More Seaside Pound Store Plastic Warriors

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I found these interesting pound store plastic warriors during the bank holiday weekend at one of those seaside shops that sells lots of lovely plastic tat.

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60 new plastic toy soldiers for £1 – seaside pound store bliss!

Better than the 50p rummage box, 30 new figures for 50p!

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Up close these crude figures have some useful detail. Fine space marines these would make!

Modern period gaming does not appeal to my usual Imagi-Nations gaming in 54mm. Instead out in the back Yarden planets or galaxies, I can easily see possible paint conversions to Star Wars type Rebel troops from the start of the first film (Episode IV) or from the recent Star Wars: Rogue One.

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There are two different versions of many poses as well as two different colours available in different boxes. Quite often many pound store plastic Army men are sold in packs with two different colours (“green and tan”) to have a ready opponent.

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Useful comms figure with wires leading to backpack. 
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Hurry, Imperial Troops are boarding ….
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A paratrooper type figure … that I recognised from somewhere. 

Suitably for a seaside plastic shop bought box of figures, I finally found the source of a beachcombing  find https://manoftinblog.wordpress.com/2016/06/02/lost-legions-1-fighting-on-the-beaches/

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Three versions of a similar pose with slightly different sizes. 

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Lots of good baggage on these desert warriors or space marines. 

Not sure of the origin of these figures, they look like copies of original figures.

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Nice animation on these infantry or paratrooper type figures, peeking warily round corners. 

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A WW2 type paratrooper look to this figure. 
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The suppliers of these Combat Mission figures. 

If these figures are somewhat crude and on the cheap side, they are perfect pure plastic tat. Whilst many are obviously copies of modern US Desert troops, they are also affordable and possible for conversion into space marines or even back to WW2 US paratroopers in their jump boots and baggage.

Proper Seaside Tat

But not as much joyous plastic seaside tat as this weird pirate version (in both senses of the word) of Lego minifigures seen next to a genuine Ninjago Lego ninja type figure. I love the manufacturer’s name proudly on the back of this pirate – Tatco!

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Blogposted by Mark, Man of TIN for the Pound Store Plastic Warriors blog, 29/30 May 2017.

By heliograph and semaphore


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One of my recent boycraft or mancraft projects has been  scratch building a desert or coastal signal fort in toy soldier fort style using a wooden Christmas clementines box and a Hobbycraft papier-mâché castle tower.

https://poundstoreplasticwarriors.wordpress.com/2017/05/17/scratchbuilt-desert-or-coastal-signal-tower/

Trying this out, it was a tight squeeze to build the balsa walkways around the tower base but it struck me that this could be some kind of defendable lighthouse, watchtower or semaphore station.

IMG_0053As I played around fitting the balsa walkways around the tower base  it struck me that this could be some kind of defendable lighthouse, watchtower or semaphore station.

But what would a semaphore station in the 19th century look like?

Semaphore Systems and Telegraph Inspiration 

I thought a semaphore station or telegraph Beacon would be something worth defending or attacking, so well worth the defensive features. This would form part of the colonial or trading infrastructure, the information superhighway of the 19th Century. Something that would suit a coastal or desert location.

Shoot the guy with the Flags! 

Men with flags standing in prominent places to be easily seen were obviously very vulnerable to sniper fire. A mechanical replacement of human arms was obviously sensible until morse code,  telegraph wires and eventually radio took over the role.

There are some interesting articles on the web on Military semaphore and signalling from the late Napoleonic era through to mid Victorian era, although mechanical flags were first suggested by Robert Hooke in the 1680s!

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Semaphore_line# 

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Chapped style French semaphore tower. Image source: Wikipedia

Another design looked much more like my type of coffee stirrer and balsa wood construction.

