Pound Store Plastic Colonial infantry on the painting table

 

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My latest pound store plastic warriors conversion project has been rapidly painting some Colonial redcoat infantry as  opposition for the desert or hill native warriors that I finished in October.

https://poundstoreplasticwarriors.wordpress.com/2017/10/22/poundland-desert-warriors-finished/

The Man of TIN has been stricken with slight Man of TIN flu of late, which has delayed work on my blog and my latest figure conversions.

I wanted to try something different with these cheap “penny dreadful” 36mm plastic figures which are currently available online or from Poundland  (at £1 for 100).

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!” 

 

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My brave and  Generic / non-specific Desert or Hill Tribe warriors converted from pound store figures. 

 

These ‘brave’ desert warriors needed some opposition, starting out with the same fairly unprepossessing starter figures.

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Crude starter material … my “penny dreadfuls” as bought from Poundland for £1 for 100. 

Some of these 36 mm figures have simply been painted as Redcoat infantry and have had Fimo backpacks and blanket rolls added.

 

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Not running away, never! Rear view showing Fimo backpacks and blanket rolls with white painted straps – far too fiddly! 

 

Other figures have had more conversion work  by scalpel such as the officer figure with his rifle cut into a sword and a Fimo scabbard added. A similar posed figure had the rifle removed and the hand drilled to take a piece of wire to make him into a flag or standard bearer.

 

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Conversions for a Command and Colour Party with rough flag or regimental banner. 

 

Before I tried these command figure conversions, I also added as ‘officer material’ a 30mm-ish WW2 US officer (an old Matchbox China made pound store clone) firing a revolver or pistol in his greatcoat. A thin Fimo scabbard was added.

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A gloss toy soldier look was wanted, so Artist or Revell Model Acrylics were used. Uniformity of moustache was also needed, eyes dotted in with a pin and a very thin brown acrylic wash to add some definition to the faces.

I may well add a pinprick pink dot on each cheek to keep that toy soldier look as I did recently on my 42mm pound store toy soldier style paintwork.

https://poundstoreplasticwarriors.wordpress.com/2017/11/10/pound-store-42mm-infantry-army-red-army-blue/

There is still some tidying up to do, a few straps to add and the inevitable varnishing, but these red coated troops should soon be ready for action dodging ambush by hill warriors.

 

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Ladybird Leader series 737 ‘Soldiers’ 1976 (illustrations Frank Humphris) 

 

Any slight resemblance to Zulu War Redcoat British  infantry is entirely deliberate, although with such modern figures as starting material, it is only going to be a suggestion.

 

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Redcoat infantry in Home Service black helmet and white Foreign Service Helmet. 

 

For uniform  inspiration I had by me some  childhood books, namely an old Osprey Men At Arms book on ‘The Zulu War’, Preben Kannik’s Military Uniforms of the World in Colour  and my trusty Ladybird ‘Soldiers’ book.

(Good job I noticed the mistyping as Military Unicorns of the World in Colour – what a book that would be. What a great cavalry regiment or regimental mascot!)

Conversions in Progress

Amongst the other figures can be glimpsed a kneeling modern machine gunner who has had his Heavy Machine Gun cut down to make that start of a Heliograph for signalling. Still needs a reflector disc. A kneeling bazooka man had his bazooka clumsily removed by hot scalpel and a wooden rifle added instead.

The hot scalpel or hot knife technique, warming a blade in a candle flame is not recommended indoors, plastic figures like these give off unpleasant fumes when selectively melted.

 

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Left, a bazooka man converted to rifleman, centre a machine gunner undergoing conversion to a Heliograph signaller and on right, unaltered pound store figure in redcoat paint conversion.

 

Brim-ful of conversion ideas 

A quick dip into Preben Kannik’s Military Uniforms of The World in Colour suggested another figure conversion. It must have been the floppy hat that caught my attention.

 

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Preben Kannik’s book – my painting guide and uniform inspiration for decades.  

