What will 2022 bring?

What are your New Gaming Year plans for 2022?

Here are my New Gaming Year Irresolutions for the coming year:

https://manoftinblog.wordpress.com/2021/12/26/what-will-2022-bring/

Crossposted from my Man of TIN Blog by Mark Man of TIN, 31 December 2021.

Vintage Pound Store Matchbox German Infantry copies

One of those presents put away on the Christmas presents shelf for this Christmas … and well worth the wait!

I like old toy shop packaging and this Battle Ground Military Series pack caught my eye online on EBay a few months back for £5, one pack opened and one still in the pack.

I can’t put a date on this box of Matchbox 1:76 German Infantry copies but it’s obviously post 1976 when these Matchbox figures came out. I only have a few surviving original ones from the time, so they inexpensively fill a gap.

They have a CE mark on the lower right hand corner as well as on the importer label, the CE mark about origin or toy safety is more modern than the 1970s /80s and standard in the EU area from 1993 onwards. So probably 1990s …

There is a maker’s or packager’s company logo of an H? in the top left corner which I don’t recognise. The figures themselves have no Hong Kong or China base markings.

The vibrant flaming orange packaging reminds me a little of today’s ‘Combat Force’ type pound store figure packaging.

In the cheerfully bizarre way of cheap copies and playsets, the packaging images showing vaguely WW2 to Vietnam era American soldiers but this is not matched by the content of German WW2 figures in dark green plastic but oddly does match an American flag!

Oddly included in the pack are some tiny walk-in talkie radiomen.

Accompanying this unopened blister pack was the contents of an opened pack, mixed in with a handful some Airfix American Infantry copies (copies of which still around today).

These look like they have got jumbled in from elsewhere, as I can see no such American figures inside the unopened pack.

Adding to the impression that this is someone’s jumble of figures, a much older stray metal diecast anti-aircraft gun (on a circular vehicle mounting?) with nice elevation gearing is mixed in with the bundle.

Anyway some cheap and cheerful recruits for the toy soldier box …

Blog post by Mark Man of TIN, 27 December 2021

Charity Shop Find of slowly morphing shrinking copies of Airfix and Matchbox figures

This charity shop find of a couple of dozen bashed figures came to me as a gift from family.

I imagine they are the ragtag odd mixed bag of someone’s small army. Enough to make two small army squads of red-brown / tan versus everyone else?

They are obviously battle scarred and playworn veterans!

I found these figures interesting as they are mostly copies of Airfix and Matchbox figures. As they have slowly being copied (in Hong Kong / China?) over the last forty plus years, they have slowly shrunk and changed into different figures.

Not a maker’s mark among them either.

Airfix Eighth Army figures are 40mm – 50mm

In the same mixed parcel was other Matchbox copies and a couple of small but slightly larger Airfix copies, shown next to the smaller cousin. I have included the sole probably genuine Airfix figure, the 54mm German submachine-gunner figure for scale.

These bashed and limbless Matchbox copies were around in seaside pound shops c.2007 and still seem to emerge from time to time, getting thinner and more brittle (hence the missing limbs?)

These limbs and weapons might need a little repairing.

These white copies of Airfix German Infantry are slowly changing into squat Generic Infantry. The distinctive “coal scuttle” stalheim helmet is changing, becoming oddly more British or American.

The lying down figure who used to feed the Light Machine Gun is now a distinct figure in its own right, the magazine box in the right hand for the LMG has morphed into a very strange object in its own right.

The officer figure is getting shorter and squatter but still full of character!

Some nice modern American troops and Officer, one or two a bit bashed.

These look like TimMee / BMC / Toy Story sort of stuff. I like the baggy clothes and helmet covers.

The other figures are a curiously mixed bunch of figures and sizes, again with the 54mm Airfix German for size comparison.

Some Matchbox American Infantry copies in two different sizes and colours, and a few of those modern US Infantry / Rambo types.

