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.

Friday, June 3, 2011

J is for Johnny Reb!

Another ACW article, this time a smaller size but not the smallest, these being in the 30mm bracket. The plastic figures are - of course - Spencer Smith, mostly based on old SAE or Tradition figures by Holgar Eriksson, while the metal figures are probably by Minikins (or AHI, see comments).

Mostly shots of a Confederate ‘Advance to Contact’ over carpet crops, I like occasionally to organize a bit of a war-gaming type setting, strangely; the last time I did so it was also an article of Spencer Smith! I guess the sculpting/pose type that makes Eriksson so distinctive seem to lend themselves to a bit of scenery! There’s a resoluteness to the way they march forward.

Students of the smaller scales will also recognize in the Spencer Smith foot Officer shades of the Giant Napoleonic Officer, itself taken from an Eriksson SAE 7YW figure.

Defending a rather pathetic fence is a larger sized group of 40mm Merten, home-painted Union (most of which are actually catalogued as Confederate!), which I grabbed at the last minute, requiring a bit of judicious camera angling! However they do have Spencer Smith Cannon.

The ‘Minikins[AHI?] figures photographed from both sides, this attribution is purely guesswork based on two facts, 1) The mounted figures are marked ‘Japan’ and 2) they appear to be die-cast mazak or a similar hard alloy which Minikins are known for in larger sizes. Whoever made them; they are clearly based upon Spencer Smith/SAE being semi-flat and posed as Eriksson posed his figures.

This woefully unclear or over-complicated (I must get back ‘Publisher’ for Windows!) image is part of an ongoing project of mine to produce a print-on-demand book on the smaller scale stuff from Eriksson, and is trying to show how the range has morphed over the years, so - for instance, looking at the top left, originally all 7 foot poses came in bags of 80 figures, then after a few years hiatus, they were re-issued in bags of 30 separated in to Kepi (P1) or Slouch hat (P2) with the same officers and buglers [I think the totals for those two poses are wrong for the 30 figure bags?], before the more recent single pose issue, which has now become a metal only series (link to right somewhere) with an additional figure - C8.

Likewise the current metal figure ‘dismounted cavalryman’ (CC3), was originally one of the backwoodsmen poses. Notice the similarities between the kneeling firing backwoodsman, similar posed Indian and the 1950’s infantryman previously seen on this blog (click Spencer Smith or SAE in the Tag-list below or the ‘Index’ in the right hand column).

The artillery is less clear and I’m writing to the current purveyors of Spencer Smith separately to see if they can help with identification of the various catalogue descriptions given over the years for both the ACW and AWI/7YW range, but the main piece IS the ACW gun, I’m just not sure whether the other barrel is the other one - sometimes - available in P7 or if it should be the short barrel from the AWI carriage. My P7 contained two identical grey guns as illustrated and no alternative barrel.

I added a quick shot of the poses mentioned above, back-left to front-right; painted SAE, unpainted casting (Prinze August?), Spencer Smith ‘Combat Infantry’ and two Comet/Authenticast (one early US Comet?, the other later Irish Galterra? Or; AHI? See; coments).

This may be a better way of explaining the number changes? I think I did tweak it some more after taking this screen-shot here, but it'll do! (28/06/11)


Ross Mac said...

Very enjoyable post. Are the "modern" infantry at the bottom 54mm? I have some Ghurka's and some homecast highlanders in an identical pose. The Highlanders can be seen in a catalogue here: http://www.miniaturemolds.com/images/Series2007.JPG

I've often wondered who made the originals. I had thought perhaps Scruby who did use Ericson for some of his figures (I think) but Authenticast perhaps?

Brian Carrick said...

Hi Hugh

I think the ACW figures made in Japan may be by AHI who made pirate copies of SAE 20mm and sold them extensively in the U.S.

Best wishes, Brian Carrick

Maverick Collecting said...

Ross - the three at the back are 30mm and the two in front are 20mm - roughly!

Your Highlanders may well be Prinze August? I have some larger moulds similar to modern PA, but bigger and not in PA catalogues from the 1970's onward, so they may have started with larger moulds? Ask Brian!!!!

Brian - You have a blog! Why didn't you tell me, I'll link to it before the end of the week, but not today, I'm rushing!

You could be right on the AHI thing (they were in the frame) but they tend to use lead (I have a little lorry marked AHI) while these are mazac, but anything goes with the pirates, so...?

Thanks for the input - both!