Snowballs and Funny Dice

Latest update on the Scouting Wide Games for the Tabletop project with Alan Gruber, Tradgardmastre of the Duchy of Tradgradland blog. Today I playtested some rules additions by Alan:

https://tabletopscoutingwidegames.wordpress.com/2019/11/02/more-packing-sugar-at-freddie-snowball-fight-rules-variations-with-funny-dice/

Enjoy! Posted by Mark snow Man of TIN on 2 November 2019

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

First Scouting Wide Game: Snow Forts

Quick making and PVA gluing of polystyrene Snow Forts

Wide Games or Outdoor Games from Baden Powell’s Scouting for Boys 1907/8

The Snow Forts game in progress …

Setting up the game board and Lego based snow fort alternative build.

This was a ‘jolly good fun’ short game, featuring a small force of Gladys and four other Girl Scouts of Daisy Patrol, defending their snow fort with snowballs against an attacking force of eight Boy Scouts of Red scarved ‘Bull’ Patrol.

I will post a full game write up in the next few days, my first playtesting of some simple Scouting Wide Games rules.

It takes three Snowball hits on a defender in the Snow Fort for them to lose their ‘life’ (restored once journeyed back to HQ tent camp), but only one hit to take the ‘life’ of an attacker.

Snowball ammunition is unlimited. One scout equals one figure.

Ranges were set out or measured using lolly sticks, for close range (one lollystick – 4,5,6 is a hit on a d6), medium range (two lollystick distance, 5 or 6 to hit) and long range (three lollysticks – 6 only to hit).

Movement on snow and ice was half normal pace, (so using half a lollystick marker to measure) and no fast Scouts Pace (a strange mix of periods of running and walking) was allowed due to weather and terrain

Alan Gruber, Tradgardmastre of the Duchy of Tradgardland blog is also going to be working on the Scouting Wide Games rules and borrowed RPG elements like individual character cards.

I added some simple RPG style elements like names, age or scout ranking from Tenderfoot to First Class Scout or Patrol Leader, and badge or character achievements.

For example, Gladys the Patrol Leader of Daisy Patrol of the Girl Scouts and young Ernest, Second Class scout of Bull Patrol (Red Scarves) both have Marksman scout badges, adding +1 to their chance of hitting a scout of the other patrol with a range weapon like a snowball.

Jolly Good Fun! The game ended sportingly with three cheers for the winners and three cheers for the losers. Afterwards Agnes and Ginger of the Daisy Patrol of Girl Scouts built a “Snow Scout”.

I will also be developing a separate WordPress blog for the Scouting Wide Games project, for storing pictures, rules, research and play-testing. Watch this space for details: https://tabletopscoutingwidegames.wordpress.com/

The 1914 Christmas Truce – was there a Snow ball fight?

I dug out some old Airfix unarmed WW1 figures. The Snowball fight element of this game lends itself to both civilian, Christmas and military scenarios.

The Christmas version using tree ornaments – red versus white and blue.

Posted by Mark, Man of TIN on 5 October 2019

Boy Scouts, Camping and Quarter Staves again

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Quarter Staffs, Boys Life Magazine June 1912 – from Pinterest / Northern Bush website.

Having completed the second part of a local history project talk on how my local area of the southwest U.K. changed during and after WW1, I can return back to my 2019 project putting Scouting Wide Games onto the tabletop and in future on the floor out into the garden.

Talking of garden games,it is well worth checking out the extraordinary blog of Mannie Gentile Toy Soldiers Forever reacreating an American Civil War battle with unpainted plastic figures. Look up the 17 September 2019 blogpost on the Sunken Lane http://toysoldiersforever.blogspot.com

I am lucky to be sharing this Scouting Wide Games ‘journey’ of rule writing and puzzling out game mechanics with Alan Gruber of the Duchy Of Tradgardland blog. After meeting up with him a few weeks ago, he has taken away a set of our draft scratch outline rules to work out some possible rules and workable scenarios. Many of them can be found here:

https://manoftinblog.wordpress.com/wide-games-scouting-games-page/

Scouting Wide Games is non-violent* combat with only the loss of a wool or scarf ‘life’, melee with quarter staves, range weapons like whiting balls or snowballs. It should be “jolly good fun”.