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Portsdown type telegraph system U.K. (Portsdown Tunnels website)  This gave me the idea for the double ended semaphore indicator.

http://www.portsdown-tunnels.org.uk/ancient_sites/telegraph_p2.html

As a challenge I added double ends to the indicator boards.  There is a link between the military semaphore and the clunk-y indicator board railway signalling developing from the 1830s and 1840s as the telegraph wires along the railroad began to replace semaphore systems as this new comms network developed.

Gaming Scenarios

http://www.johnhearfield.com/Radar/Chappe.htm

In the Napoleonic Wars, Britain was aware of what the French had achieved in the Chappe system of setting up semaphore stations. The Royal Navy Channel Fleet blockading Brest must have aware of the significance of the signalling tower they could see on the hilltop at Petit Minou.  C.S. Forester writes in Hornblower and the Hotspur:

“Automatically, Hornblower looked over again at the Petit Minou. As he expected, the semaphore arms of the telegraph on the cliffs at the point there were swinging jerkily, from vertical to horizontal and back again. The watchers there were signalling to the French fleet the news of the arrival of this fourth ship to join the inshore squadron; even the smallest activity was noted and reported, so that in clear weather the French admiral was informed within minutes. It was an intolerable nuisance …”

Eventually, Hornblower leads a landing party to deal with the “nuisance”, which would make a great gaming scenario http://www.johnhearfield.com/Radar/Chappe.htm

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/magazine-22909590

 

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A mobile tented semaphore station in the Crimean War is shown (Belloc 1888) in Jones Early History of Data Networka.

http://people.seas.harvard.edu/~jones/cscie129/papers/Early_History_of_Data_Networks/Chapter_2.pdf

I have based my semaphore station on the British Popham system shown here http://www.vauxhallandkennington.org.uk/telegraph.shtml

Popham’s 1801 naval  flag system of numbers indicated words encoded in a code book (here transcribed by a Peter Ball from originals in the National Maritime Museum) – this is a great idea if you have limited number of indicator positions such as 1 to 9 or even 1 to 4.

http://3decks.pbworks.com/f/Admiral%2520Home%2520Popham%2520Telegraph%2520signal%2520book%2520Final%2520edition.pdf

http://www.goblinrevolution.org/widgets/popham_encoder.cgi allows you to encode / translate  these messages online in flags !

https://royal-signals.org.uk/Datasheets/SignallingFlags.php

This website covers many systems including the US army Wigwag symbols of flags or lights at night invented by Albert Myer and adopted by the US Army circa 1860 throughout the American Civil War up until 1912. A two flag system was also

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https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Signal_Corps_in_the_American_Civil_War is a fascinating article especially when balloons, signal flags, steam trains and telegraph were all deployed around the same time.

A beautifully modelled signal tower can be seen at this blogpost:

http://steve-the-wargamer.blogspot.co.uk/2012/05/american-civil-war-signalling-edifice.html

The twin squares flags can be seen on the Signals memorial at Little Round Top, Battle of  Gettysburg site.

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Heliograph signalling mirrors and lamps 

The  “flag,  flash and read” system of flag, heliograph and telescope Zulu War 1879 also in this Royal Signals website.

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Zulu War 1879 British signal troops with telescopes, binoculars, flags, notebook, heliograph, moustaches and superior attitude. (Wikipedia source).

 

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Flag signaller with Royal Navy Landing Party WW2 (image: Toyway Archive  http://www.britains-toy-soldiers.com/archive/toyway_plastic.htm)

I have a couple of useful signaller figures, two Airfix sets – the OO/HO and 1:32 WW2 German Mountain Infantry and OO/HO WW1 British Infantry – in both the  flags are very fragile, even in the 1:32 German Mountain troop scale.

More robust is the Lone Star / Harvey British Marines / Sailor with flags reissued by Toyway.

 

 

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Airfix.com website photo. German Mountain Troops 1:32 scale

Any officer with binoculars or telescope (such as the Airfix WW1 French Infantry HO/OO signaller lying down with telescope) is useful as the “Glassman”. This was one or two men in the four or five man semaphore team, whose job is to be looking backwards and forwards to the next signal tower to check if the message has been received. If all else fails, the French signaller with homing pigeons would be useful.

