Popped in with my Christmas parcel from our upcountry family in 2019 was this lovely £1 bag of plastic soldiers and tanks.
They are the remnants of a playset style bag from a charity shop, picked up pre-Lockdown in late 2019. They were popped in alongside our Christmas presents as padding or packing in the Christmas parcel before posting. Who needs bubble wrap?
Please note: These were photographed in the poor light of Winter 2019 / 2020. I don’t think I posted these then for some reason.
Larger copies of familiar Airfix figures in two colours
Figures seen here in size order compared to the size of an original 54mm Airfix WW2 British Infantryman.
Again the slight size difference in the same bag of the same poses is interesting … two different factories? Two different mould tools?
Arriving without a header card, a bit of web research and toyshop browsing reveals that these Airfix figure and tank copies are HTI figures, made in China.
Similar bags are still available July 2020 in toy shops, post offices and seaside stores or from online suppliers such as here at Amazon, including with good copies of the Airfix pre-assembled OOHO Centurion tank.
I think that’s enough publicity for buying these here from Amazon (July 2020) for one post.
Buy them where you see them and certainly support your local toy shop.
Just seeing the wonky mixed scale content of these playsets so attractively photographed gives me simple childhood joy.
I really like the running infantryman figure, it originated as the advancing Airfix German infantry man with rifle but in the process of copying over forty to fifty years has become more generic, simpler and smaller. It now has more of a traditional toy soldier look, especailly if painted up in gloss toy soldier paint style.
I can never have enough of these running plastic toy soldier figures!
The smaller running rifleman or standing rifleman is just under 38-40mm from base to the top of his helmet (or if you measure to the eyes about 35-36mm)
The larger running rifleman is about 42mm from base to top of helmet, 38mm to the eyeliner, which is the usual size that I have encountered these before on these smaller figures. Quite a size drop from the 54mm Airfix originals.
This brings these broadly into line with 40mm Prince August figures for example.
Blog posted by Mark Man of TIN, January / July 2020.
These two groups of generic Marine Infantry are loosely based on two different sources:
1) L & F Funcken, Uniforms of WW2 page showing German sailors in landing rig and grey steel helmets.
2) the Russian Navy Marine Infantry or ‘Black Devils’ as the Germans called them after their dark navy blue uniforms. Other equipment like packs and helmets were Russian Army Green.
A page from An Illustrated Encyclopaedia of Uniforms of World War Two
They were undercoated in a blue- black acrylic mix. Painting was kept very simple, the kind of painting you did with Airfix figure as a child in the 1970s. They usually already had the basic uniform colour plastic. Face, rifle, packs, boots and base painted.
Otherwise no wash, no fuss, just a green painted washer for a base. Simple.
These new dark blue figures can join in ImagiNations skirmishes with or alongside existing Verdan or Grizan troops.
Grizan versus Verdan forces can be seen in this Interwar border skirmish:
Four groups or units of figures so far – this still leaves me with over a hundred more green and grey basic figures for future projects and groups (albeit with a whole fiercesome unit which will be made up of bazooka men and officers waving pistols!)
A quickly converted chess board and some Wilko Heroes pound store ‘paintzooka’ soldiers
Sometimes you struggle to find a use for all those ‘useless’ toy soldier poses you get too many of.
Bazooka man. Mine detector man. Flamethrower man. You know the ones. The ones you can’t usually properly use, as nobody can use too many of these heavy weapons poses. The ones they sometimes seem to manage to cram too many of into the average pound store bag or playset of toy soldier figures. Not mentioning lying down man, clubbing with rifle man etc.
I have been exploring over the last year or two some non-lethal games, non-fighting or non-lethal strategy games where no one gets hurt or ever dies. These range from Scouting Wide Games, snowball fights rules and Home Guard training games. Such games would be good for public participation or library gaming without the militaristic connotations that put some parents off toy soldier games or wargames.
I have noticed an interesting cross over between wargames, board games, and video games. YouTube has a series of lectures by the now retired American academic and board game collector George Phillies on board wargames design for video game design students.
There is an interesting crossover into other pop culture aspects, where a video game becomes a film (Tomb Raider, Assassins Creed, Angry Birds movies).
