The tools for the job and some suitably cheap China made seaside toyshop figures.
I wanted to make some simple cheap 54mm Boy Scout and Girl Scout figures for my Scouting Wide Games for the Tabletop project.
Simple cheap Pound Store figures to be turned into 54mm scouts for playing tabletop Wide Games.
Adding a simple card brim to a helmeted or bereted figure can change the appearance
Trimming off the gun and adding a scout staff starts the transformation. A suitable bush hat helps.
A simple Scout stave or staff was added using a pin vice to make hand-drilled holes through their hands and hole drilled into the base to take a wire staff, or superglued as needed.
Some of the figures like this cowboy already have the bush hat.
Small Pound Store 30mm conversion next to the larger 54mm-ish figures
Girl Scouts of America from Modern American Troops?
As I worked on the Boy Scout figures, one or two looked as if they might make passable Girl Scouts with bush hat and the addition of long skirts, so I sought out more of these poor quality figure poses in my rummage box.
And now for the female scouts … and scout mistress, a former paratroop officer.
I wanted to prove that some simple cheap and distorted 54mm figures could be usefully transformed into Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts for my tabletop Scouting Wide Games project. I wanted to use them in games like the Snow Fort recent snowball fight scenario. If it didn’t work, no good figures would have been lost.
I chose figures that looked like they may be throwing snowballs.
However I chose to paint the bases bright toy Soldier style green instead of grey or white to make them more versatile. Likewise the pink cheek dot is a toy soldier style touch.
The figures, as one clever blogger has chosen for his blog title, ‘Just Needs Varnish‘. Some gloss varnish should keep that toy soldier look and preserve the paint through hours of game handling.
Marx plastic and Britain’s hollowcast lead 54mm figures are shown here alongside Pound Store plastic 54mm.
A quick diversion into Khaki Soldiers
The poor flattened, thin and distorted pirate copies of Matchbox 8th Army figures proved worthy conversion material into khaki troops, using the same hole-punch bush hat technique.
Turning Pound Store Plastic Soldiers into Girl Scouts (of America)
Some of the poses chosen look a little masculine in stance and do not look that suitably ‘demure’ for the tomboyish early Girl Scouts in America or Britain.
The most successful figure transformation I feel was Maud the Scoutmistress, previously a cheap pirated Airfix paratroop officer. I had snipped off the submachinegun before I realised it could be a Mary Poppins type umbrella. I fixed this mistake with a cocktail stick, quickly superglued on.
The other Girl Scouts figures were not so successful but then to be honest we were starting with some fairly crude, disposable distorted Pound Store Plastic figures in the first place. At a distance they would pass.
The long skirt needs rounding out with more polystyrene but generally matches the long ankle length skirts of early Girl Scouts.
Getting the female shape right would probably require trimming and bulking out with Milliput / epoxy putty green stuff, however we have an allergy to this in the household that makes its use a problem. So more careful fine use of PVA and tissue paper in future is needed.
Girl Scouts practising firearms drill for the real dangers of frontier life in America.
Daisy, Alethia and Edith take their names from some of the very first Girl Guides registered in Savannah Georgia America, taken from the Savannah Orphans Asylum Girl Guide Troop.
Fascinating research reading and photographic reference.
These 54mm scouts were cheaper than chips, mainly they cost time, effort, a lick of paint and PVA.
Was it all worth the effort? I hope so and hope that these cheap figure conversions will prove passably useful for playtesting Scouting Wide Games scenarios.
Blog posted by Mark, Man of TIN on 17/18 October 2019.