Storm Eunice, Comic Books, Tintin and Toy Soldiers

A strange stormy day of power cuts, comic books and toy soldiers …

Tintin, Star Wars, Stranger Things … and Storm Eunice:

https://manoftinblogtwo.wordpress.com/2022/02/19/storm-eunice-power-cuts-comic-books-space-wars-and-toy-soldiers/

Blog posted or crossposted by Mark Man of TIN on ManofTIN Blog Two, 19 February 2022.

What will 2022 bring?

Anyone else made any foolish unachievable resolutions for this year’s gaming?

Battling Bronte Sisters (Bad Squiddo 28mm Little Wolves Amazons) meet 25mm Prince August Homecast cavemen boggarts. As close as I will get to Silver Bayonet?

*

It’s that time of the year when New Year’s Resolutions are optimistically made … but maybe not in this house.

My New Gaming Year’s Irresolutions for 2021 were kept deliberately vague …

https://poundstoreplasticwarriors.wordpress.com/2020/12/31/new-gaming-year-irresolutions-2021/

but even then my vaguest plans for New Gaming Year NGY 2021 often went awry, mostly due to COVID.

The local village Spring Flower and Craft show 2021 never happened so no #FEMBruary figures from Bad Squiddo painted as planned but I did paint some later in the year – The Battling Bronte sisters.

Thanks to Covid levels, I never made it to the Woking 2021 54mm Little Wars Revisited Games Day when it finally happened. Covid dependent of course, but hopefully I might make it in 2022 with my Boy Scouts and snowball fighters who need more gaming time https://littlewarsrevisited.boards.net/thread/847/woking-games-saturday-march-correct.

My local history research project talk on WW2 in my local area (as a fundraiser) was postponed by COVID from autumn 2021 to late May 2022.

I think the NGY Irresolutions 2020 will still stand after a year or two interrupted but who knows what might happen in 2022?

New Gaming Year’s Irresolutions 2022

In no particular order

1. Cataloguing Peter Laing 15mm figures as part of celebrating the 50th anniversary of the now out-of-production Peter Laing figures, possibly the first 15mm figures when they launched in October 1972.

https://collectingpeterlaing15mmfigures.wordpress.com

As well as cataloguing what I have over the next ten months, fellow members of the Peter Laing collectors circle on MeWe have been helping me identify figures and supplying photos of figures I don’t have. Then there’s painting and basing more of my unpainted Laing figure stash and getting in some more 15mm skirmish games?

Peter Laing 15mm Chasseurs d’Alpins (WW1 Range) complete with walking sticks!

2. England or Cornwall invaded – Variations on Operation Sealion / Leon Marino

Still playing around with skirmish ideas as part of my Look Duck and Varnish Blog ongoing Operation Sealion Home Guard games, but also found out more about the WW1 ‘Gorgeous Wrecks’ or Volunteer Training Corps, good for future VTC Wide Games and Victorian / Edwardian / WW1 era ‘what if’ games.

Arma-Dads Army! 1590s Home Guard Elizabethan Muster of conversions and ECW figures against the Spanish Fury, Chintoys Conquistadors and pound store Pirates …

https://manoftinblog.wordpress.com/arma-dads-army-elizabethan-home-guard-1580s-1590s-operacion-leon-marino/

3. More Close Little Wars forest skirmishes and Close Little Space Wars Games in 54mm … I didn’t get a backyard garden galaxy game in this year.

My lovely Bold Frontiers cardboard trees didn’t get enough of an outing in 2021…

Two Britain’s Ltd. broken Scots charging – a favourite pose – with part repaired rifles, two more figures from the Waifs and Strays group of figures 2021 – “Waifs and Strays” sounds like it should be a Victorian Regimental nickname.

4. I look forward to some more enjoyable tinkering with 54mm repairs of broken lead figures to add to various units. Over the years I have been stashing away battered and broken figures from various donations – cowboys, Indians, redcoats, Scots and Khaki figures – along with the odd intriguing figure bought online.

Arrived last year and put away for Christmas – some very heavy, solid lead and fairly paint distressed Terraton 54mm-ish German semiflats to repair and rebase. Indians, redcoats, trees and farm animals …

5. What else might happen?

Weather permitting maybe will even get some more home casting done outdoors?

Pound Store Plastic figures, Early War Miniatures 1940 Range (for Svenmarck invaded!) and vintage Airfix OOHO figures to restore or rebase for some skirmish games.

