Homecast Scout Patrol Figures completed


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.


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


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.

Half a patrol of Alan’s Scouts out in the garden – red was the colour of Bull patrol.
The original metal moulds 60mm figures
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.



The Bumper Book of Scout Stories 1929

The Bumper Book of Scout Stories 1929 – I saw this for £10 in an online sale, and was attracted by the cover and good black and white line illustrations.

Scout signallers with flags

It has some some good detail of early Boy Scout uniforms and equipment c. 1920s such as the signallers on the spine, the bugler on the title page and the colour frontplate showing scarf and patrol shoulder flashes.

Scout fleur de lys badge and scout bugler

I thought it might have some suitable thrilling stories as further possible scenarios for my scout Wide Games on the tabletop project.


It also shows other scenes of Scout life outdoors, such as tent pitching, cooking and some stereotypical town and country characters they might encounter – all good ideas for the Wide Games scenarios.

The shocking fate of Ronald (a ballad poem in doggerel rhyme) is typical of the moral tone of these instructional stories.

Good idea of 1910s / 1920s scout uniform …
Two frequent opposites in BP’s examples: clean living Scout vs. flashy urban smoking youngster

The stories are much in the same mystery and thrilling yarn tradition as Enid Blyton and the early 1920s / 1930s Hardy Boys books in America, including a similar black and white illustration style.

Stereotypical characters include thieving gypsies and lounging smoking dapper young men about town up to no good, every bit the opposite of a good honest scout.

The first story ‘The Forsaken Camp’ finds the two scout characters Micky and Cory finding an eerily abandoned scout camp with all the kit left behind and food supplies gone. This injects a note of mystery and almost sci-fi or supernatural events into the opening pages. The tents and kit have then vanished after the two scouts’ quick search of the surrounding woods … “Looks as if everyone has been spirited away”

An eerie start, only to be resolved by thieving gypsy stereotypes and a bad case of food poisoning behind the Forsaken Camp in the first place. (Whoops – plot spoiler!)

I was hoping for a resolution that was something a little more X-Files / Boy Scoutes versus Zombies …

Anyway these books should have some interesting plot ideas for further scenarios.

A quick trail of old scouting books for sale online reveals more interesting covers and illustrations.

Available on eBay, this attractive cover shows Scouts with a trek cart

The trek cart reminds me that I have a Phoenix 43 ( S and D models) trek cart to make up.

Blog posted by Mark Man of TIN (1970s Cub Scout, Bronze Arrow retired), 9 June 2019.

Traitor’s Letter Scenario

Scouting Games 1910 – Robert Baden Powell 

Maudlin Jack Tar https://pampersandp.blogspot.com flagged up this interesting scenario he had spotted within the download of  Baden Powell’s 1910 Scouting Games.

Two sides of French and Prussians? This sounds like Franco Prussian War of 1870 rather than 1910.

It could be a great little wide games or tabletop scenario.

In reality, scout casualties would get bored, so Scouts knocked out by a ball or pine cone ‘hit’ could return to an ambulance base to be restored to life.

Taken from Scouting Games (1910 but this is the sixth edition] free download http://www.thedump.scoutscan.com/bp_games.pdf

Blog posted by Mark Man of TIN (1970s Cub Scout, Bronze Arrow, Retired) on 21st May 2019.

Scout’s Chess

Scout’s Chess game from Chapter IV Indoor Games section of Scouting Games (1910) available here free  in the 6th edition. http://www.thedump.scoutscan.com/bp_games.pdf

This indoor wide game of Scouts Chess is in some ways similar to what I am trying to do in recreating Scout Wide Games as a ‘Tabletop Game’ or ‘Garden Game’.

The whole Scouting Games book is available free here:



With these [maps or boards], various kinds of Scouting Games can be played” –  Interesting to have a permanent map or game board or  tabletop etc, mapped “on a very  large scale” with marked in and restricted terrain, along with other game mechanisms of how to capture the runner scout (two cubs required) as well as movement rates.

Two scouts to catch one seems to be fairly standard form of capture in many Wide Games.

Suggested movement rates are:  1 inch per Scout each turn so if running, other scouts would presumably  move 1/2 inch walking. Alternatively it could be 2 inches per runner and 1 inch walker per walker “or other distance according to the scale of the map

I’m  sure a Bob Cordery chessboard gaming board variation could be worked out. However Scout’s Chess seems to get its name from its chess piece scouts (or flags), rather than a chessboard,  as the naturalistic map element of roads and tracks seems to be the important part, rather than the grid.

It reminds me a little of an old cornering Chessboard game called ‘Fox and Hounds’ that I used to play with my late cubmaster Dad.

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

Pound Store and Homecast Boy Scouts on the Painting Table

Not reliable casting weather to cast a few more  scouts to complete the Duchy of Tradgardland’s patrol


but a chance to get some more Scout painting done in between scribbling down more character card and Wide Games rules ideas.  I have found a treasure trove of vintage scout manuals free here http://www.thedump.scoutscan.com/games.html

All twenty Shiny Toy Soldiers Little Britons 42mm Range LBB30 Boy Scouts on the painting table – four of them are now full skirted Girl Scouts! Still fiddly faces and gloss varnish to do.

