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.

Charity Shop Find of slowly morphing shrinking copies of Airfix and Matchbox figures

This charity shop find of a couple of dozen bashed figures came to me as a gift from family.

I imagine they are the ragtag odd mixed bag of someone’s small army. Enough to make two small army squads of red-brown / tan versus everyone else?

They are obviously battle scarred and playworn veterans!

I found these figures interesting as they are mostly copies of Airfix and Matchbox figures. As they have slowly being copied (in Hong Kong / China?) over the last forty plus years, they have slowly shrunk and changed into different figures.

Not a maker’s mark among them either.

Airfix Eighth Army figures are 40mm – 50mm

In the same mixed parcel was other Matchbox copies and a couple of small but slightly larger Airfix copies, shown next to the smaller cousin. I have included the sole probably genuine Airfix figure, the 54mm German submachine-gunner figure for scale.

These bashed and limbless Matchbox copies were around in seaside pound shops c.2007 and still seem to emerge from time to time, getting thinner and more brittle (hence the missing limbs?)

These limbs and weapons might need a little repairing.

These white copies of Airfix German Infantry are slowly changing into squat Generic Infantry. The distinctive “coal scuttle” stalheim helmet is changing, becoming oddly more British or American.

The lying down figure who used to feed the Light Machine Gun is now a distinct figure in its own right, the magazine box in the right hand for the LMG has morphed into a very strange object in its own right.

The officer figure is getting shorter and squatter but still full of character!

Some nice modern American troops and Officer, one or two a bit bashed.

These look like TimMee / BMC / Toy Story sort of stuff. I like the baggy clothes and helmet covers.

The other figures are a curiously mixed bunch of figures and sizes, again with the 54mm Airfix German for size comparison.

Some Matchbox American Infantry copies in two different sizes and colours, and a few of those modern US Infantry / Rambo types.

Lining them up in height order from 54mm Airfix at the right shows how they have shrunk and thinned down over the years of copying.

Last but not least, one of those handy Khaki figures that could be a modern desert warrior, Special Forces / SWAT team or space marine.

An interesting mixed bag!

Blog post by Mark Man of TIN, 12 December 2021

A few old or new recruits …

Some new or old arrivals from the bottom of the toybox have come in from the wider family. Good old Herald Household Cavalry foot figures and a bashed 80s Britain’s Deetail Knight.

I think the white cowboy (sort of a solid swoppet Timpo clone?) originally came from me, from Pound Store bags back c. 2007. It has now returned to me after these many years.

Blog posted by Mark Man of TIN, 11 December 2021

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

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-mâché 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.

Hing Fat 54mm WW2 Chinese Nationalists

This week’s Hing Fat figure samples on the painting table are … WW2 Chinese Nationalists

WW2 Chinese Nationalist troops are an unusual choice of figure for a maker to choose, although not so strange when you consider that these Hing Fat figures are marked on the base “Made in China”.

Presumably they are designed to oppose the Hing Fat WW2 Japanese range, backed up by the WW2 Australians?

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/National_Revolutionary_Army

Chinese WWII uniforms and equipment were very varied, they used any available German, US, French and British material. I found a few clues and images online on Wikipedia and other sources.

Not sure of the image source or illustrator here on this website

https://www.quora.com/What-did-WW2-Chinese-uniforms-look-like

http://www.chinaww2.com/2019/03/24/a-century-of-chinese-uniforms/?fdx_switcher=true

All that remains to do is a gloss spray varnish as suits their simple paint scheme.

Previous Hing Fat 54mm figure samples from Peter Evans (who sells on eBay at Figsculpt) include WW2 French, WW2 Italians and WW2 Russians which you can see painted here at:

https://poundstoreplasticwarriors.wordpress.com/2021/04/27/hing-fat-54mm-plastic-ww2-italian-infantry/

The set has possible conversion potential – those in the British helmets could be some form of Indian troops?

I was surprised to see an illustration from the mid 19th century 1860s of Japanese troops with similar headgear. This Pinterest sourced image appears to be from an Osprey Men at Arms 530 book – looks interesting – https://ospreypublishing.com/store/military-history/series-books/men-at-arms/japanese-armies-1868-1877

Blog posted by Mark Man of TIN, 3/4 May 2021

How High Hing Fat? How Tall Airfix?