Someone else had to physically change or alter the signal, and someone to note down the message if it is to be coded or decoded. Jobs were interchangeable. The large number of staff were required in the not very far spaced apart stations meant this expensive system could only really be maintained night and day year round in wartime.

As the British Popham system came in from Naval use and flag systems, often serving or former Navy staff were employed. In the field, Royal Engineers or Signals Officers and troops would be used.

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The Prince August cowboy Homecast figures in 40mm look very similar to these US Signal troops wearing their cowboy or stetson bush hat. Here is the crew for the tower and its small garrison. I shall have to make a Heliograph apparatus for them.

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US Signal Corps troops 1898 (Wikipedia source: Public Domain)

Heliograph teams were once cutting edge technology, appearing in H.G. Wells’ War of the Worlds (1898) for signalling information about the Martian invasion.

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A few of my Peter Laing 15mm British Colonial troops with Heliograph in blazing desert sands.

Heliographs survived in service throughout the Boer War and longer into the WW1 and WW2 period especially in desert situations, slowly replaced as radio communication to pass on Morse  Code arrived. They were still in use by insurgent forces in Afghanistan in 2001.

Signalling distances of 80 to 100 miles were apparently possible in clear weather!

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Turkish signaling troops at Huj in WW1 – telescope, heliograph and signal lamps (with batteries?). Mule handlers and mules in the background, providing the transport . (Image source:   Wikipedia public domain)

Australian and South African Desert Forces in WW2 and Ottoman Turkish forces in WW1 are shown here using Heliograph equipment.

There is more about the Heliograph on the British Army Royal Signals website.

https://royal-signals.org.uk/Datasheets/Heliograph.php

Signal lamp and Heliograph 

In the case of the Turkish forces pictured, a signal lamp is also included, a signaller with telescope and one writing down messages. Interesting grouping for a gamer or modeller and a similar desert uniform to the Victorian British in 1879 and the Second Boer War.

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Australian Signallers in the desert WW2 with Heliograph signaling equipment (Wikipedia public domain image source – Australian DOI)

 

A naval version of flashed torch signals with Alldis lamps survives between ships until today, including infra red versions, along with a version for air traffic control to communicate with planes if radio contact is lost .  https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Signal_lamp

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

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US Signals 1910 with Mance Apparatus (Wikipedia Source: Public Domain)

Again you realise how vulnerable these Signals crews to sniping, hence the safety of the signalling Fort with mechanical arms. Once again, well aimed artillery fire could damage this tower or equipment.

All this is interesting source material as games scenarios for my Desert or Coastal Signalling Fort / Lighthouse, along with plenty of ideas for modelling conversions of suitable pound store cowboy figures and home cast figures or lead hollowcast repairs and conversions.

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Black and White photo of my Peter Laing 15mm Heliograph conversion into a film cameraman or photographer. (Photo: my Man of Tin blog)

My only Heliograph figures are Peter Laing Colonial British in 15mm, one of whom I have crudely converted to a war photographer. This could easily stand in for a signal lamp. Pictures from my Man of TIN blog

https://manoftinblog.wordpress.com/2016/08/09/peter-laing-15mm-blog-photographer

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Peter Laing 15mm Heliograph figure conversion into photographer, with further Peter Laing ACW and homemade FIMO 15mm standard bearer. (Photo: my Man of TIN blog)

 

Postscript  Pigeon Post 

My late dad, an ex-REME National Serviceman and Electrical Engineer, helped put in the power source on London City tower block / skyscraper rooftops for trial 1980s laser or optical beam communication between buildings to pass on data and financial information. A kind of modern computer age Heliograph?

The pilot project partly failed for many reasons including when London Pigeons and passing birds kept interrupting the data flow.

