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.

Fifth Blogaversary of my Man of TIN blog (and Happy Geek Pride Day 2021)

Pound Store Wars was the first post I wrote on my Man of TIN blog, a theme that would later become this separate Pound Store Plastic Wars blog by September 2016.

Blogaversary reflections over on my sister blog Man of TIN …

https://manoftinblog.wordpress.com/2021/05/25/may-25th-geek-pride-days-and-my-fifth-man-of-tin-blogaversary-2021/

The fifth Blogaversary for this Pound Store Plastic Warriors blog is in September.

Happy Geek Pride Day.

Blog posted by Mark Man of TIN, 25 May 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

54mm Hing Fat WW2 Russian sample figures

Photographed straight off the painting table – shiny toy soldier Russians!

Russians! This is the second trio of figures that I have painted up from Peter Evans’ kind gift of some Hing Fat sample figures.

The first post a week or two ago was WW2 French:

https://poundstoreplasticwarriors.wordpress.com/2021/03/29/hing-fat-plastic-54mm-french-ww2-figures/

Peter sells these interesting 54mm plastic Hing Fat figures via his eBay shop / seller site figsculpt https://www.ebay.co.uk/usr/figsculpt

The full set of the Hing Fat WW2 Russians (image: Figsculpt EBay site)

These are attractive figures that remind me of Airfix and Matchbox, which I would happily have bought and played with as a child and that work well today.

I have painted these with glossy shiny toy soldier style with pink cheek dots but I have yet to gloss varnish these. These were painted using Revell Aquacolor Acrylics. My gloss spray varnish supplies nursed through Lockdown have finally run out.

Some lively Russian figures and a curiously posed rifleman, shooting from high up or aiming low.

I like the range of costume and headgear, as well as the one with shovel tucked into a belt, protecting the back? Armour plating?

Size comparison with 1:32 Airfix Russians that I painted and gloss varnished when I was a child.

One of my 45 year old Airfix Russians had a crumbling base and missing SMG barrel end, so this has been repaired with wire and a new MDF base. He lives to fight again alongside the new Hing Fat recruits.

Curiously the old Airfix 1:32 Russians are not currently in the Airfix winter 2021 rerelease / preorder. Previous releases are around secondhand online.

Next week: Probably – Italians.

Blog posted by Mark Man of TIN, 14 April 2021

Hing Fat Plastic 54mm French WW2 figures

I had the welcome surprise this week of a small gift parcel of Hing Fat 54mm plastic figure samples from Peter Evans. A colourful rainbow bundle.

Peter currently sells these ‘Made in China’ Hing Fat figures through his eBay seller site figsculpt https://www.ebay.co.uk/usr/figsculpt

I thought I recognised his name and it turns out that Peter was involved in setting up and still contributes to Plastic Warrior Magazine, along with Brian Carrick of the Collecting Toy Soldiers blog.

Hing Fat figures are a new brand to me – I wasn’t very familiar with Hing Fat figures other than the versatile pirates, which Brian Carrick turned into Chinese figures or a fantastic Maratha Indian army. I’m not quite sure if the seaside shop pirates I have bought are real Hing Fat ones or pirated clone pirates. There must be some irony there?

Sample Figures 1. WW2 French Hing Fat 54mm plastic figures

In the parcel were samples from a variety of figure ranges from Knights and AWI to WW2. The hard plastic figures are usually in a base colour relating to where they fought or their base uniform colour. They would withstand fairly rigorous play handling by children (and ageing garden gamers).

I thought I would start with the most unusual, which are the Hing Fat WW2 (or at a push WW1) French infantry in light blue plastic.

At first sight I thought this Poilu poses was pantographed up from the familiar OO/HO WW1 French Infantry by Airfix.

The full range of twelve poses of Hing Fat French WW2 figures can be seen here on Peter’s Figsculpt eBay site:

Screenshot 2021-03-28 at 8.35.26 PM

They wear greatcoats (the capote), puttees and the Adrian helmet without backpacks.

IMG_1848

Paint notes: Revell AquaColor Acrylic – Horizon Blue uniform and helmet light blue gloss 361-50, for other equipment paint colours see paint notes figure 3 (bayonet fighter) below.  Gloss varnish acrylic spray for that traditional simple shiny toy soldier finish.

IMG_1849

Painted khaki rather than ‘les bleuets’ of the Great War, these Adrian helmeted French infantry could pass as Belgian as well as French Infantry. Maybe even WW1 Italians?

If you were not too fussy, many of these rifle wielding poilus and the officer and bugler could be used for WW1 French or late WW1 Belgians.

Similarly, if you were a 54mm wargamer not looking too closely at buttons, webbing and equipment, these would work for a range of other nations in WW1 and WW2 who adopted the greatcoat and Adrian helmet, as suggested below looking at a few uniform books.

