeny based, otherwise I have kept the patina of battered body and face paint.

2. Britain’s Line Infantry (spiked helmet in black home service  with black facings firing  rifle – Royal Irish Regiment set 156, wearing gaiters – 1 figure.

3. Britain’s Line Infantry (spiked helmet white foreign service) with yellow facings  on guard with rifle – Worcester Regiment set 18 c. 1930,  wearing gaiters – 1 figure.

4. Britain’s East Kent Regiment on Guard, The Buffs Set 16 – yellow facings,  second version with square base, on Guard. Produced 1910 – 1930, wearing gaiters – 2 figures.

5. Britain’s  East Kent Regiment on Guard, service dress set 326a produced postwar in Steel Helmets (my “boys to entertain you”, above) – 5 figures.

6. Gloucester Regiment (Boer War) firing, produced 1901 to 1941 – 3 figures

7. The 3 charging Highlanders seen in a previous blog post

East Kent Regiment in Khaki Service Dress 

IMG_3333

They have rifles missing as well as feet or base missing, so replacement bases are required, easily made from Fimo polymer clay to suit tuppeny 2p coin bases.

IMG_3607
Rifles repaired, feet made from cocktail sticks glued into Fimo polymer clay bases. Third figure   East Kent Regiment in Khaki service dress  and fourth, Gloucester Regiment firing.

The rifle repairs are more fiddly, requiring drilling a hole with a 1mm pin vice or hand drill into the broken section. If this is a stubby section of broken rifle this is quite tricky, whereas it is much easier to drill into the hand section where it grips the rifle, which has a greater thickness of lead.

IMG_3483
Drilling into the rifle hand of another of John Forman’s damaged Britain’s Guards riflemen..

So finally  how did the ENSA “boys to entertain you” turn out in the end?

IMG_0395
My Boys to Entertain You (and Mr Hitler) from the Britain’s East Kent Regiment …just a little work to do on tidying and painting the Fimo and tuppenny bases.

IMG_0397

 

And for a suitable ear worm … the theme song to It Ain’t Half Hot Mum. Whilst the services / Seventies humour might have dated and the Indian characters would be handled differently today, as a child and still today, to me Windsor Davies is every bit the archetypal comic Sergeant Major to his “Lovely Boys”.

Blogposted by Mark Man of TIN on Advent Calendar Day 10, 10th December 2018.