About Me

My photo
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.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Pruning a Wall-Climbing Rose

A couple of before and afters, I'm afraid the pictures are awful, but the CCD (or whatever it's called) on my camera is failing, however, if I put them up here I can email to ask Fuji what the hell's going on with my less than three-year-old pile of expensive scrap plastic? And before they answer they can come and look at this!

The ticking clock of my employment here is this rose which was my first job, the day after we moved-in and which we've just cut for the third time, the photograph really is bad, but you can see how bushy the rose gets by the end of the autumn. This was taken about three weeks ago?

This was taken on Friday (the camera actually TRIED this time!), a good 85% goes, you take out a couple of the old woody shoots at the base, follow them through to the ends, and once you've pulled it all back down through itself and the wiring you can see what you need to do to shape it.

This year we actually took a lot off, as there were several strong new shoots growing strait-up from the base in a close bunch which are now fanned-out in the center (about five of the nine you can see). It looks harsh but you know what they say..."Let your enemy prune your roses".

Friday, November 19, 2010

News, views etc...Airfix Blog has content!

I've finnaly loaded some posts on the Airfix Blog here;

Airfix Collecting

As my camera is definitely on the way out and real life might take me off-line for a while shortly, I thought I'd better get it started!

If anybody has an Airfix-heavy blog or website they'd like me to link to on that page let me know.

Monday, November 15, 2010

B is for Back-catalogue...Airfix again...Yawn!

It's been a while since I pushed some 'stuff' to the Airfix addicts, and while I was digging out the SPG photo's the other night, I put these to one side, they are meant to be going on the Airfix Blog, but if my Camera's on the way out, that'll be on the back burner for a while!

The Elephant again, born out of the Tiger program as an expedient way of dealing with a (surprisingly large) number of chassis for the runner-up in the procurement program. Here with the ready-made Tiger I's from Airfix (top left) and Atlantic. The green one is missing the exhaust covers, no real problem as the troops used to remove them (if a passing wall or tree didn't rip them off first!) but the drivers hatch is a pain!

The seven poses of SAS in 1:32 scale/54mm size, if you click on the image and then go to the other side of the room from the computer, you'll see what they would have looked like if they had ever been made in HO or OO guage! Clear? Seeempulles [funnymouthnoise]

Saturday, November 13, 2010

S is for Self-propelled

It don't rain but it pours! My camera is playing up, I have to rewrite last nights post and suddenly there's a visitor spike of a hundred people an hour!! So a quick small-scale'ish article for the visitors from PSR using old archived photo's from a year or so ago...

The SPG at the back has been seen here before, the Jean-Hoefler 'dime-store' toy, this time pulling the other mounting for the gun moulding. The Airfix Ferdinand/Elephant is an oldie but a goodie! (and hopelessly overvalued on feeBay, they're not that rare, it's the box that's rare). While the little air-portable ASU-57 is a bit larger at around 1:48, a die-cast model from the former Soviet Union, where they were often made in the same factories that made the real one's in factory 'down-time'.

Far to the fictional side of the tracks are these three; The dark one is by/from a dozen names (Kilty's Bonnie-Bilt, Built-rite, Sears, Argo at Loser's, J.C. Penny etc...) and while originating in the US, seems to have been moulded over here at some point as part of a mould-share with someone. The pale one - again - has been seen here before, and as I explained at the time seems to be Tudor*Rose.

Both the above have a mechanism in them which enables the commander to pop-up and down like a demented road-runner while his barrel thrusts in-and-out like a demented....er...well, in and out anyway!

The metallic space-tank is from Dibro, who also seem to have produced a tin-plate toy tank under the 'Gibro' label, I don't know if they are separate companies or if they used the first letter as an in-house product code? I thought these came in metallic blue as well the other day, but it cleaned-up the same colour!

Friday, November 12, 2010

W is for Wüsolin...not Düsolin!

Badly needed help with this one and it was rapidly forthcoming after I published a fine post on Düsolin - that well known (once, now long forgotten;) manufacturer of floor-polish made from crushed beetle-juice and camel-dung!

In the last photograph it's so clearly a 'W' now, I don't know how I could have struggled with 'D' for two weeks, although in my defence I had tried Oüsolin and Wüsolin! Anyway thanks to the efforts of Paul from Paul's Bods (link to left) we now know it's Wüsolin and that they are apparently very rare, appearing quite infrequently on German eBay and were designed with the intention of enhancing the small range of 40mm composition figures issued by Lineol alongside the 70mm biggies.

