Pound Store Colonial Skirmish part 1

Late last weekend my Colonial pound store plastic desert warrior conversions went into action against my Redcoats.

I have been working on these figures for many weeks and finally it was a chance to use them on my 192 Hexes of Joy game board, complete with extra added pink deserty Hexes.

Somewhere in the foothills of Generica, a patrol is overdue.

The initial dispositions are shown below, a Redcoat column marching up the valley to rescue the missing Patrol of the 3rd (Foot and Mouth) Highlanders, who were camped at the old gatehouse in the Pass.

Either side on the high ground of the valley are amassed Generican desert Warriors with rifles (bottom left) or long spears and shields (top right).

A heliograph operator flashes back information, summoning reinforcements. The Redcoats look to be outnumbered!

Generican desert riflemen with their long jezails or muskets line the rocky valley walls.

Will any reinforcements arrive in time? A slouch hatted company of local Militia are in Reserve nearby.

Will Private Widdle and the other 3rd Foot and Mouth Highlanders be rescued and the Pass held?


Opening Moves

Being bunched up by the terrain, the first few volleys from the Redcoats were ineffectual before the Generican spearmen charged down the right hand Valley slopes into melee. With no savings throws, the initial casualties were high for both sides. Fixed bayonets met sword and shield. The Redcoat officer, leading from the front sword in hand, was soon downed.

Luckily, the d6 was rolled for when the Redcoat reinforcements of rifle militia would arrive in game turns. They rolled a two, so soon more rifles and boots on the ground will be stomping up the valley.

The following blogpost  part 2 shows  the conclusion of the skirmish:



Rules are my hexed up Close Little Wars, some of the simplest Donald Featherstone rules designed for natives and troops in cluttered terrain, originally in North American forests but here used in rocky desert. The cluttered terrain is made up of Heroscape hex tiles, now many percent extra deserty with the help of some painted Hexes!

Previous posts illustrate the conversions of cheap Pound Store 32-36mm plastic modern infantry into colonial figures.

Blogposted by Mark, Man of TIN on Pound Store Plastic Warriors, 3 February 2018


Little Green Men Pound Store Plastic Space Warriors

I wanted to create a race of opponents for the Space Marines that I had previously made. I also wanted to capture that highly colourful 1950s Space look of Dan Dare or the 1930s Flash Gordon serials that survived into the 1980 Flash Gordon movie. To make these figures different from my blue and silver Space Marines I have painted them orange and gold, the joy of gloss Revell acrylics.

I also added a golden mantle or shoulder armour section using simple card label or hole reinforcers glued on and held in place with clothes pegs whilst they dried. When these ran out, I cut out the patterns in stiff drawing paper.

You can see their opponents the blue Space Marines here


This is an attractive original figure, one of the ones that first attracted me to these penny figures in their £1 Poundland tubs.

The Space Commander figure is one of the most badly moulded and distorted of all the 12 pound store plastic warriors in the Poundland tubs. They make a possible space officer figure with a machine or Space pistol, along with a possible Desert Warrior with robes, shield and sword scabbard.

I look forward to getting these into action soon, using scaled down hex gameboard versions of my Close Little Star Wars rules.


Blogposted by Mark, Man of TIN on his Pound Store Plastic Warriors blog, 28/29 January 2018.

More Seaside Pound Store Plastic Warriors


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.

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

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

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.


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.

Useful comms figure with wires leading to backpack. 
Hurry, Imperial Troops are boarding ….
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/

Three versions of a similar pose with slightly different sizes. 


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.

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


A WW2 type paratrooper look to this figure. 
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!



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


Green Toy Army Men

imageThese are not quite pound store figures, as they  cost £5 at a Hawkins’s Bazaar shop on my travels.

Manufactured for Tobar, they are of course China copies of the very familiar but now unobtainable Matchbox US Infantry figures. Still 32 figures for £5 is reasonable.


Dull packaging but good little drawstring kit bag for storage.

Good to see the old Matchbox figures available again from time to time.

Blogposted by Mr MIN, Man of TIN.



Pound store space marines?


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.

Unusual choice of flags, Barbados with the trident, Brazil, North Korea? Plus free undersized castle tower in two halves.


£1 per pack of average 19 soldiers, a free plastic castle tower and bizarre flag choice. What more could you want?


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.

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 …



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.



Pound Store US Marines


A seaside gift shop was the source of 6 boxes of these figures at 50p a box. The flimsy boxes have a curious ‘military’ land mine or Lewis Gun magazine look to them.

50p well spent? 

They are China copies of BMC US Marines from WW2 with a few of their Japanese lying down figures thrown in.

Well animated officer and radioman figures.
I like the animation on these as well as all the backpack and equipment. 
Slightly distorted moulding in the face but a nicely animated figure with grenade.
A slightly wobbly Marine 
Flamethrower man or candidate for the space marines? 
An almost statuesque figure lying down to reload. 
The left and right figures I think are originally Japanese troops. 

