Armies in Plastic 54mm Woodland Indians Painted and Out in the Wild

I really enjoyed painting these 54mm Armies in Plastic Woodland Indians, plentiful straps and tassels and all.

They were part of a kind gift of a box of surplus mixed plastic figures from Alan Tradgardland Gruber for my Close Little Wars forest skirmishes.

I introduced them to the garden forests and mountains today, after a gloss spray varnish and final shiny paint bits.

These Woodland Indians of the little known Gull Tribe (see their prized head dress feathers) have little adornment and decoration, unlike other Indian Tribes in North Gondal and North Generica.

They are not as richly decorated as many of the Woodland Indians of the French Indian War and “The Revolutionary War”.

Lots of equipment detail to choose to paint (or not).
Halt! I have found trail signs … many Three Cornered Hat men went this way a few hours ago.

Looking through the uniform plates in various AWI books, Pinterest, box art and figures from different figure ranges (everything from John Jenkins and modern Wm. Britain’s to the shiny gloss Tradition of London range), I settled on a generic plainer shiny gloss look for my under-adorned Woodland Indian ImgaiNations tribe.

Interesting to look at the flintlock and powder horn equipment, tomahawk in its sling, knife held on the upper chest. Much of this equipment is found on the 54mm plastic AIP Gruber’s / Rogers Rangers figures AWI Light Infantry and Rangers that I painted last week.

I struggled a little to find the toy soldier look I wanted but used an old hollowcast painting trick of using bronze or copper skin tones.

Bronze or copper skin worked well enough repairing damaged old hollowcast Britain’s and other makers’ more 50s Hollywood Indians (and Cowboys). It didn’t work recently for some 54mm to 60mm Steve Weston plastic Mexican peasants.

So with these gloss toy soldier style Indians in mind I used Revell Aquacolor Acrylic Gloss Leather Brown for the Woodland Indian skin tone. All the other colours used were Matt like the musket in Matt Leather Brown and desert Afrikabraun for the Buckskin leggings and equipment. They were all going to get gloss spray varnished anyway.

The toy soldier style face was achieved with black pin dot eyes and eyebrows, red mouth dot (both using a shaved cocktail stick) and after gloss varnish, the final copper cheek dot.

This is how the Three Cornered Hat warriors (Tricornes) fight and die in the forest – in volley rows.

There was one interesting pose with a fearsome looking wooden root club. Interestingly the character is carrying a powder horn so has laid down a flintlock somewhere.

Having rewatched the 1992 Daniel Day Lewis Last of the Mohicans film for the Indian costumes, the slow reload of a flintlock musket is obviously a problem for troops engaging charging Natives in ‘Close Wars, type forest skirmishes and melees.

My Ladybird book version of Last of the Mohicans illustrated by Frank Humphris also came in handy for painting ideas. https://manoftinblog.wordpress.com/2020/05/10/classic-close-wars-and-comic-book-soldiers-back-to-the-forest/

Plain Indians rather than Plains Indians?

I could have spent a long time painting different Indian beadwork and breechclout patterns, legging ties etc and facial paints but I didn’t really want to. I tried one club figure with Citadel Agrax Earthshade Wash (brown) but I didn’t really think it would work with gloss varnish toy soldier style.

These were not the only Indians in the Back Yarden Forests.

This colourful Plains Indian is Crescent plastic repair and paint from a joblot from Alan Gruber

And finally –

How would they work in my Bold Frontiers pine forests?

Just what Bold Frontiers trees are designed for … painted or unpainted figures.

The Gull Tribe go clubbing or the Woodland Indian version of “Here We Go Round the Mulberry Bush” ..

A shadowy Brown figure appears moving amongst the trees. Is it a fierce Brown bear?

Not a Bear! How! The Patrol Leader greets the brown clad figure. Friar, Friend or Foe?

Friend! Another log for the fire, please, friar!

(Camp fire by Safari Toob – Powhatan Indian camp set)

The Crescent / Kellogg’s Cornflakes 1960s plastic Friar Tuck is from the Robin Hood plastic range. We had him at home bizarrely painted bright gloss red ever since I was a child. Now over fifty years on, he finally gets a new gloss toy soldier paint job.

http://cerealoffers.com/Kelloggs/Cornflakes/1960s/Robin_Hood_Figures/robin_hood_figures.html

https://collectablefigures.wordpress.com/2011/05/26/crescent-part-1-plastic-and-cereal/

Next time we are in Sherwood Forest, this old Friar Tuck can take part!

