TSAF Aircraft Repaint Part 1

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First undercoat paint layers on these planes  and recently repaired Crescent pilot with flight plans, repaired with new feet.

Like many bloggers, with the current heatwave I have done little figure painting this week.

However I  have started repainting or undercoating  the first two of the three Moshi aircraft.

Interwar Silver has replaced pink, whilst Desert brown with a silver belly has replaced the orange and red.

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They started out like this in pink and orange. https://manoftinblog.wordpress.com/2018/07/06/tsaf-toy-soldier-air-force/

The eye and shark teeth decals are worth keeping on the desert brown aircraft. Eventually a darker  brown camo disruption pattern will be overpainted, to get the look of a Curtiss Tomahawk.

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Several more coats of paint, some Imagi-Nations decals and a finish with Gloss varnish are all required before these aircraft are game and garden ready. Once it cools down …

Blogposted by Mark Man of TIN 26 July 2018

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Wilko Wild Western Express Train

In between planning airplane conversions, I have been repairing Broken Britain’s hollowcast 54mm Indians and casting more Prince August 40mm Cowboys and Indians ready for some garden skirmish games soon.

So adding a Western train set isn’t so surprising …

Vintage 54mm Pound Store Plastic Cowboys and Indians fight over the cargo and caboose of my new Wilko Western Express train.

A snip of a plastic battery operated railway set at £10. Read more at:

https://sidetracked2017blog.wordpress.com/2018/07/14/the-wild-wilko-western-express/

Blogposted by Mark, Man of TIN on 14 / 15 July 2018.

TSAF Toy Soldier Air Force

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Thanks to the quickly passed plastic  craze of Moshi Monsters, I have now acquired two interesting hybrid fighter bombers. Perfect for any Imagi-Nations Air forces.

They were sourced through my family for free or a few pounds online. They are roughly suitable for 54mm or 1:32 figures, arguably the only true scale for H.G. Wells Big “Little Wars”.

This was how they arrived, in their original Moshi Monster Super Moshi character forms of Katsuma and Poppet, little Heli Moshi Monster  which cleverly transforms into part of the propellor and engine.

These planes are hybrids, garishly coloured with their  pink countershading (female Super Moshi Poppet character) and orange paint scheme (Male cat Super Moshi character Katzuma). I recognise bits of different WW2 aircraft moshed, morphed or mashed together to make this generic hybrid.

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Those Super Moshi hybrid aeroplanes in a screen shot of the Super Moshi music video (c/o Youtube / moshimonsters.com)

I especially like the orange bulbous nosed “Shark Teeth” fighter, originally belonging to SuperMoshi Katsuma.

Light machine gun armament  from a pound store / Tim Mee type modern toy plastic soldier in Blue Army uniform.

How our wartime photographer pictured these magnificent men …

I looked through a cheap modern reprint of another old childhood branch library  Blandford favourite, Fighters 1939-1945 by Kenneth Munson, to see if I could find the Moshi Monster plane’s forebears.

Grumman Hellcat? Tomahawk with the shark teeth motif? Bulbous Brewster Buffalo, one of my odder childhood aircraft models?

My naval grandfather may have recognised the type. He served on various Royal Navy aircraft carriers during the Pacific /  SE Asia naval campaigns including the Kamikaze raids on carriers.

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Small snaps in my Royal Navy grandad’s WW2 album that may have been taken by him or the ship’s photographer. Stamped on the Reverse by Censor: “Not Suitable for Transmission Through The Post”.  Written on the back – “Corsair Fighter” (bottom left)  and top left “Port Suez”  with aircraft wings stowed. Note RAF Roundels. 

His photo album shows similar carrier based planes but with fold up wings to stow neatly above and  below decks.

The shark teeth and eye motif of the Curtis P40 Tomahawk

I would be surprised if you recognised the pilot of the orange aircraft but you might have seen part of him on the blog a few months back amongst the metal detectorist’s toy soldier finds.

Here is how he looks now with a charming Dorset Soldiers recast Pilot head. A hint of Dastardly and Muttly here? Maybe a bullet-holed flying scarf might be required.

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Here is how he appeared amongst the toy soldier finds:

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Third from top left, our pilot’s arms and body. Bottom right, this fragment is also a pilot figure, not yet fully restored.

https://manoftinblog.wordpress.com/2018/05/20/recalled-to-the-colours-54mm-metal-detectorists-toy-soldier-finds-restored-to-fighting-condition

Some Ground Crew

The  Johillco running pilots in civilian or technician white flying overalls and also khaki flight suits will eventually be joined by some ground crew. Somewhere I have a mould to homecast more RAF Regiment ground crew and also a Britain’s WAAF amongst others to add to the Toy Soldier Air Force at some point.

