Fantasy Games, Boys’ Literacy and Gaming in The Library TES Article 2001

img_4353
When Prussian invaders met Skeleton Knights …

Over the last few months I have been chatting on and off (through the  comments pages of my Man of TIN blog) to Jen Burdoo, a librarian and gamer in the USA.

Jen has been interested, like other library staff around the world, in bringing historical figure gaming or wargaming or miniatures gaming into the library.

I know that this happens in Australia having read of such things in Kaptain Kobold’s The Stronghold Rebuilt blog.

I knew somewhere that I had filed away an old teaching or education newspaper article somewhere about something similar being done with fantasy gaming in libraries in Britain, partly to encourage boy’s literacy.

In the interests of this discussion and for those interested in the general history of fantasy gaming, I have scanned this Times Education Supplement (TES) article of February 23 2001,  entitled War of Words by Elaine Williams.

bc242fa0-cc62-4d43-b157-1ade724272a3

482a3a56-740d-4f78-9f44-2541be107a01

44507017-b4c5-4f8c-8784-a0927892a65d

cab7ab83-d939-4420-a1bd-513bdcbf876e

bef52375-b362-4cf7-82d5-d03fb20a33cc

 

0b027c8f-be4e-4766-84b6-7e73a9ab8c11

515ee824-efea-4ed9-8ae4-cb8895e37570

2f3eb14c-a110-4b3c-9153-fbce8ddff70a

1e6db7c4-6cfc-4ed9-8a03-0cb455348273

 

9145bcef-9ec2-4814-8f18-13061a46f92c
Times Education Supplement TES February 23 2001
21e27165-e132-440f-a2f9-53491ddb2d61
2001 stats on Games Workshop / Fantasy Games TES February 23, 2001.

I am not a fantasy gamer. I am not really interested in the ups and downs, ‘love them or loathe them’ relationship with Games Workshop that many fantasy gamers seem to have.

I know that children playing with the ‘scary’ or ‘supernatural’ warlock and wizardry, demons and dragons, sorcery and spells side of fantasy games  raises some concerns  for some people.

Interestingly about the same timesavers the TES article, there was a brief correspondence in 2002 about a similar project linked to the Lord of the Rings films and a letter regarding comments in the article on a Christian or religious angle on Tolkien and fantasy games.

ceca80b0-e5a7-4081-9b6e-e250820d0b2a

Please note that I, Man of TIN,  does not wish to get into any religious arguments over reprinting this article on my blog and respects other people’s rights to their beliefs. Thank you.

0c463319-9251-40b8-8725-98f0ab36100e
TES November 29 2002

a02ddcfd-da5c-4551-8766-9c86fb4395fc

I hope that these couple of articles are of interest to (fantasy) gamers and those involved with library gaming.

As someone who spent much time in branch libraries researching uniforms, battles, history and borrowing Wargames books, it must have done much for my literacy.

I hope that reading  this article is of historical or current interest to some gamers.

Blogposted by Mark Man of TIN 20 January 2019.

Advertisements

Combat Mission Soldier Play Set 2

4c8393eb-3fe0-4b71-acfb-bacc949ab5ba
What toy soldier or gaming inspiration lies inside this playset? Imported by Kandy Toys 

As well as the Combat Mission playset shown on my previous blog post,

https://poundstoreplasticwarriors.wordpress.com/2019/01/21/combat-mission-military-soldier-play-set/

I also had stored away for my Christmas gifts this useful little second playset of figures and accessories.

The third set in the trio of loveliness in my local seaside gift shop this summer (just gone) – all would be  perfect toys for beach battles or rainy holiday days –  were  just  a bag of 40-54mm mostly Airfix pirate / clone figures. I didn’t buy this figure set, as many of the figures I already had. What unexpected Pound Store plastic restraint!

