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.

 

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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.

 

 

 

What’s in this tin of Plastic pound store Warriors?

 

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But what other interesting figures are mixed up with the usual green and tan army men?
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A few EBay screen shots with tantalising glimpses of unusual figures …

I spent far too much time (and sometimes money) happily looking through the cheap job lots of plastic and lead toy soldiers on EBay. Looking at toy soldiers makes me happy. Discovering new and interesting ones also makes me happy.

It’s not a very useful social skill but childhood years of intense looking at Airfix figures and many others has helped me  build up a rough working knowledge of many different makes of plastic soldiers makers, much in the same way birders and twitchers can pick out the “jizz” of different and often similar looking birds by their shape and movements.

So among the flock of ordinary everyday ‘birds’ you might spot the odd rarity or some new or unusual figures.

Spotted on an Air Ambulance EBay shop, I saw a useful tin of the usual dull coloured green and tan army soldiers but mixed in were a few colourful flashes. Based on aglimpses in the photos, I took a punt or gamble on bidding, as nobody had yet bid on this job lot tin.

In return for what is effectively a small donation of under a tenner to the Air Ambulance that might fund a few vital seconds of lifesaving flight, a tin arrived by post a few days later.

A good deal – I get all the interest of my hobby, whilst a worthwhile charity gets a small donation without me having to climb mountains, run marathons or walk the Great  Wall of China. Happy result!

I couldn’t wait to open it and see if what I had glimpsed was worth the money. I shall share the joy with you now,  share my virtual jumble sale rummage joy.

The first odd ones I spotted amongst the green and tan army figures were these peculiar pirates with very oddly moulded pistols.

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Stand and Deliver! Your money or your life? Some well muscled kneeling pirates with an eye patch flank a strange almost Marlburian officer, intended maybe as a  pirate or highwayman. Roughly 42mm in height. ‘China’ marked on the base.

A host of useful bicorne era figures emerged, mostly around 45mm. I often spot figures like these on US EBay, Etsy or Amazon but they are not usually available in the UK. Regional plastic  ‘tat’ envy.

These seventeen American War of Independence era figures are in patriotic red white and blue (Union Jack or Stars And Stripes?), roughly 42 to 45mm.

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Unsure of maker (they have no makers marks) these bicorne figures are about 42-45mm tall.

I had not seen these tricorne figures before, they alone were worth the price of the whole tin. Maybe one of my blog readers recognises the make?

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These are worth painting up for some French-Indian Wars and ‘Close Wars’ type skirmishes in the forest against similar smallish 42mm pound store plastic Indians or natives. I use the ‘Close Wars’ two page rules in the appendix to Donald Featherstone’s War Games (1962, recently reprinted). https://manoftinblog.wordpress.com/2016/06/09/close-little-wars-featherstones-simplest-rules/

Christmas bought me some 54mm BMC plastic figures from the same bicorne / tricorne period from a UK online supplier Drum and Flag who happened to have a few bags in stock.

Again worth the money are these 19 Matchbox US Infantry 54mm copies and a useful Jeep. Modern copies of these figures are still around at about 30 for £6 to £7.

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Matchbox US Infantry copies
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The useful scrapings of someone else’s toy box, a few sci-fi bits and bobs, plastic rocks and 25mm-ish spacemen.
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A useful rest of tin of green and tan army figures for conversion …

Overall a happy rummage through this tin. I hope you enjoyed it too!

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Simple retro paint conversions of these Green and Tan army men (2016)

Posted by Mark Man of TIN on Pound Store Plastic Warriors, 8 February 2019.

More Washing of The Spears

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A right colourful bath tub mix up of 40 to 54mm figures …

Over the last few weeks I have been spending a bit of Christmas money on eBay, picking up the kind of cheap plastic figures you don’t normally see in UK toy stores. A few pounds here and there.

Being either new-ish secondhand or sometimes a whole  chocolate tin of mixed figures, the scrapings of someone else’s toy box with some tantalising glimpses of unusual figures, they all need a good wash before painting. It should remove any grime and mould release chemicals.

With so many figures,  the sink wasn’t an option so the bath tub stood in this time.

