Man of TIN Blogvent Calendar Day 8: Rule 6 and The Joy of Hoarding Airfix

Red boxes! Red boxes! Since Airfix.com go in and out of production of items and occasionally bankrupt, I have often taken to buying certain Airfix figures whenever I see them.

This expanding red box collection is in addition to the small hoard (or tiny hordes?) of vintage Airfix figures that I have had kindly donated or found in charity shops in the last few years https://manoftinblog.wordpress.com/2019/09/07/warning-more-vintage-airfix-nostalgia/

Some of this ‘new’ red box hoard, built up over the last three to four years, were absolute bargains. They came from a garden centre type Hornby stockist that was going out of stocking Airfix figures whilst maintaining its railway stock. £3 a box was a half price delight. I left behind lots of WW2 aircrew.

Occasionally I think I have snatched these budget entry level figures away from local youths who might just be able to buy them, tempting them into the hobby, but then the eternal “seven-year-old with limited pocket money” part of me kicks in.

Likewise the Ancient Britons, Sheriff of Nottingham and Robin Hood figures that came from a small local small arts and craft shop that was shutting down its tiny Airfix section. No brainer – such useful figures – and reduced prices!

I wonder – is it the carefully designed trigger colour of red boxes and familiar vintage Airfix classic illustrations that creates this compulsive response? Or a response to figure famine and the absurd second hand prices offered for certain Airfix figures in the hobby magazines of the 1980s?

But stop there, Mark Man of TIN! Do you have enough space in your life and house for more of such tempting impulsively bought things?

“The goal of tidying is to make room for meaningful objects, people and experiences. I can think of no greater happiness in life than being surrounded only by the things I love.” Marie Kondo / KonMari

In a world of Marie Kondo Decluttering expert, where curiously she has started her own “lovely things gift range”, do I have an Airfix hoarding problem that needs dealing with?

Do these trusty ‘old’ new and original old childhood survivors still represent a meaningful part of my life? Yes they do, in a touchstone, still used and still inspiring way.

Am I still surrounded by the Airfix things I love?

Does opening up a fresh box of Airfix, washing them ready for painting, basing and gaming still have the excitement it did in childhood? Yes it certainly does. Two boxes can make a new game.

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Should I thank these objects for the part they once played in my life and pass them on, as Marie Kondo suggests? Over my dead body! (Literally).

Rule 6: Ask yourself if it sparks joy.

Am I dominated by the lead and plastic mountain of many future gaming projects in many scales that I have hoarded away figures and materials for against uncertain future supply? Not yet. Though to be honest, I may soon be reaching the limits of my current storage space.

So many figures, so many projects, so little time?

I was listening to a recent BBC radio programme “So Many Books, So Little Time” about a writer called Mark Hodkinson who has just moved house with 3500 books. He wonders if he has a problem. Is he a lover of books in control of his collection (a bibliophile) or is he controlled and dominated by his excessive book collection and collecting (a bibliomaniac), a collection that he will physically never be able to read or reread again in his lifetime?

Mark Hodkinson ponders the nature of our personal book collections, why and how we gather books, what it says about us, and how we ever expect to find time to read them all.

Author Mark had just moved house. By far the most difficult task was carrying, storing and alphabetising his collection of 3,500 books. It made him stop to think. If it took, say, four days of solid reading to finish a book, he’d need 38.3 years to go through his collection. He would have to make his way through 315 million words. And that’s if he didn’t take time off to sleep, eat and have the occasional night out…

You can hear this documentary on BBC IPlayer / BBC Sounds at https://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/m000bp3s

I wondered if I had that sort of bibliomaniac collecting in Airfix form, building an uncontrollable plastic and lead mountain in reserve that I could never possibly paint and game with, or if I should sensibly continue to pick things up as I see them in case they are not there next week / month / year?

As Harry Pearson wisely observes in his memoir Achtung Schweinhund!, “You can never have enough of things you don’t actually need.”

Wise words indeed, Harry. Not sure what decluttering expert Marie Kondo would say in response.

As we approach Christmas gift time and New Year’s Gaming Resolutions, I would be fascinated to hear how others shape, curb, control or glory in their growing or shrinking collections of gaming figures, books and projects.