Army Red and Army Blue will get one plane each, after some removal of some stickers (the shark teeth, eye and katsuma stickers will stay!) There will also be some paint  adjustments to their desert orange or desert pink camouflage schemes, such as lighter bellies as part of aircraft countershading.

Johillco running Pilot, Britain’s RAF fire crew, modern metal  Britain’s British and US Navy crew (D-Day 1944 commemorative set?), Johillco air crew in donkey jacket, Home cast RAF Regiment, Britain’s RAF Regiment, Johillco running Pilot.
Rear view of the Air Force and Navy figures including handy slung tin hat on the sixth Home-cast figure, who can also be painted a# Home Guard or Army in Khaki.

Interestingly these navy and aircrew figures link into both sides of my family with a Naval grandfather who served on aircraft carriers and an RAF ground crew Grandfather, both of whom had passed away before I was born.

https://manoftinblog.wordpress.com/2016/07/20/fathers-day-raf-firefighter/

Not quite sure how these aircraft will fit into the 54mm outdoor or indoor games. Defending the airbase will be one scenario.  I currently have no rules for aircraft, but I’m sure F.E. Perry’s First and Second Book of Wargaming and Featherstone’s Air Wargames Books may have some clues. Not quite sure what sort of ground spike or stand will be needed yet for a mix of garden and floor / tabletop use.

Little Air Wars?

If I encounter another Moshi aeroplane at good price, the next one gets turned into a “string bag” Biplane, even more suitable for H.G. Wells Edwardian / WW1  era  Little Wars. He missed including military biplanes in Little Wars by a few years.

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One very “Happy Meal” at Macdonalds when The Peanuts Movie came out …

Meanwhile the Aerial Menace of my floor and garden is added to by my favourite (toy) pilot of all time – well worth watching the recent Peanuts movie for the dogfight scenes against the Red Baron.

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A dubious ground crew on this surprising ESCI product, an Italian company not just good for plastic toy soldiers.

Some great 1983 packaging too!

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Love the  machine gun hole damage to the fuselage! Good Grief!

Chocks Away! Bandits at 5 o’clock! Tally Ho! Blam blam blam etc.

and finally … here is the original Super Moshi March music video on YouTube.An

Blog posted by Mark, Man of TIN 6 July 2018.

Lost Highlanders Rearmed

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I have been steadily working through some of the remaining damaged figures found and sold to me  by a metal detectorist, including three legless and headless Highlanders.

Previous restorations and the original state of the figures can be seen at: https://manoftinblog.wordpress.com/2018/05/20/recalled-to-the-colours-54mm-metal-detectorists-toy-soldier-finds-restored-to-fighting-condition

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Some of the last figures to repair – three kilted Highlanders and an odd Redcoated torso.

The surviving paintwork suggested that two of the Highlanders were Khaki colonials, the other two were a Redcoat Highlander lying firing made by Johillco and a headless Redcoat torso.

Matchstick legs were inserted into the body through the leg holes and then shaved to a more round shape with a scalpel. Masking tape was then wound round to thicken the leg up to a suitable width.

Suitable heads were mostly found in my homecast 54mm Prince August spares box.

Luckily with two of the figures, the Johillco lying firing Highlander and the Khaki Britain’s standing firing figure,  I had battered original figures with which  to compare the headless, legless torsos.

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Johillco Highlanders – at back the figure being restored, matchstick legs and wire rifle, prior to adding masking tape. At the front an original figure having the missing rifle replaced. Good for clues to paintwork.

The Highlanders had puggrees or wound strips of cloth around their pith helmets, so these were simply added with several fine thin strips of masking tape. The same technique was used to build up the sock strips on the legs.

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A puggaree, puggree, puggry or puggary (from a Hindi word ) is a strip of cloth wound around the upper portion of a hat or helmet, particularly a pith helmet, and falling down behind to act as a shade for the back of the neck.

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Fimo polymer clay feet were required to finish off the legs, modelled on a Britains Khaki firing British infantryman with feet pointing outwards.

