Steam Fair Haul 2019

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Part of a £5 bag of plastic, a mixture of Hong Kong / China and the odd Britain’s Farm or Zoo Animal like the Eagle – very Wild West.

I like a nice steam fair, not just for the shiny, steamy and clanky vintage transport, but also for the stalls and auto jumble.

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This year at long last I saw a steam waggon amongst the usual and commoner traction engines and steam rollers. This was of great personal interest as my Great Uncle, killed in France as an 18 year old in the last months of the Great War, was in civilian life back in Home Front Britain a steam waggon stoker. Now at last I have seen up close the sort of conditions where he would have worked.

This machine was a 1921 Foden steam lorry – 25 mile range, one and a half hours to steam up, top speed 14mph. Loads of many tons could be carried by this wonder

Several times over the last few years  I have taken a gamble over a tightly packed bag of vintage plastic glimpsed amid the jumble of a steam fair stall that you couldn’t quite make out what was inside. Another vintage plastic owl pellet …

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These 30 – 40 mm policemen were part of what sold me the £5 bag. A similar scale but portly road construction figure.

I spotted amongst the plastic farm animals some interesting 30 to 40mm old policemen. These were made by Lledo for their ‘Days Gone By’ vintage vehicle Range. http://www.plasticsoldierreview.com/ShowFeature.aspx?id=5Plastic 

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Plastic Soldier Review Lledo Page: How “The Usual Suspects” line up for size.

There were some useful Hong Kong made plastic civilian farm worker copies of Herald (or tiny Lilliput) figures.

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Farmers and farm workers big (40 – 45mm) and small (20 – 25mm) in  the £5 bag.

Amongst a jumble of bashed toy cars in a bucket on a charity stall, I spotted the plump form of Sir Topham Hatt The Fat Controller (70mm) from Thomas the Tank Engine – Mine for one pound. He will make a suitable civic dignitary to rescue. He has a slightly Churchill look or a mini Mussolini.

Later on in a craft tent I spotted this new large 95mm Guards Officer made by GG. I think he might be painted resin – only £2. Other similar ceremonial figures were for sale.

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A resident VIP Sir Topham Hatt The Fat Controller and his GG Guard Of Honour

The first thing I spotted was a tiny selection of not so common Britain’s  Deetail figures. Afrika Korps. French Foreign Legion. Waterloo French. Complete ones were £1.50, armless ones for repair 50p. I did not have either of these two Afrika Korps figures which are well animated.

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Broken Rifles can be repaired …

Oddly the French Foreign Legion, Sons Of the Desert, get grass green bases. The Afrika Korps get sandy ones – why?

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Two broken Deetail French infantry only 50p each. I’m sure I have some spare arms around.

The very last thing I bought was a £1 bag of 50 figures of flimsy and thin plastic.

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Henbrandt plastic skeletal thin copies of the Matchbox 54mm Americans shown. Airfix 54mm Russian Officer for comparison.
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Cheap Modern American and Matchbox copies of British 8th Army, again very thin and distorted compared to the 54mm fully round Airfix and Matchbox figures.
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Unusual thin and fragile plastic lying down firing figures. Should be more rugged mounted on card.

These Henbrandt figures (£1 a bag for 50 figures) are generally pretty poor quality. They are remarkably thin, almost semi-flat. I did not examine them well on the stall, buying them at the end of my steam fair trip. If I had, I would probably have bought the other few bags as there were a few interesting poses amongst them. These standing guardsmen for one, shown next to 54mm Airfix and Matchbox originals.

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Three thin guards

My favourite figures were these thin spacemarine type figures and their officer figure, that you may recognise big and small from my other pound store purchases. This set have the head turned to the side.

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Airfix 54mm fully rounded Russian Officer next to these curious flat figures.
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Seen in black and white, these thin cheap  plastic figures could  be good quality metal flats.
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The header card for those who like this sort of thing. Henbrandt UK 2012 Made in China.

I’m sure that they were there last year, so they may be there at next year’s steam fair!

So another successful haul of cheap convertible plastic and some happy stall holders.

Blog posted by Mark Man of TIN, 22 August 2019

Previous Posts

Back in 2018 my steam fair haul was just skeletons https://poundstoreplasticwarriors.wordpress.com/2018/09/08/pound-bag-skeleton-warriors-1-a-bag/

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Pound store paint conversions: American Civil War

 

Glossy toy soldier style American Civil War troops can be painted using cheap pound store plastic figures.

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Right: pirate or pound store Matchbox clone 54mm  Japanese WW2 infantry repainted as American Civil War Confederate Infantry, alongside one of my handmade Polymer clay scruffy standard bearers with a Britain’s Deetail flag.

An overlooked blog post from summer 2017 that I forgot to post – Whoops!

