SPECIAL THANKS. I would like to thank Paul Watson for his sponsorship of several lead figure collections on this blog. Having decided to clear his spare/surplus figures, he generously forwarded them on with no other requirement than they deserved to be restored.

Tuesday, 19 April 2022

HMS SPITFIRE and HMS THUNDERCHILD

Have just varnished two Royal Navy ships for my 54mm collection. In constructing these simple models, I had to consider several factors. Firstly, that they were of a size which would work on my limited table space. Secondly, they possessed something which implied importance and power. Thirdly, that the models looked right with 54mm toy soldiers. The problem with accurately scaled models is I would end up with something either too large, or too insignificant to have any naval value. Fortunately, viewing examples of old tin toys provided the answer. My models are based on typical toy steamboats that were made during the 1870-1910 period, which does seem rather appropriate. Have included some photos as examples.

Here are my two 'modest' vessels. I guess its possible they could claim to represent the torpedo ships that also appeared in the late 19th century. Have named them HMS SPITFIRE and HMS THUNDERCHILD.  At a later date, will add some further detail, including flags. They are made of plasticard, with plastic awning fittings for the funnels. The guns are BRITAINS TOYS.

Rule Britannia!

MGB

Antique Tin Toys

15 comments:

  1. Good use for the old Britains (?) anti-aircraft guns

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    1. Hi Tony, had already converted the two broken guns into coastal emplacement pieces, in grey. I now have two heavier guns in that capacity so it was useful to just transfer them to the ships. As it happens, Paul recently sent me two more AA guns, but I will keep them for my WW2 British. with their original paintwork.
      Michael

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  2. Very appropriate ships Michael! They really fill the bill and look great! They are not too large, but the guns give them a very menacing appearance and will work beautifully on your table! And that does sound like an excellent rule of thumb, when in doubt, check out vintage toys and find your answer there!

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    1. Indeed Brad, I have seen some superb rivercraft models, scratch built. And I was tempted. If I was into African colonial wars I would have taken that direction. But my lwargaming requires several, fairly powerful ships, but my table space is slight. Yes, totally agree, when in doubt, vintage toys.
      Michael

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  3. Absolutely magnificent - those AA guns make splendid naval pieces. Have to award you the crown of the Master of Plasticard - they are superb 'pocket battleships' :)
    :)

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    1. Thanks Paul, I do think the old, simple design has worked, they look nice on the table and despite their size, can still have some impact in any games. I'm beginning to look at some other 1890-1910 toys to see what else might be useful. Fun to think H.G.Wells would also have also been familiar with such toys.
      Michael

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  4. Great inspiration! The guns look a bit oversized, which is quite "Toy Soldier-ish" if you get my meaning. If it was to be realistic, it wouldn't look as cool! Have added this blog to my faves.

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    1. Thank you, Sir. Pleased you found it of interest. Now working on a merchantman/supply vessel.
      Michael

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  5. Beautiful work! Any chance that you will share the pics on my FB page, Fantasy and Science Fiction Wargaming and Conversions?

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    1. Q, Having strong views in support of free speech, I must confess to having largely withdrawn from Facebook. But you are most welcome to carry the photos/script on your Group page, if thats any help?
      Michael

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  6. Superb addition to the collection and I must say the simplicity parried with great execution really adds to the 'toy solider' feel.

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    1. Thank you, George. Sometimes a viewing of earlier methods and ideas provides the answer. Do also view the previous post, with your interests in WW2 equipment and vehicles. The Carden-loyd tankette for my Dutch is proving a useful addition.
      Michael

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  7. Hello Michael, you have done an outstanding job with these. 54mm figures is very hard to make look good because of size of figures and lack of space but you are a master indeed
    Best wishes
    Quinn

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    1. Most kind, Quinn. To be honest, anything was going to be an improvement on my previous system for representing naval fire in a war-game; a piece of card with a gun placed on top, lol. Have just varnished my merchantman/supply vessel. I'm quite enjoying my plasticard excursion!
      Michael

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