About Me

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No Fixed Abode, Home Counties, United Kingdom
I’m a 51-year-old Aspergic CAD-Monkey. Sardonic, cynical and with the political leanings of a social reformer, I’m also a toy and model figure collector, particularly interested in the history of plastics and plastic toys. Other interests are history, current affairs, modern art, and architecture, gardening and natural history. I love plain chocolate, fireworks and trees but I don’t hug them, I do hug kittens. I hate ignorance, when it can be avoided, so I hate the 'educational' establishment and pity the millions they’ve failed with teaching-to-test and rote 'learning' and I hate the short-sighted stupidity of the entire ruling/industrial elite, with their planet destroying fascism and added “buy-one-get-one-free”. I also have no time for fools and little time for the false crap we're all supposed to pretend we haven't noticed, or the games we're supposed to play.

Saturday, December 3, 2016

D is for Die-cast Ducks

A quick comparison between the two recent D.U.K.W. amphibious 6x6 cargo-trucks variously issued by De Agostini and Altaya (no tilt), Eaglemoss and some Russian outfit (tilt and rope-fenders), they are both a mix of materials on a die-cast body/shell.

I would have scored the Russo-Chinese (Ocean Metal Factory) one the better of the two (marginally) if it hadn't come sans one wheel! The underside detailing is better on the Russian import, but marred by the base-mounting screw-holes, and the provision of a glass-effect windscreen is a plus, but the DeAg,/Altaya version has the nicer nose (with separate tools/snorkel) and cab-interior, so you takes your money (the Russian one wins! £2 in The Works!) and makes you choice!

Friday, December 2, 2016

T is for Two...Hollow cast Westerners

Time for another of those 'don't-know-anything-about-them-but-photographed-them-months-ago-anyway' posts, with a bit of hollow-cast for the fans of such things, and as usual with these it's a thanks to Adrian Little at Mercator Trading for the shots, which show . . .


. . . some of the most copied poses ever, and they're not Airfix! I don't think they're Timpo sculpts either, probably Britaims or Crescent maybe? Anyway, they were copied in hard and soft plastic by various people both sides of the Channel - if not the Pond?

The Lustre set are finished in what was known as 'spirit paint'' and are slighter mouldings, so later copies than the painted ones by Betal Parade. The single-colour ones may well have been sold singly as penny or tuppence toys in addition to the boxed set.

Thursday, December 1, 2016

S is for Still Working on It!


Re. composition page: I got the free Internet a day early, so am transferring all the off-line edits! Then I still have to re-write the composite section and find all the missing links!

We've seen these before but I think, but I've added a couple? 'Composite' rather than 'composition' they are carved wood with brass sheet or wire detailing and a smoothing coat of gesso (a chalk or gypsum paint) or a thick plaster 'slip'; hand-painted, probably Indian or - certainly - somewhere in Asia.

Sunday, November 27, 2016

C is for Composition Page News

I haven't been snoozing; I just sort of lost my mojo! However, sitting around opening folders and closing them again with a mental 'nah!' I rediscovered my mojo for the Blogger-wreaked Composition Page (hands-up if you're now thinking of seaweed!), so I have been busy with that*.

Finding missing images which were mostly on the big 'unknown' dongle, re-writing the lost sections (still got to do 'composites') and so on, I found a few duplicate images which I'll use here to announce the publishing of the page in a week or two, and these, below, which have come-in over the two years since I lost heart in that page, and which I can't be arsed to slot into the article.

This is the most interesting; it seems to be a previously un-recorded addition to the Zang for Timpo 40mm civil range; a man standing in a dinner suit, perhaps being given a ticket by the New York cop we've seen previously (a second one of those has turned-up too, with an equally thin base to the first one, so he may not be Timpo at all?)

Same size but five to ten years older is this Panzer tank-commander/AFV-crewman with the distinctive pre-war floppy beret. I assume he's Elastolin from the base, my Lineol 40mm's have marked, oblong bases, painted grey, while this is green (obviously) and too small to carry a mark; Quality isn't up to Lineol either!