* Elsewhere on other scout games post, Nobby has commented on how deviously painful scout quarter stave fighting could be in the wrong hands.

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

One possibility, with only eight figures in each Patrol, is to use a Role Play Game approach of a character card for each figure with different scout badges of skills and achievements amongst your Patrol.

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Lots of work to do to get this playable …

Pinterest is a great research tool and source of images for gaming projects. As part of the Wide Games project, I have been looking at ‘Early Boy Scout and Girl Scout’ images on cigarette cards.

I came across this Northern Bush web page on camping and scouting reading resources:

https://northernbush.com/reading/library/

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Amongst the Northern Bush web material on Pinterest was this great page from Boys Life, an American Boy Scout magazine produced since 1911.

Blog posted by Mark, Man of TIN, 17 September 2019

Have Trek Cart, Will Travel …

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Bob a Job for the War Office? Phoenix 43 range (S and D models) scout trek cart, scouts and scoutmaster group. Crate – old Tamiya  1:35 stock.
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My recent broken figure conversions to Girl Scouts admire the Trek Cart
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Beautifully detailed moulded figures with scout badges and all …

I have pretty much finished painting my Trek Cart scout group of Phoenix 43 figures, apart from gloss varnishing them.

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1\43 Phoenix 43 S and D Models Scouts and Trek Cart

At first it looked a little fiddly but fitted together well with little flash.

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The Trek or Trek Cart is mentioned in very early Scout cigarette cards.

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First series Ogden’s  cigarette  cards – Boy Scout Series 1 to 5 Cigarette Card Images, an internet book / reprint by Trading Card Enterprises, LLC

It is also pictured as an iconic bit of scout history in the 1990 Cub Scout Handbook history of Scouting pages:

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Baden-Powell’s Mafeking idea of ‘Model Soldiers’
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An interesting conversion idea for a Boy Scout patrol with turbans – plenty of world Boy Scout uniforms on cigarette cards on Pinterest. Cub Scout Handbook, 1990.
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Close up of the trek cart picture illustration 1990 by Martin Aitchison

Search around and you will find that trek carts were once quite iconic for the scout movement, such as this book cover illustration.

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Pinterest is a useful source of images and there are Trek Cart sections on there,  from which I have taken some screen-shots as  reference pictures for painting my trek cart model.

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The dark green works well as a scout colour (Pinterest image source)
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Bright and colourful Trek Cart paint scheme
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Good design  and colour references for vintage trek carts from a Pinterest search.
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S and D models Phoenix 43 Trek Cart No. OF154

I chose a dark green Gloss simple paint scheme for my trek cart  with no wording.

The trek cart or baggage waggon train provides a good target or focus for many Wide Games / tabletop gaming scenarios.

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Lots more Trek Cart stories and images at http://www.shurdington.org/Scouts/Trekcart.htm

I never made the link between scout trek carts and the Wild West type pioneer trek carts featured in this episode of Mormon and American West history.

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Recreating the Mormon pioneer treks of the 1840s

This is a pioneer story as gripping and tragic as that of the Oregon Trail.

“To cut down on expensive wagons and oxen, some 3,000 of the [Mormon] pioneers subsequently used low-cost wooden handcarts that were light enough to be pulled across the Great Plains. One family or five individuals were assigned to a handcart, with 18 to 20 people sharing a tent. A cart hauled no more than 200 pounds — about 17 pounds of baggage per person.  Each highly organized company was led by an experienced guide and was accompanied by at least four oxen-drawn supply wagons.

The first party of handcarts set out from Iowa City, Iowa, on 9 June 1856 with a company of 266 people from England, followed two days later by a second company of just over 200.  These early handcart brigades successfully arrived in the Salt Lake Valley, but the trips were not easy. Pioneer journals recorded harsh weather, the threat of hostile Indians, the death of fellow travelers and the ongoing hardships of hunger and fatigue.”

https://newsroom.churchofjesuschrist.org/article/pioneer-trek

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

The Mormon pioneer treks of American history are often recreated as part of youth camping activities within this church, pictured and described here:

https://www.churchofjesuschrist.org/youth/activities/stake-and-multistake-activities/camps-and-youth-conferences/treks?lang=eng&country=am

There is also a Wikipedia article on the Mormon Handcart Pioneers https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mormon_handcart_pioneers

As mentioned before, the Man of TIN blog supports no particular faith denomination. All are welcome at the Man of TIN blog.