Lining them up in height order from 54mm Airfix at the right shows how they have shrunk and thinned down over the years of copying.

Last but not least, one of those handy Khaki figures that could be a modern desert warrior, Special Forces / SWAT team or space marine.

An interesting mixed bag!

Blog post by Mark Man of TIN, 12 December 2021

Timpo figures in Toy Soldiers short 1999 film

Toy Soldiers is an intriguing and funny little film, only six minutes long, made in Canada in 1999 (based around a toy soldier poem or anecdote by Al Rae), all about a young Al’s desire to own a certain rare cereal box toy soldier Teutonic Knight to complete his collection.

Young Al Rae played by child actor Matthew Mahaffy

Synopsis – “A young boy, desperate to complete his set of toy soldiers, betrays a friend to get what he wants.” Creative team – Writer/producer: Catherine May Director: Jackie May

You can watch the film free here: https://nsifilms.ca/toy-soldiers/

https://www.imdb.com/title/tt0253831/

The figures are familiar Timpo figures, displayed on egg box plinths

Union American Civil War, Waterloo British, Indian Chief, Arab Warrior, Confederate Civil War, American War of Independnce British, Eighth Army, Waterloo Scots Piper, Waterloo Prussian …

and to complete the set the long sought Teutonic Knight who lived at the top of a Lego stand at the house of Brian, young Al’s rival collector who has a complete set.

These Timpo figures were familiar figures from my 1970s childhood, bought in Action Packs and recently reissued by Toyway (now shut).

Glasgow born poet writer and film actor Al Rae (who narrates the film and plays himself as an adult) now lives in Canada and is now known as Lara Rae, https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lara_Rae “Lara Rae (born 1963 in Glasgow, Scotlan), formerly known as Al Rae, is a Canadian comedian, best known as the longtime artistic director of the Winnipeg Comedy Festival and as a performer on the CBC Radio One comedy series The Debaters…”

Blog posted by Mark Man of TIN, 19 September 2021

Pound Store Plastic Warriors 5th Blogaversary

Another year of Pound Store Plastic Warriors blog posts have come and gone …

Nothing much new in the pound stores this year. Good to see these still around. Poundland – my Shelfie 2020/21

Thanks to my loyal regular blog readers and new followers who have found my blog over the last year. Your likes and comments are always welcome.

This marks the fifth Blogaversary or anniversary of the first post on my Pound Store Plastic Warriors blog, dedicated to affordable gaming or “Little Wars on a Budget”.

What’s happened since last September and our 4th Blogaversary in 2020?

https://poundstoreplasticwarriors.wordpress.com/2020/09/13/pound-store-plastic-warriors-4th-blogaversary/

Nothing much new in the online Pound stores this year? 2020/21

What with ongoing Covid restrictions I have only been into pound stores a couple of times on the high street only for ‘target: toy section’ for a minute or two.

And visits to charity shops, jumble, steam fairs, junk markets? None.

This paucity and Covid drought of penny dreadfuls and plastic tat has been relieved partly by some kind donations from blog readers of old unwanted Airfix figures, some great samples of Hing Fat 54mm figures from Peter Evans and also from strategic reserves laid down in the past.

These strategic reserves are laid down according to my Pound Store Plastic Warrior wise hoarding maxims –

1. “Buy them when you see them, they’re sometimes only around for a short while”

2. “They’re only a pound”.

3. “You may not need them now, but in the future …”

2020/21 saw a couple of games using Pound Store plastics ranging from snowballing fights of Yukigassen in August …

To an RLS “Land of Counterpane” game in April on an old squared blanket …

Some mistakes – octagonal ‘hexes’ in this budget reconstruction of Games Workshop Lost Patrol for Pound Store space marines … the well known eight sided hexagon, that one …

Some curious Pound Store conversions, padding out the more expensive Chintoys plastics or old lead …

October 2020 onwards: My Arma-Dad’s Army Elizabethan muster or militia Home Guard 1588 1595 slowly builds using Pound Store knights

This of course having Spanish Fury Conquistadors and Armada troops means Aztec types are a natural match or extension (Peter Laing style ‘dual use figures’ )

With found cheap scenery from scrap … inscribed stones, temple steps, obelisks …

The Super Cheap Wargaming group on Facebook has been good for such affordable scrap terrain ideas as well.

