Tuesday, October 31, 2017

Review: Toys R Us “True Heroes” Mythical Warriors

A can of weird!

I have been trying to develop sets of Sword & Sorcery and Fantasy Rules for OMOK and Shambattle. These genre have been supported mainly by metal figure makers. I wanted to find an affordable alternative.

Audrey and I were in Toys R Us to pick up some toys for another occasion. I decided to see if they had any Army Men type figures. Though the Medieval and Modern troops were figures I had sen elsewhere, the Mythical Heroes and Pirates sets were intriguing. Not bad at $9.99 a can. I surmised that these might provide affordable figures.

The Mythical Heroes set comes with a stone bridge, stone dais, pillars, fake rocks, 2 sandbag bunkers, 10 little candles and a red dragon. There are also 42 figures.

The accessories have a sort of medieval feel to them and would work with figures from 28mm to 54mm size. The figures themselves run from around 48 to 54mm in size, 50mm being average. I would guess the inspiration was a mix of Conan the Barbarian and Lord of the Rings. There were seven poses: a Conan / Schwarzenegger type swordsman, two sorceresses, woman with two swords, Orque / Goblin with axe, an Archer and what might be a Dwarf. He looked like the Dwarf in Lord of the Rings, but has a Thor-type hammer. I think the figures are put in randomly, as there was no consistency in their numbers.

Detail and animation of the figures was pretty good. I am sure that an average painter could get great results with these figures.
Sorceress and Female Sword Fighter

At the price, a person could build up a couple of armies large enough for Shambattle for a lot less than he would spend on metal castings. The real shortcoming of the set is the number of poses. Those with a talent for converting  figures might be able to extend that count. The other problem is that all of the figures are cast in the same color. They would have to be painted to indicate two different armies.
Archer and Sorceress

Figures could also be used as is or converted as larger characters for 25mm and 28mm Fantasy gaming. The Goblin / Orque and Dwarf would be easy to convert into Ogres and Trolls. Here is an easy and cheap way to expand the big monster contingent of your fantasy forces.
Thor-Hammer Wielder and Conan-type Swordsman

A nice set for the money! The True Heroes Mythical Heroes set is an affordable Fantasy / Sword & Sorcery resource.
Goblin / Orque and Plinth / Headstone

What came in the set:



2 pillars

5 rocks

1 plinth

2 bunkers

1 dragon

10 Candles

42 Figures:

6 Thor types

6 standing sorceresses

4 sorceresses waving wand

5 swordswomen

7 archers

3 Conan type swordsmen

11 orques / goblins / Pennsylvanians

You can get a free copy of our skirmish game, OMOK, and other games on this page - just scroll down: http://www.thortrains.net/milihistriot/downloads.html

Sunday, October 29, 2017

BMC New Civil War “Battle of Appomatttox”.

Jeff Imel, the new owner of BMC toys, sent me a copy of the “Battle of Appomattox” Civil War soldiers. I have wanted to review these soldiers for awhile. They are quite different from their original Civil War figures. Packed in a bag with large header card, the troops looked promising. The card advertises 26 figures. There are 24 regular soldier in Blue and Gray, and figures of General Grant and General Lee. The blue is close to Swedish Blue; the Gray is a medium shade.

Along with the two character figures of Lee and Grant are line troops. They come in four poses: standing shooter, kneeling shooter, reloading rifleman and standard bearer. There are three of each in each color. Size is within the 54-56mm scale. Grant and Lee run taller. From bottom of foot to top of hat, Grant is about 64mm. Lee is about 62mm. Both officer figures are very well-detailed.

The standard bearer is a two-piece figure. His flag is molded separately. This is one of the most dynamic poses I have seen for a toy Civil War standard bearer. Because of his pose, he could be a good basis for conversion to other poses. The simplest would be to put a pistol in his free hand.

The kneeling rifleman is looking over his right, a realistic detail. The standard rifleman is looking over his rifle, as if he fired and is getting ready to step back or is firing as he steps back. Face detail on these guys is good.

These are toy figures. And as such, they succeed. The figures have a degree of character thanks to the detailed faces. Hands on the rifleman remind me of the hands on the fellow in the Lido set of WWII GIs, specifically the guy with the submachine gun. Come to think of it, BMC sells a set of those figures, too.

For a game in a pinch, the “Battle of Appomattox” set has its merits. Just enough troops on each side for a game of OMOG 19C. Just add dice, rules and impromptu scenery and there you go!

There are going to be more standard bearers than one needs, so consider conversions. With a little work, that empty have can be holding a pistol, a rifle or a bugle.
This image is from the BMC Toys site


As I understand it, many of the original BMC molds were owned by the factory, not BMC. When the factory owner died, the molds were put up for auction and sold to someone else. The figures are now sold under the brand name Americana.

Get OMOG 19C Skirmish Game Rules free here: http://www.thortrains.net/downloads/OMOG19C.pdf

Saturday, October 28, 2017

Navy Tattoos for Painting Miniature Sailors

This is an interesting poster that describes common tattoos used by Navy Sailors. These apply to US and UK sailors, and possibly to Australians and New Zealanders, as well.

Saturday, October 21, 2017

Ogres and Giants on the Cheap

Fantasy fans: here is a quick fix to make affordable Ogres to face 25mm to 32mm scale figures. Tim Mee made a set of cave men that came in four poses. One had an axe, one was throwing a stone, one had a two-handed club, and a very odd one had a one handed club. The odd one looks like a cross between the Hulk and Conan the Barbarian. Some conversions are as simple as altering the weapons and a cool paint job. others do a little sculpting to alter the heads and some details. They look cool. Hey, you know what they charge for metal figures from reaper, Warhammer and such. Using the Tim Mee cavemen, you can have a whole squad of Ogres on the cheap.

Here is one example that I found on the Internet:  http://cheapfantasyminis.blogspot.com/2016/03/my-giant-ego.html

Tim Mee Cave Men

BTW - a few years ago, there were bags of recast Marx cavemen for sale. They also had a few poses which could easily be converted to various monsters. Again, a lot cheaper than fancy metal castings.