My trusty Preben Kannik, Military Uniforms of The World suggests Belgian and French in WW2, wearing khaki greatcoats and Adrian helmets.

My battered Funcken WW2 Uniforms part IV volume suggest Free French Infantry WW2 and an interesting colonial French Moroccan Riflemen in Uniform in WW2 Part IV (see figure 3 below with bayonet)

Funcken WW2 part III has Norwegian forces in their Norway 1935 Pattern Helmet which looks a little like an Adrian Helmet. There is also a Navy blue great-coated French Navy sailors in Landing Rig. I don’t have Funcken WW2 Uniforms parts 1 and 2 yet.

The Funcken 18th Century to the Present Day volume shows “les bleuets” from WW1 and khaki Belgians in late WWI, along with khaki French and Belgians in WW2.

Let’s look at the other two sample figures, No. 2 and 3:

This almost war memorial poilu statue 54mm figure has a large  Bren type LMG, probably the FM 24/29  French LMG (in service from 1924-60s and beyond.   I cannot find information about a French stick grenade from WW2.

A rather outsize stick grenade, slightly outsized along with some other weapons on Hing Fat figures.
I painted this figure in late WW1 or WW2 Khaki as a Belgian or French infantryman.

IMG_1850 French WW2 or Belgian late WW1 and WW2 Infantryman
My paint notes as below  for figure 3 but with the uniform in Revell AquaColor Acrylic BronzeGreen matt 361-65. Gloss spray varnish finish.

IMG_1851

The third sample figure was in the act of bayonet fighting.

My painted version of this 54mm figure in shiny gloss toy soldier style portrays this bayonet warrior as a French Colonial Moroccan Infantryman in Khaki overcoat:IMG_1846

French Colonial Moroccan Infantryman in Khaki overcoat WW1 / WW2 – Paint Notes – painted using Revell AqauColor Acrylic paints – Olive Green silk matt 361-36 for the uniform greatcoat and helmet, Mud brown gloss 361-80 for boots and leather equipment, Leather brown matt 361-84 for wooden rifle parts, Dark Earth matt 361-82 for face and Copper paint cheek dot. Gloss spray varnish finish.

IMG_1847

Further Uniform Possibilities?

The two volumes of The Illustrated Encyclopaedia of Uniforms of WWI and its WWII companion volume suggest various troops wearing the Adrian Helmet:

WW1 volume

Various figure suggestions including the Polish Legion, Russian Civil War and various other conflicts including French Foreign Legion in khaki.

WW2 volume

Belgium 1940 – khaki Infantry greatcoat and helmet with Belgian lion badge for officers, men and support troops.

France 1940 – khaki French greatcoat and Adrian helmeted colonial infantry such as African Tirailleurs Senegales and Zouaves (when not wearing a fez)

Some (Free) French Infantry were still wearing the Adrian helmet in 1944-45 with US or British uniform.

Polish lancers in 1939 in khaki, shown without greatcoats.

These figures could represent the unsavoury figures in dark blue uniform and Adrian helmet of the Vichy France (Gardes Republicaines Mobiles) paramilitary police so feared by the Resistance. They are shown in tunics without greatcoats.

The French WW2 soldiers are shown in my trusty childhood Ladybird Leaders book of Soldiers, illustrated by Frank Humphris:

I hope you have enjoyed this taster glimpse of these sample figures which I enjoyed painting. I think a box or two of these poilus might be on my Christmas list.

IMG_1820
Hing Fat Eighth Army and Japanese figures alongside 54mm Britain’s hollowcast.

As you can see, some Hing Fat WW2 figures seem to echo Matchbox WW2 figure poses.

Size or scale wise as 54mm / 1:32 figures go, here are three of the Hing Fat WW2 sample figures against my ‘standard’ figures of Britain’s 54mm hollowcast and Airfix plastic 1:32.

IMG_1822
Hing Fat 54mm Russian Infantry next to Airfix 1:32 Russian Infantry

Nest sample figures: Three Hing Fat WW2 Russian sample figures 

B.P.S. Blog Post Script

These WW1 / WW2 French Infantry reminded me of the tantalising glimpse in a late 70s / early 80s Airfix catalogue that promised 1:32 WW1 British Infantry in soft caps, based on the OO/HO ones. Sadly, this never happened and was never again mentioned. Did I dream this one?

More on Hing Fat

Hugh at the encyclopedic Small Scale World blog covers Hing Fat’s varied output such as the pirates http://smallscaleworld.blogspot.com/2018/09/h-is-for-hing-fats-hooligan-hijackers.html

There is another view or review of these figures, which has them labelled DGN figures rather than Hing Fat.https://ww2pts.blogspot.com/search/label/Maker%20-%20DGN?m=0