A Quick Trip to the Works

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A quick trip into town on  dull family business was enlivened by popping into several charity shops (sadly no plastic tat, but a mass of obscure WW2 aircraft, mostly foreign 1/72 kits in one – resisted) and The Works.

The Works had a tiny selection of a few Nano Metal Figures, mostly Harry Potter / Fantastic Beasts and Halo SciFi, but at good prices – 2 for £3.00.

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“What’s in the suitcase, sir? Show us your Papers.” Nano Metalfigs Jacob Kowalski Figure  (centre) being questioned by Irregular Miniatures 42mm British Infantry.

I had previously bought one of this Nano range last year (above),  who with his suitcase and suit worked well as a civilian or spy figure in different eras  for some 40 – 42mm figures I have https://poundstoreplasticwarriors.wordpress.com/2018/09/02/pound-store-42mm-spy/

In terms of size these metal Nano figures are quoted as 1.65” (inch) or roughly 40 to 41 mm, equating to roughly 1:43 scale https://www.peoplescale.com/143-1625-in-TALL-41275-mm-TALL_c265.

As a result they should roughly fit with my 40mm figures to 42mm figures. They do slightly tower over my Pound Store Plastic Warriors penny dreadful conversions, which are roughly 32mm. There is only a slight size and build difference between the adults  and child / pupil figures  in the Harry Potter series.

The shiny colours are not a problem as I like old toy soldier Gloss paint styles.  It was the choice of colours that needed work on them to blend them in better as multipurpose civilians. Blue and silver trench coats were quickly repainted in dull khaki, a little more ordinary civilian or secret agent. A green Toy Soldier style base quickly altered the feel of the figures.

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Repainted Ron Weasley (teenage pupil) centre  alongside some slightly taller adult figures from the Fantastic Beasts film, Tina Goldstein (left)  and Newt Scamander  (right) both about 41mm – quick repaints. A woman wearing trousers – suspicious or a land girl in britches?

The original Nano figures can be seen here with their packaging, colours and a range of other figures for size comparison. I flagrantly ignored the instruction on the reverse “Caution: Heavy metal collectible figure  – not meant to be played with as action figure”

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C. 40mm – 42mm Halo and Harry Potter Nano Metal figures – 2 for £3 at The Works – with some 32mm boers (right), Spencer Smith Shiny Toy Soldiers Scout (centre) and Phoenix 43 (left) Scout figures.

These figures are diecast metal. Whilst I found that I could drill a hole without difficulty through Ron Weasley’s hand to take a Scout stave, I could not easily clip or cut the generously sized bases any smaller.

I thought that ‘Ron’ might somehow make a useful Scout Wide Games figure, alongside the two civilians. With the “Cloak of Romance” mentioned in the 1930s Wide Games scouting scenarios book , Alan ‘Tradgardland’ Gruber  suggested that we could adopt or re-use any available figures that the Boy Scouts are imagining themselves into being – pirates, smugglers, natives,  cowboys, Indians, settlers etc.

As well as as cheaper books, The Works also has a craft section of paints and crafting materials, small wooden boxes etc. I found this set of Scrabble style thin wooden tiles designed for crafting and scrapbooking. With the sticky backing dot removed, they could make quick and easy figure bases for 15 mm figures. 4 pence each a base.  This would make an alternative to penny bases for 20 – 40mm figures or an alternative to cutting  out squares of scrap mounting board, which is how I usually mount my Peter Laings.

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A useful (unknown maker, job lot) 15mm pirate / sailor / irregular figure on a ‘Scrabble’ base, next to a Peter  Laing 15mm Zulu on mounting board base.

Alongside the 32mm pound store plastic figure conversions of space figures, the Halo female figure of ‘Cortana’ is slightly taller at 41mm. But in space and sci-fi, different  races and cyborgs etc will vary in size. Just watch Star  Wars cantina scenes.

https://poundstoreplasticwarriors.wordpress.com/2017/11/05/poundland-space-marines-platoon-on-parade/

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A towering female form not to be messed with? 41mm diecast metal Cortana from Halo alongside my 32mm Pound Store Figure conversion into space troopers / marines.