These figures will probably not end up khaki or green; I shall see what they look like in more colourful Imagi-nations garb. Redcoats? Blue coats? Army Red, Army Blue. With all the haversack, entrenching tools and ammunition pouches they could make interesting steampunked 19th century figures.

At the time of buying I had no idea whose figures they were or how old they were.

Like many pound store figures, they are of Chinese manufacture.

Subsequent web research shows these Dan Hai Military Assault figures are China copies of US Marines made by the US firm of BMC for their Iwo Jima set, a playset not available in the shops in the UK.


The original figures were produced for BMC Toys, founded by Bill McMaster in 1991. Bill passed away in 2014 but the line is to be produced again in the USA by Victorybuy.com

I sometimes wonder whether ‘pirate’ or pound store copy figures do the original manufacturers out of sales or a living?

To be fair, many of them are fairly distorted compared to the originals and some of these originals are no longer available such as the Matchbox figures (and for many years Airfix). It’s almost like buying a jumble of second hand figures.

I think pound store figures are pitched at a different ‘pocket money’ market from those who will spend the amount that the venerable  Airfix  figures now cost for example, new or vintage.

A useful set of figures and overall £3 well spent for 6 boxes at 50p each. This amounted to 144 figures for £3, on average 24 figures a box and each costing around tuppence (2p).  A high street coffee is sometimes more expensive than this whole haul!


Posted by Man of TIN.


Plastic Zoo Visitors # 1

They could be zoo keepers, Rangers or tooled up to become space marines …

Trying to to find interesting 54mm civilian figures is always a challenge. Apart from an unusual set ordered online from China, it usually involves looking out for figures with playsets or vehicles. An expensive way to acquire a few figures!


Britains and other companies used to make civilian and railway figures in 54mm lead but few in plastic, the occasional keeper figure or farm worker.

It was always frustrating as a child to have a zoo or farm or a parade set out but no visitors  to watch; it usually resulted in lots of  troops parading (H.G. Wells Floor Games style) endlessly  through the zoo along with assorted military staff feeding the animals.

Military bands and other forms of entertainment and display were not unknown in the Victorian zoo and right through to Manchester’s Belle Vue Zoo into the 1950s. Whilst military mascots ended up in zoos (including Winnie the Pooh at London Zoo ) and even a naval zoo existed, at Whale Island, this was a little uninspiring as a regular play or garden scenario.  http://www.europeana.eu/portal/en/record/2024904/photography_ProvidedCHO_TopFoto_co_uk_EU044495.html

Evn today, Edinburgh Zoo has a penguin called Nils Olaf  “commissioned” into the Norwegian Royal Guard and occasionally visited and paraded  by his fellow (human) comrades in their magnificent full dress uniform.

This was sort of true of British Zoos in wartime – there were  special rates for servicemen (and lady friends) in uniform, entertainments in WW1 for injured servicemen. I have 1939’propaganda’ press pictures of servicemen enjoying elephant rides at Belle Vue Zoo Manchester. In the first few weeks of being closed to the public on ARP grounds in September 1939, London Zoo made arrangements for servicemen to walk round for the animals to look at. ‘The Zoo’ also made their canteen over to the RAF as the big houses around became RAF Regent’s Park full of training aircrew.

Britain’s and other lead toy soldier manufacturers made plenty of civilians and farm workers in the more pacifist aftermath of WW1. Plastic manufacturers haven’t followed suit and painted railway figures in this 54mm /1:32 scale are often quite expensive.


Failing the mounting of a full scale military parade through your zoo, Wild West town etc. all day and everyday,  some normal civilians are useful for floor games, sandpit games or  wargames.

The 54mm female figure from the left is from the c. 2007 zoo vehicle  playset, whilst the “Marilyn” stylish 1950s unfinished painted figure is from recent Chinese plastics online purchase of civilians. (Photo / figures: Man of TIN)

These  feature sets  came from a zoo gift shop with two zebra striped jeeps, some brilliant wooden watch towers and rope ways (of which more anon) , a couple of odd sized animals and these interesting modern civilians.

Something vaguely unsettling about this boy child in his simple factory paintwork. Useful photographer figure though!

Something similar to the girl child in the photos has recently been repainted and reused in a Slinkachu type way on the front cover of an art photography book Micro Worlds about the recent group of artists / photographers playing with scale for satiric, unsettling or comic effect. An interesting book but one which contains some slightly disturbing dystopian or to some tasteless items from a range of photographers.


Another candidate to be my Man of TIN blog photographer? (from a 2007 zoo vehicle playset)


Police and firefighters are now available in poundstore tubes. Back in the 1980s there were Britain’s Deetail nurses, doctors and  construction workers, not forgetting the Britain’s farm workers from lead to Herald plastic and a modern farm worker range still around in toy shops today.



In future blogposts I will feature more civilian figures to be used for game scenarios from the Chinese online set to the useful USA manufactured  Toob “heritage” plastic figures roughly in 54mm, also purchased online.

Plastic Warrior website also feature an excellent set of Mexican Wild West civilians or peasants.

Posted by Mr MIN, Man of TIN, September 2016.