Defence cuts affect Poundland’s XTA Alien Defence Force now 50 figures for £1

TXA Total Extreme Action? Cyber Combat soldiers Alien Defence Force – UK contingent of 4 nations

The Space Marine figure was missing from my box’s random assortment of poses.

The usual mostly useful poses for conversion
Figures of all three nations USA Germany UK – UK formerly green figures.

Defence Cuts from 100 figures for £1 down to 50 for £1 – still good value!

This slow dropping of figure numbers per £1 has been going down steadily over two years, reported here:

https://manoftinblog.wordpress.com/2017/10/26/off-to-poundland-on-a-mission/

https://poundstoreplasticwarriors.wordpress.com/2019/02/12/30-percent-less-troops-at-poundland/

Funtastic now become TXA Cyber Combat. What a great HQ address & PO Box number to have.

It’s like the Third Doctor Who’s UNIT friends have moved to Willenhall.

Formerly ‘Epic Battles’ – increasingly tiny EpicBattles … Batallas epicas!

Epics – getting smaller with austerity cuts all the time.

Historians of Plastic Tat packaging will value this visual record.

I have noticed that the plastic is slightly harder or tougher, more game token and less flexible than before.

Update: the Germans are now blue, not silver. The space pilot figure does exist!

Other sources and suppliers

At a recent seaside store I found the ‘older’ Combat Force 100 figures in handy two colour pack of traditional green and tan 32mm-ish figures for £2.

Just noticed the MISSION ‘red ink stamp / dripping blood’ crossover font …

All still good 32mm figures, ripe for paint or scalpel conversion, as shown on some of my previous posts, for example:

https://poundstoreplasticwarriors.wordpress.com/2019/03/15/thinking-outside-the-postmodern-paintbox/

https://poundstoreplasticwarriors.wordpress.com/2017/11/26/pound-store-plastic-colonial-infantry-on-the-painting-table/

https://poundstoreplasticwarriors.wordpress.com/2017/11/06/pound-store-desert-warrior-unit-completed/

https://poundstoreplasticwarriors.wordpress.com/2018/01/28/little-green-men-pound-store-plastic-space-warriors/

https://poundstoreplasticwarriors.wordpress.com/2018/02/25/pound-store-skirmish-part-2/

Posted by Mark, the (easily pleased despite being 50% less) Man of TIN on 15 / 16 November 2019

Frankenstein Girl Scout

Another broken figure, a street find, restored to gaming life – read and see more about a cheap pound store figure dismembered to make a Girl Scout at:

https://tabletopscoutingwidegames.wordpress.com/2019/10/23/resurrection-of-the-frankenstein-girl-scout/

Blog posted by Dr.Mark Franken-ManofTIN 23 October 2019, a week too early for Halloween.

Pound Store Plastic Figure Conversions into 54mm Boy and Girl Scouts

Usually I post my Pound Store cheap plastic figure conversions onto this Pound Store Plastic Warriors blog here first but have recently set up this Scouting Wide Games for the Tabletop blog especially for this Scouting Games project.

When you need some cheap 54mm plastic Boy and Girl Scouts, what else can you do but convert the cheapest figures you can find? Read and see more at:

Paratroop Officer into Maud The Scoutmistress

https://tabletopscoutingwidegames.wordpress.com/2019/10/17/turning-cheap-pound-store-army-figures-into-boy-scouts-and-girls-scouts/

Crude cheap modern and WW2 figures into 54mm Scout figures

Blog posted / crossposted by Mark Man of TIN (1970s Cub Scout, Bronze Arrow, Retired) 17 October 2019.

Hello and Farewell to the Horses

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British Heart Foundation pound bags of random horses and some new reading

Too likely to rain to do any homecasting in the garden so I headed to the coast. In a nearby seaside town I found no new seaside shop plastic soldiers but two charity shop ‘pound bags’ of random plastic toy horses.

Oddly one of the newish paperbacks that caught my eye today is German author Ulrich Raulff’s history book / memoir ‘Farewell to the Horse’ (2015) about the changing relationship of horses over the last century or so. Translated into English by Ruth Ahmedzai Kemp,  it was published in the U.K. by Penguin 2017/18 https://www.penguin.co.uk/books/294/294612/farewell-to-the-horse/9780141983172.html

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Some of the smaller horses – 2nd and 3rd row from top are mostly Airfix OOHO horses
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Bottom right some Airfix OOHO 20-25mm horse, pony and French infantry figures for scale, alongside some Pound Store 32mm-ish figures – a little too big?

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When making my Pound Store conversions, Doug Shand in the comments asked about horses for making these cheap figures into cavalry. I tried casting some Prince August Holger Erikkson forty millimetre scale horses. A bit too big and wide. I scoured the internet for cheap horses but it was difficult to find any I judged from pictures to be the right scale.

I think the larger horses are closer in size to 28 to 30mm figures than my Pound Store 32mm-ish conversions, unless you want big troops or natives on small ponies.

