Interesting blog post by Scotia Albion about a recent series of YouTube videos by Tom a young wargamer talking about budget ways for a young gamer of getting into historical wargames (as well as Sci-fi and D&D). For example:
Popped in with my Christmas parcel from our upcountry family in 2019 was this lovely £1 bag of plastic soldiers and tanks.
They are the remnants of a playset style bag from a charity shop, picked up pre-Lockdown in late 2019. They were popped in alongside our Christmas presents as padding or packing in the Christmas parcel before posting. Who needs bubble wrap?
Please note: These were photographed in the poor light of Winter 2019 / 2020. I don’t think I posted these then for some reason.
Larger copies of familiar Airfix figures in two colours
Figures seen here in size order compared to the size of an original 54mm Airfix WW2 British Infantryman.
Again the slight size difference in the same bag of the same poses is interesting … two different factories? Two different mould tools?
Arriving without a header card, a bit of web research and toyshop browsing reveals that these Airfix figure and tank copies are HTI figures, made in China.
Similar bags are still available July 2020 in toy shops, post offices and seaside stores or from online suppliers such as here at Amazon, including with good copies of the Airfix pre-assembled OOHO Centurion tank.
I think that’s enough publicity for buying these here from Amazon (July 2020) for one post.
Buy them where you see them and certainly support your local toy shop.
Just seeing the wonky mixed scale content of these playsets so attractively photographed gives me simple childhood joy.
I really like the running infantryman figure, it originated as the advancing Airfix German infantry man with rifle but in the process of copying over forty to fifty years has become more generic, simpler and smaller. It now has more of a traditional toy soldier look, especailly if painted up in gloss toy soldier paint style.
I can never have enough of these running plastic toy soldier figures!
The smaller running rifleman or standing rifleman is just under 38-40mm from base to the top of his helmet (or if you measure to the eyes about 35-36mm)
The larger running rifleman is about 42mm from base to top of helmet, 38mm to the eyeliner, which is the usual size that I have encountered these before on these smaller figures. Quite a size drop from the 54mm Airfix originals.
This brings these broadly into line with 40mm Prince August figures for example.
Blog posted by Mark Man of TIN, January / July 2020.
These two groups of generic Marine Infantry are loosely based on two different sources:
1) L & F Funcken, Uniforms of WW2 page showing German sailors in landing rig and grey steel helmets.
2) the Russian Navy Marine Infantry or ‘Black Devils’ as the Germans called them after their dark navy blue uniforms. Other equipment like packs and helmets were Russian Army Green.
A page from An Illustrated Encyclopaedia of Uniforms of World War Two
They were undercoated in a blue- black acrylic mix. Painting was kept very simple, the kind of painting you did with Airfix figure as a child in the 1970s. They usually already had the basic uniform colour plastic. Face, rifle, packs, boots and base painted.
Otherwise no wash, no fuss, just a green painted washer for a base. Simple.
These new dark blue figures can join in ImagiNations skirmishes with or alongside existing Verdan or Grizan troops.
Grizan versus Verdan forces can be seen in this Interwar border skirmish:
Four groups or units of figures so far – this still leaves me with over a hundred more green and grey basic figures for future projects and groups (albeit with a whole fiercesome unit which will be made up of bazooka men and officers waving pistols!)
This recent gift was (I think) bought last year from a seaside gift shop, part of the Combat Mission branding that we have featured elsewhere on this Pound Store Plastic Warriors site. However it can be found online for around £5 including delivery.
The tiny Airfix sized OOHO or 1:72-1:76 2cm type figures are clones or copies of two familiar Airfix figure sets of American Infantry (4 poses) and British Paratroops (2 poses).
They have muted details but are not too distorted with minimal flash and have good bases. Even without vehicles, these 200 odd figures would be 1p to 2.5p each.
Being a cheaper play set, both sides of German / Grey and American / Green troops use the same moulds / figures. Ditto the jeeps and tanks. They all make good enough generic WW2 / modern infantry and vehicles.
Green troops have a radar or searchlight jeep, along with a small multiple rocket launcher.
If you don’t want to use the flag-post mound for its intended purpose, it can become infantry cover.
