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.

Friday, November 24, 2017

A is for Airborne Armymen Again!

One day I'll run out of decent titles for these posts, but it isn't today! In the lot Jim sent me the other day, there were two large paratroopers of a design we've seen before here at Small Scale World, both in passing and in depth - when I followed up on the Fairchild version.

Well; we now have another UK branded version, this time Rosebud; better known for their dolls but we have also looked at their construction sets here, in the past. There are differences between the two, but if anything they help to sort them out, as while the Fairchild is the better finished, the Rosebud is the fuller-detailed, (rounded buttons against Fairchild's hinted buttons - that sort of thing) suggesting Rosebud's was first and the Fairchild came later when techniques had improved, but there's no evidence for it and whichever was first, we don't know if the other was a copy, or licensed, although both companies were operating on (or off!) the A1/M1-corridor (if memory serves), so they probably had talked to each other about the toy.

The other paratrooper Jim sent is third from the left in the above line-up and is the biggest Hong Kong version to date (here; I may have others in storage), being a copy of the Rosebud sculpt with the larger, slightly lop-sided helmet, as opposed to the current Jaru (et al) offering, which is a re-cut of the Fairchild version with the slimmer/rounder helmet.

Most of the others follow the Rosebud version, the red one has a question mark, as he is so clean he may be a more recent 'China' rather than older 'Hong Kong' moulding, the apparent rifle-but sticking out of his side is the remains of a runner-tip.

From the left, Jaru Shelfie from the 'States courtesy of Brian Berke; Jaru at Asda Supermarkets version bought by me a few years ago and finally Kids Fun from The Works last year sometime? There are subtle differences between the ConUS and UK cards, but they may be no more than batch changes and of little significance.

Close up of the new donation from Jim with the marking in the same place and similar style as the Fairchild one; in the parachute cavity.

Both the Brits alongside their colonial pirate, the image serves to suggest further that the Fairchild came later as both the Rosebud and the HK copy are heavier sculpts and share some features, while the Fairchild has slimmed in the adding of detail, clearly: if the Fairchild had been around first (to be copied) the other two wouldn't be so well-fed! Also note how the HK copy has 'got' the Rosebud face, the significance of which will be seen after the next image.

When I said the Rosebud had better detail above, I wasn't contradicting the fact that I'm now saying the Fairchild has more detail, it's that the Fairchild has better engraving, but the details on the Rosebud are richer somehow . . . painterly; if that makes sense? And if it doesn't; you should stick to the pictures and not read the blurb!

The HK copy however, is the most fascinating example of the pirates art, there is no sculptural element here at all, whatsoever; from a arms-length away he looks as believable as the other two, yet look closely and you realise he is a series of milling-marks and that’s all, no engraver was involved in the preparation of the moulding, well, maybe he was allowed to spend fifteen-minutes sanding/polishing the face?!!

Layered like a 3D deposition-tank or sintered-powder  model, the fine-lines are where the pantograph has been used to cut straight into the steel tool block (possibly brass but by the 1970's steel was becoming the norm), transferring rough shapes and contours across from the (almost certainly Rosebud) work-piece being copied, and after a test-shot had been taken of that first stage, the decision not to finish the mould-tool by hand was made - time is money. Webbing detail and pockets etcetera; being also and only milling marks - it's crude, but it's clever.

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

I happen to know the Rosebud original was sold as The Red Devils Parachutist as I have an evilBay auction image of one 'on-the-card' from ages ago in the Rosebud folder on the dongle, and it's interesting to think this pose is now probably over 50-years old, yet the current, well-spread and easily-available Jaru sculpt/re-sculpt is still not shabby!

Thursday, November 23, 2017

M is for Minions!

This is an odd one as I was sure I'd handled them before, but once I got them out of the box, they ceased to feel familiar, turns out I'd selfied a similar set last Christmas in TK Maxx, today's was the reduced end of line/scruffy last set in The Works a week or two ago.

