Cheeky Peco scenic backdrops

One of the joys of looking at model railways for me (a non-railway modeller from a railway modelling family) are the landscaping, buildings, figures and scenics.

This includes the Peco backdrops of city, town, seaside, mountain and country.

The urban ones have little joke puns about the shop names or owners, much as model villages often do.

One example below is Tim Burr and son – carpenters or wood shop. Others may be people the Peco artist knew (the same thing was done in the original Airfix railway building range).

Can you spot any other pun names? The pub. The mineral water factory. The chippy.

The details shown are from two scenes from Peco:

Medium SK45 Old Industrial Town – Centre Sheet

Medium SK46 Old Industrial Town – Extensions.

These painted backscenes were done by Peco employee and artist Jack Whealdon in the 1960s and 1970s. He must be one of the most familiar, affordable and frequently purchased landscape painters in the world!

I use these country and city scenes as backdrops for displaying my figures, once painted …

My Salvation Army Life Saving Scouts and Guards (Guides)

… and as the backdrop to my tabletop games.

I like imagining the lives of the characters and the conversations going on between them. Characters chat outside the pub or across the road by the chippy. Washing blows on the line in the backyard. A rickety fence needs a bit of work. Here a woman leans from an upstairs window, maybe to chat to a man cleaning windows – a neighbour or a window cleaner?

This could be any Midlands or Northern Town, a little like Coronation Street on a sheet or two of backing paper.

Looking a little closer though, I noticed a different type of humour. Not shop name puns but a glimpse of a lady undressing with the windows open.

A cheeky touch of seaside postcard humour here , glimpsed by some of the sharper eyed model railway commuters as the train trundles by?

Cheeky Peco!

Blog posted by Mark Man Of TIN, 30 August 2022

Railway Civilians – Steam Fair Haul 2022

In £1 packets, I picked up every one they had on a railway modelling stall at a recent West Country Steam Fair, my first Fair since the pandemic and 2019. This haul was £8 worth.

I have not yet posted the 54mm plastic figure haul from 2018 – one for a rainy day!

Plastic Soldier Review http://plasticsoldierreview.com/review.aspx?id=366

The 1961 Airfix Civilians set designed by John Niblett. Its box art of urban Britain is just about how I remember it as a late 1960s / early 70s child. These Civilian figures have not been available since 1973 to 1975.

I grew up with a few of these civilian oddities mixed in as ‘personalities’ mixed in with my motley mix of HO/OO toy soldiers.

I like the description of the characters on the box back –

Image from Airfix’s Little Soldiers, Jean-Christophe Carbonel – I like the silhouettes of the figures.

The struggling postman with mail sack has lots of character. It’s good to be able to name and identify poses – although some are not now quite PC? (2 Fat Men)

These Station Accessories and mix of railway figures and workers are often not listed with military figures in some Airfix reference books. They feel a little forgotten, less familiar or undiscovered.

Plastic Soldier Review ‘Station Accessories’ review page:

http://plasticsoldierreview.com/Review.aspx?id=430

Image source: the lovely Dapol website – pure Airfix purchasable nostalgia

Wonderfully Airfix Railway figures are all still available from Dapol in hard grey plastic including this old 1960s Platform Figures and Accessories set.

These are slight and slender (HO 1:87 maybe according to Plastic Soldier Review?) in comparison to the chunkier 1961 Airfix Civilians above and later 1970s Airfix. This is in the same way perhaps that first version 1960s Airfix figures such as Infantry Combat Group, German Infantry, 8th Army and Afrika Korps are small compared to their 1970s larger Airfix second versions.

Worth mentioning that those familiar Airfix building kits – the thatched cottage, Church, windmill, Tudorbethan house and others – are still available from the same Dapol website.

