Snowball Fight at Camp Benjamin – BMC Plastic Army Women arrive!

After months watching and reading about these new figures being designed, mastered and made as my first ever Kickstarter pledge, these BMC Plastic Army Women are finally here – and well worth both the patient wait and the effort by Jeff Imel and team at BMC.

What better way to celebrate their time under the Christmas tree than a snowball fight with some of these new recruits out on the parade ground and assault course soon after they were unwrapped?

Camp Benjamin is named after the comedy film Private Benjamin (1981) with Goldie Hawn about American female army recruits in training.

I tracked down some suitably plastic pound store items that match their traditional army men or women style such as this rope bridge and towers, the odd plastic wall sections as well as other snowball fight cover made from white Lego and old Playmobil snow sections.

Add some Christmas trees and you have that spirit of the Snow Ball!

Turn 3 – already some of the snowballers can shoot from behind Snow cover

Snowballing round the base of the Rosie the Riveter statue (also a BMC copper colour freebie)

Turn 6 – base to base, toe to toe snowball scrapping and snow melee

Turn 11 – Close up snowball fighting
The final turn – the last of the Tan figures goes down in close melee.

Each of the squads of four had a box of chocolate rations (colour themed Lego block tan or green) in their sentry box, something to be defended.

Victory Conditions / End of Game either:

a) all four of the rival squad defeated after 6 snowball hits on each

Or

b) capture of the rival squad’s chocolate rations

Range measured in lolly sticks.

Firing per single figure rolling 1 standard d6 dice

Long Range (LR) 3 lolly sticks – 6 required to hit target

Medium Range (MR) 2 lolly sticks – 5 or 6 required to hit target

Close Range (CR) 1 lolly stick – 4,5 or 6 required to hit target

If target hit when behind partial cover (low snow wall etc), roll casualty saving throw of 1d6 – 6 means deflected / saved by the cover, otherwise 1-5 counts as normal snowball hit (lose a point)

Movement is one half lolly stick per figure per turn. Anything like climbing fences, walls etc takes one turn.

IGO YUGO rules. Roll two suitably coloured dice (in this case, tan and green) – highest score moves first, other side second, first side to move shoots first, second side to move shoots second.

Solve any melee as they happen or after firing, as you wish.

Each figure (numbered or named as you wish e.g. Green 1, Green 2 …) needs to have a tally kept of life points – use spare d6, tally chart etc.

Figure removed when hit by 6 snowballs.

Snow Melee

If figures are touching bases, this counts as Snow Melee – extreme close range fir snowballing, close enough to shove snow down each other’s necks sort of thing.

Attacker is whichever colour side went first – roll on dice

Roll one d6 per two duelling figures in melee

1 or 2 – Hit on attacker – loses one point

3 – Both attacker and defender hit – both lose one point

4 – Both sides miss

5 to 6 – Hit on defender – lose one point.

(Melee system adapted from Gerard De Gre via Donald Featherstone Solo Wargaming and simplified by Kaptain Kobold)

Rules

Snowball Fight variations – Alan Gruber, Duchy of Tradgardland – six life points for each character, one point lost each time hit by a snowball.

https://tradgardland.blogspot.com/2020/12/snowball-fight-game.html

Our original rules – Scouting Wide Games / snowball fights:

https://manoftinblog.wordpress.com/2019/10/29/packing-sugar-at-freddie-snowball-fight-wide-games-scenario/

Blog posted by Man of TIN, 27 December 2020

BMC Plastic Army Women Update No. 3 September 2019

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A quick update from his most recent newsletter https://bmctoys.com/blogs/news/bmc-toys-plastic-army-women-project-update-3 on how Jeff Imel and his BMC Plastic Army Women Project is coming along, with tweaking of more realistic hairstyles under the GI style helmet and consideration of first and future poses.

It sounds like the first four female poses might be available in the US by “Christmas 2020”.

Hopefully they will be available in the U.K. without too heavy international shipping costs.

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The Good Guys and The Bad Guys?
Fascinating to watch the American News Channel interviews with Jeff Imel of BMC in his workshop and the young American girl who wrote to him about “why no Plastic Army Women?”, as she shows at home off her collection of plastic figures including the “bad guys” led by a skeleton and the “good guys”.

Thinking of Mitchell and Webb in their famous “Are We The Baddies?” WW2 sketch, this is what many of our historical and fantasy games so often boil down to – the good guys versus the bad guys (if you take sides, that is).