Alan as Chief Scout of the Duchy of Tradgardland Scouts  has kindly sent my Boy Scouts the gift of a spare bicycle that he had in his Scout Troop stores.

A three part resin bicycle gifted to my scouts from Alan at the Duchy of Tradgardland. Two paper clip – Sass and Belle bicycle paper clips – male and female bicycles for comparison.
Toot toot! One of my homecast 60mm scout buglers  painted up and released (like the Duchy of Tradgardland’s versions) into the big outdoors.


I was hoping there was also a fun Pound Store Plastic alternative to buying or casting metal scout figures and the Wargaming Pastor had a good suggestion.

Two of my Pound Land “Penny Dreadful” figures converted into quick cheap scout figures. Still some painting to finish.

The Wargaming Pastor on Death Zap suggested that my floppy bush hatted Boer type figure conversions from Pound store tubs might convert well enough: “I’m tempted to collect a few scouts now, I’m wondering how easy it would be to modify some Airfix WW1 Americans or some of those Poundland chaps? Your Boer conversions would go a long way, then all I have to do is chop off the gun.”


I have quickly paint-bashed these two 32mm examples up to see how this might go.  The Wargaming Pastor’s clever suggestion does work!

The original ‘penny dreadful’ pound store figures and first paint draft of pound store Boy Scouts. A simple hole punched card rim  or page reinforcer trimmed to size makes the bush hat.

From pound store figures to more expensive pewter figures.

Looking for a Scout Trek or Treck Cart,  before I started converting home cast gun carriages  for their wheels, I came across the Phoenix 43 series by S&D / Phoenix which featured a trek cart, two separate scouts pushing and a Scoutmaster and Patrol Leader.


Designed for model railways, I bought a sample of each, not quite sure of size at the time.  They are not cheap at around £3 each figure but they are beautifully and crisply cast. They also have very speedy delivery.

Fortunately they do match with my Little Britons 42mm boys and will form a few character pieces such as a Patrol Leader and a Scoutmaster. The Treck Cart should form an interesting scenario focus for  Wide Games.

OF203 Scoutmaster next to one of my painted 42mm Little Britons range scouts and OF204 Boy Scout with pole. OF238 and OF239 form the trek cart crew.

So there we are … my Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts now have wheels in the form of bicycles and a trek cart.

The 20 scouts are closer to completed painting, mainly just touch ups and faces before a gloss varnish to match the toy soldier style.

I have also spent  £3 on a single metal scout and made one from a penny plastic figure.

Blogposted by Mark Man of TIN (1970s Cub Scout, Bronze Arrow, retired) on 19 May 2019.


Wide Games and the early Girl Scouts?

Girl Scouts?

With a tissue paper and PVA skirt conversion, these could be early Girl Scouts.

I am slowly trying to work out how to reproduce Boy Scout and Girl Scout Wide Games with miniature figures on the gaming table or in the garden.

These red petticoats have to go, far too Railway Children! First tissue paper conversions on four spare LBB30 Little Britons 42mm range Boy Scouts into early Girls Scouts and Guides.

Boy Scouts? Girl Scouts? Girl Guides? What’s in a name?

It took a while to establish standard Girl Scout or Guide uniforms – the blue uniform is more early Girl Guide like, the others more like early Girl Scouts. Paint work, not quite finished yet. 

In Britain since 1910, we have not had mainstream Girl Scouts,  after Guiding was set up to manage the enthusiastic adoption of Scouting for Boys by many Edwardian girls, sometimes originally in mixed troops.

However in some parts of the UK, across America and the world, Girl Scouts have survived in  both name and spirit.

The Girl Scouts of America kept their distinctive Scout name since their formation in 1912, led by Juliette Gordon Low. In this Very good history guide to the early Girl Scouts of Britain before they became Girl Guides, it mentions Cuckoo Patrol Girl Scout troops, the fears about mixed groups, suffragette activities and WW1 and the fact when Guides was set up in Britain  not all Girl Scouts  apparently transferred …


Following the publication of Scouting for Boys in January 1908 girls were actively engaging in Scouting, they had been just as inspired by the ideas in the book as their male counterparts. Troops and patrols of Girl Scouts were encouraged by Robert Baden-Powell;

“I think girls can get just as much healthy fun and as much value out of scouting as boys can. Some who have taken it up have proved themselves good souls in a very short time. As to pluck, women and girls can be just as brave as men and have over and over again proved it in times of danger. But for some reason it is not expected of them and consequentially it is seldom made part of their education, although it ought to be; for courage is not always born in people, but can generally be made by instruction.”

Robert Baden-Powell, The Scout, May 1908

One group of Girl Scouts, sadly only known to us as “Kangaroo Patrol” were so inspired by this quote that they copied it out at the beginning of their patrol magazine in May 1909.   Their magazine was full of adventure stories with Scouts preventing robberies and kidnappings, it also showed girls and boys Scouting together.

Text source: https://heritage.scouts.org.uk/explore/early-days-of-scouting-1907-1920/scoutingforgirls/

Sounds like a good mixed patrol name – Kangaroos!

The British Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts movement (1909), sometimes known as Peace Scouts, ran in parallel for a time, absorbing Girl Scouts who did not want to transfer into Guiding in 1910.


