Paint it Red or Paint it Black?

Anyone else play period themed music whilst they paint? I often play themed music whilst I’m painting Toy Soldiers, usually music from the period

Today’s first painting day of the year saw me listening to a mixture of 90s Skate Punk and Spanish Armada music.

A curious mix, I hear you say?

but then I was was basing Vat 19 Skateboarders for my Skrafiti project – so Avril Lavigne’s Sk8tr Boi is good for 90s uniform colours, sorry skater baggy clothes from the late 90s …

First job, start basing the old AJ ‘s Toyboarder’s skateboarder figures (still available from Vat 19) on mdf tuppeny bases as they are forever falling over. Background peeg decal is a freebie with my last Bronte order from Annie Norman at Bad Squiddo, which reminded me of large urban graffiti murals … now to watch those skate punk videos for uniform colour scheme details, unless there’s a handy Osprey on SkatePunk?

For painting Spanish Armada era 54mm figures from Chintoys? Spanish Armada period music for my Arma-Dad’s Army Project, listening to the Saydisc recordings 1588: Music from the Spanish Armada on original instruments by the York Waits.

Arma-Dad’s Army project summary page: https://manoftinblog.wordpress.com/arma-dads-army-elizabethan-home-guard-1580s-1590s-operacion-leon-marino/

The red Tudor beret of the kneeling figure has a elite fierce special forces / Guevara revolutionary look. Good Queen Bess and Ralegh undercoated and glimpsed at the back by essential reading matter. A few Hingfat pirate figures have joined in as Spanish sailors.

Paint it Black or paint it Red?

Two black and red colour related songs kept popping into my head about the a-historical cartoon choice of colours for my Spanish Fury reinforcements:

“… I raise my flags, don my clothes / It’s a revolution, I suppose/
We’ll paint it red to fit right in” from Radioactive by Imagine Dragons, 2010s

Or Paint it Black – Rolling Stones from 1966

Why red and black? The Spanish Armada Osprey book title shows a good range of uniform colours, with no one dominant or exclusive national colour for Spanish or British Elizabethan era troops. Both sides had a white flag with a red cross. The St George + Cross for Britain, the saltire type X Cross for Spain. How confusing!

My growing muster of Elizabethan conversions and (right) ECW trained band figures in blue!

By the 1580s/90s various shades of Blue was quite common for English troops (green and white in earlier Tudor times), so my muster and trained band are in work clothes and military green and blue shades.

Black and Red: My previous or first set of Spanish Conquistadors from Chintoys https://manoftinblog.wordpress.com/2020/10/30/the-spanish-fury/

Inspiration for the black and red came from some vintage figures:

These two Elizabethan Monarch Cherilea 1960s figures have blazing torches. Watch out Cornish towns! Sold – These three lovely vintage figures joined my forces last Christmas 2020.

I really liked these fragile Cherilea figures with their black, red and silver colour scheme with leather brown.

This was it, dark colours, the black and red diabolical colours of flames! I have painted them as fearsome as Tudor Propaganda and the Cornish might have seen or talked about these Spanish ‘devils‘ who fired Cornish seaside towns and churches in 1595.

Before I run into BLM (Black Lives Matter) and Woke history issues / problems, the Spanish raids of 1595 really did happen …

Caption/ image source: https://bradleybasement.wordpress.com/comedy/dads-army/a-soldiers-farewell-tv/

But I have also realised that this whole Arma-Dad’s Army scenario is another long period-costume cheese dream of one Captain George “Napoleon” Mainwaring or a fever dream for Private Frank “Nudgeof” Pike (Stupid Boy!) in the Warmington Home Guard. Thus, this Arma-Dad’s Army Project also links with my Look Duck and Varnish Home Guard Gaming.

That’s two or three ticks on my New Gaming Year Irresolutions 2022 already ..

Phew, useful a-historical “but it was all a strange dream” ethical get-out clause!

So that’s what’s in my ears and on the painting table to start the New Year …

How are all your New Gaming Year’s Resolutions going?

Blog posted by Mark Man of TIN 2 / 3 January 2022.

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B.P.S. Blog Post Script

The much covered sons “Radioactive” by US band Imagine Dragons has a suitably bizarre pop music video with illegal betting on a muppet style gladiatorial contest where kapok and fur literally flies – but don’t worry, justice is served in the end https://youtu.be/ktvTqknDobU

The “Radioactive” video all reminded me somewhere between Pokemon and the plush fur and toy soldier Fuzzy Heroes rules reviewed on Board Games Geek. As a fan of simple games rules I have not tried these yet but there is an interesting write-up on Fuzzy Heroes and role playing games with kids at Wired / Geekdad:http://www.wired.com/geekdad/2008/11/roleplaying-wit/

As I mentioned “Radioactive” is a much covered song, ranging from the genre morphing musical Time Machine of Postmodern Jukebox , the more acoustic covers of Radioactive by the Gardiner Sisters and First to Eleven.

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

Miyakazi Illustrates Chesterton’s 1984 The Napoleon of Notting Hill 1904 and at last a use for toy Beefeaters?

This post is a follow up to yesterday’s toy soldier post about early wargames in G. K. Chesterton’s The Napoleon of Notting Hill (1904).

In this book, set in the future date of 1984, Britain is run “through a figurehead king, randomly chosen. The dreary succession of randomly selected Kings of England is broken up when Auberon Quin, who cares for nothing but a good joke, is chosen. To amuse himself, he institutes elaborate costumes for the provosts of the districts of London.”