This is some part of the spirit of simple gaming that I aim to recover in my hobby. I’m sure H.G. Wells would approve of these ground-level plastic Little Wars, which he described as “a game for boys from twelve years of age to one hundred and fifty and for that more intelligent sort of girl who likes boys’ games and books”. Plastic Army Women would of course add an extra dimension to this Wellsian Floor Games mix.

Back to the figure designs:

It is fascinating to see the female figures evolving through the concept drawing into the early sculpt stage, shown here in these BMC copyright drawings (screenshots from the BMC website and email newsletters).
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After showcasing the revised female officer figure, Jeff Imel says in his latest email:
“I discussed the next figure, possible other poses, and worked out some details and timelines. The next figure will be standing and firing a rifle. This is a pose that I’m always told there aren’t enough of in sets and is always in demand when setting up a living room battlefield. This next figure will likely be a little less of an hourglass figure than the prototype. We’re going to try to have some different body types, faces and hair in the set instead of all the figures being identical characters. Speaking of weapons, I’m leaning towards an M14 for the rifles. I’m not aiming for 100% historical accuracy with this set, but I think the M14 will look good, and matches the uniform period well. The next figure will likely be prone firing a rifle, and I’m thinking of adding a scope and bipod to the M14 make her more of a sniper.”

I like the level he is approaching this as the best poses for the “living room battlefield” unlike some of the weird and useless poses from Airfix, Timpo and other plastic Army Men manufacturers.

Jeff says on his newsletter / email:

“Please continue to let me know your thoughts. I am behind on answering messages and comments, but I’ve read, and appreciate, all of them. I’ve heard all the requests for pre-orders and suggestions for specialty poses like radio operator and medic loud and clear (over). I’m considering a crowdfunding campaign in November as a way to take pre-orders and expand the figure selection.”

Here’s a link to the full update on the BMC Toys blog that is full of photos and recent news stories: https://bmctoys.com/blogs/news/bmc-toys-plastic-army-women-project-update-3

Sign up for the newsletter via the BMC website to keep informed of what is happening with this interesting BMC Plastic Army Women project. It adds more figures to the “believable female Miniatures” debates over #FEMbruary, Annie at Bad Squiddo’s quest for believable female gaming miniatures.

All screenshot images copyrighted from the BMC website.

Blog posted by Mark, Man of TIN, September 2019.

BMC Plastic Army Women Female Toy Soldiers Project Update 2019

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BMC Plastic Army Women logo – Screenshot from the BMC Toys website 31/08/2019
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How it Started … the story so far

Jeff Imel at BMC Toys USA recently sent out an email to those interested in his plastic 54mm Army Women Project:
“I’ve got some exciting news about the BMC Toys Plastic Army Women Project. The story about young Vivian’s “Why aren’t there Plastic Army Women?” letter has been circulated widely over the past month. The CBS Evening News will feature Vivian in an ‘On the Road’ segment at the end of the program tomorrow (Friday, August 30th). Steve Hartman (host of On the Road) even took some time to ask me about the project.

“The interest in Vivian’s letter has already helped increase subscribers to this newsletter from about 200 to nearly 500 (my goal is 2000). The extra attention and support has prompted me to get this project in gear, so I’ve had a bunch of new art created and will have a full update this weekend. In the meantime, I’ve created a handy link to share the blog posts. Thanks for your support, Jeff Imel at BMC Toys”

PlasticArmyWomen.com

https://bmctoys.com/blogs/news/tagged/plastic-army-women

Concept drawings and prototype figures (images copyright of BMC Toys) :

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Concept sketches

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If you want to support this 54mm BMC Plastic Army Women project or know more, visit the PlasticArmyWomen.com web page, sign up for the newsletter or look at https://bmctoys.com/blogs/news/tagged/plastic-army-women

Should add some interesting figures for modern mixed and female units as well as Amazonian style ImagiNations troops.

Blog posted by Mark Man of TIN, 31 August 2019

B.P.S. Blog Post Script
Having seen the BMC website, I now recognise the originals of pound store figures as https://bmctoys.com/products/bmc-iwo-jima-marines, which sometimes turn up as clone or pirate figures in cheap plastic figure sets. Hence putting this post out on my Pound Store Plastic Warriors blog. https://poundstoreplasticwarriors.wordpress.com/2016/09/21/pound-store-us-marines/
Also seen here: https://poundstoreplasticwarriors.wordpress.com/2019/07/21/milk-carton-creation-no-1-cheap-landing-craft/

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.