Brian Carrick’s Big Wars

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Impressive Elastolin knights and castle pictured here.

“I can trace my Wargaming origins, as I suspect many of my generation can, back to the days of plastic toy soldiers and cannons that could fire matchsticks being sprawled out in full battle array across the living room floor. The days when Confederates and Germans (both being green) took to the field against anything in green!”

So begins Brian Carrick in his article on “Big Wars: Nostalgic Wargaming”. He then went on to summarise H. G. Wells’ Little Wars rules, useful at a time when reprints were hard to come by and then outline the current erratic  state of figure availability.

I was intrigued by photos of Brian Carrick’s village of  Airfix Jungle Houses, Britain’s Deetail British Infantry Attack Boats  and a scratch built gunboat with Britain’s Lifeboat sailors.

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Close up of Brian Carrick’s scratchbuilt gun boat with Britain’s Deetail Lifeboat sailor crew, Deetail British Infantry attack boats and Airfix Jungle Outpost village.

I found this article in the Battle for Wargamers Military Modelling Extra Wargames Manual  really inspiring at the time it came out (1983) as I had not come across any serious adult gamers who used 54mm figures or the garden.

Gunboat envy and ‘whole village of Airfix jungle houses’ envy ensued.

Donald Featherstone’s Skirmish Wargaming,  borrowed from the local branch library, was too much of a mathematical rules puzzle of charts to me but I loved the illustrations, scenarios and photographs. They featured Airfix and other plastic figures that I had. I could one day sort of be like these giant gamers and gaming authors.

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I had the remains of one of these Airfix houses and the Figure. Britain’s Deetail Japanese?

Little did I realise at the time that one day 35 years later that I would be chatting on blog comment sections  about garden games  with the article author Brian Carrick through his fabulous Collecting Plastic Soldiers blog and the 54mm forum Little Wars Revisited.

Brian’s blog Collecting Toy Soldiers is at http://toysoldiercollecting.blogspot.co.uk

http://littlewarsrevisited.boards.net

Blog? Websites? Internet? Surprisingly this 1983  Wargames Manual did mention the word “Computer” on the cover and listed “machine gaming” amongst the articles.

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For me then, (war) gaming in many books and magazines was unattainable, glossy, expensive and for grownup wallets, a far cry from playing with the bashed-up Airfix at my disposal. A lot like the eye-candy front cover of this interesting manual / magazine extra.

Today there are a good range of 54mm plastic figures in many historical periods and still affordable buckets of Green Army Men. Despite the disappearing  number of toy shops, there are in pound stores or online lots of  ‘pirate’ or pound store figures (soldiers, cowboys, Indians, knights etc) at entry level cost for youngsters.

An impressive author’s list for this 1983 special edition edited by Stuart Asquith:

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My surviving uncut Free Cut Out Saxon Army centre insert from Standard Games.

At least there was a free Cut out Saxon Army – too precious to cut out at the time – and one lacking any opposition without buying more card warriors from Standard Games (a range now vanished?)  One day I will scan and make these Saxons. Paper soldiers have returned recently with Peter Dennis and Andy Callan’s attractive colourful card soldier series for Helion books.

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Inside were tempting adverts, the lure of grown up metal. I had already made my first forays into Peter Laing 15mm figures, a few English Civil War figures with my pocket money each month. I went for a historical range that Airfix sadly did not do.  Peter Laing kindly did not mind such small orders but I later bundled up several months pocket money worth of orders to save postage.

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Unattainable in price at the time were the home cast Prince August Moulds – “send £3.95 … for an 8 days trial …” These had to wait another 30 plus years until I stumbled over them again in a craft shop. Their range of “mould your own 54mm traditional toy soldiers” that I eventually fell for  was not yet mentioned here.

A fan of the Fighting Fantasy books from the library (“to take the left hand door to uncertain death, turn to page 37”), there was also the lure of Dungeons and Dragons. I was bought a D and D boxed set which I never understood. Interesting to see the introduction to Fantasy Wargaming article by a young John Treadaway, now Editor of Miniature Wargames. 

