Tell That To The (Pound Store Plastic) Marines

Marine Infantry with grey helmets and blue sailor’s neck cloth.

Marine Infantry with green helmets and side packs

Two new skirmish or raiding forces added from the 200 tiny Airfix cloned or pirated figures from the current Combat Mission Mini Play Set. https://poundstoreplasticwarriors.wordpress.com/2020/06/23/the-joy-of-pound-store-play-sets/

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.

Marine Infantry (Grey helmets) alongside Marine Infantry (Green Helmets)

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.

Verdan forces

Grizan forces

Grizan versus Verdan forces can be seen in this Interwar border skirmish:

https://poundstoreplasticwarriors.wordpress.com/2020/06/28/verda-versus-griza-pound-store-plastic-soldiers-20mm-interbellum-fms-skirmish-now-with-added-esperanto/

I was pleased to see these simple Airfix copy figures crop up on Maudlin Jack Tar’s excellent blog:

https://pampersandp.blogspot.com/2020/07/army-men-activity.html

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!)

Blog posted by Mark Man of TIN, 13 July 2020.

The Joy of Pound Store Play Sets …

Combat Mission Mini Soldier Play Set Play Mat – more of a poster than a play mat?
The contents in full – 203 soldiers, 3 jeeps, 2 tanks, 2 flags, 1 aircraft – felt river not supplied.

Side view of the 2 cm green and grey 203 figures

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.

Six poses of green or grey troops, mostly scaled to each other. 4 and 6 are Airfix British Para derived, others American Infantry derived.

Green troops have a radar or searchlight jeep, along with a small multiple rocket launcher.

Whoopee! Grey troops have their very own rocket propelled jeep.

Side view of a ‘cute’ little grey tank. It looks like a light airborne armour or early war light tank.

A neat little tank from the rear, some good engine & stowage detail. Not sure which model of tank it is meant to be.

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 Quality all 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.

Britain vs America? Available play set Amazon U.K. June 2020

 

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.

Combat Mission Soldier Play Set 2

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What toy soldier or gaming inspiration lies inside this playset? Imported by Kandy Toys 

As well as the Combat Mission playset shown on my previous blog post,

https://poundstoreplasticwarriors.wordpress.com/2019/01/21/combat-mission-military-soldier-play-set/

I also had stored away for my Christmas gifts this useful little second playset of figures and accessories.

The third set in the trio of loveliness in my local seaside gift shop this summer (just gone) – all would be  perfect toys for beach battles or rainy holiday days –  were  just  a bag of 40-54mm mostly Airfix pirate / clone figures. I didn’t buy this figure set, as many of the figures I already had. What unexpected Pound Store plastic restraint!

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Tiny 54mm Man of TIN salutes the contents and new recruits.
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These figures in scale against Britain’s 54mm lead hollowcast guardsman and my 54mm homecast Man of TIN profile figure / gravatar.
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How these figures measure up. A mix of 45 to 48mm? Already planned as space marine figures. 
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Some useful and interesting plastic play features that can be adapted at various scales for gaming. Setting this to be photographed, the years just slip away. Playset therapy?
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This gun looks interesting, lots of possibilities here. Store crates, sandbags, ammo dumps.
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Three useful vehicles – modern Army?  Space tanks?
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What this set breaks down to – you can see how these were moulded and made.
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Header card artwork for Combat Mission sets. Modern British infantry based?

It was this simply moulded artillery piece that first caught my eye in this set. Worth the £3 the set cost for this artillery alone? Could it be repainted as Victorian?  Steampunk? VSF? Space? WW1 or WW2?

I almost bought several sets on the spot for these useful looking guns.

It fits in with my converted digital radio case mate or gun emplacement.

https://manoftinblog.wordpress.com/2018/10/14/from-old-digital-radio-to-54mm-houses-and-coastal-gun-emplacement/

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Inside the gun emplacement, staffed and sandbagged with other elements of the set. 40 to 54mm plastic and lead hollowcast figures. Simple old notebook spine metal barbed wire.
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How does this gun measure or scale up when put with some of my 32mm pound store figure conversions? Laser cannon?

Trying out the different scaled play set elements with different sizes and scales of figures is interesting. What fits and works? What gaming scenario ideas does it suggest?

What could these strange towers be? Guard Posts? Radar towers?

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More scaled down ideas from converted smaller 32mm Pound Store figures (not sold in this set)
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How these towers  could be adapted for use with simple internal floors. Again more 32mm Pound Store figure conversions (not supplied with this set).

I feel that the playset would have been better scaled with some of these 32mm figures that are / were offered in different bagged sets by the same supplier.

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Maybe these 32mm figures in the same Combat Mission brand are a more suitable size to fit most of the accessories? Bought a couple of years ago, 2016/17.

However a strange mismatch of scales is one of the hallmarks of a proper cheap plastic play set.

Several of the elements such as the towers  can be bought separately (often in packs of ten!) directly by post from online suppliers in China.

Already the first of the more space marine looking figures are under coated dark blue and tuppenny based, ready for painting into larger versions of their smaller selves. These completed smaller figures can be seen above, painted as  32mm blue Flash Gordon Style ‘space marine’ figure conversions. They have with their Officer or NCO in the beret a certain Star Ship Trooper/  ‘grunt’ look to them already.

Play set  therapy session over for now …

Blog posted by Mark, Man of TIN on 23 / 24 January 2019.

Combat Mission Military Soldier Play Set

A welcome part of my Christmas presents …

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.

Combat Mission Play set (imported by Kandy Toys UK) 
What do you get for your £3? For the price of a high street coffee you get 20 figures, 4 planes and vehicles. Hopefully also priceless hours of plastic fun.

Figures are the usual odd mix  (and usual slight scale difference) of pirate  / clone ‘China made’ WW2 Airfix British Paratroops, US Infantry and smaller more distorted German infantry clone figures.

https://poundstoreplasticwarriors.wordpress.com/2017/06/13/more-combat-mission-80-pound-store-plastic-soldiers-part-2/

All have their conversion potential and in play set terms, despite being the same colour, could split into two groups to form two different armies.
The smaller figures paint up well enough:

https://poundstoreplasticwarriors.wordpress.com/2017/11/10/pound-store-42mm-infantry-army-red-army-blue/

A handy little jeep (near 54mm scale) with useful barbed wire fencing.

An odd chunky little tank that reminds me of a Soviet tank (not sure what it is based on) so I have included some childhood Platoon 20 Russian infantry 20mm metal figures. Certainly not pound store parts of my childhood! Old notebook ‘spine’ barbed wire.
Too small to be a tent for these 40 to 54mm figures but maybe a covered supply or ammo dump?
The same ‘tent’ is more plausible with 20 mm Platoon 20 metal figures (or smaller 15mm figures)
The same ‘tent’ with Poundland 32mm conversions is perhaps better as a supply dump.
Every good cheap play set needs a bizarre playmat but this has a river, sand bag positions …
Platoon 20mm metal figures, bootleg Airfix US WW2 infantry and ESCI Vietnam era US infantry match this chopper or  helicopter quite well.

A useful little play set that I would have enjoyed as a child. Still useful to me today.

Blogposted by Mark Man of TIN 21 January 2019.