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, February 10, 2012

HO is for Half-O Gauge, not scale, not size, not ratio - GAUGE

Being the distance between the rails on the model and their relationship to the real thing! The crap you read about scale, size, ratio and gauge on the Internet (especially when someone is trying to justify their having brought out some figures slightly bigger or smaller than the norm) is enough to make you hair grey....oh! - It already is!

It sometimes seems to me that the 'Internet Generation' can't get their heads round the difference between them, even Wikipedia (and I've several links to them - bottom of left column) get all confusing trying to explain it!

If something is 20mm high, that is its 'size'...it is - in other words - 2cm tall. If it is 4mm 'scale' then it is representing something in real life at a 'ratio' of 4mm to one foot, making a 20mm figure representative of a 5' high real person, but if the figure is described as HO, it simply means it is designed to go with model railway stock running on rails that are a specific distance apart.

The details of which I'll save for another day as I was only casting around for a hook to hang tonight's post on and I intend to come back to figure sizes again!!

So what was worth all that...This lovely little set here, all nestled in bright-green wood-shavings.

I believe these are by Berger a company that operated from Thuringen in the former East Germany, and who produced these sometime in the 1960's. The reason I think they are Berger is down to the little details that set all manufacturers apart.

In this case the similarities are;

*Small wire-hole (?) in the base
*Short legs
*Dumpy bodies
*Heavy bases with a cone-like profile
*Plaster-like compound/composition material
*Around the 2.8cm stated as being right for these figures in Reinhard Schiffmann's Sammlerkatalog - Band 12 (collectors catalogue - part 12)
*Colouring - particularly the pinks
*The way the faces have been painted

When trying to give a name to an unknown set you must always admit the minuses as well;

*No patterned paper lining on the lid of the box
*Bases are green not grey

While they - at 28mm - would be rejected by today's hyper-real purists as being too big, the 'size' includes the heavy base necessary to keep weighty figures upright, and the tin-plate trains they were aiming at lacked accuracy themselves, nevertheless they were the HO range. And err...they were TOYS!

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