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This is a lifelong hobby, or one that you can return to throughout life. Although I have still to obtain the desirable games room and hex table shown here:

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Here to conclude is the whole article by Brian Carrick, reprinted with his permission:

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Big Wars – clever play on words on Little Wars and the by now enormous 54mm figure size.

Brian’s comments on erratic or faltering plastic 54mm figure availability were sadly true for many years until quite recently. “The decline of Airfix … the demise of Timpo … Britain’s  once famous range of guns now badly depleted.

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As Brian Carrick concludes his article,  Big Wars:

“… I should point out that there will be as many differing views as to the value of such games and how they should be played as there are 54mm gamers. I imagine this is largely because there is no representational body that I know of to develop this section of the hobby by the exchange of participants’ views.

I hope that this article will have provided the spark to kindle some interest in potential recruits to the ranks of 54mm Wargamers and perhaps provoke some comment from existing enthusiasts who, in the past, have had little voice in the hobby media.”

 

Big Wars PostScript:

When I contacted Brian to ask if he was happy for me to reprint his photos and article, he replied: “Gosh is it really 35 years since I wrote that! the pics weren’t very good I’m afraid …” but they made a big difference to a young gamer like me. They stopped me throwing out many of my childhood 54mm figures and chasing  proper small scale shiny fashionable metal as I got older, even when I stopped gaming for a few years (college, first jobs etc – usual story).

Thanks Brian for all you have done for 54mm gaming for many years past and for many years to come.

Blogposted with gratitude and reprinted with permission  by Mark, Man of TIN, June 30 2017

Scratchbuilt Desert or Coastal Signal Tower

One of my recent boycraft or mancraft projects has been creating some kind of toy soldier style fortified tower out of this old Christmas clementines box, suitable for a range of scales of figures and scenarios.

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Suggestive window shapes …. salvaged wooden toy blocks … coffee stirrers …
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The original finest Christmas Clementines  (box) …

The box had a  wooden jointing that reminded me of recent mdf wargaming or fantasy gaming building.

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Its wooden lid is used for something else, but where it slotted into the box corners made these interesting Alamo type firing slits.

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This box base jointing reminds me of recent wargames or model buildings …

Add to this useful box a papier-mâché castle tower from Hobbycraft …. https://poundstoreplasticwarriors.wordpress.com/2017/05/02/hobbycraft-castle-tower/

and you have the germ of an interesting gaming building or terrain idea.

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Hobbycraft Papier-mâché Castle tower painted white acrylic. Prince August 40mm Cowboys.

Putting the tower together with the clementine box desert fort was something coincidentally suggested by Brian Carrick of the Collecting Toy Soldiers blog.

“Good idea for the Tesco clementines box, I still have one of those saved from Christmas, it seemed too useful to just throw away! It would work well with your new tower in the middle, like a North West Frontier hill fort.”

Trying this out, it was a tight squeeze to rebuild the balsa walkways around the tower base but it struck me that this could be some kind of defendable lighthouse, watchtower or semaphore station.

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19th Century semaphore station (http://www.portsdown-tunnels.org.uk/ancient_sites/telegraph_p2.html)

 

Having researched what semaphore stations would look like in the late 18th and early 19th century, I set about making a working semaphore using available wood and tools.

I don’t have a workshop, so balsa wood, coffee stirrers and craft knives are the extent of my woodworking tools.

Everything was roughed out and moved around in a ‘dry run’ before paint, wood stain and wood glue was used to finish off and fix things in place.

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Pound Land’s finest unpainted 30mm plastic figures … some of the box base holes were covered over with coffee stirrer ‘bricks’.

I wanted to make it suitable for a range of sizes from 30mm pound store plastic figures to 40mm homecast metal figures, even 54mm to soldiers at a push.

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40mm mostly homecast figures: The front gate section.

It proved quite difficult to photograph, being quite tall!