Sometimes a video game becomes a physical toy and game (Angry Birds again), books, a collectible card game or short lived plastic figure range (Fortnite etc). which prove useful for sci-fi figure gaming minis (see The Works store in the U.K.).
I thought about turning this video game into another form whilst playing on the family games console the Nintendo ‘paint warfare’ classic Splatoon. (This is almost as much fun as Nintendo Mario mini game Splatarazzi but that’s another story …)
Splatoon is a very successful video game that has now spawned a series of games, Splatoon 2 etc. It can be played solo or as a four game multiplayer game.
The object of the game Splatoon is to cover as much of the area with your paint colour. You can hit opponents to slow them down. You can hit enemy players to knock them out of the game temporarily, once they have lost all their health and life points, sending them back to their spawn point or baseline.
Different weapons have more paint coverage.
Movement and Firing
So for our figure poses the following suggestions (rules draft 1.0):
A (flamethrower) paint-thrower squirts 2 whole squares straight ahead or diagonally.
A mortar fires a paint bomb 3 or more squares away.
The mine detector paint roller covers just the one square that it moves into.
The paint-zooka fires at a single square two squares ahead.
Additional figure: A grenade Man could be throwing paint bombs into the face of the critics and paying gallery public, oh no, sorry, that’s modern art and art history.
Ammo refill as many times as you like. There are only 64 double sided squares to put on the same number of squares on your chessboard.
Figures move one square at a time and can fire on that turn. Fire can be forwards, backwards, diagonal, straight.
Exception: climbing hill or obstacle, you only move that turn – no firing.
Like chess, each side moves one figure each turn. IGOYUGO.
Splatoon the video game is a fast moving shooter / shootemup (paintemup?) with time limits. Solo or several players, setting a short Wellsian time limit to move one figure (or more if you decide) per turn should capture this feel.
A square that has previously been painted can be easily repainted by the opposition. Just turn over the square to the opposite colour.
A time limit or turn limit can be used to see who finally covers most squares in their paint colour in the time – victory!
Too many on each side in this tryout?
What you need
A chess board, hex board or other gridded surface.
Some cheap useless poses of Pound Store Plastic Soldier figures
As many two colour reversible squares as you have in the game board. 64 for a chess board.
I made these squares by paper glueing two different colours together then drawing with pencil a grid of my chess board sized squares on one side of the paper only. When cutting these out, you can add several more two colour sided sheets of paper, if you are careful, speeding up the task.
Add some obstacles – this hill is made of a fence post cap with square grid of paper glued in to match the chessboard. Add a tree. Add a wall. The original Splatoon game is 3D urban industrial skate park territory.
Poundland 32mm paintzooka guys … one just climbed the hill, no firing allowed that turn.
To establish some more complexity, a wider range of poses and weapons of other Pound Store figures could be used.
You may have come across non-lethal paint balling. This is another possibility of hits on players, recorded in various ways such as plastic rings or washers over their weapon / head etc. In Splatoon the enemy or opposing side can be hit by paint and have to respawn on their baseline, wasting their painting time.
Paint Hits on Players
Paintzooka hit on nominated enemy target – Roll 5 or 6 to hit target / figure
Mortar paintbomb – roll 6 to hit at 2 to 3 places at nominated target / figure
Paint-thrower – roll 6 to hit at 2 squares distance at nominated target / figure
Paint roller – no offensive capability? (Mine detector figure)
Once several hits (2 or 3) have been received, the figure goes back to baseline and starts again.
Featherstone savings throws (d6 roll of 5,6 ‘not wounded’) can be added as you require for complexity.
Add in modifiers for being behind cover as you wish.
So there you are – Spl-Attaque, Spl-Attack, Spl-Attergy. Call it what you will. Some quick play draft game rules to play around with over the next couple of months to make a Featherstone simple game, he having frequently used the phrase that wargames are like a game of “chess with a thousand pieces” (and others would no doubt add, as many variations of the rules as there are players). Enjoy rules tinkering!
Blog posted by Mark Man of (paint) TIN, 29 – 30 June 2020. All riches from playing this game should be credited and copyrighted to Mark Man of TIN.
Why the name Splatoon anyway? “S-Platoon – The first casualty of Paint Wars is the Furniture …”?
References screenshots to Splatoon by Nintendo are not ‘unintendo’ to infringe their copyright or IP, purely for reference. Why not buy the original videogame?