Micro Militaries or Europe’s Tiniest Armies – Mark Felton on Youtube

I can’t remember how I found this but I already keep an eye out / subscribe to the Mark Felton Youtube channel and found this episode on https://youtu.be/dBRdLYUkDKk

It reminds me that many of the back stories of our ImagiNations such as my Forgotten Minor States (FMS) are not really that far fetched, when listening to this account and seeing the impressive, mostly ceremonial uniforms.

Some of the uniforms are featured in the book Uniforms Uniforms by Bill Dunn that I reviewed here https://manoftinblog.wordpress.com/2017/07/09/uniforms-uniforms/

Well worth watching – Fascinating and quirky, especially the twelve man national army!

Blog post by Mark Man of TIN, January 2022Blog

Neglected 30mm Flats FMS Frontier Skirmish


Another squabble between two FMS or Forgotten Minor States of old Mittel-Mittel Europe in the late 19th century.


The lone KruzoKampo (KK) sentry leans against the barrier post in the first light at a minor border crossing on the edge of the small town of KruzoKampo (KK), in this rural region of the state of NigraKruzo. The area was once called Kreuzfeld during past Teutonic occupation.

The KK sentry fails to spot an advance party of Grizan infantry hedinf south towards him along the road. Beside him on the wall, primed and ready, sits a signal cannon to alert the other guards and the Town Reserve / Militia in the town.

The border post is manned by the blue-coated volunteer militia of the Hejma Gvardio (or LandSturm as their Teutonic neighbours would have it).  

A reconnaissance sketch map is shown below, carried by Grizan forces who attack from Grizan territory south towards the bridge and this largely forgotten foot crossing on the  rural NigraKruzo border. 

The Grizan troops have one objective, to seize this neglected border crossing and hold it until further Grizan reinforcements arrive down the road to the North. 



Turn 2 – The KK sentry rolls 5 (4,5,6 to spot movement, 1,2,3 did not notice) and so spots suspicious movement on the Grizan side in the dimsy early morning light. He rushes to bang on the border post / toll house door to rouse his fellow Hejma Gvardio militia. He then [completes his move to] fire the small signal cannon on the wall to alert the Reserve in the nearby town – it fails to fire first time!

[Signal Cannon – Fires 1,3,5, Fails 2,4,6]

Turn 3 – As the rest of the sleepy guards turn out of the Border hut, strapping on their equipment and readying their muskets and bayonets, they hear a small boom and echo. Success! The signal cannon fired.

The KK militia reserve troops from the town will take 5 turns to reach the border post (turn number decided by d6 throw)


The first Grizan troops take one move to dismantle the barrier. They are out of firing range. More Grizan troops follow from the Northwest field to the gap in the field wall, aiming for the bridge. 

A wider view of the border post and  the footbridge, which spans a fast and impassable river tributary of the Rivero Nigra that divides the  FMS state of Griza from its southern neighbour.

An ancient artillery piece sits facing the Grizan side of the river and bridge. The usual traffic is foot travellers and livestock to the market of the town, the bridge being too narrow for most waggons. 

IMG_1885The small and still sleepy group of border guards stumble out of the warmth of their border post to man the barricade. Their officer and artilleryman head behind the post to ready the ancient artillery piece. 

The sleepy militiamen are soon overcome by the bullets and bayonets of the Grizan advanced guard. 


It takes one turn to ready and prime the ancient cannon, and in their flustered state, they fire only one round which misses the Grizan troops on the road. 

The surviving KK Officer and artilleryman are surrounded and quickly surrender.

IMG_1887Disarmed the two prisoners are marched north over the border into Griza by two Grizan riflemen.  

The Grizan infantry now have two turns left to quickly fortify their position before the KK Town Militia will reach them on the outskirts of KruzoKampo. They hear the drum and calls of the KK militia in the distance. 

The Grizan officer quickly directs his men to line the field walls and barricade, whilst one crackshot occupies the window position in the border post. 


The sixteen surviving Grizan reserves and advanced guard, flag fluttering,  line  the KK border walls, ready to clash with the KK town reserve or militia as they arrive. 