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54mm figures including a salute from my Gravatar Man of TIN figure!

The 54mm figures are a little on the big side but I wanted to make this in the toylike spirit of a simple toy fort such as I had as a child.

Despite the toylike simplicity, I also wanted it to have some kind of logic and extensive play possibilities. It needed to work as a design that could be worked and defended.

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Barricades on the (non-opening) gates made of coffee stirrers and a sandpaper base. 40mm Prince August cowboy figures. A little more whitewashing fatigue duties are required from the garrison to keep the tower ship-shape.

The central tower needed to be self sufficient, so has a well or water supply inside the tower (with lid).

Coffee stirrers stuck with UHU or superglue were cut and trimmed with craft knife and sharp scissors, roughly shaded then shaded or painted with a very thin coat of  Ronseal light oak wood stain.

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Guarding the water supply. The simple glass paper or sandpaper floor gives a quick gravel, desert or coastal sand floor feel whilst covering holes in the box floor.
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Hatch on the roof to repair the semaphore. Shutters on the light House or signal  tower.

A small hatch on the roof allows the defenders or signal crew to reach the roof to repair the semaphore.

Shutters mean that the lighthouse tower can be secured against enemy fire or the weather. They are (non-opening) shutters made from coffee stirrers, stained with light oak wood stain. One set of shutters is not glued to the wall, so that a LED battery tea candle light can be added into the top tower to develop the signal light or lighthouse scenario.

The chimneys let out heat from the lighthouse or signal light tower and lower living parts of the tower (toy soldiers need to cook and keep warm). The chimneys  were found in my spare parts box, originally kept to make thatched huts for 1/300 figures, are snap-off screw bits from fixing a couple of new toilet seats at home!

Smoke signals are another possibility using these signal fire chimneys.

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Naval Brigade Fimo / polymer clay hand-made 30mm figures.
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30mm type semi-flat British infantry Victorian homecast figures.

I wanted the signal tower to have different scenarios or functions, such as a coastal signal tower or one in the North West Frontier mountains, Wild West borders or French Foreign Legion desert.

I also wanted the tower to pass for anything between late 18th Century throughout 19th century and beyond and even into a future steampunk, VSF sci-fi scenario. This could then work with a range of periods, nationalities, scales of figures and Imagi-Nations.

Early British Semaphore stations  often had two watchers with telescopes, one looking in each direction to look towards the next beacon or semaphore / signal tower. Other staff would take down the codes or change the semaphore indicator boards with ropes and cables (not modelled).

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Coastal watchers – 54mm metal (on the left, recent Britains naval officer)

A defendable coastal signal tower would have its main door facing away from the sea, to make it more easily supplied and defended from the landward side. Beware foreign navies, marines, smugglers and pirates!

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Mocking up a coastal scenario, as a coastal signal tower manned and defended by a garrison of mostly Britain’s lead or metal toy soldier  naval crew.

I roughed out this tower as a coastal setting with the wall side showing, the slit window (originally a handle) shuttered against the sea, wind and attack from the sea edge.

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Inside the fort showing the seaward side window with removable shutters. One of the supporting blocks to the walkways has been sanded down, stained and ink-lined to suggest a storage locker.

Apart from some further white painting of certain areas inside the box, a few storage locker doors to complement the corner squares, this is almost complete for the time being.

I also need a flagpost or two.

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Not the sort of painter required to keep the signal tower whitewashed inside and out … 54mm Dorset Soldiers casting, part painted.

I enjoyed making this so much, I might make another one to create a small chain of them across the garden for summer games as needed. I will then be able to pass messages very slowly one letter or number at a time across the back garden wilderness or planet.

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In fact I could make and remake lots of versions of this, camouflaged lighthouse or radio stations, brassy steampunk versions, Roman lighthouses … but time, lack of clementines boxes  and space will not at present permit this.

I also have to work out a suitable toy soldier Popham type code book for my design of double semaphore indicator boards, using either letter or number combinations linked to key words in the code book.

