ECW or Elizabethan Trained Band figures

Resist the urge to think Monty Python … Resist the urge to think Monty Python …

These aren’t Pound Store figures that I have converted but I picked them up about 15 years ago or more. They had been knocking around in the odds box and the toy soldier sandpit tins when younger members of the family were visiting. They are if I recall correctly A Call to Arms ACTA figures.

https://poundstoreplasticwarriors.wordpress.com/2021/01/18/a-nudge-of-pike/

I thought mixing these in with the Elizabethan Cornish rabble that I made from cheap plastic knights would dilute the cost of putting together the local Muster and a Trained Band response to the Spanish Invasion of the 1580s and 90s.

The Armada Osprey book that I have shows the Tudor Elizabethan figures of the London Trained Bands with splendid, almost Diddymen tall bowler type hats, a fashion thankfully gone by the ECW.

Rather than adding this strange fashion accessory, I kept the original flat hats after a few failed experiments with straws and pencils with pencil eraser tips.

Keeping the original hats etc means that these lovely figures could have a duel use in English Civil War games. A quick flick through my old Stuart Asquith The New Model Army Osprey book (an unusual request for a school prize book when I was about fourteen) reminded me of these later uniforms.

This Osprey book was my source for painting much of my Peter Laing 15mm ECW Armies. I also used to rely on the local branch library for the English Civil War Armies Osprey, no longer possible, so I added this to the Christmas books list.

The pikemen were little changed in 50 to 60 years from the Armada to the Civil War, likewise the big square flags and the matchlock figures with woollen hats.

Hopefully some of the Prince August chess pawn figures can add some odd standing musketeers and the Spanish Armada pawn moulds.

In terms of colour, I kept with a uniform Revell Aquacolor Acrylic Blue, almost union blue with light blue for sashes and feathers to represent Watchet Blue. Blue was the fairly standard colour across England for Levy troops and Trained Bands. The hats, britches and stockings were whatever the troops had of their own (or not), only the coat or cassock was standard issue.

I found a sort of flashback to Britain’s Deetail figures when painting the coats and armour simple blue, armour silver, simple bases sap or chrome green. This is the type of stylised look that John Yorio has gone for in his 54mm or Fight! Blog for many of his 19th Century colonials or WW2 figures, matching exiting Deetail ranges or creating in paint ranges that never existed.

However as befits keeping the prepainted ‘shiny toy soldier’ factory look of an earlier Britain’s age than Britain’s 1970s Deetail – that of the lead hollowcast figures – I added Toy Soldier faces with eyes, moustaches and pink cheek dots. This would match in with the other complimentary figure sets – my Muster or Rabble, my Spaniards.

Resist the urge to think Monty Python … Resist the urge to think Monty Python …

Looking at YouTube clips of the film Elizabeth The Golden Age (Cate Blanchett) 2007 has some useful clips that give you an idea of the Pikemen, Artillery etc. From which I took a few reference screenshots.

I must watch / rewatch this film for some rabble rousing inspiration!

Blog posted by Mark Man of TIN 2021/2022

Where on earth do I find this stuff?

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Pound Store green and tan army men with more colourful traditional toy soldier paint style 

Or “Where did you get that tat, where did you get that style?”

Regular reader CT asked in the comments section, after reading my link to the DeathZap! Blog post: “Where on earth do you find this stuff? Please answer in your blog” 

Answer 1: Portal sites

Where I find interesting new sites featuring Pound Store Plastic figures and budget wargaming ideas partly comes down to spending far far far too much time searching the web for similar and inspiring blogposts, starting out at great portal sites and bloggers such as Bob Cordery at Wargaming Miscellany and Ross MacFarlane at Battle Game of The Month.

http://wargamingmiscellany.blogspot.com

https://gameofmonth.blogspot.com

Everyone has their own regular or portal sites. From there, I push on exploring other people’s blog rolls and favourite websites. Some blog sites used to have a random button at top for ‘next blog along’, which turned up interesting new blogs and bloggers.

I don’t  regularly buy any gaming or Toy Soldier magazines,  although if I do find them in larger branches of newsagents, I usually quickly scan through the contents pages to see if it is worth buying that month.  More money for figures and hobby materials!

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There is a quirky and interesting little book by Iain Dickie, former editor of Miniature Wargames, which is now out of print but widely and cheaply available online secondhand, called Wargaming on a Budget. Well worth tracking down.

Answer 2: the simple joy of cheap plastic tat from Pound stores

Sometimes bloggers who are into similar scales or sources of figures find me; for example, the Wargaming Pastor behind the Death Zap! Website contacted or followed me. Checking out his website I noticed the same Poundland penny dreadful figures that I have been busy this year converting into various different gaming figures. So I put a link to his site, emails followed …

 

 

 

Sadly my local Poundland shop no longer stocks these handy tubs of figures for a penny each. They are available bagged on various online sources, slightly more expensively. I stocked up on a few tubs as the numbers of figures began to drop from 100 to 80 to 70 figures per £1 tub in Poundland stores.

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That seems to be the rule of thumb  for cheap pound store, toy shop  and seaside plastic figures. They often aren’t around for long, maybe just for one season, so best stock up on lots when you see them! At such cheap prices compared to metal gaming figures, it is daft not to stock up. You never know when they might come in handy. You might not see them again ever or at least for a long while.

Playsets give you a range of figures and accessories with the slight charming complication  that they often do not match in scale.

Car boots, jumble sales, charity shops, online auction site job lots, supermarket or online “party bag” or “party favours” sections, cake decoration sites, all have been a source of cheaper plastic figures.

Answer 3 – Serendipity and geography of Tat

Different parts of the country seem to have different figures in stock, different countries have different pound, euro or dollar store figures.

Plastic Tat Envy? What isn’t easily or cheaply attainable in your own part of the world always looks more interesting, but often the shipping or postage is off putting on a budget.

How cool the Tim Mee Galaxy laser team space figures look, but they are currently not easily available in the UK, likewise some other cheap American historical figures.

You make do with what is available – that is half the challenge!

Doug Shand’s pirated Airfix Australian clones are not available in the UK but he makes great conversion use of them.

http://dougssoldiers.blogspot.com/2012/08/dollar-store-thirty-years-war.html

http://dougssoldiers.blogspot.com/2013/05/plasticene-dreams.html

Conversion by paint, scalpel, flame and glue along with a bit of imagination is usually required to make the most of the cheap degraded pirated figures that turn up.

https://poundstoreplasticwarriors.wordpress.com/2018/01/28/pound-store-plastic-warrior-conversions-and-comparisons/

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A few simple paint conversions of Pound Store 30/32mm figures …

https://poundstoreplasticwarriors.wordpress.com/2018/02/03/pound-store-colonial-skirmish-part-1/

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What I liked about the recently passed Thor Shiel’s websites was his lack of snobbery about using whatever branded and unbranded plastic figures you had available wherever you are.

http://www.thortrains.net/armymen/armymen1.htm

So that is where I get some of my stuff … I’m not sure if this answered CT’s question ?

Blogposted by Mark, Man of TIN on 5th December 2018.

On my other blog, Man of TIN, I am counting down to Christmas with my Advent Calendar of mini blog posts and pictures, clearing through the backlog of unposted blog post drafts of 2018.

https://manoftinblog.wordpress.com

 

 

 

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.

 

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