Here was the washing up bowl  ‘spa treatment’  I did last time, back in June 2016:

https://manoftinblog.wordpress.com/2016/06/17/spa-treatments-for-toy-soldiers/

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Drip drying en masse in an old beach or bath toy net …

To dry so many, I rigged up an old beach toy net (commonly used for storing bath toys) and they  all drip dried pretty quickly.

Next job is sorting them all out … an exciting mixture of modern plastic 40 to 54mm soldiers, pirates, redcoats, ninjas, fantasy figures male and female  – and skeletons which sank.

I shall post photos of each group in the next few posts.

Blogposted by Mark Man of TIN on 2 February 2018.

 

RIP Stan Lee and Farewell from the Pound Store Superheroes

 

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Oh no! We’re immobilised in plastic! Will our cut-price super powers save us now?

The same scene cartooned in Clip2Comic app as a tribute to comic artist Stan Lee 2018 RIP.

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As my belated tribute to the late cartoon superhero creator and artist Stan Lee, I’m pleased to have finally tracked down a couple of sets of Poundland’s finest Superheroes.

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Oh no! We’re trapped inside a box now. Is there no escape?
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Free at last! Free at last!

I missed buying these figures a year or so back and have kept an eye out in Poundland ever since. Today they were back in store at £1 a box so I bought a couple of packs as an investment.

To escape paying franchise fees to DC Marvel and Avengers, Poundland have invented some new cut-price super hero figures of their own.

They come in four different main colours – red, blue, yellow and green.

Red Rage – all Red muscly bodysuit and face mask

Arrowhead – in Blue and red with and an arrow design on his face mask

Centrum – in Yellow bodysuit with worrying target on his front for villains to aim at.

Green Force – Green and red body suit and green face mask.

Thankfully although the Poundland Superheroes (designed by the Anker Group KFIG-PL)  are nominally named, they leave their individual superpowers to your imagination.

Centrum sounds like he should be part of some disappointing and dull global or privatised utility company who fails to turn up on time and doesn’t complete the job to your satisfaction. His secret base has no answerphone service or point of contact.

Maybe Green Force is a gardening or lawn repair service superhero, able to restore your patchy lawn in return for cash?

The Incredibles cartoon movies 1 and 2 have a list of short lived, aspiring or underperforming List of Known Superheroes or Supers killed off or briefly glimpsed in the movie https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_The_Incredibles_characters

Failing that, you can use a fantasy name generator on its superhero or super villain setting https://www.fantasynamegenerators.com/hero_names.php

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What are the Poundland superhero figures like?

I quite like the range of expression from smiley face to angry or aghast. You can of course swop heads, legs and bodies around.

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Quick conversion ideas. A few quick head swaps with female hair, a Lego cloak and Lego head and hat. Name these yourself.

Good to see some multiracial block figures as well. A couple of female figures might have been good – unless Red Arrowhead with the painted cinched in narrow waist Is supposed to be female?

Some female block hair might do a conversion job but they do have very odd block heads, unlike the Lego stud attached hair.

Lego heads swap onto the Poundland neck stud quite well and the hands carry Lego style accessories, tools or weapons well. They also stand up on Lego studs well enough.

Other cut price Superheroes are available …

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I would have loved this varied set of figures as a 70s child … almost worth box framing. Lego hardly had any mini figures then  and all were bright Simpsons smiley yellow.

Worth pointing out for pound store balance that UK high street budget retailer Wilko or Wilkinsoalso does their own “bootleggo” range called Blox with some attractive bulk packs of civilian and  military figures, compatible with but a fraction of the price of Lego figures. There is a fun superhero girl or superhero fan with a Boom! t-shirt in the Wilko Blox set.

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Some attractive Blox figures from the 50 figure set including a golden knight / robot  and superhero (fan) or Cosplay girl.

Compatible with other leading brick brands, these Poundland figures are four superheroes for a £1, compared to £2 to £3 for the average Lego superhero mini figure blind bag.

At 25p each, there are no accessories, but you can easily  make your own superhero capes out of paper from a Lego template using fabric or paper and a hole punch for the head hole.

25p Man anyone?

Blogposted by Mark, Man of TIN (no comment on his cut-price super powers either a softer metal version of the Man of Steel) on 17 November 2018.

And finally here is an interesting YouTube compilation of the many graphic novel picture  tributes drawn as farewells to the much missed Stan Lee (1922-2018)