On the other southeast side of the bridge, bayonets clash in melee over the low field border walls.  Eight of the KK Militia and five of the Grizan infantry are quickly  killed in the clash along the walls. 

In the next ragged volley from the Grizan troops, the KK militia officer and ensign are fatally wounded.

IMG_1894The two surviving KK troops, the drummer boy and a disarmed infantry man are rounded up and herded into the stores building out of the way.

The black cross of the NigraKruzo flag on the flagpole is symbolically toppled by the jubilant Grizan troops. 

The surviving thin grey line of Grizan troops inside the hut and along the walls settle down to hold the border crossing until their reinforcements arrive from the North.  


This game was inspired by the recent flats games by Alan ‘Duchy of Tradgardland’ Gruber.

Troops are 30mm ‘Nuremberg scale’ flats from a random painted and bashed selection of troops that I bought online in the last ten years. They were freshly based on MDF penny bases. 


Notes on Terrain 

Building:  Modern Chinese ‘Little Farm’ set copy of old Herald / Britain’s 54mm animal house and trough. The stores hut is an OO/HO railway building.  

Barricade – tile spacers and matchstick barrier or old Airfix / Dapol OO/HO windmill sail spar.  Flagpost cocktail stick and MDF tuppeny piece Warbases

Grass and roads / river – roll out coated A4 flocked paper – model railway shop, strips of felt (fabric shop) 

Bridge – 1960s plastic by “F G  T & Sons London England” – F.G. Taylor & Sons, Ltd. England Farm Series No. 539 Rustic Bridge, 

Wooden ‘stone’ walls from German toy village. Plastic rock and various stone chippings.   

Trees – old Britain’s / plastic dead tree and mini Christmas card wooden clip fir trees on Warbases MDF tuppeny bases.  

Back of Postcard Rules for this game 

Loosely based on Donald Featherstone 

Needs 6″ ruler and handful of d6 dice, some coloured.

Movement rates on Foot – 3 inches, 6 inches on road 

River impassable except by bridge – tree areas impassable. 


(Effective) Firing range – 6 inches, of which: 

Long Range LR – 5 to 6 inches – requires 6 to hit (d6 dice)

Medium Range MR – 3 to 4 inches – requires 5,6 to hit (d6 dice) 

Close Range CR – 1 to 2 inches – requires 4,5,6 to hit (d6 dice)

Savings Throws as you wish – roll one d6 for each casualty. 6 saves life, 5 or 6 if behind wall / barrier. 


IGO YUGO rules – Role 2 dice at start of each turn, one for each side. Highest score wins, those troops move first.  

  1. Winner moves  first [Melee?]
  2. Other side moves second [Melee?]
  • Remove casualties as you go 
  1. Winner fires first
  2. Other side fires second.

Turn ends. No morale checks etc. 


Melee system as you see fit 

Melee happens when two troops touch base, cross rifles bayonets, swords etc. 

Version A – 1d6 each for each  man and his opponent, highest wins.

Version B –  3 life points each, Parry and Lunge rules 

Version C – Kaptain Kobold reduction of B (Parry and Lunge) to single d6 dice rules  

3 life points each man, decide who is attacker, who defender 

1,2 – Hit on attacker, attacker loses one point 

3 – Both Hit (lose one point each) 

4 – Both Miss 

5,6 – Hit on Defender (defender loses one point)


Artillery Range – two crew minimum – nominate target / area

Close Range CR:  1″ up to 6″ – hit on 5,6 – roll 1 d6 for casualty numbers 

Medium Range MR: 6″ up to 12″ – hit on 6 – roll 1 d6 for casualty numbers 

Long Range LR: 6″ – 12″ up to 18″ – hit on 6 – roll 1 d6 for casualty numbers

  • Adjust number of casualty dice as you wish for different ranges

Write d6 rule for any decision you need e.g. if low numbers / isolated, roll d6:

  • 1,2 – retreat / head for safety or cover
  • 3,4 – surrender (or 3 – freeze, 4 – surrender)
  • 5,6 – attack, advance 
  • N.B. Surrendering troops are disarmed and escorted to rear by one guard to two prisoners

Write d6 or movement rules as needed e.g. 2 men to remove barricade one move. Crossing wall, half a move. 