Maybe supplied to a third-party for a tin-plate toy, several variants of those clockwork Gama and Gama-like Pz.Kfw.I's had a little flappy hatch-cover? Equally: it may be - from the tiny base - that he's to stand in a staff-car or truck?

In the 'Other Materials section of the composition page I cover soap and sugar-craft, but as it's a short section with two better figures illustrated, this can go here! I don't know who Baby Brumas was**, cartoon? Kid's comic character? Regents Park zoo attraction? Logo/mascot for Cullingfords? Anyway - a nice little bear figural soap, probably of similar age to the Timpo figure.
 
* - And reading; I've been catching up with some reading, Ender's Game was a good read, the current book on Military Disasters (sorry: 'hinges') by someone I can't pronounce is heavier going, and a bit shit, seemingly lifted from other sources and cut together with over-excitable hyperbole and a bit of plain old inaccuracy!?
 
** - Upon posting - I do now! Awwwww . . . sweet!

Wednesday, November 23, 2016

B is for Buck Bucks Ageing . . .

. . . by 400 years and finds a world pretty-much unchanged, but with very stupid robots and the odd spaceship! I didn't think much of the TV series back in the 1980's and the toys which sat on its coat-tails weren't much better, this one being TSR's effort: Buck Rogers: Battle for the 25th Century.

Also a bit of a box-ticker as it's got a big section in/on Boardgamegeek and has been Blogged elsewhere/elsewhen. It's a funny one for another reason; I have the whole set which when I was preparing a few board-game articles for One Inch Warrior (link below) years ago I realised was missing one of the character figures.

At a show in Birmingham (NEC) some chap had a set's-worth of figures in a tub for about 50p per figure, this was about 6/8 years ago, so I picked the gold character figures out, he too only had five, but I thought "Well, chances are!" only to find that actually Murphy dictates that sod's law trumps chances-are, and the missing figure was the same (it's one of the two women but as they are all in storage I can't report which one).

At probably the last Car Boot Sale I attended, also about 6 years ago, I got four in a bag of game pieces, still with the same missing figure, as one of the two absentees! Some time ago, maybe a couple of Plastic Warrior shows ago I picked up another five with one female missing but still didn't know which one, and with the other growing pile in storage, still couldn't blog the whole set!

Then last weekend Gareth brought me a small bag of stuff among which were the full set: 'Good things come to those who wait'! So I can now Blog them, but all the player characters, killer satellites and micro-rocket ships are still in storage, so you win's some you lose some . . . anyway I had fun taking the pictures!

So these are the six character figures (I think the names are with the right piece) each in charge of an army of a different colour in a game with a Risk-type look (the mechanism however, is much more convoluted), the first thing that become clear is that there are two sizes and what looks to be three sculptors across the set (including the two 'army' figures) and I believe there is a naughty reason for this . . .

. . . although I can't pin them down (yet), several of them look familiar, and I suspect they are all lifted from metal sets of the era (the game was issued in 1988), there were tons of companies around '78/82-onwards advertising regularly in the modelling press with this sort of stuff, and I think that's where they come from?

The smaller-scale hooded-girl on the left (Adarla?) for instance, looks very familiar as a role-play 'sneak thief', the equally small guy (Killer Kane?) on the other end of the line-up also seems familiar, while the guy next to him with the 'aytees' jumpsuit and notebook (Doc Huer, supposedly an older man?) looks likely to be based on the Guildford, Surrey dwelling alien - Ford Prefect - from the BBC's TV rendition of The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy? Again I seem to remember him from a Hitchhiker's set (not the Denizen Miniatures set) announced in Military Modelling's On Parade or G2?

The 'army builder' figures, I've only got the one big one here, but it's all you need for a post like this!

Again a massive difference in size and sculpting style, with the smaller one looking like he's been taken from a lead/whitemetal, post-apocalypse, Sci-Fi, war-games, street-gang, while the larger one looks like he's from a 28mm Role Play range, and possibly based on some cartoon figures from Heavy Metal, the graphic novel magazine, I also remember a set of space warriors called 'Doomguards' who looked a bit like this figure, is he a Drilliet or Mobius character?
 
If you followed the BBG link though, you'll know he's meant to be bigger...genetics!

