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.

Thursday, August 12, 2010

K is for Kommantoe! - Solpa Commandos

While the Cowboys and Indians turn-up quite a lot, along with the various larger scale sets putting in the occasional eBay appearance, most of the small scale Solpa sets are quite hard to locate, and I must start by thanking Thanassis for finding me these, he'd been looking for several years when this turned up, and though the box is quite worn. it's all there and in one piece.

First thing to note is that the artwork hints at all sorts of Hong Kong favourites being available, the Crescent/Blue Box WWI gun, the Nissen-huts and tents, Britains Palm trees, Marx barbed-wire etc...but not in this set, so they might be in other sets?

This is what was in the box, all standard HK fare, there was also the windscreen of a - missing? - Jeep. Not actually marked HK, but I'm pretty sure that's where it came from, the trucks have different wheels to the usual HK ones, but the remains of the mould numbers of the HK mouldings are under these so it looks like they were produced in HK for Solpa. Trucks are ex-Kleeware models while the boat seems to be a new design.

The figures, again we have a mix of the usual fare and some newies; top row are the old Britains Khaki infantry poses, bottom left sees two Airfix Germans while the other three are relatively new and dealt with below.

As before no hint at HK, but - with the exception of the last three, typical HK figures, and the plastic seems to be HK style. The black marker pen on the officers helmet (sorry, I cropped his hand off! Rough justice indeed as he was already missing the other one!) seems to be a factory thing, two out of four trucks, half the figures and the boat all have crude 'detail' added with the pens, an enemy force?

The three 'new' poses. The one on the left seemed familiar and I posed him with the hard plastic Hasegawa kit-figure, but think - upon reflection - that he is based on the similar radio-operator from the early Esci-Revell GI's kit. The middle figure is the old Crescent 8th army pose, much copied by HK, however he's been given a vague German helmet!

The last pose is the wackiest! He seems to be based on the Fujimi kit-figure from the Japanese Infantry set! An interesting set of non-HK, HK production, if you know what I mean, and size as you can see is about 24mm. Arlin Tawser points out that it's more like the Marx WWI German of similar pose, and he's right, the elbow is all wrong for the Fujimi figure (and the legs are too close together), next question; Did Fujimi copy Marx!!!

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