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.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

V is for Volkseigener Betrieb (VEB) Part 3; Civilian Plastics

A selection of bus models from VEB Plasticart, Espewemodelle and MK, they are all Icarus prototypes, although the company did manufacture other makes.

Modernisation in the East consisted of new bolt-on features, a system that was easy to reproduce in braille-scale. Here a new radiator assembly is all that's required to update one model from the range.

As economics improved prior to reunification, peoples diet also improved, this is reflected in the larger driver of the later issue!!! (This is a humorous aside and should not be taken as a serious social (or socialist!) opinion of anything). Also; in the East you either got a coupon to get your hair done, OR, your face made up, but not - apparently - both! And; Can someone tell me what Herr. Hitler is doing driving an East German bus?!!

The little 1:120 scale model (TT gauge) Icarus 'Reisebus' (coach) from MK, halfway between 1:87 (HO gauge) and 1:160 (N gauge).

The MAB Mobile Tatra 815 truck model, sold in three versions, this one with a plank load, as a flat-bed with no load, and with a canvas tarpaulin. The chassis was also used for a fire-engine. The plastic cab assembly was sourced in the West and actually supplied by Wiking, while VEB Kombinat Metallaubereitung Halle produced the die-cast body. A small sprue with the rear-view mirrors was included for home assembly to prevent damge in transit, a very Western practice, which shows how the East were trying to 'raise their game'.

Tie-ins like this were quite common with West German companies like Herpa and Brekina supplying parts or whole re-packed models to their Eastern brothers. As E.Germany was a sealed economy there was no real competition and it was a useful way of getting a slice of a market they were otherwise unable to penetrate.

As an aside; The West Germans did whatever they could within the Soviet structure to help their fellow Germans in the East, and the Berlin senate - as well as picking-up the tab for three occupation armies (Brit, French and American) - made regular 'donations' to E.Berlin, either financial or as more practical technical aid, as did Bonn to the wider E.Prussian 'Lander'.

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