The only contemporary plastics were the Matchbox Adventure 2000 figures (ironically copied by HG Games in their equally poor Buck Rogers set), one of whom has the same hussar-jacket buttoning (which has a special name I know, but: no Internet at home, library in storage!) as one of the Buck Rogers figures, they (the Matchbox) were also a bit bigger yet.

Although, giving it a moment's thought - as well as possible connections with the TV series and maybe lead figures, along with the Matchbox design similarities it must be said; both the main TV characters also bear more than a passing resemblance to the equivalent figures in the Airfix 54mm set, also contemporary with both the TSR and Matchbox issues, and containing other figures which paid homage more to both Dr. Who characters and members of Blakes 7's motley crew.

Playing on the plains of Planet Bhoringcova! Daleks with mind-slaves (why not - Cybermen seem to have them these days!) maneuver into attack formation, a mixed group of older (but much better) Daleks and Cybermen surround a last stand of the characters, and . . . "Can you tell me where I am . . . and when, please?"

Sometimes in Picasa you highlight say, two Merit shots, you want to collage, then, accidentally - or absentmindedly - hit the collage tool for the set of photo's in the folder above - the result was so abstract that I thought it suitable to subject you to!

I realised afterwards that the gold-backed character line-up has the look of Nigella Fáràgê (rymes with c**t) meeting The Trumpton (war with Iran now odds-on!) in that wholly overblown and tasteless vestibule last week!

A man who decorates his corporate HQ like a set on Dr. Who, circa 1983 has just been elected President of Oohessay, but then, I guess he has kept his hair-style from 1983! Mullets and war, with sexism and rusty pick-up trucks, there's your end-of-year predictions for what to look forward to in 2017, from the oracle at Waltii, get that tinned food in now.

If any of the metal guys recognise the sculpts let the rest of us know, if not I'll do a little digging myself in a couple of weeks (I happen to know I have four days of unlimited free Internet coming-up - whoohoo!) and see what I can come up with!

Tuesday, November 22, 2016

G is for Guns

I was sure I'd Blogged this, but there is no sign of past images on the dongles, and I couldn't find any post to link to when I posted yesterday's Bell set last week, so this post is by way of 'being overdue'!

Not a false memory in the normal sense of falsely imagining a set of figures from childhood, or a wrong scale due to the growth of the hands in adulthood, but rather more simply (or simplemindedly!) convincing myself I'd photographed, edited, collaged and published something I hadn't . . . I wonder what else I think I've publish but have yet to show?

No matter; it's here now . . .

. . . looking much like yesterday's gun - at first glance - but in Merit cloth, not Bell, this is a common design from the 1950's 'dime-store' oeuvre, I'm assuming it's a Pyro design originally as the other vehicles in the Bell set were, but this gun wasn't issued in any of the large Pyro boxed sets, and other makers carried a similar beast.

Indeed - one of the frustrations of having the bulk of the collection in storage is that I have several versions of this gun, in various sizes and both hard and soft plastic; which would go well here - ne'er mind, it's an excuse to return to the subject another day!

The various components of the gun, it's quite a fictional piece, loosely based on (or vaguely resembling) the weapon that was Gunner Milligan's 3-inch howitzer part in the Second World War! Missing from my example are both the small rubber dental-band used to provide fire-power and a runner with 12 of the small shells.

This one has wooden wheels, requiring a complete redesign of the underside to take a copper-plated steel axle. There are other differences between this version and the earlier Bell model, not least the 'hammer', which is smaller, flat topped and less well defined as a moulding, suggesting that the Bell may well have been a mould-swap, while the later Merit was a copy, re-cut from left-over stock?

An old evilBay auction shot of one with hollow-backed, soft-plastic (polyethylene) wheels, a year or so younger than mine (?) but with the same box, along with the one we saw yesterday, with the 'Pyro' tractor wheels. The Merit plastic wheels were also deeper than the HK copy.

Looking at the shells in what appears to be an old cap-carton rather than a Merit 'thing' reminded me I might have them somewhere?