These discounted  Nano metal figures at £1.50 are good value alongside similar 1/43 or  40 to 42mm metal figures which are around / between  £2 to £3 such as:

The civilian, railway and military  ranges at at S&D Phoenix  1/43 https://www.sanddmodels.co.uk/products_43_figures.htm

STS Little Britons 42mm   (Spencer Smith website) http://www.spencersmithminiatures.co.uk/html/lb_gallery.html

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Still on the painting table awaiting toy soldier faces … Little Britons figures – two patrols of  LBB30 Boy Scouts and 4 Girl Scout or Guide conversions.

My Boy Scout LBB30 as a smaller single casting  figure in the adult 42mm range is only £1.25 compared to the £1.95 for an adult figure.

Irregular Miniatures 42mm civilian and military WW2 figures. http://www.irregularminiatures.co.uk/42mmRanges/42mmWorldWar2.htm

Meanwhile back in the post Edwardian years before WW1 …

Travelling back to a different time and different world, I have finished reading through ‘How Girls can Help to Build Up The Empire – The Handbook for Girl Guides’, c. 1912, the second of  my original Scouting texts that I have read as part of the scouting Wide Games Project. The paperback reprint American adapatations or versions of both books are on order.

Whilst H.G. Wells was working on Floor  Games and Little Wars, Robert Baden Powell’s sister Agnes was busily adapting his bestselling Scouting for Boys for an eager new audience.

This book is a fascinating period piece, along with Baden Powell’s 1908 Scouting For Boys, with lots of useful details to include early BP Girl Scouts and then the BP Girl Guides in the scouting Wide Games tabletop simulations. However from 1912 the new BP Girl Guides were discouraged from or not officially allowed to ‘romp’ or train alongside the Boy Scouts.

No fraternisation? This might have to be ignored in many circumstances on my table top simulation / gaming version. I will have to trust them to behave. Scout’s or Guide’s “Honour” is an important concept to bring into the gaming set up.

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More on these fascinating books in future blog posts. The Phoenix 43 Scout Trek Cart group is almost finished too.

Blog posted by Mark Man of TIN, 14 July 2019.

More Girl Scout Conversions

 

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A couple of broken metal figures have found a brand new life as Girl Scouts.

These conversions  fit well with my slow reading ‘research’ for my Scout Wide Games tabletop project, poring through the earliest Scouting for Boys books and Girl Scout  equivalent, How Girls Can Help the Empire: The Handbook for Girl Guides.

I was delighted to pick up an early original copy of this Guides book  c.1912 or pre-WW1 version on EBay, much cheaper than the paperback reprint! Other originals were £100 or more! https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/How_Girls_Can_Help_to_Build_Up_the_Empire

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The Victorian or Edwardian sailor suited boy might  have come from the ‘bits and bobs’ box at Tradition of London (their old Shepherd Market shop). He had broken off at the ankles.

The archer was a small broken gilt figure minus its head.

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Drilled hand with wire staff and fixed feet and base – penny for size comparison.

The sailor boy was fixed by drilling holes in both feet and ankles with a fine pin vice or hand drill. Small pins  of wire joined body and feet together, secured with superglue.

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The repaired Boy

Something about that cheeky face said that this could be a Girl Scout recruit, rather than an Edwardian Boy Scout. I quickly made a tissue paper skirt fixed with clear PVA glue.

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Paper skirt and penny base in place

I was quite curious to see how these figure conversions would be enhanced (or not) by paint. I wanted an old-fashioned toy soldier look to the faces, along with a final spray of  gloss varnish.

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The floppy brimmed hat seems to work well as an Edwardian or 1920s Guiders hat. 
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Rear view of the conversions, the simple quiver was part of the original figure. 

And the scout mistress or archer? He started life as a man, then when I came across him, he had no head. A quick rummage in the spares box found a spare pound store figure about the right size. Off with his head!

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Hole reinforcer or hole punch hat brims, spare plastic figure and the headless gilt archer.

I cannot find a manufacturer for either figure. It looks on the original gilt figure as if one hand is carrying an arrow. This fine detail may need to be added.

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The American “fritz” helmet does convert into a hat with twenties bobbed haircut.

Archery was certainly recommended as a sport for Guides by Robert Baden-Powell and his sister Agnes, who adapted her brother’s 1908 hand book Scouting for Boys  into the 1912 handbook, How Girls Can Help To Build Up The Empire: The Handbook For Girl Guides. The ‘Girl Guiding’ handbook replaced this first book in 1918.

