This past week four years ago I branched out from my regular main Man of TIN blog to start my occasional Pound Store Plastic Warriors blog, covering the joyously budget plastic figure gaming end of my toy soldier hobby.
This week I shall be working on these baker’s dozen figures as space pilots, having rewatched Star Wars Rogue One on DVD and still working my way through four series of grungy Battlestar Galactica (2004 version) available free in the U.K. on BBC I-Player.
Four years on from starting the blog, a bag of cheap plastic tat with conversion potential still gives me as much joy as new metal or more expensive plastic gaming figures. I enjoy the wonky out of scale playsets and accessories as well as the sometimes oddly worded packaging.
Pound Store Plastic Warriors blog – It all keeps me happily in touch with my inner seven year old with never quite enough pocket money!
More about these c. 40mm plastic semi-flat figures previously on Pound Store Plastic Warriors:
This gave me the base colours – they were going to be painted in gloss toy soldier style using a mix of available Revell Acrylic Aquacolor gloss and matt, finished off with gloss spray varnish.
The figures after gloss Varnish but before the Steampunk copper highlights were added.
At this stage before Steampunk copper highlights were added, some of them could pass vaguely as WW2 or modern figures.
I wanted them to keep that 1930s to 1950s shiny gloss hollowcast look including the pink cheek dot traditional toy soldier face, as if they had just been taken out of their red box.
Once the copper or brass highlights were added, picking up cloned and distorted webbing details, this looked more like power cables for their brass steam or laser weaponry, breathing gear or comms equipment. Nothing too specific …
Grey basing rather than green was chosen for the plain toy soldier style tuppenny base, reflective more of an urban setting or even steel plate metal, maybe even the decking of airships and space craft.
I was surprised at how practically well these two tone figures fitted into the landscape, despite the shiny Steampunk bits and gloss Varnish.
Add in some suitably weird Pound Store / playset type Chinese made plastic tat Steampunk Artillery
The closest I could do to the French tankers and the futuristic back of their tank photo here …
“Quel petrolier!” or A rough French translation for Lardy tank rules fans of their mischievously named ruleset “What a Tanker!”
… was a rough reconstruction of this historic photograph using the backside view of my lovely cap firing action friction based US tinplate tank (Thunderbolt USA 4U, unknown maker)
So there you go, you start off intending to make Flash Gordon space marines and end up with French tanker inspired Steampunk activity.
Proof that all you need is some time, paint, distraction, a few tangents and you can make something smart out of these unloved overlooked cloned and distorted Pound Store type figures.
For my simple 54mm Donald Featherstone inspired sci-fi rules Close Little Space Wars
I wish Tim Mee toys (“Made in the USA”) were more widely and cheaply available in the UK. Whilst they can be tracked down online, the extra shipping to the UK makes them pricey.
Very kindly the Grand Duke of Tradgardland, the Tradgardmastre himself sent (via the D of T P.O.) these spare Tim Mee space figure poses for my collection and for Close Little Star Wars 54mm future adventures on the Back Yarden Planet.
Well it is the 50th anniversary of the Apollo moon landings …
These attractive figures wait on the painting table for suitable colour scheme inspiration to strike. Hopefully sometime by International Star Wars Day on May 4th? Or the July moon landing anniversary?
Blogposted by Mark Man of TIN on Pound Store Plastic Warriors 23 March 2019
Not exactly Pound Store Plastic Fantasy Warriors but a job lot picked up cheaply on EBay.
These figures are not to my knowledge usually sold in the UK so often have hefty shipping. There are multiple copies of each figure, which will allow flexible painting.
There are several female or androgynous figures in this set that might or might not qualify as Pound Store Plastic Warriors blog contribution for #FEMbruary.
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.
The last week has been spent working on a variety of Pound Store Plastic Warrior paint projects including my Poundland Space Marines, adding another twenty Space Marine figures and a Command and Comms team.