https://manoftinblog.wordpress.com/2020/05/30/quarter-staff-fighting-in-sherwood-forest/

Blog posted by Mark Man of TIN, 14 / 15 August 2020

Turning Pound Store Plastic soldiers into Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts

When no one makes cheap 54mm plastic scouts, what can you do but convert some of the cheapest rackety cloned and distorted toy soldiers into Boy and Girl Scouts? Some of this worked well. Read more at:

https://tabletopscoutingwidegames.wordpress.com/2019/10/17/turning-cheap-pound-store-army-figures-into-boy-scouts-and-girls-scouts/

Crossposted from my Scouting Wide Games for the Tabletop blog site by Mark, Man of TIN (1970s Cub Scout, Bronze Arrow, Retired) 17 October 2019

Stealth’s Take on Close Little Wars

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Following up my post about Jen B’s version of Featherstone’s Close Wars Rules, fellow games blogger Stealth contacted me to say that he had been playing around with his own variant of Donald Featherstone’s simple Close Wars rules.

These were first published in Don’s appendix to War Games (1962) and Stealth had been looking at my variants Close Little Wars.

Here is Stealth’s variant are in detail for you to peruse: https://stealthswargaming.blogspot.com/2019/05/stealths-close-little-wars-variant-rules.html

and his classic first wargames minis are first version 1960s tiny Airfix figure conversions, always a charming joy to see

https://stealthswargaming.blogspot.com/2019/06/i-emerge-from-painting-cave-to-give-you.html

Stealth’s rules have a slight D & D influence or feel (see his other blogs) in that carrying or capturing crates forms part of the victory conditions, scoring and scenarios. Interesting idea for ambushing a supply column etc.

I hope you find something of rules variants interest here. I enjoy seeing how people adapt and tinker, go back to basics and then elaborate a bit more.

Blog posted by Mark Man of TIN on 16 June 2019.

Restored corner of the house that is my Hex Boards of Joy

For a few months I have not done much gaming to write up.

Not since a short Mountie Skirmish in late November 2018 last year https://manoftinblog.wordpress.com/2018/11/30/mountie-ambush-game-15mm/

For a few months my gaming area and tabletop have been covered in broken Britain’s figures awaiting repair, Peter Laing 15mm figures awaiting paint, tools and useful bits of scrap for modelling.

54mm superheroes and tiny blocky Minecraft figures

I am as happy casting, repairing and painting figures as I am gaming with them, hence the quote on Man of TIN blog from Donald Featherstone:

The largest hex game board has hung on the wall being a former picture frame – a neat storage solution tucked away in the corner of a shared living room.

As part of the Scout Wide Games research and rules writing, I am not sure if my hex boards will be too small for the 42mm range Scout figures I have painted. Maybe I should have gone smaller, say OO/HO railway or my Pound Store figure conversions? Different size figures, different scale scenarios?

15mm Peter Laing figures for a different scale

I have been playing around with scale from 54mm superheroes and tiny blocky Minecraft blind bag figures (Heroscape hexes have a 3D landscape Minecraft feel) down to 15mm Peter Laing figures, which give a bigger playing space.

Set up for 42mm range STS Little Britons Scouts (Boy and Girl) …

Having a large enough landscape for the Wide Games scenarios is obviously harder with the larger Scout figures 42mm Shiny Toy Soldiers / Little Britons range (from Spencer Smith Miniatures), so the scale and ground space available may shape the scope of future scenarios.

My couple of quick paint conversions of Pound Store figures in a smaller scale may enlarge the territory available to my Scouting games – I can cheaply and quickly knock up a couple of patrols of these to try this out.

https://poundstoreplasticwarriors.wordpress.com/2019/05/19/pound-store-plastic-boy-scout-32mm-conversions/

32mm Pound Store Scout conversions & the original penny plastic figures

Part of the Wide Games appeal is that tabletop Wide Games could equally function as Garden games especially with the largest, simplest 60mm semi-flat Scouts – as pointed by Alan the Tradgardmastre of the Duchy Of Tradgardland Blog.

http://tradgardland.blogspot.com/2019/05/scouts-for-wide-games.html

If only my ageing knees and back and the weather were up to it …

The rest of the space?

A column of Really Useful Boxes divides the playing space from the crafting space. More Really Useful Boxes and Shoe Boxes are stowed away below the gaming table and the chairs.

Acquiring job lots of broken toy soldiers to repair requires storage. The Peter Laing figures, both painted and awaiting paint, require storage. Scrap modelling materials, tools and paints require storage.