Other former Airfix figures still available from Dapol:

Airfix Platform Accessories (and figures)

https://www.dapol.co.uk/shop/model-accessories/self-assembly-oo-kits/c012-station-accessories-514

Airfix Railway Workmen

https://www.dapol.co.uk/shop/model-accessories/self-assembly-oo-kits/c002-railway-workmen-set-of-38-504

Airfix Platform Figures https://www.dapol.co.uk/shop/model-accessories/self-assembly-oo-kits/c008-platform-figures-set-of-36-510

Blog posted by Mark Man Of TIN on 31 August 2022

Shad(ow)y Characters

These are some of the shad(ow)y railway characters that turned up in Lockdown April 2020.

I think they look quite striking in dark painted undercoat, like mysterious silhouettes or Cluedo game pieces from the 1920s and 1930s.

They were bought as civilians and NPCs (Non-Player Characters) for my Scouting Wide Games and snowball fight projects to go alongside my LBB30 STS Shiny Toy Soldiers 42mm range Boy Scout figures.

These plastic figures needed a bit of height to be adults alongside my strapping Boy Scouts, so I mounted the adults on 1p MDF and penny pieces.

A bit of research suggests that they are hard to find ex-Lionel Railway stock (USA). Now out of production and widely sold out (including from my original supplier below), they were sold or marked as O figures.

https://sidetracked2017blog.wordpress.com/2020/04/

Demilitarised DMZ choice for World Book Day 3rd March 2022

What would your Demilitarised DMZ Book Choice be for World Book Day 3 March 2022?

Here’s mine, time to visit a quiet bunch of vanished and surviving branchlines and Short Line railroads …

Read or see more at Man of TIN Blog Two:

https://manoftinblogtwo.wordpress.com/2022/03/03/dmz-no-4-dmz-book-choice-for-world-book-day

Blog posted / cross posted on my Sidetracked blog by Mark Man of TIN, World Book Day 3 March 2022

DMZ Post No. 3 – Tank Engine Tuesday

In place of the promised tankettes and Tankette Tuesday, here is the DMZ demilitarised version: Tank Engine Tuesday

DMZ? https://manoftinblogtwo.wordpress.com/2022/02/24/some-more-peaceful-or-non-lethal-tabletop-strategy-games/

Tank Engine Tuesday? No that’s not engines for tanks. I once saw a Matilda tank engine for sale on EBay and thought for a moment, it’s a start. A Matilda Tank on the Front Lawn would certainly be a conversation piece …

Anyway a DMZ demilitarised look at my occasional Sidetracked blog, where my gaming life sometimes overlaps with railways and model railways.

Ben, this lovely beast of a Tank Engine is still lurking in the family toy cupboards, along with this vintage handmade station with its tin and card adverts

According to the authoritative https://ttte.fandom.com/wiki/Bill_and_Ben

“Bill and Ben are based on the Bagnall 0-4-0STs “Alfred” and “Judy” of Par [Docks] in Cornwall, who are both preserved and in working order at the excellent Bodmin and Wenford Railway in Cornwall.”

“According to the foreword of Thomas and the Twins, Alfred and Judy are both Bill and Ben’s twins. Alfred was once repainted yellow for a Days Out with Thomas event, to resemble Bill.”

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_characters_in_The_Railway_Series

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Railways are one DMZ demilitarised and relaxing modelling way of keeping the crafting modelling hands busy during current disquieting events.

https://manoftinblogtwo.wordpress.com/2022/02/24/some-more-peaceful-or-non-lethal-tabletop-strategy-games/

Its an occasional itch – I come from a Model Railway Family (we’re all about 1 inch tall, made of plastic and don’t move around much).

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Peter Dennis’ versatile civilians from his Little Wars, 54mm Paperboys – great passengers!

https://sidetracked2017blog.wordpress.com/2020/05/02/on-railways-and-floor-wars-the-lwr-fwr-the-hgwr/

One of the attractive sections of H.G. Wells’ Floor Games (1911) is the ‘lectric, or clockwork engines, the photographs of the cities and islands by his wife Amy Catherine (“Jane”) Wells and the charming drawings by illustrator J.R. (John Ramage) Sinclair.