Happy 8th December – only 16 sleeps till Christmas. Here’s hoping that maybe a bright Airfix red Santa has left you one of those nice red Airfix boxes under your Christmas tree or in your Christmas stocking!

Blogvent posted by Mark Man of TIN / Eternal seven year old boy of TIN, 8th December 2019

On Wargames magazines and ‘new’ Airfix figures

I rarely buy wargames magazines now.

When I was a youngster, my Dad would bring back Military Modelling, the occasional Airfix Magazine and then Miniature Wargames each month when it first came out in the 1980s. No doubt he read and enjoyed them on the train home for the history articles. I still have many of them in part or whole. Thanks Dad!

So I was interested to read the wargames magazines reviews and comments on various blogs including Bob Cordery on Wargaming Miscellany as the magazines have changed audiences and editors over the last few years.

I wrote a little about this back in 2016, having not read many gaming magazines for years: https://manoftinblog.wordpress.com/2016/07/30/miniature-wargames-magazine-milestone-issues-1-and-400/

Many of the recent comments on the changing nature of some magazines seemed to fall into a generational trench or historical vs fantasy gaming camps, the recent editorial and ownership changes to Miniature Wargames magazine having polarised opinion.

Some confess to fall no back in love with print magazines like Big Lee:

http://www.blmablog.com/2019/09/falling-back-in-love-with-print.html

For a fringe or niche hobby, it is a surprise to me that there are still in 2019 three colour wargames magazines on the newsagent stands alongside two toy soldier collector magazines and all the tabletop and fantasy gaming magazines.

I usually flick through these magazines when I go into town to see if they are ‘worth buying’.

Irritatingly, some are shrink wrapped issues with free gaming show catalogues or free sprues of the latest plastic figures (i.e. clever product placement) so that you cannot see inside some of the magazines.

This freebie is calculatedly and temptingly an effective entry level drug to a new period, scale or games system, clever but something new that I simply do not need with a head and a paint table already full of ideas.

There is also a QR code on the front cover to scan to see the contents page, if you have that sort of phone (which I don’t). It loses Wargames Illustrated Magazine and Miniature Wargames one potential reader every month.

Like many of those who comment on the review posts, which is obviously just one slice of opinion, I am regularly put off buying several of these magazines over the last twenty years by the increasingly advertorial scenarios for certain games systems and figure ranges.

If you don’t play those systems, this style of magazine article seems almost meaningless.

I do like a look at the adverts and new figure ranges, although quite often they are featured long before on the websites of other bloggers, excitedly distracted by the next new shiny thing.

One interesting feature in the most recent Wargames Soldiers and Strategy WSS magazine www.wzssmagazine.com is the thematic approach to the core articles of each issue. A few months ago I bought the French Indian Wars issue as this is when my favourite Featherstone Close Wars small wooded Skirmish (natives vs soldiers) rules are set. This month I bought the mostly WW2 1944 issue – theme: the Fight for Overloon and Venray.

I recognise a few of the opinion column writers from past magazines, blogs and podcasts such as Henry Hyde, former editor of Miniature Wargames and Battle Games and Guy Bowers the Editor.

Guy Bowers review page in Wargames Soldiers and Strategy and an Airfix omission?

I enjoy the Guy Bowers‘ figure reviews showing a sample of what figures in what scales are currently available to play for each issue’s main theme period.

Obviously not every manufacturer and every scale could be featured in such an article.

Wot No Airfix?

I noticed one surprise omission on the figures page for WW2 1944 Northern Europe scenarios, which covers the current fashionable scales from 6mm through 10mm and 15mm to the ubiquitous 28mm. (No 54mm?) One set of cheap and affordable figures were missing – there were no Airfix.

There were four other 20mm manufacturers mentioned, mostly metal – Adler, Frontline, Valiant plastics and Wartime Miniatures (Australia). Foundry 20mm are mentioned rather than shown. Some of these figures are £1.20 each!

But no Airfix. Why the omission? It could be because they are currently and irritatingly out of stock on Airfix.com and only available in shops or online suppliers if you can find them.

Maybe Airfix figures are the generational Fault Line?

On the same basis, I’m sure the old Airfix 54mm figures are not shown in the review as their 54mm British Infantry (Combat Support Group) are hard to find in the shops and few now game in this scale. 54mm British Infantry are now fairly hard to find cheaply, but as for 54mm gamers, they are available to find online in one place at the Little Wars Revisited 54mm gaming forum.

