Steampunked Pound Store Plastic Warriors or WW2 tankers?

More strange plastic tat penny figures lovingly painted and based in gloss toy soldier style.

Crossposted from my Pound Store Plastic Soldiers blog:

https://poundstoreplasticwarriors.wordpress.com/2020/08/23/steampunk-pound-store-plastic-warriors-or-ww2-tankers/

Blog posted by Mark Man of TIN 23 August 2020

International Star Wars Day May the Fourth (Be With You)

Because there is only one space princess…

Even the recent gutsy female leads have an element or echo of Leia in the form of Rey lead character (Daisy Ridley) of the last three Star Wars films VII to IX and Jyn Erso in Rogue One (Felicity Jones), probably my favourite recent Star Wars standalone film.

Airfix Star Warriors space princess vs the real one …

Lots of space related postings over the last four very odd years including the gift of some 54mm plastic American Tim Mee Galaxy space figures from Alan Gruber which are now finally on my painting table.

https://manoftinblog.wordpress.com/2019/06/29/54mm-repurposed-space-figures

And the whole Flash Gordon thing in 54mm & 32mm Pound Store figure conversions …

Where my non-Airfix pocket money went in the 1970s. Month’s pocket money each … I still have them today!

Previously on International Star Wars Day

2019 https://manoftinblog.wordpress.com/2019/05/04/farewell-chewbacca-may-the-4th-be-with-you/

2018 https://manoftinblog.wordpress.com/2018/03/17/march-reading-minor-galactic-epic-fail/

2017 https://manoftinblog.wordpress.com/2017/05/04/happy-international-star-wars-day-may-the-4th-be-with-you/

2016 https://manoftinblog.wordpress.com/2016/09/25/in-a-garden-far-far-away/

Close Little Star Wars rules Back Yarden game 2016 Airfix / Star Wars figure mash up

Here’s looking to the next Star Wars related day … Geek Pride Day May 25th. (Incidentally this is always my Man of TIN Blogaversary, my 4th coming up!)

If you know the date connection between Geek Pride Day and Star Wars, you win your Geek Points.

https://manoftinblog.wordpress.com/2019/05/25/happy-geek-pride-day-and-its-my-3rd-blogaversary-25th-may-2019/

Blog posted by Mark Man of TIN, May the Fourth 2020

54mm Repurposed Space Figures

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Defenders of the Launch  Pad
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Attack of the Abutilons! Very odd poundstore thin tall plastic clone figure makes a good space invader (40 to 54mm)

I was lucky enough earlier this week to catch up in person with Alan The Tradgardmastre of the noble Duchy of Tradgardland on his Ducal travels. We met for a cup of coffee in a beer and coffee tavern  which is also a bookshop full of fashionable and political reading material. This sounds suitably Eighteenth Century for the Duke and the Duchy! Sadly it was too hot to wear a tricorne.

The Duke is a jolly nice chap, as you would expect from his blog (we were discussing A Very British Civil War at the time). We chatted variously about gaming, Toy Soldiers, interwar History, Scout Wide Games,  the events overlap of gaming and  re-enactors, the joy of simple rules and finished off talking about blogging and its many positive aspects such as the unusual openness about men’s mental health.

Unfortunately due to heavy traffic (too many stage coaches, ox waggons and sedan chairs on the road) I didn’t get a chance to make it home en route to pick up any ‘minis’ to show Alan such tiny delights as my new Phoenix 43  Scout trek cart or these space rangers to see if he recognised them. At least without ‘minis’ on the table, we were spared the curious, pitying  or withering looks of onlooking drinkers and customers.

Once Upon A Time in a Garden-axy Far Far Away …

In return for home-casting some metal Scout figures, Alan the Tradgardmastre of the Duchy of Tradgardland blog sent me via the Duchy Post Office last month some American Tim Mee plastic space figures and some odd homecast and lead figures.

Looking at the post war GI or paratroop  figures, I thought the unusual rifle and round helmet might make for some good space figures.

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In a garden-axy far far away … Strange slaty granite planet with alien plant forms and breathable atmosphere.

Just the ticket for a 1970s Airfix boy derailed by Star Wars and American 1970s Star Wars spin off sci-fi series …

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A bit of a stylish Flash Gordon / Dan Dare 1930s / 1950s Sci Fi thing going on here.

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Tim Mee Galaxy Laser Quest Space Officer and three metal troopers.

The heads on the kneeling metal figures look like they have possibly been swapped or repaired.

A grey painted tuppenny 2p base gives the kneeling or plastic figures some stability; grey I thought is more spaceship like, metallic and neutral than the traditional sap green or bright emerald green of many old toy soldiers. I wanted to keep that shiny gloss 1950s Dan Dare space figure / toy soldier look though.