Floor Games 1911

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The most attractive parts of railway modelling has always been the scenics and especially the figures, often a useful (but sometimes expensiv e source) of civilians for my DMZ Demilitarised Games – snowballers, Boy Scouts, Girl Scouts / Guides …

https://sidetracked2017blog.wordpress.com/2020/04/25/what-is-going-on-in-the-heads-of-the-tiny-railway-people/

https://sidetracked2017blog.wordpress.com/2019/11/23/airfix-railway-figures-reviewed-1980-and-painted-2019/

https://sidetracked2017blog.wordpress.com/2020/04/26/railway-civilians-54mm-size/

https://sidetracked2017blog.wordpress.com/2017/12/02/fogman-and-brazier/

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Some interesting DMZ reading and viewing

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Why not Do a Snooville? I remember this at the time from the family Railway Modeller magazine! https://sidetracked2017blog.wordpress.com/2019/10/13/do-a-snooville/

Much as I like British railways and vanished quirky branch lines, I also like American railroads, Mixed Train Daily and Short Lines (Hello citizens of Bowdon!)

https://sidetracked2017blog.wordpress.com/2020/10/20/railcars-and-rural-america-mixed-train-daily/

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I also like pop up instant railways

whether in a tin,

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

a pop up book https://sidetracked2017blog.wordpress.com/2020/05/22/pop-up-railway-americana/

or a Wild West battery train set and birdhouse trackside station

https://sidetracked2017blog.wordpress.com/2018/07/14/the-wild-wilko-western-express/

Set up and taken down in minutes. Instant fix. Quick joy.

Even a quirky pen and ink digital railway?

https://sidetracked2017blog.wordpress.com/2020/12/18/short-trip-by-alexander-perrin/

I

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Why not take it around in a suitcase?

https://sidetracked2017blog.wordpress.com/2017/09/25/spain-in-a-small-case/

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Taken from my occasional blog – https://sidetracked2017blog.wordpress.com/

Blogposted by Mark Man of TIN, 1st March 2022

“Some suggestions for toymakers” 1911

Some charming figures – Illustration by J.R. Sinclair from H G Wells’ “Floor Games” of 1911

Cheap and charming civilians, especially period ones in 54mm, are still hard to find. Not much has changed since 1911 then!

https://sidetracked2017blog.wordpress.com/2020/04/26/railway-civilians-54mm-size/

Working again researching and blog posting about H.G. Wells’ book “Little Wars” of 1911, I was reminded of this great illustration page of characters.

This book was expanded by H. G. Wells from a small end section of “Floor Games” of 1911 into two magazine articles and the famous book.

The charming railways section of “Floor Games” is explored and illustrated more here:

https://sidetracked2017blog.wordpress.com/2020/05/02/on-railways-and-floor-wars-the-lwr-fwr-the-hgwr/

Blog posted by Mark Man of TIN, 5 December 2021

Now with Added Trains …

A Russian Civil War armoured trains gaming scenario from the Wargaming for Grown Ups website:

http://wargaming4grownups.blogspot.com/2021/10/now-with-added-trains.html

Everyday Tasks on the Steam Railway – Bennett Brook railway archive films on YouTube

The Bennett Brook Railway channel of railway archive films on YouTube shows Training films on everyday tasks such as track maintenance in the age of steam, including these great 1950s track gang.

To me they look just like the Airfix track workers still available from Dapol.

You can access the channel via YouTube through their railway newsreel archive posts such as: https://youtu.be/MGszU8cA8_I


It’s all the everyday detail that make such films fascinating.

Blog posted by Mark Man of TIN on Sidetracked, 28 December 2020.

Last Express Train on the Southwold Railway 1929

The Last Train from Southwold 1929

https://youtu.be/ygtjCLh4YBs

Southwold Railway History

http://www.southwoldmuseum.org/transport_Railway.htm

Precious post link to Southwold Railway

https://youtu.be/EHrWbNrVs_s

As featured in

https://sidetracked2017blog.wordpress.com/2020/12/20/more-curious-railways-on-british-newsreels/