More time for Bronte ImagiNations?

My Boy Scouts, Girl Scouts and Snowball Games need attention!

My skateboarders could do with painting!

Not going to run out of fun things to do …

What are your New Gaming Year plans?

I hope that your gaming plans for 2022 go agreeably awry as well.

Blog posted by Mark Man of TIN, NYE 31 December 2021 / 1st January 2022

Battling Bronte Sisters (and Branwell) conversions from Bad Squiddo Little Wolves figures WIP

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.

Such tales were told to them at an impressionable young age by their Haworth born servant Tabby Ackroyd.

This is part of my ongoing Bronte ImagiNations gaming project

https://manoftinblog.wordpress.com/gaming-the-bronte-family-imaginations-of-glasstown-angria-gondal-and-gaaldine/

These green skinned creatures are boggarts, wild creatures of the Dark Moors and marshes …

boggarts who might have started life as Prince August 25mm homecast Cavemen.

Before you ask, mountain backdrop by Peco, Croft cottage by Lilliput Lane.

How I converted these figures

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.

The BBC TV drama To Walk Invisible opens with a section of the Bronte children adventuring inside their minds or in their play world, discovering the wooden box of soldiers coming to life, the wooden soldiers that first inspired their play: https://manoftinblog.wordpress.com/2017/01/04/brontes-waterloo-soldiers/

Conversions

Swords were filed down to look more wooden and childlike.

Home made sashes from the dressing up box were attached by PVA glue and tissue paper, to give that dashing military air.

Charlotte (left) and Ann (right) with their PVA and tissue paper sashes. Only late in painting these two figures did I notice that they have a subtle belt section hanging down.

The added sashes or in Branwell and Emily’s case an existing belt sash were painted carmine red to add a dash of martial colour.

This was inspired by the red military sashes and uniform designs in Isabel Greenberg’s Bronte ImagiNations graphic novel Glass Town.

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.

Charlotte (left) with red sash and Branwell (right), showing a flash of red belt.

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

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.

https://poundstoreplasticwarriors.wordpress.com/2017/04/26/duelling-in-the-sandpit-lunge-cut-and-stop-thrust/

Allocate as many life, health or wound points as you wish to each character – Bronte sister, Boggart, Gytrash or Shuck the Black Dog etc. – and play.

Winner gets health points back or victory life points awarded, you decide.

Kaptain Kobold simplified these Gerard de Gre rules for me into dice throws, speedy enough to resolve melee.

https://poundstoreplasticwarriors.wordpress.com/2017/05/09/more-duelling-inspiration-mexicans/

Such games proved short and brutal, mostly involving fast melee, using the Kaptain Kobold modification or d6 dice version of Gerard De Gre’s Lunge Cut and Stop Thrust rules for melee or duelling.

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)

Some of Tabby’s Gritty Northern Yarkshire folklore to be going in with

Boggarts, boggles and others

https://www.northyorkmoors.org.uk/visiting/see-and-do/land-of-myths-and-legends

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Category:Yorkshire_folklore

https://www.foyles.co.uk/blog-folklore-of-the-yorkshire-moors

https://www.sykescottages.co.uk/blog/6-yorkshire-folktales-to-discover/

Lots more to be discovered …

How they arrived in the quirky packaging of Bad Squiddo

https://manoftinblog.wordpress.com/2021/10/28/battling-little-bronte-wolves-arrive-from-bad-squiddo-and-we-raised-the-money-to-save-the-bronte-manuscripts-too/

Blog posted by Mark Man of TIN 21 November 2021

B.P.S.

Interesting History Extra article from a few years back by Emma Butcher https://www.historyextra.com/period/victorian/the-brontes-at-war-how-charlotte-and-branwell-brought-waterloo-into-their-drawing-room/

Battling Little Bronte Wolves arrive from Bad Squiddo! And we raised the money to save the Bronte manuscripts too …

My battling little Bronte Wolves have arrived, and are already slugging it out in the role playing games of their “Tropical Yarkshire” ImagiNations of Glass Town, Angria, Gondal and Gaaldine.

https://manoftinblog.wordpress.com/2021/10/26/little-wolves-bronte-sisters-vignette-or-potential-gaming-figures-from-bad-squiddo-games/

I haven’t even painted them yet and they are already hard at it … Charlotte, Emily, Ann and Branwell – knock it off!