Wonderfully the BBS and BGS troops still exist in small numbers in Britain and elsewhere proudly wearing the old fashioned uniform, open to boys and girls  and linked to the worldwide scouting movement.


Uniforms and patrol flags British Boy Scout and British Girl Scouts 2018/19 website

Baden Powell was surprised but not antagonistic towards the enthusiatic uptake of Scouting for Boys by the kind of vigorous “intelligent sort of girl who likes boys’ games and books” as H.G. Wells observed in his preface to Little Wars  a few years later in 1913.

British Boys Scouts BBS British Girls Scouts BGS 2019 website photo: Close up details of long socks, patrol colours on garters? Scout staves and patrol flags. Khaki hats and shirts.  The girls are wearing Navy Blue shorts (or maybe culottes) like the boys.

“As records show, at this time Baden-Powell was clearly supportive of Girl Scouts. In May 1908 he wrote to one Girl who enquired that she would be welcome to set up a Patrol of Girl Scouts, and in his regular column in ‘The Scout’ in January 1909 he stated of the girls that “some of them are really capable Scouts” …”


“ …In the 1909 edition of Scouting for Boys the uniform suggestions included recommending blue skirts for Girl Scouts. Large Scout Rallies were held, including one at Scotstoun near Glasgow, where Girl Scouts were both specifically invited, and warmly welcomed.” Source: Leslie’s guiding history website.

1909 Early Girls Scouts UK before Guiding: improvised like the Boy Scouts. Colour schemes: Khaki bush hat, long sleeved khaki shirt tucked into a Lincoln Green, dark grey or Navy Blue skirt.

Useful painting or colour scheme tip : blue skirts rather than the Boy Scout blue shorts mentioned in the 1909 Scouting for Boys. Dark Blue went on to become the colour of early Guide uniforms.

Cropped close up on the Girl Scouts attending the Crystal Place rally 4 September 1909 – a much reproduced photo.

So clearly, throughout 1908 and much of 1909, Girl Scouts were welcomed, both unofficially and officially” including the Crystal Place rally in 1909 where early Girl Scouts were photographed amongst the boys. It is reported that more than 1000 Girl Scouts were present.

“By late 1909 amongst the official Scout membership of 55,000 there were already over 6000 Girl Scouts officially registered, and more registering daily.” Leslie’s Guiding History.

Blue uniform, blue colour and a glimpse of uniform

By 1910, Guiding had been established to protect the reputation of these Edwardian girls and of the fledgeling Scout Movement. Scouting for Boys was adapted by Baden Powell and his  sister Agnes into a Guiding Manual, “How Girls Can Help Build The Empire”,  designed to equip girls with camping skills, homecraft and child care skills for adult life in Britain or upcountry in the Empire.


It would be almost 70 years before mixed older (Venture) Scout groups were established again in Britain.

Early Girl Scout – Leslie’s Guiding History website
Another fierce looking early Girl Scout from the Leslie’s Guiding History Website.

Leslie’s Guiding Ideas Website also has some contemporary Guiding / Girl Scouts Wide Games  Scenarios, worth coming back to:


Guiding and scouting being world movements, it is of course possible that fictional  Imagi-Nations like the Bronte family’s  Gondal and Gaaldine, or the many great Tintin-esque Imagi-Nations and Grand Duchys created by gamers could have their own Boy Scout and Girl Scout movements.

Girl Scouts of Gaaldine or Gondal?

Boy Scouts of Angria or Generica, anyone?

Blogposted by Mark Man of TIN (1970s Cub Scout, Bronze Arrow, Retired) 17 May 2019


Scout Wide Games Rules Ideas # 1


Alan Gruber (Duchy of Tradgardland blog) and I have been independently reading the old scouting book Wide Games (1933) with ideas of how these outdoor games might translate into tabletop and garden games with figures.

LBB30 Boy Scout from the Little Britons / Shiny Toy Soldiers 42mm range.

As with any set of gaming rules, the basics have to be set out – Movement, Melee, Missile Firing,  Morale, that sort of thing.

Victory Conditions –  A lot of this scenario stuff is set out for us in the detailed briefings in Wide Games.


1 figure = 1 Scout.

1 figure equals 1 Scout.

A patrol is made up of 8 scouts including patrol leader and bugler.

A Scout at one early point could be a boy or girl. In the early days (1907-1910) Girl Scouts would have undertaken these Wide Games, possibly even alongside or against Boy Scout Patrols. Girl  Guiding from 1910 carried this Wide Games tradition on.

Four spare Boy Scouts are now Girl Scouts and Guides … figures almost finished, almost painted.

Then there is the challenge of movement.

Movement Rates

Depending what ground scale and figure scale that you are working with, you would need to set out a suitable movement rate of X inches, hexes or squares per turn.

Basic Walking Pace in Open Country – X inches or X hexes

Scout’s Pace – Walking Pace x 50%, so X x 0.5 per inches or hexes

Scout’s Pace is a curious hybrid of ‘walk 20 paces, run 20 paces’, designed to sustainably go faster and further without being too puffed to pass on messages.

Boy Scouts came from many nations … again, based and almost painted.