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One of the Khaki Highlanders lying firing acquired a WW2 tin hat and arm with binoculars, both recast spares from Dorset Soldiers. An added pistol in a holster from Airfix Multipose spares should suggest an officer’s side arm. A spare right arm had to be built up with wire and masking tape.

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This quirky figure should fit well with many World War Two scenarios and match those kilted Matchbox British Eighth Army Khaki Highlander and Piper 54mm figures in kilts or shorts and Tam O’ Shanter berets. http://www.airfixtoysoldiers.com/Matchbox%20sets.htm

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The standing firing Highlander also needed a small hole drilled into the missing arm stump with 0.9mm hand drill, a wire arm or armature added (secured with superglue) and built up with masking tape. Glue and paint stiffened and secured the masking tape, stopping it from unravelling.

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The restored figure (right) is not an exact match of the original Britain’s figure in my collection (shown on the left)  but it gave a rough idea of what to aim at.

This figure was easier to do because of the lucky fact that I had a battered Britain’s  original Khaki Highlander standing firing figure in my collection to compare it with. This standing firing original figure also needed repair of a broken rifle, so I did that as well.

The looser repaired arms lack the neat slender precision of the original Britain’s limbs but provide character one-off  figures. The repaired figures here remind me a little of the looser limbed but spirited poses of Heyde of Germany and Lucotte or Mignot figures of France.

Milliput might be easier for sculpting but I cannot use this due to a family / household allergy, so  I used what I safely had to hand.  I could have ordered and waited for further Dorset Soldier recast Britain’s heads, but impatiently used what Dorset heads or Prince August heads I had in my spares box, even though Prince August 54mm figure heads are a little bigger and heftier than Britain’s original or recast ones. It adds to the toy soldierness of the figures anyhow.

The final non Highland figure was the redcoated torso.

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Prince August head, armature arm and rifle, matchstick legs …

This was the trickiest figure, the Redcoated  torso,  as  I was not sure who the maker was or what the original figure looked like. It had the chunky, slightly oversized look of an early Britain’s Fusilier but having no other fusiliers in my armies,  I chose instead found a suitable Prince August line infantry spiked helmet. This would more closely match my other  line infantry figures. The legs and base were easy enough to make out of matchsticks, masking tape and the usual Fimo feet and base to fit a tuppeny base for stability.

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The near-finished slightly clunky figure. 

The right arm was half missing, so I drilled a small hole to insert a bent wire armature that would be both an arm and shouldered rifle all in one piece. Not the usual rifle position for marching or sloping  arms, but it kind of works.

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A few more useful finishing touches – NCO stripes, maybe some medals – should complete this tiny lead Frankenstein figure.

A satisfying few evenings’ work, mixed in with other figure repair work in progress on more Broken Britain’s, some more Zulus etc to feature in future blog posts.

Hopefully these once lost and battered figures are as bright and proud, as fighting fit as the day they were cast, painted and bought home from a toy shop in a red box. As shiny again as they once were before their curious fate to be bashed, buried and eventually found again over many years by a metal detectorist called Frank in the Southeast of England.

I have based them on tuppeny pieces and made them stout repairs to arms, legs and rifles, stocky rather than thin and elegant,  as these figures will eventually will fight once more in gardens and on tabletops. Huzzah!

You might also be interested in my previous blog posts over the last few weeks about other toy soldier repairs.

Just two more tricky figures left from the figure part of the original haul, the headless driver figure who will become a pilot and a half a body figure in longcoat and gauntlets – possibly originally a pilot?

Blogposted by Mark, Man of TIN on 11  January 2018.

 

Old Britain’s Never Die article from an old Mil Mod Manual

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One of my remounts …

“The first task was to clean my pile of headless, armless, dented, holed horrors”

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“The first task was to clean my pile of headless, armless, dented, holed horrors …”

So B.S. Armstrong begins one section of his usefully detailed “How To” article on repairing old lead toy soldier cavalry figures.

My recent blogposts on the Man of TIN blog have involved the joyous restoration of some equally “headless, armless, dented, holed horrors” of Broken Britain’s figures.

This Yeomanry related toy soldier article is posted here for Marvin at the wonderful Suburban Militarism blog https://suburbanmilitarism.wordpress.com  and the beautiful Yeomanry uniform plates shown as part of the 1897 project on the Eastern  Garrison Website https://easterngarrison.blogspot.com

What a shame the Mil Mod article isn’t in colour!