Equally an army of these could be expendable minions for one of those James Bond style  private armies  guarding the inevitable secret base. I can see a link to the blue uniformed Polish Airfix Para clones featured from Etsy in my Christmas 2018 posts. https://manoftinblog.wordpress.com/2018/12/03/man-of-tin-advent-calendar-day-3-vintage-1980s-polish-toy-soldier-airfix-clones-on-etsy/

I can see an influence of the late Thor Sheil’s Homecast army men ‘Toy Soldier Art’: Berlin Greys and Air Police.

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http://www.thortrains.net/toysoldierart/colors3.htm

Anyway these three one-off 54mm figures  from Alan might give me the colour scheme for my ongoing 54mm space figure project, one that has worked in smaller Pound Store Plastic 32mm scale:

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Two of my 32mm space conversions of a Pound Store Plastic figure.

You can have too much of Khaki Grunge.  I like the chance to use some unusual bright colours from my collection of gloss acrylics – orange, sky blue, purple, gold, silver, red. I’m sure the Flash Gordon 1980 movie with the Queen soundtrack might have something to do with my space uniform bolder colour schemes.

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

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

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More of my blue colour uniform scheme space figure 32mm Pound Store Plastic Figures. Haven’t we seen that pose before and bigger?

You can see the 32mm Pound Store Plastic basis of the 40-50mm Pound Store pirate clone figure above:

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Kev Robertson over in Australia, a long term sci-fi fan, has used his his past engineering skills to great effect on his latest blog post. As well as his own new series of 35mm space figures with a retro feel, he has been busy with scratch built sci-fi vehicles, walkers and mechs. Pure Pound Store Plastic Warrior blog scrap
build material this! Always an interesting blog to browse,  Kev has blogged on various projects from sci-fi figures to railways.

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Kev Robertson’s space creations … 35mm Eureka space figures

https://dwarfenrealm.blogspot.com/2019/06/spaceguard-new-35mm-scratch-models.html

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At the moment I can’t comment on many people’s blog posts (obviously a settings thing) so I thought I would mention  Kev’s whole blog site.

Blog posted by Mark, Man of TIN on 29 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

Poundland Space Marines on Parade

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Crossposted from my Pound Store Plastic Warriors blog  another finished conversion project of these Poundland 36mm   “Penny Dreadful” figures. More at:

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

Lots more Pound Store figure projects completed this weekend!

Blogposted by Mark Man of TIN, 5 November 2017

Pound Store Space Marine Pilot

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Poundland Space Marine pilot figure …

Crossposted from my Pound Store Plastic Warriors blog, another crude plastic 36mm figure reImagi-Nationed. More at:

https://poundstoreplasticwarriors.wordpress.com/2017/10/24/poundland-space-marine-pilot/

Blogposted by Mark, Man of TIN, 24 October 2017.

Pound Store Plastic Away Team on a Surreal Space Planet

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Pound store plastic silver space marines Away Team on the Surreal Space Planet Artemist, my Away Game, a  portable game board. 

Pound store plastic silver space marine Away Team on the Surreal Space Planet Artemist, aboard my Away Game or portable game board.

Cross-posted from my sister Pound Store Plastic Warriors blog site:

https://poundstoreplasticwarriors.wordpress.com/2017/06/01/pound-store-surreal-space-planet-away-team/

Blog posted by Mark, Man of TIN blog, 1 June 2017.

In a Garden Far Far Away

Play testing my Close Little Star Wars / Close Little Space Wars blog post rules https://manoftinblog.wordpress.com/2016/09/25/close-little-space-wars/

Star date: 9.25.2016

Planet: Yarden / Location: in a galaxy far afar away (but strangely, just round the corner of my house)

Scenario: A captured red hat enemy staff officer  of the  Imperious Forces (usually the bad guys) has revealed the whereabouts of the secret Imperious Space Base on Planet  Yarden.

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Rebellious General Yodel uses Mind Force to interrogate a captured Imperious Staff Officer, watched by an Astromech droid and Princess Layla.

He is interrogated with mind control by tiny General Yodel.

Rebellious or Revolutionary Commando Troops from many nations and planets led by the tiny General Yodel and feisty Princess Layla are heading there to destroy this base.

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Its giant super laser cannon is capable of destroying entire planets / space ships / etc, yardeh yardeh yardeh …

Any similarity to the characters and plots of well known space films by George Lucas and Disney are entirely coincidental or in your own mind.

Meanwhile on Planet Yarden, the Rebellious or Revolutionary Troops head towards the Imperious base with their star crawler packed with Space TNT.

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Rebellious Troops- Figures from the 1981 Airfix Space Warriors set and recent  Star Wars Command troops, past the tendrils of mysterious creeping plants. Discer laser grenadiers in the background.

The secret Imperious base is protected by watchtowers and a smaller guard base.

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The smaller Imperious Guard base with khaki pound store Imperious troops and 1960s spacemen.