How Terrain, Weather and Time of Day Affects Movement 

Wide Games and Scouting For Boys often notes off-road terrain as Thick Or Open:

Thick Country takes twice as long to traverse. Half the normal walking or scouts Pace of  X inches or hexes

Tracks – moves on paths have X inch bonus.

Open Country – normal Walking or Scout’s Pace

Walking On the Road – Normal walking pace or Scout’s Pace.

Bicycle on Road – 2 x Scout’s Pace. Edwardian bicycles probably wouldn’t go off road well.

Uphill – movement reduce by half. Downhill normal pace.

Fog and mist – half normal pace, recuced visibility. Scout’s Pace unavailable in fog and mist.

Night-time – half normal pace, reduced visibility. Scout’s Pace unavailable at night.

Snow and Ice – half normal pace. Scout’s Pace unavailable on snow and ice – Increased risk of accidents.

Bogs and marshland can be deemed uncrossable or at half speed.

All fields of standing crops must be placed out of bounds.



Stealth Moves?

Speed of movement would vary with stealth  and cover / ground.

Stalking / Quiet / Concealed Movement Pace – half normal pace. Scout’s Pace unavailable in stalking mode.

If you have the One rate for quiet moving through a wood etc, then the alternative Scout’s Pace  for pursuit / rapid noisy movement.

‘Thick country’ is distinguished as taking twice as long to cross from ‘open country’ in terms of movement. Obviously roads would have faster pace / movement.

Two Girl Scouts capture the single Boy Scout … to be escorted back to base.

Resolving Capture and Combat

It takes two scouts to capture another enemy scout and take him or her blindfold  captive back to their base.

‘Vikings’ (Wide Game 1, a Flag Raid scenario) mentions that the aim should be success “by strategy rather than force, so not more than two go together at one time and it is regarded as shameful for more than two to attack one man.”

One scout however can take the wool ‘life’ of an enemy scout, effectively removing them from the game. The scout who loses a wool life can take no active part until he or she has  returned by the most immediate route back to the (neutral) Ambulance base, where a new life is restored. A scout who has lost a wool ‘life’ can be indicated by a curtain ring or other token.

How this affects points is mentioned at the end.

Range Weapons

In the Scouting for Boys examples of Wide Games, the Snow Fort scenario sees Snowballs being used as ammunition.

Whiting Balls or wooden darts with blunt ends marked in chalk are also recommended. Hits on enemy scouts would be clearly visible to an umpire.

Weapons Range: X inches or hexes / squares,  to be decided, further than normal walking pace?

Some of these sections come not from Wide Games but straight from Donald Featherstone’s Close Wars simple rules (appendix to War Games).

One dice thrown for each scout firing –  6 scores a hit.

If the scout firer is undercover whilst the scout target is in the open, then a 5 or 6 will secure a hit.

Featherstone Savings Throws

Each Scout casualty has the chance of only being judged lightly wounded and fighting on. Each Scout casualty has a dice thrown for him, a 4, 5 or 6 means that he is only lightly wounded and carries on. If the scout casualty is under cover, then he or she is saved by 3, 4, 5 or 6.


If scouts come into contact (adjacent squares etc / bases touching) then some form of Melee ensues. Some Hand-to-Hand Fighting does take place in early scouting ranging from Jujitsu, boxing, Cornish or Celtic wrestling and quarter staffs / staves, all permitted.

Kaptain Kobold’s simple dice no cards version of the Parry / Lunge duelling. Dice used to mark health or life points left. Steve Weston’s duelling Mexican Peasants in 54mm.

Scout versus Scout with each man having one dice throw, the highest number wins. The losing Scout who loses a ‘wool life’ must return to base camp / ambulance camp to restore his life.


Quarter Staves / staff fighting can take place using Gerard De Gre duelling rules. Each Scout has so many life or melee points, which reduces with each hit.




Melee Concealed Number System

An alternative Melee system from Wide Games no. 3 – Staffs  – has a hidden numbering system, 1 to 8 being allocated to each patrol and concealed from the enemy  (maybe on their base). The number was only revealed when challenged – sometimes finding out that you have challenged a higher number too late, if you are low numbered! This solves the taking of the wool life, based on whether Scout is higher or lower.

Scout No. 7 beats the lower number Scout No. 4 from a rival patrol.

Interestingly in Scouting for Boys (1908),  BP suggests Patrols have regular  numbers: Patrol Leader 1 with whistle, Corporal 2, scouts 3 and 4, scouts 5 and 6, scouts 7 and 8 working in pairs. No mention of the bugler!

As mentioned in Staffs (Wide Games no. 3) a kind of wild card that no 1 (patrol leader) can take number 7, so is both strong and vulnerable.

Wild Card – here patrol leader No. 1 trumps the higher number Scout No 7.

These could be inscribed on the figure bases of scout models.

Morale and Scouts Honour 

“Camp raiding is strictly prohibited” (Rule 340)  – against Scout’s Honour. Scout’s Honour could be an interesting alternative scoring system or points system. For example:

  • Points are deducted from a patrol or Scout for each Scout being captured or losing a “life”.
  • Points are gained per patrol or Scout for attaining another’s wool life, captive or token object.