Any parcel from Annie Norman at Bad Squiddo is always a joy … and a mystery. What strange little quirky extras will it contain?

Previously I’ve had tiny metal guinea pig figures, a herbal fruit tea bag …

and today, a cool Sk8ter Pig Angel sticker.

As I’m a little too old and too easily breakable for falling off a skateboard now, I shall bestow it on my Spla-Fiti Skater Graffiti gangs game as a huge piece of street art on the side of a building.

Great fast return of post and excellent quirky customer service from Bad Squiddo, as good as that of Peter Laing in the 1980s? I’m reminded of this, as I catalogue and blog my collection of these my first 15mm metal figures ahead of their Fiftieth anniversary in October 1972 / 2022

The other great news today …

Just days ago it wasn’t looking good with over £12K to raise …

A few days ago it was struggling past half way with under a week to go to raise the £25K from the public by the end of October.

https://manoftinblog.wordpress.com/2021/10/26/gamers-readers-help-save-the-brontes-imaginations-manuscripts-for-the-nation-and-the-bronte-parsonage-donate-to-save-the-honresfield-library-collection/

We smashed it with three days to go!

Thanks to those blog readers who passed on the Just Giving link or donated from your war chests!

A fitting tribute to these first female Role Playing Gamers, historical or fantasy ImagiNations gamers!

Missed giving? You can still donate. More money is always welcome at the Bronte Parsonage Museum / Friends of the National Libraries to secure, conserve and display such Bronte manuscripts …

Now off to paint those Little Bronte Wolves, if they can stop squabbling and scrapping long enough … I know just how their father Patrick Bronte felt. “Martha, control these children!”

More on this blog page of my Bronte inspired ImagiNations gaming here:

https://manoftinblog.wordpress.com/gaming-the-bronte-family-imaginations-of-glasstown-angria-gondal-and-gaaldine/

Blog posted by Mark Man of TIN, 28 October 2021

Gamers, Readers – Help save the Brontes ImagiNations manuscripts for the nation and the Bronte Parsonage – donate to save the Honresfield Library collection!

Give now – https://justgiving.com/campaign/honresfield-library

***** Three days to go and we smashed it! Well past £25K! Thanks to all my fellow gamers and blog readers who contributed!

https://manoftinblog.wordpress.com/2021/10/28/battling-little-bronte-wolves-arrive-from-bad-squiddo-and-we-raised-the-money-to-save-the-bronte-manuscripts-too/ ****

As a gamer with a love of toy soldiers and ImagiNations gaming, I have a lot of time for the Brontes and their intricate fictional Regency and early Victorian worlds of Gondal, Glasstown, Gaaldine and Angria.

If you don’t know them, check out the excellent recent books based on these tiny Bronte manuscripts – Celia Rees’ Glass Town Wars and the graphic novel Glass Town by Isabel Greenberg.

You might also know them through the 1960s children’s fiction book The Return of The Twelves (or Twelve and the Genie) by Pauline Clarke, based on the Bronte children’s original wooden toy soldiers.

The Bronte sisters Emily, Charlotte and Anne and brother Branwell created childhood and teenage imaginary Napoleonic worlds (paracosms) in tiny handwritten books of poetry, prose, drawings and fictional newspaper adverts in the 1830s and 1840s in Yorkshire.

Were the Bronte children some of the first wargamers, ImagiNations gamers and Historical Fantasy RPG players?

I have been playing Bronte inspired ImagiNations games for a number of years now – check out my page for them on my blog here:

https://manoftinblog.wordpress.com/gaming-the-bronte-family-imaginations-of-glasstown-angria-gondal-and-gaaldine/

That is why I am supporting the campaign by UK libraries and The Bronte Parsonage Museum in Haworth Yorkshire to keep some of these precious manuscripts of the Law Collection in the Honresfield Library in this country and at their birthplace, rather than disappear into private collections after auction.

https://www.bronte.org.uk/whats-on/news/242/save-the-honresfield-library

You can easily donate here https://justgiving.com/campaign/honresfield-library

A small amount has been anonymously diverted from my Man of TIN hobby ‘war chest’ and ImagiNations defence budget towards saving these precious manuscripts.

Go on – dig deep. Surely worth a tenner or more of anyone’s hobby budget?

This is part of our fantasy gaming, wargaming, toy soldier and RPG origins as well as literary heritage to preserve for all, not a privileged few.