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Telegraph Detachment, Post Office Rifles “Egypt  1882”. (1932 Cigarette card from the Royal Signals website https://royal-signals.org.uk/Datasheets/Telegraph.php)

Popham code books? Indicator boards? The next blog post to immediately follow is all about the semaphore and heliograph that I have  researched to make this coastal or desert signal tower.

https://poundstoreplasticwarriors.wordpress.com/2017/05/17/by-heliograph-and-semaphore/

Blogposted by Mark, Man of TIN 17 May 2017.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Duelling in the Sandpit – Lunge, Cut and Stop Thrust.

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One of my favourite simple ideas chapters in Solo Wargaming by Don Featherstone is called “Wargaming In Bed”.

Transposed to the garden wargame, maybe this should be called “Wargaming in the Flower Bed”?

Here in this chapter,  there are simple, mostly skirmish ideas, mostly for a few 54mm figures. There is  an interesting short section on the “Lunge, Cut and Stop Thrust” duelling game invented by  Gerard Du Gre of the MGC (Model General’s Club) in America.

 

(Lunge, Cut and Stop Thrust does sound like an odd bunch of solicitors or estate agents.)

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What I like about this card system is that it can be played solo or two handed.

It is almost a card version of “scissors paper stone”, a gaming system used for thousands of years and harnessed for a great caveman / tribal game many years ago in Miniature Wargames. Must look this one out for my Homecast Prince August cavemen!

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Playmobil  Nun defeats a glow in the dark Dracula in this unusual duel. 

A set of cards is prepared with one of the following actions on each.

  • Cut to Head
  • Parry and Lunge
  • Stop Thrust

I prepare a set of three cards for my hand, then a set of about thirty cards for my ‘opponent’ solo games.

Once you gave decided if you are attacker or defender (toss a coin for this), you can turn up the top card for your non-existent opponent’s choice of action at random. Return card to bottom of pile.

Alternatively, you can split the pack in half and play each figure as ‘random’, taking the top card blind from each pack for each figure.

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Lunge Cut and Stop Thrust:  Hit table from Gerard De Gre’s rules in John Curry’s reprint of Donald Featherstone’s Solo Wargaming. 

Lunge, Cut and Stop Thrust – Combat Points

For each successful hit, remove 1 point / counter from the number given.

Featherstone / Du Gre  gives 2 Combat Power points to light foot.

I usually   give 5 points to each of these  unarmoured swordsman to prolong the game.

Featherstone / Du Gre gives 2 Combat Power points to light foot. You can choose your own points table.

  • Light Foot – 2 points
  • Heavy Foot – 3 points
  • Mounted Knights 3 points plus 1 point for horse
  • Light Mounted (unarmoured) 2 points plus 1 point for horse.

In the case of Mounted men, the first hit is against their horse. When their horse is killed, the rider continues to fight on foot.

When all points have gone, this opponent is dead.

The winner can be given an additional point / counter.

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If you both choose or draw the same card, consult the separate hit deck. The cards either say Both Hit or Both Missed.

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To further randomise the opponents cards, I added in a couple of ducks and slips  (either being hit or missed) as chance cards.

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Captain Hook reached his last Combat Point and then draws this card – one dead Pirate captain. 

This is the closest I think I will get to card activation.

Points are kept by scoring pointers – pebbles on the beach, sweets, coins or in the sandpit example, some spare Tiger store flamingo cocktail sticks in homage to the other Don Featherstone.

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Playmobil Navy sailor versus the Kings Guard duelling in the sandpit over the cannon. 

Duelling in Angria and the Bronte books? 

There are lots of examples of the pistols or swords and six paces sort of thing in the Bronte juvenilia Imagi-Nations I have been following up on my Man of TIN blog. Most officer figures with many toy soldier sets had suitable swords.

This duelling card system an also be used to sort out Melee in an interesting way in Solo games and otherwise. Once troops are engaged, time stops whilst an individual skirmish is played out. Morale, Retreat or disengage cards could be added for variety.