I got some great views of London as a child from these tower tops “going to work” on Saturdays  with my Dad, including the Lord Mayors Procession far below from the top of a tower block.

Blogposted on Pound Store Plstic Warriors by Mark, Man of TIn blog, May 2017.

 

 

 

Scratchbuilt Desert or Coastal Signal Tower

One of my recent boycraft or mancraft projects has been creating some kind of toy soldier style fortified tower out of this old Christmas clementines box, suitable for a range of scales of figures and scenarios.

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Suggestive window shapes …. salvaged wooden toy blocks … coffee stirrers …
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The original finest Christmas Clementines  (box) …

The box had a  wooden jointing that reminded me of recent mdf wargaming or fantasy gaming building.

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Its wooden lid is used for something else, but where it slotted into the box corners made these interesting Alamo type firing slits.

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This box base jointing reminds me of recent wargames or model buildings …

Add to this useful box a papier-mâché castle tower from Hobbycraft …. https://poundstoreplasticwarriors.wordpress.com/2017/05/02/hobbycraft-castle-tower/

and you have the germ of an interesting gaming building or terrain idea.

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Hobbycraft Papier-mâché Castle tower painted white acrylic. Prince August 40mm Cowboys.

Putting the tower together with the clementine box desert fort was something coincidentally suggested by Brian Carrick of the Collecting Toy Soldiers blog.

“Good idea for the Tesco clementines box, I still have one of those saved from Christmas, it seemed too useful to just throw away! It would work well with your new tower in the middle, like a North West Frontier hill fort.”

Trying this out, it was a tight squeeze to rebuild the balsa walkways around the tower base but it struck me that this could be some kind of defendable lighthouse, watchtower or semaphore station.

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19th Century semaphore station (http://www.portsdown-tunnels.org.uk/ancient_sites/telegraph_p2.html)

 

Having researched what semaphore stations would look like in the late 18th and early 19th century, I set about making a working semaphore using available wood and tools.

I don’t have a workshop, so balsa wood, coffee stirrers and craft knives are the extent of my woodworking tools.

Everything was roughed out and moved around in a ‘dry run’ before paint, wood stain and wood glue was used to finish off and fix things in place.

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Pound Land’s finest unpainted 30mm plastic figures … some of the box base holes were covered over with coffee stirrer ‘bricks’.

I wanted to make it suitable for a range of sizes from 30mm pound store plastic figures to 40mm homecast metal figures, even 54mm to soldiers at a push.

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40mm mostly homecast figures: The front gate section.

It proved quite difficult to photograph, being quite tall!

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54mm figures including a salute from my Gravatar Man of TIN figure!

The 54mm figures are a little on the big side but I wanted to make this in the toylike spirit of a simple toy fort such as I had as a child.

Despite the toylike simplicity, I also wanted it to have some kind of logic and extensive play possibilities. It needed to work as a design that could be worked and defended.

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Barricades on the (non-opening) gates made of coffee stirrers and a sandpaper base. 40mm Prince August cowboy figures. A little more whitewashing fatigue duties are required from the garrison to keep the tower ship-shape.

The central tower needed to be self sufficient, so has a well or water supply inside the tower (with lid).

Coffee stirrers stuck with UHU or superglue were cut and trimmed with craft knife and sharp scissors, roughly shaded then shaded or painted with a very thin coat of  Ronseal light oak wood stain.

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Guarding the water supply. The simple glass paper or sandpaper floor gives a quick gravel, desert or coastal sand floor feel whilst covering holes in the box floor.
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Hatch on the roof to repair the semaphore. Shutters on the light House or signal  tower.

A small hatch on the roof allows the defenders or signal crew to reach the roof to repair the semaphore.

Shutters mean that the lighthouse tower can be secured against enemy fire or the weather. They are (non-opening) shutters made from coffee stirrers, stained with light oak wood stain. One set of shutters is not glued to the wall, so that a LED battery tea candle light can be added into the top tower to develop the signal light or lighthouse scenario.

