Timpo figures in Toy Soldiers short 1999 film

Toy Soldiers is an intriguing and funny little film, only six minutes long, made in Canada in 1999 (based around a toy soldier poem or anecdote by Al Rae), all about a young Al’s desire to own a certain rare cereal box toy soldier Teutonic Knight to complete his collection.

Young Al Rae played by child actor Matthew Mahaffy

Synopsis – “A young boy, desperate to complete his set of toy soldiers, betrays a friend to get what he wants.” Creative team – Writer/producer: Catherine May Director: Jackie May

You can watch the film free here: https://nsifilms.ca/toy-soldiers/

https://www.imdb.com/title/tt0253831/

The figures are familiar Timpo figures, displayed on egg box plinths

Union American Civil War, Waterloo British, Indian Chief, Arab Warrior, Confederate Civil War, American War of Independnce British, Eighth Army, Waterloo Scots Piper, Waterloo Prussian …

and to complete the set the long sought Teutonic Knight who lived at the top of a Lego stand at the house of Brian, young Al’s rival collector who has a complete set.

These Timpo figures were familiar figures from my 1970s childhood, bought in Action Packs and recently reissued by Toyway (now shut).

Glasgow born poet writer and film actor Al Rae (who narrates the film and plays himself as an adult) now lives in Canada and is now known as Lara Rae, https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lara_Rae “Lara Rae (born 1963 in Glasgow, Scotlan), formerly known as Al Rae, is a Canadian comedian, best known as the longtime artistic director of the Winnipeg Comedy Festival and as a performer on the CBC Radio One comedy series The Debaters…”

Blog posted by Mark Man of TIN, 19 September 2021

Pirate Ship Play Set – Ahoy!

A rum looking cove … or is that where they are headed? Attractive pirate packaging, cardboard waves, pirate imagery and old printing font. Proper Playset stuff!

I bought a boat.

Or two. Our fifth blogaversary could not pass without something new and joyously plastic!

Living in the West Country or the Southwest U.K., you are never that far from the sea. And what does that mean? Seaside gift shops! Plastic Pirates!

A close up of the contents, still with the fearsome pirate stickers. I removed these carefully and put them away in the bits box.

Close up (below) of its box mounting which is attractive and atmospheric in itself, with something of the toy theatre or theatrical backdrop about it. A touch of Tolkien or fantasy even?

The pirate boat or ship (what is the difference?) looks even better without most of its stickers.

It also comes with two giant pirate figures, around 60mm+, of which more anon.

The inclusion of figures (and out of scale ones) is obviously what makes a pirate ship into a play set.

If I were designing this pirate ship playset, I would turn two oversized figures into 5 or 6 smaller figures of pirate crew, seamen or prisoners including maybe the odd female pirate or pirate treasure chest. Obviously the smaller the figures, the more risk that they will be lost or swallowed. Solution: Best not let children near them and reserve these play sets for adults? ūüôā

I quickly tried the ship out for size with a smaller sized crew.

A smaller crew of 15mm Chinese and other Pirate figures (below) …

Slightly larger scale crew (below) – old lead sea captain aloft and pound store plastic c. 32mm conversion figures on the deck.

And slightly in between (below) – 20mm Jacklex Mexicans to hand for scale … the Mexican Navy!

The ship’s figurehead is a delightful oddity, a winged male or female figure,

A curious figurehead of almost modernist or modern art strangeness.

The large scale pirate figures are roughly factory painted. Oddly or unfairly, the balding figure is unarmed, not even a cutlass for sword fights?

Britain’s old and new 54mm figures for size comparison with these larger pirates.

This ship and crew cost the princely sum of ¬£9.99. So I bought two …

Not quite pound store prices. However, making one of these ships would take quite a long time, so this price seems a fair trade.

Pirate ships – an interesting conversion and painting project to convert this into a useful sailing boat or pirate ship for the tabletop for the autumn or winter.

