The Bronte Sisters and Brother’s ImagiNations – Isabel Greenberg’s Glass Town and Annie Norman Bad Squiddo female figures

Annie Norman’s Votes for Famous Women! Baggy’s Cave – Facebook group 24 January 2021

Annie Norman at her Bad Squiddo official Facebook Group Baggy’s Cave is running an interesting poll about which historical female figures that gamers, mini painters and collectors would like to pledge towards or see produced in future by Bad Squiddo.

I thought of the Bronte Sisters (and brother Branwell) who were pioneering Role Playing Gamers in the 1830s through their juvenile fictions or ImagiNations of Glass Town, Gondal and Angria, inspired by a gift of some wooden toy soldiers.

These have been a great stimulus for my gaming to continuing or exploring these sketched out but sketchy Bronte ImagiNations

https://manoftinblog.wordpress.com/gaming-the-bronte-family-imaginations-of-glasstown-angria-gondal-and-gaaldine/

The fragments that have survived of these ImagiNations as we have mentioned before in Bronte posts are somewhat confusing but I found that Isabel Greenberg’s charming graphic novel version Glass Town straightens or smoothed many of these story and character fragments out.

I loved Isabel Greenberg’s drawings of these four Brontes in the same Regency / early Victorian costumes as their ImagiNations characters. You can see an example of such pages of Isabel’s work here on the interesting US based Solrad comics website:

Red-haired Branwell and his sisters https://solrad.co/preview-glass-town-isabel-greenberg

Great uniforms https://solrad.co/preview-glass-town-isabel-greenberg

Annie Norman’s Bad Squiddo figures are usually 28mm. I think that Bronte figures would be excellent figures – and even better if there was a set in ImagiNations uniforms and a shadow set as they were in real life portraits, always useful as Early Victorian Civilians.

Dual Use figures – saves costs, extends their play value and their potential market of buyers, as well as the Haworth Yorkshire tourism, the Bronte Fan and literary market worldwide.

With this flag these are classic Airfix ACW confederate infantry

Adding Bronte ImagiNations command or character personality figures means that with some simple dual flagging, a Napoleonic or Colonial 19th Century unit instantly becomes an ImagiNations one.

The Bronte sisters and Branwell grew up in an age of conflict in the aftermath of the Napoleonic Wars, during a young Queen Victoria’s expanding Empire and Charlotte living up to the Crimean War. Their tragic deaths at a relatively young age meant they were all dead ten years before the American Civil War.

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

You can see this dual flagging in use here, saving time, storage, figures and painting costs:

https://manoftinblog.wordpress.com/2019/08/28/adamstown-or-angria-vintage-airfix-acw-repaired/

Arise Angria! Just add my Bronte ImagiNations flag design of a rising sun on red background

The same dual flagging works at 15mm with the addition of an Angrian flag bearer to my Peter Laing mixed ACW and ECW unit figures seen here seeing off Ashantee Warriors and rogue Highlanders in the ‘Tropical Yorkshire’ forest of the Brontes’ fevered Imaginations:

Bronte ImagiNations, Peter Laing figures, Featherstone’s Close Wars rules, Heroscape hexes … happy man!

https://manoftinblog.wordpress.com/2017/05/20/a-skirmish-in-angria-close-little-wars-rules/

After a mad few minutes “Bronte Fan Bombing” the comments section of Baggy’s Cave on Facebook a little, I wondered what if Annie Norman and the Bad Squiddo Facebook folk don’t choose the Brontes as special figures?

I might have to scratch around in 20mm Airfix for Waggon Train women, both bare headed or in bonnets, and the Robin Hood / Sherwood Forest sets (Maid Marian on horseback!) to find suitable Bronte Sisters figures in uniform. I would have to do the same for my few Peter Laing 15mm civilian females.

And for 54mm, we start off with plucky Kate McGuffin, ‘daughter of the Fort’, in the Gondal Forests of Gondal and Pacific coasts of North Generica (America) … https://manoftinblog.wordpress.com/2020/05/28/a-romantic-walk-in-the-forest-interrupted-the-skirmish/

Not forgetting Celia Rees’ great young adult novel called Glass Town Wars,

if you want to add djinn, faeries, fantasy and Ancients to the Regency Napoleon Bronte ImagiNations – oh and the odd helicopter gunship ….

https://manoftinblog.wordpress.com/2019/08/31/glass-town-wars-by-celia-rees-a-gaming-modern-take-on-the-bronte-imaginations/

Nor forgetting the Bronte Sisters Power Up dolls (spoof advert of action figures that sadly never made it into production) https://youtu.be/-NKXNThJ610

Who could resist? Vote for the Brontes!