 

Further opposition for the redcoated British style infantry is now underway on the painting table, with some simple headgear conversions or additions. A couple of those old fashioned hole reinforcers, stripped off an old cardboard label, proved a suitable hat brim, further trimmed down once glued in place.

 

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Bush Hat figure No. 1 and the unconverted pound store penny figure. 

 

These should make suitable Boer Commandos or Confederates. There is a farmboy or cowboy look to both figures. Lots of figures are suggested by this simple hat brim addition – US Rough Rider infantry from the 1890s / 1900s, Confederate or Union infantry.

 

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Bush Hat figures 1 and 2 alongside their unconverted pound store penny dreadful originals 

 

A lightly more extravagant hat brim would make a Mexican style bandit brigade of brigands.

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It might even be possible to turn a brim up on one side for that bush hat, slouch hat or smart City Imperial Volunteers ‘titfer’ look.

 

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Black undercoated figures with card slouch or bush hats, currently  on the painting table. I see almost a Vietcong ‘coolie’  hat possible with these figures too, suitable for Ammanite sharpshooters  and other exotically hatted  colonial troops. 

 

Sadly most office hole punchers make  too large a hole for the head of a 36mm Poundland figure. So if you run out of suitable scrounged small parcel label hole reinforcers, use one as a rough template to cut out new ones from scraps of watercolour paper.  Fiddly work but folding the tiny card circle in half means you can cut a rough inner circle. A little bushhat bashing or distressing is then required.

Reinforcements for the Thin Red Line

The Preben Kannik book also has a good kilted khaki Highlander – a conversion I am working on, using a kilt made of a thin strip of tissue paper and PVA.

 

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Not that early Diana nursery nurse photoshoot moment c. 1980 but tissue paper kilts in PVA glue, drying on these future ‘Devils in Skirts’ Highlanders. 

 

The main inspiration for this variously khaki or Redcoat highland unit is mostly one of my favourite films Carry On Up The Khyber, being the infamous 3rd Foot and Mouth (Highland) Regiment, those ‘Devils in Skirts’.

 

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The infamous Kilt inspection of the ‘Devils in Skirts’ scene (Carry on Up The Khyber, 1968) Image Source: IMDB website page for the film

 

The battle scenes are quite impressive, if you ignore the slapstick bits. A great inspiration to any tongue in cheek Colonial gamer.

 

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Uniform Inspiration  – Some of my childhood TV and film heroes, Charles Hawtree (Private Jimmy Widdle), Terry Scott (Sergeant Major MacNutt), Record-breaking Roy Castle (Captain Keene), Sid James (Governor Sir Sidney Ruff-Diamond) and  Julian Holloway (Major Shorthouse). Film still from Carry on Up The Khyber, 1968.  Image Source: IMDB website page for the film

 

Some great uniform inspiration photographs here at the IMDB website and also the Carry On UK site.

This 1968 comedy remains to this day my favourite of the many Carry On films. There is still much to like about  this (now very un-PC?) pantomime satire on colonialism and the heroics of 1960s war films like Zulu; I like the fact that this freezing Khyber Pass was filmed in exotic Snowdonia in North Wales.   http://carryon.org.uk/gallery/thumbnails.php?album=31

 

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Highlanders in a very Welsh Khyber Pass (Carry on Up The Khyber, 1968) Image Source: IMDB website page for the film. 

 

So off to paint Another Thin Red Line, or Thin Khaki Line with Kilts, hopefully not as painted by one Private James (Jimmy) Widdle. Bliss …

 

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The late great Charles Hawtree as Private Widdle (Carry on Up The Khyber, 1968).  Image Source: IMDB website page for the film

 

Blog posted on my Pound Store Plastic Soldiers by Mark, Man of TIN blog, 25 November 2017.  (Apologies for the dim photographs, I was photographing figures in natural but dimming light.)

