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.

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

H is for Half-moon!

Crescent to be precise, and as there is a detailed history of the company currently being serialised in Plastic Warrior magazine (you are subscribing...aren't you!) I won't touch on the company much here, except to say that unlike their rivals they never produced Germans, not even to fight their own 8th Army figures, whether this was because Arthur A. Schneider - one of the founders - was a refugee from Nazism or because the Luftwaffe bombed the toolroom is unknown? So we'll just look at the 4 figure sets in 'Modern' garb, that's 1950's/60's so; half a century ago 'modern'!

The beretted 1950's infantry in 60mm, I'm not sure if they actually produced them in SAS berets, of if the guy in pale green plastic with the Stirling SMG is a home paint, having handled many of these when I worked with a dealer, I don't remember seeing them with this colour beret, but then I didn't remember seeing them in that colour plastic either, so it may be a factory attempt to tie-in with the actions in Malaya or on the Indonesian border regions?

The two insets show both base types and both the smooth and the 'sand-blasted' sculpts. The finish that looks like sand-casting, is true for all poses and extends to the Guards, Cowboys and others from Crescent.

The 54mm helmeted troops, the blue ones are really unusual (even 'rare'; a word I try not to use about mass-produced plastics), being the closest they (Crescent) ever got to Germans, as they are 'enemy' from a game or boxed set (possibly an artillery set?).

The standing firing guy has the experimental bull-pup design known as the EM-2 which was trialed at Warminster by the Demonstration Battalion of what would become UKLF (in my time) alongside the FN Fal and Armalite AR-15 (later adopted as the M16), as a result there is a whole family of Toy Soldiers equipped with it, despite it's never being taken into service - ignoring what various combat-wombats have written on the wikipedia page devoted to it; I knew someone who worked with the troops at Warminster in the 50's, and well remember reading the Soldier Magazine article on the 'end game' and decision following the trials; which were won by the 7.62-chambered FN (licensed as the SLR) and got the story from the horses mouth as it were.

As toy soldiers go these are really quite common, so I apologise for the poor quality of my sample, but as you know I'm relatively new to collecting the larger scales and will 'upgrade' over time! Much copied in smaller scales by the industrious of Hong Kong, they will be covered here one day...promise!

60mm with helmets, the radio operator from this set has been pirated as often as the 54mm set (and the 8th Army) but the other five haven't been. Again the insets below show both base types, colour variations and the moulding variance of the kneeling firing figure, who appears to have an M1 carbine/Ruger Mini 14! The other two rifle-equipped troops have FN/SLR's while the 'Tommy-gunner' seems to have a grease-gun?

The 60mm range with beret could also come with a US style MI helmet, which looks OK on the flamethrower, but doesn't go very well with the '58 Pattern webbing of the other figures! The plug-in heads bring to mind a small range of similar figures from Cofalux, who could be Para's, FFL or regular infantry with a head swap, one wonders which set came first? I only have these three, I think there are 8 poses? One is on evilBay at the moment but it's not matched - colour-wise - head to body.

The Blue figures are meant to be RAF Regiment (who secure and guard airfields) and were going to be more prominent as the Hawker Harrier came into service...they could - of course - be used as enemy, and lose - badly...bloody 'Crab Air'; not real soldiers! Having worn this garb daily in the late 1980's I can assure you the kidney pouches of the kneeling guy are too far apart, but the webbing is otherwise very accurate, for 'skeleton order' - lacking all the extra pouches we tended to add, water bottles etc...


Mosstrooper said...

I can remenber as a small child that the figures in the first photo were free with Persil (I think) washing powder , they came taped to the packet . Of course I pestered my mother to purchase lots of washing powder . This must have been at least 45 years ago.

Maverick Collecting said...

Thanks Mosstrooper - It's a new one on me, but very likely; Crescent did supply a lot of premiums to Kellogg's, it would stand to reason they'd be trying to shift them elswhere as well, thanks for the info.


Hugh Walter said...

No one's noticed that some of them are lone Star! It's been five years!