Having spent time in the past converting OO / HO Airfix Japanese Infantry into Union or Confederate troops and zouaves,

https://manoftinblog.wordpress.com/2017/07/16/confused-by-zouaves-some-airfix-acw-paint-conversions/

I wondered how this sort of conversion would work at 1:32 or 54mm scale.

For paint scheme inspiration for the glossy toy soldier style, I looked to my books and my display cupboard.

I like the paint style on this Tradition of London solidcast Union infantry man, handpainted by a member of the Guild of Master Craftsmen,  a past Christmas present.

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Tradition of London ACW Union Infantry

Other simple  paint inspiration can be found in these Britains, Tradition and Herald figures.

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These two damaged Britain’s ACW Confederate  “On Guard” figures surrounding the central figure look under their flaking paint like they were once Union figures!

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The Tradition professionally painted Confederate photographed by my rougher enamel glossy painting of Tradition ACW photographer.
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Herald ACW figures, minus much of their paintwork.

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Some of my childhood Herald ACW officers missing their swords.

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One of my favourite Herald figures the ACW Confederate Bugler

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Other ACW figures in my collection came long ago from a quirky collectors shop in Cornwall.

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I love the Tintinesque  Thomson and Thompson moustache on this figure!
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Another childhood branch library favourite …

A bit of plastic and lead American Civil War toy soldier inspiration, equally applicable to Imagi-Nations troops.

Blogposted by Mark, Man of TIN on his Pound Store Plastic Warriors blog, May 2018

More Dumb Soldiers in the Garden – The Clean Up Operation Begins

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I have been busy this week working on some wounded lead soldiers and horses.  Whilst waiting for recast arms and heads to arrive, I spotted this pile of metal detecting finds on sale online.

A couple of pounds later,  a tiny parcel arrived and as I cleaned them up, I posted the online auction picture to see what  battered lost treasures and delights my blog readers could spot in the pile.

https://manoftinblog.wordpress.com/2018/05/06/more-dumb-soldiers-missing-in-action/

Some of my blog readers were pretty accurate in their view of what was in this earthy pile of broken lead. They variously identified:  a bronco cowboy, an old toy racing car, a weird gnome, highlanders in kilts and guardsman. Well spotted!

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The toy soldier and sailor figures before clean up. Fragments of red coats of old enamel paint have survived on some. Possibly a section of a Johillco pilot (bottom right) and Crescent airman or Marine Officer with swagger stick (top right) 
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The animals from Cococubs to cowboys  and a beautiful fox.  An imp, a broken  Native American Indian and part of a petrol pump add to the strange mix. Many of these smaller objects will be put into a display box frame. 

The strangest of the lot was a metal dwarf or garden gnome figure. It might even be Father Christmas with the red paint?

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A strange gnome type figure, an old toy racing car and an ornate broken thing … this is a job for Bagpuss! 

As I cleaned the dry earth from inside and out, I recognised some broken bits as fragments of old lead toy soldier figures that I have in my collection by Britain’s and other makers.

Where I could, I checked them against my originals.

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Battered but common Britain’s Greandier Guardsmen firing (set 34) late 1930s to mid 1960s and marching (second grade fixed arm New Crown range figure No. 41P) 
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The bashed remains of two Britain’s sailors, with traces of blue paint, compared with my intact Royal Navy Blue Jackets No49N (second grade paint) based on the fixed arm Royal Naval Reserve figure (1907 – 1940). On the right, a Crescent airman with swagger stick. 
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Colonial and Khaki Highlanders – John Hill / Johillco (centre) and Britain’s (right) Khaki Highlander 34N second garden finish (with surviving traces of Khaki paint) compared with complete examples in my collection. 

I use Gloss Acrylic paints and will eventually varnish the figures to get that old toy soldier look.

As I began to clean ready for undercoat and painting, I started on some simple traditional repairs using glue, wire and matchsticks.

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Britain’s Guardsmen and sailors get an undercoat along with  the wood and wire start of new rifles and legs. 
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Highlanders and unknown Guardsman torso get their new legs. 
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New bases from Fimo, ready to paint sap green and mount on tupenny (2p) pieces for a bit of weight in the base. Two Britain’s Guardsman from the metal detectorists collection,  alongside two Broken Britain’s figures given to me by  John Forman. 

Repairs may not be pretty but they are designed to be robust, using what materials I have to hand, and aiming to get these lovely figures fighting on the tabletop or in the garden again soon.

Another order of recast heads from Dorset Soldiers will be required soon to finish these figures.

I shall post pictures of the completed figures, like RLS’ poem The Dumb Soldier,  back from the earth when suitable new recast heads arrive.

A very satisfying few days of tinkering and mancrafting.

Blogposted by Mark, Man of TIN, Bank Holiday weekend May 5 / 6 2018.