b1758c64-00a9-4714-8655-5ff9b70015d7
Tiny 54mm Man of TIN salutes the contents and new recruits.
ee7ff5d8-dc8a-4020-aec0-3b566e00f073
These figures in scale against Britain’s 54mm lead hollowcast guardsman and my 54mm homecast Man of TIN profile figure / gravatar.
fb4c5ed1-a624-476d-9e62-a3e14144d5a2
How these figures measure up. A mix of 45 to 48mm? Already planned as space marine figures. 
8093acce-4556-458e-b51b-0943c8968573
Some useful and interesting plastic play features that can be adapted at various scales for gaming. Setting this to be photographed, the years just slip away. Playset therapy?
03723226-13c1-4b23-a674-e81e616870e1
This gun looks interesting, lots of possibilities here. Store crates, sandbags, ammo dumps.
12946c14-6e8b-4140-842f-805bd0675f96
Three useful vehicles – modern Army?  Space tanks?
7329429c-d113-44ad-8f14-235c9aa8760c
What this set breaks down to – you can see how these were moulded and made.
9d2b02d7-c9af-406a-9ba9-b429d2e60d02
Header card artwork for Combat Mission sets. Modern British infantry based?

It was this simply moulded artillery piece that first caught my eye in this set. Worth the £3 the set cost for this artillery alone? Could it be repainted as Victorian?  Steampunk? VSF? Space? WW1 or WW2?

I almost bought several sets on the spot for these useful looking guns.

It fits in with my converted digital radio case mate or gun emplacement.

https://manoftinblog.wordpress.com/2018/10/14/from-old-digital-radio-to-54mm-houses-and-coastal-gun-emplacement/

200b4c8a-21b4-4922-9f28-4b14c7f1996e

30b02ed5-0e51-4b0e-a647-3c1795682d54
Inside the gun emplacement, staffed and sandbagged with other elements of the set. 40 to 54mm plastic and lead hollowcast figures. Simple old notebook spine metal barbed wire.
a3bad846-32e6-41be-afcd-49a671f7dbe8
How does this gun measure or scale up when put with some of my 32mm pound store figure conversions? Laser cannon?

Trying out the different scaled play set elements with different sizes and scales of figures is interesting. What fits and works? What gaming scenario ideas does it suggest?

What could these strange towers be? Guard Posts? Radar towers?

8aaf6355-32e5-427e-ba7b-2aa691f82c3d
More scaled down ideas from converted smaller 32mm Pound Store figures (not sold in this set)
2f13c625-3f0c-4f01-971f-74668473902b
How these towers  could be adapted for use with simple internal floors. Again more 32mm Pound Store figure conversions (not supplied with this set).

I feel that the playset would have been better scaled with some of these 32mm figures that are / were offered in different bagged sets by the same supplier.

IMG_2665
Maybe these 32mm figures in the same Combat Mission brand are a more suitable size to fit most of the accessories? Bought a couple of years ago, 2016/17.

However a strange mismatch of scales is one of the hallmarks of a proper cheap plastic play set.

Several of the elements such as the towers  can be bought separately (often in packs of ten!) directly by post from online suppliers in China.

Already the first of the more space marine looking figures are under coated dark blue and tuppenny based, ready for painting into larger versions of their smaller selves. These completed smaller figures can be seen above, painted as  32mm blue Flash Gordon Style ‘space marine’ figure conversions. They have with their Officer or NCO in the beret a certain Star Ship Trooper/  ‘grunt’ look to them already.

Play set  therapy session over for now …

Blog posted by Mark, Man of TIN on 23 / 24 January 2019.

Combat Mission Military Soldier Play Set

A welcome part of my Christmas presents …

I have a nostalgic soft spot for a pocket money play set. This one from a seaside gift shop is worth £3 of anyone’s money and would I hope be good value for a child. It has useful figures and vehicles for any pound store budget gamer.

The stock graphics show modern US or British troops ( the flag, plane and helicopter markings are also US). The contents are the usual bizarre mix of modern (Stealth aircraft) right back to WW2 figures and Jeep.

Combat Mission Play set (imported by Kandy Toys UK) 
What do you get for your £3? For the price of a high street coffee you get 20 figures, 4 planes and vehicles. Hopefully also priceless hours of plastic fun.