This set differs from the one we saw lasttime in a number of ways, firstly - there are no duplicates and secondly there are non-minion items, a monster rock-ape-dog-boar thing and a unicorn?

Now I've noticed that unicorns are everywhere this Christmas (or this autumn if use of the 'C'-word is still too early for your sensibilities!), mugs, toys, cushions, egg-cups, stuffed-toys ('plushies' for those who indulge in baby-talk), fleeces, you name it I've seen it unicorn shaped or unicorn decorated in the last few weeks, 18 months ago you may remember a similar summer fashion trend for flamingoes, that didn't last long!

Another way they differ is that they all have their arms down, the previous set had far more animation in the individual sculpts included. This pre-production publicity shot also has them all with a printed logo on their dungarees which didn't make it to the production batch contained within the box!

The artwork is cleverly arranged to reveal the full extent of the playability; the heads come off and you can pull the monster-pet's legs out, and  . . . err . . . that's it! Although you can also pull the feet out with a sharp tug, they are actually - like the gloves to the hands, the arm-sections to the dungarees and the goggles to the faces - glued on/in.

Lining-up against the new backdrops! Four of the characters have the same basic body, arms and legs (including the pair on the left here) while one is taller and thinner, the other shorter and fatter - whereas the previous set seemed to have more variety or uniqueness between sculpts; with the Despicable Me 3 set only the heads differ on four of the figures.

The other two with common parts, the reason they didn't seem so similar when I'd opened them is that last time I only studied them on-store, and later from the shelfie. Now, it looks in that old set as if they do all come apart fully, but I suspect lost components led to poor customer feedback and as a result with this set the gloves are firmly attached; trying to pull them off stretches the arm, and as it's made of that crumbly new faux PVC - damage would have occurred had I persevered!

Likewise I tried to prise the arm/side units out but they are stuck-fast somewhere in the middle of the figure. However you can remove the feet, by turning sharply until you hear the non-solvent bond between the two polymers snap and then the feet become almost too free!

They also serve who only stand and wait! The previous set had 4 each of 5 poses, this set has one each of six, plus these two.

They're really just Kinder-egg capsules with dungarees and faces drawn-on aren't they, let's be honest; there's nothing new under the Sambro sun!

Be Bad!

Wednesday, November 22, 2017

3D is for Pen

Ten years ago I was chatting with a German toy collector as we walked into town for a meal one evening, turning from toys, to talk of non-toy stuff - as you do - we got to discussing the then newsworthiness of the Too Much Stuff hypothesis, which had recently been proposed by some talking-head at the UN, EU, Times or somewhere equally worthy.

During which discussion we both agreed that we too; had too much stuff, and mishearing his pronunciation of a well known German discount store, I was eager to agree with him about the cheap but efficient (usually German) power tools I had been buying, we then enthusiastically regaled each-other with our tales of mini-drill purchase, big-drills, drill-stands, powered-drivers, garden tools, paint-strippers and etcetera, only to realise we were both talking of our identical trips to collect either the Lidl 'forthcoming items' catalogue, or stuff from it!

Being a faithless whore, I also patronise Aldi, but I prefer Lidl! And it was to Lidl I repaired a week ago to grab this little gadget . . .

. . . advertised in the previous week's flyer, I wonder if my German colleague also trotted-down to his 'local' for a 'fix'? And - yes; I also got four packs of stollen-bites!

Having seen similar things in News, Views Etc . . . the other day, only slightly cheaper and aimed at kids, you may understand why I chose to invest in something a couple of quid more expensive but aimed at adults . . . I needn't have bothered, and if you are thinking of a 3D pen, my advice is try the cheapest kid's one you can find - as a sort of 'tech-primer'.

This is the object of my attention, and there were only five left by 3pm on issue-day, you have to be quick with Lidl's offers, or stay at home! But you usually only have to wait about six-months for it to reappear and it's often less-subscribed on the subsequent releases.