Morale (health or energy points) could be boosted by good turn cards or weather. Wet weather, lack of food, cold etc might affect a Scout’s combat effectiveness if using RPG type cards. Still to be worked out …

Chance Cards or Event Cards – still to be worked out.

Commonly used in Wide Games, further change of instructions or note of wounded casualties were issued as letters opened after so many turns, hampering or altering the briefing to each patrol.

The delaying envelopes opened at set times to slow down or change the missions for three teams of Scout “Polar Explorers” (Cordon Breaking; Wide Game 6 Polar Dash)

These are some initial rules notes ideas … to be tried, discarded, continued and added to.

The Duchy of Tradgardland Scouts

Alan, as Chief Scout of the D of T Scouts, seen here: http://tradgardland.blogspot.com/2019/05/scouts-for-wide-games.html

added some new suggested interesting ideas that he is working on:

Re. Movement:  Could X be measured (if not using grids) by a scale scout pole, X being the length of a scout pole?
I am working on encounter tables. I wondered [about] a random rout speed (if chased by bull or dog for example), throw two d6 and that is the distance to be moved.
I also wondered about stopping for a turn when climbing walls or barbed wire fences or it costs half a move to cross.
Alan and I both thought of some kind of Skirmish / RPG type character cards, as we are only dealing with small numbers of a couple of patrols of eight Scouts each, not huge battalions.
A range of hair and skin colours for the Boy and Girl Scouts when painting might help link a figure  to these character cards with suitable Edwardian to 1950s nicknames: Ginger, Carrots, Snowy, etc.
Alan suggests of this individual cards: 
Allow scouts to be given “traits” before the game, some positives and some negatives.
For example faster / slower,  adding to or taking away from base movement rates. Also ability to move stealthily or spot.
Traits come be rolled for randomly, say throw 9 or above on 2d 6 and choose a trait for that particular scout.
Limited ammunition of say three shots only and perhaps the option then to return to base to get more.
Lots of interesting game ideas here from Alan ranging from varied bound distances to limited ammunition (with the exception of snow balls!)
Good fun,  both collaborating on and experimenting on rules apart. 

Blog posted by Mark Man of TIN (1970s Cub Scout, Bronze Arrow, retired) on 15 May 2019. 

Further Wide Game Design Ideas


Unfinished paint scheme for LBB30 Boy Scout from the Shiny Toy Soldiers ‘Little Britons’ 42mm range from Spencer Smith Miniatures. Gloss toy soldier finish.

Further thoughts from Alan Gruber, the Duchy of Tradgardland as we individually read our way through the 1933 booklet Wide Games by Gilcraft of the Scout Association, looking for useful tips for game scenarios.

1. “You could use other figures to represent the scouts as they perceive themselves.
So in a pirate wide game use pirate figures or medieval, use Robin Hood ones.
It is a conceit also to allow to use any figures for those who don’t have model scouts.” 
2. Encounter tables for bulls, angry policemen etc
3. Weather tables too, effects on  morale, more dangerous to run etc.
Weather like snow and rain would also affect how easy it was to read tracks, leave tracks etc.
Lots of other ideas here to affect character card number ratings or add chance and event cards.
4. Morale, how the scouts are feeling and can they be bothered to continue in terms of fed up, bad weather,  skint knees, losing game etc.
5. First aid for minor injuries. Chance of minor injuries when jumping,cycling, going through nettles,brambles etc. affects desire to continue.
6. Small possibility of twisted ankles, broken legs. Obviously affects movement and distracts fellow scouts from the wide games by needing to go and get help.
I think this is an interesting idea for random chance cards or Umpire intervention. Most Boy Scouts and Scoutmasters would have some First Aid training; some Wide Games introduced instructions during the game with ‘casualties’ that would need treating and taking to collection points (where points would be given for their dressings).
The  HQ base or Red Cross / Ambulance Base was where Scouts also have to return if they lose a ‘wool life’ and temporarily have left the game.
Alan Gruber goes on to mention even more ‘fantastic’ ideas:
“Years ago I helped occasionally with a friend’s Brownie pack by doing things like being a guest at their hostess badge tea party and with Thinking Day. The leader and girls often sent me a thank you card. They often featured Margaret Tarrant paintings of Brownies with wee folklore figures such as faeries etc. They were charming.”
World Thinking Day, formerly Thinking Day, is celebrated annually on 22 February by all Girl Guides and Girl Scouts. This was Baden Powell’s birthday, along with that of his wife Olave, one of the early Chief Guides.  It is also celebrated by Scout and Guide organizations and some boy-oriented associations around the world.
You can  see this Margaret Tarrant artwork here on this Guiding website https://owl-and-toadstool.blogspot.com/2014/12/margaret-tarrant-girl-guide-artwork.html
“In the Wide Games book there is mention of Puck of Pook’s Hill as a background for games.”
Puck of Pook’s Hill is a fantasy book by Rudyard Kipling, published in 1906, containing a series of short historical fantasy stories set in different periods of English history.
Alan suggests: “What about taking things a step further and having real mythological creatures interacting with the scouts?  All foreign scouts could have their own creatures like Tomten for Danish scouts etc.”
There are excellent illustrated  Tomten and Gnome picture books available translated into English.
With both our initial thoughts both being that each Scout could have a Role Playing Game Style ratings card for his or her abilities, experiences, success or failures, then introducing suitably national Fantastic Beasts makes sense. Hogwarts territory, this.  Girl Scoutes or Boy Scoutes versus Zombies, anyone?