Write fire rules as needed e.g. for signal gun – Fire: Yes 1,3,5 or Misfire 2,4,6 


Blog posted by Mark Man of TIN, 4/5 April 2021 




Repairing Broken Britain’s: Thyer Brigadia Colour Party Finished in 54mm

My Thyer Brigadia Militia and Volunteer Firemen’s Colour Party is finished, made up of repaired or converted hollow-cast 54mm Britain’s toy soldiers.

I wanted them to look like a Britain’s style set with shiny factory painting, straight out of a red box.

They started out looking battered and broken like this:


These battered Britain’s Redcoats needed new heads, new arms, rifles repaired and a repaint to restore a little shiny pride.

The recast rifle arms and firemen heads were ones that I had in my spares box, obtained from Dorset Model Soldier Company.

Two of the headless Britain’s guardsmen had rifle points missing, the other four were missing their moving right arms completely.

After drilling a hole with a pin vice, the missing rifle points were repaired with fine wire, masking tape and superglue. One has a fixed bayonet, the other doesn’t – a small oversight.

In my Forgotten Minor States of Europe ImagiNations world, this is the colour party of the Thyer Brigadia Militia and Volunteer Firemen.


Their Thyer Brigadia national story is told here:

The proudest part of the Thyer Brigadian uniforms is the brass cavalry style plumed dragoon helmets which are often copied by Fire Brigades worldwide. Interestingly these Volunteer Militia troops are also the Volunteer Fire Brigade in their various towns and villages (hence the variations in uniforms), making sure that their native Alpine wooden houses and mountain forests do not catch fire. A fireman’s axe is carried on fire duty and state occasions.


They display the Thyer Brigadia Volunteer Firemen’s flag of blazing red orb symbol on a yellow background, a flag proudly made by some of their wives and mothers.

Shiny Toy Soldier style faces with the pink cheek dot fit complete the look

Alan Gruber suggested that they should have some ‘wheels’ in the form of a Fire Engine. In the absence of an old fire engine (I’m sure I have the reissued 1/32 Airfix unmade kit one stowed somewhere) I made do with a 1940 Ford 1:32 scale fire truck (obviously imported from America). The uniform has obviously not changed by the 1940s.

Suitably red and silver and shiny … this 1940 1:32 fire truck is from Texaco c. 2008

I shall have to track down a suitable Dalmatian fire dog to accompany them on parade.

This gives me another unit / outlet for broken figures, once I have ordered some further arms and heads from Dorset in future.

Happy with the shiny!

Blog post by Mark Man of TIN, 12 September 2020.

Old Britain’s 54mm on the repair table … Thyer Brigadia troops

Some battered hollowcast Britain’s from job lots that are long overdue for repair.

They are due to lose their battered Redcoats and acquire new heads, new arms and handsome navy blue jackets. I shall keep the navy blue trousers and red trouser stripe.

I have some Dorset Soldiers recast arms and spare firemen’s heads so this seemed a good chance to create some 54mm shiny toy soldier versions of my scrap 15mm Thyer Brigadia Militia and Volunteer FireFighters.

They will eventually look like armed Victorian Firemen in their shiny brass helmets.

Combined Militia and Fire Brigade, now where have I seen that before?

Dad’s Army BBC TV episode “Brain versus Brawn” where the Home Guard become firemen …

These are part of my ImagiNations Forgotten Minor States (FMS) in MittelMittel Europe pictured and described here in the mid to late 19th Century


WIP Work in progress …

Blog posted by Mark Man of TIN 6 September 2020

Verda versus Griza FMS 20mm Pound Store Plastic Warriors skirmish now with added Esperanto!

Scene / seen from the Verdan border post, the attacking Grizan troops in grey

Cross posted from my sister blog Pound Store Plastic Warriors,


Now with added Esperanto and a Blog Post Script on US army 1960s training using Esperanto as the enemy language