Although sold by Lidl it is in fact a Karsten product and the support sites are Karsten's not Lidl's. The first thing I can tell you is that so far I have been unable to reproduce anything remotely resembling the blue pyramid on the cover.

"Ergonomically designed" it definitely is, a 3D printer it definitely 'aint! What this is; is exactly what it looks like - a reduced-scale hot glue-gun! The fact that you load it with a rigid, continuous, polymer filament rather than soft, rubbery, synthetic wax-based sticks is the only difference and that's one of detail, not technology.

There is a second difference which is technological, the feed is automatic rather than trigger- or thumb-based, but you still have to operate a button to activate the feed - so for all practicable purposes is it a glue-gun . . . with a fine nozzle.

You get three 10m x 0.6mm filaments (an 'industry standard' size - there's a few of these pen-designs around now) of Poly-lactic acid polymer (PLA); a relatively new plastic which is certified 100% bio-degradable and even compostable - so don't make anything with it you might be planning on leaving to your children! You can however get ABS (Acrylonitrile-butadiene-styrene) filaments which will last in the environment for thousands of years, so an ethical choice there?!

I found the filament feed to be problematic from the off; the instructions are adamant that you mustn't force it (manually push it in or pull it out), but leave the auto-feed to do it . . . from brand-new it failed to successfully achieve both, several times within a half hour or so (and needed manual 'help'). It's also important to cut the filament flat (at 90° to the cable length) in order for it to feed correctly.

Also like a glue-gun the nozzle cools with use and the thing stops occasionally to get a mental grip on itself, and if it gets too hot (cooks-off) it starts spitting and leaving bubbles in the substrate. To alleviate the later, it switches-off automatically if you don't use it for two minutes, and like a glue-gun you will need a bit of scrap for over-dribble, for cleaning the nozzle, for colour-changes, flushing &etc..

Once it has stopped it takes up to 80 second to reheat before you are green-lighted to go again, while stopping the feed doesn't stop stuff oozing out, ruining your work if you're not careful. The fact that the 'off-button' and the reverse-feed button are one and the same is also bloody annoying.

The pen is described as a '3D' (for three-dimensional) pen with a 'print-head', but as you can see from my introductory efforts; it is neither a pen nor a printer; what this is, is a deposition modeller, or material-deposition device and nothing else. A glorified, hot, icing-piper - splodging stuff roughly where you want it - indeed; a practised pastry-chef might well get better results than the average user and would certainly get better results than me!

It oozes, briefly molten plastic under relatively low pressure (in comparison with injection-moulding pressures), with little accurate control, in order to make novelties - which you will see from the Faceplant page and linked Youtube videos - are variations of the things previous generations have made from raffia, matchsticks, beads, empty lavatory-rolls, tooth-picks, straws, cotton-reels, tissue paper, scissors & glue et al.

The reason I am being so negative about this pen is that I don't want people being too disappointed by it; or one of the similar animals out there prowling for a bite of your 'hard earned' shekels.

I thought it might be useful for converting figures or filling gaps in models, but the plastic is pretty unworkable once set - having the properties of nylon or polypropylene, or indeed its stable-mate filament; ABS, the polymer of choice for electric kettle manufacture, vehicle interiors and engine-bay-furniture type stuff!

It cools too quickly to join cut-n-shut figures, and while it would fill gaps, trimming would be laborious and it may not take or hold model paints (older spirit enamels or newer aqueous and PVA types) well? I haven't tried painting my efforts yet, but I suspect paint would easily scrape of small pieces, or flake from larger constructions.

In the upper image you can see my attempt at the lower image; my initials/moniker! And when I tried to remove the diagonal between the two uprights of the 'H' [using the new, sharp enough for bone, blade I had replaced in my Swan Morton No.3 handle, after the 'proper' glue-gun glue removal exercise and steel-fracture, suffered working on the lip-balm bear project the other day (keep up!)] it all fell to pieces, because if you don’t stab the joints into each other, they don't actually stick together as one bead of substrate has cooled too much and the other is cooling as soon as it leaves the pen.

