Pound Store Japanese into slouch hat Imaginations figures

The simple addition of a cardboard hat brim (I sometimes use luggage label roundels) changes these Pound Store copies of Airfix and Matchbox Japanese Infantry into different Imaginations figures. I picked these Japanese up in a Pound Store about fifteen years ago.

I was idly experimenting today with the possibility of making some cheap 54mm Boy Scouts Of America figures for my Scouting Wide Games for the Tabletop Project, although the rifles were a bit of an obvious limitation.

HO OO Airfix WW1 Americans can make reasonable small versions of Boy Scouts Of America: https://manoftinblog.wordpress.com/2019/06/22/boy-scouts-from-airfix-ww1-american-infantry/

I like the 1:32 / 54mm and OOHO Japanese Infantry figures as they are quite ‘old school’ uniformed figures – puttees, rifles, haversacks, ammunition pouches, water bottles. Flags, buglers, officers with swords in the OOHO set. They could all easily have come from a century before.

A change of head or hat and you have a new figure. Infantry, militia, bandit, revolutionary, irregular …

As suggested by the paint conversion into a Confederate type grey soldier (right), this is something that I also did with the OOHO Japanese Infantry as a youngster in the late 1970s and 80s when I had almost no Airfix ACW figures.

https://manoftinblog.wordpress.com/2017/07/16/confused-by-zouaves-some-airfix-acw-paint-conversions/

Airfix OOHO Japanese Infantry were easy to buy at the time and are still available from Airfix, more than can be said for the scarce Airfix ACW range.

Riflemen, Buglers, Flags, Officers – all suitable for 19th Century Wars?

The Japanese Infantry with soft caps also paint up nicely in glossy red and blue as traditional toy soldiers.

My Pippin Fort inspired ‘Trumpton troops’ quickly painted up for play parades (Airfix Japanese 1:32 54mm plastics) photo/ painted: Man of TIN. 

https://manoftinblog.wordpress.com/2016/05/25/pound-store-wars/

#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.

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

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