Back in April 2020 I scrap-modelled a small harbour setting for 15-20mm figures https://manoftinblog.wordpress.com/2020/04/28/making-a-martello-tower-from-scrap-fort-crumble/

For Some joblot pirates and redcoats

https://manoftinblog.wordpress.com/2020/05/02/what-ive-done-in-april-for-anns-immaterium-paint-all-the-stuff-you-own-challenge/

logposted by Mark Man of TIN! Ahoy! 18 September 2021

There has been much focus on the dangers of Single Use Plastic (SUP) at the seaside, ending up on the beach or in the ocean affecting marine wildlife. Look after your pirate ship to make it RUP – Repeated Use Plastic!

Pound Store Plastic Warriors 5th Blogaversary

Another year of Pound Store Plastic Warriors blog posts have come and gone …

Nothing much new in the pound stores this year. Good to see these still around. Poundland – my Shelfie 2020/21

Thanks to my loyal regular blog readers and new followers who have found my blog over the last year. Your likes and comments are always welcome.

This marks the fifth Blogaversary or anniversary of the first post on my Pound Store Plastic Warriors blog, dedicated to affordable gaming or “Little Wars on a Budget”.

What’s happened since last September and our 4th Blogaversary in 2020?

https://poundstoreplasticwarriors.wordpress.com/2020/09/13/pound-store-plastic-warriors-4th-blogaversary/

Nothing much new in the online Pound stores this year? 2020/21

What with ongoing Covid restrictions I have only been into pound stores a couple of times on the high street only for ‘target: toy section’ for a minute or two.

And visits to charity shops, jumble, steam fairs, junk markets? None.

This paucity and Covid drought of penny dreadfuls and plastic tat has been relieved partly by some kind donations from blog readers of old unwanted Airfix figures, some great samples of Hing Fat 54mm figures from Peter Evans and also from strategic reserves laid down in the past.

These strategic reserves are laid down according to my Pound Store Plastic Warrior wise hoarding maxims –

1. “Buy them when you see them, they’re sometimes only around for a short while”

2. “They’re only a pound”.

3. “You may not need them now, but in the future …”

2020/21 saw a couple of games using Pound Store plastics ranging from snowballing fights of Yukigassen in August …

To an RLS “Land of Counterpane” game in April on an old squared blanket …

Some mistakes – octagonal ‘hexes’ in this budget reconstruction of Games Workshop Lost Patrol for Pound Store space marines … the well known eight sided hexagon, that one …

Some curious Pound Store conversions, padding out the more expensive Chintoys plastics or old lead …

October 2020 onwards: My Arma-Dad’s Army Elizabethan muster or militia Home Guard 1588 1595 slowly builds using Pound Store knights

This of course having Spanish Fury Conquistadors and Armada troops means Aztec types are a natural match or extension (Peter Laing style ‘dual use figures’ )

With found cheap scenery from scrap … inscribed stones, temple steps, obelisks …

The Super Cheap Wargaming group on Facebook has been good for such affordable scrap terrain ideas as well.

Sometimes my Pound Store Plastic Warriors posts crossposted material or projects from my Man of TIN blog (main blog) or linked to these including:

Fembraury – The new BMC Plastic Army Women becoming Women’s Revolutionary Army of Parazuellia, part of the 1960s Morecambe and Wise comedy film The Magnificent Two whose other government and rebel troops will be padded out with Pound Store GI copies …

January 2021 – Scrap modelling Edwardian style with E Nesbit’s Wings and the Child on the building of Magic Cities

and January also involved archive history research to identify more about H.G. Wells’ connections, family and friends involved in playing his Floor Games and Little Wars c. 1911-13. Well our Pound Store Plastic Warriors strapline is “Little Wars on A Budget”.

Who knows where 2021 and 2022 will lead us?

Thanks for reading and following.

Blog posted on my Fifth Blogaversary 13 September 2021

Poundland Shelfie 100 soldiers packs May 2021

**** Delayed post from late May / early June 2021 ***** shelfie photo *****

I had to go into town for a medical appointment on a quiet day at the end of May 2021. With a few minutes to spare, feeling more Covid secure after two jabs, and masked up, I checked out my local poundstores for the first time in over a year.

In Wilko there were no Lego compatible blocks, block ‘pick and mix’ and no toys to be seen. Maybe nothing until Christmas …

However Poundland, wonderful Poundland, had these “penny dreadfuls” (as some unkindly call them) back on sale at a penny each in bags but tubs as before.

Check the shop label: 100PCS Р£1 Р1.00p each

That is affordable gaming – and two colours / forces per bag!