Blog posted by Mark Man of TIN, 24 January 2021

Huzzah for Boycraft – Flower Show Craft Success!

 

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I noticed the Land Army badge symbol of the harvested wheat sheaf is picked up in the Land Girl declining against the wheat sheaf on the right. Unplanned!

A success for boycraft at my local village spring flower show!

My 28mm Bad Squiddo Miniatures WW2 Land Girls received Third Prize in the Miscellaneous (Adult) Crafts.

I was quietly pleased as it is  the first time I’ve entered, having noticed a lack of male competitors in many sections last year.  My Land Girls had good stiff competition in their Miscellaneous Crafts Class 96 against serious traditional crafts like stained glass  and felt art / making.

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The Land Girls in preparation …

I wasn’t sure how a military subject would go down in the craft section of a flower show, so chose something appropriate to the  horticultural theme and the local area. I’m sure the local Land Girls came in for dances in our Village Hall, which opened like many after the First World War.

I wasn’t sure how my shiny gloss toy soldier painting style would go down, whether people would expect something more ‘Matt’ and earthy.

The judges wrote on the entry slip “So detailed and a wonderful sentiment. Thank you for entering” as I had personalised it as a tribute to Land Girls who served and trained in the area I live in. That’s good enough for me  – one of the judges got what I was trying to do.

To create a context for the women at work, I added some simple brown  felt strips over coffee stirrers to be the rows for spuds (potatoes) being planted.

It has been overcast and stormy, not the best weekend of constant light  for photography, but I wanted to photograph the figures in case they didn’t survive the hustle and bustle of exhibition outside of a display case.

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My favourite of the figures, the Land Girl watching the sky for rain clouds or airplanes.

A previous blog post shows the Land Girls in preparation:

https://manoftinblog.wordpress.com/2019/03/02/back-to-the-land-for-fembruary-2019

Annie Norman’s Bad Squiddo range of WW2 and fantasy females can be seen at
https://badsquiddogames.com/shop#!/Bad-Squiddo-Miniatures/c/20887901/offset=0&sort=addedTimeDesc

I’m already thinking about what to enter next year … maybe I will enter some quirky Prince August based 54mm home cast traditional toy soldiers?  Speaking of Prince August moulds and figures – Happy St Patrick’s Day!

Who knows my ‘Land Girls’ might flush out into the open a few more male crafters for next year? This would be great but also more competition.

Thanks to Marvin at Suburban  Militarism blog for his encouragement to enter this  mancraft into the flower show.

Blog posted by Mark, Man of TIN on  17 March 2019.

The Unwomanly Face of War – book review

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It’s World Book Day on March 7th and International Women’s Day on March 8th (so unofficially the end of this year’s  painting and modelling challenge #FEMbruary 2019).

To mark these dates I thought that I would review this fascinating military oral history book about Russian women in WW2. It is possibly one of the freshest and most interesting military or social history books that I have read about WW2 for several years since The Taste of War: WW2 and the Battle for Food by Lizzie Collingham (2011).

One of the downsides of reading many WW2 books is having to (skim) read the same material  over and over again in different books, which makes finding new material or insights all the more interesting.

The author Svetlana Alexievich interviewed many Russian servicewomen in the 1970s and 1980s about their war experiences in WW2. She used the same ‘polyphonic’ oral history approach in her other work such as Boys in Zinc (1991) about the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan, which I have not yet read.

The Unwomanly Face of War was published first in Russian in 1985, then translated into English in Moscow in 1988. The book was rejected by several Russian publishers as ‘unsuitable’ history. When this book was first written and the oral histories recorded, Russia was still the old USSR then. Glasnost and Perestroika were still several years away.

Svetlana Alexievich returned to the subject of the book in the early 2002-2004 and added or restored more material, presumably as some forms of Soviet 1980s censorship had changed by then. This is what is featured in this recent translation published by Penguin in 2017 / 2018.

Extracts here https://www.penguin.co.uk/articles/2016/on-the-battle-lost-by-svetlana-alexievich.html

There are some updated or  presumably new sections in the preface – “what the censors threw out”, “from a conversation with a censor” and “what I threw out” – that are interesting to read in light of this self censorship and official censorship of what is suitable national history.