One day I look forward to travelling Up North to go and see the Bronte tiny books and manuscripts at the Bronte Parsonage Museum.

* Dear blog friends and readers, please forward and repost / reboot this post this post to others.*

We only have five days left to raise the £25K needed.

Arise, Angria!

Home made Fimo Polymer Clay 54mm figure of an Angrian Infantry Standard bearer with the rising sun flag – Arise Angria!

Blog posted by Mark Man of TIN, 26 October 2021

Svenmarck Invaded: EWM 20mm Danish Infantry 1940

***** Svenmarck Invaded ****** Troops Mobilised ****** Border Crossed by Hostile Forces *****

EWM Danish 1940 Infantry versatile figure with rifle grenade option and spare Madsen LMG curved round – masking tape repair to the left hand rifle which I clumsily broke.

Over the last weekend or two I have been painting a strange mixture of metal 20mm figures in my collection, as varied as 1940s Boy Scouts and Girl Guides from Sergeants Mess, some more colourful 1910-20 Mexican Infantry from Jacklex and these Early War Miniatures 1940 Danish Infantry, along with their Dutch equivalent.

EWM Danish 1940 Infantry with rifles and grenades

One of the best films or programmes that I have seen in the last couple of years that isn’t weird sci-fi (Star Wars / Stranger Things / X-Files) is 9.April, the Danish film about the first few hours of Blitzkrieg as German forces cross the border of Denmark on 9 April 1940.

EWM Danish 1940 Infantry with rifles amid EWM scenic boxes and oil barrels

This tense drama focuses on the fate of a small handful of conflicting characters (including some usual war film stereotypes) in a platoon of bicycle mounted troops desperately to hold off the motorised columns of the German Army until reinforcements arrive.

EWM Danish 1940 Infantry with rifle and grenade

The film has that ‘against the odds’ feel of a western with an outnumbered and outgunned retreating outpost of troops with little chance of the cavalry arriving. The cinematography and its eerie soundtrack captures well the chaos and confusion of the short lived resistance.

Anyway, film club over …

I have posted about the 9.April film before in 2020:

https://manoftinblog.wordpress.com/2020/04/09/remembering-denmark-april-9th-1940/

EWM three man Madsen LMG and rifle team with EWM scenic boxes

Svenmarck? Gaming scenarios?

I don’t intend gaming the historical scenarios from Denmark or the Netherlands in 1940.

Instead I will be recreating those insteresting small scale infantry skirmishes in the forests, heaths and border villages of a small Scandinavian ImagiNations setting called Svenmarck. The kind of small country like Leichtenstein that you go through to reach somewhere else. Further north in Nordweg, it’s a bit more snowy forests with beautiful Fjords. It all exists somewhere on or in my ImagiNations map, probably near Tradgardland from Alan Gruber’s blog Duchy of Tradgardland.

No doubt an ImagiNations equivalent or renaming of Nazi Germany will be required, such as Großreich or GrosReich. All ethical issues about gaming the modern period swept aside, then …

***** Update ***** see blog comments below for brief outline of the political and military geography of Tradgardland and Svenmarck and surroundings *****

It was from Alan Gruber and also from Bob Cordery of Wargaming Miscellany that I first heard of this film. Alan has converted some 54mm figures with the help of Danish helmets from the late Les White. Alan’s conversions here show the mix of traditional old black, grey and newer khaki greatcoats in 1940 that Danish troops wore, many of the updated newer khaki uniforms still in store and unissued:

http://tradgardland.blogspot.com/2020/04/finished-danish-conversions.html

Uniform References / Painting Guide

Preben Kannik, Military Uniforms of the World in Colour (Blandford)

*** EWM Dutch or Netherlands 1940 Infantry are next on the painting table. ***

Uniform notes from Kannik

Danish Infantry in black greatcoats, Illustrated Encyclopaedia of Uniforms of WW2

There is a useful painting guide for Great Escape Games 28mm WW2 Danish troops range and well painted examples of their figures – download the PDF painting guide at https://www.greatescapegames.co.uk/danish-infantry

This mentioned the useful research into the history and uniform of the Danish troops in WW2, thankfully published in English by Per Finsted, well illustrated with photos and almost paper soldier like illustrations from an old chakoten.de magazine. https://www.chakoten.dk/The%20Danish%20Army%20on%20April%209th,%201940_complete.pdf

EWM Danish 1940 figures – Madsen LMG group

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

https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=9qbbr-_QdyY&feature=youtu.be

Mistakes were made …

Painting took longer than expected on these figures as I undercoated using a bulk craft acrylic Mars Black that dries shiny rather than matt, leading it to look in some awkward areas like unpainted shiny metal even after I thought I had first finished painting. This showed up in nooks and crannies in photos, after I had already once overcoated the black greatcoats with Revell Aquacolor Acrylic Teerschwarz / Matt Tar Black. A second overcoat of tar black and targeted infill was required.

