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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, June 8, 2011

C is for Crescent

Leading on from the previous post one might as well have a look at the small scale output of Crescent, who seem to have provided the moulds (or some of them) for the Tiny Trojan military range. So here they are…

The packaging is obviously not contemporaneous with the contents of this set, which would originally have been tied in with some unbleached or neutral coloured cotton thread; the mounting-card has also been lost over the years.

Of the three AFV’s the armoured car is more common than the two tanks, hinting at a smaller set with just the A/C and a few figures. The 4-post wire entanglements are from the large scale range and are over-scale for this set, but were included in it.

It’s hard to date the origins of the range that led to this set as the T34/85 is a late-/post-war Soviet standard, while the generic Cruiser/Covenanter is a pre-/early-war British item, this box would date from the late 1950’s (?), and the incongruous nature of the contents is not worth dwelling on as it’s almost certainly explained by a total lack of interest in accuracy on the part of the toy-makers.
“…Soldier…Sailor…”. Most of the Crescent small scale metal figures were scale-downs from their large scale hollow-cast range, but due to the small size are - in fact - solids. I’ve only found 6 poses, one of which – as we’ve already seen above – was not apparently produced by Trojan for reasons lost in the mists of time (the marching pose to the right of the lower line-up in the 2nd row), and they came in a wide range of colour-finishes, the later ones being all-over bar the hands, face and weapon, the earlier batches having separately painted bases.

The Naval personnel came with either a blue-green coating, a metallic ‘spirit’ finish along the lines of penny-toys (officer; top left) or in a more realistic navy-blue. These figures came in sets with small slush-cast naval vessels, again in the penny-toy style, with a coat of silver paint, and sometimes a weathering/antiquing in a darker wash or ink/stain. The tin-plate fort comes with the larger scale figures, but goes much better with these!

The semaphore-flag signalers, seem to have come in two versions; big flags (middle guy) and small flags (right-hand figure), but…when you look again at the chap on the left, it’s clear his right hand flag (left as you look), is not the same as the other two, his v-neck is shorter and he is taller, and apart from him; none of the other arms seem to have been accidentally bent?
Could these have come on a card spelling out something such as ‘Crescent’? I stress – I’ve only ever found them with their arms up, but the second and third figures definitely seem to be spelling two different letters?

The Air-force figures, I’m pretty sure they’re all Crescent, the baton-wielding ground-crewman is not spelling out anything and always comes in this easy to damage pose, consequently he is (nearly) always missing at least one bat, and I’ve got a whole bag of similar can’t-direct-a-plane-for-toffee guys! However; once they’ve had a cross-pollination training weekend course with the Preiser synchronized swimming girls (which always end in drunken ribaldry in the Mastermodels ‘Dog and Partridge’), they learn to work in pairs, as these two are!

The top-left photograph shows on the right, a home-cast or other - more commercial? - piracy, something that happens with all these early metal figures, particularly; Skybirds (whom we look at below) and the pre- and immediate post-war Hornby Dublo railway figure sets, which we will look at another day.

Again; Colour variation in both uniforms and base-finish leads to a number of figures to track-down despite the low number of poses, and a seated pilot I’ve put in the Skybirds article lower down the page may be Crescent? Unlike the Army and Navy figures which were taken from the 54mm range, the Air-force/RAF figures seem unique to the small scale sets. A comparison with the Airfix figure shows how much larger these figures are.

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