Svetlana Alexievich won the Nobel Prize for Literature in 2015 for her well curated “polyphonic” oral histories  on Chernobyl, the Russian war in Afghanistan in the 1980s, the break up of the USSR, children in WW2 and this unusual book on Russian women at war in WW2.

Why am I reading this book?

I began reading this book as part of my 2019 FEMbruary figure challenge to paint or celebrate your believable female gaming or model miniatures.

The recent 28mm Women of WW2 Bad Squiddo Miniatures range by Annie Norman  had not only female soldiers, tank crews and snipers but also a command group of medics and radio operators, which I chose to paint. They are almost complete as of the end of #FEMbruary.

https://manoftinblog.wordpress.com/2019/01/31/fembruary-2019-and-new-bad-squiddo-figures-arrive/

This FEMbruary blogpost also links to some interesting Guardian interviews with Svetlana Alexievich.

Fellow FEMbruary challenge acceptor Marvin at Suburban Militarism chose the Female sniper and spotter pair.

https://suburbanmilitarism.wordpress.com/2019/02/17/fembruary-2019-soviet-sniper-sisters-in-snow/

What makes the book unusual and fascinating is that it is skilfully curated directly from the words of the women themselves, presumably transcribed from tape recordings or letters. Their job roles go beyond the somewhat known – female snipers, the first female fighter pilots – and into the less well known but more stereotypically ‘feminine’ jobs. Surgeon. Nurse. Medical Assistants to infantry or Army Regiments  – armed Combat Medics.

There were plenty of women who worked with or fought with the Partisans. Other women served on the front line as sappers, engineers, mechanics, radio and telegraph engineers.

Even more surprising were the oral histories from women proud of their patriotic service as Laundrywomen.  Mobile bath units. Cooks. Bakers. You forget that someone had to clean and repair uniforms. Cook the bread. Boil the water for soldiers to have a hot bath.

These women are  the equivalent to the unromantic duties of the ATS women in Britain who cooked, cleaned, baked and repaired for the war effort – but often in the war in Russia these jobs took women well into the combat zone and front line.

A quick scan through of the ranks listed after each woman’s name shows everything from Private and Partisan fighter through junior officers (“Lieutenant, Political Commissar of  a Field Laundry Unit” was one of the most unusual) up to high ranking posts such as airforce officers and a rare, almost accidental female Naval Commander post!

The range of jobs listed by the interviewees is fascinating:

Factory Labour Front Worker

Partisan Underground Fighter / Liaison / Medic

Militia Commander

Anti-Aircraft Gunner

Commander MG Platoon

Field Bath and Laundry Unit, Laundress

Searchlight Operator

Construction Unit, Engineer / Sapper / Miner (land mines?)

Art Singer

Armorer

Political Journalist

Rifleman

Radio Operator

Military Journalist

Cook

Logistics / Driver / Traffic Controller

Postal Worker / Communications

Telegrapher / Telephone Operator

Scout

Sniper

Nurse / Nurse Aide / Matron through to Surgeon

Paramedic and Private, Motorised infantry

(Front line) Medical Assistant  to an Army Company or Cavalry Squadron

Airplane Mechanic / Car Mechanic

Pilot / Airforce Captain

Naval Fleet Commander

Crypotographer

Some jobs I had never heard of such as an Aerostat Operator – I had to look this up. Surprsingly such odd or old fashioned sounding jobs are still advertised today! An aerostat (from Greek aer (air) + statos (standing) via French) is a “lighter than air aircraft that gains its lift through the use of a buoyant gas. Aerostats include unpowered balloons and powered airships. Especially with airships, the gasbags are often protected by an outer envelope.” (Wikipedia)

Maybe these aerostat operators are the equivalent of the WAAF girls who handled Barrage Balloons in Britain.  These Aerostat balloons  were known as ‘Pigs’ not just because of their shape but also stubbornly annoying “temperament”. Such balloon girls were immortalised in paint by British war artist Laura Knight. https://www.iwm.org.uk/collections/item/object/15503

The Unwomanly Face of War sadly has no such illustrations, aside from the striking cover image of Natalya Kravtsova, commander of the 46th Guards Air Regiment, well decorated  ‘Hero of the Soviet Union’. It would have been interesting to have seen wartime photos of these women at work or when they were interviewed in the 1970s and 1980s. However I’m sure a trawl through Soviet wartime art would reveal many Laura Knight style, realist/ Soviet heroic style portrait paintings of Russian servicewomen. Pinterest has many ‘recoloured’ portrait photos of Russian servicewomen, decorated, famous or otherwise.