Fantasy Gladiator type skirmishes are possible.

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The addition of life or hit points means that you can give a combat / defence / life points value to anything from a dinosaur to a mounted knight. Or even in the Heroscape box, a Mounted knight on a dinosaur …

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Pound Store plastics knights suitable for duelling and gladiator games. 

 

Quick Samurai version? 

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Heroscape Samurai figures against Heroscape hex tiles on my portable play board that can be taken out into the garden. 

I am slightly jealous of the attractive cherry blossom in the new Samurai Game Test of Honour featured in Tony’s Tin Soldiering On  blog,

http://tonystoysoldiers.blogspot.co.uk/2017/04/first-painted-samurai.html

although i think its mainly the cherry blossom and not the rules system. I remembered I had some ‘free’ Samurai swordsmen in the couple of  Heroscape starter sets which I bought for the hex tiles.

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This works equally well in the garden with appropriate Japanese plants like this lovely Acer (Japanese Maple).

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And the equivalent of Featherstone’s swoppet knights that  as a convalescing invalid he hopes to “Bribe a nurse or browbeat your wife into bringing to your bedside a couple of those plastic 54mm Swoppet armoured knights and position them at either end of the Bed table.”

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Lego Ninjago duelling Ninja Samurai type figures with suitable Lego shrine. 

Maybe suitable figures can be found in their modern equivalent Lego mini figures or Wilko bootleggo mini figures,  or pound store bags of knights or pirates.

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A wide range of periods and genres amongst these duelling Lego mini figures – musketeers, clansmen, gladiators, pirates and knights. 

Interchangeable weapons, heads , legs – Lego type minifigures are the modern version of Britain’s / Herald or Timpo type  Swoppets.

I even found Lego minifigure fencing figures and do by chance or blind bag luck own two fencers, but could only find one for the photograph.

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Somewhere I have Lego Star Wars and also metal figures of duelling Jedi figures with their lightsaber  laser swords – these rules would also work well for this!

Featherstone mentions that “Minor actions can be fought: half a dozen Airfix men can try to capture a Bellona pillbox manned by a German machine gun team”. Well, having seen handmade trench raid weapons in museums and visited trenches like Dixmuide the Trench of Death on the Yser in Belgium, I can see that  a World War trench raid is about as close to medieval foot combat as you can get, especially in the dark.

Not sure, having researched my village war memorial, if  a trench raid is a bit too close historically to have the gloss or romance of history and fiction that makes pirate sword fighting or duelling an enjoyable card activated game  though …

Airfix OO/HO sets like Robin Hodd / Sheriff also feature lots of swordsmen or men with quarterstaffs suitable for the Lunge Cut and Stop Thrust card game.

Pound store or seaside store pirates have useful duelling 54mm pirate swords men. These proved good fun to try out these rules in a recent family visit to the beach, though the cards get as soggy at the edges as you can see in the sandpit. Sandcastles have to be built and defended!

More elaborate and attractive laminated /sticky back plastic game cards could be made that would last longer in the garden or on the beach.

Jousting rules are also included in this chapter “Wargaming In Bed” in Solo Wargaming by Donald Featherstone but that’s one for another blogpost.

And finally … who was Gerard De Gre of the Model Generals Club who invented these Lunge Cut and Stop Thrust rules?

http://vintagewargaming.blogspot.co.uk/2010/10/wargamer-of-month-professor-gerard-de.html

Bob Cordery in Wargaming Miscellany tracked down more information about him:

http://wargamingmiscellany.blogspot.co.uk/2009/01/gerard-de-gre-lost-pioneer.html

http://wargamingmiscellany.blogspot.co.uk/2009/01/table-top-battles-early-edition_17.html

http://wargamingmiscellany.blogspot.co.uk/2009/01/table-top-battles-early-edition.html

http://theminiaturespage.com/boards/msg.mv?id=159835

It appears that he was born in 1915 and he died in 1987.

