Another £1 bag of charity shop soldiers

Hanging amongst the random bagged toys in our local BHF shop were some figures that I did not recognise or have. Back home after a little web research I discovered these to be various 1/72 Revell WW2 Infantry sets from the 1990s.

For some reason, I’m not sure why, I didn’t post this at the time of buying earlier in the year. They have thus been accidentally saved for some Lockdown cheer!

I tracked down which figures they were through the ID photos on the very useful Plastic Soldier Review website.

Fifteen Revell US WW2 Infantry 1990 http://www.plasticsoldierreview.com/Review.aspx?id=350
Two stray but interesting poses from the Revell British 8th Army set (1994). It could be cold at night in the desert.

Fifteen Revell US WW2 Marines 1993 http://www.plasticsoldierreview.com/Review.aspx?id=353

I wasn’t familiar with these Revell figures as these three sets were first produced between 1990 and 1994 when I had stopped buying plastic WW2 figures. I already had the Airfix or Matchbox figures if needed then.

Two small squads with some dramatic poses and useful figures, good for a skirmish game. Even if these are under a third of a box set in quantity each, for a single Pound, who could argue?

There you go, another Pound to charity – the good old BHF and its random toy bags.

Another bag of aggressive playthings and random toy soldiers kept out of the pocket money clutches of today’s skint children, preventing them becoming the historical figure gamers of the future. I can live with that slight guilt. This skint eternal boy and 70s Airfix kid needs them more!

Blog posted by Mark Man of TIN 15 April 2020

BHF Charity Shop Toy Bag of Trucks £3

Under the current lockdown I’m not going to town and the charity shops will be shut as “inessential” anyway, so here is my last lucky find from late February / early March 2020.

Inside were two usable 30mm to 32mm (Pound Store figure scale) larger vehicles that I recognised from childhood. I had these same cars. Hmm. Thinks: Were they a little too familiar from childhood? When I got home I went and checked the toy cupboard. My childhood ones were still there. Nobody in the family had had a secret clearout.

These larger vehicles work well enough with the small Pound Store figures or any other 30mm-ish figures you might game with.

The Corgi Toys Land Rover 109″ W.B. is one I still have, it has always lived in the farm and zoo animals box. I always thought it used to be part of a Safari set.

This new charity shop one is already camouflaged and has good patina.

The old vintage car is the 1909 Thomas Flyabout from Matchbox Lesney Models of Yesteryear No. Y-12, “by courtesy of the Harrah Collection Reno USA” no less. This still exists as the National Automobile Museum http://www.automuseum.org and a Thomas Flyer can still be seen there http://www.automuseum.org/?exhibition=thomas-flyer

This charity shop one is minus its windscreen, back seat and plastic canopy. This would still work well as a staff car or a light lorry with a khaki or field grey paint scheme. It could be box backed to make a lorry, take a machine gun or anti aircraft gun or even make the chassis of an armoured car. I should be able to convert a Pound Store figure to drive, etc.

The other two fillers are bashed Matchbox Lesney type trucks that I also remember from childhood. The Lesney Matchbox Foden Concrete Truck No. 21 has clever gear wheels underneath to make the concrete mixer go round as you push it along. Simple but fun.

I have placed a small Airfix 60s vintage figure alongside for scale. These may end up painted khaki or field grey as part of a logistics convoy, but they are almost too nicely bashed for this.

Toy cars played a big role in my primary school break times as you could fit them easily into your pocket or school bag. We were lucky enough in my primary playground to have solid metal drain covers, tree roots, Tarmac, slopes and a low brick wall at perfect height backed by a grassy slope that were all great for marble games, toy cars and dirty knees.

Most of my 1970s toy cars have now been passed on to younger generations of the family where they still get played with on an old road map carpet playmat. The best ones had figures inside driving, openable doors and, like the gritter truck, space to put cargoes.

The design of the gritter truck No. 70 is clever, having a tiny chute out of the back so as you drive it along it spreads true ‘grit’. I remember this as being very good for sand play and sand pits. Real gritty “play value”, this one!

£3 well donated to charity.

Looking forward to more charity shop finds when the town, the high street and pound stores are open again for those cheerful ‘inessential’ journeys.

Blog posted by Mark Man of TIN, 2nd April 2020.

Hello and Farewell to the Horses

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British Heart Foundation pound bags of random horses and some new reading

Too likely to rain to do any homecasting in the garden so I headed to the coast. In a nearby seaside town I found no new seaside shop plastic soldiers but two charity shop ‘pound bags’ of random plastic toy horses.

Oddly one of the newish paperbacks that caught my eye today is German author Ulrich Raulff’s history book / memoir ‘Farewell to the Horse’ (2015) about the changing relationship of horses over the last century or so. Translated into English by Ruth Ahmedzai Kemp,  it was published in the U.K. by Penguin 2017/18 https://www.penguin.co.uk/books/294/294612/farewell-to-the-horse/9780141983172.html

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Some of the smaller horses – 2nd and 3rd row from top are mostly Airfix OOHO horses
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Bottom right some Airfix OOHO 20-25mm horse, pony and French infantry figures for scale, alongside some Pound Store 32mm-ish figures – a little too big?

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When making my Pound Store conversions, Doug Shand in the comments asked about horses for making these cheap figures into cavalry. I tried casting some Prince August Holger Erikkson forty millimetre scale horses. A bit too big and wide. I scoured the internet for cheap horses but it was difficult to find any I judged from pictures to be the right scale.

I think the larger horses are closer in size to 28 to 30mm figures than my Pound Store 32mm-ish conversions, unless you want big troops or natives on small ponies.

I placed several Spencer Smith metal and plastic horses and infantry on or alongside the horses to see if they were suitable. Some figures like the AWI tricorne officer might work on horseback. However Spencer Smith already do perfectly good cavalry. I have few 28mm figures but put a WW2 Russian female officer from Bad Squiddo on horseback for comparison.

As with all toy horses, many of them have no base and do not stand up on their own. The smaller ones (smaller than most of the Airfix ones) may be slender OO railway modelling horses (and the solitary cow).

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The bizarre non-equine extras – a kneeling cow, a statuesque duck and random prehistoric reptile / fish. Duck cavalry anyone?

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Farewell to the Horse?
The horse book (being partly based in Germany) should be interesting to read in relation to the email comments that Tony Adams at The Miniature Wood Screw Army has made to me about the Not Quite Mechanised state of the horse drawn German Army of WW2, compared to the more motorised transport of the armies of Britain, France and America. Amptly illustrated here on these online forums:

https://forum.axishistory.com/viewtopic.php?f=132&t=152124&sid=88c88e726c705a885e3e80b76d8088a9

http://ww2talk.com/index.php?threads/german-horse-drawn-transport-and-other-nations.6088/

Not a bad haul for a grey mizzly day by the sea. A little money gone to charity, a little less plastic tat gone to landfill. Single use plastic? Not this stuff, as it’s at least second owner.

Blog posted by Mark, Man of TIN on 21 September 2019.