It is not a pleasant read in parts, dealing plainly with frontline combat, injury and also the atrocities inflicted on Russian civilians.

There is also however friendship, romance, patriotic pride, occasional humour, stoic self sacrifice, postwar denial and a relief at finally being able to tell or record these stories and experiences many years later.

The end of my FEMbruary challenge 2019?

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Bad Squiddo Games website image of 28mm painted Russian Women’s Command figures, sculpted by Alan Marsh .
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My almost finished 28mm Bad Squiddo Games Russian Soviet Command – Officer, Field Telephonist and Armed Medic. Gloss paint and gloss varnish style.

I am not sure what use this book would be to wargamers or tabletop gamers who focus on the Eastern Front in WW2 or what they would make of this book.

As I have no intention of gaming the Eastern Front in 28mm, I bought these Bad Squiddo figures more for diorama or vignette purposes. They could potentially be converted to female troops of other nationalities.

Annie Norman at Bad Squiddo Miniatures has a widening range of varied Soviet / Russian Military Women https://badsquiddogames.com/shop#!/WW2

There is an interview about this range with Annie Norman on the Meeples and Miniatures podcast about this Women of the Red Army range  with Annie’s further book recommendations: https://meeples.wordpress.com/2016/04/06/meeples-miniatures-episode-168-bad-squiddo-games-women-of-the-red-army/

Just as many of the roles undertaken in wartime in Russia were mirrored in some ways in Britain in WW2, there’s a Bad Squiddo British Women of WW2 range. I have also painted some more of Annie Norman’s Land Girls from her Bad Squiddo Women of WW2 range as my challenge for FEMbruary 2019.  https://manoftinblog.wordpress.com/2019/03/02/back-to-the-land-for-fembruary-2019

Blogposted for International Women’s Day (8th) and World Book Day (7th) March 2019 by Mark, Man of TIN blog.

FEMbruary 2019 Work in Progress

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After black acrylic primer, blocking in colour begins with light olive and flesh – very animated 28mm Annie Norman’s Bad Squiddo figures Women of WW2 Russian Command.

Over the weekend as FEMbruary 2019 begins, I have undercoated my two sets of believable female miniatures by Annie Norman at Bad Squiddo.

https://manoftinblog.wordpress.com/2019/01/31/fembruary-2019-and-new-bad-squiddo-figures-arrive/

I started to block out basic colours onto each set. Finding the right green / khaki shade for Soviet troops should be interesting. They will most likely be gloss finished.

I noticed when comparing the Land Girls set this year with those painted last year that I used mostly  Revell Aquacolor Gloss Acrylics.  I usually now paint in toy soldier style, rather than the more realistic “grungy” khaki and brown wash of modern Wargames figures and “Military Modelling”. A matter of personal taste.

Gloss or not Gloss? Even the wider range of  Matt colours can be glossed at the end with Varnish.

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Last year’s FEMbruary Land Girls at Rest on the left, this year’s work in progress are  Land Girls at Work with bag of spuds on the right. The hay stook on the left is the cut off broom head from a Steve Weston Mexican peasant woman, converted into a Suffragette last year.

Gloss or not gloss?

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2018 FEMbruary Land Girl figures painted in gloss – not quite finished yet.

One new #FEMbruary / #MARCH challenge that has come up – Will I be able to get both sets of Land Girls finished and box framed ready for the craft section of my local Spring Flower Show in mid March?

It fits the local agricultural / flower show theme. Many Land Girls worked or trained on local farms in  my semi-rural Southwest area of Britain during WW1 and WW2.

It strikes a blow for “boy-craft” in an otherwise mostly female craft section.

Hopefully I can finish  this project on time to a suitable standard (my own!)

Last year I didn’t think my Suffragette conversions were quite ready or suitable for the same event, even though it was the Right to Vote centenary and we had had active suffragette campaign in my home area.

Already Marvin at Suburban Militarism has finished his FEMbruary project, a fine set of 54mm WREN Royal Navy female figures, who turned out to be made in his very own home town!
https://suburbanmilitarism.wordpress.com/2019/02/03/fembruary-a-la-mode/

Meanwhile reading my FEMbruary challenge read – The Unwomanly Face of War, an oral history of Russian women in WW2 – is proving surprisingly interesting and challenging subject matter. Grim in many places, not for the faint hearted but certainly a history that needed to be recorded (written 1985, updated 2017) before this generation of women  passed away.

