I am quite pleased with how my Desert Warrior conversions from Poundland penny soldiers (£1 for a tub or bag of 100) are shaping up so far.
Several coats of white paint were required on the kitchen roll and PVA glue or the better alternative of tissue paper and PVA.
For a penny each these 36mm plastic figures have lots of conversion potential although I have yet to try splicing one body onto another. It is quite hard plastic compared to Airfix figures.
I enjoyed adding the brass or copper strips on the long barrels on the rifles or jezails of these hill and desert warriors.
Desert or mountain rocky sandy base was in fact the base painted with flesh tint artists’ acrylic then quickly dipped in a small box of red Devon beach sand, collected on a recent seaside trip.
I tried a very very weak or thin umber wash of acrylic to bring out the folds and shadows of the white desert robes, without losing the toy soldier look.
The warriors are not based on any one tribe – they are part Mahdist, part Desert or Bedouin type ‘Lawrence of Arabia’ Arab Warrior and part Pathan North West Frontier hill tribe. They are destined for fighting in the distant deserts of Farica or Generica.
Donald Featherstone was one inspiration for these figures, shown in my Man of TIN blog:
My other inspiration for these desert warriors, apart from Featherstone’s tribesmen in Solo Wargaming, was an early 1970s childhood Ladybird book, Soldiers by John West and illustrated by Frank Humphris.
The page on tribal warriors was pretty useful – I like the surprising 1970s Ladybird equality sentiment about:
Soldiers of other lands
“Not all soldiers had regimental uniforms.
They were fighting men too.
They were just as brave.”
The long rifles of the oddly moulded or copied original pound store modern troops suggested details or conversion possibilities like a long Jezail type musket. Their bulky head gear or helmet looked oddly like a turban or the head scarf of a late 19th Century desert or hill tribesman.
I need to run up two of three dozen more of these conversions for a suitable skirmish encounter. Then I need to make some suitable red or khaki Colonial infantry as opponents.
I have started work on some trial Colonial infantry figures such as this rough unfinished Redcoat engineer or signaller with a heliograph, crudely converted from a modern machine gunner. Kneeling artillery gunners are another conversion possibility for this figure. Still some work to do on the heliograph.
I look forward to trying some other tribesmen variations, more Pathan or more Mahdist, some more colourfully robed Airfix type Bedouin of Desert warriors, even a mysterious tribe of black cloaked Desert Warriors.
All for a penny each …
B.P. S. Blog Post Script
I shall come back in another blogpost to this handy little 1970s Ladybird book Soldiers and its simple clear view of history and occasional sentiments about the waste of war.
Blog posted by Mark, Man of TIN.
5 thoughts on “Poundland Desert Warriors finished”
These are some of the crudest cheap plastic toy soldiers that I’ve ever seen but you have managed to rescue them and transform them into brave warriors! Well done!
The book looks like one I could have spent many hours with.
You’re absolutely right – they are mostly very crude figures. Their penny status aside, which was part of the attraction, they were a challenge, to slightly misquote 1970s British comedian Dick Emery “They are Awful … but I Like them”.
I will feature more on a few choice pages of the Ladybird Soldiers book. To me it was an affordable useful uniform book to a 1970s child. Mark, Man of TIN blog.
They look great Mark. A monochrome picture of the finished tribesmen in a sandbox could be right out of a Featherstone book.
Thanks Jack MJT. What a great idea! Not thought this far ahead yet as working on when to make a few dozen more. Whilst my old garden sandpit or sand table is sadly no more, I look forward to creating my hexscape desert terrain boards up again and will try black and white photo editing on this. It makes sense, seeing as Featherstone’s Solo Wargaming colonials partly inspired them. Mark, Man of TIN.