I had a closer look at the packaging during March this year (Lockdown 3 Non essential retail closed) https://poundstoreplasticwarriors.wordpress.com/2021/03/22/new-battle-squadron-packaging-for-the-penny-tuppenny-dreadfuls-100-toy-soldiers/

Only two colours available in each pack (ready made opponents) green and silver grey, Union Jack versus German flag and flag mound. This, I suppose, is what makes it a ‘Soldiers playset‘?

The packaging had the same type of green and white star generic flag, which I rather like.

Unlike the packaging suggestions, there are no free helicopters, greenery or walls inside, just two colours of troops and two flags and two flag mounds.

Poundland, still the home of affordable budget wargaming!

Blog drafted by Mark, Man of TIN 30 May 2021, finally posted 2nd September 2021.

Spacemen, Colonials and the Small Scale World of Shelfies

Our Pound Store Plastic Warriors blog earned an honorable mention during Rack Toy Month on Hugh Walter’s Small Scale World this month – http://smallscaleworld.blogspot.com/2021/08/s-is-for-single-solitary-shelfie.html

I put in a mention for the Wargaming Pastor’s work with these figures on the Death Zap blog

***********

Thanks Hugh for the mention and blog link – if you don’t know it, Small Scale World is a great, almost encyclopaedic reference source for plastic soldiers and all plastic rack toys including their pirate copies and packaging.

“Spaceman and colonials from the same blob”?

Surprising what you can do with some paint, scalpel, (wire and PVA and tissue paper) …

https://poundstoreplasticwarriors.wordpress.com/2018/01/28/little-green-men-pound-store-plastic-space-warriors/

Pound Store Boy Scouts?

https://poundstoreplasticwarriors.wordpress.com/2019/05/19/pound-store-plastic-boy-scout-32mm-conversions/

Pound Store Colonials?

https://poundstoreplasticwarriors.wordpress.com/2017/10/22/poundland-desert-warriors-finished/

Colonial conversions?

https://poundstoreplasticwarriors.wordpress.com/2017/11/26/pound-store-plastic-colonial-infantry-on-the-painting-table/

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

Blog posted by Mark Man of TIN on Pound Store Plastic Warriors blog, 1st September 2021

Found Object Mixtec Temple

An Instant Mixtec Jungle temple with that interesting brown cardboard packaging.

Just needs a slightly larger square box or two underneath and some steps for that ziggurat / jungle temple / pyramid effect.

It also needs an altar, better than my biscuit one. Somewhere I still have the Atlantic 1:32 altar and Greek civilians and temple figure with animal sacrifice set, which I painted in the 1980s.

Figures from Chintoys 54mm Mixtec and Zapotec set

https://poundstoreplasticwarriors.wordpress.com/2020/11/28/manotincas-or-manotintacs-54mm-south-american-tribal-warriors/

and Priest(ess) or Prince(ss) conversions

https://manoftinblog.wordpress.com/2020/11/29/im-going-to-make-you-into-a-princess-cosmetic-surgery-and-facelifts-for-toy-soldiers/

Alternative Atlantic Wall

This brown papier-m√Ęch√© mache packaging is very versatile – a few days earlier it was part of the Atlantic Wall for a D Day type landing scenario.

Blog posted by Mark Man Of TIN, 7 August 2021.

Pound Store Snowball Fight 2021

As it’s hot and August, it’s a good time to cool down with Snowball fights, albeit on the tabletop.

Several bags of soldiers from Toys for a Pound online shop yielded a fine range of coloured Snowball teams which I have simply based and painted.

Faces, boots, snowy white on bases were painted then stuck on Warbases MDF 2p size bases. A tiny number written on the back and base help identify figures, add names etc. in game scenarios.

As you can see, the grenade is now a snowball, thanks to a blob of some gloss white paint.

I dug out my draft snowball fight rules “Packing Sugar at Freddie” that Alan (Duchy of Tradgardland) Gruber and I have been developing on and off as a non-lethal war game, akin to Scouting Wide Games for the Tabletop.

Short of time before the dining table was needed again, I quickly set up a quick scatter of white stones, white foam packaging and Christmas fir trees on a white felt gaming cloth and tablecloth.