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Bad Squiddo figures: https://badsquiddogames.com/shop#!/Bad-Squiddo-Miniatures/c/20887901/offset=0&sort=addedTimeDesc

Blog posted by Mark Man of TIN, 4 February 2019

FEMbruary 2019 and new Bad Squiddo female 28mm figures

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FEMbruary 2019 – some new Land Girls at work from Bad Squiddo – and a free guinea pig.

I bought my first Bad Squiddo figures from Annie Norman last year, some fine 28mm Land Girls at Rest, as part of the FEMbruary challenge 2018.

https://manoftinblog.wordpress.com/2018/02/15/fembruary-3-annie-normans-bad-squiddo-land-girl-picnic-and-a-cuppa/

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FEMbruary 2018 Bad Squiddo Land Girls at rest – work in progress  on the glossy acrylic painting table last year.

This FEMbruary challenge 2019 I have chosen two packs of Bad Squiddo female figures:

Women of WW2 – Russian Soviet  infantry command figures

Women of WW2 – Land Army Girls at work.

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The quirky packing by Annie and team at Bad Squiddo: postcards, teabag and free guinea pig! Annie Norman has this whole thing about “peegs”.

Unusual and charming figures, these Land Girls will get the gloss acrylic Toy Soldier paintwork style https://badsquiddogames.com/shop#!/Womens-Land-Army-at-work/p/93150439/category=21735085

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Close up of the Bad Squiddo WW2 Russian Women Command Group in 28mm.

https://badsquiddogames.com/shop#!/Female-Soviet-Command-Officer-Medic-Radio-3/p/77396868/category=21735085

As I don’t have any 28mm WW2 figures to game with, I will base these Bad Squiddo figures up individually but they  will,  for the time being,  work as great little diorama vignettes.

FEMbruary 2019?

Once more, like 2018,  fantasy gaming blogger Leadballoony has set the FEMbruary 2019 challenge to paint some more believable female miniatures than the usual unbelievable chainmail bikini female fantasy (or male fantasy?) figures.

https://leadballoony.com/2019/01/31/more-scumbos-and-the-fembruary-challenge/

This year, matching book bloggers like Cupcakes and Machetes, https://cupcakesandmachetes.wordpress.com I have chosen a book for FEMbruary as well, to match the Bad Squiddo female Russian figures.

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https://www.theguardian.com/books/2017/jul/23/unwomanly-face-of-war-svetlana-alexievich-monument-to-courage-soviet-women-war

https://www.theguardian.com/books/2017/aug/02/unwomanly-face-of-war-svetlana-alexievich-review

https://www.penguin.co.uk/books/295/295606/the-unwomanly-face-of-war/9780141983530.html

The Unwomanly Face of War looks to be a fascinating and suitably challenging read for FEMbruary 2019.

FEMbruary 2018 recap

Last year I featured several of the female figures in my toy soldier collection

https://manoftinblog.wordpress.com/2018/02/11/fembruary-challenge-1-two-queens-and-one-vc/

https://manoftinblog.wordpress.com/2018/02/15/fembruary-post-2-a-few-more-female-figures-and-a-florence/

https://manoftinblog.wordpress.com/2018/02/09/fembruary-hobby-challenge-conversions/

https://manoftinblog.wordpress.com/2018/02/21/fembruary-post-no-4-a-womans-right-to-vote-and-serve-march/

FEMbruary 2018 even extended to my Pound Store Plastic Warriors blog

https://poundstoreplasticwarriors.wordpress.com/2018/02/15/colonial-amazons-women-soldiers-of-dahomey-and-siam

And I marched on (with Marvin at the Suburban Militarism blog pitching in) and on into March and International Women’s Day March 8th …

https://manoftinblog.wordpress.com/2018/03/08/mary-seacole-and-the-crimean-war/

https://manoftinblog.wordpress.com/2018/03/31/marching-for-votes-for-women

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54mm Suffragette Conversions underway,  including Airfix footballer FEMbruary / March 2018

Happy FEMbruary 2019 – It should be fun.
What might you do as your FEMbruary challenge?

Blogposted by Mark, Man of TIN on 31 January / 1st FEMbruary 2019.

