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

Little Wars Railway – Peter Dennis PaperBoys Paper Soldiers 54mm Civilians

The fabulous Little Wars Paperboys volume by Peter Dennis of 54mm figures

Whilst I was cutting out more of the civilians from Peter Dennis’ Little Wars PaperBoys book, I thought that these figures not only look good on a toy theatre stage but they look very much like railway civilians with their bags and baggage.

With all the head and arm variants, these are highly versatile Victorian, Edwardian and early 20th Century 54mm paper card figures.

Peter Dennis’ PaperBoys 54mm paper civilian figures as passengers on Little Wars Railway (the LWR and HGWR)

Tucked away on the platform is one of my paper suffragettes (made using one of Peter Dennis’ figure outlines for scale).

Keen eyed ‘Little Wars’ / ‘Floor Games’ fans will spot an advert for Jabz Hair Colour (as handwritten in Floor Games by Wells or G.P.W. one of his two sons).

I presume they are meant by Peter Dennis to be evacuees for the War of the Worlds element of the Little Wars PaperBoys volume of H.G. Wells, as well as civilians for Wells’ Little Wars.

The station is plastic OOHO Hornby platform, Lemax Christmas Village lantern, whilst the Halt building is our family’s old wooden farm buildings from the 1960s.

You may have seen a similar platform set up with 54mm hollowcast and new metal figures on my LWR Little Wars Railway blog post here on my Sidetracked blog in May 2020:

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

The train set and track is from a toy plastic battery operated Wilko Western Express bought in 2018.

Blogposted on Sidetracked by Mark Man of TIN, 21 December 2020.

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

On Railways and Floor Wars – The LWR, FWR, the HGWR

Coal train of the HGWR

The HGWR – H G Wells Railway Co. – established in 1866.

The LWR – Little Wars Railway Co.

Little Wars Railway’s Western Express

This line is also served by the FWR – Floor Wars Railway Co. established 1912.

H G Wells in his magical little book Floor Games had several fantastic little Railways illustrated by pen and ink sketches and photographs.

See it here: https://archive.org/details/floorgames00well

Notable disasters of the Floor Wars Railway

Lots of Floor Wars inspiration here! Blog posted by Mark Man of TIN 2 April 2020