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The Baden-Powells also recommended rifle shooting. Both boy and girl scouts  could attain a Marksman badge for rifle shooting. There was also a section on self defence (jujitsu) as you never knew what you might encounter as a young woman at home or in the colonies on the frontiers of the Empire! Tigers, mad dogs, brigands, insurgents?

Research is slow but enjoyable, being a comparitive reading of this first 1912 Girl Scout or Guide handbook, alongside its predecessor Scouting For Boys. The sections are mixed up and in a different order. It is interesting to note what is kept in and suitable for guides, what is substituted as specifically for girls.

For instance, Baden Powell mentions in Scouting for Boys in a section on marksmanship: “The Boers are all good shots, and so are the Swiss. In both countries, the boys begin learning marksmanship at an early age by using crossbows…”, something suggested to Boy Scouts but not to Girl Scouts or Guides.

Being an accomplished marksman, after the lessons of the Boer War,  was  also seen by Baden Powell as a patriotic duty for men (‘citizen soldiers’) and good for home defence.

There is no obvious suggestion in either book that women should be armed ‘citizen soldiers’ in Britain, only in the frontiers of Empire for self defence of property and family.

Certain of the original Wide Games scenarios are included for girls; the book often mentions to save space ‘as in Scouting’, so the 1912 Guides book and the 1908 original Scouting book are designed to read together.

Blog posted by Mark, Man of TIN 9th July 2019.

 

 

With The Sword and the Shiny New Shooter

TSAF Recon Mission Report, somewhere in the twin mists of The Great River and the 1930s:

The TSAF (Toy Soldier Air Force) is continuing and widening its search of the Yarden Forests of South Generica for any traces of missing explorer Colonel Bob “Jumbo” Fazackerly.

The skilled TSAF Pilots and their Observers / Navigators in their newly delivered Hybrid twin seater single engine monoplanes are scouring a wider and wider area around the upper reaches of the Great River, the Colonel’s last known position.

Natives are hostile? TSAF pilot and observer / navigator run back to their new kite …

Colonel Fazackerley, a seasoned veteran of many a past military campaign, was last seen several months ago heading off “Up River” into the South Generican forests and mountains. Some say the Colonel was in search of inscriptions and artefacts in a rumoured lost cave temple of a lost ancient Generican tribe etc. etc.

Others mention that it is also known that descendants of these ‘lost’ tribes are not always friendly to outsiders. Rumours of unrest amongst these Yarden and Great River tribes have also reached the Colonial Governor, one of the many sons of Sir Sidney Ruff-Diamond.

The exact nature of the Colonel’s Mission or Expedition has not been disclosed by the Governor.

How I made Colonel Fazackerley

Colonel Bob started life amongst the ranks of Johillco Line Infantry (shown right below).

At some point during his previous life or military career he lost his head and his rifle, as well as his left arm.

When he arrived amongst a job lot of Broken Britain’s and other damaged hollowcast lead toy soldiers that I am repairing, he barely had any paint left either.

I repainted his scarlet jacket and blue trousers with Gloss Acrylics but then had other ideas.

The Colonel was reborn from my Bits Box, Frankenstein style, thanks to a spare Dorset Soldiers head, and a homecast officer’s sword arm from the Prince August 54mm Traditional Toy Soldier set.

I could have repaired or restored him, as I have done with other similar broken Johillco figures, back to his original Line Infantry firing role.

However something about the look of the stub of the broken rifle reminded me of a chunky automatic American style revolver. This suggested an officer, so next it was finding the right individual sort of hat.

Johillco 54mm figures are a little heftier than the more slender Britain’s figures, so can more easily take the Prince August 54mm cast arms and head. I tried various heads. Eventually I settled on a Dorset Soldiers head with slouch or bush hat from my Bits Box.

This still left the problem of the missing left arm.

Rather than making a new one from a wire “arm-ature” wrapped in masking tape and a Fimo polymer clay hand, I rummaged through my Bits Box again and found a spare Prince August officer’s right sword arm from a past casting session.

Snipping and filing this sword arm at the elbow to match the left arm stump, it was simply attached by drilling stump and arm with a fine 1mm drill bit to insert a short wire stub which joined the two, secured by superglue.

This gives the look of a sword or long machete for slicing through jungle creepers and stylishly seeing off any hostile natives or fierce animals.

A shaved cocktail stick glued on made a simple scabbard.