Overall this is good (play) value, as you can buy these playsets online all in for about £5 and free delivery.
Given that you have 203 figures in my set, approximately four boxes of Airfix figures, this would cost you in the shops about £20. Add in the hard plastic tanks and jeeps similar to the Airfix ones from the 1970s, this £5 set proves good value to the young and not so young gamer.
Quantity has a Qualityall of its own, someone once said. “The phrase has been popular in the US defense community since the 1980s, sometimes acknowledging it as a US coinage, but often misattributing it to Clausewitz, Lenin, Stalin, and Brezhnev, but mostly to Stalin.” http://klangable.com/blog/quantity-has-a-quality-all-its-own/.
As poses go, we have a fair share of each of the poses but this leads us to having too many pistol waving (American Infantry) officers and too many (American Infantry) bazooka men. Obviously you can reuse pistol guy in other roles as vehicle crew etc. That saying, Airfix and other plastic figures have their fair share of useless diorama poses in each box.
One of the typical play set minus points for some is the weird period mix and oddities of scale. These are generic WW2 and postwar figures next to a WW2 type tank and WW2 or postwar type jeeps but the modern odd one out is the secret Stealth type jet.
If you are role-playing a pound store WW2 skirmish rerun of Germany versus Britain and America, this could be a prototype or experimental Me262 type variant jet fighter.
If you are role-playing Green versus Grey in your ImagiNations scenario, again it could be a top secret stealth fighter etc.
The German / American branding is fairly fluid, depending on which bag you get. Other versions of the same figures and vehicles can be found online with desert tan and green troops, marked by flags as Americans and British!
It is the sort of playset that I would have been happy to have bought with my pocket money as a child and even today as an adult gamer, I could enjoy this for what it is.
I might rebase the figures. I might remove the stickers and even add a lick of flesh paint, maybe some brown or black paint on boots and weapons. But I will enjoy them for what they are.
Blogposted by Mark Man of TIN on Pound Store Plastic Warriors, 23 June 2020.
About 25 years ago I painted these cheap Pound Store copies of Airfix 54mm Cowboys and Indians into a home-made DIY western play set. It was made as a jokey present for a western movie enthusiast daughter of a work colleague. This was recently passed back to me 25 years later for safekeeping.
The Wild West. Independence. The Frontier. These are the seductive and selective histories and stories that countries tell about themselves, to their young and to others. The pioneers, the frontiersman, the noble savage …
A familiar cast of stock Western characters – and then someone comes along and subverts this all with a jokey pop music video
American music charts for the last three to four months have been dominated by a country / hip-hop crossover track called Old Town Road by young hip-hop artist Lil Nas X and Country and Western star Billy Ray Cyrus.
Warning – It is the perfect earworm and in crossing two distinct genres of music has caused controversy and divided musical opinion. Is it Country and Western? Is it hip hop or rap?
Controversy? “Cyrus sent a tweet to Lil Nas X after Billboard decided that the rapper’s song, Old Town Road, was “not country enough” to be on its Hot Country chart. Billboard said the song “does not embrace enough elements of today’s country music to chart in its current version” despite its twanging banjo. The removal of the song sparked a fierce debate — white country artists like Florida Georgia Line use hip hop beats in their songs, why can’t a black artist embrace country beats?“
So Billy Ray Cyrus stepped into the remix and the music video ‘movie’ to make it a little more country.
I like the tongue-in-cheek western movie pastiche that was made as the music video. It features black cowboys in 1889 falling through time into the blingy 2019 modern equivalent of fast cars in place of horses, line dancing, designer label cowboy hat and boots.
Time tunnel? Interesting gaming scenario, pure pulp fiction and “Connecticut Yankee at the Court of King Arthur” in reverse?
What it suggests about the reality of cowboy life is quite interesting – many cowboys were in fact Black or Hispanic. Not quite the rugged Hollywood 1950s myth making.
Classic and much pirated / copied Airfix figures, still around today in clone form.