This means that even if you use one of the templates provided to make, say; the butterfly, it will be shedding bits about the house for ever after, especially as it's bio-degradable and will only ever become less stable!

It will be useful for building up scenery (but that will prove costly in filament), likewise it may have applications working with wire-armatures, or using its own crude armatures* and I'm sure if I get a brown and green filament I will produce passable trees, but it's all a bit of a faff for a simple thing dressed-up as future-tech-today. And the trees would be passable with Lego, not as war-games terrain, they would still need paint and flocking.

* There are more expensive, more pen-like models out there (like the original TV-advertised one a few years ago) and they may be better suited to producing uprights or horizontals, but I tried, at all three feed-speeds and various human-arm speeds, and couldn't produce a measured upright of constant thickness to the point I wished it to finish, thin filaments of 'stretched-sprue' being the result of attempting a sudden, pull-away finish, with lumpy, collapsing stumps being the result of attempting to halt at the desired point.

While all horizontals sag unless they are held-up until they cool, something which requires a third hand while the nozzle dribbles, forgotten, out of the corner of the mind's eye!

Where it may have some use, is in restoration/mending of old hollow-casts? He adds after reading Scott's article on Mexicans the other day, getting heads back on, or fixing arms, the ooze being more easily cut, filed-away and/or sanded from a metal substrate . . . worth a try! But I don't think you could use it to say - rebuild horses legs?

Links




There are other videos you can navigate too from the above and in one of them someone builds a box (with a different brand of pen) but you can detect the editor's film-cuts at the end of each stroke, so you are never shown the full process.

I will persevere with practising and report back again and if anyone else has experience of these types of 'tools', I know lots of people are interested in the practicalities, and applications. It may be useful for hidden mends in restoration for instance; pink filament might have an application in the restorative surgery of Action Man or Barbie joints?

Get the dark-green filament and you could have a decent stab at making The Creature from the Black-Lagoon, brown - a Bigfoot, white - a Yeti! Or orange for a REAL swamp-monster, but there's no way you can accurately model that hairpiece with this pen!

But - seriously; it's a lot of faff for something you may get out once in a blue moon? Like a lot of the tools I've bought from Lidl over the years! Digital micrometer, soldering iron, wheeled car jack, jack stands, watchmaker's screwdrivers . . . all useful stuff . . . occasionally!

Tuesday, November 21, 2017

Q is for Quick One!

Have we had that title before? I don't think so and that's another 'Q' in the tag list . . . bargain!

This was also 45p in the Basingrad charity shop, I got a bear and a kangaroo AND change for a quid! I put the ten in the box . . . what do you think I'm like!

The tub of lip-balm was a bugger to get out, in the end brute-force and a screwdriver blade did the job! Quick clean-up of the glue-gun gunk and . . .

. . . I've got another bear for the cartoon animals tub, another Blog post, but not another tag; we've seen NPW novelties before here at Small Scale World!

4D is for Famemaster

Just a quick one from the full-scale world, it looked better in the 'flesh' as it were; I promise, the colours were richer and worth getting the camera out for!

We have reached the point where more than half the leaves still on the trees becomes more than half the leaves on the ground, and the switching between rain and frost over this weekend will do for autumn and it'll be winter for a while.

I shot the 1st picture above on a trip to Basingrad to pick-up stollen-bites from Lidl last Thursday! They are much nicer than stollen-loaf or stollen-roll both of which are too bready and too marzipany for me, but Lidl's stollen-bites are biscuity yet soft . . . like little spiced rock-cakes; excellent. Four packs in the stash . . . well three-and-a-bit packs, I opened one on the way home!

I popped into the charity shops while I was walking through town and picked this up for 45p! It's by 4D Master who made the puzzle Tiger (tank) we looked at over seven years ago (link), and this is really quite exquisite; 22 pre-decorated pieces which have to be assembled.

