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.

Monday, December 12, 2011

B is for Britains...and friends

Well, this is the rest of the contents of my less than comprehensive Household Cavalry box, and consists in the main of Britains and their clones, one of the downsides of being THE household name for toy soldiers was that everyone else wanted a piece of their pie, a situation not helped by Britains then moving their production to Hong Kong, a place where if you give a man a Lee Enfield at breakfast, he'll give you an identical working copy by teatime!

Britains Herald, Top shot, left to right; UK black-based x2 (made by Zang but marked Herald?); a green-based one from after Britians had bought-in Zang/Herald; six HK for Britains with earlier and later (deeper) bases, and two with integral bases which predate the six separate-based ones.

Below them are some of the mounted from the range, they are a mess and I don't know which figure belongs on which horse, whether the brown horse is correct, whether any of the saddles are matched-up with the right rider....all I can say is that the horse far left is a UK made piece with the Herald mark, the rest are 'HONG KONG FOR BRITAINS'

Top are the Eyes Right Household cavalry, again I don't know if the saddles are correctly matched. Third from the left is the band-master from the Lifeguards mounted band and slightly rarer as he only came in the larger boxed or trayed 'full band' sets. However Cavendish Miniatures had sell-through on the remaining stock of a lot of this stuff and may have had tons of bandmasters for all I know!...?

Below we go from the sublime to the ridiculous, an early Zang for Herald mounted Horseguard (incidentally my favorites over the Royals) with next to him two of the New Metal figures that were just coming into production when my brother and I were turning to other things, Camel, Guinness, and girls if I recall correctly - I don't know what the horse looks like but from the vicious arse-spike on the rider I'm guessing the horse was metal too?

The inset shows how the little plastic sword has blown away a scab of hip, on a figure getting so brittle I was afraid to photograph him at all! The horse is a two-part hollow moulding with glued on saddle, probably all made of cellulose acetate, but the lack of shrinkage suggests some form of early styrene polymer.

Near clones and true clones; Top left is the Timpo lifeguard from the touristy range of little boxed sets they did, his jacket is always a bit too orange in the scarlet. Next to him we have the common HK copies in blue and red, I've never seen the trumpeter in this range, but he may be out there. They also copied the Herald khaki infantryman standing at attention, and the old hollow cast RAF regiment/marching with rifle, along with all the highlanders.

The figure on the end - very play worn - is a bit of a mystery, he has some of the hallmarks of the Speedwell Japanese officer (which could make him Kentoys or Trojan...VP, Paramount or...) and I'm hoping some expert like the 65th follower of this blog might be able to help identify him! Thanks for 'following' Brian - any ideas?

The bottom row are equally lost on me although I feel I should know, they aren't Gem, I have them somewhere else, likewise they're not Charbens or Cavendish for the same reason. They seem to be early British although very shiny-glossy, and have no HK marks, yet the obvious missing make (Hilco) usually mark at least some of a sample? Again any of the five in the previous paragraph could be in the frame.

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