A quick sketch of rules.

Movement is one lolly stick, half uphill. Some areas (cling film) ice is impassable.

Snowball ammunition unlimited. IGOYUGO roll d6 for each team, highest score moves first, second team next, first team shoots (throws), second team throws.

No melee, no morale, no savings throws.

Long range of three lolly sticks, hit on target on 6 on a d6

Medium range of two lolly sticks, hit on target on a 5 or 6.

Close range of one lolly stick or less, hit on target on a 4,5 or 6.

If target undercover, deduct 1 from d6 score.

Two hits means that the target figure must head (without further firing) straight away each turn towards Camp HQ to the east. Once reached, the umpire can restore the figure to ‘life’ after two turns and they can enter the game again.

Scenario and rules are explained in more detail here:

https://tabletopscoutingwidegames.wordpress.com/2019/10/29/packing-sugar-at-freddy-street-gang-snowball-fight-scenario-write-up/

Aerial view of the snowy tabletop

North is at the top, the Black team base.

To the east is the Game HQ with umpires and observers from the local scout troop.

To the south is the Blue team base.

To the east and west are other snowball fight teams of different colours – green, red and tan – to watch the snowball fight game.

The Aim of the game / Victory Conditions

‘Capture the Flag’ style, each team must steal the rival team’s flag (barrel) from their base and return it to their own camp, without losing their own flag (barrel) from their own base.

A small bear cub wanders through the snowscape past the central snowman.

A wall heater gets disguised as a distant snow ridge with Christmas trees.

Within three moves, long range snowball shots (3 lolly sticks range) are being exchanged.

Things started to wrong for the Blue team quite quickly, leading to them either falling back South to protect their ‘flag’ end area or heading East to be restored to gaming life.

An old-fashioned black and white wargames book type photograph.

Black team are now within long range snowball distance of the Blue team camp.

Each successful snowball hit is marked by a gemstone on the base, then when reaching two hits, the figure’s game life is lost.

A metal washer or silver tape ring is used to mark those figures who have lost their ‘game life’ and are heading straight for the Game HQ to the east. Here the umpire can restore a figure to fresh game life and head back onto the table after two turns.

Movement is restricted, interrupted and shaped using logs, trees, impassable ice (marked out by gems and polythene cling film) and snow hills

Very quickly, most of the Blue team seemed to be ‘heading east’, twice hit by snowballs so temporarily out of the game and unable to fire, until their game lives can be restored by the Umpire to the east.

The Blue team’s ‘flag’ (barrel) is captured and would quickly be taken unopposed back to the Black team’s camp, so the Umpire declares this a Black team win and game is over.

‘Home’ and time for tea …

What I liked about this quick game

It could all be made very cheaply using Pound Store soldiers in grenade throwing and other poses, along with terrain of cheap Christmas fir trees, snow hills from foam packaging and other found objects such as logs on a white cloth.

I have also used polystyrene or white Lego type bricks in previous games – see here https://poundstoreplasticwarriors.wordpress.com/2020/12/27/snowball-fight-at-camp-benjamin-bmc-plastic-army-women-arrive/

I like the crisp whiteness, simple and fresh look of the game.

I didn’t add extra abilities like marksman (add 1 to each d6 dice roll) or target’s agility (remove 1 from the d6).

I didn’t add the ‘called home time’ rule, the ‘cold fingers’ Rules etc as I knew it would be a short game – read more here at

https://tabletopscoutingwidegames.wordpress.com/2019/11/02/more-packing-sugar-at-freddie-snowball-fight-rules-variations-with-funny-dice/

https://tabletopscoutingwidegames.wordpress.com/2019/10/30/tradgardland-suggestions-about-snowball-fight-rules/

What I didn’t like so much about the quick game

I played this game solo and the dining table being in a busy area of the house with distractions, I often forgot what or who was moving or shooting at times. A simple Turn Counter would solve this.

I couldn’t find my bag of small metal washers to mark hits on figures, so quickly made some silver rings from silver present tape. The two gems as hit markers often get mixed up and left behind. I have now ordered some small clear plastic Roman blind or curtain rings for the next game.

Two hits happened very quickly to many figures, especially at close range; with no savings throws, many figures were soon heading east to the Game HQ to have a gaming life restored. A higher number of hits is perhaps needed before the game life is lost?