FEMbruary 3 Annie Norman’s Bad Squiddo Land Girl Picnic and a Cuppa

Beautifully packed and presented, my Bad Squiddo Games order was like receiving an artisan taster box of chocolates through the post.

As part of my FEMbruary challenge of exploring the female figures in my collection, I have been listening to the amazing Annie Norman of Bad Squiddo Games on the Meeples and Miniatures Podcast talk about her believable female gaming miniatures and her recent WW2 range.

“The number one aim for Bad Squiddo Games is to create and supply the miniatures that would have made the hobby far far better for my 10 year old self. To welcome more young girls and women into wargaming and miniature painting, as well as providing diverse options to the entire gaming community. And yeah – cool toys!” Bad Squiddo website 

This sounds pure all-year round FEMbruary. You can hear more from Annie on her guest slots on the Meeples and Miniatures podcasts episodes 168, 197 and 238 https://meeples.wordpress.com/podcast/https://meeples.wordpress.com/podcast/https://meeples.wordpress.com/podcast/

My FEMBruary posts so far:

Thanks to Marvin at Suburban Militarism, Imperial Rebel Ork and Leadballoony for variously introducing me to the #FEMbruary challenge

https://manoftinblog.wordpress.com/2018/02/09/fembruary-hobby-challenge-conversions/

https://manoftinblog.wordpress.com/2018/02/11/fembruary-challenge-1-two-queens-and-one-vc/

https://manoftinblog.wordpress.com/2018/02/15/fembruary-post-2-a-few-more-female-figures-and-a-florence/

.

I currently don’t game in 28mm scale, so this beautiful little vignette or diorama of a Land Girl or Land Army Picnic caught my eye. It has now been added to my expanding FEMbruary challenge of photographing my collection and painting and converting more female figures.

Despite running a one woman business creating new figures and involved in Kickstarter projects, this order was speedily returned. I haven’t ordered direct from many metal figure manufacturers since Peter Laing’s friendly and personal mail order and speedy return of 15mm figures back in the 1980s but Annie at Bad Squiddo Games matches this well.

Annie Norman’s presentation of her figures and range is colourful and eye catching, her range of figures widely incorporates from Vikings to WW2 and on to fantasy and even fighting fluffy beasties (coming soon).

Up close the Land Girl figures commissioned by Annie Norman from sculptor Alan Marsh are crisply sculpted and “believable” women in 28mm scale.

I am not sure yet how I am going to paint these – Matt or Gloss? Enamel or Acrylic? Toy Soldier style or more realistic, like Andrew Taylor’s painted examples of these figures.

Nicely animated, these Land Girls certainly looked like they needed a rest and a cuppa, lying back against a handy hay bale from my old farm collection.

They really do look like they are chatting and soaking up the sun, over tea out of enamel or NAAFI pint mugs and sandwiches out of wax paper wrapping.

To help you relax with a cuppa yourself during the painting process, Annie has included a handy tea bag. I received Blackcurrant and Blueberry. Marvin at Suburban Militarism received Darjeeling. A colourful and flavoursome marketing touch.

I have for other past projects read several Land Girl memoirs and histories. I have also been fortunate to meet some Land Girl re-enactors along with a few sparkly and sprightly elderly “Land Girls”. So I look forward to painting these figures which are Annie Norman’s way of celebrating her Land Army Nan and the other elderly Land Army ladies she knew growing up in Wales.

To explore her other Home Front figures, http://badsquiddogames.com//shop#!/~/product/id=93150717

As she pointed out in her podcast interviews, the more figures you buy, the wider the range of interesting female figures she can make. Certainly a figure range and manufacturer to watch.

Blogposted for FEMbruary by Mark, Man of TIN February 2018.

#FEMbruary Hobby Challenge Conversions

 

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Suffrajitzu for #FEMbruary anyone?

IMG_2067https://manoftinblog.wordpress.com/2017/07/31/mr-thomas-atkins-and-family/

I don’t have many female miniatures or toy soldiers. The Queen, the odd nurse or land girl, a few  female pioneers or Wild West Civilians. None of them are quite like the scantily clad Phoenix Phollies Figures  (Phigures?) that lurked expensively in the back pages of Military Modelling magazine in the Eighties, near the latest Peter Laing adverts. You could (and I did) buy a small  15mm Peter Laing army for the cost of one of those female (or male fantasy) figures.

