More Plastic Zoo Staff 2018

 

IMG_3155
Four useful civilian or military 54mm figures, one with each animal and vehicle blister pack – photographer, binoculars baseball cap guy, female scientist or medic and determined looking adventurer figure with jungle hat. 

IMG_3149.JPG

IMG_3150
Useful figure, handy smaller scale lorry and an African animal to boot. 
IMG_3154
Good looking 1:32 or 54mm figures from the back as well. They could be adventurers, Press or war photographers, officer with binoculars, medics. 
IMG_3156
Determined, distinctive and versatile female medic, vet  or scientist figure. Feisty enough to suit Star Wars games too. 
IMG_3157
Female Space scientist, tropical biologist, dinosaur vet ??

The usual mix of scales of figures and vehicles can be annoying to some but is full of potential across a range of scales.

IMG_3158
Odd mix of scales per set surrounding the 54mm figure 
IMG_3159
36mm pound store figure conversion, HO/OO Railway figure, 30mm Spencer Smith figure for size comparison with the lorries.  
IMG_3153
Useful trucks and useful (detachable?)  wooden crates. 
IMG_3152
The accompanying animals …
IMG_3151
Ark Toys and Ravensden origin. 

These were a useful set of civilian or military safari or zoo figures that I got at a discount, not Pound store materials but certainly useful plastic figures and lorries to accompany some of my Pound Store Plastic  conversions.

Blog posted by Mark, Man of TIN , Pound Store Plastic Warriors blog 29 May 2018.

Advertisements

Pound store paint conversions: American Civil War

 

Glossy toy soldier style American Civil War troops can be painted using cheap pound store plastic figures.

IMG_0901
Right: pirate or pound store Matchbox clone 54mm  Japanese WW2 infantry repainted as American Civil War Confederate Infantry, alongside one of my handmade Polymer clay scruffy standard bearers with a Britain’s Deetail flag.

An overlooked blog post from summer 2017 that I forgot to post – Whoops!

Having spent time in the past converting OO / HO Airfix Japanese Infantry into Union or Confederate troops and zouaves,

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

I wondered how this sort of conversion would work at 1:32 or 54mm scale.

For paint scheme inspiration for the glossy toy soldier style, I looked to my books and my display cupboard.

I like the paint style on this Tradition of London solidcast Union infantry man, handpainted by a member of the Guild of Master Craftsmen,  a past Christmas present.

IMG_1232
Tradition of London ACW Union Infantry

Other simple  paint inspiration can be found in these Britains, Tradition and Herald figures.

IMG_1727.JPG
These two damaged Britain’s ACW Confederate  “On Guard” figures surrounding the central figure look under their flaking paint like they were once Union figures!

IMG_1728.JPG

IMG_1730
The Tradition professionally painted Confederate photographed by my rougher enamel glossy painting of Tradition ACW photographer.
IMG_1731
Herald ACW figures, minus much of their paintwork.

IMG_1732

IMG_0905
Some of my childhood Herald ACW officers missing their swords.

IMG_0907

IMG_0908
One of my favourite Herald figures the ACW Confederate Bugler

IMG_0909

Other ACW figures in my collection came long ago from a quirky collectors shop in Cornwall.

IMG_0898
I love the Tintinesque  Thomson and Thompson moustache on this figure!
IMG_1052
Another childhood branch library favourite …

A bit of plastic and lead American Civil War toy soldier inspiration, equally applicable to Imagi-Nations troops.

Blogposted by Mark, Man of TIN on his Pound Store Plastic Warriors blog, May 2018

Dumb Soldiers: The Past and Future of Garden Wargames?

image
My Garden War (Games) Correspondent – great 80mm Prepainted Papo ranger figure (with aquarium castle in distance) 2016 

Knee pads out, the summer is on its way. The sun is shining. I can look back towards the garden games of last year and plan those for this year.

https://poundstoreplasticwarriors.wordpress.com/2016/09/14/garden-wargames-1/

I have just bought a new set of “Moss Green”  Kneelo knee pads from garden suppliers  Burgon and Ball. At £15,  these really are the business (or the bees knees?)

https://www.burgonandball.com/shop/scripts/prodList.asp?idcategory=156

I tested these out today in the sunshine on a duel game in my ground level sand table (also known as the sandpit) using Gerard Du Gre’s Duelling rules Lunge, Cut and Stop Thrust  reproduced in ‘Wargaming in Bed’ –  my favourite simple ideas chapter of Donald Featherstone’s Solo Wargaming (recently reprinted by John Curry). More about these duelling games in another post.