I placed several Spencer Smith metal and plastic horses and infantry on or alongside the horses to see if they were suitable. Some figures like the AWI tricorne officer might work on horseback. However Spencer Smith already do perfectly good cavalry. I have few 28mm figures but put a WW2 Russian female officer from Bad Squiddo on horseback for comparison.

As with all toy horses, many of them have no base and do not stand up on their own. The smaller ones (smaller than most of the Airfix ones) may be slender OO railway modelling horses (and the solitary cow).

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The bizarre non-equine extras – a kneeling cow, a statuesque duck and random prehistoric reptile / fish. Duck cavalry anyone?

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Farewell to the Horse?
The horse book (being partly based in Germany) should be interesting to read in relation to the email comments that Tony Adams at The Miniature Wood Screw Army has made to me about the Not Quite Mechanised state of the horse drawn German Army of WW2, compared to the more motorised transport of the armies of Britain, France and America. Amptly illustrated here on these online forums:

https://forum.axishistory.com/viewtopic.php?f=132&t=152124&sid=88c88e726c705a885e3e80b76d8088a9

http://ww2talk.com/index.php?threads/german-horse-drawn-transport-and-other-nations.6088/

Not a bad haul for a grey mizzly day by the sea. A little money gone to charity, a little less plastic tat gone to landfill. Single use plastic? Not this stuff, as it’s at least second owner.

Blog posted by Mark, Man of TIN on 21 September 2019.

Pound Store Plastic Boy Scout 32mm Conversions

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Some very rough and ready Boy Scouts – my Pound Store Plastic ‘penny dreadful’ figures 32mm conversions (with metal 42mm range LBB30 Little Britons Boy Scout figures in the background including Girl Scout conversions) 

As one source of scout figures for Wide Games, you can always convert cheap plastic figures from pound stores such as I have done with these 32mm plastic figures.

To read more about how this was done, read the post from my main Man of TIN blog:

https://manoftinblog.wordpress.com/2019/05/19/pound-store-and-homecast-boy-scouts-on-the-painting-table/

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Staves at the Ready: Be Prepared! 32mm Boy Scouts in the BIG outdoors. 

Girl Scouts in their fullish Edwardian Skirts could also be produced in the same way as I adapted metal Boy Scout figures https://manoftinblog.wordpress.com/2019/05/17/wide-games-and-the-early-girl-scouts/

Crossposted from my main Man of TIN blogsite where there is a Scouting Games Wide Games summary page 

https://manoftinblog.wordpress.com/wide-games-scouting-games-page/

Crossposted by Mark Man of TIN (1970s Cub Scout, Bronze Arrow, Retired) on 19 May 2019.

Le Toy Van Space Rocket

 

 

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Le Toy Van’s lovely wooden space rocket and blue pound store Space Marines …

On my travels I spotted a seaside toy shop which had this lovely  wooden space rocket from Le Toy Van for only £5.

I thought it would fit perfectly for my 1930s space troops from  Poundland / pound store 32mm plastic toy soldier conversions from 2017:

https://poundstoreplasticwarriors.wordpress.com/2017/11/05/poundland-space-marines-platoon-on-parade/

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Choose your colour of space forces – little green men …

https://poundstoreplasticwarriors.wordpress.com/2018/01/28/little-green-men-pound-store-plastic-space-warriors/

I also tried it out with one of my 50mm Tim Mee Galaxy Laser Team Space Men. At this size, this would be more of  a personal space craft than a space troop or squad transport.

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Le Toy Van do the three styles of rocket seen on the label. You can also see the  porthole astronaut sticker that I removed to make it more versatile. 

Le Toy Van, a UK firm, have a shopping website https://letoyvan.com/products/space-rockets-1

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Three colours of rocket …

I would be very tempted to respray another one of these rockets a more 1930s gold or silver.

Flash, aaa – aaagh!

Blog posted by Mark Man of TIN, 16 April 2019.

 

Thinking outside the PostModern Paintbox?

 

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Turning cheap plastic modern toy soldiers back to Steampunk 19th Century Infantry?
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Turning khaki grunge back to stylish redcoats?

What have my oddly painted Pound Store Plastic Warriors got to do with YouTube music sensation Scott Bradlee and his band Postmodern Jukebox?

Could it be that perennial chore of all gamers – “all about that base, about that base”? – to misquote Meghan Trainor?

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Lots of different variations on the same cheap pound store penny dreadful figure.
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Desert warriors from modern infantry … 

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Cheap penny dreadful figures into something more expensive looking? 

So what is the connection between my paint converted penny dreadful plastic toy soldiers and throwaway hiphop or dance music tracks? Postmodern Jukebox (or in toy soldier modelling terms, should that be Postmodern Toolbox or Postmodern Paintbox?)

Take a toy soldier or music track – strip it down, look at it afresh, re-present it in a different way or time period. That is kind of the Pound Store Plastic Warrior blog philosophy and much the same with Postmodern Jukebox.

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  I have just finished reading Scott Bradlee’s ‘band’ autobiography

Is the connection – Taking one cheap throwaway thing like a modern pop song or a pound store plastic toy soldier and turning them (back in time) to something else more interesting with a bit of hard craft?

