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

 

 

 

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In Memoriam Thor Shiel

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A pound Store army men parade for Thor Sheil

Sad news about the passing of the “plastic army man” game and simple sandpit rules champion  Thor Shiel in the USA, passed on by Hugh Walter at the excellent Small Scale World website:

http://toyconnect.blogspot.com/2018/11/in-memorium-thor-sheil.html

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A pretty good obituary by Ed Berg: “If you’re having fun, you’re doing it right”

I have been reading Thor Sheil’s various websites for several years,  inspired by his simple backyard or sandpit rules using whatever you have to hand. He had “no brand name snobbery” as Ed Berg succinctly puts it. I also liked Thor’s simple enthusiasm for enjoying whatever plastic toy soldiers you have.

An interesting obituary tribute by Ed Berg and a glimpse of the man behind these Sandpit Rules http://thortrains.blogspot.com

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

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

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Worth reading and enjoying these many websites  and webpages now as sadly websites like Milihistriot and Thor’s  Army Men Homepage have a tendency to vanish when the author or host passes away.

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

http://www.thortrains.net/toysoldierart/

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Thor’s own Toy Soldier Art website picture can be his own victory and passing parade http://www.thortrains.net/toysoldierart/

Here is my pound store plastic victory parade for Thor from this Pound Store Plastic Warriors blog:

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and a suitable Valhalla?

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Reading about his interest in Viking ancestry and culture, as a man called Thor should have, reminded me of one of the Stan Lee RIP fan tributes featured on YouTube (from our last post), so here is the Beecher Arts Valhalla graphic tribute for Stan Lee and superhero Thor that might hopefully apply to Thor Sheil?

RIP Thor Sheil

Blog posted by Mark Man of TIN, Pound Store Plastic Warrior blog, 21 November 2018.

 

 

 

More Seaside Pound Store Plastic Warriors

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I found these interesting pound store plastic warriors during the bank holiday weekend at one of those seaside shops that sells lots of lovely plastic tat.

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60 new plastic toy soldiers for £1 – seaside pound store bliss!

Better than the 50p rummage box, 30 new figures for 50p!

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Up close these crude figures have some useful detail. Fine space marines these would make!

Modern period gaming does not appeal to my usual Imagi-Nations gaming in 54mm. Instead out in the back Yarden planets or galaxies, I can easily see possible paint conversions to Star Wars type Rebel troops from the start of the first film (Episode IV) or from the recent Star Wars: Rogue One.

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There are two different versions of many poses as well as two different colours available in different boxes. Quite often many pound store plastic Army men are sold in packs with two different colours (“green and tan”) to have a ready opponent.

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Useful comms figure with wires leading to backpack. 
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Hurry, Imperial Troops are boarding ….
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A paratrooper type figure … that I recognised from somewhere. 

Suitably for a seaside plastic shop bought box of figures, I finally found the source of a beachcombing  find https://manoftinblog.wordpress.com/2016/06/02/lost-legions-1-fighting-on-the-beaches/

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Three versions of a similar pose with slightly different sizes. 

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Lots of good baggage on these desert warriors or space marines. 

Not sure of the origin of these figures, they look like copies of original figures.

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Nice animation on these infantry or paratrooper type figures, peeking warily round corners. 

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A WW2 type paratrooper look to this figure. 
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The suppliers of these Combat Mission figures. 

If these figures are somewhat crude and on the cheap side, they are perfect pure plastic tat. Whilst many are obviously copies of modern US Desert troops, they are also affordable and possible for conversion into space marines or even back to WW2 US paratroopers in their jump boots and baggage.

Proper Seaside Tat

But not as much joyous plastic seaside tat as this weird pirate version (in both senses of the word) of Lego minifigures seen next to a genuine Ninjago Lego ninja type figure. I love the manufacturer’s name proudly on the back of this pirate – Tatco!

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Blogposted by Mark, Man of TIN for the Pound Store Plastic Warriors blog, 29/30 May 2017.