IMG_0308
80mm Pirates of The Caribbean female action figure  (£1 bag charity shop bag find)  versus Papo peg-leg pirate duelling in the sand pit – more in a future blogpost. Flamingo score points markers and palm trees – £1 bag Tiger.com stores cocktail sticks 

I was delighted to see an article on Garden Wargaming by Conrad Kinch in the most recent edition of Miniature Wargames 408, April 2017 Issue. It was enough to persuade me to buy the magazine.

The lack of coverage of Garden Wargaming is one thing I have been thinking about over the past year, especially  as it turns again towards warmer weather.

Lovely to hear from fellow blogger Alan the ‘Tradgardmastre’ on my comments page about a recent Garden Wargames post https://poundstoreplasticwarriors.wordpress.com/2016/09/14/garden-wargames-1/

I really enjoyed the garden wargames in the last post (14 September 2016)

Many a plastic fellow was lost in the trenches of my garden in the 1960s,many of whom had come free in Kellogg’s packets.

We had two tiers to our back garden separated by steep steps flanked on each side by a rockery. The bottom tier was where the trenches lay. The plastic soldiers would sometimes ascend the rockery and get lost amongst the summer snow ( white cascading plant) covering much of the rockery.

Comment from Alan, Tradgardmastre blog 

Alan wins my “Best Garden Wargames Pun 2017” award for registering a blog page name for future posts about Garden Wargames called  “By the Sward Divided“.

In keeping with the pound store plastic theme, this award medal for Alan should be shiny gold plastic and inscribed “Made in China”.

If you don’t instantly get the pun, there was a colourful but clunky BBC TV drama produced in Britain in the 1980s  called “By The Sword Divided” about the English Civil War. This was around the time (and possibly the reason why) I started collecting Peter Laing’s 15mm  English Civil War figures.

image
One of my  outdoor three man patrols – Pirated BMC seaside pound store 54mm US marines

We must all have those early memories of ‘Lost Legions’ in the garden rockery and sandpit.

You must also be of a certain age to remember the free plastic figures in cereal packets that Alan mentions. Most of my cereal box figures handed down by family members were red guards and bandsmen, still in use in my 54mm games.

Alan’s comments about trenches and lost figures also remind me of an interesting poem in The Child’s Garden of Verses by Robert Louis Stevenson, author of the Yallobelly Times (described in Stevenson At Play) and other gaming inspired bits of writing.

The Dumb Soldier Lost and Found 

I was reminded of the lost and found figure on Tony’s Tin Soldiering On blogpost, a homecast lead figure http://tonystoysoldiers.blogspot.co.uk/2017/03/lost-and-found.html

I have in my collection a equally battered and soil stained WW2 figure of this type found and sold by someone in the Bristol area.

One of RLS Robert Louis Stevenson’ poems is about a lost soldier (or a one man version of my three man patrol thing), a poem called The Dumb Soldier

http://www.poetryloverspage.com/poets/stevenson/dumb_soldier.html

The Dumb Soldier

When the grass was closely mown,
Walking on the lawn alone,
In the turf a hole I found
And hid a soldier underground.

Spring and daisies came apace;
Grasses hide my hiding place;
Grasses run like a green sea
O’er the lawn up to my knee.

Under grass alone he lies,
Looking up with leaden eyes,
Scarlet coat and pointed gun,
To the stars and to the sun.

When the grass is ripe like grain,
When the scythe is stoned again,
When the lawn is shaven clear,
Then my hole shall reappear.

I shall find him, never fear,
I shall find my grenadier;
But for all that’s gone and come,
I shall find my soldier dumb.

He has lived, a little thing,
In the grassy woods of spring;
Done, if he could tell me true,
Just as I should like to do.

He has seen the starry hours
And the springing of the flowers;
And the fairy things that pass
In the forests of the grass.

In the silence he has heard
Talking bee and ladybird,
And the butterfly has flown
O’er him as he lay alone.

Not a word will he disclose,
Not a word of all he knows.
I must lay him on the shelf,
And make up the tale myself.

