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, September 1, 2010

P is for Paper and Pulp (card)

A post full of coincidences tonight, some contrived, some pure fluke. The first is that while I've been planning this for a few days, it comes just after Mannie Gentile covered the Walkerloo figures on his blog; Toy Soldiers Forever and Scott B Lesch posted a nice sheet of Pelerin style French Fire Brigade papers on his blog; Things You'll Like. So a little bit of synergy moving wisp-like through the blogger-sphere there!

The second, accidental coincidence is that one of the reasons I've been planning this for a few days is that I'd read - a few weeks ago - that Edward Ryan had died and posting on Terry Wise reminded me I meant to do a tribute to Mr. Ryan too. Now when I caught the news of his demise (on Treefrog - I think) I assumed it was recent, but it turns out the initial announcement was a year ago today Washington Post, well technically tomorrow, but that's less than twenty minutes away so it'll be today before this post goes 'live' (he actually passed away 29th August).

Which is further coincidence, as I only took the photo's this afternoon in order to put something between the fort posts and I'm only splitting the fort posts because I started to rather by accident (I could have gone Part 1, 2 etc...As I had with VEB and others), more of that when I tie them all together in a day or five.

It's sad that another of the 'Greats' has gone-before, if I had to save only five of the books from my Library, his would be one of them, the depth and breadth of his research, over a lifetime was extraordinary and the shear number of companies and individuals mentioned in the text and/or appendices is second - in number - only to Garrett's great work. Paper Soldiers is not just a fine reference work, but also a beautifully illustrated casual read, or coffee table browse!

When we first moved here, I had decided to start collecting larger scales, as the 'whole picture' requires it and there was a slowing-up of new information in the smaller scales. Now I'd always collected card and paper in the small scales, so it was another coincidence when we went into Wantage for the first time - nearly two years ago, where does the time go?! - with directions to the local second hand bookstall.

[Side note; there were very good booksellers in both Wantage and Newbury, the Newbury one was Invicta, whom I remembered advertising in the modeling press years ago, sadly they closed this spring, although with hardbacks for a pound and soft-backs for 50p toward the end, I did 'fill my boots'! They will continue to have a bookcase or two in a corner of the Wantage arcade though.]

Well when we found the Arcade, they had these (Edizioni Storiche Europa) sheets of card Napoleonics for a couple of quid each, not the 19th Century stuff Ryan specialized in, but - and I'm guessing here - 1970's? Now I couldn't justify buying them when we first moved in as money was tight and other thing's were more pressing, so each time we went in to browse (hide from the rain!) I'd check they were still there and re-hide them (in full view - I give others a fighting chance!) until I was able to get them, by which time two had gone...Hay Ho! So the first Soldiers I purchased in our new home, were among the first large scale I bought. If not a coincidence; more synergy!

This only got photographed (Parragon/Simon & Schuster, 1991) because it was waiting around to go in the tub, which is half-way down a stack, behind something else and quite heavy, and I've pulled my back out fighting with a lawnmower, a stubborn choke and some long grass, not coincidence but fortuitous happenstance?

The crate in question! The beauty of card and paper is you can store a lot in a small space - if it's not made up! The Medieval Tournament above will end up in the stack of modern/current production you can see at the bottom of this crate, being Dover, Steve Jackson, Fiddler's Green and Usborne. The bus you can see is an old Riko re-packaging of something I think has been mentioned before? But that might have been on one of the forums, anyway until I get the crate out it'll have to stay Riko...(Price and Etheridge?). ANOTHER coincidence; The single-page list of small scale card/paper manufacturers was in a file on the floor, where I left it last night, meaning to put something else away!!

And with down-loadable war games paper becoming really quite popular at the moment, lets hear it for coincidence, spare a thought for Mr. Ryan on the anniversary of his passing and remember that in the wider world of Toy and Model soldiers, card and paper have a larger place than I've so far given them.

(Added 1st September 2012; It was Price and Etheridge! Repacked by/supplied to RIKO)

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