Trek carts which disassembled were made in the early William Britain’s Boy Scouts Range, seen here featured in James Opie’s Britain’s Toy Soldiers 1893 – 1932: 

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Two of my repaired Broken Britain’s 54mm  Scouts beside Britain’s Trek Cart  pictures in James Opie’s book.

Trek Carts can also be found in smaller OOHO  railway scale figures by Modelscene / Peco.

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OOHO Modelscene Peco railway series trek cart and Scouts with berets

A historical Huzzah for the humble Trek Cart!

Blog posted by Mark Man of TIN, 15 July 2019.

A Quick Trip to the Works

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A quick trip into town on  dull family business was enlivened by popping into several charity shops (sadly no plastic tat, but a mass of obscure WW2 aircraft, mostly foreign 1/72 kits in one – resisted) and The Works.

The Works had a tiny selection of a few Nano Metal Figures, mostly Harry Potter / Fantastic Beasts and Halo SciFi, but at good prices – 2 for £3.00.

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“What’s in the suitcase, sir? Show us your Papers.” Nano Metalfigs Jacob Kowalski Figure  (centre) being questioned by Irregular Miniatures 42mm British Infantry.

I had previously bought one of this Nano range last year (above),  who with his suitcase and suit worked well as a civilian or spy figure in different eras  for some 40 – 42mm figures I have https://poundstoreplasticwarriors.wordpress.com/2018/09/02/pound-store-42mm-spy/

In terms of size these metal Nano figures are quoted as 1.65” (inch) or roughly 40 to 41 mm, equating to roughly 1:43 scale https://www.peoplescale.com/143-1625-in-TALL-41275-mm-TALL_c265.

As a result they should roughly fit with my 40mm figures to 42mm figures. They do slightly tower over my Pound Store Plastic Warriors penny dreadful conversions, which are roughly 32mm. There is only a slight size and build difference between the adults  and child / pupil figures  in the Harry Potter series.

The shiny colours are not a problem as I like old toy soldier Gloss paint styles.  It was the choice of colours that needed work on them to blend them in better as multipurpose civilians. Blue and silver trench coats were quickly repainted in dull khaki, a little more ordinary civilian or secret agent. A green Toy Soldier style base quickly altered the feel of the figures.

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Repainted Ron Weasley (teenage pupil) centre  alongside some slightly taller adult figures from the Fantastic Beasts film, Tina Goldstein (left)  and Newt Scamander  (right) both about 41mm – quick repaints. A woman wearing trousers – suspicious or a land girl in britches?

The original Nano figures can be seen here with their packaging, colours and a range of other figures for size comparison. I flagrantly ignored the instruction on the reverse “Caution: Heavy metal collectible figure  – not meant to be played with as action figure”

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C. 40mm – 42mm Halo and Harry Potter Nano Metal figures – 2 for £3 at The Works – with some 32mm boers (right), Spencer Smith Shiny Toy Soldiers Scout (centre) and Phoenix 43 (left) Scout figures.

These figures are diecast metal. Whilst I found that I could drill a hole without difficulty through Ron Weasley’s hand to take a Scout stave, I could not easily clip or cut the generously sized bases any smaller.

I thought that ‘Ron’ might somehow make a useful Scout Wide Games figure, alongside the two civilians. With the “Cloak of Romance” mentioned in the 1930s Wide Games scouting scenarios book , Alan ‘Tradgardland’ Gruber  suggested that we could adopt or re-use any available figures that the Boy Scouts are imagining themselves into being – pirates, smugglers, natives,  cowboys, Indians, settlers etc.