 

 

 

 

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Pound Store 42mm Infantry Army Red Army Blue

 

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Army Red Infantry – riflemen, grenadiers and machine gun troops.

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Army Red Rifleman with white issue helmet
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Army Red Rifle Grenadier
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Army Red Machine Gun Infantry
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Army Red Rifleman and Machine Gun Troops with Black Issue Helmets

These figures came in packs of pound store 50-54mm figures but are slightly smaller, about 42mm.

They are painted in Acrylic Gloss toy soldier style with simple Twopenny or Tupenny Bases to add some weight.

This in itself is close in size to the wonderfully retro Irregular Miniatures Deutschland Homage range designed by Andy Partridge. I shall have to buy a character figure or two to compare them. http://www.irregularminiatures.co.uk/42mmRanges/42mmDeutscheHomage.htm

Shadow Warriors

These are the finished figures which appeared by accident as Shadow Warriors, shown in a recent blogpost: https://poundstoreplasticwarriors.wordpress.com/2017/10/25/shadow-warriors-of-the-pound-store/

These 42mm figures were figures from packets of Combat Mission 80 pound store plastic warriors from the seaside stores, although I have had some of these rifleman figures painted up in since about 2006/7. They are often found mixed in with 50 to 54mm pirate or clone copies of WW2 figures.

https://poundstoreplasticwarriors.wordpress.com/2017/06/10/combat-mission-80-plastic-pound-store-soldiers-part-1-charge/

https://poundstoreplasticwarriors.wordpress.com/2017/06/13/more-combat-mission-80-pound-store-plastic-soldiers-part-2/

They have a lovely Bordurian / Syldavian  feel to them, straight outta Tintin, By the Whiskers of Kurvi-Tasch! https://manoftinblog.wordpress.com/2016/07/18/tintin-and-imagi-nations-games/

The White Stuff

I noticed on someone’s blog feed recently a useful Youtube video from Tabletop Minions on “How to Photograph Your Minis”

https://youtu.be/oZtE6HWXg0E

a top tip from Uncle Atom of Tabletop Minions https://tabletopminions.org/tmx/

This featured a very useful photography tip about using a sheet of white paper taped to a box to give a smooth curve in a good natural light source. This seemed to work well enough.

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Onward! Army Red led by a pirated copy of an Airfix Japanese Officer. 

I also photographed  the figures en masse against a felt background, seen at the top of this blogpost.

 

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A busy painting table anyway, finishing 42mm figures at the back and undercoating the next bunch of small 36mm Poundland penny dreadfuls.

All these larger ‘Toy Soldier’ figures are raring to go for a 42mm (slightly smaller than normal) version of H.G. Wells’ (slightly) Littler (than normal) Little Wars.

Blogposted by  Mark, Man of TIN, on Pound Store Public Warriors  10 November 2017.

 

 

 

 

Pound Store Desert Warrior unit completed

 

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Poundland conversion desert warriors on some converted desert Hexes from Heroscape.

Having completed a unit of Space Marines, I have been building up the numbers of my native warriors as another Poundland penny plastic toy soldier figure conversion (or “penny dreadful” original figures as some of you have suggested).

Each plastic 36mm figure costs a penny (tub of 100 for a £1 in Poundland) and is now based on a penny for a bit more weight and stability.

My first trial batch of half a dozen figures worked well enough, so I have now quickly converted another dozen riflemen towards  a small skirmish force of native warriors or hill tribesmen. Another dozen or so more figures to add and we should be almost there.

Any roughness in painting or conversion is almost hidden en masse.

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A very light wash of pale blue was used, hopefully to bring out the whiteness of their robes.

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Another kneeling desert warrior aiming from behind a low wall of rock.