But No Airfix? This was maybe something I only noticed because a few days earlier on a trip into a real toyshop searching for family presents, I had picked up the latest ‘new’ Airfix figures in thirty odd years. Obviously latest and new meant 2011 – I hadn’t noticed that the 1973 ones had been replaced.

This type of cheap plastic figure is where many a gamer of my generation or older cut their teeth. The metals and plastics shown in Guy Bowers’ magazine review were or still are beyond pocket money range and easy access to many youngsters, even today through online sales. I was able to look at these Airfix figures and others closely in the shop. I paid hard cash for these figures. I bought a box of the new WW2 figures partly as I am a ‘Completist’ who owns Airfix figures from all the sets ever issued but mostly to show my support for real toyshops.

Airfix is still just about available in many of the larger hobby shops, craft and toy stores as well as these WW2 British Infantry (currently out of stock) at Airfix.com

£6 for a box of 48 figures seems reasonable, at roughly 12p each figure. As Bob Cordery mentioned, this is pretty much the cost of a magazine these days. They also come with an available Airfix relaunched ‘vintage classics’ range of WW2 vehicles, admittedly ones you have to make yourself.

The only 20mm alternative in plastic shown are the Valiant figures at £13 for 68 Miniatures. This is comparable value per figure, just a big outlay for maybe too many figures for a simple Skirmish game.

Plastic Soldier Review – Airfix WW2 Britain Infantry

Airfix have issued several British Infantry sets over the years. Which do I like most?

Not these old ones – not the 1973 ones that were newly around when I was little, http://www.plasticsoldierreview.com/Review.aspx?id=25

These 1973 ones replaced the charming but odd 1960s Infantry Combat Group http://www.plasticsoldierreview.com/Review.aspx?id=53.

Didn’t really like the odd poses of these spindly 1973 ones much.

Not the 1982 Esci reissues under the Airfix name when Airfix lost the moulds for the 1973 Airfix British infantry http://www.plasticsoldierreview.com/Review.aspx?id=84

Here below is a better off the sprue photograph of the new 2011 Airfix British Infantry.

The review on Plastic Soldier Review is not flattering about the skinny legs, what should be shapeless but here skin-tight battle dress and poorly moulded weapons but they seem no more distorted than the average metal figures.

To me, they look a useful enough set loaded down with lots of haversacks, equipment and few useless weird diorama poses.

New WW2 Battle Dress 2011 Airfix figures – Plastic Soldier Review photo source

They are a good looking, animated set of figures which almost don’t look like Airfix. Shame that they don’t make them as copies in 54mm but there are the old Britains Paratroops, Britains Deetail and Steve Weston’s WW2 versions if you can find them.

They would be a good match for the Airfix WW2 German Infantry in either scale if you can track them down (also out of stock on Airfix.com).

At some point I will get a chance to paint these new figures. Painting table is a bit cluttered at the moment.

Blogposted by Mark Man of TIN, 20 / 21 October 2019.

Warning: More Vintage Airfix Nostalgia

Having dissected the ‘owl pellet’ of Tony Adams’ 1960s Airfix gaming figures in my recent blog posts, I thought I would share with you some of the Airfix reference materials that I have used alongside online websites like Plastic Soldier Review to date these version 1 figures.

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A generous Jiffy bag full of Version 1 early 1960s Airfix figures roughly sorted.

This is not my only vintage hoard or kind gift from older colleagues and acquaintances. 2017 was a lucky year for vintage Airfix:

https://manoftinblog.wordpress.com/2017/09/16/another-vintage-airfix-hoard/

https://manoftinblog.wordpress.com/2017/09/08/vintage-airfix-tin-hoard/

Before I start chasing older packaging – one attractive and useful book that I mentioned in a previous  post was Jean-Christophe Carbonel’s 2010 book Airfix’s Little Soldiers (translated from French, 2010).

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An attractive book to dip into and lose several hours looking at old packaging …

This book alone has saved me a small fortune collecting early Airfix packaging and playsets that I don’t have the storage space or money for.