My childhood 1:32 Airfix figures 1-4, vs. my Man of TIN Prince August 54mm homecast avatar (right, figure 5)

A couple of blog readers have asked in the comments section how tall my Hing Fat sample figures are in relation to what I call standard 1:32 or 54mm figures like Airfix.

Hing Fat figures 1-4 , Airfix figure 5 (right)

The very tall Hing Fat drummer ‘boy’ and tall knight left, Hing Fat third and fourth, Airfix right.

Airfix 1&2 left, Hing Fat 3&4 centre, Britain’s hollowcast right.

These you can see are measured from bottom of base to top of hat, whereas others measure from feet to top of normal head, excluding tall headgear.

So those who call this traditional toy soldier size two inch warriors are close enough (especially without base and hat).

I hope this answers the question!

Wikipedia entry for 1:32 Scale https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/1:32_scale

Blog posted by Mark Man of TIN 1 May 2021

Hing Fat 54mm Plastic WW2 Italian Infantry

Four figure samples of Hing Fat 54mm WW2 Italian Infantry

Hing Fat 54mm Samples group 3: The next instalment of painted Hing Fat 54mm plastic sample figures are these WW2 Italian infantry.

You may have read in my previous posts on WW2 French Infantry and WW2 Russian Infantry about how these arrived as a Lockdown gift from Peter Evans. These are spare sample figures – Peter imports these China Made figures and regularly sells sets of Hing Fat figures on his eBay shop figsculpt.

The whole unpainted Italian set in bright green plastic (!) can be seen on Peter’s eBay shop here:

Image: Figsculpt EBay site with permission.

I compared these Italian figures to the Airfix WW2 Italian Infantry which I painted in OOHO and 1:32 scale back around 1980. The latter larger figures are quite the collectors’ item now, due to a short production run.

The Hing Fat Italian’s eleven poses included this curious Bersaglieri, those of the splendid feathers on the hat or helmet and the impressive running trumpet playing.

Something about the gloves and jacket suggested snow clothing, so I checked out a suitable WW2 figure (albeit an Alpini?) Funcken’s Arms and Uniforms 18th Century to the Present Day – see further below.

The boots or legging on these Italian figures range from puttees to leather knee leggings. I like the contrast of the curious green grey leather of Italian equipment with the white snow jacket.

Hing Fat figures are toy soldiers, not military models. They are sometimes criticised for their over large weapons but these would survive vigorous play unlike some more fragile figures.

Funcken, 18th Century to the Present Day (left) snow suited Alpine Infantry WW2 figure and (right) Mollo / McGregor Blandford Colour Army Uniforms of WW2

One of the other figures has the curious soft fez headgear worn by blackshirts. Again in various uniform books, these are shown in Italian grey or desert khaki, so I opted for a desert khaki figure for contrast.

These fez figures would make some interesting Spanish Civil War conversions.

Finally the figure that look most like the Airfix poses, the lying down crawling whilst throwing a grenade action pose. I have amounted him on an MDF bases so you can see home more clearly and he can stand.

What took a while to track down before posting here were my Airfix Italian Infantry figures, not much used since they were painted c. 1980 / early 80s. I remember these coming out, a brand new set of Airfix figures, an exciting event worth saving the pocket money for.

Here to finish off are some comparison shots of Hing Fat and the nearest equivalent Airfix figures:

Hing Fat left, Airfix right.

Hing Fat centre, Airfix left and right

Hing Fat centre , Airfix left and right

The original seven Airfix poses with their battered 1980s paintwork including the stylish officer. Only one figure of my original 28 has a damaged rifle to repair.

So an interesting set, worth a few sets acquiring for games or conversions.

Next week’s sample will be … a surprise. (I haven’t decided yet.)

Meanwhile check out the Hing Fat range on Peter Evans Figsculpt eBay site.

Blog posted by Mark Norris, 27 April 2021

The Bald Headed End of the Broom – Battling Aggie defeats the Spanish Fury!