Sometimes my Pound Store Plastic Warriors posts crossposted material or projects from my Man of TIN blog (main blog) or linked to these including:

Fembraury – The new BMC Plastic Army Women becoming Women’s Revolutionary Army of Parazuellia, part of the 1960s Morecambe and Wise comedy film The Magnificent Two whose other government and rebel troops will be padded out with Pound Store GI copies …

January 2021 – Scrap modelling Edwardian style with E Nesbit’s Wings and the Child on the building of Magic Cities

and January also involved archive history research to identify more about H.G. Wells’ connections, family and friends involved in playing his Floor Games and Little Wars c. 1911-13. Well our Pound Store Plastic Warriors strapline is “Little Wars on A Budget”.

Who knows where 2021 and 2022 will lead us?

Thanks for reading and following.

Blog posted on my Fifth Blogaversary 13 September 2021

Poundland Shelfie 100 soldiers packs May 2021

**** Delayed post from late May / early June 2021 ***** shelfie photo *****

I had to go into town for a medical appointment on a quiet day at the end of May 2021. With a few minutes to spare, feeling more Covid secure after two jabs, and masked up, I checked out my local poundstores for the first time in over a year.

In Wilko there were no Lego compatible blocks, block ‘pick and mix’ and no toys to be seen. Maybe nothing until Christmas …

However Poundland, wonderful Poundland, had these “penny dreadfuls” (as some unkindly call them) back on sale at a penny each in bags but tubs as before.

Check the shop label: 100PCS – £1 – 1.00p each

That is affordable gaming – and two colours / forces per bag!

I had a closer look at the packaging during March this year (Lockdown 3 Non essential retail closed) https://poundstoreplasticwarriors.wordpress.com/2021/03/22/new-battle-squadron-packaging-for-the-penny-tuppenny-dreadfuls-100-toy-soldiers/

Only two colours available in each pack (ready made opponents) green and silver grey, Union Jack versus German flag and flag mound. This, I suppose, is what makes it a ‘Soldiers playset‘?

The packaging had the same type of green and white star generic flag, which I rather like.

Unlike the packaging suggestions, there are no free helicopters, greenery or walls inside, just two colours of troops and two flags and two flag mounds.

Poundland, still the home of affordable budget wargaming!

Blog drafted by Mark, Man of TIN 30 May 2021, finally posted 2nd September 2021.

Found Object Mixtec Temple

An Instant Mixtec Jungle temple with that interesting brown cardboard packaging.

Just needs a slightly larger square box or two underneath and some steps for that ziggurat / jungle temple / pyramid effect.

It also needs an altar, better than my biscuit one. Somewhere I still have the Atlantic 1:32 altar and Greek civilians and temple figure with animal sacrifice set, which I painted in the 1980s.

Figures from Chintoys 54mm Mixtec and Zapotec set

https://poundstoreplasticwarriors.wordpress.com/2020/11/28/manotincas-or-manotintacs-54mm-south-american-tribal-warriors/

and Priest(ess) or Prince(ss) conversions

https://manoftinblog.wordpress.com/2020/11/29/im-going-to-make-you-into-a-princess-cosmetic-surgery-and-facelifts-for-toy-soldiers/

Alternative Atlantic Wall

This brown papier-mâché mache packaging is very versatile – a few days earlier it was part of the Atlantic Wall for a D Day type landing scenario.

Blog posted by Mark Man Of TIN, 7 August 2021.