You can read more about how these were all converted or made from Poundland’s finest “penny dreadful” figures using tissue paper and PVA to add robes at: https://manoftinblog.wordpress.com/2017/10/22/poundland-desert-warriors-finished

https://manoftinblog.wordpress.com/2017/10/16/desert-warrior-pound-store-plastic-warrior-conversions-inspired-by-featherstone/

I am thinking about future native artillery unit conversions so dug out of the spares box an old 30mm artillery piece, probably by Spencer Smith Miniatures or Prince August. The lack of 36mm cavalry is one thing I am working on, with some interesting odd possibilities in my spares box.

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These figures are not specific to any country or historical period. Instead they are  intended to be a wily native opposition to the usual Redcoat or colonial / imperialist troops invading or defending one of my Imagi-Nations countries.

Redcoats in Waiting

My next conversion is to paint up a unit of some “Redcoats” using some more of the Poundland figures.  A batch of 20 riflemen are already undercoated, based on pennies and waiting their turn on the painting table. A very rough conversion of a Poundland’s modern machine gunner to a Redcoat heliograph signaller is partly done (below). Twenty odd tiny  Fimo backpacks will also be required!

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My alternative desert infantry conversion is a simpler paint conversion, a little more ‘modern’ (or at least 20th century) and khaki than the toy soldier style Army Red / Redcoat figures.  I want to create a small skirmish force of these desert khaki infantry as well from the Poundland figures.

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Work in progress on a desert infantry figure using the Poundland penny figures. 

All good fun, it makes a cheap and pleasant change from tracking down vintage Peter Laing 15mm metal figures.

Blogposted   by Mark, Man of TIN blog and Pound Store Plastic Warriors blog, November 2017.

Poundland Space Marines Platoon on Parade

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Poundland Space Marine Away Team ready for action

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.

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Pound Store Command and Comms Team for my Poundland Space Marines.

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.

These are 30mm-ish copies of Matchbox American infantry that sort of match my 36mm Poundland figures, previously shown on my “Pound Store Transport” blogpost in March: https://poundstoreplasticwarriors.wordpress.com/2017/03/22/pound-shop-transport-for-pound-store-figures/

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.

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Work in Progress on a Flash Gordon style Roman Gold and Orange Space Troopers to fight (alongside?) the finished light blue Space Marines. 

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.

https://manoftinblog.wordpress.com/2016/09/25/close-little-space-wars/

Several more pound store plastic warriors figure conversions to show this week.

Blogposted by Mark (Man of TIN blog) on his Pound Store Plastic Warriors blog, 5 November 2017.

The Washing of The Spears

 

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Not the famous book about the Zulu Wars and a ritual after battle but the next stage of my Poundland Mission accomplished.

Having acquired four new tubs of Poundland’s finest 36mm figures with my last four old round pound coins, like most plastic figures, it pays back in time and paint later  to give them a quick detergent wash and scrub.

This gets rid of any mould releasant grease or spray that may be on these plastic figures, even though they are a harder plastic than the Airfix figures, which also  suggested a quick wash and a gentle scrub /  brush in detergent before painting.

The Drying of the Spears 

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The Drying of The Spears – This ritual always feels something slightly agricultural or cookery based, spreading the washed figures out to dry on a suitable spare towel. They have a satisfying  rattle …

Hence the rituals of Washing of the Spears, and the Drying of the Spears, the next stages in preparing these odd “penny dreadful” figures for conversion into Generican native warriors.

Will they be Zulu-like ? Will they be desert warriors like my last trial set?

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Some of my  Imagi-Native Pound Store Plastic warriors so far …

Hmm …What sort of hostile Imagi-Natives?

North and South Generica have a wide range of habitats and associated hostile tribes, as does North and South Farica, all my own Imagi-Nations. These will add to the young Bronte family’s  North and South Pacific Imagi-Nations of Gondal (N) and Gaaldine (S) along with the West African based kingdoms or colonies of Glasstown and Angria, slowly being explored on my Man of TIN blog.

 

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What sort of hostile native to make, ready to defend their lands or spread their own empire? Ladybird Soldiers book c. 1974/5

Will they be warlike Jumblies with heads of green and hands of blue and a fundamentally flawed navy and amphibious capability? I’m reading a biography of Edward Lear at the moment as a bit of melancholic yet still lighter relief  from the intense dark Victorian Gothic of the Brontes.

