“Une Page de Tournee” toy soldier illustration postcard by Andre Martins de Barros

https://www.artabus.com/martins/chumg5

As a collector of toy soldier things, I found this toy soldier postcard entitled Une page de tournée (“a turning page”) on Etsy for a few pounds. I was intrigued by the toy soldiers escaping from a battle illustration in a (French) book.

A little surreal … especially the connected or disconnected collection of objects around them:

A knight statue. Spider webs. Old French postcard. Unwritten postcards. Bound volumes or old books. Lautrec style Paris Moulin Rouge / Can Can print of group de Mlle Eglantine.

They carry light machine guns and look a little like chunky Airfix British Paratroopers or Atlantic ‘euro figures’. Presumably they may be ‘modern’ 20th century French Troops? Or generic modern infantry?

Some figures escape the page or several of the figures are still in the book, covering their retreat or just wounded.

Paintings like this are designed to provoke questions.

What are they escaping from?

Have they been defeated or routed?

What story are they in? Is it a history or a fiction story?

They reminded me of a modern version of the Bronte “Twelves” toy soldiers in the famous children’s book and the art installation at Bronte Parsonage Museum.

Su Blackwell’s Remnants exhibition 2010 inspired by Bronte juvenilia at the Bronte Parsonage Museum. Photo: Su Blackwell website.

They reminded me also a little, albeit in modern combat fatigues, of the toy soldiers which come to life in E. Nesbit’s The Town in The Library, an Edwardian children’s book:

https://manoftinblog.wordpress.com/2016/06/25/how-to-feed-toy-soldiers/

Shirley Tourret’s illustration to Nesbit’s The Town in The Library

I knew nothing about Andre Martins but found a biographical note and digital print of my postcard here – https://www.artabus.com/martins/

“André Martins de Barros was born in 1942 in Pau, a small town in the foothills of the Pyrénées near the Spanish border.  He married in 1974 and has two grown-up children.” Apparently he worked in Paris.

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There was a very interesting quote about his work by Christian Germak –

“His painting are never simple; they tell more than the story depicted on the surface and are often deep philosophical statements in themselves revealing great thoughts, secrets and symbols. They can be poetic or full of humour.”

“Each painting belies more than than one interpretations and in some pictures you sense as he is playing with his characters arranging them as children would  with their toy soldiers. Whether he is using books, bodies, horses or cans, it is all a game.”

Comment by Christian Germak (translated in English by Fiona Remnant)

How odd that he doesn’t mention “arranging them as grown men and women of a certain age would still with their toy soldiers.”

Christian Germak goes on to say about Martins’ work: “The artist’s ultimate aim is to lead us in his world of dreams and fantasy and in so doing offers us the opportunity to be surrounded by and confront our own philosophical thoughts and beliefs inspired by travels through the subconscious. Experience his work and enter his world.”

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This makes me think that what we do, collecting and displaying toy soldiers in vignettes and dioramas or gaming with them, is quite similar to how Martins and other illustrators create character, scene and story along with tension, peril and emotion in a scene.

This could be said of the striking Airfix ‘Box Art’, especially for the figures and vehicles. A freeze frame from real life or a 50s 60s war film?

The same could be said of our gaming scenarios, diorama making and writers.

In some ways, painting, scriptwriting, (graphic) novels and TV scripts, some types of figure gaming and RPGs share similarities – they are all creative, character building, involve setting the scene, overcoming challenges and coming to some form of resolution.

There is an old writers maxim – “Impediment makes a narrative“, whether it is a fantasy RPG or historical War Game, a Hollywood script, TV or Radio cliff-hanger, theatre or musical performance.

This “Impediment” in our games is the contested pinchpoint of a bridge over impassable stream, the unbalanced force, the dice roll delaying the arrival of reinforcements, the ammunition running out, the Paratroops arriving off landing zone target …

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What is written on the “turning page”?

What does the book say in Martins’ strange painting?

The illustrated page is captioned “[… dade] de l’ennemi” (… of the Enemy) and the other page

“… the war costing us nearly two billion a day … we must foresee the moment when the [re…] gold of our public treasury … be started, only to settle the orders that we have made abroad. Today we export less and import more. At present we find ourselves debtors of a few nations. Here are the realities.”

It doesn’t make much sense, being roughly translated using a French to English translation online website / program.