For the last few months, wriggling into the old crafting chair has felt like sliding into a narrow cockpit to focus down onto the hand tools, paintbrush and figures in front of me. It’s also meant that I had no gaming space. Shifting these about and restowing boxes has helped no end.

My flap-down desk with cardboard screen keeping paper contents and books safe from paint.

I understand more fully now the points about concentration and wellbeing made in the Models for Heroes videos. There is a mental craft zone that the world shrinks down to.

I am reminded of the ominous episode in Harry Pearson’s gaming memoir Achtung Schweinhund where Harry hears from his gaming best friend about an obsessive hoarder (stereotypically male, middle aged, single). This man’s decaying house is in danger of collapse from an Aladdin’s Cave of stored vintage unboxed figures, magazines and newspapers, yet eerily the paint table is immaculate and ordered. Harry and friend see a vision of their possible lonely futures.

My Crafting “Cockpit”: Phoenix 43 Trek Cart kit & washed-out Cath Kidston pink Guards mug

The cutting board and painting space that forms my crafting area has now transferred to the right of the board onto a flap down modern bureau desk, rather than than the traditional modeller’s Roll Top type desk. It fits into the rest of the family without sitting in a room apart. It’s stuffed full of toy soldier things and research notes and books for other work-related projects, protected from paint splatters by a removable cardboard screen. Reorganising the contents means that everything should be able to fold back up out of sight.

The desk top “display” space itself could also do with a tidy up as it is currently piled with figures and books that I have worked on in the last year. Inspiration but it’s also a jumble of what has been inside my head recently.

https://manoftinblog.wordpress.com/2018/01/15/the-domestic-modelling-joys-of-the-roll-top-desk/

Next to this sits a small bulging cupboard stuffed full with books, hollowcast figures and hoarded Airfix figures and kits from childhood onwards, again its top piled with this year’s projects. Again all of these could do with a sort through on another grey day.

More Really Useful storage boxes live in the garage for my metal casting kit, buildings, some other temperature proof gaming stuff and metal figures, whilst the indoor storage is reserved for the more vulnerable fragile vintage and childhood plastics figures and vehicles.

The painting above the desk is a recent acquisition, a framed Illustrated London News print of the Lancashire Rifle Volunteers parading at Knowsley Park. Britain’s Victorian Home Guard against another Napoleonic French invasion, and finely dressed at that. One for Marvin at Subterranean Militarism!

The Review of Lancashire Rifle Volunteers in Knowsley Park. Illustration for The Illustrated London News, 15 September 1860.

So there you are, restored –

an experimental games lab to try out Wide Games or gaming scenarios indoors,

an encouragement to paint and base those Peter Laings stuck in the lead limbo of the ‘work in progress’ painting box,

hopefully a little more presentable part of the Living Room if we have visitors to the house!

Blog posted by Mark Man of TIN, 9 June 2019.

Unboxing Box No. 4

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An EBay glimpse and hunch that paid off? 

Join me in a virtual rummage  through (Christmas 2018)  Box No. 4. Who knows what you’ll find!

Crossposted from my other blog Pound Store Plastic Warriors https://poundstoreplasticwarriors.wordpress.com/2019/04/22/unboxing-box-no-4/

If you enjoyed this cross-post, you might also enjoy this recent rummage of a blog post https://poundstoreplasticwarriors.wordpress.com/2019/03/30/my-plastic-warrior-show-in-a-box/

Blogposted by Mark Man of TIN, April 22 2019.

Man of TIN Advent Calendar Day 17 – Favourite Gaming Figure # 2

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Another favourite gaming character is this dynamic WW2 Desert British officer, his paintwork a little worse for wear. Veteran of many battles!

He could be leading an attack or part of an artillery crew.

This figure is 54mm / 1:32 scale, made by Crescent in plastic in the 1960s.

To repaint or not repaint?

Back in 2016 I posted my first favourite gaming figure which led to contact with plastic figure converter Doug Shand and his blog.

https://manoftinblog.wordpress.com/2016/06/15/favourite-gaming-figures-1/

Here are some inspired and unusual Doug conversions:

http://dougssoldiers.blogspot.com/2012/08/dollar-store-thirty-years-war.html

http://dougssoldiers.blogspot.com/2013/03/more-thirty-years-war.html

Posted by Mr. MIN, Man of TIN, Advent Day 17, 17 December 2018.

Man of TIN Advent Calendar Day 3 – Vintage 1980s Polish Toy Soldier Airfix clones on Etsy

Man of TIN Advent Calendar Day 3 – Looking up “Toy Soldiers” on the Etsy website is an easy way to lose several hours of an evening (and hopefully not lose or spend too much money).

