#FEMbruary post 2 A Few More FEMale Figures and a Florence

 

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(Asset Miniatures MA23) Flower Seller with fantastic non nonsense wrap around housecoat or pinny. You can almost hear her sing her street cries.

Having  focussed on Queens in the last FEMbruary post, I thought I would focus on slightly more ordinary or achievable  female jobs.

FEMBruary is a challenge set up by Leadballoony to focus more on the female figures in our collection as an attempt to be more inclusive as a hobby, along with all the things Annie Norman is trying to do with her believable female Miniatures stocked at Bad Squiddo Games. More on Bad Squiddo below and in my next blog post.

Here for #FEMbruary are a few more female figures from my toy soldier collection, a collection of old and new metal figures with a range of paint styles to guide my brush on my FEMbruary painting challenges.

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Asset Miniatures MA20 stalwart WRVS woman serving tea

The WRVS Women’s Royal Voluntary Service was one of those stalwart wartime women’s organisations which received recent and well deserved publicity in  Housewife 49, the Mass Observation WWII wartime diaries of Nella Last in Barrow in Furness. This was turned into a TV drama, written and performed by the  much missed Victoria Wood. If you have not read the diaries or seen Housewife  49, they are well worth tracking down  as a book or DVD for an interesting view of (extra)ordinary women and their families on the Home Front.

The Royal Volunteer Service now accepts male volunteers and focuses its care on older people https://www.royalvoluntaryservice.org.uk

https://www.royalvoluntaryservice.org.uk/about-us/our-history

and has an interesting wartime history and  archives collection on its website.

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Britain’s Farm Range featured this 54mm figure, supposedly a Land Army WLA girl / woman. In need of a new right arm!

I have one of two Land Army girls, including this Britain’s figure. Annie Norman at Bad Squiddo Games has featured some new Home Front women in 28mm including some fine Land Army Girls in three collections: working in the fields, armed with shotguns (bunnies and parachutists beware) and at picnic. More on Bad Squiddo in another post http://badsquiddogames.com/shop#!/WW2

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Dorset Soldiers Salvation Army Band Lasses – another figure ripe for conversion to 54mm Suffragettes? Votes For Women!

Salvation Army bands were once a popular figure for Britain’s and other manufacturers, still highly collectable.

For more modern civilians there are always those sets of plastic civilians for model railways sold online unpainted.  This young woman has a 1940s / 1950s look.

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Work in progress on a Gloss finish plastic railway civilian 54mm. 

Still need to do some work “putting her face on” before she goes out with a serious case of panda eyes.

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Another distinctive and smart young woman in uniform was the Nippy.

A Nippy was a waitress who worked in the J. Lyons & Co tea shops and cafés in London. Because the waitresses nipped (moved quickly) around the tea shops, the term “Nippy” came into use. Nippies wore a distinctive maid-like uniform with a matching hat, the clean uniform being part of their wholesome image. Nippies appeared (and still appear) in all manner of advertising and the Nippy soon became a national icon until the last Lyons Corner Houses shut in the Seventies .

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

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A smart Nippy waitress from the Lions Corner House (Asset Miniatures MA6)
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Oops, Ma’am! Laddered stockings on this Nippy requiring a quick paintbrush repair.

 

A Famous Crimean Nurse

Another recurring female figure in hollowcast metal and plastic ranges, apart from the odd squaw or a farm worker, was the army or civilian nurse. I have picked up a range of nurses (mostly in job lots)  which could fill a whole future blogpost.

However the most famous nurse of them all is also featured in the recent Corgi Forward March range. Here is the other  figure link to The Crimean War, which was  mentioned in our last blog post about Queen Victoria and the first VCs. The Crimea is a curious, mismanaged and  inglorious conflict that has always fascinated me. There was a Peter Laing 15mm Crimean War range that I wish I had bought but no nurses were featured.

Florence Nightingale rightly has her own nursing Museum in London, http://www.florence-nightingale.co.uk

and several biographies and blogs http://www.florence-nightingale-avenging-angel.co.uk/?p=861

Until the New National  Gove Curriculum threatened to remove her and other historic figures,  Florence Nightingale and the Crimean War had long been a  part of the old National Curriculum primary history syllabus in Britain, along with Mary Seacole and Queen Victoria. I know some weary Primary school teachers who were pleased at the prospect of never having to teach Florence Nightingale again after years and years. However she was retained, as you can see below.

I  wish we had done the Crimean War at school.

Florence Nightingale, Edith Cavell and Mary Seacole along with Suffragettes and Queen Victoria are still  suggested primary school content for British five to seven year olds:

“the lives of significant individuals in the past who have contributed to national and international achievements, some should be used to compare aspects of life in different periods for example, Elizabeth I and Queen Victoria, Christopher Columbus and Neil Armstrong, William Caxton and Tim Berners-Lee, Pieter Bruegel the Elder and LS Lowry, Rosa Parks and Emily Davison, Mary Seacole and/or Florence Nightingale and Edith Cavell.”

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/national-curriculum-in-england-history-programmes-of-study/national-curriculum-in-england-history-programmes-of-study#key-stage-1 

 

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The Corgi Forward March Miniatures limited edition range featured several other women and some handy mini biographies of each figure. They have a simple and attractive ‘hand painted’ paint finish.

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Part of a limited edition distribution worldwide.

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Few figures exist of Mary Seacole, the Jamaican Nurse and Sutleress who also served in the Crimea, although I have tracked down one recent 28mm limited edition which will feature on a future blog post.

Looks like FEMbruary might carry on past the 28th February this year at this rate.

So there you are, a range of believable female miniatures and female job roles from Nippy to nurse, flower seller to Florence Nightingale, from Sally Army Lasses and Land Army Girls  to Suffragettes.

Cakes and tea supplied by the WRVS and the Lyons Corner House Nippy.

More to follow …

Blogposted by Mark Man of TIN  during FEMbruary 2018

Blog Post Script B.P.S.

I was saddened to hear that the sculptor of many of the Asset Miniatures figures Alan Caton died late 2015. Asset Miniatures figures like these WWII female figures above are still available secondhand online.

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#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