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.

Le Toy Van classic space rocket and pound store space figures

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Little green men have stylishly landed … Le Toy Van Space rocket 

A classic space rocket to match my Pound Store Plastic figure space conversions. More pictures at – Crossposted from Pound Store Plastic Warriors https://poundstoreplasticwarriors.wordpress.com/2019/04/16/le-toy-van-space-rocket

Blog posted by Mark Man of TIN 16 April 2019

Postmodern Paintbox

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Crossposted from my Pound Store Plastic Warriors blog

https://poundstoreplasticwarriors.wordpress.com/2019/03/15/thinking-outside-the-postmodern-paintbox/

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What links these two pictures? 

Blog posted by Mark Man of TIN, 15 March 2019

 

 

Arms Reduction at Pound Land

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Once a hundred, now seventy … Previous centurions need not apply. 

Crossposted by Mark Man of TIN from his Pound Store Plastic Warriors blog, 13 February 2019

https://poundstoreplasticwarriors.wordpress.com/2019/02/12/30-percent-less-troops-at-poundland/

Pound Store Colonial Skirmish Parts 1 and 2

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A small and enjoyable 1:1 skirmish game played solo with 36mm converted Pound Store plastic ‘penny dreadful’ figures, fought over a number of evenings on a portable game board.

Part 1 – scenario and opening moves

https://wordpress.com/post/poundstoreplasticwarriors.wordpress.com/3955

Part 2 – final moves

https://poundstoreplasticwarriors.wordpress.com/2018/02/25/pound-store-skirmish-part-2/

A fast moving game, heavily influenced by the colonial games in Donald Featherstone’s Solo Wargaming and the irreverent Carry on Up The Khyber Pass.

Finally managed to get these converted figures into action after many weeks prep, conversion  and painting.

Cross posted by Mark Man of TIN from my Pound Store Plastic Warriors blog,  sister blog to this one, 25 February 2018.

FEMBruary 2018 progress so far

FEMbruary progress so far

Two or more weeks already into February, how am I doing on the three or four targets that I have set for myself to celebrate the female figures in my toy soldier and gaming collection?

https://manoftinblog.wordpress.com/2018/02/09/fembruary-hobby-challenge-conversions/

#FEMbruary Challenges 2018

#FEMbruary 1: look through my toy soldier collection and pick out some of my favourite female figures for this blog

#FEMbruary 2: do a tissue paper and PVA Featherstone conversion on one of my childhood 1:32 Airfix Footballers into a high stepping saloon girl (with or without rifle?) for 54mm Wild West games

https://manoftinblog.wordpress.com/2017/12/11/donald-featherstones-unusual-take-on-casualties-and-campaigns/#comments

#FEMbruary 3: convert one of my Steve Weston Mexican Civilian women into a handy Votes for Women Suffragette?

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Then we had slight “challenge creep” into Challenge 4: choose a figure from Annie Norman’s range at Bad Squiddo Games

and one more challenge over on my Pound Store Plastic Warrior sister blog.

https://poundstoreplasticwarriors.wordpress.com/2018/02/15/colonial-amazons-women-soldiers-of-dahomey-and-siam/

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My Fourth FEMBruary challenge: The lovely Land Army women from Annie Norman at Bad Squiddo Games have been on the painting table this weekend.

Some quick “pewtering” (a quick coat of paint and then wiped off before dry) brought out how much detail these figures have. It also usefully fills in some dark and shadowy places before the colour coat.

Rather then try and fail to emulate the superb matt realist painting on the packaging by Andrew Taylor, I thought I would use Gloss Acrylic (as I don’t have or normally use Matt paint anyway). I wanted a more gloss Toy Soldier style look which is a bit more difficult at 28mm, rather than at 54mm toy soldier size. Still some tidying up to do on the Land Girl figures including smoothing out the gloss / flesh Acrylic mix, which is a bit lumpy still.

https://manoftinblog.wordpress.com/2018/02/15/fembruary-3-annie-normans-bad-squiddo-land-girl-picnic-and-a-cuppa/

I was trying to second guess what figures from Bad Squiddo Games that Marvin at Suburban Militarism would choose, having incidentally introduced me to FEMbruary. I chose Land Girls, he chose Catherine The Great

https://suburbanmilitarism.wordpress.com/2018/02/15/the-fembruary-challenge/

Aim high and aspire for the top jobs, why not? Empress of Russia, or the Queens shown as my first part of the FEMbruary challenge, photographing some of the female figures in my collection.

https://manoftinblog.wordpress.com/2018/02/11/fembruary-challenge-1-two-queens-and-one-vc/

https://manoftinblog.wordpress.com/2018/02/15/fembruary-post-2-a-few-more-female-figures-and-a-florence/

More photograph blog posts in preparation.

