If my pound store supplies dry up (always possible), these are around. You can pay from one penny to four pence per these 36mm figures (plus postage) depending on the shop, supplier and packaging.
The Five Little Diamonds website also shows the stylish point of sale box materials.
Two very Russian looking figures are shown in the box art illustration, alongside a third (possibly German, possibly American?) figure. These Retro Toys figures are packaged or supplied by BeamFeature, a Trade Only UK importer wholesaler supplier / website.
As usual with these sets, “two armies” are really the same figures in two colours, akin to the usual Toy Army Men green and tan, although in this case in the packaging picture green and red.
Two Armies in one box?
This is a slightly different approach from the Poundland tub or bags of one colour / country, red / green / silver, each colour with a flag, respectively USA and Great Britain and Germany.
At the slightly odd size of 42mm high, these Pound Store lovelies have been stuck on my paint table for a while awaiting bases, varnish and finishing touches. Almost there! I look forward to sharing more pictures of them soon in action on this blog.
Blog posted on Pound Store Plastic Warriors by Mark, Man of TIN, October 2017.
The poor moulding, copying or sculpting has inadvertently created a figure who looks like he belongs to the future.
I might try a little face wash with darker flesh or weak brown to bring out the ruggedfacial features along with a watery blue wash to bring out the white equipment, hopefully without losing the toy soldier look. Tiny pink dots on the cheeks aid or restore this toy soldier look.
The Romanesque helmet looks a little like the odd space armour in the 1930s black and white FlashGordon serials repeated on Saturday TV when I was a child. The heavy moustache is a little Freddy Mercury nod towards the equally odd 1980 film of Flash Gordon with its pounding Queen soundtrack. Dan Dare, Buck Rogers – a quick Pinterest scouting and YouTube session should provide some design ideas. Orange jumpsuit and silver or gold? So very Star Wars rebel pilot …
Several other figures in the tub have space police or space marine sci-fi potential such as the centre figure with laser pistol. The distorted left arm looks well placed to hold a riot shield (made of clear plastic or a bronze drawing pin).
Some of the other helmeted figures could pass muster as Star Wars type rebel figures or green faced, caped cloaked aliens.
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 SoloWargaming, 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.