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. I will 'bite the hand that feeds' to remind it why it feeds.

Saturday, January 3, 2009

R is for Robinson Crusoe

This is almost certainly from a board game, and further the board game almost certainly pre-dates 1965'ish, as by then any game which had not adopted plastic was using/experimenting with die-cast mazak type alloys. He is hollow cast lead and you can see the air-hole in his head where the excess lead would have been poured out while the figure was still in the mould.

Moulds were constructed in the same way as bullet-moulds, two halves hinged together, the mould would be closed, a quantity of molten lead would be poured in, shaken and then the excess poured out before it set.

This process would have to be quick as without the heat-source of the crucible, lead cools very quickly. Indeed the fact that the air-hole was so often in the top of the head, is probably why so many 54mm figures used to divest themselves of their heads, as the cooler lead leaving the mould would settle in greater quantities in the head cavity leaving the figure top-heavy, after a few hits with a matchstick-gun, the head would just roll off!

Finally after waiting a few seconds, the mould would be opened, the figure checked for 'missing bits' and then (still too hot to handle) dropped in either the finished or the reject bin, which is why even mint tied to card in box examples can have dents in them.

This figure has a 'spirit paint' finish, originally in a yellow-gold over silver. The spirit paint was like a modern ink wash, and the colour of this figure (who could have been left silver) suggests a set of identical playing pieces in different colours, if anyone has a spare in another colour I'd love to track some down.

The actual name of the game is unknown to me, however I am sure it's Robinson Crusoe as his garb follows traditional printed renditions from the authors description, and stands exactly 40mm tall.

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