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
First job, start basing the old AJ ‘s Toyboarder’s skateboarder figures (still available from Vat 19) on mdf tuppeny bases as they are forever falling over. Background peeg decal is a freebie with my last Bronte order from Annie Norman at Bad Squiddo, which reminded me of large urban graffiti murals … now to watch those skate punk videos for uniform colour scheme details, unless there’s a handy Osprey on SkatePunk?
For painting Spanish Armada era 54mm figures from Chintoys? Spanish Armada period music for my Arma-Dad’s Army Project, listening to the Saydisc recordings 1588: Music from the Spanish Armada on original instruments by the York Waits.
The red Tudor beret of the kneeling figure has a elite fierce special forces / Guevara revolutionary look. Good Queen Bess and Ralegh undercoated and glimpsed at the back by essential reading matter. A few Hingfat pirate figures have joined in as Spanish sailors.
Paint it Black or paint it Red?
Two black and red colour related songs kept popping into my head about the a-historical cartoon choice of colours for my Spanish Fury reinforcements:
“…I raise my flags, don my clothes / It’s a revolution, I suppose/ We’ll paint it red to fit right in” from Radioactive by Imagine Dragons, 2010s
Why red and black? The Spanish Armada Osprey book title shows a good range of uniform colours, with no one dominant or exclusive national colour for Spanish or British Elizabethan era troops. Both sides had a white flag with a red cross. The St George + Cross for Britain, the saltire type X Cross for Spain. How confusing!
My growing muster of Elizabethan conversions and (right) ECW trained band figures in blue!
By the 1580s/90s various shades of Blue was quite common for English troops (green and white in earlier Tudor times), so my muster and trained band are in work clothes and military green and blue shades.
Inspiration for the black and red came from some vintage figures:
These two Elizabethan Monarch Cherilea 1960s figures have blazing torches. Watch out Cornish towns! Sold – These three lovely vintage figures joined my forces last Christmas 2020.
I really liked these fragile Cherilea figures with their black, red and silver colour scheme with leather brown.
This was it, dark colours, the black and red diabolical colours of flames! I have painted them as fearsome as Tudor Propaganda and the Cornish might have seen or talked about these Spanish ‘devils‘ who fired Cornish seaside towns and churches in 1595.
Before I run into BLM (Black Lives Matter) and Woke history issues / problems, the Spanish raids of 1595 really did happen …
But I have also realised that this whole Arma-Dad’s Army scenario is another long period-costume cheese dream of one Captain George “Napoleon” Mainwaring or a fever dream for Private Frank “Nudgeof” Pike (Stupid Boy!) in the Warmington Home Guard. Thus, this Arma-Dad’s Army Project also links with my Look Duck and Varnish Home Guard Gaming.
Phew, useful a-historical “but it was all a strange dream” ethical get-out clause!
So that’s what’s in my ears and on the painting table to start the New Year …
How are all your New Gaming Year’s Resolutions going?
Blog posted by Mark Man of TIN 2 / 3 January 2022.
B.P.S. Blog Post Script
The much covered sons “Radioactive” by US band Imagine Dragons has a suitably bizarre pop music video with illegal betting on a muppet style gladiatorial contest where kapok and fur literally flies – but don’t worry, justice is served in the end https://youtu.be/ktvTqknDobU
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.
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 futureVTC Wide Gamesand 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 …
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.
Unlike many in the world I am fortunate enough, being of “the Airfix generation” and clinically vulnerable, to have had my third Covid ‘booster’ jab on Friday. Thanks NHS.
**** Pre-emptive note: Any Anti Vaxxers or conspiracy theorists who are upset reading this first paragraph, please note that I am not debating this topic on my hobby blog or for that matter, politics or religion either. Enjoy the toys instead. Thank you.****
Knowing that I might feel a bit rough, as indeed I have done with the common side effects of aches, tiredness and headaches, I planned a quiet weekend with two good books to see me through.
The Timpo Model Toys (A to Z of TIMPO) 4th edition 2020 by Michael Maughan
This was a family gift, as I ‘look after’ the family “hand-me-down” collection of Timpo 54mm / 1:32 figures.