One of Steve Weston’s versatile Mexican peasants figures in a Tudor head-cloth

For those of you who wonder where the Arma-Dad’s Army 1590s Elizabethan Home Guard Project is going, here is my next addition to the Cornish Muster and townsfolk who oppose the Spanish Fury of the raids along the West Country coast.

‘Battling Aggie’ is a versatile Steve Weston Toy Co. Mexican peasant woman, easily adapted with a tissue paper or kitchen towel head scarf into a handy medieval and Tudor through the English and American Civil Wars to the Wild West.

Spanish Invaders – go home! Don’t look round, Don Pedro …

Her sister Suzie is a Suffragette …

https://manoftinblog.wordpress.com/2018/03/31/marching-for-votes-for-women/

Or duelling Mexican peasants … where Pedro gets the Bald Headed End of the Broom, as the old folk song goes.

https://poundstoreplasticwarriors.wordpress.com/2017/05/09/more-duelling-inspiration-mexicans/

Bald Headed End of the Broom?

This is an old English and American folk song, a snippet of which can be heard sung by Martin Carthy of Waterson: Carthy https://youtu.be/Z8M23Fl6T3M

And with lyrics here https://mainlynorfolk.info/watersons/songs/thebaldheadedendofthebroom.html

Blog posted by Mark Man of TIN, 25 April 2021

Jungle or Desert Fighters? Some quick 54mm Pound Store Plastic conversions

The original pirate or clone Matchbox figures and the Bush hat conversions. I shall paint in the desert / jungle cravat …

These Matchbox 8th Army copies were amongst some of the unlovely but cheap plastic, increasing distorted mouldings that I bought from now vanished local pound stores around 2005/6.

I am intrigued by the way that as figures are copied, they change slowly into the suggestion of different figures. Great for conversion potential?

These sandpit pound store knock offs of long unavailable Matchbox figures have continued to evolve or de-evolve with less and less detail into even thinner shadows of themselves.

2019 Steam Fair haul – for scale two of my my original Airfix / Matchbox 54mm figures (centre) versus slowly de- evolving pound store copies.

‘Original’ unaltered pound store copies and my Bush hat conversions …

The bush hat conversions are made using a hole punched circle of card trimmed down to size and attached by PVA or UHU glue. These early crude attempts do have a unfortunate fashionable Edwardian ladies’ bonnet look.

Out in the garden / yarden jungle where they belong … danger lurks everywhere!

Once varnished or sealed, they could be useful for sandpit games or garden gaming, as well as on the tabletop.

They may not be lovely copies but ..

Over the years, many of my original Airfix and Matchbox 1:32 figures have not survived various house moves and downsizing into adulthood, so these copies were a good way in 2005/6 to bulk up available gaming and conversion figures for a cheerful pound a bag.

There are cheapish, (not quite) pocket money alternatives out there again now, ranging from Hing Fat 54mm to reissued late 2021 Airfix (£9 a box for 14 figures or 65p each!)

Again, these are painted in simple or traditional toy soldier style in Revell Aquacolor Acrylics. These will then receive the shiny toy soldier gloss varnish treatment, which also protects them during handling.

The original Matchbox figures can be seen in 1:72/76 scale here; poses were copied for the 1:32 offering http://www.plasticsoldierreview.com/ManufacturerList.aspx?id=15

Matchbox WW2 figure homecast moulds 2021?

Dunken sells these Matchbox and Airfix WW2 figures as home casting moulds (once available through Prince August) – they are still available in the USA (and overseas?) via Rich at Dunken . https://www.dunken.com/product-category/our-products/molds/dunken-molds/world-war-ii/

How many kilted bagpipe Eighth Army figures do you need?

54mm Matchbox copy figures 2021?

If you search around online, you will find these Matchbox copies of four colour, four different nations Matchbox copies of German, Japanese, American and Eighth Army Infantry in its various incarnations or tubs. The Americans are widely available as reprints.

How many kilted bagpipe Eighth Army figures do you need?

Screenshot April 2021 of such four nations ‘currently available’ figures from Amazon UK – Matchbox copies.

Blog posted by Mark Man of TIN, 15 April 2021

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