This 1970s or 1980s (?) Military Modelling Manual article was kindly sent to  me by fellow Peter Laing 15mm figure collector Ian Dury from his extensive collection of Military Modelling magazines and manuals. This was in response to my earliest crudest Fimo inspired attempts to repair some bsahed 54mm Britain’s and Johillco figures. Thanks Ian!

Having recently restored trashed metal detecting finds of toy soldiers, I appreciate how much work  is involved in turning such damaged figures as the headless horseman on a legless horse pictured into the beautiful Yeomanry repaints shown throughout the article.

Some of the 1970s/ 1980s materials that B.S. Armstrong mentioned are still around.

Plaka casein based paints (now Pelican Plaka)  and Testor metallics or Testors paint are still around and available online or from hobby / craft shops.

Plastic Padding “Chemical Metal from Sweden” is still produced by Henkel / Loctite and extensively available, likewise Epoxy Cements.

Interestingly Milliput or Green Stuff is not mentioned to do this job, suggesting this is quite an early article as it was widely used by modellers in the 1980s. I don’t currently use it for repairs as we have a family / household allergy to Milliput type products.

Nitromors  or Daz  as a paint remover?  Choose your own tried and tested, safe chemical method!

Rose Miniatures as a source of heads and arms?   Not sure about the heads but a list of recast Rose figures is available from John Eden Studios, who also produce the beautiful FANY First Aid Nursing Yeomanry figures on horseback here at http://johnedenstudios.com/page48.htm

 

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FANY sets still available (2018)  as castings from John Eden Studios. 

No internet traces of  Antony J. Kite of Castle Hill, Windsor replacement alloy heads for Britain’s plastics (Eyes Right?) Soldiers mentioned in the article.

However Brian Carrick commented: “Antony J. Kite of Castle Hill, Windsor, better known as Tony Kite was one of the great old gentlemen of the hobby, the Castle Hill address was a souvenir shop he ran. He produced several ranges of plastic figures under the Cavendish brand, Henry VIII and his 6 wives, Regiments of 1745 and Ceremonials. If memory serves right they were designed by Stadden. He passed away about 10 years ago and was an active supporter of the hobby to the very end.”

Cavendish

http://smallscaleworld.blogspot.com/2014/07/c-is-for-cavendish-listing.html

However Langley Models and Dorset Toy Soldiers both produce an extensive range of similar recast Britain’s Type heads, arms, horses tails, heads and legs.  I recently ordered (May 2018) and received some recast arms from Dorset. http://dorsetmodelsoldiers.com

http://www.langleymodels.co.uk/acatalog/Toy_Soldier_Heads__54mm_.html

I will check by email whether GBE Toy Soldiers in Coningsby still produce their spares range, as their undated website suggests.

Buyer beware: Always worth checking by email, post or phone that the manufacturer of any of these ranges still exists before parting with cash! A small plea to figure makers: I wish manufacturers would make this more apparent on their website that they or their ranges  are still currently in production.

I’m  not  too sure about the dreaded Lead Rot mentioned by B.S. Armstrong but I did seal trashed earthy metal destructor toy soldier finds once cleaned up with an outer coating of acrylic primer paint and the inner coating with paint or glue as much as possible could be oozed through holes such as missing legs or heads.

An interesting and inspiring article!

Inspired? Here are some of my previous recent blogposts on restoring Broken Britain’s:

https://manoftinblog.wordpress.com/2018/05/20/recalled-to-the-colours-54mm-metal-detectorists-toy-soldier-finds-restored-to-fighting-condition/

https://manoftinblog.wordpress.com/2018/05/19/broken-britains-cavalry-back-on-fimo-hooves/

Copyright remains with B.S. Armstrong for this Mil  Mod article, produced in the days before websites, blogs and emails, I have no way of contacting him to ask permission or express my thanks for his encouraging article. I will withdraw this post if Mr. Armstrong he wishes. Hopefully he will be pleased that this article continues to inspire another generation of lead Dr. Frankensteins and toy soldier Remount and resurrection men.

All comments via the usual channels and comments page.

Blogposted by Mark, Man of TIN on 1st June 2018.

Bartitsu and Bayonets

IMG_0419Cross-post  from my sister blog Pound Store Plastic Warriors

https://poundstoreplasticwarriors.wordpress.com/2017/05/12/bartitsu-and-bayonet-duelling/

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Lemax figures – deadly Bartitsu duellists or a music hall variety routine? 

Blogposted by Mark, Man of TIN blog.