It is a great little book, akin to the Airfix OOHO reference books, and fully colour illustrated. This will help greatly in putting our surviving collection back together as close as I can manage – right legs, heads, torsos, horses etc. – with a slight nod towards Timpo purism!
Available through Amazon (Amazon Createspace online publishing) at a very reasonable £26.
The book has the cheerful feel of a Plastic Warrior magazine series of articles, which is what it originally developed from. Fourth edition – this is obviously an ongoing labour of love for the writer Michael Maughan.
The book covers only the ‘swoppet’ style plastic Timpo range, not the solid Action Pack boxed figures or original metal hollowcasts.
Seeing the illustrations of packaging, buildings and the railway stuff was a rare treat, and this book ultimately saves me from bankruptcy having to track down, buy and store this stuff!
I didn’t buy many Timpo ‘swoppet’ type figures myself, except the Vikings and a few WW2 figures (probably in the Toyway packaging). Most came down to me through the family toy box, a motley collection of knights, romans, Mexicans and Wild West figures alongside a few solid Action Pack figures.
Usually the weapons were missing, losable parts being one of the things that I disliked about Timpo and Britain’s Deetail, especially when gaming in the garden.
No Timpo purist as a child (or now), all of these figures were mixed together in my skirmish games alongside a happy medley of 60s plastics, Airfix and my own Britain’s Deetail figures. I played with what we had. Our few Timpo figures, both solid and swoppet, provided some great character figures.
Timpo, like Airfix, sadly crashed out c. 1980 in the Great British toy company apocalypse of the early Eighties, so supplies of much of the fun stuff (waggons, railways, buildings) was not around for me to buy. This ‘boom and bust’ supply drought or even complete wipeout of toy ranges still affects my approach to collecting gaming figures today – buy them when you see them, even if you have to store them away in the ‘next Christmas’ cupboard!
The Timpo wagons etc. looked really good alongside hollowcast and early plastic figures in F.E. Perry’s Second Book of Wargaming which I bought in the late 1970s / early 1980s. Oddly I didn’t find the First Book (of Wargaming) to make it all make sense until a few years ago, a gap of almost forty years.
Looking through, I don’t recall seeing many of the short lived 1970s Timpo ranges at all in toy shops, even if I had the pocket money.
This fascinating A to Z of Timpo book by Michael Maughan showed me what I had missed. It’s a little like having a book of beasts or birds which became extinct within living memory. Well worth buying.
Timpo rarity value?
About ten to fifteen years ago whilst sorting our family 1960s-70s toy collection, we sold off a small handful of some spare Timpo bodies and bits that did not make up whole figures. We were astonished when one torso went for £20 to £30 on eBay, obviously we had a rare-ish colour variation without knowing.
Not missed – from a purely gaming point of view, who cares about the rarity of colour combinations?
My second book to curl up with this weekend:
The Folklore of Yorkshire by Kai Roberts (The History Press 2013)
This book is a lucky survivor of Storm Arwin blowing open our parcels box and soaking the contents. There’s wuthering for you!
Fortunately a shiny book cover and the very soggy Blackwells cardboard eco packaging took the brunt of the water and protected the contents.
Haworth gets the odd mention, the Brontes very few.
What struck me was the overlap in English folklore from my ancestral Cornish folklore and the Yorkshire versions. The fairish, fairy, changeling or elf stories were very similar. This was of interest to me because the Bronte sisters (and brother Branwell) had a Cornish mother and aunt.
Admittedly some overlap in folklore was by direct migration – the ‘ghostly shift’ tales of Yorkshire miners were similar to those of the Cornish hard rock miners with their tales of mine spirits (known as “Knockers”). Skilled Cornish miners were recruited to other mining districts in Britain or they emigrated further afield, especially when times were hard.
Anyway an interesting book on Yorkshire folklore that joins the Cornish folklore and Bronte books on my book shelf.
Beyond the Booster bleurrgh?
Normal ‘gaming butterfly’ blogging service will hopefully soon be resumed, booster bleurgh over. Hobby blogging is usually interrupted or slowed as it is each year at this time by the dark winter nights, festive preparations and working for a living.