Forstærkninger?

Unlike the bicycle troops of the 9.April film, there are forstærkninger or reinforcements on the way. More EWM troops from the Danish, Dutch, Norwegian (and Mexican!) range have been ordered from Paul Thompson at EWM for the Christmas cupboard including Tankette Tuesday material and bicycle troops!

Like Annie at Bad Squiddo’s little extras on postal orders, there’s sometimes the odd complimentary surprise item from EWM as a thank you for ordering, such as resin items (from the EWM scenics range?) like the oil barrels and boxes seen in the photographs. Peter Laing used to do this with his 15mm ranges, such as a new sample figure from a new period, in his rapid post returns.

Good customer service touch, tempting your customers with new ranges of shiny figures …

Blog posted by Mark, Man of TIN, 12 September 2021

B.P.S Blog Post Script

One of my blog readers left me a comment (thanks!) that others may also be interested in re. a free Memoir 44 scenario and hexmap for Denmark 1940 on Kaptain Kobold’s site Hordes of the Things site:

https://hordesofthethings.blogspot.com/p/free-stuff.html

https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B7jivXekpX0LOUtiZjdmekFTR0thd0tQcEFWWUFaQQ/view?resourcekey=0-q3kwDaC4R27pi4A_yiRb-g

Mystery 15mm-ish Figures?

A charming little horse, Chinese Pirates ? and for comparison a 15mm Peter Laing figure.

****** Mystery figures identified – or not? See below ******

I bought a cheap and strange little job lot on eBay for £5 of these indeterminate sized figures alongside some curious miniature guardsmen, probably from a Dolls House supplier.

I couldn’t judge size too well but I was curious to see if either would be an interesting match for my Peter Laing 15mm figures.

eBay image

They are most curious and a little stiff and crude. I’m not sure what they are designed to be. They have limited bright colours, a little pigtail at the back and mostly swords.

Are they pirates?

Are they Chinese or Boxer Rebellion type warriors?

Are they home casts?

In terms of size or scale, you can see an unpainted 15mm Peter Laing WW2 German infantryman for comparison.

Whatever they are – they should prove useful sailors or pirates or native troops in ImagiNations games, fiercely waving their swords and a few their strange spears.

**********************

If asked “If anyone recognises them as rough copies of commercial figures or as home casts, I would be interested to know?”

One of my ‘anonymous’ readers suggested an identity as Cellmate Miniatures Boxer Rebellion 15-20mm figures – Thanks!

“Your unknown Boxer miniatures were produced by Cellmate Miniatures.” produced by Tod P. Zechiel (see Blog Post Script below).

However Tod P. Zechiel himself contacted me today by email from the USAto say that they are not his figures – so the mystery continues.

Tod is now retired and so has time to be back in small production of Cellmate Miniatures Boxer Rebellion figures, selling painted and unpainted castings on eBay. His Tuan Boxer Rebellion rules are also still available as a free download.

So the “Mystery of the Chinese Pirates” – Where are the Hardy Boys and Nancy Drew when you need them?

Whoever they are made by, I like them and I will probably finish their Warbases MDF 1p bases in a similar Earth Brown colour.

September 2021 – a new seaside purchase of a pirate ship arrives for them!

B.P.S – Blog Post Script

You can find out more about Tod P Zechiel’s Cellmate Miniatures on TMP here:

http://theminiaturespage.com/showcase/143590/

http://theminiaturespage.com/showcase/29765/

“”While trying not to sound apologetic,” Tod P Zechiel explains, “allow me to inform you of the nature of the miniatures. I am an amateur sculpturer, and the figures are gravity cast as opposed to centrifically cast. The figures are therefore of moderate quality. They tend to be thick and simple, with less detail than other manufacturer’s figures. They tend to have a more pronounced parting line or seam, and larger sprues. You need, as a minimum, a sharp exacto knife to remove the excess metal. A tapered, flat, needle file is even better. To reduce cost, the figures contain lead.” (TMP Info source above)

I can see where the suggested identification of these figures came from .