A selection of Randal stuff (as I had the box out) in styrene, ethylene and propylene with metal and wooden parts (both the bomb and the pistol have spring-actions). Between their known brands; Bell, SEL and Merit, they produced a vast range of toys, playthings, hobby accessories, educational/early-learning products and scientific instruments from their HQ in Potter's Bar, over about  a half-a-century - there's always a decent enough selection on 'the 'Bay'.

I then went into the attic to look for the shells, and while I found some and they are in twelve's  and do look 'right' and might be by Bell/Merit, they aren't the right colour, however the smaller, silver ones reminded me that not everything is in storage!

So a three-shot post becomes a nine-image round-up! First-up; we’ve looked at this set on the penny-based khaki-infantry page, where it comes with Britains piracies, it's about the same size as the Merit/Bell gun, and the wheels are copies of the fuzzy Merit one I snapped from evilBay.

While this smaller one is quite common having been included in/with several sets around the end of the 1960's, these two versions sharing the same backing card and mini-ship, but one having a few Airfix-copy figures while the other comes with two guns.

Both of these sets were dated to 1969 by James Opie; we have seen them here before as well I think, or on the Airfix Blog, but 'in context' gives us the excuse necessary to look at them again!

The Woolbro set - clearly considering itself above 'the rest' - has posh, gold-plastic guns, the poor-old generic set gets the commoner silver polystyrene weapons.

Monday, November 21, 2016

D is for Dimestore

Well, this is a pretty thing, is it not? Went to the Autumn/Christmas show at Sandown Park last weekend, I didn't take any 'show' photographs - too busy, but I did shoot a couple of nice bits on Adrian's stall, and also bought a few bits of interest for December's posts.

I presume they are copies of the US maker Pyro's 'dimestore' vehicles and figures; as the later Merit jeep was a copy, and this set seems to be a Bell offering, the earlier brand of Randall, parent of Merit.

One or two of the vehicles were marked BELL, the big red gun (shells/bullets missing? Certainly missing for the smaller piece) had 'A BELL TOY' while another just had a partial 'MADE IN ENGLAND' and with no label remaining on the box, it's hard to call whether they are copies or licensed/mould-swap types.

Certainly, as Merit, the gun would reappear [link]**, but with a metal axle and wooden wheels rather than the heat-welded stub-axles used here. The figures have been issued by several companies over the years and we will return to them one day, but as seen here always flat and - in this case - only the single figures present; the stretcher team and mounted officer of the original set not included/copied.

The tractor is in the US-specific 'row-crop' configuration with the front wheels brought together to make an almost tricycle undercarriage arrangement, as far as I know such a layout was never used in the UK. So not the most useful artillery-tractor either, with its agricultural-specific wheel set-up, but, hey, they were toys!

A couple of the marks and the machine-gunner; clearly designed as a gift-set with the red boxing, wouldn't you have loved to find this under the tree at Christmas? Did you get one? If you did you're older than me!
 
** The red 'link's - should you ever encouter another - are supposed to be note to me reminding me to add the link when I'm uploading the post at the library (then I remove the red text!), in this instance I can't find the bloody post?!! I'm sure I have posted both the gun and the box, seperately, but I might be getting confused with the Jeep/gun combination, so I will dig it (the gun) out this weekend and post it for Tuesday . . . if I have it here? Doh!

Sunday, November 20, 2016

R is for Ranty Guys (including the author!)

There is an anonymous Blogger out there; you may from time to time have encountered his Blog, although I doubt you've bookmarked it, as it's really only a vile litany of negativity! It's a bit of a rambling post today, but how do you answer someone who may be talking about some other 'Brit'?

"Get link for ranty rude guy" said the note on the dongle's 'to do' list when I moseyed-up the Public Library on Monday, I may as well have written 'find Piss-stain's Blog', anyway I got the link:


This was what one of his recent posts said (his posts only ever 'say' stuff, no pretty pictures of toys!)

Politics

Websites related to toys need not discuss politics.  Especially those related to manufactures   And the sent forums or blogs. Really sucks when these comments are by the site owner. And one is a Brit!!!   So please stop
and another . . .

"I don't think a toy soldier site of any type is the place bake statements or discuss the shootings in Orlandob IMHO"
 
Now, it has been my opinion (I have lots of opinions; I'm quite an opinionated chap!) for some time that anonymous commentators on the Internet are like piss-stains - known only to the person wearing those pants.

