More Retro packaging for the ‘Penny Dreadful’ pound store plastic warriors

The Super Cheap Wargaming Facebook group featured a post by Ron Lumbis about the current 30mm-32mm (ish) pound store figures.

I like the retro style of the packaging from Schyllyng with on the back of the box the pen outline of the figures inside, a little like the early 1960s Airfix boxes.

I also like the slight overselling – “INCLUDES TWO ARMIES” – obviously serious defence cuts have happened. What they mean is includes two different colours of figures, in this case the traditional green and tan of some plastic army men figures sets.

I see echoes of the famous Russ Heath Lucky Toys page adverts in US comic books for disappointingly flat mail order figures. https://manoftinblog.wordpress.com/2020/05/10/classic-close-wars-and-comic-book-soldiers-back-to-the-forest/

You can also see similarly stylish packaging (short lived packaging and sold out) from 2017, the “WW2 Soldiers” tag a little misleading with the Russian Army looking troops.

https://poundstoreplasticwarriors.wordpress.com/2017/10/26/retro-packaging/

Either box would make a good attractive mail order gift, one that I would happily have played with as a child, then have somewhere to put them back in the box afterwards.

The alternative packaging I have found for these figures over the last few years ranges from a flimsy plastic bag and header card of two different colours per bag …

… to the useful storage tubs of single colour figures occasionally found in Poundland UK.

Same figures, different colours, varying prices per figure, different packaging.

To me these are the modern cheap small plastic equivalent to the Airfix figures of our youth.

They are surprisingly versatile and at a penny or two each (prices are steadily creeping up) these anonymous and widely available ‘Made in China’ plastic figures can be cheaply and easily converted to a range of periods past and present – and future.

Several fantasy or sci fi gaming bloggers have used these same figures such as the Wargaming Pastor for his Death Zap future games.

Ross Macfarlane of the long-established Battle Game of the Month blog paid these figures and conversions a sort of dubious tribute when he described them as:

Hence my nickname for them of the “Penny Dreadfuls“, as this is what I once paid for each 100 figures for £1.

I have used them for many things from my Boy Scout rough conversions …

https://poundstoreplasticwarriors.wordpress.com/2019/05/19/pound-store-plastic-boy-scout-32mm-conversions/

to Flash Gordon style space marines and little green men aliens.

The alien ‘cape’ is a card paper hole punch strengthener from cheap old luggage labels.

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

These figures adapt to modern as well as 19th Century colonial figures

Various theatres of War and historic periods suggested by paint conversions here

Simple cardboard hat brims (again from hole punch paper strengtheners or card circles)

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

Colonial highlanders from Carry on Up the Khyber … tissue paper and PVA kilts added

https://poundstoreplasticwarriors.wordpress.com/2018/01/28/pound-store-plastic-carry-on-up-the-khyber-colonial-highlanders/

Simple desert or native warriors created by scalpel and PVA / tissue paper conversions

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

Cheap enough to risk losing figures if taken as a travel battle on holiday – simple melee rules.

As you can see these are very versatile figures, with a little imagination, they can become many different types of ImagiNations figures.

Transport easily requisitioned from charity shop cheap finds …

Arguably Airfix figures have or had the advantage of scale model kits and buildings to complement their figures (although both often in and out of availability or production).

However, with a little imagination, suitable Pound Store playset or charity shop vehicles, terrain and buildings can be found.

A full blown pound store colonial skirmish for under a pound …

https://poundstoreplasticwarriors.wordpress.com/2018/02/03/pound-store-colonial-skirmish-part-1/

Suitable sized gaming accessories add variety to conversions – here an old Prince August homecast gun.

Or light railway battery ‘train in a tin’ style …

https://sidetracked2017blog.wordpress.com/2017/08/10/deconstructing-trains-train-in-a-tin-vs-train-in-a-box/

This paint conversion or scalpel and PVA approach works with any size or scale of cheap plastic Pound Store type figures as you can see from meandering through my blog.