Blogposted by Mark Man Of TIN, 15 August 2022

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B.P.S. Blog Post Script

Another artist who collected and featured ‘toy soldiers’ in his art – Andrew Wyeth

https://manoftinblog.wordpress.com/2016/07/14/hobby-learning-1-andrew-wyeth/

Andrew Wyeth toy soldier sketch in Richard Scholl’s book Toy Soldiers (Courage Books, USA, 2004) about the Malcolm Forbes Toy Soldier Collection.

Queen’s Platinum Jubilee Parade Part 1

Panorama shot of my Platinum Jubilee Parade for Queen Elizabeth II

A chaotic mix of old lead and plastic Guards, Marching bands and cavalry,

See more at:

https://manoftinblogtwo.wordpress.com/2022/06/02/my-queens-platinum-jubilee-parade-1/

Blog posted by Mark Man Of TIN 2 June 2022.

Happy 6th Blogaversary Man Of TIN Blog 25th May 2022 finds me DMZ Demilitarised

May 25th is my Blogaversary, the 6th anniversary of my first Man of TIN blog post.

Crossposted by Mark Man of TIN

https://manoftinblogtwo.wordpress.com/2022/05/25/my-6th-blogaversary-2022-finds-me-dmz-demilitarised/

Image source: Marcia Chatelain, South Side Girls.

Storm Eunice, Comic Books, Tintin and Toy Soldiers

A strange stormy day of power cuts, comic books and toy soldiers …

Tintin, Star Wars, Stranger Things … and Storm Eunice:

https://manoftinblogtwo.wordpress.com/2022/02/19/storm-eunice-power-cuts-comic-books-space-wars-and-toy-soldiers/

Blog posted or crossposted by Mark Man of TIN on ManofTIN Blog Two, 19 February 2022.

54mm Toyboarder #FEMbruary Sk8r Girl – Stranger Things have been known!

#FEMbruary again!

Crossposted from my Man of TIN BlogTwo overflow site:

https://manoftinblogtwo.wordpress.com/2022/02/13/fembruary-22-sk8r-girl-stranger-things-have-been-known/

The only female figure pose in the Toyboarders tub set rereleased by Vat19 https://www.vat19.com/item/toy-boarders-skateboard-figurines

Finally, Ladies first – I painted the first of my toy boarders for my Spla-fiti game!

https://manoftinblog.wordpress.com/2020/07/08/spla-fiti-and-skateboarders-wip/

The 1930s Milliken Model Method of Teaching History using toy soldiers – BMSS

Ernest K. Milliken, toy soldier collector, author and educator …

Posted from my ManofTIN blog two,

https://manoftinblogtwo.wordpress.com/2022/01/23/toy-soldiers-model-lessons-1934-of-ernest-milliken-pathe-newsreel/

Posted by Mark Man of TIN, 24 January 2022

Donald Featherstone a 2013 tribute from his old club Southampton FC

I missed this post first time round. Donald Featherstone’s professional career and early work as an author was as a physiotherapist on work, dance and sports injuries.

Here is the club tribute to him by David Bull from 2013, copied in case this website post disappears.

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Saints Official Historian David Bull remembers Don Featherstone, the club’s physio in the 1950s, who has just died. 

https://www.southamptonfc.com/news/2013-09-18/don-featherstone-an-appreciation

Main pic: Physio Don Featherstone manipulates the knee of full-back Bill Ellerington, while manager George Roughton looks on.

Don Featherstone, who has died aged 95, was the club’s physio at a troublesome time in the Saints’ history.

After war-service in the Royal Armoured Corps, Don was practising physiotherapy in his native London, hoping ‘very much to get into sport.’ He had spent a couple of years at the Athletes Clinic in Harley Street; and then, when AIK Stockholm visited London in November 1949, to play Chelsea and Arsenal, he acted as their physio during their stay.

For the 1950-51 season, Don was the first-team trainer to Hounslow Town in the Corinthian League and was writing a column, in Topical Times, on sports injuries. When that magazine received an advert from Southampton FC for a physio, the editor shared it with Don in advance of publication.

Thus given a head-start, Don dispatched a one-page letter of application-cum-cv. He didn’t’ mess about. He told the club that only two Hounslow players had missed a match through injury and the team had gone 17 weeks, unchanged – not bad, he suggested, for a part-time physio, treating injuries two evenings a week and an occasional Sunday morning. Just think what he might achieve, working full-time. Don told the Southampton directors that he’d appreciate a club-house and ‘a salary on a level with the basic pay of First Team players.’  