High kicking! Work has begun on FEMbruary No. 2 the Donald Featherstone suggested Airfix footballer to Wild West saloon girl conversion. First out comes the PVA and tissue paper to add some feminine attributes, hair and then flowing big flouncy showgirl dress.

At this early stage, the big hair still looks like a 70s footballer Kevin Keegan, albeit in a dress. Some more work required here! Once the frills, chokers, flounces and real tiny feathers are added, hopefully ‘she’ will look more like a 1880s saloon girl.

Pound Store Plastic Warriors FEMbruary challenge.

The Pound Store Plastic Warriors challenge to convert these Poundland 32-36mm plastic soldier figures into tribal African style Amazon female warriors is underway. These should be colourful, more red and yellow and bling, than the white robed male desert warriors that I have worked on recently.

https://poundstoreplasticwarriors.wordpress.com/2018/02/15/colonial-amazons-women-soldiers-of-dahomey-and-siam/

To be fair, we started late, not on FEMbruary the First. There are still nine days left of the FEMbruary challenge 2018 and there are plenty of topics and figures left for FEMbruary 2019. There is always MOREFEMber too!

What might you do you for FEMbruary this year or 2019?

Blogposted by Mark Man of TIN, FEMBruary 18th 2018.

Pound Store Colonial Skirmish

https://poundstoreplasticwarriors.wordpress.com/2018/02/03/pound-store-colonial-skirmish-part-1/

Crossposted from Pound Store Plastic Warriors / Blogposted by Mark Man of TIN, 3 February 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

Tell It to the Unicorns: New Gaming Year Irresolutions 2018

 

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Military Unicorns, sorry Uniforms, of the World. 36mm pound store figure paint conversion https://poundstoreplasticwarriors.wordpress.com/2017/12/22/military-unicorns-of-the-world-in-colour/

It has been an interesting Gaming Year, has 2017, or maybe rather more of an interesting Painting Year, mainly playing around with Pound Store Plastic Warriors.

All fully in keeping with the Man of TIN blog favourite quote: “The pleasure does not begin and end with the actual playing of the war-game. There are many pleasant hours to be spent in making model soldiers, painting them, constructing terrain, carrying out research into battles, tactics and uniforms …” Donald Featherstone, War Games 1962. Wise words …

What’s on the painting table at the moment to take me into the New Painting Year 2018?

Joining in with the general New Year resolutions and looking back, looking forward spirit of many blogs, here are five things that I might get around to in 2018?

NGY 2018 Irresolution One – Carry on Converting

Several tubs of Poundland’s finest “penny dreadful” plastic figures  should see me through 2018, along with a jumble of pound store 42mm and 54mm figures.

Pound Store Plastic Warriors is my sister blog to this Man of TIN blog. 2017’s pound store “Little Wars on a Budget” has partly been simple paint conversions and latterly scalpel and tissue page conversions into how many interesting skirmish size forces in 36mm can be made over time from Poundland’s current £1 for 100 plastic Funtastic figures. Lots on the painting table at the moment to take me into the New Painting Year 2018.

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Penny Dreadfuls – My 2017 36mm conversions from modern soldiers into native desert warriors on Heroscape Hexes.

NGY 2018 Irresolution Two  – More solo short small skirmish games 

Get some small skirmish games in on my portable game boards, either on my larger  192 Hexes of Joy board or my two smaller boards.

https://manoftinblog.wordpress.com/2017/08/01/192-hexes-of-joy-a-larger-hex-game-board/

NGY 2018 Irresolution Three – Paint More Peter Laings

Get painting more of the small stashes of vintage 15mm Peter Laing figures that  I have randomly picked up throughout last year, mostly Nineteenth, Colonial  and early Twentieth Century / WW1. This should be great fun, whilst the tribal and Arabian figures will help with the next Irresolution …

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Full Metal Hic Jacet part I – gorgeous 15mm Peter Laing Imperial Romans (painted by Stuart Asquith) and some serious Ancients research  reading.