Far and few, far and few,
Are the lands where the Jumblies live;
Their heads are green, and their hands are blue,
And they went to sea in a Sieve …

http://www.nonsenselit.org/Lear/ns/jumblies.html

For they’ve been to the Lakes, and the Torrible Zone,

And the hills of the Chankly Bore”

 

More Washing of The Spears (and Rifles)

There is an interesting series of blog posts at Megablitz and More by veteran blogger Tim Gow on preparing and painting plastic figures.

It is always fascinating to see how different people do similar tasks differently or similarly to your own way of doing things. http://megablitzandmore.blogspot.co.uk/2017/10/painting-54mm-plastics-duffers-guide.html

Blogposted by Mark, Man of TIN on Pound Store Plastic Warriors blog, 28 October 2017.

 

Poundland Mission Accomplished

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Poundland Mission accomplished

or How to turn four round pound coins into four tubs of plastic toy soldier joy.

https://manoftinblog.wordpress.com/2017/10/27/poundland-mission-accomplished/

Four hundred new 36mm pound store plastic warriors!

Look  at previous blog posts for some of my figure conversion ídeas.

Blogposted by Mark, Man of TIN, 27 October 2017

 

Poundland Space Marine Pilot

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‘Pilot’ Pound Store Space Marine 
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Finished space marine ‘pilot’ figure alongside original penny / pound store 36mm figure.

Having finished my first desert warriors, my next Pound Store figure conversion job is a paint one.

One of my favourite of the Poundland penny plastic warriors (£1 for a bag or tub of 100) is this unusual figure.

Is he supposed to be WW2 US tank crew? Is he supposed to be modern infantry? Hard to tell. The laser type rifle was intriguing though!

Interestingly this figure crops up again in a bigger near 54mm size in another badly moulded set, so I can have space marine forces in two sizes: https://poundstoreplasticwarriors.wordpress.com/2016/10/06/pound-store-space-marines/

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The poor moulding, copying or sculpting has inadvertently created a figure who looks like he belongs to the future.

I might try a little face wash with darker flesh or weak brown to bring out the ruggedfacial features along with a watery blue wash to bring out the white equipment, hopefully without losing the toy soldier look. Tiny pink dots on the cheeks aid or restore this toy soldier look.

The Romanesque helmet looks a little like the odd space armour in the 1930s black and white Flash Gordon serials repeated on Saturday TV when I was a child. The heavy moustache is a little Freddy Mercury nod towards the equally odd 1980 film of Flash Gordon with its pounding Queen soundtrack. Dan Dare, Buck Rogers  – a quick Pinterest scouting  and YouTube session should provide some design ideas. Orange jumpsuit and silver or  gold?   So very Star Wars rebel pilot …

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Several other figures in the tub have space police or space marine sci-fi  potential such as the centre figure with laser pistol. The distorted left arm looks well placed to hold a riot shield (made of clear plastic or a bronze drawing pin).

 

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Troopers: We pledge allegiance to the Pound Store Rebel Empire, one inexpensive galaxy indivisible under one flag etc etc 

Some of the other helmeted figures could pass muster as Star Wars type rebel figures or green faced, caped cloaked aliens.

https://manoftinblog.wordpress.com/2016/05/28/more-pound-store-warriors/

Early unpainted pound store space marines in interplanetary action can be seen here on my away team. More on the painting table here too.

https://poundstoreplasticwarriors.wordpress.com/2017/10/15/poundland-taking-the-old-round-pound-coins-until-31st-october/

If all other figure conversion Imagi-Nation or inspiration  fails, there is always the current trend for zombies. Flesh, aah, aah! Dum dum dum dum dum dum dum …

Blog posted by Mark, Man of TIN for my Pound Store Plastic Warrior blog, 24 October 2017.