Marvin of the Suburban Militarism Blog sometimes features female soldiers including recently  Serbian  WW1 women soldiers

https://suburbanmilitarism.wordpress.com/2018/02/08/heroic-female-soldiers-of-serbia/

I had heard of Flora Sandes the British Sergeant Major through Kate Adie’s book From Corsets to Camouflage. I had also heard of Scottish nursing teams in WW1 at Ostrovo in Serbia. http://www.britserbcham.eu/british-nurses-in-serbia-1915/

Interestingly one of Marvin’s readers Imperial Rebel Ork https://imperialrebelork.wordpress.com mentions #Fembruary as a hobby challenge.

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The #Fembruary challenge seems to have come from

https://leadballoony.com/2018/01/29/more-eru-kin-and-the-fembruary-challenge

Maybe #FEMbruary this year is extra special because  it is the 100th anniversary of The Representation of the People Act on 6 February 1918 / 2018.

This enfranchised or gave the vote for the first time British women over 30 who qualified as property owners etc and British men over 21. To match the men without property who could vote, the women’s vote would finally be widened to all women over 21 in 1928. About blooming time!

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Representation_of_the_People_Act_1918

http://www.parliament.uk/about/living-heritage/transformingsociety/electionsvoting/womenvote/case-study-the-right-to-vote/the-right-to-vote/birmingham-and-the-equal-franchise/1918-representation-of-the-people-act/

Women partly earned this long-fought-for right because of their contribution to the war effort in WW1 stepping into many professions that had previously been denied them as men were called up.

How could you conscript and sacrifice the lives of large numbers of working men in the name of democracy, when these men without property didn’t have the vote back home?

A surprisingly large number of women died on the Home Front in munitions, air raids and overseas on active service through enemy action and disease.

This is the focus of the WW100 commemoration this year with the First World War Centenary Partnership and the Imperial War Museum.

 

#FEMbruary, Women, fantasy and gaming?

The Fantasy gaming world has more female gamers than the historical gaming / wargaming community. There are  a few female Wargames bloggers such as Tamsin P. , “That mythical beast – a female Wargamer!”of the Wargaming Girl blog http://wargaminggirl.blogspot.co.uk

and also Victoria Dickinson at Vicky’s Crazy Wargames World  blog with lots of unusual fantasy / historical gaming (Wormingrad? Fabulous Fimo fantasy figures?) http://crazywargames.blogspot.co.uk

Gaming has also had (in the past?) some fairly unrepresentative or oversexualised female miniature figures, something that is being challenged by the ‘Dice Bag Lady’ Annie Norman who runs Bad Squiddo games. http://badsquiddogames.com

You can hear more about her on her guest slots on the Meeples and Miniatures podcasts episodes 168, 197 and 238 https://meeples.wordpress.com/podcast/https://meeples.wordpress.com/podcast/https://meeples.wordpress.com/podcast/

Annie produces some interesting WW2 Russian women soldiers, British Land Girls and Women’s Home Guard figures, but in 28mm, unfortunately not one of my current gaming scales.

“The number one aim for Bad Squiddo Games is to create and supply the miniatures that would have made the hobby far far better for my 10 year old self. To welcome more young girls and women into wargaming and miniature painting, as well as providing diverse options to the entire gaming community. And yeah – cool toys!” Bad Squiddo website 

What can Man of TIN do to mark #FEMbruary and the WoMan of TIN?

At a risk of distorting my New Gaming Year Unresolutions 2018

https://manoftinblog.wordpress.com/2018/01/01/tell-it-to-the-unicorns-new-gaming-year-irresolutions-2018/

I am going for #FEMbruary 2018

#FEMbruary 1: look through my toy soldier collection and pick out some of my favourite female figures for this blog

#FEMbruary 2: do a tissue paper and PVA Featherstone conversion on one of my childhood 1:32 Airfix Footballers into a high stepping saloon girl (with or without rifle?) for 54mm Wild West games

https://manoftinblog.wordpress.com/2017/12/11/donald-featherstones-unusual-take-on-casualties-and-campaigns/#comments

OR

#FEMbruary 3: convert one of my Steve Weston Mexican Civilian women into a handy Votes for Women Suffragette?  Suffrajitzu anyone?

https://manoftinblog.wordpress.com/2017/04/28/more-duelling-inspiration-bartitsu

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If it doesn’t all happen in #FEMbruary, there’s always the very FEMinine sounding  #April #May #June #JulieorJulius #Augusta and #NoFEMber?

Blogposted by Mark Man of TIN #FEMbruary 2018