NGY 2018 Irresolution Four – Full Metal Hic Jacet 

Pardon the Pun but the Romans in Britain or (Asterix the) Gaul have always had a bit of a Vietnam or Colonial feel to me. Eagle of the Ninth. Lost legions of the  Battle of the Teutoberg Forest 9AD.    Trained technically advanced troops  versus masses of  hit and run wily natives,  it’s similar in feel to  Andy Callan’s simple rules ‘take’ on the Maori Wars. When he wrote these rules in 1982/3 he “saw them as a sort of Victorian assymetrical Vietnam equivalent – high tech westerners vs wily bunkered-down natives…”

https://manoftinblog.wordpress.com/2016/08/04/maori-wars-update/

I now have a fair number of Peter Laing 15mm Ancient figures, including some lovely vintage Roman and Pict figures painted by Stuart Asquith! It was good to let Stuart know that they are in good hands and will soon be in action again.  Bought during 2017, these Romans and Picts were embargoed in the present cupboard until Christmas. A Happy Christmas Day at the Man of TIN house. Patience apparently is a virtue …

Some of the other randomly acquired Peter Laing Ancients range of  infantry, cavalry and chariots are named, some unidentified. I’m sure my fellow members of the Peter Laing Google G+ Community (set up this year by fellow Peter Laing enthusiast Ian Dury) will be a great help here with the ID.

Full Metal Hic Jacet may turn into a new sister or side blog or at least a thematic blog Page on this blog. I checked my Latin online and Hic Jacet is appropriately “Here Lies …”, a common epitaph.

Ancients are quite a new or mystery period to me, apart from the familiar Airfix Romans and Ancient Britons. Cavalry or chariots on the battlefield are a bit of an unknown quantity for me too.  Asterix aside, I have started reading up on Ancients, initially Phil Barker’s Airfix Guide to Ancient Wargaming and for simple Ancient rules  Donald Featherstone / Tony Bath’s  Ancient rules in Don’s War Games (1962). These link into my adaptation of Don’s  previous Close Wars skirmish rules.

I also like the Tony Bath Hyboria idea of fictional countries, mentioned in Donald Featherstone’s War Games. This is something that fits well into or prefigures my ongoing Imagi-Nations work based on Angria, Gondal and Glasstown 19th Century Bronte (paracosmic)  family fiction set in the colonies.

For uniforms and troop types, there are various Ladybird books and another colourful childhood library classic (j399 SAX) Blandford’s Warriors and Weapons of Ancient Times by Neils M. Saxtorph and Stig Bramsen.

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36mm Poundland modern soldier figure changed into a little green man or space alien, with a bit of paint and a hole reinforcer, something I want to do in 54mm too!

NGY 2018  Irresolution Five – Return to Planet Back Yarden

More Garden games and Close Little Wars in the summer? When the weather improves by summer (!), I might want a change of scale. I hope to get my  54mm ACW figures (mostly unpainted) or the 2017  Close Little Wars conversions, homecasts and hollowcast repairs of the Remount Department back into action in the garden.

However, since watching  the recent Star Wars movies VII and VII and my favourite of the three, Rogue One, I have also been wanting to paint the 54mm Airfix Space warriors picked up here and there and Pound Store  ‘Space Marines’ that never got painted this year (or 2016).

https://poundstoreplasticwarriors.wordpress.com/2016/10/06/pound-store-space-marines/

https://manoftinblog.wordpress.com/2016/09/25/close-little-space-wars/

https://poundstoreplasticwarriors.wordpress.com/2017/05/30/more-seaside-pound-store-plastic-warriors/

Probably best to quit at five Painting or Gaming Irresolutions for one year.

It should be fun to look back in a year’s time  to find out what shiny distractions cropped up during the New Gaming and Painting Year of 2018!

I look forward to reading everyone else’s foolishly optimistic Irresolutions and all your New Year of  Gaming and Painting adventures.

Happy New Year!

Blogposted  by Mark, Man of TIN / Pound Store Plastic Warriors blogs, 31st December 2017 / 1st January 2018.

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Pound store colonial infantry on the painting table

pound store warriors colonials

Pound store plastic warriors on my painting table and  conversions in progress, along with some unlikely uniform inspiration, all an ongoing project crossposted from my Pound Store Plastic Warriors sister blog:

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