Figures are the usual odd mix  (and usual slight scale difference) of pirate  / clone ‘China made’ WW2 Airfix British Paratroops, US Infantry and smaller more distorted German infantry clone figures.

https://poundstoreplasticwarriors.wordpress.com/2017/06/13/more-combat-mission-80-pound-store-plastic-soldiers-part-2/

All have their conversion potential and in play set terms, despite being the same colour, could split into two groups to form two different armies.
The smaller figures paint up well enough:

https://poundstoreplasticwarriors.wordpress.com/2017/11/10/pound-store-42mm-infantry-army-red-army-blue/

A handy little jeep (near 54mm scale) with useful barbed wire fencing.

An odd chunky little tank that reminds me of a Soviet tank (not sure what it is based on) so I have included some childhood Platoon 20 Russian infantry 20mm metal figures. Certainly not pound store parts of my childhood! Old notebook ‘spine’ barbed wire.
Too small to be a tent for these 40 to 54mm figures but maybe a covered supply or ammo dump?
The same ‘tent’ is more plausible with 20 mm Platoon 20 metal figures (or smaller 15mm figures)
The same ‘tent’ with Poundland 32mm conversions is perhaps better as a supply dump.
Every good cheap play set needs a bizarre playmat but this has a river, sand bag positions …
Platoon 20mm metal figures, bootleg Airfix US WW2 infantry and ESCI Vietnam era US infantry match this chopper or  helicopter quite well.

A useful little play set that I would have enjoyed as a child. Still useful to me today.

Blogposted by Mark Man of TIN 21 January 2019.

Pound Store Undefended? Pound Store Plastic Warriors further defence cuts 2018 2019

 

IMG_3045
70? 80? My First “Shelfie” – Poundland,  Blog Reconnaissance photo,  February 2018

Further Defence Cuts Threatened – Official – the pound now buys fewer and fewer troops.

October 2017 – a UK pound (old or new) bought 100 soldiers of the Battle Squadron and its Epic Battles.

https://manoftinblog.wordpress.com/2017/10/26/off-to-poundland-on-a-mission/

January 2018 – a UK pound bought only 80 soldiers.

https://poundstoreplasticwarriors.wordpress.com/2018/01/26/20-less-pound-store-plastic-warriors-for-your-pound/

Mid February 2018 – the same UK pound bought you only 70 troops.

The Epic Battles are now slightly smaller. Watch this space for Further Defence Cuts. (February 2018) 

Poundland Defence Forces Update late 2018 

Mid to late 2018 – The Epic Battles tubs of 100, sorry 80, sorry 70 figures are now none!  Now is the time to invade Poundland … other than a few jointed 6 inch action figures, which don’t really count.

Pound Land is now defenceless. They have no troops left.

Do not be alarmed – these penny dreadful figures can be found in various packs online if you search.

The only Pound Store figures in Pound Land (UK) were these chunky blind bag / box Awesome Little Green Men – I bought three £1 boxes ‘on spec’ (December 2018) to see what these were. Going going gone January 2019 … now series 1 is ‘unavailable’ these collectibles are worth £5 to £6.

https://poundstoreplasticwarriors.wordpress.com/2019/01/05/awesome-little-green-men-1-boxes/

https://awesomelittlegreenmen.mgae.com

IMG_0615.png
What each £1 box might contain … the expensive future of collectible toy soldiers?

 Awesome Little Green Men Series 2 features the inevitable Zombies … but only available in the USA.

The moral of this story about Pound Store Plastic Warriors: Buy ’em when you see ’em! They may not be there next time.

https://poundstoreplasticwarriors.wordpress.com/2018/12/05/where-on-earth-do-i-find-this-stuff/

Blogposted by Mark Man of TIN, drafted 19 February 2018, posted January 2019. 

Awesome Little Green Men £1 boxes

The latest short lived toy soldiers in Poundland …

A quick trip into Poundland before Christmas found few toy soldiers, instead these blind bag figures at £1 per figure box. You can pay £5+  each online now Series 1 is unavailable.

If Charlie Brown and the Peanuts gang ever got drafted, this is how they would look. Kawaii!

