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, May 26, 2010

C is for Celluloid

I have some animals somewhere, and I've already published a cow ('Unknown Animals' post - I think), however these are the only celluloid soldiers I have in the collection, although there are other figures, they're for Christmas!

The three figures with an Airfix Japanese soldier for size comparison, the smaller two are about 45mm, the larger about 54mm. The guy on the left is - I suspect - meant to be a US Marine in 'Red Dress' uniform, but the colours have been reversed, the middle figure, looks Japanese due to the long puttees, yet I think he's meant to be part of the expeditionary force to the Philippines, the colours again being a little fanciful, but it may be that he's intended to depict General Aguinaldo, leader of the revolutionary forces who is depicted as being captured by the US forces in a red shirt, and subsequently forced by the Japanese to broadcast propaganda during the second world war? The Guardsman is obvious.

The bright colours as due in no small part to the semi-transparent paint/ink known as 'Spirit Paint' which used to give a metallic hue to the metal figures of Britains and Crescent et al. sold at the 'Penny Toy' end of the market between the wars, indeed it was used on tin penny-toys as well. Although these figures date from the American occupation period, so 'Dime-store' rather than 'Penny'!

Markings; all are marked Japan, with the guardsman having a large letter 'A'. Although the Marine has no logo, his rifle and arm-string are so similar to the third figure I would be surprised if they're not from the same stable, using a star logo on the questionable figure.

Construction is quite clear in these pictures, Vac-formed halves are glued together with arms connected by knotted strings running through the torso. More complicated designs (particularly dolls-house Dolls) have moving legs, or even jointed heads and waists.

I used to have 6 of the Severn Dwarfs in this material but I sold them in a daft moment a few years ago, happily they went to a good home with a lady in the States who had Snow White! they were even more simply painted with one colour of flat-matt splashed on one item of clothing per figure.

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