I packed inside this all into an old decorated shoebox with their favourite cowboy novel and a simple set of rules for gunfights (roll a dice or split a card deck – highest value wins) or decided via using scissors / paper / stone. Each cowboy and Indian (Native American / first people) had a name on the base of famous historical or western movie characters. (Subrule – Clint always wins). I wonder if the gunfight rules were ever used quietly when no one else was looking?
I wonder – Where have all the cowboy movies gone?
Various cowboy film and dime store novel images were decoupaged onto the box, wrapped in Western wrapping paper.
I haven’t made it to the Plastic Warrior Show in London yet (the next one is Saturday 11th May 2019). I hope all those who travel to this annual event have a great social time and a good rummage through the boxes and trays of plastic figures. http://plasticwarrioreditor.blogspot.com
Instead I have been rummaging through a fabulous box of 130 broken or damaged plastic figures bought from Barrie (“Redhalliwell” on eBay) for £3 to £4. Strangely no one else bid. That’s about 3p a figure – sent straight to my door!
Barrie mentioned interestingly that 2019 “is our 32nd Show. When we first started it was mainly collectors who came but now we get a lot of 1/32nd war gamers coming as there are cheap figures to be had.” (2019 Show details at end of post).
These playworn battle scarred veterans deserve some care and attention. Some Plastic figures from the 1950s and 1960s are now more brittle than others and these clearly have seen better days. My Broken Britain’s metal hollowcast figures in some ways will outlive these.
A few hours later the harsh sunlight was fading and photography was easier.
More damaged 1950s and 1960s khaki infantry, one Crescent figure with a melted base and a Crescent mortar man.
These should be 130 useful figures for the conversion and repair box.
Interestingly my usual repair glue – fast setting standard Superglue cyanoacrylate – does not seem to work on these plastics. Any better ideas?
I know there is a special Plastics Superglue with an activator.
From a previous post comment by snaves?
Reminder: the PLASTIC WARRIOR figure show
Saturday 11 May 2019
The Harlequin Suite
The Winning Post Inn
60+ tables packed with figures, mainly reasonably priced and LOTS of “junk” boxes
Further details tel: 01483 722 778
Blogposted by Mark Man of TIN on Pound Store Plastic Warriors, 30 March 2019.
I have a nostalgic soft spot for a pocket money play set. This one from a seaside gift shop is worth £3 of anyone’s money and would I hope be good value for a child. It has useful figures and vehicles for any pound store budget gamer.
The stock graphics show modern US or British troops ( the flag, plane and helicopter markings are also US). The contents are the usual bizarre mix of modern (Stealth aircraft) right back to WW2 figures and Jeep.
A useful little play set that I would have enjoyed as a child. Still useful to me today.
A good toy slogan to have “More Fun for Less.” These funexpress.com Made In China Cowboys and Indians have a couple of interesting poses, some of which echo the familiar Airfix and Britain’s Deetail Cowboys and Indians.
They were ordered online from a UK “party favors” shop, an interesting but sometimes expensive place to find plastic figures.
They are marked MARIES 0415 funexpress.com on the base. They were £3.60 including postage, so 36p each.
The plastic figures are slightly larger than the usual 54mm figures but close enough, the last picture gives a size comparison with similar Britain’s 54mm lead hollowcast figures.
I look forward at some point to painting these in Gloss toy soldier style.
An online purchase last year from a vintage ex-shop stock supplier, at first I thought these were 54mm pirate copies. In fact they turned out to be OO/HO.
I was not disappointed as this meant I had some OO/HO copies of the larger Airfix Japanese Infantry to play with, pirated and pantographed down in size from 1:32.
These were pretty ropey, poor quality copies with extra flash and badly moulded weapons. Perfect for conversion then! Four bags full …
Because of the unusual nature of these Airfix Japanese figures in a small scale, I think that they are worth trimming free of flash and painting up as an Imagi-Nations army unit.
Hopefully I will be able to create some interesting new OO/HO figures for the American Civil War or for an Imagi-Nations army, such as I have done with the original 1:32 Airfix Japanese Infantry that I have repainted here.
These Pippin fort figures were previously shown at my Man of TIN blog in June 2016 (link below here) and would feature well in the employ of any late 18th or 19th Century Imagi-Nation: