Pound Store Plastic Warriors and New Years Gaming Resolutions 2023?

It’s been a quiet year on this Pound Store Plastic Warriors Blog.

What will 2023 bring?

Crossposted from my Man Of TIN Blog Two Post:

https://manoftinblogtwo.wordpress.com/2022/12/27/new-gaming-year-ir-resolutions-2023/

Happy New Year!

Posted by Mark Man Of TIN, NYE 31 December 2022

More Featherstone 1960s Close Wars Rules rebooted as SciFi by The Wargaming Pastor on the Death Zap Blog

You know how it is – you wait on this my Pound Store Plastic Warriors Blog for a Close Wars post to come along for ages and then, like London buses, two come along at once.

First, Roger Halvorsen on his Model Rails and Wargames blog reset these rules into the 1960s Bush Wars of Africa:

https://modelrailsandwargames.blogspot.com/2022/12/close-wars.html

Next and independently, The Wargaming Pastor on his Death Zap blog (“Anyone can afford wargaming”) setting these simple rules (appendix) into a Sci Fi future. https://deathzap.co.uk/2022/12/16/battle-of-the-rulebooks-part-4-close-wars-by-donald-featherstone/

The Wargaming Pastor makes some “as you game” adjustments as he goes, which are worth reading through. Featherstone’s group melee rules or mechanism appear to cause the biggest issues.

I too sometimes use Featherstone’s simple Melee variation rules for individual combat using d6 dice throws, other times I use Gerard De Gre’s Parry and Lunge duelling rules.

To be fair, as the Wargaming Pastor says, these original core rules are designed for French-Indian Wars ‘troops versus natives’ cluttered forest skirmish, not at first view an obvious match for futuristic fighting in the urban jungles of other planets.

You will find an attractively photographed battle report by the Wargaming Pastor and more reflection on the pros and cons of the Close Wars rules.

**********

Featherstone and Sci-fi Rules?

I had to do similar modifications when gaming with these Featherstone 1962 War Games rules on a past Wellsian garden Star Wars / Little Wars / Close Wars mash-up improvised game:

https://manoftinblog.wordpress.com/2016/09/25/close-little-space-wars/

https://manoftinblog.wordpress.com/2016/09/25/in-a-garden-far-far-away/

The original Close Wars rules can be found in my blog post here:

https://manoftinblog.wordpress.com/2016/06/09/close-little-wars-featherstones-simplest-rules/

Not that Donald Featherstone was averse to fantasy and sci-fi gaming, as he left two unfinished or unpublished scenarios (one fantasy, one sci-fi) for his Skirmish Wargaming book that were edited and added by John Curry when he reprinted this classic book in his History Of Wargames Project. He has also reprinted Featherstone’s original 1962 War Games.

“This new edition, includes an additional fantasy scenario and a science fiction scenario: To Claim our Long-forgotten Gold (Third Age) [fantasy] and Mining Station Sigma 9 (Year 3015, the far future) and guidance on how to play solo skirmish wargames.”

http://www.wargaming.co/recreation/details/dfskirmish.htm

I wonder what the next Close Wars variant will be?

Blog post by Mark Man Of TIN, 17 December 2022

Featherstone’s Close Wars Skirmish Rules for modern games? Model Rails and Wargames blog

Alan (Duchy Of Tradgardland) mentioned that I should look at this post or website by Roger Halvorsen, where he tries out the very simple ‘old school’ Donald Featherstone Close Wars Rules (appendix to War Games, 1962) to fight a modern era skirmish.

You can read this post by Roger at his Model Rails and Wargames blog:

https://modelrailsandwargames.blogspot.com/2022/12/close-wars.html

In his search for very simple rules, Roger pushes the Close Wars rules past their original setting (or ‘comfort zone’) of French-Indian Wars colonial forest skirmish with ‘natives’ and ‘troops’ to the tropical forest and urban edge of a fictionalised part of an African country in the early 1960s.

The Blue Helmet UN forces tackle the local well-equipped green helmeted local African forces.

As befits a mention on this my Pound Store Plastic Warriors blog, I like the way that Roger has used simple and cheap, widely available dollar or Pound Store Soldiers. 54mm Modern / American Infantry (TimMee / BMC /Toy Story type) and plastic Matchbox figure copies (US Infantry) have been used, differentiated with two different paint schemes.

It shows what a good simple paint scheme will do for such versatile figures.

Roger has some interesting Pro and Con points to make about the simplicity and drawbacks of these two page rules for modern warfare including vehicles and automatic weapons.

John Yorio in the blog comments suggested to Roger using Featherstone’s World War Two rules from War Games or Battles with Model Soldiers.

At the end of the day, much of the experience of infantry combat on foot with rifles in forests or even urban jungles cannot have changed much in two hundred years, apart from more accurate or rapid fire rifles?

Melee and hand to hand fighting (at boot, fist, blade and bayonet level) cannot have changed much either.

This is good basic rules tinkering, working out how and if to include heavy weapons. Is a machine gun is just modern volley fire from 5 or 10 men (as Featherstone often uses) when not using individual figure firing?

***

Roger links to my 2016 Close Wars early blog post here with the two page original rules pages :

https://manoftinblog.wordpress.com/2016/06/09/close-little-wars-featherstones-simplest-rules/

Post by Mark Man Of TIN, 10 December 2022

Wayward Pines Series 1 and 2

I have not been painting much of a dark evening but have been watching my way through several TV series.

One of these binge-watched series is Wayward Pines (2015/16).

The title sequence by PictureMill for Wayward Pines uses railway modelling type figures, houses or scenes in a Slinkachu style diorama “movie stills” to show possible scenes from the series.

https://www.titledesignproject.com/wayward-pines-title-sequence-by-picturemill/

The advertising poster shows the Series 1 lead Matt Dillon, who plays an American Secret Service agent called Ethan Burke.

Burke is sent to investigate the whereabouts of two missing agents.

He wakes up in the woods near Wayward Pines, Idaho, bruised and confused after what appears to be a car accident.

The Fox trailer for Wayward Pines Series 1 https://youtu.be/jZ1GdNLQ42Q

The town is not the “paradise” the billboard claims.

I was interested to watch this 2015/2016 series as some of its early episodes in Series 1 were directed or written by the Duffer Brothers before they made the first series of Stranger Things (Netflix).

I can see many dystopian sci-fi / thriller tropes revisited by the Duffer Brothers in Stranger Things. Washed up cops, a strange dark underside to a normal small town, echoing hospital or lab corridors …

I also like the quirky title sequence, made of model vignettes that could be film stills, all of which hint at the scenes to come.

Wayward Pines – “where Paradise is home”, its billboard announces.

Wayward Pines – the last of small town America? A perfect small town with secrets.

**** Warning – Plot Spoiler: Outside the town’s electrified fence, it is slowly revealed in Series 1, live tribes of ‘savage’ genetic mutant nicknamed “Abbys”, fast moving humanoid aberrations or devolution with predator like teeth and claws, excellent sense of smell and hearing, which hunt in packs and eat people. Much like chimpanzees go hunting each other or smaller creatures. ****

That’s a refreshing change from zombies, then …

Screenshot from the slightly altered Series 2 intro. Jeep and Troops.

Series 2 gives a more surprisingly sympathetic (post colonial) view of the Abbys as they mass again in their hundreds.

However the town now has a more martial law feel to it, with stylised light brown American / fascist uniforms. Lots of automatic weapons, disastrous use of flamethrowers, driving around fast in jeeps and army trucks as they set out to keep the town safe from the savages outside the gates and dissenters within …

Reference screenshot Series 1 – hostile savages (red dots) have breached the fence heading through the pines heading towards Wayward Pines. Almost a game screen.

As ever, the mind jumps towards potential gaming scenarios on the tabletop.

Savages versus trained or untrained troops or militia in urban or forest setting, should the electrified fence be breached …

An interesting model or prop of terrain model of the Wayward Pines town was sold after filming in 2015; its appearance is almost that of a board game or tabletop game.

And my screenshot from series 1 of a rough sketch map found by Ethan Burke of ways out of Wayward Pines … (You’ll never leave.)

*******

I bought both series (£20 per series of ten episodes) on Apple TV.

The original Series 1 stories are based on a trilogy of books by Blake Crouch.

Fox TV announced that there are no current plans for Series 3, leaving series 2 on a permanent cliffhanger.

Blog posted by Mark Man Of TIN, 24 November 2022.

Quantrill’s Toy Soldiers blog and ACOTS 2022

James at Quantrill’s Toy Soldiers sent me a message that he had refreshed or updated his blog with a new address: https://quantrillstoysoldiers.blogspot.com

James deleted a parallel blog of the same name that he stopped using in 2011 but this oddly has made his continuing blog not viewable in a search other than through a Google image search and mentions on other blogs.

On the bright side he has finally fixed the follow mechanism (top left menu) so it is easier to find and follow.

His new blog header gives a glimpse of a well-stocked games room of shelves and display cabinets full of toy soldiers.

Alonng the side menu (three lines on top left) with the follow button, there is a date archive of posts going back to 2011.

I have been following this blog since 2016 and enjoy James’ madcap conversions of battered plastic 54mm figures into colourful characters for his ImagiNations and fantasy games. It’s the sort of thing I sometimes do here on my Pound Store Plastic Warriors blog here from time to time.

Quantrill’s Toy Soldiers blog also gives a glimpse of Toy Soldier collecting in Australia, such as the recent post on the ACOTS Australian Collectors of Toy Soldiers meeting 2022.

Dozens of photos of old toy soldiers in plastic or lead, a feast for the eyes. They also got an ACW game or two in as well. Looks just like a mini “Plastic Warrior Show” in Australia!

https://quantrillstoysoldiers.blogspot.com/2022/04/acots-2022.html

Anyway, a colourful blog well worth a read and a follow!

Blog posted by Mark Man of TIN 18 April 2022

#FEMbruary 2022 figure painting and conversions – Good Queen Bess and the Generic Empress

Two slow burner female figures that have been stalled on the Painting Table but finally finished for #FEMbruary 2022, that celebration of the believable female figure in our modelling and gaming collections.

#FEMbruary 2022 figure No. 1 this month featured an introduction to #FEMbruary and this skater girl,

#FEMbruary 2022 figure No. 2 – The Generic Empress or Queen

You can glimpse the Empress / Queen in black undercoat on my painting table at the back of this picture and the Ladybird book inspiration for the costume colours.

https://manoftinblog.wordpress.com/2022/01/15/meanwhile-back-in-the-bunny-hospital/

On the New Year rule of “painting what I have in hand”, I used this joblot-acquired or gifted figure of an Empress figure that could be “Queen Elizabeth The First” but is more likely to be Catherine the Great in 54-60mm brown plastic.

With this impressive Sceptre, she could also be a Queen or Empress of Syldavia in King Ottakar’s Sceptre in the Tintin books, bearing the pelican sceptre.

I could of course spend real money on a painted Queen Elizabeth Figure from Tradition Of London / RP models: https://toy-soldiers.store/product_info.php?products_id=816

Shiny gloss toy soldier painting style, pink cheek dot and all.

FEMbruary 2022 figure No. 3 – The Amazonian Armada Elizabeth the First

This archer is from a 54mm generic fantasy figure set by True Legends Toys (USA?), what is probably meant to be an androgynous Legolas type elf man? The others can be seen here:

https://poundstoreplasticwarriors.wordpress.com/2019/02/24/fantasy-plastic-warriors/

With impressive enough ‘man boob’ armour, I though it might convert easily enough into a Cate Blanchett type Galadriel or Queen Elizabeth at Tilbury type figure.

Literally a Copper Top, as I used my favourite bright gloss acrylics for the shiny toy soldier look from Revell Aquacolor of Orange and copper highlights!

A tissue paper and PVA skirt was added as no self-respecting queen would show off her legs in such martial manly attire!

The visual inspiration was Cate Blanchett’s Tilbury speech from her Elizabeth The Golden Age film. Trailer / clip on YouTube here.

I was also imagining her with a bow, rather than sword, as it also has the classical Amazon overtones or huntress iconography of Diana and Artemis.

Anyway its all just more classical and Tudorbethan Imagi-National propaganda for my Arma-Dad’s Army project! I love this Holy Grail / Monty Python-esque type muster of troops on the clifftops, again useful for Armada era uniform details.

Some screenshots from the Trailer / clip for uniform and colour reference.

My final #FEMbruary female figure (No. 4) will be out of this world … watch this space! (Two clues there).

Blog posted by Mark Man of TIN, 23/24 #FEMbruary 2022

What will 2022 bring?

What are your New Gaming Year plans for 2022?

Here are my New Gaming Year Irresolutions for the coming year:

https://manoftinblog.wordpress.com/2021/12/26/what-will-2022-bring/

Crossposted from my Man of TIN Blog by Mark Man of TIN, 31 December 2021.

Vintage Pound Store Matchbox German Infantry copies

One of those presents put away on the Christmas presents shelf for this Christmas … and well worth the wait!

I like old toy shop packaging and this Battle Ground Military Series pack caught my eye online on EBay a few months back for £5, one pack opened and one still in the pack.

I can’t put a date on this box of Matchbox 1:76 German Infantry copies but it’s obviously post 1976 when these Matchbox figures came out. I only have a few surviving original ones from the time, so they inexpensively fill a gap.

They have a CE mark on the lower right hand corner as well as on the importer label, the CE mark about origin or toy safety is more modern than the 1970s /80s and standard in the EU area from 1993 onwards. So probably 1990s …

There is a maker’s or packager’s company logo of an H? in the top left corner which I don’t recognise. The figures themselves have no Hong Kong or China base markings.

The vibrant flaming orange packaging reminds me a little of today’s ‘Combat Force’ type pound store figure packaging.

In the cheerfully bizarre way of cheap copies and playsets, the packaging images showing vaguely WW2 to Vietnam era American soldiers but this is not matched by the content of German WW2 figures in dark green plastic but oddly does match an American flag!

Oddly included in the pack are some tiny walk-in talkie radiomen.

Accompanying this unopened blister pack was the contents of an opened pack, mixed in with a handful some Airfix American Infantry copies (copies of which still around today).

These look like they have got jumbled in from elsewhere, as I can see no such American figures inside the unopened pack.

Adding to the impression that this is someone’s jumble of figures, a much older stray metal diecast anti-aircraft gun (on a circular vehicle mounting?) with nice elevation gearing is mixed in with the bundle.

Anyway some cheap and cheerful recruits for the toy soldier box …

Blog post by Mark Man of TIN, 27 December 2021

Happy Christmas from Man of TIN to my fellow Pound Store Plastic Warriors!

Crossposted from my Man of TIN main blog, 24 December 2021

https://manoftinblog.wordpress.com/2021/12/24/happy-christmas-to-all-my-man-of-tin-blog-readers/

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

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