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Crossing the millienia – when the Royal Navy fought Romans! 
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Duelling lady pirates 
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Early stages of setting up the garden sand pit (sand Table!) with seaside castle above the harbour. Coins as combat  point counters were quickly replaced by pink flamingo cocktail sticks, easier to find in the sand! 

Blogposted by Mark, Man of TIN blog, April 2017.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Green Toy Army Men

imageThese are not quite pound store figures, as they  cost £5 at a Hawkins’s Bazaar shop on my travels.

Manufactured for Tobar, they are of course China copies of the very familiar but now unobtainable Matchbox US Infantry figures. Still 32 figures for £5 is reasonable.

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Dull packaging but good little drawstring kit bag for storage.

Good to see the old Matchbox figures available again from time to time.

Blogposted by Mr MIN, Man of TIN.

 

Pound store space marines?

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2nd in line with grenade is a clone of the old Matchbox US infantry.

O I do like a gift shop by the seaside … Outside this gift shop were the usual wire baskets full of plastic tat and seaside flim-flam.

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Unusual choice of flags, Barbados with the trident, Brazil, North Korea? Plus free undersized castle tower in two halves.

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£1 per pack of average 19 soldiers, a free plastic castle tower and bizarre flag choice. What more could you want?

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The figures are manufactured in China, imported or packed by PMS.

Although these are supposed to be modern American infantry, their slightly distorted moulding gives them a space marine 1930s/1950s look, suitable for paint conversion.

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Distorted copies of Modern US infantry or Suitable space marine troopers?

They are remarkably spindly, very thin pressings or mouldings, a bit of flash to clean up, almost semi-round or semi flat but fun all the same. The usual minimal basing to save plastic …

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What attracted my eye amongst the seaside plastic gifts were the echoes of my other favourite pound store figures of different scales seen here, 54mm ish versus these smaller 30 to 40mm-ish  figures, currently available in Poundland bags or buckets (£1 per 100!)

Blogposted by Man of TIN.

 

Pound Store US Marines

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A seaside gift shop was the source of 6 boxes of these figures at 50p a box. The flimsy boxes have a curious ‘military’ land mine or Lewis Gun magazine look to them.

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50p well spent? 

They are China copies of BMC US Marines from WW2 with a few of their Japanese lying down figures thrown in.

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Well animated officer and radioman figures.
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I like the animation on these as well as all the backpack and equipment. 
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Slightly distorted moulding in the face but a nicely animated figure with grenade.
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A slightly wobbly Marine 
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Flamethrower man or candidate for the space marines? 
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An almost statuesque figure lying down to reload. 
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The left and right figures I think are originally Japanese troops. 

These figures will probably not end up khaki or green; I shall see what they look like in more colourful Imagi-nations garb. Redcoats? Blue coats? Army Red, Army Blue. With all the haversack, entrenching tools and ammunition pouches they could make interesting steampunked 19th century figures.

At the time of buying I had no idea whose figures they were or how old they were.

Like many pound store figures, they are of Chinese manufacture.

Subsequent web research shows these Dan Hai Military Assault figures are China copies of US Marines made by the US firm of BMC for their Iwo Jima set, a playset not available in the shops in the UK.

https://victorybuy.com/collections/bmc-toys/era_world-war-2

The original figures were produced for BMC Toys, founded by Bill McMaster in 1991. Bill passed away in 2014 but the line is to be produced again in the USA by Victorybuy.com

I sometimes wonder whether ‘pirate’ or pound store copy figures do the original manufacturers out of sales or a living?

To be fair, many of them are fairly distorted compared to the originals and some of these originals are no longer available such as the Matchbox figures (and for many years Airfix). It’s almost like buying a jumble of second hand figures.

I think pound store figures are pitched at a different ‘pocket money’ market from those who will spend the amount that the venerable  Airfix  figures now cost for example, new or vintage.

A useful set of figures and overall £3 well spent for 6 boxes at 50p each. This amounted to 144 figures for £3, on average 24 figures a box and each costing around tuppence (2p).  A high street coffee is sometimes more expensive than this whole haul!