Undergoing construction, it was relatively easy for me but then I'm over the hill; it should be; a younger person would get more fun from it, but the finished product is worth the effort whatever your skill level.

Normally I wouldn't buy stuff like this and they haven't featured in The Works as far as I know (as the tanks did), but when it's in a Charity shop for pennies; it's a must and something different for the Blog.

A very fine model of a Red Kangaroo, certainly giving Mr. William Britains' old grey model a run for its money, both heads turn and while the Joey can be removed you only have his upper-half and a square, peg hole scar in Mum's pouch.

Without the packaging I'm assuming (again!) it's supposed to be a red kangaroo as . . . err . . . it's not grey! But I know there are lots of kangaroos, including Giant ones, while nobody's explained Wallabies to me, are they somehow different in shape; or just small kangaroos?

And if they are just small kangaroos, how come the giant kangaroo hasn't got its own name like 'wallaby', but suggesting largeness as opposed to smallness . . . this stuff should keep you awake at night; we've put men on the moon, but the jumping-mice are all mix-named!

He's definitely a giant, red or not! A few I had near to hand as a comparison, obviously the larger you get the better the detail and the more accurate the sculpt ought to be (tell that to Cherilea's UN forces!), and the puzzle joins don't detract too much from the whole; although the camera-flash helped with this shot - compare with the four-angle above...

As I was putting away the previous lot I remembered I had more Hong Kong produced generics, so a panic shot, posed on the bottom of the box ensued!

Monday, November 20, 2017

C is for Combat Transporter

Possibly released by HTI (Halsall) as early as 2001, but more likely 2012/13 (it's not clear), this is still available around the place, I shelfied it about 2½ years ago, published the shot in August of this year, and finally weakened and bought this last week.

A bit of a weakness, it was, but it wasn't all that bad at £6.99, and a bit of a weakness for tank transporters was involved too! However and actually it was the 4x4 VAB-alike that swung it!

Better pictures than we saw last time, scale is all over the place but it is with all these new production, smaller scaled, Die-cast metal Chinatanks. Contents include the Transporter at a good OO/25mm, the VAB'ish APC at around HO/20mm and a Merkava and Gazelle/Aluette which are better suited to 15mm war-gaming, but may be a tad big for them? In addition abroad sign seen in many of these sets over the last 15-odd years, so probably bought-in.

The contents in mid-play, you've gotta have a play, easier to justify if you're taking photographs for a Blog article, but it's still playing! You would find two wheeled AFV's on one transporter, but with a longer trailer than this one's scaled-to, the reason this one fits is becasie the trailer is a bigger scale hence the spare width either side of the carrier.

Big rigs are big, but they're not too big to be pushed off the road by a boat-nosed AFV, this one is. But as a standalone model, is exactly the kind of thing operated by all these outsourced logistics companies used by modern militaries. The 5th-wheel works, although I think the fit would get loose with lots of play as it’s a styrene female working against a metal male part, and the latter would pare-down the former.

God Knows? Is it a late Gazelle, a newer Alouette; it's a small toy helicopter and will go in the tub with the other 'odd' die-cast helicopters!

As stated a bit big for the currently faddish 1:120th war-gaming, probably about 1:100? I'm not going to start measuring it and working-out ratios or percentages, I just don't care enough! Barrel seems to have slightly more elevation than the real thing, at that angle the breech is on the floor!

Historical footnote - it's exactly one hundred years ago today that these rumbled clanked over the mud at Cambrai, giving my Bavarian cousins a bit of a shock!

This is the kiddy I was after! I've got several with tons of Asian style parade markings daubed all over them; indeed we've seen a couple here, but there are more in storage, the models been around for at least 12 years, probably longer, but this is the first in a camouflage - I may have a plain, green one somewhere?

I'm sure the thing on the passenger cupola (I'm assuming left-hand drive!) is a water-cannon for riot control-work and versions do exist in fire (the red lights still on the roof!) and police/SWAT colours . . . nice!

