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, December 9, 2011

B is for Blitzkrieg

It is one of those perennial questions, often leading to heated debate; Why the interest in German 'Stuff', if you add SS/NAZI party organisations to the mix it gets even more heated, but ever since I have been reading or buying modelling or wargame magazines there have been regular debates on the subject.

And it can't be argued that when it comes to AFV's or Figures (the formula doesn't carry over to warships or 'planes), the manufacturers will tell you the Germans out-sell the rest of the combatants 3 or 4 to one. My brother's Detail was no more an exception than my Airfix kit stash; as could be seen from the box shot the other day, and here they finally are...

Sorting them out lead to 4 piles; Filthy with no stickers, dirty with stickers, needing a wipe and on the right - almost as good as the day they left the factory.

I have read all sorts of complicated suggestions for cleaning vinyl/PVC, and have learnt the hard way not to use paint-stripper (they just blister), there is no great science to it and I've just used a dollop of shower-gel in a bit of warm water, soak for a minute and clean with an old toothbrush.

Before (above) and after (below), they clean up very well, and while the 'wash' finish on the early British Infantry, Wild West and 7th Cavalry did tend to wear-off, the solid colour used here was itself a kind of vinyl, so is pretty much 'welded' in place, and a quick clean brings them right back.

A few years ago Andy Harfield actually sourced some vinyl paints, but there was a poor take-up at the time (I believe) and he only carried them for a year or three. I once did some work for a corporate entertainments company and we used large tins of the stuff to make 'It's a Knockout' (Jeux sans Frontières [JSF]) type structures and I can only tell you that it runs at two to three times the cost of equivalent emulsions or oil-based household glosses.

There are only one or two decent arm-swaps in this set, while my Brother converted (through necessity) a broken MP38/40 guy into a Mauser armed NCO or dismounted AFV crewman? The butt being explained by the fact that a clip-on rifle type stock was available for the Mauser!

I realised while cleaning them that the officer is the only figure from the Afrika Korps set repainted by Bro to fit in with his early-war temperate theatre guys, while one of the missing helmet-stickers turned-up on the rear stock...where I have a vague memory of placing it many years ago!

Notice also how our mother (My MUM!), ever resourceful - has taken the sidecar in for a service and sent it out with an aerodynamic wheel hub...she'd used a domed upholstery pin to mend the broken axle! I can report that it still works perfectly and is neither stiff nor loose, 30-odd years later.

His whole collection putting in an attack supported by an emplaced gun and the Sd.Kfz 215 from Dinky Toys. Between those shots is a pose line-up, missing being only the radio operator from the 2nd pose issue. Broken mortar's teams providing crews for both the AFV and the Britains artillery piece.

The third figures along (in both rows) are often described as having MG34's or 42's (even the wikipedia entry for Detail makes the mistake) when it is in fact - in both cases - a close representation of the Panzerbüchse 39 (PzB 39) anti-tank rifle, why Britains would produce such an obscure weapon (for a toy figure to be equiped with) not just once but twice is a bit of a mystery, although with the early-war uniforms, such weapons would have been common at company if not platoon level.


Monty said...

I used to love Britain's stuff, they were most coveted and like you had loads of bought and aquired examples - great stuff! :)

Maverick Collecting said...

Hi Monty - Glad you enjoyed it, Like the BBC - I consider my job here being to Educate, Inform and Entertain!!!

Although sadly they aren't mine, they really are my brother's, and now I've blogged them, cleaned them and found them a nice new flat-tray box with closing lid, they're off back to the attic with the wasps!

But I will make it a priority to source the DAK, Japs and the rest of the Brit's along with the odd poses not shown here so far...