Alan also wrote: “I like the comment on page 40 of the Wide games book

“In  playing these games it should be remembered that they improve very much on the second and third trial, as minor rules have often to be introduced to suit local circumstances.” Same applies to us who write Wargame rules…”
This is much my style of gaming: If in doubt, invent a dice roll!
Lots of interesting ideas from Alan.
I have been busy painting and casting today, as I continue to read through Wide Games, along with a reprint of the 1908 Scouting for Boys and the colour reprint of the Ogden Scouting series 5 sets of Cigarette Cards.
By chance in my small collection of old metal moulds for home-casting, I have these two stiff semi flat Scout figures who are about 54 to 60 mm tall. The fragile plastic figure is a curious “odd one out” from my childhood, one of the US Marx series Boy Scout, missing his hatchet.


Paint schemes ideas in a glimpse of this fascinating reprinted Ogden’s Cigarette card Scouting series (there is some irony in that Baden Powell warned against the health effects of smoking).
Baden Powell’s scouts have a little knapsack and blanket roll or coat, worth adding to some figures with Fimo Polymer Clay?


Wide Games or Weird Wyde Games rules –  very much still Work in Progress.

20 Boy scout figures on the painting table, 2 patrols of 8, leaving four who will become Girl Scout figures with full skirts.

More on British Girl Scouts in a forthcoming blog post.

Blog posted by Mark Man of TIN (with comments from Alan Gruber,  Duchy of Tradgardland) 5 May 2019.

Rules notes and initial ideas for the Wide Games scouting game


I am happily surprised by the many comments about memories of Scouting type Wide Games after my last blogpost https://manoftinblog.wordpress.com/2019/04/27/easter-eggs-wide-games-and-the-cloak-of-romance/

Alan Gruber, the Duke of Tradgardland https://tradgardland.blogspot.com has received his copy of Wide Games (Scout Association, 1933) and his reactions and initial thoughts were surprisingly similar to mine:

“The Wide Game book arrived and l have had a chance to have an initial look. There seems to be much that can be translated into rule terms. I am less successfully tried to locate my scout figures, they must be experts in stealth and use of cover.

I have been thinking of giving each scout ratings for things like stealth, speed, detection etc.

When trying to spot a hiding scout figure compare the hiding rating against the spotting rating adding the score of a dice. If the the result is higher than the hiding rating the figure is spotted.

I felt this method could be used also to represent the removal of a “wool life” .

I like the idea of each scout being different in his abilities adding a sort of role play vibe. I really must scribble these ideas down in a more coherent manner.”

Alan’s ideas were in tune with many of my own initial thoughts.

I also thought that the list of a scout’s skills looked like a character card or RPG character.

Badges acquired or skill numbers would help resolve some non-combat issues on points –  visibility (stalking, camo, use of cover), listening skills, pathfinding etc.

Wide Games no. 3 – Staffs  – has a hidden numbering system, 1 to 8 being allocated to each patrol and concealed from the enemy  (maybe on their base). The number was only revealed when challenged – sometimes finding out that you have challenged a higher number too late, if you are low numbered! This solves the taking of the wool life, based on whether Scout is higher or lower.


Interestingly in Scouting for Boys (1908),  BP suggests Patrols have regular  numbers: Patrol Leader 1 with whistle, Corporal 2, scouts 3 and 4, scouts 5 and 6, scouts 7 and 8 working in pairs. No mention of the bugler!

As mentioned in Staffs (Wide Games no. 3) a kind of wild card that no 1 (patrol leader) can take number 7, so is both strong and vulnerable.

These could be inscribed on the figure bases of scout models.

Weapons and Combat

Although a Marksmanship badge existed for shooting, the only “weapons” carried by scouts were their highly versatile scout wooden staffs.

Ogdens cigarette cards of scouting reproduced in book form shows quarterstaff fighting – reproducible through my Gerard De Gre / Featherstone duelling cards Lunge and Parry (past blogpost). Jujitsu, boxing and wrestling were also practiced – see Nobby’s comment below on quarterstaffs.



Range Weapons

However in Wide Games, suggestions were also of early washable paint balls being thrown to mark a hit on an enemy, known as  “whiting balls”, along with wooden blunt headed thick dowelling darts with  paper feathers and chalk on the blunt heads. This chalk or whiting indicated or marked a hit visible to any watching umpire.

Usual hit dice roll  /  d6 mechanisms etc would work here. If hit, a Scout loses a life, has to return to the ambulance base to be healed and then rejoin the game.

The “wool life” or colour to be taken can be represented by a thread or circle of wool over their shoulder like a sash. They are then temporarily out of the game, but rather than being “Pinned”, they must then be restored to life by reaching the designated Red Cross base / healer / ambulance station. This recycles them after a pause back into the game, starting from the healing base, bearing their new wool life marker or token.