Sunday, November 19, 2017

W is for Well, Well, Well . . .

I've had a lazy few days this week - as far as the Blogging goes, I've been busy doing other things, but it means the post pencilled-in for today probably won't happen 'till Monday (it's Friday in real time!), but I have got a new queue formed, just not finished sorting out the images or texting them up with blurb!

So this is a quickie that was ready to go, and Monday's will post later in the day than usual, if at all!

You see an awful lot of this stuff, there was David Winter (was it? John Winter?) the local lot over Alton way with their Cotswold bollocks, while these Lilliput Lane things turn up all the time, this was £1.45p in a charity shop, a bit pricey really; for a charity shop (as far as my purchasing habits go!) but with no chips (common with this stuff) I picked it up; the size helped.

It's funny, I'd been looking in a modern 'chain' jeweller's window, a few minutes earlier, at a bunch of glittery, enamelled animals and thinking "All these will be in charity shops in a year or two for two-quid-ninety-nine!" They were so heavily decorated it was hard to tell if the base medium was metal, ceramic, poured resin like this well, or an injected polymer.

As a species we have become conditioned to take our pick from a monumental pile of shite, and there's no stopping us. We toy collectors justify our activities with the thoughts that A) we are saving 'old' things, B) it feeds our need to hunt, C) presses a nostalgia button and that D) any shite we pick-up along the way is for completion - to tell the whole story, or for a 'project'; but I can see no similar excuses justifying the collecting of resin blobs made yesterday . . . unless they are pirates in plaster-blocks - of course!

But who wants to cover a mantle-piece or the glass shelves of a flat-packed 'shrank' in resin blobs of fictional architecture, or simplified, cleaned-up, examples of real, old buildings? Which - resultant collection - represents no real place or community known to man. This lump was probably fifteen or twenty-quid when new, priced as an 'entry-level' piece to draw in new collectors, the big pieces can be hundreds of pounds!

Don't get me wrong, I can see the justification for a touristy Shakespeare's cottage or White Tower model, but a collection of buildings you've never been to and mostly can't ever visit?

Poured resin is the simplest and cheapest of technologies, and these buildings are modelled not with skill, but practised technique; brick-work and tile work is hinted at with no attendance to scale, and the decoration is likewise technique-driven (washes and dry-brushing) rather than artistic; bright, blemish-free colours leaving the subjects looking like illustrations from a kid's storybook, brought to life! Rose bushes don’t look like that, a stand of lupins is half dead-petal brown!

And of-course the resultant villagey-townscapey thing you end up with on your shelf of treasures has no constant scale, and few small details! However, for war-gamers the larger (in 'scale') buildings can be ideal for 10mm gaming, the smaller for 15mm gaming, while the few pieces of street furniture - the 'small pieces' mentioned just now - can be suitable for 20/25mm gaming.

This is such a piece - with the bucket being a large water bucket in 20mm or smaller horse-feed/watering-bucket in 25 or 28mm?

Die you Britisher devils!
Donner und blitzen!
Achtung; Spitfire!
Gott in Himmel -Teufuell!
Englander Schwinehund!
Mine Beutelmaus hat verstopfung!

Crappy resin well -
WELL-BRILLIANT!

Saturday, November 18, 2017

C is for Coming Soon . . . or Came and Went!

The 'came & went' is because you will recognise various bits as having been Blogged in the last few weeks, but these plunder posts seem to generate quite a bit of interest if the stats are to be believed, so; this is some of the stuff which has come in over the later summer and autumn.

August and September's bits and bobs sorted and waiting for the attic door to open, there's a Sandown Show's worth here (September's) along with several bags of moshlingkinderpops from a charity shop! Looking at it; we've had about 40% on the Blog already, the rest will be filtered-in over the next X-years!