Anyway, a good fast fun game. Why not have a go with some suitable figures and some old Christmas stuff?

Blog posted by Mark Man of TIN, 3 August 2021

Pound Store Snowball Fight Squads

It’s now August, thankfully a bit cooler again in the Southwest UK as it has been unusually energy-sapping hot in the last few weeks.

So in the summer sunshine, my thoughts naturally turn to snow and snowball fights, continuing the work on simple snowball fight rules with Alan (Duchy of Tradgardland) Gruber.

Toys For A Pound Online – Soldier offerings 2021

https://toysforapound.com/search?type=product&q=Soldiers*

These figures have a useful snowballer figures (below left) in the form of these 45 mm-ish plastic copy of the Matchbox 1:76 / 1:32 US WW2 Infantry grenade thrower.

There is another figure throwing a grenade (centre right) who could have his rifle /SMG cut away as needed to make another snowballing figure.

The second toy soldier offering from Toys For A Pound Online 2020/21

Specia Forces! Still attractive pricing, cheap plastic Soldiers for a Pound 2020/21

Amongst these 42/43mm-ish plastic figures (top left) is again a useful copy of the Matchbox 1:76 / 1:32 US WW2 Infantry grenade thrower.

Very useful to convert into a military snowballer, as he is also quite well wrapped for winter.

The officer with binoculars (bottom left) can be an umpire of the Snowball fights.

These should be in action fairly quickly in a snowball fight scenario.

Blog posted by Mark Man of TIN, 2 August 2021

Odd Plastic Hong Kong Copies from Ian Dury

I recognised the Atlantic Roman figure No. 5 but the others?

Fellow Peter Laing collector Ian Dury recently sent me some 15mm Peter Laing Victorian Parade range figures (that had come originally from Tony Adams) and added some spare Airfix AWI figures to add troop strength to my ImagiNations armies. Thanks Ian.

Ian also included a couple of Hong Kong figures “that I might find interesting.”

Clearly marked Hong Kong on the base, so pre-1997 handover?

One (no. 4) looks like a scaled down OOHO version of the Greek Trojan Herald figures of the 1960s? They should be able to join my Airfix Roman figures.

The encyclopaedic site of Small Scale World by Hugh Walter mentions and shows these figures 2 to 5 as Giant related Hong Kong figures. Thanks Hugh!

Part of Small Scale World HK Romans long blog entry

http://smallscaleworld.blogspot.com/p/blog-page_10.html

Peter Laing 15mm Victorian Parade series figures alongside the plastic Indian on a pony

I noticed that the Native American Indian warrior on horseback is a close match for Peter Laing’s slender 15mm figures, so he shall no doubt join them in action one day. He should fit in well once the tail is fixed with some simple drilling and a pin link for the tail.

Peter Laing’s horses are quite distinctive or as Phil Barker described them in his 1970s KTG: Know The Game series Wargaming booklet  ‚ÄúHorses sometimes a little strange‚ÄĚ. This often helps you pick out Laing figures amongst job lots of old 15mm figures.

The plastic Ancients will join the Airfix and Atlantic figures that have survived from childhood for future repair, painting and gaming.

Blog posted by Mark Man of TIN, 25 July 2021

Airfix OOHO British Paras painted at last

Crossposted from my Man of TIN blog (sister blog to this Pound Store Plastic Warriors blog) –

https://manoftinblog.wordpress.com/2021/07/18/airfix-ooho-british-paratroops-chubsters/

I have finally painted my OOHO Airfix British Paras after forty odd years, these tiny cousins of the much pirated pound store copies of the familiar 1:32 version 2 British Paratroops.

X Files image of those familiar 1:32 Airfix Para clones from my post
https://manoftinblog.wordpress.com/2021/06/25/its-behind-you-mulder-and-scully/

Trivia fact – The scarce Version 1 of the familiar 1:32 Paras from 1969 were large copies of some of these OOHO figures. Now scarce and mostly crumbling, I have about three bashed ones of them left.

More Airfix OOHO images on the original blog post … enjoy!

https://manoftinblog.wordpress.com/2021/07/18/airfix-ooho-british-paratroops-chubsters