RLS Robert Louis Stevenson, from A Child’s Garden of Verses

Maybe these figures were lost during childhood games or  maybe this RLS poem encouraged children to try this hide and seek mission. From which deep cover they never returned until recently …

I have only ever been lucky enough to  find modern plastic figures on the beach:

https://manoftinblog.wordpress.com/2016/06/02/lost-legions-1-fighting-on-the-beaches/

Why So Little Garden War Games Coverage?

I am quite puzzled why there are so few “garden wargames” blogs or blogposts out there and posted a thread about this on Mike Lewis’  Little Wars Revisited 54mm figure gaming forum http://littlewarsrevisited.boards.net

http://littlewarsrevisited.boards.net/thread/28/little-outdoor-garden-wargames-coverage

The various responses suggested it may be because of:

1. the indifferent and unpredicatable weather

2. the lack of garden space or being overlooked. Would I crawl round at ground level where the neighbours can see? Or less overlooked in the back garden?

3. What Elvis McGonagall called  “He fights them on the beaches / He fights them on the seas / He fights them on the carpet / Despite his creaky knees” in his Soldiering On poem. https://manoftinblog.wordpress.com/2017/03/03/soldiering-on-wargames-poem-by-elvis-mcgonagall-2007/

4. 54mm is a marginal scale in gaming anyway, therefore less coverage.

5. Cat poo.

5. Gaming  in the local park has its associated problems.

The rebirth of H.G. Wells type gaming was celebrated or covered in a recent Miniature Wargames magazine  article “Little Wars Commemorated” (Issue 402)

I wonder if Garden Railroaders or Garden Railway enthusiasts would get the same reaction? They even have their own magazines including Garden Rail published by the same group as Miniature Wargames.

image
John Ruddles’ wargamers garden – image taken courtesy from Wargaming Miscellany / Vintage Wargaming blogs.

The Future Solution? 🙂

We are currently redesigning our small garden for all the family and the local wildlife, not forgetting garden games. For now it will be knee pads on.

Maybe as we all get older and our collective wargamer’s knee problems develop with age, we can adapt the idea of those “raised bed gardens” for the aged or disabled gardener into chair height islands.

Boats and planes could be mounted on stands to travel amongst the ‘islands’.

Could this be the future for Garden Wargames and ageing garden wargamers?

image

The perfect way to build in a John Ruddle style Wargames garden at accessible height?

https://poundstoreplasticwarriors.wordpress.com/2016/09/14/garden-wargames-1/

Tell your neighbours, if you must, that it’s a disabled accessible model village. That covers the “shame or chutzpah?” issue of being overlooked or literally looked down on by the neighbours, raised in the garden wargames questions and answers on the 54mm forum Little Wars Revisited.

Plenty of ideas on how to make your own raised beds in your garden / yarden: http://www.livinggreenandfrugally.com/18-easy-to-make-diy-raised-garden-beds/

http://www.livinggreenandfrugally.com/easy-access-raised-garden-bed/

http://www.carryongardening.org.uk/files/documents/how%20to%20build%20raised%20beds%20final_nov08.pdf

http://gardeningfordisabledtrust.org.uk/the-garden-club/picture-galleries/gallery-raised-beds-and-borders/

The alternative: mess tables and Astroturf. The Australian Colliectors of Toy  Soldiers (ACOTS) seem to do this mess table thing outside well for the impressive games shown on Quantrills Toy Soldiers blogsite: http://quantrillstoysoldiers.blogspot.co.uk/2017/04/acots-2017.html

More from the (garden) war (games) correspondent over the next few months till rain and cold stop play again.

Blogposted by Mark, Man of TIN blog, 23 April 2017. Happy St George’s Day!

image
Ambush at Bottom Step … Papo 80mm prepainted cowboys. This bandy leg pose also helps them sit on horses. 

Funtastic Caballeros or Knights

image
24 Knights.
image
Or 24 Caballeros

They came with a strange two horse waggon not shown here.

image
Not quite 54mm … Not quite Roman … But Almost.
image
Some almost Romans …
image
Some more almost Romans …
image
Some almost Gladiators …

These figures would do very well in Ancients games or Fantasy and Science Fiction scenarios. Flash Gordon palace guards or Gladiators ?

These were a gift from a pound store a year or two ago c. 2014. I haven’t seen them since.

Blogposted by Mr MIN, Man of TIN, 31 October 2016.