On the left are my show purchases at Sandown Park last weekend, less the stuff I purchased from Mercator which are on the right, there's a scale distortion, with the right image having been collaged bigger than the left image. We looked at the Lucky dude the other say, the rest are very-much on the back-burner, but we may look at the two Cherilea animals as the paint is so good!

This lot came from 'Jim' who was supposed to send me his eMail or feeBay ID so I could credit him properly, but he forgot! Anyway he's a fan, or at least visits the blog and let me have these for very little money and there's all sorts of interesting stuff to be filtered into future posts.

I feel a little guilty about the Charbens Guards, as I had them, thinking - in poor light - they were the rubber HK-manufactured ones and because they were in a large bag which was useful for putting the rest of the sortings in and it wasn't until I got them home I realised they were what they were, and I already have them - in similar condition, so I'll take them back to him at the show in March!

A certain S.P. tried to liberate the Marx Wild West lady within seconds of my paying for her, but I will do a comparison with all the other versions next time I get the Marx box out, so she stayed!

This was the floor findings at the end of the show! The suitcase opens (dolls?) and the astronaut is from Dinky's moon-buggy I think?

Jim has been trying to bring a load of bits and bobs to the show for me for a while, but with table moves and such-like it didn't happen for a couple of shows, and he had it ready for last Saturday but forgot to put it in the car. Kindly he posted it to me, and on Wednesday this-lot turned-up mid-morning!

All sorts of interesting bits and pieces, but mostly one's or two's, so things which will filter-in to future posts; gap-fillers rather than 'box-tickers'!

Does anyone recognise or know the origin of the 6" GI? He looks to be from a larger toy, with base-plugs on his feet, possibly a heavy-weapons crew-member or AFV mechanic? I'm guessing 1970's or early '80's, Hasbro, Kenner or Mattel type 'Big Box' toy of some kind?

Other highlights are some nice flats, two funnimals, a Blue Box knight with original kerthunker (I believe students of such things refer to them as maces!), a lovely stacking policeman in an early styrol; I've only previously seen clowns like that, various bits of Cherilea and a Hong Kong cave man, he's often found with his fig-leaf missing so nice to get him fully-wardrobed.

We will look at the Gem (here carded as 'Ge-Models') bagged set in close-up soon, do a comparison of those paratroopers with some we've seen here, some of the Khaki types can go to that page and the Bergan/Beton-horsed figures will go on the Airfix page dealing with them, so all useful grist to the mill and thank you Jim.

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In addition to the above; Small Scale World has received two parcels from Peter Evans, some of which have been blogged, some still to come, various other Charity shop bargains (some still in edit), again some in the queue of articles, some sorted into the pile, one headed for the still-in-edit composition page (don't ask!), and there have been some stand alone things like the boardgames.

Brian Berke has sent lots of shelfies in the last three months, and I've been taking a few, I also weakened and bought something - previously seen as a shelfie - today (a few days ago in Blog-time), which will post tomorrow and there was Ed Berg's package of 1950's Khaki polymer. It's been a good autumn - thanks all!

Friday, November 17, 2017

T is for Two - Bear News!

It's far too early for the Christmas decorations to come out, we are quite traditional and while we rarely leave it 'till Christmas-eve anymore, mostly because it takes several days to dress the tree now and we have friends who often work Christmas and they like to see it before they decamp to Warwickshire for three weeks, but we can still get in the mood here at Small Scale World . . .

. . . by looking at the bears; not THE bears, they are still in the attic, but the new recruits! Four this year, and there's still over five weeks to go, I'll bet at least one more signs-up for tree service!

Meanwhile, Christmas isn't Christmas without a big, feel-good, family, comedy-movie, and this year it's Paddington does Porridge in Pentonville Prison. . . apparently! Brian Berke sent this shot of his wife's medium-sized Paddintons and it looks like three of them have done tree-service at some point . . . it's what well-mannered bears do!

T is for Two - Shelfies

Just in time for Christmas, you may want one or the other or both of these!