Some other variations on the “wool life” token or marker were a paper scrap on shoulder, handkerchief or scarf tail tucked into belt or scalping (removing the scarf when worn as a head scarf)

Movement Rates

Speed of movement would vary with stealth  and cover / ground.  One rate for quiet moving through a wood etc, another for pursuit / rapid noisy movement. ‘Thick country’ is distinguished as taking twice as long to cross from ‘open country’ in terms of movement. Obviously roads would have faster pace / movement.

Movement Rates need  to be decided for crossing streams, uphill, bicycle scouts, along with bridge building etc. In this respect, there is no difference from Featherstone’s Close Wars rules in War Games (1962) or other simple early rules. https://manoftinblog.wordpress.com/2016/06/09/close-little-wars-featherstones-simplest-rules/

Walking Pace or Scouts Pace?
There is a concept of scouts pace referred to in Wide Games is hybrid pace of twenty paces running, twenty walking (as a rest break) meaning you can go faster and further for longer.

Early Scout Patrols (according to Ogden’s Cigarette cards) were of eight  scouts: patrol leader with patrol flag, corporal, 5 Scouts and a bugler. Each Patrol appears to have different scarf colours.

Patrols of eight play against other patrols, rising up the scale to whole Troops playing  against another troop.

Four Patrols equals one Troop of 32, plus scoutmaster.

Patrols had names reflected in their patrol flag symbols, carried by the patrol leader, who was appointed for one year. Each “animal named” patrol had their own animal calls to communicate secretly.  Patrol flags were important as base markers etc.

Semaphore signals by flag, third figure is the patrol bugler shown with patrol flag usually carried by the patrol leader (fourth). These wolf patrol scouts appear have the correct yellow and black garters / sock colours to match  their patrol / correct patrol flag.

Patrol names (Ogden’s scouting series of cigarette cards issued pre 1914) – wood pigeon, owl, lion, wolf, cuckoo, otter, eagle, peewit, ram, kangaroo, Fox, cobra.

Scouting for Boys 1908 mentions slightly different animal patrols and their colours: these affect the patrol’s coloured neck scarf. The printed scraps show different socks and shirts but this may not be accurate. Originally a coloured shoulder knot was worn.

Patrol flag animals and patrol colours – Oxford 2005 reprint of the 1908 Scouting for Boys.

Throughout Wide Games there are strict instructions for the Scoutmaster to pass on:

“All fields of standing crops must be placed out of bounds”

“Camp raiding is strictly prohibited” (Rule 340) ?

Points are deducted from a patrol or Scout for each Scout being captured or losing a “life”.

Points are gained per patrol or Scout for attaining another’s wool life, captive or token object.

I am still reading through Wide Game scenarios for rule clues, but as Alan Gruber observes, this could be an interesting basis for a set of rules.


Vikings (Wide Game 1, a Flag Raid scenario) mentions that the aim should be success “by strategy rather than force, so not more than two go together at one time and it is regarded as shameful for more than two to attack one man.”

Scout’s honour and fair play seem important concepts, almost a numerical value of honour points or shame points, to be redeemed by good and honourable deeds.

Image source: Oxfam online bookshop

Girl Scouts of America – and Britain?

The addition of a fullish Edwardian skirt easily turns a few of my tiny metal Boy scouts into Girl Scouts. Not all Girl Scouts wore their hair down and long, as was common with Edwardian girls, hair styles varied with age. Loose and long was generally for younger girls.

Girl Scouts used Wide Games, as their first guiding manual was based on Baden Powell’s Scouting For Boy’s. Thousands of Edwardian girls flocked to create their own patrols, occasionally working alongside Boy Scout Patrols.

This unchaperoned fraternisation began to cause difficulties locally and nationally for both Boy Scouts and Girl Scout groups. The solution? Girl Guides.

Guiding took over most of the 1908-1910 Girl Scouts Troops in 1910. However some BGS British Girl Scout troops still exist, alongside BBS British Boy Scouts wearing the traditional 1908 uniform. But that’s another story for another blog post.

Wide games are still used in modern Guiding.


Blog posted by Mark Man of TIN (1970s Cub Scout, Bronze Arrow, retired) 2 May 2019. 



Easter Eggs, Wide Games and the Cloak of Romance

That Easter dilemma …

F57E847C-4529-4822-BF39-53ACBF437022Easter egg or tiny tin men?

I chose wisely,  the long lasting, low calorie, diabetic friendly option. Instead of chocolate or chocolate egg,  I received from my family twenty tiny Boy Scouts from the Spencer Smith Miniatures  (LBB30) from the 42mm Shiny Toy Soldiers Little Britons range.



Being boys they do not quite reach 42mm, rather they are about 36mm. LBB30 Boy Scout

The trigger for this non-chocolate choice was picking up a 1942 wartime copy of Wide Games from a seaside vintage shop. £4 well spent!


Wartime reprint purchased and inscribed K.E. Munn 17 December 1942
Contents page

Flicking through this well used 1942 paperback, I noticed lots of Wide Game scenarios with maps. They are almost like Neil Thomas’ One Hour Wargames, but 1:1 scale in the outdoors.


Map research reveals this map – Whitehouse Plain Almshouse Plain  North Long Hills Plain High Beech  – is a real part of Epping Forest near the Scouts HQ at Gilwell Park. Map 1 is used for many of the Wide Games so worth laying out as a Games terrain. 