The Etsy prices are generally not cheap (it is a retro, vintage, crafty, antique sellers platform site) but you do see some fascinating metal and plastic Toy Soldier figures from all over the world including Eastern Europe and America.

Perfect for online “window shopping”.

Shipping sometimes obviously adds prohibitively to costs from outside the U.K.

Disclaimer: Man of TIN cannot be held responsible for the loss of your time or hard earned cash from mentioning toy soldiers and Etsy. Searching for ‘toy soldiers’ on Etsy also occasionally brings up ‘adult’ material / figures.

I have bought from Etsy several times from UK and overseas sellers with no problems.

One set that caught my eye but I didn’t buy (no longer available – ships from Bulgaria http://www.etsy.com/uk/shop/RETROne?ref=si_shop ) are these interestingly blue uniformed versions of the Airfix 1:32 British paratroopers with very thick bases – Eastern European clones or copies?

I took a screen shot of these for my toy soldier scrapbook, so that now when they are sold and gone from Etsy, I still have the memory. All good reference and research.

Are these Airfix copies from Eastern Europe or an interesting paint job?
I’m thinking James Bond super villain defence of secret base forces …
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Close up shot of Polish made  Airfix paratrooper clones from Etsy supplier  RetrOne 2018
Interesting Imagi-Nations colour scheme for these Airfix British paras?
I hope whoever bought them enjoys them.
I hope that all who see them on this blog or browsing on Etsy enjoy the looking!
Blogposted by Mark Man of TIN, Advent Calendar Day 3, Monday 3rd December 2019. 

Timpo Desert Fort pictures

Using my blog as a scrapbook (kind of what Pinterest was invented for), here are a couple of cheeky screen shots from an online auction site of the Timpo Desert Fort.

Never had this fort or knew it existed. However I still have my childhood Timpo Arabs and Foreign Legion, some of them in need of repair from brittle joints.

I have been slowly collecting the odd beaten up Timpo cowboy buildings for 54mm games.

There are lots more Timpo buildings at this site for some Timpo Nostalgia:

http://www.spanglefish.com/hallmarkstoysoldiers/index.asp?pageid=169845

Blogposted by Mark, Man of TIN, 29 August 2018.

Pound Store Plastic Figure Conversions and Comparisons

Some unprepossessing modern pound store plastic ‘penny’ figures (£1 for a tub of 100 or more recently 80 figures from Poundland) have proved great conversion potential for my skirmish games, at the slightly odd size of roughly 36mm.

Over the last few months I have been busy creating small skirmish forces of 25 to 30 figures a side for my portable hex game boards.

Strange modern Rambo-ish machine gunner figures become a set of Desert Warrior Spearman, to join my previous Desert Warrior riflemen shown here:

https://poundstoreplasticwarriors.wordpress.com/2017/11/06/pound-store-desert-warrior-unit-completed/

Some work in progress / ‘how to’ photos about these figures are shown here:

https://poundstoreplasticwarriors.wordpress.com/2017/12/12/work-in-progress-from-pound-store-plastic-rambos-to-spear-warriors/

It has been interesting comparing how many simple conversions are possible with these same 12 sometimes crudely moulded figures, explored in this blogpost:

https://poundstoreplasticwarriors.wordpress.com/2018/01/28/pound-store-plastic-warrior-conversions-and-comparisons/

Some kilted Colonial Highlanders conversions to join my Redcoats, straight out of my favourite Carry On film, Carry On Up The Khyber with Private Jimmy Widdle of the 3rd Foot and Mouth, the ‘Devils in Skirts’ no less!

https://poundstoreplasticwarriors.wordpress.com/2018/01/28/pound-store-plastic-carry-on-up-the-khyber-colonial-highlanders/

https://poundstoreplasticwarriors.wordpress.com/2017/11/26/pound-store-plastic-colonial-infantry-on-the-painting-table/

Some figures become Boers, Cowboys or Confederates to complement my 19th Century Colonial conversions. The hats? Label or paper hole reinforcers.

The same figures can be painted and converted into many different figures, like this versatile rifleman. This was another of the figures that attracted me to these pound store figure tubs.

And finally, a host of Little Green Men in orange and gold space suits to take on my silver and blue Space Marines

https://poundstoreplasticwarriors.wordpress.com/2018/01/28/little-green-men-pound-store-plastic-space-warriors/

Coming soon to a hex game board near me …

Blog posted by Mark, Man of TIN, featuring posts from his Pound Store Plastic Warriors blog, 28 January 2018