Seaside Pound Store Plastic Clockwork Airships and Paddle Steamers

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Potential airships from  submarines? Sky boats from Paddle Steamers? 

I spotted these lovelies in a seaside plastic gift shop whilst looking for plastic pirates and other plastic ‘tat’.

Into my Pound Store modelling brain leapt the thought – steampunk airship bodies? Silver and bronze and wood panelled?

Civil War Paddle Steamer bodies, reversed and given some planking at rear?

They wind up well and on a smooth wood floor just keep rumbling for a long time along like speedy WW1 era landships.

These will all need a jolly good wash before painting, so they may have some proper launching, sea trials and naval manoeuvres first (otherwise known as “putting them into the bathtub”). Just to clean them up you understand …

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Imported or distributed by Kandytoys, purveyors of lovely beach toys and seaside plastic tat across the Southwest. 

My steampunk brain started working overtime on the dirigible possibilities of wiring     on a plastic bottle ‘gas barrage balloon’  and fixing the whole on a stand. Maybe Steampunk Submarines and Paddle steamers will be easier.

A bevy of WAAF style balloon handlers might be required for such dirigible beasts (they were not nicknamed ‘pigs’ by their WAAF crews just because of their shape). So far Bad Squiddo only does suitable crews in the form of WW2 Ack Ack searchlight Girls in 28mm, which may be a little small?

I have seen the beautifully painted original of  Laura Knight’s  detailed painting of such balloon girls, well worth seeing if you can http://www.damelauraknight.com/artwork/a-balloon-site-coventry-1943/

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Dame Laura Knight, Barrage Balloon site Coventry 1943 (Imperial War Museum collection Art.IWM ART LD 2750) Non-Commercial reuse. https://www.iwm.org.uk/collections/item/object/15503

This whole airship business might be because I have just finished the second Mortal Engines book by Philip Reeve and have the third one lined up.

Post apocalyptic / Futuristic ‘Municipal Darwinism’ (city eats city, town and suburbs). Steampunk with strong echoes of Jules Verne, H.G. Wells and Star Wars. Airships, mech troopers, predator cities on gigantic caterpillar tracks, submarine ice breakers …  what’s not too like? (Did I mention Steampunk enough?)

It’s not a million pulp or steampunk miles away from the Edwardian to 1930s era Scout ‘Wide Game’ ideas over on my sister channel, the Man of TIN blog.

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32mm Pound Store conversion Airship Troopers? 

They will hopefully compliment my Flash Gordon style 1930s airship or starship troopers converted from Pound Store 32mm plastic figures

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Pound Store conversion  32mm crews for scale of these futuristic steam punk Paddle streamers and sky boats. At the very least, bronzed and silvered up, they would make a great steam punk submarine and Paddle steamer base for gaming scenarios. 

Distracting Cheap plastic joy! More tat for the painting table?

Blog posted by Mark,  Man of TIN on 6 May 2019.

BPS – Blog Post Script

I have yet to see the much maligned Peter Jackson directed Mortal Engines movie, as  I became too busy near Christmas to see it in the cinema. I will catch up with it on DVD soon. Watch the Trailer here: https://youtu.be/IRsFc2gguEg

 

 

 

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More Washing of The Spears

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A right colourful bath tub mix up of 40 to 54mm figures …

Over the last few weeks I have been spending a bit of Christmas money on eBay, picking up the kind of cheap plastic figures you don’t normally see in UK toy stores. A few pounds here and there.

Being either new-ish secondhand or sometimes a whole  chocolate tin of mixed figures, the scrapings of someone else’s toy box with some tantalising glimpses of unusual figures, they all need a good wash before painting. It should remove any grime and mould release chemicals.

With so many figures,  the sink wasn’t an option so the bath tub stood in this time.

Here was the washing up bowl  ‘spa treatment’  I did last time, back in June 2016:

https://manoftinblog.wordpress.com/2016/06/17/spa-treatments-for-toy-soldiers/

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Drip drying en masse in an old beach or bath toy net …

To dry so many, I rigged up an old beach toy net (commonly used for storing bath toys) and they  all drip dried pretty quickly.

Next job is sorting them all out … an exciting mixture of modern plastic 40 to 54mm soldiers, pirates, redcoats, ninjas, fantasy figures male and female  – and skeletons which sank.

I shall post photos of each group in the next few posts.

Blogposted by Mark Man of TIN on 2 February 2018.

 

Fantasy Games, Boys’ Literacy and Gaming in The Library TES Article 2001

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When Prussian invaders met Skeleton Knights …

Over the last few months I have been chatting on and off (through the  comments pages of my Man of TIN blog) to Jen Burdoo, a librarian and gamer in the USA.

Jen has been interested, like other library staff around the world, in bringing historical figure gaming or wargaming or miniatures gaming into the library.

I know that this happens in Australia having read of such things in Kaptain Kobold’s The Stronghold Rebuilt blog.

I knew somewhere that I had filed away an old teaching or education newspaper article somewhere about something similar being done with fantasy gaming in libraries in Britain, partly to encourage boy’s literacy.

In the interests of this discussion and for those interested in the general history of fantasy gaming, I have scanned this Times Education Supplement (TES) article of February 23 2001,  entitled War of Words by Elaine Williams.

