Man of TIN Blog one is now almost 100% full of its free GB amount after six years of photo-heavy blogging about gaming and toy soldiers. I will maintain Man Of TIN Blog one and crosspost as needed from its progression / extension site Man of TIN Blog Two.
Specific posts about Scouting Wide Games, Sidetracked (railway overlaps with gaming) etc. will continue to go out on their own niche WordPress blogs.
Blog links posted by Mark Man of TIN, 8/9 October 2022
Work in Progress: The next Scouting Wide Games for the Tabletop patrol or group is a little different. They are the 1st St Trinians Girl Guides, no less.
The St Trinians Guides appear in at least one film to retrieve casualties on stretchers on First Aid duty during one of the famous hockey matches (or hockey massacres).
These girls are conversions from the Little Britons STS 42mm Range LBB30 Boy Scout figure, using PVA glue and tissue paper for skirt / pinafore dress and untidy hair, with a file and snips to roughen the hats up.
Dressed in a motley assortment of hats, guide uniform and school uniform from the 1930s and 40s, these gals eschew the traditional scout staff for the more effective duelling or melee weapon of the hockey stick. I found modelling a lacrosse stick a bit tricky; the odd croquet mallet might be possible instead.
More on St Trinians, the original Ronald Searle cartoons and their wartime origins, several YouTube film clips, including their school or battle song (with its astute military strategy) here at:
Ready for gloss spray varnish, the finishing touch to my Camp Fire Girls USA figures:
It’s been a busy month both at work and preparing a local history talk in the evenings, so these Camp Fire Girls figures got stuck on the painting table in their tissue paper bloomers for a few weeks! Sorry, Girls!
The original STS Shiny Toy Soldiers 42mm Little Britons Range LBB30 Boy Scout figure (a stout little chap!) can be seen on the left.
Finally after more research into uniforms for African American Camp Fire Girls, out came the paint brushes for some prototype figure painting in gloss shiny toy soldier (pink face dot) style.￼
I have chosen variations on the patriotic ‘Minute Girls‘ WW1 era red, white and blue Camp Fire / YWCA uniform that lasted through to the 1960s.
You can read and see more about all this at my Scouting Wide Games for the Tabletop blog post:
Not everything worked, I have learnt a few lessons about history, painting skin tones in gloss toy soldier style (no pink face dot!) and also some further ideas for refining or diversifying my figure conversions for making up the rest of each eight girl team or patrol of African American and a patrol or two of White American / Latin American Mexican patrols.
Our next two #FEMbruary celebration of female figures are a fantasy figure conversion into an unusual Elizabeth the First and a Generic Empress figure – read and see more at my Pound Store Plastic Warriors Blog
My Battling Bronte Sisters (and Branwell!) are almost done, painted and based. Photographing them close up always throws up a few area to finish.
When they are not role playing their heroic parts in their juvenilia ImagiNations of Glass Town, Angria, Gaaldine and Gondal, they are all of course battling with the Dark Forces of Yarkshire folklore.
What started out as two packs of Bad Squiddo ‘Little Wolves’ (youngsters or child sized figures in Annie Norman’s 28mm Amazon Range) have been subtly converted to capture some of the make-believe of children at play.
I thought that they could be painted both as dressed as children role playing games and as heroic figures tackling Dark folkloric forces of Yarkshire.
Distinguishing the sisters is usually done by hair colour, especially in films.
I referred to the famous Bronte portrait by Branwell (centre, who later painted himself out) as well as the recent BBC drama To Walk Invisible for my colour palette.
Reddish hair – Anne – painted in grey with red sash
Brown hair – Emily – painted with longer skirt and green tunic, red belt
Black hair – Charlotte – painted with blue dress and red sash
Clothes – I kept the colour scheme quite dark coloured, sober and practical for parsons’ daughters in wet damp Tropical Yorkshire, even through early Victorians were often more colourful than our image of sober Late Victorians.
Image: Isabel Greenberg’s Glass Town. She uses the same hair colour system.
All paints were Matt Revell Aquacolor Acrylics, starting with a Matt black undercoat.
Faces – in keeping with the overall drab Matt colours of their clothes, boots or clogs etc, I avoided my usual bright gloss colours and toy soldier faces with pink cheek dots etc. Instead I chose a subtle mouth or lip colour ( a trace of carmine red) and a darker flesh using Revell Afrikabraun (or desert brown) instead of flesh.
To add that grungy, muddy feel of children out on the moors or getting mucky playing around the Parsonage, I used a brown shade or wash of Citadel Agrax Earthshade on flesh, faces and folds.
The Branwell ‘problem’
The two packs I bought from Annie Norman at Bad Squiddo were all female.
As I failed to find any suitable 28mm boy figures, I set about converting one of the girl figures into a red haired brother Branwell boy figure.
Filing down an excess of plaited hair, I covered the rest of the luscious plaited locks with an old hooded travelling cape (it were wet, dark and cold up on those moors) made of tissue paper and PVA.
I considered adding breeches or trousers with tissue paper and PVA but thought that Branwell as a boy was the only one in Victorian times who could get away with bare legs and ankles. The parson’s three surviving daughters probably could not.
Branwell’s poems show a familiarity with the classical and heroic epic, so I painted him bare legged, just wearing his ankle boots. His trouser legs are probably rolled up and he is wearing an old smock to look like a classical hero with tunic and cape. All make-believe or possibly real, playing around with that dual use notion.
Branwell (left) and Charlotte (right). Branwell’s cloak hood needs defining by shadow.
Basing is onto 1 penny MDF bases from Warbases, with PVA used to fix a rough mix of grassy flock and fine Cornish beach sand to suggest the moors. Appropriate enough as the Bronte children’s mother was born and grew up in Penzance, not far from the source beach in Cornwall.
Hopefully gritty and northern enough? Until I can go up on the moor and gather some proper Yarkshire grit and dirt.
Battling the Bronte Sisters
These figures are great for duelling games using simple ‘parry and lunge’ (Gerard de Gre) dice or card rules from Donald Featherstone’s Solo Wargaming.
On their way in the post, I have on order two packs of 28mm “Little Wolves” (Amazons range) from Annie Norman at Bad Squiddo Games.
These will represent each of the three Bronte sisters in combat “role playing” in their fictional ImagiNations of Gondal, GlassTown, Angria and Gaaldine.
This will provide me the three sisters Charlotte, Emily and Anne – and one spare (a friend?)
This should give me a focus for #FEMBruary 2022 – Each February, miniature or figure painters and gamers choose to paint or model believable female miniatures as part of a challenge by fantasy gamer and modeller Imperial Rebel Ork.
I will look around for a suitable brother Branwell 28mm figure, once I have ‘met’ his sisters. To me, he is usually portrayed on screen as Naughty Norman Price of Ponty Pandy, straight out of Fireman Sam.
Being a figure converter and tinkerer, an improvised tissue paper sash or two might feature to flesh out the girls’ ImagiNations uniforms, inspired by Isabel Greenberg’s Glass Town.
Isabel Greenberg’s superb Glass Town graphic novel shows the Bronte sisters and brother in their ImagiNations uniforms.
I can easily see these fighting sisters being up and at ’em, duelling against other fantasy or historical figures in roughly 28mm scale – zombies, skeletons, regency dandies and assorted Bronte ImagiNations bad guys in Pride Prejudice and Zombies style – as this slides into gothic, RPG or fantasy gaming…
Bad Squiddo Figures
I have previously enjoyed painting Bad Squiddo figures of Land Girls for my ‘boycraft’ entry for my local flower and veg show, crafts section in 2019.