The chimneys let out heat from the lighthouse or signal light tower and lower living parts of the tower (toy soldiers need to cook and keep warm). The chimneys  were found in my spare parts box, originally kept to make thatched huts for 1/300 figures, are snap-off screw bits from fixing a couple of new toilet seats at home!

Smoke signals are another possibility using these signal fire chimneys.

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Naval Brigade Fimo / polymer clay hand-made 30mm figures.
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30mm type semi-flat British infantry Victorian homecast figures.

I wanted the signal tower to have different scenarios or functions, such as a coastal signal tower or one in the North West Frontier mountains, Wild West borders or French Foreign Legion desert.

I also wanted the tower to pass for anything between late 18th Century throughout 19th century and beyond and even into a future steampunk, VSF sci-fi scenario. This could then work with a range of periods, nationalities, scales of figures and Imagi-Nations.

Early British Semaphore stations  often had two watchers with telescopes, one looking in each direction to look towards the next beacon or semaphore / signal tower. Other staff would take down the codes or change the semaphore indicator boards with ropes and cables (not modelled).

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Coastal watchers – 54mm metal (on the left, recent Britains naval officer)

A defendable coastal signal tower would have its main door facing away from the sea, to make it more easily supplied and defended from the landward side. Beware foreign navies, marines, smugglers and pirates!

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Mocking up a coastal scenario, as a coastal signal tower manned and defended by a garrison of mostly Britain’s lead or metal toy soldier  naval crew.

I roughed out this tower as a coastal setting with the wall side showing, the slit window (originally a handle) shuttered against the sea, wind and attack from the sea edge.

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Inside the fort showing the seaward side window with removable shutters. One of the supporting blocks to the walkways has been sanded down, stained and ink-lined to suggest a storage locker.

Apart from some further white painting of certain areas inside the box, a few storage locker doors to complement the corner squares, this is almost complete for the time being.

I also need a flagpost or two.

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Not the sort of painter required to keep the signal tower whitewashed inside and out … 54mm Dorset Soldiers casting, part painted.

I enjoyed making this so much, I might make another one to create a small chain of them across the garden for summer games as needed. I will then be able to pass messages very slowly one letter or number at a time across the back garden wilderness or planet.

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In fact I could make and remake lots of versions of this, camouflaged lighthouse or radio stations, brassy steampunk versions, Roman lighthouses … but time, lack of clementines boxes  and space will not at present permit this.

I also have to work out a suitable toy soldier Popham type code book for my design of double semaphore indicator boards, using either letter or number combinations linked to key words in the code book.

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Telegraph Detachment, Post Office Rifles “Egypt  1882”. (1932 Cigarette card from the Royal Signals website https://royal-signals.org.uk/Datasheets/Telegraph.php)

Popham code books? Indicator boards? The next blog post to immediately follow is all about the semaphore and heliograph that I have  researched to make this coastal or desert signal tower.

https://poundstoreplasticwarriors.wordpress.com/2017/05/17/by-heliograph-and-semaphore/

Blogposted by Mark, Man of TIN 17 May 2017.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Bartitsu and Bayonet Duelling

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Inspired by Bartitsu Duelling,  I have been looking out for  suitable period figures to use in my quick solo card duelling game. This game is based  on Gerard De Gre’s “Lunge, Cut and Stop Thrust” rules, reprinted in Donald Featherstone, Solo Wargaming.

https://manoftinblog.wordpress.com/2017/04/28/more-duelling-inspiration-bartitsu/

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

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I found some interesting civilian figures on the Lemax site available in UK (through Swallow Aquatics and Mill Race Garden Centre UK)

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A trusty cane or (sword)stick  – weapons of choice for the Bartitsu duellist.