Size?

img_0707img_0749

The inevitable Zombies appear in series 2 …

The ALGM Website also has download rules and  animated webisodes on YouTube.

img_0747
Is this game Subbuteo or Shovehapenny meets Toy Soldiers?
img_0748
Stat Chart

Blogposted by Mark Man of TIN on Pound Store Plastic Warriors on 7th January 2019

From their Youtube channels – Hit Me with Your Best Shot, General!

 

 

Little Wars Revisited 54mm gaming day, 16 March 2019 Woking

March 16th 2019 – Little Wars Revisited 54mm Games Day, Woking.

http://littlewarsrevisited.boards.net/thread/172/lwr-forum-2019-games-day?page=1

http://mikelewis.info/littlewars/?p=642

Some good looking games shown on people’s blogs last year – You can see pics of 2018 at Brian Carrick’s blog:

http://toysoldiercollecting.blogspot.com/2018/03/little-wars-revisited-54mm-in-woking.html

and at

https://wargaminggallimaufry.blogspot.com/2018/03/the-little-wars-revisited-54mm-day-in.html

Not sure if I will make it along but Mike Lewis the organiser mentioned promoting the event to 54mm gamers via our blogs. So here goes …

Blog posted / cross posted from Man of TIN blog by Mark Man of TIN on 4 January 2019

Colour Schemes for Imagi Nations Uniforms

 

 

 

IMG_2664
Modern toy soldiers don’t have to be dull colours in my Imagi-Nations world …

2018 started with the disappearance of the old UK pound coin,  traded in at Poundland for more ‘penny dreadful’ toy soldier tubs. These steadily decreased from 100 figures (32mm-ish) for £1 to 80 figures, 70 figures and then gone in my local stores for now… Poundland Defence Cuts!

First rule of Pound Store Plastic Warriors: Buy ’em when you see ’em! They won’t be there next week / month / year / visit.

Above top  – from early 2018 – an unfinished blog post photo of  a rare mismould amongst these cheap Poundland penny-ish figures, destined for elite sub machine gun and Commando beret use. No mismould left behind!

Over on my other Man of TIN blog, sister to this Pound Store Plastic Warriors blog, I have been reviewing my past gaming year https://manoftinblog.wordpress.com/2019/01/01/new-gaming-year-irresolutions-2019

December was an Advent Calendar of tiny blogposts using up unfinished drafts and 12ish days of Twixmas into the New Year. Time for some …

Housekeeping!

Pound Store Plastic Warriors has a few of its own unfinished blog posts including this one about my uniform sketches for a retro toy soldier look for cheap plastic modern figures. A kind of Postmodern Jukebox approach for plastic tat?

IMG_2207

IMG_2208
Army Grey, Army Green
IMG_2209
Army Yellow, Army White
IMG_2211
Air Force Red, Air Force Blue but  as yet no Navy, Blue or other colour wise.

One of the challenges of painting up Imagi-Nations from a motley combination of pound store plastic warriors, homecast  and repaired hollowcast metal figures is a coherent uniform scheme that can unify the diverse figures into different armies or groups.

Occasionally as an Airfix child I dream of the restrictive but comforting safe joys of real historical uniforms and their painting guides – and then do my own thing anyway!

In the spirit of H.G. Wells in Little Wars, I started with Army Red and Army Blue.

Reference note: I drew these sketches in 2017/18 before discovering the much more ‘official status’ of the Funny Little Wars army lists and colours.

http://www.thevirtualarmchairgeneral.com/800-Funny-Little-Wars-Product-Page.htm

Pound Store Plastic Warriors Plans for 2019? 

Keep collecting more seaside soldier  plastic tat. It stops it getting into the oceans. Maybe we should rename the blog Pound Store Plastic Eco-Warriors?

IMG_0592
One of the small joys of Christmas 2018 …

I have some more ideas for (42mm) FIMO polymer clay figures to fill some figure gaps.

The rest of my 2019 plans are those Irresolutions of the Man of TIN blog.

https://manoftinblog.wordpress.com/2019/01/01/new-gaming-year-irresolutions-2019

I look forward to hearing about your undone 2018 plans and your 2019 Irresolutions via the comments and reply section.

Happy New Year! Blogposted by Mark Man of TIN on Pound Store Plastic Warriors blog, 3rd January 2019.