Thanks to a comment from Bob Cordery, author of the Wargaming Miscellany blog and The Portable Wargame series, I tracked down this Hayao Miyazaki front cover for a Japanese translation of G K Chesterton’s 1984 or The Napoleon of Notting Hill (1904) as it is more commonly known:

http://smallpax.blogspot.com/2010/08/miyazaki-illustrates-chesterton.html

Mary MacArthur features this cover in her own illustration blog:

http://snowflakeclockwork.blogspot.com/2010/08/miyazaki-illustrates-chesterton.html

The book link comes through a gift from Father Peter Milward of the Japan Chesterton Society – who knew this existed? – passing a copy to Mary MacArthur, a member of the Catholic Illustrators Guild – who knew, ditto?

This is what I enjoy about toy soldier and wargames hobby blogging, the tangential learning and random ferment of ideas from others, such as the comments by Bob Cordery and Alan (Tradgardland) Gruber on my previous Chesterton Toy Soldier post:

https://manoftinblog.wordpress.com/2021/01/16/toy-soldiers-and-the-napoleon-of-notting-hill-by-g-k-chesterton-1904/

Reigning in the mission creep of my New Gaming Years Irresolutions for 2021, I pondered an interesting question from Alan Gruber about how this Chesterton book might feed into my gaming?

I didn’t want to start another Wargames project this early in 2021 but it made me realise there is an odd link between my Arma-Dad’s Army project and Chesterton’s book.

I am always looking for (what Peter Laing christened) ‘dual use figures’ to cut down on costs, storage and painting time.

Bunging some beefeaters into a more modern ImagiNations conflict seems suitably like Wells’ Floor Games or Little Wars, who often filled in forces and Floor Games with what figures he had to hand.

Those are very Tudor / Yeoman Warder /Lanschknect type uniforms featured in The Napoleon of Notting Hill and Miyazuki’s cover illustration.

Opening page of Preben Cannik’s Military Uniforms of the World (Blandford)

A few of my randomly acquired metal “Beef Eaters collection.

At last a modern 1904/84 use for all those halberd wielding ceremonial yeoman warder types of plastic, Britain’s Deetail new metal and old hollowcast figures that you slowly acquire from childhood onwards.

They remind me of the yeoman warder chess pawn pieces from Prince August Spanish Armada and Henry VIII Cloth of Gold homecast moulds. These have now both arrived and are awaiting a good casting day.

The Catholic / Chesterton angle is interesting in view Of my Christmas mix of Armada, Tudor and Elizabethan books, along with A.L. Rowses’s Tudor Cornwall (1941, recent paperback reprint). Even now with the distance of history, it takes some doing to keep up with the changing shifts of Catholic / Protestant regime changes in Britain and especially in its Celtic extremities like Cornwall with its culturally disastrous Prayerbook Rebellions, along with the splits, feuds and intermarriage between the landed gentry.

Backing the wrong side during the reign of Henry VIII or Elizabeth The First could see you lose you head or merely your whole landed estates.

This clash rumbled on through the English Civil War and Interregnum. Pity the poor estate staff, tenant farmers or peasants and fieldworkers who got caught up in all this at the behest of their local landed gentry family. It is too important a topic to call it the whim of the landed gentry as people were prepared to die or be disinherited for their faith,but it must have been quite a random thing for the workers which side their landlords backed or broke with as kings and queens changed. These ordinary people would form the often unwilling backbone of the local Arma-Dad’s Army of Muster or Militia as it was later known.

My Chintoys sets of figures and Tudor reading from Christmas

The idea behind this project is seeing the Armadas and Spanish raids of Invasion fears as a version of the Home Guard facing the German WWII invasion plans ofOperation Sealion, in Tudor Spanish terms Operacion Leon Marino?

A.L. Rowse occasionally noted some of these occasional parallels into his Tudor Cornwall, finished in the early years of WWII.

Some might object to a comparison of Catholic Spanish of Philip II and the Conquistadors or Armadas as an invasive and fearsome foreign regime parallel to the Nazi hordes with their “typical Shabby Nazi tricks” (to quote Captain Mainwaring). There was a hope on the Spanish side and fear on either British side, fuelled by concerns about espionage, that loyal Catholic families would rise up as a “fifth column” when the Spaniards invaded.

My Chintoys 54mm Spanish https://manoftinblog.wordpress.com/2020/10/30/the-spanish-fury/

Even the painting or colour scheme of my ‘Spanish Fury‘ troops is intended to reveal the Tudor fears of the possibly satanic black and red, to reflect their popular image after years of Tudor English propaganda. I shall continue this colour scheme with the new Chintoys figures reinforcements from Christmas.

I have to say I have no personal bias, having grown up with both Catholic and Protestant friends.

However much I am enjoying the Time Traveller’s Guide to Elizabethan England book by Ian Mortimer and fascinated as I am by my family history of Cornish ancestors in these sixteenth and seventeenth centuries, I am very thankful not to be living in Tudor times, whether it is from the confusing switching religious regime angle or the medical and dental one.

Having read Winston “Poldark” Graham’s The Grove of Eagles: A Novel of Elizabethan England, there is more of a sympathetic portrayal of the Spanish and Catholic characters than I expected, along with an understanding of the divided family loyalties of the intermarried Protestant and Catholic Cornish or West Country families. These were the same old families that sometimes hung on in larger or smaller means to run the estates and houses that shaped Cornwall and the West Country into the last century. In fact, a small number of hese same Cornish county family names of old still exist in some of these houses and estates today.

This week in my forthcoming blog posts, I shall feature some pikemen, the first completed shiny figures of my dual use Trained Bands and English Civil War figures as reinforcements for the poorly armed and barley trained ‘Muster’ or Arma-Dad’s Army.

Blog post by Mark Man of TIN, 17 January 2021