Luckily the Rebellious or Revolutionary troops have a secret weapon, a heavy space ballista mounted on a space ship.

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Space Freighter Ship and Space Ballista with Rebellious Revolutionary Crew and Astromech droid pilot. Yodel, Layla and their captive can be seen in the hovel behind them.

In Turn 1, whilst most of the figures are out of weapons range, the Rebellious troops land a direct hit with a space rock on several of the (Cylonic looking)  Imperious Troops  behind rocky barricades, guarding the smaller space cannon.

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Rebellious Captain Lush and his heavily armoured Laser sword wielding troops of The Rebellious or Revolutionary Forces (all Airfix Space Warriors).

In Turn 2, Captain Lush and several of his Rebellious laser sword warriors are killed in a melee with Imperious Troopers.

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Direct hit on the Space Ballista and freighter, whilst Imperious troopers head towards Yodel and Layla’s position. 

Turn 3 – The giant space cannon of  Imperious Trooper Base lands a direct  hit on the Rebellious Space Freighter and destroys the space Ballista and its crew. A dice throw sorts out if it is repairable; it isn’t, cutting off the Rebellious chances on escape by ship.

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Rebellious forces storm the laser cannon position and prepare to climb the ladder to enter the Imperious Base, drawbridge guarded by pound store imperious space troopers. The irony of Plastic rocks in the garden. Lovely 1920s spring cannon firing laser Q tips / cotton buds.
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The smaller Imperious Guard base is blown up by the TNT  onboard  ‘fire ship’ of the Rebellious Half track Space Crawler.

Fortunately in Turn 3, the crew of the Rebellious Space Crawler packed with Space TNT roll the right d6 number: 4,5,6 to blow up on this move.  The smaller guard base is breached, killing several Imperious troopers. The Rebellious crew bale out  and head towards the larger base.

Turn 4 – A desperate fight takes place on the entrance ladders and drawbridge of the larger Imperious Space Base.

Turn 5 – Meanwhile some Imperial troopers threaten to capture General Yodel and Space Princess Layla and free the Imperious Staff Officer. However Layla grabs a space blaster rifle and Yodel uses his Mind Force (two d6 compared to 1d6 in the melee) to fight off the Imperious Troopers.

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The Imperious Base in lockdown, drawbridge and telescopic space cannon withdrawn. The fallen Rebellious and Imperious Troopers lie scattered where they fought.

Turn 6 – A dice is thrown for when Rebellious troops might continue to attack and take over the base or withdraw into the forests.

Similarly the Imperious Base Commander dices to see when the base goes into lockdown.

The main Imperious base being in lockdown, its smaller base destroyed by the exploding Rebellious  half-truck , their own Rebellious space freighter ship irreparably damaged – it’s time for General Yodel and Layla to escape into the forests and undergrowth of Yarden. Time to fight another day …

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Watching their backs!  Layla leads the surviving Rebellious Revolutionary Forces and Imperious prisoner into the planetary undergrowth.

Figures, Vehicles and Buildings

The 54mm / 1:32 scale figures were a real mix, cobbled quickly together for this game, so many are unpainted. If I had waited to paint figures and vehicles  or scratch build a space base etc, the weather may well have turned and I would not have got this solo outdoor game in.

Sterne the Imperious Base Commander and Staff Officer prisoner  are Lone Star Afrika Korps. Colourful 1960s spacemen man the smaller space cannon.

Pound store figures in khaki  form the bulk of the Imperious troops, commanded by Imperial Empire Star Wars officers.  Airfix 1981 Space Warriors and Star Wars Command figures (from Pound stores / Wilko) form the rest of the Rebellious troops, led by a zoo ranger as Princess Layla. Pound store police formed some dark blue space marines.

The space freighter ship is a lucky ‘handmade’ wooden ship find from the 1960s, topped by another junk shop find of a plastic ballista (Timpo?) This had to be strapped on to fire properly.

The smaller laser cannon is really a spring loaded metal cannon from the 1920s, it had a good range of about 2 feet of more firing cotton  buds / Q tips.

The buildings are an Airfix Strongpoint Bridge watchtower (off show in photos) and  a small roofless ‘pet house’ to hold the Imperious Staff Officer prisoner.

The main space and guard bases are the black plastic delivery bases of those PC / computer server boxes, obtained spare as packaging from a local workplace. The plastic space domes are seed incubator tops from the garden centre. The deadly large space gun is a Tiger.com £1 periscope.

Rules and Playtesting

The Close Little Star Wars version of Close Wars were scaled up for the Yarden / Garden and 54mm figures.

Buildings such as the bases seemed too impregnable, without firing the Q Tip weapons.