I don't know if he meant me, or some other Brit? But the "And one is a Brit!!!" with a capital 'a' and three exclamation marks is interesting, does he mean that Brit's shouldn't be Blogging/Manufacturing or 'sent forum'ing (?, another habit of piss-stains is to suffer basic illiteracy), or that he can't believe one would dare? Or: does he mean Brits shouldn't 'do' politics, specifically?

Or maybe - having correctly surmised that Brit's are miles beyond his Neanderthal rut on the evolutionary scale* - he can't believe one would stoop to his level, as many of his posts are political; only toy and toy-collecting 'political' admittedly; but political never the less? Hypocrisy: another of the dubious talents clung-to by piss-stains.

I have slowly come to realise, that while I had high hopes for the democratising power and educational possibilities of the Internet, it will never live up to those hopes until anonymity is disallowed, and all commentating has to be undertaken with the strength of the writers conviction, knowing he/she is 'known' to his/her audience - with all the risks that entails; especially in countries where arms are easy to come-by.

While the Internet will fail to educate until the ignorant can admit their ignorance and take steps to improve their knowledge level - with the aid of the Internet! Not that easy, as first you have to learn to avoid those bits of the Internet peopled by piss-stains, or at least recognise when you are in one of those bits, Wikipedia is the prime example.

It's something they are doing in Africa (often led by poor women organising co-ops) and Asia (more likely NGO involvement), while - in the 'West' - our dimwits wallow in self-pity and the blame-game, sat in front of a financed, wide-screen TV, watching porn in their stained pants, preparing their 'blue-shorts' for the coming victorious march back to the 1930's!

However, I digress, getting back to our man in the yellow trousers; I wrote an erudite and mildly amusing comment on that post (well, I thought it WAS, OK?), needless to say he didn't publish it, Soviet style censorship being a preferred method of those from the land of 'Free Speech' in the Penn-State Toy Soldier Mafia, and he is PSTSM; he reserves his worst bouts of excess verbal-diarrhea for some of its fellow members!

Although when I say he's PSTSM, he's obviously been kicked-out of the main gang by one of the ringleaders, so now he's like the runty snitch who follows the gang around going "I'll rob the store, let me rob the store, I'll show you, I'll let him have it, the filthy [insert nationalist epithet here] fucker, I'll kick him good and do the cash register, let me, please; I'll do his old-lady too, the bitch, heh, heh-heh" only to be rejected, yet again and follow-up with "You fuckers, I don't want to be in your gang anyway, you're all horrid, I'll have you! You'll see!"

All a bit over dramatised but . . . you get the picture, just look at his blog - I failed to find a positive post, it's all negativity, so much hate.

I don't like curry (except chicken korma), so I don't keep trying to eat it (except chicken korma), so, for Piss-stain and any other visitors who don't like my style: Don't visit my Blog - fuckwits!

You know; If you need to be fed fear-friendly, asinine-pap through a tube in your arse while you keep your head snuggly buried in the sand, you've accidently come to the wrong place, don't come here again - is my advise!

Exercise your personal choice through your personal freedom to not physically search-for and then click-on the links that brought you here! Make a mental note: "No to smallscaleworld.com", it's not hard.

The reason I had to remember to get the link to Piss-stain's Blog is because I don't link to it, unlike the hundreds of other sites I do promote, nor have I bookmarked it. As he himself points out; I don't need to know him.

Politics - real politics, not 'toy soldier' politics - govern every moment of every day of our lives, where we sleep even. Politics govern how we get our toys, what they are made of or what they cost. Politics dictates their availability and whether or not we can send them to each other and how much that might set us back. Politics sets the levels by which we can or cannot afford to Blog, or find the time to Blog, or the space to Blog, somebody without political conviction is nobody.

We live in a world which is actually dying, and our response is to start voting for the bully-boys we fought against in the 1940's, that is worthy of the odd mention!