He was appointed forthwith and started work in August 1951. It was an odd set-up, under Sid Cann, a former Manchester City and Charlton Athletic player who had qualified as a masseur. He had been Southampton’s masseur-cum-assistant trainer for three seasons, until the manager Bill Dodgin left in 1949. Of three internal candidates, Cann landed the vacancy. But trainer Sam Warhurst, an unsuccessful applicant, was still there. A former Saints goalkeeper, he didn’t have a lot of time for Featherstone, with his ‘new-fangled’ ways. At least Don felt that he got on well with the players, including the all-powerful captain, Joe Mallett – the “Godfather”, as Don saw it.

It was Mallett who tipped Don off about an odd development in December 1951. The side had been having a poor run, including an 8-2 defeat at Bury, when Cann resigned. So the Board apparently decided that, while they no longer wanted him as manager, it would be good to retain him as the physio, in which case Featherstone would have to go. Cann, to his credit, was having none of that.

So Don remained until 1955, when the chairman advised him that, despite his ‘excellent work’, the club’s ‘difficult financial situation’ required ‘the utmost economy’, which included dispensing with his services. Don was not without work – he had a private clinic round the corner from The Dell – but when Ted Bates became the manager in October 1955, Don did ask for his job back. 

Bates continued to plead that the club had no money. Before long, Don realised that his dismissal ‘was the best thing that ever happened’ to him.

He was soon writing books on physiotherapy and then branched out into military history and war-gaming, a field in which he would become an internationally-renowned author, with 40-odd titles to his name. 

DONALD FREDERICK FEATHERSTONE

20 March 1918 – 3 September 2013

https://www.southamptonfc.com/news/2013-09-18/don-featherstone-an-appreciation

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I have written a little about his early / other career:

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

My small Featherstone “Saints” Southampton FC physio centenary tribute using Airfix 1:32 footballers in 2018 – I’m sure the Don wore a suit and tie and not a tracksuit.

https://manoftinblog.wordpress.com/2018/03/20/donald-featherstones-centenary/

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This blog post was incidentally inspired by this Dunfermline FC inspired one:

http://prometheusinaspic.blogspot.com/2022/01/hooptedoodle-420-whence-pars.html

And my 2020 blog chat with Marvin @ Suburban Militarism

https://suburbanmilitarism.wordpress.com/2020/10/22/return-of-the-macc/

Blog posted by Mark Man of TIN, 16 January 2022

What will 2022 bring?

Anyone else made any foolish unachievable resolutions for this year’s gaming?

Battling Bronte Sisters (Bad Squiddo 28mm Little Wolves Amazons) meet 25mm Prince August Homecast cavemen boggarts. As close as I will get to Silver Bayonet?

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It’s that time of the year when New Year’s Resolutions are optimistically made … but maybe not in this house.

My New Gaming Year’s Irresolutions for 2021 were kept deliberately vague …

https://poundstoreplasticwarriors.wordpress.com/2020/12/31/new-gaming-year-irresolutions-2021/

but even then my vaguest plans for New Gaming Year NGY 2021 often went awry, mostly due to COVID.

The local village Spring Flower and Craft show 2021 never happened so no #FEMBruary figures from Bad Squiddo painted as planned but I did paint some later in the year – The Battling Bronte sisters.

Thanks to Covid levels, I never made it to the Woking 2021 54mm Little Wars Revisited Games Day when it finally happened. Covid dependent of course, but hopefully I might make it in 2022 with my Boy Scouts and snowball fighters who need more gaming time https://littlewarsrevisited.boards.net/thread/847/woking-games-saturday-march-correct.

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.

https://collectingpeterlaing15mmfigures.wordpress.com

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 future VTC Wide Games and 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 …

https://manoftinblog.wordpress.com/arma-dads-army-elizabethan-home-guard-1580s-1590s-operacion-leon-marino/

3. More Close Little Wars forest skirmishes and Close Little Space Wars Games in 54mm … I didn’t get a backyard garden galaxy game in this year.

My lovely Bold Frontiers cardboard trees didn’t get enough of an outing in 2021…

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.

More time for Bronte ImagiNations?

My Boy Scouts, Girl Scouts and Snowball Games need attention!

My skateboarders could do with painting!

Not going to run out of fun things to do …

What are your New Gaming Year plans?

I hope that your gaming plans for 2022 go agreeably awry as well.

Blog posted by Mark Man of TIN, NYE 31 December 2021 / 1st January 2022

What will 2022 bring?

Anyone else made any foolish unachievable resolutions for this year’s gaming?