They were also accompanied by a spirited little metal horse or pony, along with the tiny red guardsmen which I will feature in another post.

Blog posted by Mark Man of TIN, 28 August 2021 / Updated 17 September 2021

Peter Laing WW1 15mm Figures

This month I have spotted online and bought several new units of OOP (out of production) Peter Laing 15mm figures from his WW1 range.

I am quite pleased to have spotted them on eBay as they were vaguely or wrongly listed as “Minifigs / Other 15mm”.

Bird watchers talk about recognising the different “jizz” of similar looking SBJs (Small Brown Job) birds. Certain figure manufacturers have a typical or distinctive look and Peter Laing is one of those.

Originals were carved by hand from thick plasticard in the 1970s and 1980s in the days before ‘green stuff’. Peter Laing figures also have certain slenderness, deliberate under-detailing and a limited number of familiar Laing poses – advancing, firing, walking Officer with pistol – that make them more easily recognised.

As these figures are just about to vanish into the Christmas present cupboard for the next four months, I thought I would share these pictures with you.

15mm WW1 German Infantry and Machine Guns by Peter Laing.

Peter Laing 15mm WW1 (700s) with early pickelhaube spiked helmet

F0712 German Infantry Marching

F0713 German Infantry Firing

F0714 German Officer Marching

F0715 German Machine Gun and Gunner

F0716 German Machine Gun Loader

Distinctive and familiar poses of Peter Laing figures.

As well as German infantry, there were French WW1 Infantry

F0720 French Chasseur D’Alpin advancing

F0709 French Officer Marching

Chausseurs d’Alpins with their distinctive walking sticks

There was an interesting suggestion from Ian Dury fellow Laing collector who runs the Peter Laing page on the MeWe community forum (which replaced the Google + Community Peter Laing page) that, with walking stick removed, these figures make excellent 19th century Carlist Infantry (obviously an oversight by Peter Laing?)

Red and blue early war “target practice” and the more sensible later grey blue French?

F0708 French Infantry Advancing

F0707 French Infantry Firing Officer Marching

The machine gunners are not by Laing. The horses and artillery team at the back are Laing figures. Laing horses are very distinctive, with a primitive pony look to them.

The light blue French gunners, infantry and officers could pass as Austrians at a pinch.

Ian Dury (in his comments below) identified the artillery riders for me as

M0704 French Hussar with Lance removed.

A0706 French Gunner kneeling.

A0707 French Gunner kneeling with shell.

A0708 French 75mm field gun

If I have misidentified any Laing figures, cavalry or guns Ian Dury and the Peter Laing MeWe collectors group will happily always put me right – find us on

https://mewe.com/join/peterlaingfigures

I have no great desire to run any WW1 historical game scenarios, instead I look at these troops as Bronte ImagiNations fodder for Ruritanian conflicts and border skirmishes.

Hopefully I might have painted some more of my WW1 Peter Laing unpainted figures to join these painted ones in time for the 50th Anniversary next autumn 2022 of the first Peter Laing figures being advertised and sold next October / November 1972, possibly the first ever 15mm gaming figures.

Roll on Christmas !

Blog posted by Mark Man of TIN, 20 August 2021

WIP King’s Guard paint conversion of Vintage Airfix AWI British Grenadiers

The original few King’s Guard figures are based on unusual paint conversions of Airfix AWI British Grenadiers.

These were found as a handful of figures in a small hoard of random old Airfix figures from a local collectibles shop plastic bag over ten years ago.

This is how they arrived …

As they were when I emptied the random joblot bag … before paint retouching and rebasing. The officer is a conversion from an ACW officer.

The dozen or so original King’s Guard figures (both blue facings and a few green facings) needed bulking up in numbers to be any kind of effective unit on the gaming tabletop for a skirmish game.

Bottom left, a useful handful of British Grenadiers from Alan. The French Artillery are now painted up https://manoftinblog.wordpress.com/2021/06/13/wades-toy-soldier-artillery-from-vintage-airfix-ooho-french-artillery-imaginations/

https://poundstoreplasticwarriors.wordpress.com/2021/06/04/imaginations-vintage-airfix-figures-1-black-and-gold-washingtons-army-tricorne-troops/

Fortunately, some Airfix ‘turncoats and mercenaries’ arrived from Alan at the Duchy of Tradgardland blog as Army surplus to current Tradgardland projects.