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Times Education Supplement TES February 23 2001
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2001 stats on Games Workshop / Fantasy Games TES February 23, 2001.

I am not a fantasy gamer. I am not really interested in the ups and downs, ‘love them or loathe them’ relationship with Games Workshop that many fantasy gamers seem to have.

I know that children playing with the ‘scary’ or ‘supernatural’ warlock and wizardry, demons and dragons, sorcery and spells side of fantasy games  raises some concerns  for some people.

Interestingly about the same timesavers the TES article, there was a brief correspondence in 2002 about a similar project linked to the Lord of the Rings films and a letter regarding comments in the article on a Christian or religious angle on Tolkien and fantasy games.

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Please note that I, Man of TIN,  does not wish to get into any religious arguments over reprinting this article on my blog and respects other people’s rights to their beliefs. Thank you.

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TES November 29 2002

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I hope that these couple of articles are of interest to (fantasy) gamers and those involved with library gaming.

As someone who spent much time in branch libraries researching uniforms, battles, history and borrowing Wargames books, it must have done much for my literacy.

I hope that reading  this article is of historical or current interest to some gamers.

Blogposted by Mark Man of TIN 20 January 2019.

Heroscape duelling figures

IMG_0188Whilst they may not have come from a pound store, these plastic Heroscape figures were sort of free.

I bought two or three cheap bashed Master Set or Starter Kit boxes of Hasbro / MB (Milton Bradley) Heroscape: Rise of The Valkyrie for the interlocking plastic hex terrain pieces and along with two of the sets were the original 30 pre-painted figures per set.

I never quite understood or liked  the Heroscape rules system, but thought the prepainted figures worth keeping.

The different  Heroscape squads in this Master Set  are:

Izumi Samurai figures

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Mech figures –  Zettian Guards or Soulborgs, led by giant mech Deathwalker 9000.

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Krav Maga agents from Earth – FBI or X Files type government agents led by Agent Carr with his Sword of Reckoning. Some extreme corsetry going on here!

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Alien Marro figures from the Planet Marr (obviously).

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Centre top is Ne-Gok-Sa (beware his Mind Shackle powers) and his Marro Warriors from the Planet Marr.

 

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‘Elite Airborne’ WW2 American based figures

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More Airborne Elite figures. The one with  the samurai sword and ‘Grapple Gun’  (?!) is Hero Character figure Sgt. Drake Alexander.

Fantasy type Tarn Viking Warriors who go berserking!

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Fantasy Heroscape Vikings with a touch of chunky Asterix in the middle? Otherwise known as Thorgrim the Viking Champion. (Centre) Raelin The Kyrie Warrior with wings and to her right, Finn the Viking Champion.
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Fantasy Elf archer Unique Hero Sylvarris  from  Feylund  and a (steampunk goggle wearing?) Tarn Viking warrior.

The original figures come with game character cards listing movement, weapons ability etc. But if you are not playing ‘the game’ as designed, you can make all this up yourself.

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Heroscape game character cards – examples of front and back.

There is more about the original Heroscape game at

https://boardgamegeek.com/boardgame/11170/heroscape-master-set-rise-valkyrie

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Heroscape

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_Heroscape_supplements

https://boardgamegeek.com/wiki/page/HeroScape_Figure_List

I like the crazy mix of periods and characters, a bit of time trickery  much like the BBC TV episode and book Doctor Who: The Wargames  and also the Time Conquistadors game on Vicky’s Crazy Wargames World blog.

http://crazywargames.blogspot.co.uk/2017/06/time-conquistadors.html

This is summed up well on the Wikipedia entry:

“At its essence, Heroscape is an epic battle between and among characters from multiple cultures, periods, and genres, taking place on a three-dimensional gaming surface of various elevations and terrain types. Although the game manual contains ideas for scenarios, many players combine multiple sets of terrain tiles to create large playing surfaces, and develop their own house rules and custom scenarios.”

“The heroes are inspired heavily by popular science fiction and fantasy, as well as the Old West, the Roman Empire, ancient Greece, feudal Japan, the Scottish highlands, the Nordic sagas, American history, medieval Europe, and classic mythology, among others. A single team may consist of heroes from many genres, with dragons, elves, robots, angels, demons, vampires, werewolves, dinosaurs and wizards fighting alongside (and against) soldiers, vikings, knights, samurai, cowboys and futuristic agents and more, including various forms of animal life, such as wolves, spiders, and serpent-like vipers.” Wikipedia entry for Heroscape

 

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Heroscape – Measuring up against 54mm Britain’s?

In terms of scale or size, the Heroscape figures measure in at around 35mm excluding base.

This doesn’t quite match any other figures I have and may be part of the reason why many people didn’t warm to the game despite several relaunches. If you launch your own scale, the chance of using other maker’s ranges are reduced. You can both dominate and limit your own market and audience in this way.

However as ‘free’ figures they work quite well for my duelling games for example.

https://manoftinblog.wordpress.com/2017/06/21/heroscape-duelling-in-the-garden/

The game has its own fans (Heroscapers or Scapers) and fan website, with many figure conversions and fan-derived rules extensions to keep their game fresh: https://www.heroscapers.com/community/blog.php?u=2

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Heroscape Tarn Vikings on their natural games terrain of these stackable hexes, the reason I bought these second hand master or starter sets.