4mm Cowes Single Box illustration

I stuck this illustration (from Railway Modelling magazine? c. 2012?) in my scrapbook as it reminded me of modeller Stan Catchpol’s column in Military Modelling magazine in the 1980s.

Drawn by Ian C. Robinson

I like the Lilliputian / Borrowers aspects of the tiny railway people coming alive to build your ‘model’ railway / their normal railway …

Blog post by Mark Man Of TIN, 4 December 2022

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Shoo! Fly! and Company G? Railways Magazine January 1942 WW2 and ACW

Two interesting pages from a random issue of Railways magazine Volume 3, No. 21 January 1942 which I scanned before I passed them on.

Above is a 1941 era Cruiser tank “en route to embarkation points” – official LNER photograph – and obviously a propaganda shot. such open daytime shipping shows our allied armoured might, replacements only a year and a half after the disastrous loss of tanks at Dunkirk and the Fall Of France in May 1940.

And now from WW2 to the American Civil War (amongst the early Wars to use railroads)

“Shoo! Fly! don’t bother me!

For I belong

to Company G!”

This 1860s minstrel song instrumental can be heard here on this Library Of Congress https://www.loc.gov/item/afcreed000121/

According to Wikipedia: “Shoo Fly” is among the songs (“John Brown’s Body” is another) claimed as compositions by T. Brigham Bishop.

According to Bishop’s account, he wrote “Shoo Fly, Don’t Bother Me” during the Civil War while assigned to command a company of black soldiers.

One of the soldiers, dismissing some remarks of his fellow soldiers, exclaimed “Shoo fly, don’t bother me,” which inspired Bishop to write the song, including in the lyrics the unit’s designation, “Company G”

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shoo_Fly,_Don%27t_Bother_Me

Wikipedia also mentioned a Spanish-American War troop connection in the 1898: “when flies and the yellow fever  and mosquito were a serious enemy.

Bing Crosby included the song in a medley on his album

(about 22 minutes) in on  Join Bing and Sing Along  (1959)

and its the second track on the Disney Children’s Songs album No. 3https://youtu.be/49kPW5E9L5E

… notably without the Company G part.

So Shoo Fly – temporary railway loop or American Civil War minstrel lyric sung by black (Union?) Soldiers (of the USCT US Coloured Troops?)

And the Boogie Woogie Bugle Boy from Company B? That’s another story, another war and another Company.

Blog posted by Mark Man Of TIN, 7 October 2022

Postscript

I have not followed this Anne Parrish link up for The Perpetual Bachelor (1925) https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Anne_Parrish

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/

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

Pop Up Railway Americana

In the days of pop up shops, and Peter Dennis’ Paperboys soldiers, what about a pop up book railway?

I bought this over ten years ago quite cheaply at a seaside Pound Store / remainder bookshops type shop.

Illustrations by Michael Welply. 1997 Piggy Toes Press, produced for the Book People.

Illustrator Michael Welply http://michaelwelply.com/about/ has also painted the illustrations for certain American Army related Osprey titles.

The story on the back of the train pages, linking in part with the town and press out card characters …

Instant railways that go round and round are always fun, even if the clockwork engine here runs down very fast.

The PRESS HERE sound card worked well enough but the tiny batteries now need replacing (housed neatly in the Station Cafe central block).

Shhh! Don’t startle the deer and the rabbits …

I like the simple American country station halt.

The train really does fit inside the little shed when folded up and back in its book box.

A fierce looking schoolmistress …

Lovely details of the hobo cooking his breakfast above the tunnel, next to the Station Cafe.

A beautifully quick bit of paper engineering. When closed, the pond folds up for the train shed.

Great little pop up water tower.

What delighted me about this was the pop up rural Americana buildings.

Barns, schoolhouse, railway station, town hall – straight out of Little House on the Prairie or my favourite and wistful Americana website (and Facebook page) Forgotten Georgia http://forgottengeorgia2.blogspot.com

If I had seen another of these books at the time, I’m sure I would have stripped one for buildings or stuck them down a bit more permanently and adapted them for Airfix figures.

Shootout at the station OOHO Airfix figures. My Train in a Tin sadly doesn’t run on these ‘rails’

Instead of cutting it up and sticking it all down ‘better’ I will enjoy it for the peaceful instant pop up whimsy that it is!

Blogposted by Mark Man of TIN on Sidetracked, his railway / gaming blog.

Spurn Head Refortified – Railway Modeller September 1978

Sail power and steam power – Sailway tracks?

http://copsewood.org/ng_rly/sailbogie/sailbogie.htm

An interesting article from some random railway magazines I was given from the 1970s.

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

Blog posted by Mark Man of TIN 16 May 2020

Hornby goes Steampunk – Cogs with Everything!

Geek points – yes, those are Airfix spacemen!

Didn’t expect this one … OO HO figures, rolling stock, waggons … cogs with everything!

https://www.hornby.com/uk-en/bassett-lowke-steampunk

Brief Hornby intro to Steampunk https://youtu.be/YdWO2zAQ7f8

Short BBC interview with Laurie Calvert https://youtu.be/mBzYnHsFeG8

Interesting or humorous development. It might engage some adult collectors or some teenage or child railway modellers, inspired by Steam Punk / Harry Potter / Philip Pullman / Mortal Engines / ImagiNations …

Not sure if I prefer my Steam Punk a little more Rowland Emmett

Dinosaurs and Railways? Like Doctor Who, been there before (or in the future?) Do a Snooville! https://sidetracked2017blog.wordpress.com/2019/10/13/do-a-snooville/

Hopefully it will catch the interest in the same way this Junior Modeller WW1 article did for me in the 1970s https://sidetracked2017blog.wordpress.com/2017/08/15/inspirational-articles-no-1-ww1-railway/

Blog posted by Mark Man of TIN 1 May 2020