As well as as cheaper books, The Works also has a craft section of paints and crafting materials, small wooden boxes etc. I found this set of Scrabble style thin wooden tiles designed for crafting and scrapbooking. With the sticky backing dot removed, they could make quick and easy figure bases for 15 mm figures. 4 pence each a base.  This would make an alternative to penny bases for 20 – 40mm figures or an alternative to cutting  out squares of scrap mounting board, which is how I usually mount my Peter Laings.

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A useful (unknown maker, job lot) 15mm pirate / sailor / irregular figure on a ‘Scrabble’ base, next to a Peter  Laing 15mm Zulu on mounting board base.

Alongside the 32mm pound store plastic figure conversions of space figures, the Halo female figure of ‘Cortana’ is slightly taller at 41mm. But in space and sci-fi, different  races and cyborgs etc will vary in size. Just watch Star  Wars cantina scenes.

https://poundstoreplasticwarriors.wordpress.com/2017/11/05/poundland-space-marines-platoon-on-parade/

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A towering female form not to be messed with? 41mm diecast metal Cortana from Halo alongside my 32mm Pound Store Figure conversion into space troopers / marines.

These discounted  Nano metal figures at £1.50 are good value alongside similar 1/43 or  40 to 42mm metal figures which are around / between  £2 to £3 such as:

The civilian, railway and military  ranges at at S&D Phoenix  1/43 https://www.sanddmodels.co.uk/products_43_figures.htm

STS Little Britons 42mm   (Spencer Smith website) http://www.spencersmithminiatures.co.uk/html/lb_gallery.html

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Still on the painting table awaiting toy soldier faces … Little Britons figures – two patrols of  LBB30 Boy Scouts and 4 Girl Scout or Guide conversions.

My Boy Scout LBB30 as a smaller single casting  figure in the adult 42mm range is only £1.25 compared to the £1.95 for an adult figure.

Irregular Miniatures 42mm civilian and military WW2 figures. http://www.irregularminiatures.co.uk/42mmRanges/42mmWorldWar2.htm

Meanwhile back in the post Edwardian years before WW1 …

Travelling back to a different time and different world, I have finished reading through ‘How Girls can Help to Build Up The Empire – The Handbook for Girl Guides’, c. 1912, the second of  my original Scouting texts that I have read as part of the scouting Wide Games Project. The paperback reprint American adapatations or versions of both books are on order.

Whilst H.G. Wells was working on Floor  Games and Little Wars, Robert Baden Powell’s sister Agnes was busily adapting his bestselling Scouting for Boys for an eager new audience.

This book is a fascinating period piece, along with Baden Powell’s 1908 Scouting For Boys, with lots of useful details to include early BP Girl Scouts and then the BP Girl Guides in the scouting Wide Games tabletop simulations. However from 1912 the new BP Girl Guides were discouraged from or not officially allowed to ‘romp’ or train alongside the Boy Scouts.

No fraternisation? This might have to be ignored in many circumstances on my table top simulation / gaming version. I will have to trust them to behave. Scout’s or Guide’s “Honour” is an important concept to bring into the gaming set up.

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More on these fascinating books in future blog posts. The Phoenix 43 Scout Trek Cart group is almost finished too.

Blog posted by Mark Man of TIN, 14 July 2019.

Homecast Scout Patrol Figures completed

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A patrol of eight wearing the blue scarves of Owl Patrol and a spare scout. I’m sure I intended the spare to be transformed into a Girl Scout. Too late …

In good weather a week or two ago I finished casting a few more 60mm semi round / semi flat home cast Scout figures for Alan Gruber, Tradgardmastre of the Duchy of Tradgardland blog.

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Like me, he also is working on some Scout game rules for Wide Games. http://tradgardland.blogspot.com/2019/05/scouts-for-wide-games.html

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Once Alan’s two patrols were cast and complete, I knocked out a spare patrol for future use of these strange  crude blocky 60mm home cast figures. It’s taken a while to get them painted in my usual gloss toy soldier style. They now need varnishing for garden or tabletop use.

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Half a patrol of Alan’s Scouts out in the garden – red was the colour of Bull patrol.
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The original metal moulds 60mm figures
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My first painted Scout 60mm figure, a red scarved patrol bugler.

Blog posted by Mark Man of TIN, 1970s Cub Scout (Bronze Arrow, Retired) June 2019.