I say all Bloggers should be at least a little political some of the time, it makes you a more rounded person and just like the Facebook where you learn to bite your tongue when someone you love says or re-posts something a little off-colour, so your Blog 'regulars' know when to ignore a post they may not agree with, only to comment on a neutral post a few days later to let you know they're still there!

The point is, all of us think differently about all sorts of things outside the field of our Blog, and in difficult times, such as these, I would argue (as - I'm sure - would piss-stain seek to justify his wittering) we all have a moral duty TO Blog a bit of politics, my posts are getting increasingly political, and I expect will continue to do so, the parallels are there - in the toys.

The next time we visit ships (which we have regularly and they are popular posts) I WILL have something to say about anti-ship missiles and the RN, or cutting-open our four newest vessels to put the corrected engines in and what that'll cost us!

We collect historical and military subjects that represent the forces which have shaped and (in the case of Ukrainian card figures!) are shaping our world, to ignore that, or - god forbid - sanitise it, is to fail to exercise our voice in a world where some are speaking too loudly already: Nigella Fáràgê (rhymes with c**t) springs to mind . . . there I go again: being 'political'!

Some, like Piss-stain, will post anonymous hate, others will post extremely erudite, educated points subtly hidden in the text; I suspect I'm somewhere in-between, think - rampaging bull in a cuddly-toy shop - a mess; but not much damage!

One of humanities least useful traits (and the only one unique to them I think) is hypocrisy, and having mentioned it above must admit I used to have 'handles' or nicknames on the internet, and - to be fair to both myself and everyone else - that's how it was in the early days, but now I don't. I first used my real name on HaT as I wanted to be equated to the work I'd done for One Inch Warrior magazine, not something I could do with an anonymous ID.

Then I realised I needed to be me here as well, so Maverick Collecting went for a Burton's (only a select group of friends use Maverick anyway!) and never came back. Then the Facebook caught me (not for long, that's knee-deep in piss-stains!), and really, it's liberating to be yourself, there's an honesty there - even if you annoy people!

So I at least, have to give some thought to what I say and how I say it, it's easy to mouth-off if you're a piss-stain, but you won't affect anyone's opinion, because they can't relate your wittering to you, you're just another piss-stain.

"Websites related to toys need not discuss politics" - but if they do they'll probably be the richer for it.

===============================================================

If you've read this far hoping for new toys- I've added another tractor to the jig-toy page, with no politics!

*That is of course a tongue-in-cheek comment - we all: are who we are - and Brits, Yanks or Rus, some are good, some are bad, some are evil and some are anonymous piss-stains.

Saturday, November 19, 2016

D is for Dozor

The last set-specific post on Ukrainian Collectable Paper Soldiers looks at one of the new tools in the defence armoury of the UBG, the Dozor fast-attack 'battle-taxi' AFV.

Obviously a lightly armoured (against light-weapons/fragments) vehicle on a 4x4 chassis, similar in appearance to several vehicles in service at the moment, both the French and the Germans have designed similar equipment for their quick-reaction forces (QRF's).

From the other side: Mark (the designer of the range) says that all the uniforms depicted in the sets were recently replaced with new ones, so these are now 'historical' figures, even though they featured in the 2014 emergency - an emergency which is still ongoing!

The Dozor has a remote firing system for the cupola/roof heavy machine-gun which is a useful feature for laying-down covering-fire in the event that a quick skedaddle is required!


A couple more shots, and thanks again to Mark Sergeyev at Ukrainian Collectables for the pictures.

Friday, November 18, 2016

O is for 'Other Brands are Available'!

A quick 'new production' box-ticker with a space theme . . .

I bought this Block Tech set a couple of years ago in Poundland I think, or the now defunct 99p Stores, they're still in Poundland from time to time and in various configurations, with adventurers and road workers and such like.

I held them back meaning to photograph the contents but never got round to it, and it's not as if the pictures I have taken leave any real question-marks over these Hestair Kiddycraft descendents.

Then these turned-up the other day in Wilkinson's/Wilco's (Oopa has swapped shirts with T'klen!), now branded as Blox with a couple of mean orkish-looking characters added to 'smiley-alien' and the NASA types. Wilkinson's have larger sets as well, one has about 35 figures in it for the price of about five Scandinavian equivalents, it should be noted that these - like most clones - have better-modelled feet than the Nordic ones!

