Where on earth do I find this stuff?

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Pound Store green and tan army men with more colourful traditional toy soldier paint style 

Or “Where did you get that tat, where did you get that style?”

Regular reader CT asked in the comments section, after reading my link to the DeathZap! Blog post: “Where on earth do you find this stuff? Please answer in your blog” 

Answer 1: Portal sites

Where I find interesting new sites featuring Pound Store Plastic figures and budget wargaming ideas partly comes down to spending far far far too much time searching the web for similar and inspiring blogposts, starting out at great portal sites and bloggers such as Bob Cordery at Wargaming Miscellany and Ross MacFarlane at Battle Game of The Month.

http://wargamingmiscellany.blogspot.com

https://gameofmonth.blogspot.com

Everyone has their own regular or portal sites. From there, I push on exploring other people’s blog rolls and favourite websites. Some blog sites used to have a random button at top for ‘next blog along’, which turned up interesting new blogs and bloggers.

I don’t  regularly buy any gaming or Toy Soldier magazines,  although if I do find them in larger branches of newsagents, I usually quickly scan through the contents pages to see if it is worth buying that month.  More money for figures and hobby materials!

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There is a quirky and interesting little book by Iain Dickie, former editor of Miniature Wargames, which is now out of print but widely and cheaply available online secondhand, called Wargaming on a Budget. Well worth tracking down.

Answer 2: the simple joy of cheap plastic tat from Pound stores

Sometimes bloggers who are into similar scales or sources of figures find me; for example, the Wargaming Pastor behind the Death Zap! Website contacted or followed me. Checking out his website I noticed the same Poundland penny dreadful figures that I have been busy this year converting into various different gaming figures. So I put a link to his site, emails followed …

 

 

 

Sadly my local Poundland shop no longer stocks these handy tubs of figures for a penny each. They are available bagged on various online sources, slightly more expensively. I stocked up on a few tubs as the numbers of figures began to drop from 100 to 80 to 70 figures per £1 tub in Poundland stores.

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That seems to be the rule of thumb  for cheap pound store, toy shop  and seaside plastic figures. They often aren’t around for long, maybe just for one season, so best stock up on lots when you see them! At such cheap prices compared to metal gaming figures, it is daft not to stock up. You never know when they might come in handy. You might not see them again ever or at least for a long while.

Playsets give you a range of figures and accessories with the slight charming complication  that they often do not match in scale.

Car boots, jumble sales, charity shops, online auction site job lots, supermarket or online “party bag” or “party favours” sections, cake decoration sites, all have been a source of cheaper plastic figures.

Answer 3 – Serendipity and geography of Tat

Different parts of the country seem to have different figures in stock, different countries have different pound, euro or dollar store figures.

Plastic Tat Envy? What isn’t easily or cheaply attainable in your own part of the world always looks more interesting, but often the shipping or postage is off putting on a budget.

How cool the Tim Mee Galaxy laser team space figures look, but they are currently not easily available in the UK, likewise some other cheap American historical figures.

You make do with what is available – that is half the challenge!

Doug Shand’s pirated Airfix Australian clones are not available in the UK but he makes great conversion use of them.

http://dougssoldiers.blogspot.com/2012/08/dollar-store-thirty-years-war.html

http://dougssoldiers.blogspot.com/2013/05/plasticene-dreams.html

Conversion by paint, scalpel, flame and glue along with a bit of imagination is usually required to make the most of the cheap degraded pirated figures that turn up.

https://poundstoreplasticwarriors.wordpress.com/2018/01/28/pound-store-plastic-warrior-conversions-and-comparisons/

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A few simple paint conversions of Pound Store 30/32mm figures …

https://poundstoreplasticwarriors.wordpress.com/2018/02/03/pound-store-colonial-skirmish-part-1/

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What I liked about the recently passed Thor Shiel’s websites was his lack of snobbery about using whatever branded and unbranded plastic figures you had available wherever you are.

http://www.thortrains.net/armymen/armymen1.htm

So that is where I get some of my stuff … I’m not sure if this answered CT’s question ?

Blogposted by Mark, Man of TIN on 5th December 2018.

On my other blog, Man of TIN, I am counting down to Christmas with my Advent Calendar of mini blog posts and pictures, clearing through the backlog of unposted blog post drafts of 2018.

https://manoftinblog.wordpress.com

 

 

 

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Author: 26soldiersoftin

Hello I'm Mark Mr MIN, Man of TIN. Based in S.W. Britain, I'm a lifelong collector of "tiny men" and old toy soldiers, whether tin, lead or childhood vintage 1960s and 1970s plastic figures. I randomly collect all scales and periods and "imagi-nations" as well as lead civilians, farm and zoo animals. I enjoy the paint possibilities of cheap poundstore plastic figures as much as the patina of vintage metal figures. Befuddled by the maths of complex boardgames and wargames, I prefer the small scale skirmish simplicity of very early Donald Featherstone rules. To relax, I usually play solo games, often using hex boards. Gaming takes second place to making or convert my own gaming figures from polymer clay (Fimo), home-cast metal figures of many scales or plastic paint conversions. I also collect and game with vintage Peter Laing 15mm metal figures, wishing like many others that I had bought more in the 1980s ...

6 thoughts on “Where on earth do I find this stuff?”

    1. I hope this went some way to answering the stuff question. Access to cheap plastic Tat is so regional unless you surf the Internet and even then shipping can be daft prices. It’s also sometimes sparse in Pound stores for long periods of time. Buy it when you can … otherwise you’re right, you suffer (other people’s access to) Tat Envy, pure and simple.

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