Any umpire type command decisions (playing solo) were solved by creating special d6 dice throws such as Is the freighter reparable? Will the Rebellious troops withdraw? Will the Imperious base and big gun withdraw into lockdown? When will the TNT in the half track blow up the Guard base?

Many of the troops only had close quarter weapons such as laser pistols or laser swords, meaning they could only be used up close or in melee phase.

The Airfix space Warriors with the disc / boomerang thing were used as Laser Space Grenadiers. Range of 12″, throw 4 to 6 to hit home. Throw d6 to see how many troops are hit.

Luckiest Shot? The Space Ballista worked well firing in trials at first chunky dice (too heavy) and second, pea gravel. This took out several of the ‘Battlestar Galactica’ type Cylon figures from the Airfix Space Warriors set  who were safely behind barriers serving with the Imperious forces. Ironic to be using plastic figure pound store rocky outcrops outdoors in the Yarden.

I hope H.G. Wells would approve of this stellar mash-up …

Great fun, possibly the last garden game maybe of the year as it gets colder and wetter going into autumn.

Posted by Man of TIN blog, September 2016.

Close Little Space Wars

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They may be Airfix but …Space laser swords and space blaster pistols?  What would Donald Featherstone think?

As a further insult to Donald Featherstone’s Close Wars appendix rules to his 1962 book War Games, I have scaled these up to 54mm and taken them outside to a bigger outer space and another planet, the far off galaxies or planets of Yarden. How will they work out?

Previously on Man of Tin blog we have featured my hexed up version of these Close Wars  rules:

https://manoftinblog.wordpress.com/2016/06/09/close-little-wars-featherstones-simplest-rules/

Rainy day?  Crowded alien planets work quite well on your tabletop (if forced inside by British wet weather) using different borrowed pieces of your Yarden (Yard / Garden). Fake plastic or real plants, rocks, stones etc create a sense of a cluttered planet / terrain etc.

As a child growing up in the 1970s, life changed around about 1977/78 when Star Wars came out as a rival to Airfix, Weebles, Cowboys, toy cars, Knights, Busybodies Etc.

This is primarily a ground troops / infantry based space game without much in the way of space vehicles or larger laser cannons, otherwise the ranges become toooooo big!

Create your own big laser cannon range and dice hit rules as needed.

Imperial (Earth) measurements and Earth GMT time will be used throughout (with Metric for those as likes)

Weapon Ranges

Space Laser blaster pistol – 12″ or 30cms

Space Laser blaster rifle – 24″ or  60 cms

Space laser bow – 12″ or 30 cms

Space Laser swords – melee weapons only. 

Space Laser spears – 6″ or 15 cms

 

Movement ranges

Natives / Aliens / Savages  – 18″ or 45cms

Space Infantry (<4) – 18″ or 45 cms

Space Infantry (groups of 4+) – 12″ or 30cms

Astromech droids 6″ or 15 cms.

Humanoid Robots – 9″ to 12″ 22 to 30cms

Hover Infantry on Space Bikes – 36″ or  90cms

Star Crawler vehicles, lunar buggies – 24″ or 60cms

Usual Melee Rules. Usual hit d6 Dice throws. Featherstone savings throws if you like them.

Add other rules, weapons and characters as you see fit.

Mark up a garden cane with 6″ intervals or use a metal retractable ruler as needed.

Find some knee pads or a garden kneeler if playing outside.

Before you play, some essential research for your Close Little Star Wars:

a) watch movies and TV, from Star Wars and Battlestar Galactica to Flash Gordon (Black and white 1930s) or the colour movie 1980, choose your favourite. Flash, ah-ah! 

b) find some suitable plastic figures, raid the pound store for suitable plastic figures. Read our previous blog posts  and Pound Store Plastic Warriors blog for conversion possibilities.

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Space Marine / Police with laser blaster rifle?

Track down the very scarce 1981  Airfix Space Warriors, they’re now in the V&A museum of childhood collection as toys of their time http://collections.vam.ac.uk/item/O41122/space-warriors-space-crews-airfix/

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There’s the very odd Britain’s 1980s metal based Star Guards range with vehicles and aliens. There are more recent 54mm Star Wars Command plastic figures that were cheaply available c. £4 a box   in branches of Wilko (2016). Some good deals on the eBay / Amazon / internet too!

Pound store fire fighters and their equipment make good space stuff.

Alternatively you could upscale the rules to use old or new 10″ Star Wars play figures (buy bundles of the more battered ones on EBay) but the fiddly weapons tend to get lost in gardens. The Playskool Heroes Star Wars series for younger children have weapons moulded on.

Hopefully H.G. Wells, father of modern science fiction, would approve of this futuristic version of Little Wars.

Let play commence in a galaxy / planet / garden “far far away …”  in my next blog post.

https://manoftinblog.wordpress.com/2016/09/25/in-a-garden-far-far-away/

Posted by Man of TIN blog, September 2016.