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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.

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

T is for Tiny...Tiny Trojan's

The reason I ended up with 7 articles was that I wanted to cover the ‘Tiny Trojan’ figures, but to do that I needed to compare them to their Crescent originals, which lent toward further comparisons with Skybirds and Dinky and so on…

The Trojans are bigger than both Airfix and BritainsTrooscale’ who were aiming at a market which was quite dominated by the smaller European HO railway equipment, and the associated buildings, trees and so on that the war gaming fraternity were interested in campaigning their Airfix figures through!

They are however the same size as the small ranges of pre- and post-war figures by Skybirds, Crescent (1:72) and Dinky (nominally; 1:60), and it’s this early inability of the toy industry to standardize a size or range of sizes that leaves us collecting figures that climb in quarter-millimeter increments from less than 15mm to 70mm+

As can be seen in the picture at the bottom right, there were two distinct issues of these figures (Khaki below and a greyish brown – the more common – above), with further ‘collectable’ variants as well, such as the black or unpainted helmets of the former issue.

The Crescent figure with an asterisk seems not to have been issued by Trojan in plastic. The lack of a discernable size difference between the Crescent originals and the Tiny Trojans would suggest that Trojan inherited the moulds for the Crescent range, why they dropped one pose and created 3 new ones may never been known, a guess would be the level of damage to the moulds when Trojan got hold of them and/or a desire to fill gaps in the ‘Infantry section’ with an anti-tank weapon and a machine gun.

All the Trojans in this collage are from the set known to the hobby as set ‘B’ or set ‘2’ or ‘The second set’, as neither set is identified anywhere other than the catalogue list, there is no guarantee that this is the correct way round, apart for the fact that these poses seem currently less common than the other 4 poses and it seems reasonable to assume they were in production for a shorter time.

The additional poses (over the Crescent range) in this set are the Bazooka-man; here seemingly based on a pose common to a lot of Eriksson’s kneeling figures (posted the other day in an ACW article), which by the late 19050’s were everywhere in all sizes; and the flailing around/stabbing pose which was common to a lot of larger scale figure sets of the time such as Marx, MPC and so on, indeed it bears a striking resemblance to the stabbing 8th Army pose from Charbens.

Set 1/A/The first set; The extra pose here is the prone machine-gunner, clearly sculpted by an amateur, probably from someone else’s casualty (?), and I’ve shot three together to show that he is meant to look like that! His weapon seems to have been sculpted from the weapon on the deck of a common pocket-money/bath toy MTB of the time from Hong Kong, and is a scaled-down twin-Oerlikon (with shield) from the front deck of the said boat.

The other three poses are from the previous metal Crescent range. The fact that the gloss paint on the browner/khaki figures probably pre-dates the matt colours of the other batch, and the fact that the other 4 poses appear in both styles, would point to neither being more or less common that the other, and that larger numbers of ‘Set B’ are just ‘still to be found’; three shop-stock boxes of ‘Set A’ having turned up in the last 12 years - on both sides of the ‘Pond’.

Added 29/02/12 I've been waiting a while for this, now it's here - the 'shop stock' box; this is the second one to turn up in the States, and like the previous one contained only the four 'set A' poses, originally about 36 sets of them.

Purely by a process of elimination (which is by no means accurate), I have tentatively identified these (‘T?’) as being from the other two sets in the Trojan Catalogue; Passengers and Rail Staff. Both are taken from the Britains/W.Horton/Trix (‘B’) range of ‘Trooscale’/Lilliput figures.

Again, evidence - lack of size difference - points to Trojan (if it is them) getting hold of the moulds originally used for the metal ranges. The better detail on the plastic figures can be explained by the use of a different material in the mould, while the head/hat differences of the mother and daughter (Britains; No.LB/517 Nurse and Child) is easily explained as being due to flash rather than remoulding.

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