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Cheap plastic 32mm modern soldier into 1930s Flash Gordon space warriors …

Talented American piano player Scott Bradlee has teamed up with a range of jazz musicians and vocalists to take modern pop songs from the 1980s classics onwards to today’s chart  hits – and take them back in time. Stylish and spirited “Period covers of Pop Songs”.

What would 90s Canadian grungy punk band Nickelback sound like as Motown?

What would modern pop classics like Myley Cyrus’s We Can’t Stop sound like as a 50s doo-wop number?

What would Carly Rae Jepsen’s modern pop hit Call Me Maybe sound like as a 1920s ragtime flapper number?

That is the musical joy that is Postmodern Jukebox … everything I  have been doing with cheap toy plastic soldiers in musical form!

It’s also what I often listen to whilst painting, if not listening to period specific music to match the figures on the painting table.

There are now several years worth of free PMJ YouTube videos and plenty of albums to enjoy at http://postmodernjukebox.com/home/

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Don’t just take my word for it. I’m not the only  Toy Soldier and game blogger to like this stuff. The Duke of Tradgardland himself no doubt employs them as Court Musicians. https://tradgardland.blogspot.com

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Postmodern Jukebox PMJ  – court musicians to the Duchy of Tradgardland.

Outside the Jukebox, Scott Bradlee’s autobiography, is an interesting and easy read about being a modern basement creative in the internet and social media age. It reads as an honest mistakes and failure through to success and attendant pitfalls story.

Well worth a listen … anyway, back to Bass-ics? Enjoy.

 

You might also find other YouTube groups like the Gardiner Sisters stripping back to acoustic and slowing down fast modern pop songs into more interesting versions:

Blog posted by Mark, Man of TIN on 15 March 2019.

 

30 percent less troops at Poundland?

E1A446EB-F653-4646-B8D9-9F67E618FA9E.jpegWhilst picking up The Unincredibles ‘bootlego’ superheroes in Poundland this weekend, I spotted a sight for sore eyes.

A lone tub of the 32mm-ish Penny Dreadful figures (as I call them after Ross Macfarlane said about them).

Ross MacFarlane of Battle Game of The Month blog described these cheerfully as “some of the crudest cheap plastic toy soldiers that I’ve ever seen but you have managed to rescue them and transform them into brave warriors!” 

As you can see converted here  https://poundstoreplasticwarriors.wordpress.com/2017/11/26/pound-store-plastic-colonial-infantry-on-the-painting-table/

I had not seen these tubs in the pound store for months.

Forlornly, it was one stray tub of these Soldiers that must have been lurking at the back of a shelf, and sadly with a quarter less contents. When I first bought these it was 100 soldiers for £1. Now it is 70 soldiers for £1.

As somebody wisely commented on my blog, these are now not quite so Epic Battles. 30% less Epic.

I bought the tub anyway, for old times sake, as they will always come in useful.

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Some of the more immediately useful figures …

The proportions of figures in each tub seems to vary quite widely too  – this one seemed to have a high proportion of bazookas and machine gunners.

They could become great little figures with a bit of work.

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Blogposted by Mark, easily pleased  Man of TIN, on Pound Store Plastic Warriors, 12 February 2019.

 

 

 

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

 

 

 

Hex marks the spot (or six pirates for a pound yo ho)

No toy soldiers in the pound store today. However I found these rough looking characters in a local covered market stall for baking and cake decorations.

I enjoy finding unusual sources of figures like this, adding some variety to the usual figures.

Palm trees £1 each by Flying Tiger, six Cake Dec pirates for a pound (local market)

Hex marks the spot?

Figures are about 50 to 54 mm base to head, marked on the back ‘China’.

They are made in flesh tint hard plastic, crudely but colourfully painted to adorn a pirate cake.

Six colourful pirates for a pound! Proper piratey poses amongst the figures including a pegleg and crutch, parrot on shoulder carrying a treasure chest and another with shovel to bury it.

One has a knife carried in the teeth, keeping hands free for climbing the rigging and there are plenty of cutlasses amongst them. Good Treasure Island material here.

One of them with an oar looks like a girl pirate. They were all mixed in with the usual Cake Dec box full of sports people, so ‘she’ might really be a sporty female rower.

Figures like these can of course be repainted to make bandits, navy crews or other irregular troops.

Some interesting piratey poses to repaint and add to my plastic pirate skirmish gaming box.

The blue coated captain looks like he has a broken sword or pistol.

He was the only of this pose available. Should be an easy repair.

Huzzah for cakes of piratey death! Fifteen men on a dead man’s chest, yohoho and a bottle of rum … and all that.

Figures repainted this winter ready for more desert island duelling? Sadly the age old family sand pit is no more.

https://poundstoreplasticwarriors.wordpress.com/2017/04/26/duelling-in-the-sandpit-lunge-cut-and-stop-thrust/

Blogposted by Mark Man of TIN on Pound Store Plastic Warriors, 7 September 2018