Currently being cleared through TK Maxx here in the UK, Schleich blind-bags . . . err . . . blind-packs! You get two figures for 4.99 (I gave them a miss!), which as I've seen these for seven-odd-quid each seems a bargain, but then a few years ago you had £7.99 Revell Epixx reappearing as Blue Box for 4.99, only for most of them to pop-up in Poundland for a quid! So you pays your money and takes your choice with this 60mm+ PVC stuff.

Safer ground with these up-scaled, sub-piracies of the old Galoob sculpts of Starship Troopers, this time from Lanard, but across the pound; "only at Walmart", you lucky buggers, but I'll be checking Asda, just in case! Thanks to Brian Berke for sending these shelfies.

I just love that a sniper is crawling around on the lid, shooting-up the store!

Thursday, November 16, 2017

F is for Follow-ups - Combat Soldiers

Technically I'm a 'toy soldier collector', but it's a long time since the collection was more than 50% military, if it ever was, and even if you include all the cowboys & Indians, armed spacemen, the sailors and airmen, it probably won't get far over the halfway point! But I try to deliver a decent number of green 'army men' here, and these are follow-ups to they!

I've known for some time that my Taffy Toys stretcher has damaged carrying-handles, so I was very pleased to pick this up at Sandown the other day. We've seen them before more than once and with Brian Carrick's also on the Khaki Infantry page, they've had a lot of column inches here for 8 or so poses of odd-scale, odd era figures, with non-service weapons!

Also of interest with the new acquisition - he has clear signs of paint? The fleck of green on the pillow came off the base of one of the Timpo Brit's he was bagged with for a few days - I suspect, but the flesh seems to be all his, what's left of it! Given the number of other companies [possibly] in the frame with Taffy, could one of them have had a painted issue? For instance those TN Thomas space figures have a painted PVC version; alongside unpainted PVC and polyethylene issues and it's not 'firm' that they all came from Thomas?

We've seen the Chap Mai Land-Rover quite recently, with the figure frame Blogger a while ago, but I picked-up a few spare figures so shot them with the 'rover, and then looking for something else found this . . .

  . . . which is the whole set, beautifully shown-off in a box-opening type video, but she can't resist playing with them, para-drop AFV's! And THAT's obviously what the funny thing under the Lanny is - that fouls the carpet - it's for attaching the para-drop frame and parachute! I've got to find the whole set haven't I? . . . God knows where I'll stash a two-foot-by-three-foot polypropylene Hercules!

I believe it was sold here as an unbranded generic through both Argos and Index (before the latter folded), but may have been branded to either of the stores or Chap Mai (but not in the catalogues) and will have had different packaging and/or branding in different markets.


I had one of those anonymous eMails from an anonymous fuckwit with the misfortune to be born fuckwitted who suggested I had used the same few figures to pretend I had all three sets of the DFC-MTC  Mini Military Playpack's I posted on the Hong Kong small scale, Giant or Not Blog back in Rack Toy Month, he said "I guess you think your [sic] clever and you tricked folks", so - fuckwitted one - actually I think I'm clever 'cos I can guess which 'folksy' side of the pond you reside! 

Dude - if I've got all three boxes and all three playmats, I don't think it actually matters how many of the figures I might have in your addled brainbox. Wotafuckwit.

To add weight to his conspiracy theorising; there may well be a difference in the figure count of one set (or two sets) compared to the three published posts as I found a crawling figure on the floor a few weeks later and added it to the Battle for Berlin set, as A) it only had one prone figure, B) it only has one vehicle and might have an extra figure and C) I didn't want to upset the count of the other two, when B has some validity!

And I can't be arsed to check my own posts to further 'trick' folks! Sometimes you do have to wonder why you bother . . .

 . . . anyway; while I was at it - I did a better colour comparison!

Also now on the Gaint... Blog, but shown here in last year's RTM was the Wing Lung post , and here's the missing larger scale base mark, it's not quite as neat as my 'from memory' graphics, but it's not too far removed!