These Lemax  (badly) prepainted Christmas or Model village type  figures are not cheap at around £5 a pair but period civilian figures are fairly rare beasts  compared to toy soldiers. They get a little closer to the Bartitsu style stick fighting figures shown in the  montage below.

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I like the cyclist figure that comes with one of the stick or cane wielding men. The Bartitsu website also features articles and comical video for gents and ladies on how to use your new fangled bicycle invention as a defence or attack weapon against Edwardian ruffians.

These figures sort of capture the Edwardian or VSF top hat street fighting feel of  Bartitsu.

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E.W. Barton Wright Bartitsu montage (Wikipedia source)

Spelunkers! 

One other pair of Lemax figures, staves in hand,  looked online like they would be a good pair to split up to make a duelling pair. These Lemax  Spelunkers or mountain climbers are such a fun set and so thickly based that I think I will keep them together and repaint them. There is always the garden rockery to explore!

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With a rifle added they would make great mountain troops or guide with their water bottles and haversacks. Separating the resin figures from their bases or cutting the resin base in half would be a tricky and probably doomed option. They will stay together and sometimes explore the rockery in garden games.

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They remind me a bit of the more interestingly posed Airfix German Mountain Troops.

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Sadly the Lemax figures are big 1:32 figures, more 64mm than 54mm, and on chunky resin bases as can be seen in comparison with this 54mm Britain’s lead farmer.

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Comparing Britain’s 54mm with Lemax 1:32 / 64mm

The farmer you might recognise from his other job as Edwardian Ruffian and a quick bout of Country Stick Fighting in a lane somewhere …

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Git off my land …. Britain’s lead farm figures with recast Dorset Soldiers arms.

If you recognise this Ruffian on the left, he unfortunately took on a street sweeper and lost. A broom being good as a two handed duelling stick …

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But isn’t this the Pound Store Plastic Warriors blog?

Bashed hollowcast lead figures and Resin Christmas figures are all very well. They belong more to my Man of TIN blog projects.  But what about duelling with cheap plastic / pirated figures?

If this post seems to have drifted from pound store plastic warriors for the moment, there are always some uses for of the “useless” pose figures that can be adapted for duelling such as these clubbing and bayoneting troops.

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Bayonet duelling – pound store pirated Matchbox Eighth Army figures.

Bayonet drill through the ages is well illustrated on these Thor Trains sites (with the reminder not too try this at home)

http://www.thortrains.com/getright/drillbay1943.html

http://www.thortrains.com/getright/drillbay1.html

and several sites on bayonet fencing and stick drills

https://www.scribd.com/mobile/document/157560243/Union-Manual-of-Bayonet-Exercise-George-B-McClellan-1852-1861

This interesting civil war history and re-enactor site has an interesting section on bayonet drill, full of the language of  sword fighting and duelling / fencing thrust parry and lunge but with a coarser edge (using the rifle butt etc).

http://www.64thill.org/drillmanuals/mcclellans_bayonetexercise/part03.htm

https://civilwartalk.com/threads/bayonet-drill.116880/

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Bayonet drill American Civil War style from the http://www.64thill.org website.

It was not unknown from an early period for heavy pistols and muskets to be reversed and used as clubs, after the enemy got too close for you to reload.o

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Herald Plastic cowboy extravagantly wallops Matchbox Eighth Army …

Add a bayonet as well as a pistol butt  or rifle butt and an infantryman or dragoon had an impressive close quarters duelling weapon that they were trained to use. I’m not sure how coordinated or choreographed this bayonet duelling would be in real life, but in the toy war / duelling card game it fits the balletic lunge and parry style of the  game.

Bayonet drill is possibly one reason for the large number of dramatic but odd stabbing, clubbing etc figures that especially plastic soldier manufacturers seemed to turn out in figure sets, in place of useful marching and firing soldiers.