Battling Bronte Sisters (Bad Squiddo 28mm Little Wolves Amazons) meet 25mm Prince August Homecast cavemen boggarts. As close as I will get to Silver Bayonet?

*

It’s that time of the year when New Year’s Resolutions are optimistically made … but maybe not in this house.

My New Gaming Year’s Irresolutions for 2021 were kept deliberately vague …

https://poundstoreplasticwarriors.wordpress.com/2020/12/31/new-gaming-year-irresolutions-2021/

but even then my vaguest plans for New Gaming Year NGY 2021 often went awry, mostly due to COVID.

The local village Spring Flower and Craft show 2021 never happened so no #FEMBruary figures from Bad Squiddo painted as planned but I did paint some later in the year – The Battling Bronte sisters.

Thanks to Covid levels, I never made it to the Woking 2021 54mm Little Wars Revisited Games Day when it finally happened. Covid dependent of course, but hopefully I might make it in 2022 with my Boy Scouts and snowball fighters who need more gaming time https://littlewarsrevisited.boards.net/thread/847/woking-games-saturday-march-correct.

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.

https://collectingpeterlaing15mmfigures.wordpress.com

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 future VTC Wide Games and 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 …

https://manoftinblog.wordpress.com/arma-dads-army-elizabethan-home-guard-1580s-1590s-operacion-leon-marino/

3. More Close Little Wars forest skirmishes and Close Little Space Wars Games in 54mm … I didn’t get a backyard garden galaxy game in this year.

My lovely Bold Frontiers cardboard trees didn’t get enough of an outing in 2021…

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.

More time for Bronte ImagiNations?

My Boy Scouts, Girl Scouts and Snowball Games need attention!

My skateboarders could do with painting!

Not going to run out of fun things to do …

What are your New Gaming Year plans?

I hope that your gaming plans for 2022 go agreeably awry as well.

Blog posted by Mark Man of TIN, NYE 31 December 2021 / 1st January 2022

Happy Christmas to all my Man of TIN Blog readers

Happy Christmas to all my Man of TIN blog readers – wishing you many shiny toys!

Image: From a lovely old 1978 British Royal Mail stamp set of Christmas customs (see below), the 13p stamp postcard is in my 1580s – 1590s / 1940 “Arma-Dads Army” Elizabethan Sealion project scrapbook. New summary blog page for this project here:

https://manoftinblog.wordpress.com/arma-dads-army-elizabethan-home-guard-1580s-1590s-operacion-leon-marino/

During my childhood, my late dad as a lifelong stamp collector used to buy me the postcard versions and sometimes the highly educational presentation packs or first day covers, which had insert pages all about the stamp topic. Stamp collecting and model railways are two of the family hobbies in the blood (in a malarial or genetic way) that I am resisting from lack of time, storage, space and money.

Happy Christmas to all my readers & fellow bloggers from Mark Man of TIN!

Happy Christmas from the whole Man of TIN family of spin off blogs:

Man of TIN blog two – all set up ready for when I fill up and run out of my free 3GB WordPress Man of TIN blog site sometime in early 2022.

Pound Store Plastic Warriors Blog – including tabletop snowball fight fun!

https://poundstoreplasticwarriors.wordpress.com/2021/08/03/pound-store-snowball-fight-2021/

Scouting Wide Games for the Tabletop – also with festive snowball fight fun!

Look Duck and Varnish – my occasional Home Guard and Sealion gaming blog

Sidetracked2017 – where model railways meet toy soldiers and wargaming

Warrior and Pacific Magazine 1901 one-off handwritten children’s magazine 1901

Collecting Peter Laing 15mm figures – cataloguing my collection of these figures ahead of their 50th anniversary In October 1972

Enjoy your family and festive time.

Who knows what Christmas and the New Year will bring? Keep safe and well, here’s wishing you happiness and health, if not wealth. Whatever happens, we have our marvellous hobby to enrich our lives and deplete the coffers.

Blog posted by Mark Man of TIN, Christmas Eve, 24 December 2021

This set was designed in 1978 by British artist and book illustrator Faith Jacques (1923–1997) who had an interesting wartime career as a WREN (Women’s Royal Navy Service):

“She was posted to Oxford where she was stationed in the New Bodleian Library. Her duties included control of a filing department containing over a million photographs, holiday snaps included, of Germany and Occupied Europe, with particular attention given to pictures of coastlines and village approaches.Wikipedia source.

The 13p (most expensive) stamp design was the 16th Century carollers singing the Boars Head Carol.