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Arthur Ward, ex Tailgunner columnist of Airfix magazine, has produced several Airfix and kit company history books. These are a good rainy day, loose end sort of book to read with attractive figures pictures to inspire you!

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Best of all, I have the odd scrappy Airfix catalogue from my youth like this 1982 one to remind me. Too many of my teenage years, high on paint and kit glue in small unventilated rooms, were spent happily looking at these pages.

These pages recall many happy hours planning how many boxes of figures I would need and how to convert them, then working out if I could afford them. These pages also remind me that being shown in a catalogue didn’t necessarily mean these figures were available in the shop. The usual Airfix feast or famine, boom and bust.

No wonder, almost forty years on from this catalogue, I still have to restrain myself from impulse buying and hoarding Airfix figures whenever I see certain boxes. There should be an AA, an Airfix Anonymous for men of a certain age for such occasions : “My name is Mark Man of TIN and I am a vintage Airfix addict. I am resisting the need for my next Air-Fix (although I did buy the new version WW2 British Infantry a few weeks ago and it felt good.)”

Still a uniform reference guide for me years later, this catalogue is what the different troops of history should look like. As the BBC say for balance, other figure manufacturers are available. (Admit it though, they’re just not the same.)

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Useful painting guides when you had lost the box packaging –  1982 Airfix catalogue
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A few of the Vintage Airfix original sets and boxes that I have collected over the years: I have more blue box era sets and some of the lovely 1:32 boxes, stashed away, not on display to prevent box fading.

There, a quick bit of weekend Airfix nostalgia, decades in the making!

The gateway to plastic happiness is still available by post erratically stocked in part (and currently in OO scale only) at
https://www.airfix.com/uk-en/shop/figures.html

Blog posted by Mark, Man of TIN (and Airfix Kid of Plastic) 7 September 2019.
 

 

Andy Wyeth’s Toy Soldiers

A few weeks ago I received an email from Jenna at artsy.com, curious about why my Man of TIN blog post  had turned up when she was researching web link opportunities for a new exhibition about American painter Andrew Wyeth (1917 – 2009).

https://manoftinblog.wordpress.com/2016/07/14/hobby-learning-1-andrew-wyeth/

Jenna emailed me with news of the new exhibition:

“I am reaching out to certain website and blog owners that publish content in line with our mission to make all the world’s art accessible to anyone. We hope to continue promoting arts education and accessibility with your help.”

The Seattle Art Museum is scheduled to exhibit Andrew Wyeth: In Retrospect, which showcases Andrew Wyeth https://www.artsy.net/show/seattle-art-museum-andrew-wyeth-in-retrospect

http://wyeth.site.seattleartmuseum.org

The Artsy Andrew Wyeth page provides visitors with Wyeth’s bio, over 40 of his works, exclusive articles, and up-to-date Wyeth exhibition listings. https://www.artsy.net/artist/andrew-wyeth

“I dream a lot. I do more painting when I’m not painting. It’s in the subconscious.”
Andrew Wyeth

This was a good chance to go back to my previous post on Andrew Wyeth, a painter of landscape and portraits, one of my favourite American painters

Since my last Wyeth post, I have noticed much more Wyeth material online and via YouTube.

Andrew Wyeth collected American dimestore and composition figures, shown here in this Youtube video.

New Wyeth material

There is interesting new photos of Andrew or Andy Wyeth by his granddaughter Victoria Browning Wyeth, http://gcma.org/victoria-wyeth-my-andy/

https://www.vogue.com/article/andrew-wyeth-victoria-wyeth-my-andy-exhibition

and several recent print or video interviews with her including about having her portrait  painted by him.

The Brandywine School

Andrew Wyeth painted manly portraits and landscapes. His father was  a historical illustrators,  N.C. Wyeth, who worked with  Howard Pyle and other painters of the Brandywine School and style.

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

Recognise that name? Brandywine, where the Wyeth family are based, is the site of a famous Battle of Brandywine Creek in the American Revolutionary War on September 11, 1777 in Chadds Ford Township, Delaware County, Pennsylvania, USA.

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

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Airfix box art (from Plastic Soldier Review website)

Like many British boys growing up in the 1970s, I  have had a passing interest in the Revolutionary War since having Airfix issued British and American infantry toy figures in 1:72 / 1:76 (OO / HO ‘model railway’) scale with their dramatic cover art, historical illustrations pictures  that hopefully Howard Pyle and N.C. Wyeth would appreciate.

