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.

Pound Store Scout Figures from Airfix WW1 Americans

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Some simple Scout figures knocked up quickly from Airfix WW1 Americans.

 

I have been painting in the garden today for the first time in many years. In the past, painting outdoors kept me safe from being cooped up inside in a room amidst the heady fumes of Airfix enamels and glue.

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As an experiment, some of the more useless poses (lying down etc.) in the  Airfix WW1 American troops have been adapted to become Scouts for my Wide Games Project.

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The skipping picnickers or  ammunition carriers from Airfix WW1 American infantry repainted as Boy Scouts for Wide Games.

One possible source of Scout figures for Wide Games are the Airfix WW1 Americans with their doughboy / lemon squeezer hats. Their puttees look a little like long Scout socks and their tunics like Scout blouses.

When I was a boy, WW1 Airfix figures were no longer in the shops by the late 1970s and so were very hard to get hold of. I made do with what precious few WW1 figures came down through the family.

They have since been rereleased in the 2000s by Hat and more recently by Airfix themselves in their Vintage Classics range.

http://www.plasticsoldierreview.com/Review.aspx?id=498

https://www.airfix.com/uk-en/shop/figures/airfix-vintage-wwi-us-infantry.html

The old ones are in green, the Hat ones I think are the ones in Sandy brown.

The idea of hacking up precious WW1 Americans to make Scout figures still seems a little odd, so I have used the more ‘non combatant’ poses.

These include the famous skipping doughboys with their picnic hamper, the doughboy sat on a box, the usually useless dying casualty and the lying down but not firing figures.

Falling over guy and lying down guy, alongside originals.

The figures still need painting in suitable Scout uniform colours, with painted details added of scarves, shorts and long socks.

Clipping rifles off and replacing these with wire patrol staffs or staves should help demilitarise these figures.

Classic skipping doughboys and Rovering to Success pose, with originals

Hot glue gunning to a base makes the more useless lying down poses stand in a more useful manner.

Smaller scale Scouts?

For my Wide Games Project, suitably wide terrain, suitable ground scale and size of figures are an obvious issue. Going smaller means that my hex board becomes a bigger territory. However there are not many old fashioned Scout Hat type figures.

The advantage of these HO / OO or 1:76 WW1 figures is that they should link with HO or OO type railway figures and buildings.

http://www.plasticsoldierreview.com/ShowFeature.aspx?id=107

Peco Modelscene Uniformed Services, hikers and Scouts Trek Cart set

Scouts and trek carts are available in railway figures but they are usually few in number and expensive or in more modern Scout gear. Preiser also do a set of very European or Germanic looking Scouts.

Peco Modelscene Trek Cart and Scouts

The Dapol (former Airfix) passengers and railway staff / navvies etc should provide some inexpensive suitable country characters.

https://www.dapol.co.uk/shop/model-accessories/self-assembly-oo-kits

Lots of possibilities for a larger scale Wide Games using OO railway size buildings and scenery that I already have (sounds like material for my Sidetracked blog https://sidetracked2017blog.wordpress.com

Blog posted by Mark Man of TIN, 1970s Cub Scout (Bronze Arrow, Retired)  on 22 June 2019

Battle Ground figures

 

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Dramatic header artwork, reminiscent of all those WW2 story cartoon booklets  …

An online purchase last year from a vintage ex-shop stock supplier, at first I thought these were 54mm pirate copies. In fact they turned out to be OO/HO.

I was not disappointed as this meant I had some OO/HO copies of the larger Airfix Japanese Infantry to play with, pirated and pantographed down in size from 1:32.

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A motley collection of OO/HO copies of 1:32 Airfix copies of Japanese and American Infantry and Matchbox Germans. With extra added flash …

These were pretty ropey, poor quality  copies with extra flash and badly moulded weapons. Perfect for conversion then! Four bags full …

Because of the unusual nature of these Airfix Japanese figures in a small scale,  I think that they are worth trimming free of flash  and painting up as an Imagi-Nations army unit.

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Violently coloured and attractive pirate copies.

Hopefully I will be able to create some interesting new OO/HO figures for the American Civil War or for an Imagi-Nations army, such as I have done with the original 1:32 Airfix Japanese Infantry that I have repainted here.

 

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My Pippin Fort style Imagi-Nations troop paint conversions of 1:32 Japanese Infantry.

These Pippin fort figures were previously shown at my Man of TIN blog in June 2016 (link below here) and would feature well in the employ of any late 18th or 19th Century  Imagi-Nation:

https://manoftinblog.wordpress.com/2016/05/25/pound-store-wars/

 

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1:32 Airfix Japanese Infantry officer (copy) repainted and more modern radioman. 

Equally these OO HO Japanese figure copies could be used alongside Airfix Japanese Infantry OO/HO (still in production) to make ACW figures in kepis.

https://manoftinblog.wordpress.com/2017/07/16/confused-by-zouaves-some-airfix-acw-paint-conversions/

Another set of figures for winter 2017/ 2018 projects.

Blogposted by Mark, Man of TIN, on his Pound Store Plastic Warriors blog  7 October  2017.