If only people would get the idea that all these clones (there are dozens of them now) are just as good as the Danish usurpers, and just as deserving of existence. Canaidia's Mega Blocs are about half the price of Bilund's finest, while the Far-Eastern clones can - like these - be five or ten times cheaper, and kids don't care who populates their creation (unless adults generate brand-prejudice in them), so long as there are lots of them!

Christmas is coming, put cheap aliens under the tree, it's what the little-baby-Jesus would have wanted . . . probably . . .

Thursday, November 17, 2016

D is for Walpamur....no, W is for Duradio...Doh! P is for Paint it Yourself!

Adrian Little (of Mercator Trading) let me photograph these from his stall at Plastic Warrior's 31st show, back in May, and they (PW) have covered them to a greater depth with other sets in their Hilco Special - available from the usual source.

Hilco plastics as made for plastic production, i.e. not ex-Johillco lead-casting sculpts but new mouldings, being three poses each of guardsmen and cavalry, with paint tins of what was then 'household' enamel allowing for Life Guards only (no blue!) and the Guardsmen to be painted-up in a gloss finish, like there commercial brethren, matt-painting came later with Herald and co.!

The six poses: Three of which (household cavalry) seem to have been lifted from Marx, with the guards bearing some resemblance to Crescent's 60mm figures, although date wise, I suspect the trail is actually Marx-Hill-Crescent?

We've seen the lower image before (Marx originals and a Crescent bugler), but I shot the upper, commercially painted Hilco figure this year sometime; I don't know if he came into the collection (and is upstairs) or if I shot him on someone's (probably Adrian's) table? I think he was in the mixed-lot with the Crescent Romans and Cherilea saloon table? If he is here, I'll dig him and a Marx one out again and do a close-comparison as they look pretty-much identical bar the base?

The paint . . . it's, errr, painty! You can do painting with it, you know - colour stuff in! It's in a little tin, call it a 'tinlet' if you like, it comes with a lid, and a label!

A much better set from the point of view of painting as you get red, yellow and blue, so can mix any other colour you fancy, but only three poses, even though the lid shows six from the old hollow-cast lead range.

However . . . I thought they were metal when I got them out - carefully - to photograph, the tray seemed much heavier and when my thumb caught one of the swords I thought there was no 'give' in it. Adrian assures me they are plastic though, so it must have been the extra tin of paint adding weight to my imagination!
 
There are another three or four sets shown in the aforementioned PW 'Special'. And . . . why didn't I do these on TLAPD! Doh (Double Doh!)

Wednesday, November 16, 2016

U is for Unmade!

I have never seen such a desirable collectable is such pristine condition, the term 'Mint' is mightily abused these days, especially on evilBay, but this really is an absolute minty, mint, minter in mint-condition . . .

. . . although that's almost sad, as one feels it should be made-up to patrol a mantelpiece or display-cabinet shelf, someplace, gravelly uttering the iconic 'Exterminate'!

Original price 20p! I know what I'd do with a time machine and it doesn't involve dinosaurs, Alexander the Great, Shakespeare or the pyramids, it involves a quick trip to Webb's News, circa 1965! Although pence is a '70's pricing...hummm, ohgod! It was reduced to clear!!!!

This is another 'guest post' courtesy of Brian Berke for which I am only providing the blurb!

Only 16 parts including 3 wire-axles it could be completed in five minutes I recon! Ten with trimming/fettling of flash . . . although I can't see any!

It's faintly amusing that the artwork gets the head so right and the body so wrong, while the kit gets the body correct and then fails on the head-shape? Brexit and Remain, Trump and Clinton, educated liberal or grumpy fish-wife, we all want a better World, a better Britain or a better life, but oh boy; are we absolutely going to build a dog's breakfast!

Basically it's the commercial battery-operated model (also by Marx) offered as a kit, I don't know if it came first, or if there are the battery lever slots in the back of the body - there don't appear to be any locating slots, shelves or attachment-points for the battery housing, wires or mechanism on the interior walls of the moulding, so I'm guessing the kit came first, and then Marx produced the 'readymade'?