Apart from the varnish and a mild black wash over the darker faced Space Marines, they are pretty much done and ready for action. All I need to do is create some opposition troopers.
The Command and Comms Radio team came from a batch of a dozen bags of party bag filler Soldier copies of Matchbox figures that I bought last year or came free with some garage forecourt shop cheap vehicle kits.
The least impressive of the figures is the Poundland penny dreadful figure with the machine pistol / space blaster. I have some ideas on adding a shiny drawing pin riot or deflector shields to space-ify these up a bit.
As possible allies or opposition, I have started work on some Flash Gordon / Star Wars rebel inspired bronze, gold and orange figures. Some Rebellious type troopers and Imperious SturmandDrangTroopers (in black and white) might also follow.
I like the bronze gold steampunk of the laser rifle and space blaster.
For space rules, I can downsize the Close Little Star Wars rules from last year’s Planet Yarden garden game.
This is my pound store DIY version of the portable war game or Perry Twins’ popular new Travel Battle game.
Semi-Random Terrain Distribution By Featherstone Air Drop
Tucked inside the box lid are some passable or impassable map symbol type hex squares (marsh, river, impassable forest). Once the first river pieces were laid on fairly at random, the other hexes were dropped from on high to randomise their placing.
This is something I remember as a technique using paper circles scattered from a converted Airfix plastic Dakota kit for scattering paratroops, the Dakota held at a suitable height over the calculated or miscalculated drop zone.
I first saw this in a childhood borrowed library copy of Donald Featherstone’s Wargaming Airborne Operations (recently reprinted by John Curry). Airfix paratroop figures then replaced the paper parachute circles wherever they landed, sometimes fatally in water, on rooftops or behind enemy lines.
I would love to try this outside in a back garden / Yarden game. It would even work for beaming or teleporting down to another planet scenario. Beam ’em down!
The Featherstone Airdrop – Brilliantly odd game mechanic!
These map symbol coloured hexes were improvised from thin white packaging card on my Easter 2016 holiday trip and can be lightly tacked down (like the game board) with a smidgin of magic or Scotch tape.
Pretty it isn’t but practical and portable it is.
In my holiday ‘rainy day’ box I usually pack tape, scissors, a few fine liner pens or Sharpie pens and raid whatever watercolours, paints, cardboard or paper I can find to make game bits. Coffee stirrers are really handy and easy to come by, as are bits of stone etc.
For the back drop, I found somebody’s leftover Saturday’s newspaper had an intriguing surrealist landscape advert. With a bit of camouflage (space palm tree cocktail stick stirrers from Tiger.com taped for weight to a spare dice behind gravel stones) to hide the outsize hunter figure, this folded over to form a surreal space backdrop for my improvised Away Team solo game.
I roll a dice to see which side – silver space marines versus red planet natives – are the Attackers, which the Defenders for the purposes of any Melee dice throws etc. if I ever forget. I use coloured dice for game counters for keeping track of hits (for speed each figure started a melee phase / round of only two combat or life points).
A pink flamingo cocktail stick marker marked out which side were the Attackers, another nod to a different famous Don Featherstone, inventor of the pink lawn flamingo. https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Don_Featherstone_(artist) Another d6 dice was rolled to see what the melee result was on the Kaptain Kobold d6 Dice Table dice table. The other spare dice was busy propping up the space palm trees.
Who won, who lost? The Away Team Silver Space Marines or the Red Planet Native Defenders?
The result is future history …
I will finish on a close-up of the ‘profit hunter’ from the nonsensical Artemis advert, looking very much like the cavalry or cowboy ‘Rough Riders on Mars’ blog site. I should be able to mock this hunter figure up pretty easily in several scales using Prince August 40mm Holger Erickson cowboy Homecasts, Airfix or various 54mm and OO/HO cowboys.
This advert has great fun ‘alien desert’ terrain, easy to create from some of the more lurid plastic aquarium plants and terrain.
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.
£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.
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!)