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, January 16, 2012

B is for Britians British Heroes...and Villains!

What IS the matter with Blogger? Having had us get used to loading images in reverse for the last three years, they suddenly decided to reverse them to the right order a few weeks before Christmas and have now gone back to reverse order...except the first image loads to the bottom of the stack after you press 'done' - it's enough to induce a coronary!

Right - this is arguably one of the best sets of toy/model soldiers/figures ever made in any material. Given that they are over 50 years old ('58 were they issued?) and had not the benefits of modern production used to such effect on some of the soft vinyl stuff coming out of china these days.

Sadly; there were only ever the five poses, Britains counting the horse as the sixth - they usually producing sets of figures in sixes.

Little John and Robin Hood, the Robin figure looks very young, a bit of a boy in fact, probably why Maid Marion fancied him - she just wanted to mother him!! There were at least two moulds for Robin (and probably the others), the most obvious way of telling them apart is to check the feather in his cap, which I did with an old archive photograph, here; Link to Post

I suspect that most of the mass-produced figures of that era had more than one mould for a number of reasons; expected take-up of initial release, popular figures, mould damage to previous mould etc...and Britains often left clues to the different moulds, the Rabbit Family - for instance - come as either a thin moulding or a thick one (with more bunnies ears). Hand finishing of the mould cavity by the engraver would be one way the tell-tale signs could appear.

Little John from a different angle and the Sheriff of Nottingham on a fine medieval charger, there were no other enemy figures and one suspects you were meant to use the Swoppet Knights as a supply of baddies!

Maid Marion and Friar Tuck make up the rest of this set and the detailing on Tuck with the swinging crucifix, fat belly, 'dressing-gown' cords, belt and such like is superb. Marion would make a good Cathy, wandering over the moors, hair swept back by the rain, cloak billowing in the wind and starey, dead-eyes!

They weren't so much replaced (gap of a decade or so) as followed by these guys, and I have to apologise for such a poor sample, I though I had a complete set of these with a paint variant of either the sheriff or Guy, but suspect it is a false memory of the time I got some sets together for customer orders when I worked for a dealer. Any way this is all there was in the box so it's all I can show, Robin and Will are damaged and the other two are missing their staffs (I think the Friar Tuck from Cherilea next post down has the remains of one!!). I shall replace the photo if I ever get a decent set.

Left to right, top to bottom; Little John, Friar Tuck, Maid Marion, Robin Hood
Sherriff of Notts, G...whatisname and Will Scarlett

25/07/2014 - Done! Turned out I'd never had them in my collection; several years ago I sorted out a dozen or so sets when I was working for a dealer as a client wanted a few, we took the rest to a couple of shows where they sold like hot cakes, so I made up a few more sets from the remaining stock. Realising they too would disappear quickly (which they did!) I photographed them, those photographs then became the first in a planned book on Deetail knights, as the book projects have now been spiked, the photographs will make a nice series of posts here in the next few weeks/months. I was going to do them as a page like the Khaki Infantry page (see top of screen), but with the Turks published the other day and Robin already here, I'll just feed them into the normal blog/homepage!

They are not that hard to get and I did contemplate looking on evilBay when I took these shots a week or two ago,but time hurries on. The full set was seven figures (to compensate for the original five!), being; Robin Hood, Will Scarlet, Little John, Friar Tuck, Maid Marion, The Sheriff of Nottingham and Guy de Gisborne...or is it 'du Gisborne'...da...die, dei, der, das...who cares - some poxy village in the depths of Normandy he thought he had regency over, where you can buy cheese on a Sunday and everything's closed on Monday - no doubt!

Alright already! He wasn't from over the channel at all; Sir Guy of Gisbourne, Gisburne, Gisborne, Gysborne, or Gisborn

This set was a well sculpted set, and while most of the Detail range was likewise, you get the feeling looking at them that the sculptor himself felt the weight of the heritage of the previous set as he sat down to produce these?

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