Could these scenarios and maps be turned into “non violent” war game or figure gaming scenarios?

Could I in future adapt or create some rules that would work?

Could this work as a solo game?

Would it work on a grid system like my large hex game board?

Would it work better as a garden game than a tabletop game?

The Cloak of Romance recaptured, as shown in an extract from Bevis.
A suitably Dangerous Book for Boys  / Ripping Yarns /  Empire building sort of book list!

One of the interesting chapters is The Cloak of Romance, about turning Wide Games into imaginative role playing games through the addition of narratives, an aim or quest and characters or groups from history or popular literature.

Pirates? Cowboys and Indians?  Frontiersmen? Smugglers? Cops and Robbers?

Wide Games on a small scale?

My late Dad was a wartime evacuee as a small boy  from London to coast and country, told nostalgic tales of playing Cowboys and Indians after the war in some of the wild spaces and parks still left around London, and was obviously influenced enough by this freedom and National Service to go on to become  a Cub Scout leader as an adult.

So I grew up with all this, and as a result didn’t stay in cub scouts beyond the early months of gaining a Bronze Arrow. Instead I went for long walks and dens and bushcraft alone with my Dad.

For some while, I have had pencilled in my notebooks some ideas about a ‘war game’ based on these Wide Games.

Wide Games note book ideas … 1940s

The last attempt was in OOHO railway scale  attracted by the railway figures of trekcarts and tiny Boy Scout figures to give a big groundscale. Various companies do this including Langley Miniatures OOHO and N Gauge, Preiser OOHO (European / American – looking a little like  Hitler Youth) and  OOHO scale cubs and guides from Richard Harris at Looks Like Repros.

463EEB60-5DF8-4519-9D5F-7701C306D0A1.jpegSadly sculptor Tony Burley’s attractive cub scout and guide figures in 54mm are no longer available.

Paint schemes?

First I have to paint my Boy Scouts.

There was lots of interest in Boy Scout history and uniforms during the Boy Scout centenary anniversary of 2007. The original Scouting for Boys book (1908) was republished and I have a copy of this with its additional Scout Games and Wide Games ideas.

William Britain’s quickly   issued c. 1911 an attractive glossy range of 54mm scale Boy Scouts, which are good for paint scheme ideas. Different patrol colour scarves etc?

Interestingly  A. J. Holladay, a sergeant in the Volunteers in 1910 published rules for War Games for Boy Scouts played with Model Soldiers.


Judging by photographs of WW1 era and 1920s in my village history book, in reality a cub cap for boys  or brownie headscarf for Girls was about as much as many ordinary children could afford.



The Little Britons figures I have in lieu of Easter Eggs remind me strongly of the Peanuts / Snoopy / Boys Scouts of America cartoon strips, each of them with their lemon squeezer or doughboy hats.

That comic genius Schulz has created a dog with a vivid Baden Powell / Wide Games “Cloak of Romance” about his every day adventures with Woodstock and his tiny feathered gang  – whether it is escapee WW1 pilot, shot down by the Red Baron,  Foreign legionnaires in the sand pit or an adventurous  Boy Scouts of America troop. These are by far my favourite element of the Peanuts cartoons …

Thankfully some of the associated Shiny Toy Soldier 42mm range bought with such hats and arms with no rifles should work as Scout leaders and  adults if required.

Colour scheme inspiration! 

I suddenly remembered that amongst my few Victorian and Edwardian scraps of street life and military themes I have some Edwardian Boy Scouts. They have different patrol flags, something I could put onto some of their staffs.


More varied colour scheme ideas from my Edwardian scraps.
Patrol flag detail
An attractive drummer Scout
The whole A3 size scrapbook page

The brother of James Opie the toy soldier collector is the packaging historian Robert Opie (their parents were Iona and Peter Opie, the folklore collectors of children’s nursery rhymes and playground singing games). A family of collectors!

If you have not come across Robert Opie’s Museum of Brands and Packaging in London, you might know him through his published scrapbooks including the WW2 Wartime Scrapbook  and The 1910s Scrapbook which covers WW1 – and Boy Scouts, including the many board games cashing in on the Boy Scout craze.

More paint scheme inspiration? Many early Cub Scout uniforms shown in Robert Opie’s  The 1910s Scrapbook. Copyright: Robert Opie. 

Various cigarette manufacturers  issued sets of Cub Scout cigarette cards with many attractive themes. These can be expensive to collect in sets but some can also be found reprinted in book form such as Boy Scouts Series 1 to 5 in Paperback 2013 by Trading Card Enterprises LLC (available via Amazon). 

54mm Tradition of  London and Dorset Soldiers (Baden Powell) Boer War figures,; 2nd from left my Prince August home cast figure.

There is much rich Cub Scout history out there




including about the military and Imperial origins of scouting and the complex character Robert Baden Powell, popular hero of the disastrous Boer War.

Britain’s 54mm Boy Scout works as a Scout Leader with 35mm Boy Scouts; Baden Powell Dorset Soldiers 54mm figure.

So there you are – lots of gaming scenario ideas, 20 Boy Scouts, and no calories.

I wonder how this renewed attempt at a Wide Games project will turn out?

Blog posted by Mark Man of TIN (Bronze Arrow, retired) 27 April 2019.