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Airfix box art (from Plastic Soldier Review website)

These Airfix box covers have some of the appeal of Howard Pyle’s famous Revolutionary War illustration Nation Makers.

https://www.rockwell-center.org/essays-illustration/the-nation-makers/

http://www.brandywine.org/museum/collection/collection-highlights/nation-makers

So whilst I am unlikely to make it to Seattle or Brandywine any time soon to see the Wyeth exhibitions in his Centenary year, at least online I can catch a glimpse.

There you go, mixing Andrew Wyeth with Airfix in one blogpost, something that toy soldier collector Andrew Wyeth would have appreciated.

Blogposted by Mark, Man of TIN blogpost, 12 November 2017

 

 

Another Vintage Airfix Hoard

I’m glad many of you shared my excitement about my recent Airfix tin hoard.

https://manoftinblog.wordpress.com/2017/09/08/vintage-airfix-tin-hoard/

2017 has been a bit of a ‘jammy’ or lucky year for me for vintage Airfix, especially welcome now that I have restricted and almost stopped using a well-known online auction shopping website after being hacked.

2017 saw a charity shop haul of Airfix OO/HO blue boxes and figures which should help with future projects this coming year.

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I could not believe my luck and bought them all on sight without any chance to check contents. Each box was only £3.99 and all the money to a good cause.

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Vintage browned sellotape and all. I managed to carefully remove all the clear modern sellotape which sealed the boxes up.

Thanks to the excellent box art shown in Jean-Christophe Carbonel’s Airfix’s Little Soldiers, I do not need to own lots of vintage cardboard Airfix packaging.  I have no idea where many of my childhood Airfix boxes went but I was always interested by the early Airfix box art.

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The accidental chance to own and enjoy some vintage boxes and figures was very welcome.

Dogfight Doubles?

I noticed with many of the matched figure boxes  – Union Infantry versus Confederate Infantry, Waterloo French Infantry versus British Infantry – that there is a bit of a left / right thing going on.  The same with artillery and cavalry.

A game of two halves, the two boxes make up or suggest one scene. The Union figures are skirmishing and firing towards a barely glimpsed enemy and their officer on a wooded ridge to the right side of the box. On the Confederate box, the implied enemy troops are firing down from such a ridge to a Union enemy below and on their left.

Quite frequently the British or Allied troops are coming in on the left, the enemy troops from the right on a matched pair of boxes.  At least opposing sets usually form two halves or sides of an illustration. Looking through Carbonel’s  book, however, this “to the left = victorious, on the right = bad guys” theory does not hold true from a British or Allied point of view for all the Airfix sets.

Alternatively the enemy are glimpsed – French Cuirassiers appear along the ridge or skyline for the Waterloo British infantry, a Waterloo British Highlander in an implied square bristling with bayonets against the charging French Cuirassiers on this cavalry box.

This is in picture terms almost a  “Dogfight Double” as Airfix would make for their matched fighter / bomber kits. In this figure case, it encourages you to buy the opposition figures inferred by the illustration.

There is more about the box art and artists in Arthur Ward’s excellent books on Airfix.

The Back of the Box

I have always admired the black pen and ink line illustrations of figures and the later coloured painting guide pictures of figures on the Airfix box backs. So at least I have some not very valuable Airfix packaging to enjoy, as well as the contents.

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Airfix U.S. Cavalry which had to make do for Confederate and Union Cavalry, sets which were never produced.

 

These box illustrations formed a simple and  effective  painting guide for the figures inside. One or two of these coloured figures would be included tantalisingly in Airfix catalogues.

 

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Slightly fuzzy colour printing on this Confederate infantry box
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This is how I painted my Union Infantry, white haversacks and all, and still do. The Airfix way of painting uniforms  often still seems the “Right Way”…

 

Between first sight and returning to the shop a few minutes later with enough cash, two boxes had sold. The  two boxes that sold before I bought the rest were Airfix Waterloo Highland Infantry and French Cavalry (Cuirassiers).

 

I’m not too sure what would have been in those ‘lost’ boxes, as some of these boxes were a curious mix.