The Crescent 'scale'ing' berserker (seconded to UNIT of course!) gets his ore in early, while the Dalek is still asleep! It's a big toy when assembled and we looked at some dodgy photographs by yours truly a while ago here.

Tuesday, November 15, 2016

F is for 'First Line'

Continuing our look at the output of Ukraine Collectable Paper Soldiers, we arrive at the 'First Line' officers of the Ukrainian Border Guard (UBG). You may wonder why all the forces looked at so far in these posts have been UBG rather than 'regular' army?

I think the answer is twofold; firstly Ukraine Collectable has specialised in the border guards as a specific range, and secondly; the regular army wasn't a big part of the Ukrainian forces prior to the current emergency.

When the Soviet Union broke-up, it was a worry to governments in the '"West"' that unknown, untried, untested 'regimes' such as Ukraine were ending-up in possession of nuclear weapons, especially easy to use, tracked and wheeled delivery systems (battlefield/tactical devises) like FROG's, SCUD's and their descendents - SS20 &etc.

So an agreement was arrived at, whereby if the country agreed to give-up their nuclear force, they would be guaranteed defence against attack by a superior force. Among the list of signatories to that 'deal' were - us (the UK), The Americans and . . . err . . .  Russia!

The deal never had a clause as to what to do if one of the signatories WAS the superior force and it was a promise - clearly - no one kept!

"The United States of America, the Russian Federation, and the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland,

Welcoming the accession of Ukraine to the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons as non-nuclear-weapon State,

Taking into account the commitment of Ukraine to eliminate all nuclear weapons from its territory within a specified period of time,

Noting the changes in the world-wide security situation, including the end of the Cold War, which have brought about conditions for deep reductions in nuclear forces.

Confirm the following:

1. The Russian Federation, the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland and the United States of America reaffirm their commitment to Ukraine, in accordance with the principles of the Final Act of the Conference on Security and Cooperation in Europe, to respect the independence and sovereignty and the existing borders of Ukraine." . . . &etc, ad nauseum for five-more 'meaningful' paragraphs!
 
It's no good The Trumpton threatening not to defend NATO allies (who haven't spent 'enough' (?) on their defence), when America has shown itself incapable of defending a cast-iron guarantee - we already know they can't be counted-on anymore!

It's also one of the reasons why the Brexiteers are such stupid, parochial, idiots, believing that we still hold any 'place' in the eyes of the world, such that we will be at the front of any queues for trade deals - our name is currently mud, in the rest of EU-Europe, in Eastern Europe, in the Middle East and further afield.

That's why watching Boris and May-means-someday-possibly being busy this week posturing to become the 51st State of England & Wales makes me puke - while the other two (Scotland and now, even, Ulster) creep ever closer to independence - the independence the Ukrainians hold so dear.

This particular set also has sand-bag sangers and checkpoint signage along with a pretty standard-equipped, law-enforcement, 4x4 type vehicle.

Clearly with such a 'set in stone' guarantee of future security (!) and a corrupt pro-Moscow president who would rather spend the money on a 'Versailles' palace (complete with zoo and pirate-ship - I kid you not!) than on a standing military, the border guards assumed a greater role as the army suffered chronic underfunding and leadership 'on the make' and have now become the identifiable face of Ukrainian national defence.

Thanks again to Mark Sergeyev for the above  images.

However because Putin is fundamentally a bully, he hesitated after he got the Crimean peninsula, and using the breathing-space, Ukraine has been busy developing new AFV's (as we have seen and will see again in the next part of these posts), and beefing-up the military, if he moves now, he [Putin] will get a very bloody nose.

Not for the first time this year, I'll say there's a war coming, and it came much closer on Tuesday last. There are too many of us, lots of us are very stupid; leaders as well as 'worker-bees', and we are doing too much damage to the planet.

Mother-nature has two weapons in her armoury for culling us, one is pestilence, which - as we have seen recently with Ebola, SARs and Zika - she has found to be less than efficacious these days, the other is to use our penchant for violence against our fellow man, for the utter destruction of the stranger, 'the other', to her advantage and she is stalking the lands of man, sowing the seeds of disharmony as I type.