And at last, an active use for those drum majors off duty … in a quiet London street near a barracks somewhere …

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One of my Prince August drum major clobbers an old Lone Star /Harvey type Cake Dec  whilst a Tradition Indian army and Britain’s Gurkha.

Until the local constabulary turns up and breaks it all up. A Truncheon will be drawn if needed. Move along there …

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The local constabulary appears … junkshop policeman and one of my Prince August Home Cast  police.

All these quick figure duels using Gerard De Gre’s Lunge, Cut and Stop Thrust rules have been great fun solo games in between other gaming projects.

Next step is to add more moves into the pack of card moves  and “combat resolution table”.

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How best to expand the simple table of limited moves by Gerard De Gre?

Blogposted by Mark, Man of TIN.

More Duelling Inspiration – Mexicans!

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Duelling hombres with the trusty old length of 2 by 4 …

I have been trying out some more “Lunge Cut and Stop Thrust” duelling skirmishes using the Gerard De Gre rules set out in Donald Featherstone’s Solo War-gaming:

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

https://manoftinblog.wordpress.com/2017/04/28/more-duelling-inspiration-bartitsu/

These rules suggest many different two or three figure bouts, contests or wallopings.

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Duelling Mexican ladies – besoms at dawn.

The figures used are Steve Weston’s Mexican Peasants – I got mine through  a good deal on his website or EBay site for some sets with water damaged packaging. This  got me two packets for the price of one. Not quite Pound store prices but still cheap.

For a quick and lazy paint job on these white plastic figures, I used the “Pewtering” technique. I learnt this from the Prince August website, giving them a quick brush over with black acrylic paint, them wiping the paint off a minute or two later before it dries. Details are revealed as highlights and shadows, whilst you can always repaint in more detail at a later time.

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Useful generic peasant   figures

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This wounded or winded peasant looks like he has got on the wrong side of the “bald headed end of the broom”. Defeated duellist.
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This wounded or sleeping peasant has the look of an old woodcut with this pewtering paint technique.

Some of the peasants are armed with rifles, very useful for irregular forces, guerillas and settlers. Not so useful for the duelling games.

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Mexican Peasants with rifles or whatever troops your Imagi-Nation requires
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Dice are being used as counters, each figure starting with 5 combat or life points.

Here the Mexican lady is the attacker – I threw a coin to choose. The man is the defender.

Playing as the attacking angry Mexican lady I have a limited choice of three duelling moves – cut or swipe to head, parry and lunge and stop- thrust.

Playing solo I will be drawing the man’s cards from the top of his deck each time, replacing them to the bottom.

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Gerard  De Gre’s duelling table (reprinted in Donald Featherstone’s Solo Wargaming)
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The defending Mexican hombre loses a point.
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Eventually he is defeated by the attacking Senorita and loses his last combat point with his drawn card.

Mexico Gold Rush: A renewed duel between angry Mexican machete guy and man with shovel  over the golden nuggets in the basket.

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Shovel Man down to two combat or life points.
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Shovel Guy draws one of the random cards, wiping out his last combat or life point. Adios amigo!

Dice simplification

In his comments on Alan the Tradgardmastre’s use of this limited fast game in a school masterclass club, Kaptain Kobold came up with a very useful dice simplification of the Gerard De Gre duelling rules http://tradgardland.blogspot.co.uk/2017/04/master-classes.html

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Using the cleverly simple dice version (keeping the other dice as points counters)
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Last life point gone … Machete guy still has the gold. But for how long?

Flint, Feather, Scissors, Paper, Stone

Dan Foley in the same comment section pointed out an extension of these limited scissors paper stones type rules in the melee section of some beta play test Native American conflict rules : “For a similar idea taken a bit further check out the beta version of Flint & Feather
https://www.cruciblecrush.com/files/Flint%20and%20Feather%20Basic%20Rules(1).pdf

These look an attractive  set of miniatures and some interesting rules or games mechanicisms which give me a few new ideas for expanding the limited choices of these fast  duelling games.