This was given to me by Adrien (Mercator Trading) at Birmingham, and seems to be an unusual piece of Nazi memorabilia, if such a thing isn't an oxymoron...Nazi nightmarebelia?

This one is clearly [Ha Ha! the beauty of the edit feature!...read the comment section!] marked 'Wüsolin' (and the sharper-eyed among you will also have realized that my camera's CCD is failing, so we'll see what Fuji have to say for themselves), it could be named after the brand of what would have been - then - a 'new' plastic?

This [Still] needs input from German, Austrian or possibly (?) Swiss-German readers/followers, as apparently the firm is still in existence, indeed, they may be modern figures? But that doesn't really tie in with the asking-price of a couple of non-character figures on evilBay recently.

Questions then; Does anybody remember this or the other figures in the range? How big was the range? When did they florish? Has anyone got some in their collection or tucked-away at the back of the hall drawer, or in the attic/cellar/shed/garage?

Clearly depicting the single-gonad equipped, short-tempered, arm-wagging, foot-stomping, war-mongering, young-men in uniform loving, Parliament-burning, poor-footballing, crap painting, take-us-all-to-hell of many a rhyme or ditty...Herr. Adolf Hissler (as Nostradamus tells us he should have been called) is painted in the style of a composition figure, and has the rough texture of one too, so may BE composition? The paint is also slightly tacky/sticky, but I'm not going to start scraping/poking what might be a very rare figure?

More for British/Antipodean followers - It is interesting to note he seems to have ended-up with one of Baldric's theatrical 'licorice' mustaches? I guess Baldric left it in the dug-out the morning of the Big Push and the opposing unit's painter & decorator found it while measuring-up for new wallpaper, once General Melchet had moved his drinks cabinet 18 Inches back in the direction of Paris? BhaaH!

Joking aside (and I'm half-German, so it's not like when I have a go at the French!) it looks scarily like Hitler...and while the figurine may be composition...

...the glued-on base is clearly an early injection-moulded piece of plastic, and here you can see (through the rainbow tinted lines of a 60's TV, indicating the failure of expensive modern photographic technology) the machine-tool marks, as the recess in the mould was ground-out in a circular motion.

If the figure is plastic as well, that might explain the tackiness of the paint as industry had to relearn paint technology in order to deal with the new plastics as they came along. It's not the polystyrene of the WHW figures, but seems too 'good' to be a phenolic/cellulose-acetate from that time (mid-1930's to 1944'ish?), which one would expect to see warping/shrinking/cracking by now.
[the above was written when assuming an age they may not - now - have, so does not apply if they are modern'ish of course! And the two on eBay are much smoother looking, I'll try and get permission to use the image...]

Disclaimer; The subject matter and all images pertaining to it including the part-Svastica/Swastika symbol are presented here as a historical artifact/curiosity of possible importance or interest to the small community of Toy and Model Soldier Collectors and/or any Militaria bods who may find it, and in NO WAY represents my views, political affiliations or approach to fascism, and should not be taken as any attempt to glorify or form of glorification of; The events of the mid-20th Century, the National Socialist movement in Germany, The Holocaust and/or the Second World War.

Indeed, having mounted guard on Hess, I can tell you they were nasty pieces of work.

PS; I'll re-post these photographs at some point when I have a better camera, but a new camera is not on the horizon - budget-wise - for the foreseeable future.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

L is for Lindberg - Little and Large...

A bit of a contrast with this one, from very small to very big and both kits from the same maker!

The Little; I've misplaced the tyres on this one and probably lost the windscreen! Approximately HO/1:87th scale American Roadster of some sort (I've put it away and I'm not digging it out again for a name, it's not a core area of my collection!) with an Airfix figure for size comparison.

It's the Mercedes SSK...87thscale.info/lindberg

The Large; George Kearton was exhibiting this at the Central Toy Soldier Show in Birmingham the other Sunday, and has now put it on evilBay here: Lindberg 1/16 scale American Civil War kit ,worth it's start price, in my opinion, I've seen it in lists occasionally but never 'in the flesh'. It's all there and purist collectors will only need a bit of oven cleaner on the horses and figures to return it to near-mint, I think it needs to be built!

George - having recently moved to the west country - is settling down to plan a update of his seminal 'Collectors Guide to Plastic Toy Soldiers 1947-1987', originally published by Ross Anderson. So watch this space for news of that.