Pound Store Snowball Fight Squads

It’s now August, thankfully a bit cooler again in the Southwest UK as it has been unusually energy-sapping hot in the last few weeks.

So in the summer sunshine, my thoughts naturally turn to snow and snowball fights, continuing the work on simple snowball fight rules with Alan (Duchy of Tradgardland) Gruber.

Toys For A Pound Online – Soldier offerings 2021

https://toysforapound.com/search?type=product&q=Soldiers*

These figures have a useful snowballer figures (below left) in the form of these 45 mm-ish plastic copy of the Matchbox 1:76 / 1:32 US WW2 Infantry grenade thrower.

There is another figure throwing a grenade (centre right) who could have his rifle /SMG cut away as needed to make another snowballing figure.

The second toy soldier offering from Toys For A Pound Online 2020/21

Specia Forces! Still attractive pricing, cheap plastic Soldiers for a Pound 2020/21

Amongst these 42/43mm-ish plastic figures (top left) is again a useful copy of the Matchbox 1:76 / 1:32 US WW2 Infantry grenade thrower.

Very useful to convert into a military snowballer, as he is also quite well wrapped for winter.

The officer with binoculars (bottom left) can be an umpire of the Snowball fights.

These should be in action fairly quickly in a snowball fight scenario.

Blog posted by Mark Man of TIN, 2 August 2021

Odd Plastic Hong Kong Copies from Ian Dury

I recognised the Atlantic Roman figure No. 5 but the others?

Fellow Peter Laing collector Ian Dury recently sent me some 15mm Peter Laing Victorian Parade range figures (that had come originally from Tony Adams) and added some spare Airfix AWI figures to add troop strength to my ImagiNations armies. Thanks Ian.

Ian also included a couple of Hong Kong figures “that I might find interesting.”

Clearly marked Hong Kong on the base, so pre-1997 handover?

One (no. 4) looks like a scaled down OOHO version of the Greek Trojan Herald figures of the 1960s? They should be able to join my Airfix Roman figures.

The encyclopaedic site of Small Scale World by Hugh Walter mentions and shows these figures 2 to 5 as Giant related Hong Kong figures. Thanks Hugh!

Part of Small Scale World HK Romans long blog entry

http://smallscaleworld.blogspot.com/p/blog-page_10.html

Peter Laing 15mm Victorian Parade series figures alongside the plastic Indian on a pony

I noticed that the Native American Indian warrior on horseback is a close match for Peter Laing’s slender 15mm figures, so he shall no doubt join them in action one day. He should fit in well once the tail is fixed with some simple drilling and a pin link for the tail.

Peter Laing’s horses are quite distinctive or as Phil Barker described them in his 1970s KTG: Know The Game series Wargaming booklet  “Horses sometimes a little strange”. This often helps you pick out Laing figures amongst job lots of old 15mm figures.

The plastic Ancients will join the Airfix and Atlantic figures that have survived from childhood for future repair, painting and gaming.

Blog posted by Mark Man of TIN, 25 July 2021

Airfix OOHO British Paras painted at last

Crossposted from my Man of TIN blog (sister blog to this Pound Store Plastic Warriors blog) –

https://manoftinblog.wordpress.com/2021/07/18/airfix-ooho-british-paratroops-chubsters/

I have finally painted my OOHO Airfix British Paras after forty odd years, these tiny cousins of the much pirated pound store copies of the familiar 1:32 version 2 British Paratroops.

X Files image of those familiar 1:32 Airfix Para clones from my post
https://manoftinblog.wordpress.com/2021/06/25/its-behind-you-mulder-and-scully/

Trivia fact – The scarce Version 1 of the familiar 1:32 Paras from 1969 were large copies of some of these OOHO figures. Now scarce and mostly crumbling, I have about three bashed ones of them left.

More Airfix OOHO images on the original blog post … enjoy!

https://manoftinblog.wordpress.com/2021/07/18/airfix-ooho-british-paratroops-chubsters

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