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Posted by Man of TIN.

Plastic Zoo Visitors # 1

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They could be zoo keepers, Rangers or tooled up to become space marines …

Trying to to find interesting 54mm civilian figures is always a challenge. Apart from an unusual set ordered online from China, it usually involves looking out for figures with playsets or vehicles. An expensive way to acquire a few figures!

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Britains and other companies used to make civilian and railway figures in 54mm lead but few in plastic, the occasional keeper figure or farm worker.

It was always frustrating as a child to have a zoo or farm or a parade set out but no visitors  to watch; it usually resulted in lots of  troops parading (H.G. Wells Floor Games style) endlessly  through the zoo along with assorted military staff feeding the animals.

Military bands and other forms of entertainment and display were not unknown in the Victorian zoo and right through to Manchester’s Belle Vue Zoo into the 1950s. Whilst military mascots ended up in zoos (including Winnie the Pooh at London Zoo ) and even a naval zoo existed, at Whale Island, this was a little uninspiring as a regular play or garden scenario.  http://www.europeana.eu/portal/en/record/2024904/photography_ProvidedCHO_TopFoto_co_uk_EU044495.html

Evn today, Edinburgh Zoo has a penguin called Nils Olaf  “commissioned” into the Norwegian Royal Guard and occasionally visited and paraded  by his fellow (human) comrades in their magnificent full dress uniform.

This was sort of true of British Zoos in wartime – there were  special rates for servicemen (and lady friends) in uniform, entertainments in WW1 for injured servicemen. I have 1939’propaganda’ press pictures of servicemen enjoying elephant rides at Belle Vue Zoo Manchester. In the first few weeks of being closed to the public on ARP grounds in September 1939, London Zoo made arrangements for servicemen to walk round for the animals to look at. ‘The Zoo’ also made their canteen over to the RAF as the big houses around became RAF Regent’s Park full of training aircrew.

Britain’s and other lead toy soldier manufacturers made plenty of civilians and farm workers in the more pacifist aftermath of WW1. Plastic manufacturers haven’t followed suit and painted railway figures in this 54mm /1:32 scale are often quite expensive.

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Failing the mounting of a full scale military parade through your zoo, Wild West town etc. all day and everyday,  some normal civilians are useful for floor games, sandpit games or  wargames.

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The 54mm female figure from the left is from the c. 2007 zoo vehicle  playset, whilst the “Marilyn” stylish 1950s unfinished painted figure is from recent Chinese plastics online purchase of civilians. (Photo / figures: Man of TIN)

These  feature sets  came from a zoo gift shop with two zebra striped jeeps, some brilliant wooden watch towers and rope ways (of which more anon) , a couple of odd sized animals and these interesting modern civilians.

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Something vaguely unsettling about this boy child in his simple factory paintwork. Useful photographer figure though!

Something similar to the girl child in the photos has recently been repainted and reused in a Slinkachu type way on the front cover of an art photography book Micro Worlds about the recent group of artists / photographers playing with scale for satiric, unsettling or comic effect. An interesting book but one which contains some slightly disturbing dystopian or to some tasteless items from a range of photographers.

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Another candidate to be my Man of TIN blog photographer? (from a 2007 zoo vehicle playset)

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Police and firefighters are now available in poundstore tubes. Back in the 1980s there were Britain’s Deetail nurses, doctors and  construction workers, not forgetting the Britain’s farm workers from lead to Herald plastic and a modern farm worker range still around in toy shops today.

https://manoftinblog.wordpress.com/tag/plastic-police-figures/

https://manoftinblog.wordpress.com/2016/05/31/more-poundstore-warriors/

In future blogposts I will feature more civilian figures to be used for game scenarios from the Chinese online set to the useful USA manufactured  Toob “heritage” plastic figures roughly in 54mm, also purchased online.

Plastic Warrior website also feature an excellent set of Mexican Wild West civilians or peasants.

Posted by Mr MIN, Man of TIN, September 2016.