Blog posted by Mark Man of TIN on his Pound Store Plastic Warriors blog, 21 December 2020

Pound Store Plastic Warriors 4th Blogaversary

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.

Rainbow warriors – 5 different plastic colours per £1 bag

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:

https://poundstoreplasticwarriors.wordpress.com/2020/08/16/modern-flats-and-toys-for-a-pound-online-pound-store-soldiers/

Here’s to another year of cheap and cheerful!

Blog posted by Mark Man of TIN on Pound Store Plastic Warriors, 13 September 2020

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

Seaside Pound Store Plastic Clockwork Airships and Paddle Steamers

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Potential airships from  submarines? Sky boats from Paddle Steamers? 

I spotted these lovelies in a seaside plastic gift shop whilst looking for plastic pirates and other plastic ‘tat’.

Into my Pound Store modelling brain leapt the thought – steampunk airship bodies? Silver and bronze and wood panelled?

Civil War Paddle Steamer bodies, reversed and given some planking at rear?

They wind up well and on a smooth wood floor just keep rumbling for a long time along like speedy WW1 era landships.

These will all need a jolly good wash before painting, so they may have some proper launching, sea trials and naval manoeuvres first (otherwise known as “putting them into the bathtub”). Just to clean them up you understand …

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Imported or distributed by Kandytoys, purveyors of lovely beach toys and seaside plastic tat across the Southwest. 

My steampunk brain started working overtime on the dirigible possibilities of wiring     on a plastic bottle ‘gas barrage balloon’  and fixing the whole on a stand. Maybe Steampunk Submarines and Paddle steamers will be easier.

A bevy of WAAF style balloon handlers might be required for such dirigible beasts (they were not nicknamed ‘pigs’ by their WAAF crews just because of their shape). So far Bad Squiddo only does suitable crews in the form of WW2 Ack Ack searchlight Girls in 28mm, which may be a little small?

I have seen the beautifully painted original of  Laura Knight’s  detailed painting of such balloon girls, well worth seeing if you can http://www.damelauraknight.com/artwork/a-balloon-site-coventry-1943/

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Dame Laura Knight, Barrage Balloon site Coventry 1943 (Imperial War Museum collection Art.IWM ART LD 2750) Non-Commercial reuse. https://www.iwm.org.uk/collections/item/object/15503

This whole airship business might be because I have just finished the second Mortal Engines book by Philip Reeve and have the third one lined up.

Post apocalyptic / Futuristic ‘Municipal Darwinism’ (city eats city, town and suburbs). Steampunk with strong echoes of Jules Verne, H.G. Wells and Star Wars. Airships, mech troopers, predator cities on gigantic caterpillar tracks, submarine ice breakers …  what’s not too like? (Did I mention Steampunk enough?)

It’s not a million pulp or steampunk miles away from the Edwardian to 1930s era Scout ‘Wide Game’ ideas over on my sister channel, the Man of TIN blog.

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32mm Pound Store conversion Airship Troopers? 

They will hopefully compliment my Flash Gordon style 1930s airship or starship troopers converted from Pound Store 32mm plastic figures

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Pound Store conversion  32mm crews for scale of these futuristic steam punk Paddle streamers and sky boats. At the very least, bronzed and silvered up, they would make a great steam punk submarine and Paddle steamer base for gaming scenarios. 

Distracting Cheap plastic joy! More tat for the painting table?

Blog posted by Mark,  Man of TIN on 6 May 2019.

BPS – Blog Post Script

I have yet to see the much maligned Peter Jackson directed Mortal Engines movie, as  I became too busy near Christmas to see it in the cinema. I will catch up with it on DVD soon. Watch the Trailer here: https://youtu.be/IRsFc2gguEg

 

 

 

Pound store 42mm conversions

Attractive 42mm pound store plastic conversions by  Rob Young on the Eastern Garrison website  https://easterngarrison.blogspot.co.uk/2018/05/1897-playing-at-converting-chinese.html