Postscript

Steve Weston’s Mexican Peasants are very versatile figures that could stand in for many eras and nations such as Boxers or Chinese figures from Asia, peasants from Europe as well as the Wild West.

Lots of interesting conversions on the web.

http://ilikethethingsilike.blogspot.co.uk/2010/09/steve-westons-mexican-rifleman.html

http://ilikethethingsilike.blogspot.co.uk/2010/09/steve-westons-mexican-peasants.html

http://ilikethethingsilike.blogspot.co.uk/2010/09/steve-westons-mexican-shovel-guy.html

Blog posted by Mark, Man of TIN blog.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Pound Store Romans

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Pound Land’s finest legionaries …
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8 warriors to collect in the Pound Land series
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Close up of the 8 available figures in the range.
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Gladiator figure, rear view of Tortoise legionary, Roman archer.
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Rear view of gladiator and Roman archer.

Pound Land U.K. currently has stocks of 75 to  80mm plastic figures perfect for garden games.

The equivalent Papo or  Schleich figure range are better paint finished, slightly more detailed and about one of these  would cost the same as five to eight or more of these £1 figures.

As all they had left of this range on the shelves in Poundland were mostly the Roman Testudo  Tortoise figures, a little cutting and reglueing of the arm may be needed. Pilum or Spear very fragile but they do have separate sword in a scabbard.

Obviously a little painting may be required but this is a much cheaper way of building up some big troops for garden gaming.

The challenge is who they are to fight against! I will have to keep an eye out for some suitably tribal figures in the sameness price range.  Even the gladiator has no opposition but there are plenty more poses of  Schleich gladiators at greater cost.

Blog posted by Mark, Man of TIN.

Hobbycraft Castle Tower

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Herald 54mm plastic Guardsman for size / scale

Searching for Revell Gloss Acrylic paints in Hobbycraft on my way home from work last week , I noticed the papier-mâché aisle had this interesting fort tower or section.

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As I have already made a small grey stone castle kit in wood, I thought that this would be interesting in adobe / white desert (or alien planet) white.

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40mm Prince August Homecast cowboys used for scale.

It should work with a variety of toy plastic or metal figures, so I included some Prince August 40mm figures I have cast and been painting up.

http://shop.princeaugust.ie/40mm-cowboys-and-indians-he/

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Whitewashed tower in a more desert setting

I could weather it and distress it, but I quite like the clean lines and simple appearance. I could have cut the two roofs sections off to make rooms inside but wanted to keep it simple and  strong.  It could equally make a kind of lighthouse or a 1930s aircraft control tower.

Whilst it wasn’t cheap at £10, it was a good buy to end a working week, perfect for a wet bank holiday.

http://www.hobbycraft.co.uk/mache-castle-tower-25-cm/615721-1000

I almost bought the papier-mâché Viking Ship as well http://www.hobbycraft.co.uk/mache-viking-boat-36-cm/614504-1000

and papier-mache  houses – but resisted!

http://www.hobbycraft.co.uk/mache-house-34-cm/608919-1000

I resisted buying the ship and house because I am midway through turning a supermarket finest Christmas clementine box from last year into another fort or walled compound …

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Tesco finest to desert fort …

This box is an MDF sort of ‘wood’  and has an adobe or Alamo look to it (where the top lid should slot in), especially in the corner sections. It also has a look of my much loved Airfix Foreign Legion Fort.

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First a layer of white acrylic paint over peeled label and sanded outside walls. Several coats of acrylic paint will be needed.

You can see mocked up internal firing step or walls, but not sure which height yet to suit which scale of toy figure.

I’m still roughing out the internal layout – possibly a wooden coffee-stirrer barn door at one end below or incorporating the handle, and another coffee-stirrer barn door midway along one wall.

But that is for another blogpost …

Blogposted by Mark, Man of TIN / Pound Store Plastic Warriors blog, 2 May 2017.