A spare Dorset Soldiers backpack made a knapsack.

All that remains to make or find to equip the Colonel for campaigning is a suitable water bottle and pistol holster.

Leather knee boots and Sam Browne type belt / knapsack strap were simply painted on.

His shiny new shooter was painted in silver.

The Colonel and a Johillco Line Infantryman with what looks like a useful sawn-off shotgun …

This Dorset head had no cast moustache, so I added a painted one and pink cheek dots to keep that old toy soldier look to the face. A coat of Gloss varnish over the Matt Acrylic Khaki suggested a more vintage toy soldier look too.

What I wanted to achieve was a simple, old-fashioned toy soldier factory paint scheme, nothing too fussy or realistic, more toy soldier or Tintin cartoon.

The Natives are (not always) Friendly …

I have spent several weeks repairing and repainting broken Britain’s and other 54mm hollowcast figures to form some suitable native tribes and troops for future garden, yarden and tabletop skirmish games. Spears and weapons were often missing, sometimes bases, legs and arms.

A mixture of Broken Britain’s and Johillco Zulus, Crescent and Britain’s Indians have so far joined the North and South Generican native tribes defending their hard-won territories against various civilising (for which read aggressive) Colonial Imperialists of many nations.

Rifles or spears were repaired or added with wire and masking tape.

These natives will give Colonel Fazackerley and friends something to watch over the shoulder for. I shall show more of these rearmed and repainted colourful tribes in the coming weeks.

No match for the Colonel? Crescent Chief with broken tomahawk now has a replacement spear.

A Man of Many Missions

When he is not lost in the Generican forests and mountains of my Yarden, Colonel Bob can relive the glories of his youth out and about on campaign with a variety of field forces from the Bore War (sorry, Boer War) to the North West Frontier, Boxer Rebellion, Burma, the old West and WW1 East Africa, a military family career stretching back and far and wide to his relatives fighting in the American Civil War (but on which side is not fully known). Did he ever tell you

Danger follows him where others fear to tread …

Rearmed repainted Britain’s Medicine Man with the Crescent one with snake curled up leg.

Look out Fazackerley, they’re behind you!

Led by two friendly native guides (Britain’s on Guard and Johillco at trail), Fazackerley explores …

He is rumoured to have disappeared and spent some time in his youth soldiering in the ranks of the French Foreign Legion.

Fazackerley is a man who has served in many forces on many expeditions and missions under many Aliases, thanks no doubt to his gift for getting by in many languages.

Not all the Natives are Unfriendly …

A recently repaired, repainted and rearmed Broken Britain’s second grade Zulu with new spear …

Soon all will be ready for the forests, mountains and rocky plains of the back garden, Yarden or cluttered Close Wars terrain of the tabletop.

My versions of Featherstone’s (Little) Close Wars rules apply to such Natives vs Troops encounters. https://manoftinblog.wordpress.com/2016/06/09/close-little-wars-featherstones-simplest-rules/

Other simple Featherstone War Games (1962) rules (ACW / WW2) handle larger skirmish troop actions.

Revolvers and rifles aside, simple Bartitsu and Gerald De Gre / Featherstone duelling rules apply for melee and skirmish.

https://poundstoreplasticwarriors.wordpress.com/2017/05/12/bartitsu-and-bayonet-duelling/

And finally

When, where or how the Colonel acquired his unusual “Jumbo” nickname is a tale for another time … one for when he no doubt turns up again with more tall stories and ripping yarns!

Blog posted by Mark, Man of TIN, 16 July 2018.

Pound Store Space Marine Pilot

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Poundland Space Marine pilot figure …

Crossposted from my Pound Store Plastic Warriors blog, another crude plastic 36mm figure reImagi-Nationed. More at:

https://poundstoreplasticwarriors.wordpress.com/2017/10/24/poundland-space-marine-pilot/

Blogposted by Mark, Man of TIN, 24 October 2017.

Poundland Desert Warriors finished!

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Very pleased with how these conversions of plastic pound store figures (36mm) have turned out.  https://poundstoreplasticwarriors.wordpress.com/2017/10/22/poundland-desert-warriors-finished/

https://manoftinblog.wordpress.com/2017/10/16/desert-warrior-pound-store-plastic-warrior-conversions-inspired-by-featherstone/

Crossposted from my Pound Store Plastic Warriors Blog by Mark, Man of TIN.