They all obviously belonged to the same person as contents were sometimes scattered amongst different boxes.

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Spot the missing figures!  (bottom right)

Inside the Waterloo British Infantry box were not the usual custard yellow Wellington’s veterans. Instead there was an interesting red / brown figure mix of Airfix Indians, Wagon Train figures and wagon and a few Ancient Britons! Not unwelcome figures.

 

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Contents of the oddest box of Waterloo British Infantry ever …

 

Even the odd one out old set of the Afrika Korps had a surprise – it had a fair number of the vintage series one Eighth Army figures included as well.  I much prefer the vintage series one tinier Airfix figures to the larger and still available series two figures.

What to do with lots of lovely Airfix figures?

These are all very useful figures, some part painted, all for future Napoleonic and  Civil War games or more generically painted or differently flagged, ready for Imagi-Nation skirmishes in the fictional Bronte kingdoms of Angria and Gondal.

I know that many of these Waterloo figures were made recently available again in 2015 for the bicentenary Airfix Waterloo gift set but I have enjoyed seeing all the old boxes again.

To speed the journey to the tabletop, some of these figures are part painted and surprisingly, the horses are stoutly glued.  Fixing horses to bases and riders to horses was one thing about Airfix and Esci figures that I disliked, compared to Atlantic horses.

Apart from not being based, it looks as if some of these figures have been enjoyed and deployed on the games table. I hope they will have many more skirmishes to come.

 

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Some fairly battle ready gun teams, one Union, one Confederate.

I hope you have enjoyed a closer look at my lucky discovery!

Little shop hoards like this don’t happen often and it is a different more exciting experience from bidding or buying online.  It makes up for all the days that you don’t see any figures at all in charity shops or market stalls.

 

 

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Horses on bases, completed gun teams … wonderful!

 

A couple more lucky hoards for 2017 to share  in future blogposts, so that you can share in my joy at a  bit of a ‘jammy’ year for figures.

Blogposted by Mark, Man of TIN, 16 September 2017.

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.

Portable Wargames on Holiday

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The Airfix NCO Guardsman at the back on white card is one of my veteran bravest troops!

What are your favourite veteran figures?

What’s your most favourite bedside games reading?

What games basics do your take on your travels?

Preparing for British wet weather and time inside ‘holed up’ on a recent trip away on holiday, I packed a tiny fishing tackle box full of old Airfix figures.

Not so much a tackle box, more my “Just in case”.

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On a rainy day  I created a simple A3 hex gameboard out of paper, using one Heroscape hex tile as a template, waterproof illustrators pens and washed it over watercolour paint. Materials came from family holiday “art supplies”. The A3 board was masking or magic taped to scrap cardboard. It can be rolled up in a tube or flat-packed in a suitcase for future use.

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Several other impassible objects (marsh, bridge and barricade of coffee stirrers etc) were made using available scrap and cardboard but proved frustratingly prone to warping. Mounted on stouter mounting board, they may prove useful in future again.

Scenarios were based around invading ‘Redcoats‘ (Airfix vintage 1959 Guards Colour Party) being repulsed by ‘Settlers‘. These settlers were a motley group of  Airfix  vintage 1961 Cowboys and one lone Airfix Indian ‘Scout’, 1962 Airfix Confederate Infantry and a lone 1961 Airfix Civilian.

As well as ‘running Cowboys with rifles’, there were ‘Cowboys with pistols’ as settler group leaders or officer figures.

Many of these individual figures I have had since childhood. If painted, their paint is now flaking and some  are becoming  fragile plastic with age but they are familiar and fun figures anyway.

The stout lone civilian’s role changed from ‘Settler leader’ in one game  to ‘person for redcoats to rescue’ in  different scenarios.

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Other natural materials (stones, moss, twig logs) were found in the surrounding garden and forest as befits my hex version of Donald Featherstone’s Close Wars appendix to his 1962 book War Games. I often take this basic book with me as very familiar holiday reading.

 

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Look out for my separate blog posts about my hex version of these rules, Close Little Wars.

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Donald Featherstone, War Games (published 1962 Stanley Paul)

What are your favourite veteran figures?

What’s your most favourite bedside games reading?

What games basics do your take on your travels?

I’d love to hear from blog readers / followers / visitors via our comments page.

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