These Grenadier figures from Alan have been painted up to join or blend in with the battered original paint scheme.

Underneath on the Warbases penny MDF bases, I have inscribed with Steadtler fine liner CD/DVD permanent marker pens their origin and individual number.

DofT means Duchy of Tradgardland origin, along with other ‘bag originals’ marked as DH for another origin or KG (for King’s Guard).

Placeholder simple red flag for the King’s Guard, as red as those striking britches!

Reversed colour facings for the drummer.

The original handwritten biro markings beneath their original bases.

Inscribing ID numbers and origin initials on the bases means that I can

  • keep track of how many Airfix figures I have,
  • which are my original childhood ones
  • who or where the kind gifting of figures came from.

It also fits in well with Featherstone’s personalised wargaming chapter of his Solo Wargaming.

I have kept the paintwork on any ‘new’ figures or any refreshed paint style very simple to match the original figures. No washes, no outlining straps and cross belts, and also no varnish (yet).

These early 1971 Airfix AWI figures have a surprising amount of detail to choose to paint or not to paint such as pigtails, powder horns, straps, turn backs, facings and buttons. Plastic Soldier Review are not so impressed by these vintage 1971 figures: http://www.plasticsoldierreview.com/Review.aspx?id=43

I wonder if one day the original painter of these “King’s Guard” figures will spot these figures online and recognise their handwriting and their handiwork?

Future vintage Airfix plans

There are several more colourful but undermanned ImagiNations units from the original plastic bag hoard who need reinforcements –

https://poundstoreplasticwarriors.wordpress.com/2021/05/20/imaginations-obes-and-vintage-airfix-scrapings-from-someone-elses-toy-box/

Recently Ian M. Dury my fellow Peter Laing collector posted the remains of a surplus box each of Airfix British Grenadiers and Washington’s Army to add to the colourful Rainbow ImagiNations figures. Thanks Ian. Ironically they will probably delay some Peter Laing figures on their journey across the painting table.

Welcome AWI Airfix surplus to join my ImagiNations recruits, a gift from Ian Dury …

Naturally these are now marked up on the bases as ID, ready for future painting, along with a handful from Tony Adams (TA) and about half a box from former colleague Ken (KA) of Washington’s Army figures.

https://manoftinblog.wordpress.com/2017/09/08/vintage-airfix-tin-hoard/

Washington’s Army from the early 1970s still on the sprue from my former colleague Ken. Thanks Ken.

I wonder – If Airfix rereleased them, would I buy many more? Do I have enough already for my small skirmish forces?

Blog posted by Mark Man of TIN 5 July 2021

Wade’s Toy Soldier Artillery from vintage Airfix OOHO French Artillery ImagiNations

Inspiration for ImagiNations units comes from very odd and whimsical sources such as this slightly Sergeant Pepper ceramic toy soldier by Wade, glimpsed recently on Etsy.

Great moustache!

My starting materials would be these vintage Airfix French Napoleonics:

Napoleonic French Artillery (centre) posted for future service by the Duchy of Tradgardland

These were a gift of some battered Airfix OOHO French Napoleonic Artillery and other figures from Alan Gruber (The Duchy of Tradgardland blog).

Having no intention of starting proper historical Napoleonic gaming, this gave me leave to experiment with colour and ImagiNations using these familiar vintage figures.

I searched and found some side and back views as well again from Etsy:

Although not exactly the same, the Wade figure having a longer tail coat and no gaiters, it gave me an idea of how to develop these spare random Artillery figures and a future use for any stray French shako troops that I might find whilst sorting.

The first attempt painting involved a multi racial unit but somehow the ones painted with darker skin tones worked better (Revell Aquacolor Acrylic Dark Earth colour).

An attempt at a flag colour. Blue sky, sandy beach?

One of my family said they thought the figures had a Caribbean look to the bright uniforms.

Equally they might suit the Bronte ImagiNations islands Gaaldine and Gondal set in the South or North Pacific.

Borrowed a couple of Esci French Napoleonic Artillery pieces that I painted in the 1980s

And on a less beach background, this is how the figures look.

I have painted a few Airfix Waterloo Napoleonic French Infantry (including some chewed up or melted ones) from the same gift to join with firelock troops from the Napoleonic Artillery set.

A colourful ImagiNations unit to play with.

Blog posted by Mark Man of TIN June 2021