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.

Thursday, February 9, 2012

L is for Late - Show Report; Birmingham, October

As I track down images from three different hard-drives and a dozen memory-sticks, I'm coming across all sorts of stuff which I meant to blog and didn't get round to at the time, one set is this lot of the 'Plunder-pile' after Dave McKenna's Birmingham show last October.

And while there will inevitably be an element of 'showing off' in a post of this type, it's also instructive as to how a collection develops, especially when you've only recently decided to start collecting the larger scales you've always previously ignored!

So when I get home after a show, the first thing I do is put things into piles of like-objects and replace the various bags and tubs with those I use for the collection, and in so doing half-sort everything. Enlarging this image will show all manor of stuff, among which is the star buy - three blow-moulded Godzilla monsters from the Japanese film, including Godzilla himself and two I have yet to name...any idea's from the odd angle? [I think - after a quick Googling - the silver one may be Zigra and the other either Gargantua or Gabara?]

Top left sees the tray of oddments, including a couple of new-production Zvezda sets from the gaming system they seem to be concentrating on at the moment, various premium type things including to gold flats from France (I think), a nice Starlux boxed set of mediaevals and two trees from the inter-war period, similar to the early Faller ones but unmarked. Several one-piece wagons and a lovely tin-plate armoured car are sitting next to a TAT friction car (I can't remember what was in the box, but it's not the Bren-carrier Plastic Warrior covered a while back, something civilian I think but it's in storage now!) and behind that; 3 'Charley Kit's (HK copies of Kinder/Dulcop) and two complete room/ward vignettes from the Mettoy/Playcraft 'Emergency Ward-10' play set.

Toward the front of the tray are a bag of HK copies of Italian Nativity figures, various civil figures, a bunch of cake decorations, Marx Yogi and Boo-boo, several of the Cavendish wives of Henry VIII and he - himself! Lastly there is a handful of 30/45mm Lido (and other) spacemen.

The tray to the right has a large blow-moulded Hussar in a Gloster mug! [I've lost the guy's details. but he has a really nice range of mugs for most regiments, arms and services and I will blog them next time I run into him - he had a good day that day]. A kit we'll look at later in this post, a handfull of early Airfix mounted figures (or are they?) and an early paratrooper by the same firm, a Hong Kong circus set, bag of Lido knights and and odd horse! The two open trays have - in one - a mix of Rose and Higgins Wellingtonians and Indonesian tourist flats - in the other. Next to that tray is a near-mint Mighty-Antar (a few weeks after I blogged my painted one - such is life!).

Forward of the rear trays are various bags of new-production, small-scale HK stuff and things we'll look at below with the third tray itself containing various odds-&-sods; plaster cake-decorations and a Thomas/Poplar sleigh, some of the less-common Kinder metals, a nice group of Blue Box knights, a Nosco (or HK copy?) cocktail-glass giraffe, a bear drinking from a bottle [I've photographed him somewhere as there was a trade-mark on the bottle and I'm hoping someone can identify him, but the shots are missing! I googled him and found a village in the Czech republic!!], some metal flats from different sources, a Polish Wellingtonian and several Solido combat infantry in 60mm.

Various Wild West accessories, a bag of ray-guns and a Marx pyramid from the Noah 'Miniature Masterpiece' play set round-up that tray...oh - and the Hong Kong copy of the Cavendish guardsman with sentry-box along with a little tray of Soma figures and a rabbit family still connected by their sprulettes.

In the bags not covered below are a hand full each of Texas Cowboys and Britains French Infantry from the Wellingtonian period, a bag of Marty Toys with their little space-car (seems to be a copy of an Atlantic item), some East German Cowboys (apparently supplied with Jean horses??), 3 bi-planes which could be Kleeware/Tudor*Rose, Thomas/Poplar or even Airfix (?) and an Armtech carded set.

Also visible are a bag of Cherilea 60mm Knights including the mounted one I've already blogged (2nd-equal 'Star Buy' of the show!), a really nice Starlux catalogue in full colour, a couple of 60mm Romans a bag of Giant-type fort bits (you can never have too many bits to make-up whole ones), some Cacti and a good facsimile of the original Britains Swoppet Knights 'flyer'.

So - among the bagged goodies was this lot of Fantasy and Sci-fi gaming pieces, the baseless ones are Dragon Ballz. the two brown-based ones are form one of the plethora of 'minis' games (as the newbies call them), most of the rest are Games Workshop and/or Citadel/MB Games stuff...all grist to the mill!

Another bag contained a mass of kit figures (military) with ammunition from Airfix, Nitto and Eidai (at least), most of the Esci figure kits, Fujimi 8th Army, a mixture of Aurora and UPC copies of the Roco-minitanks copies of the Monogram/Revell GI's and various other bits including a pink cymbalist from a Christmas-cracker.

An Airfix gun-team, some soft-plastic bits including an Atlantic medics set, a monkey, Airfix naval crewmen, an Eidai range-finder and a naked lady - bargain!

A similar bag was filled with the civilian equivalent to the previous shot, with about 4 complete sets of the Merten 19thC passengers, the Preiser artists (their model was by coincidence - different sellers - the naked lady in the other lot!), a pink duck ('cos you can never have too-many pink ducks!) and various Lledo/Vollmer etc...

The biggest surprise in this bag (and the reason I bought it) was a number of Atlantic wagon drivers in brown. Another Christmas-cracker guardsman settled it for me!

This was a bit of a find, seems to be missing two small pieces of body-work I'll have to find one day, but otherwise complete, with all horse-furniture and the instructions for a second kit!

This was an odd little buy, I suspect someone like Scale-link? But I'm not sure and if anyone knows - please inform the rest of us! They are all in Victorian garb with obviously a porter, other rail-staff and passengers, bathers, boaters, a lovely photographer with a tiny little tripod to super-glue (!), picnickers and 'walkers-in-the-park'

I would imagine this is the contents of several sets rather than one?

The usual bag of HK 'bits' (which contained the fort bits- above - as well), unusually this was the only decent sample at the show this year - often I'll get three or four bags of this type of stuff at a show - there was a big bag of the common 'Wavymane' Cowboys and Indians but the chap wanted over 20-quid for it and it's not worth that.

Anyway - it was a reasonable bag with what looks like a near complete set of Mongols V's Knights from Giant, some non-Giant Roman cavalry, two wagon/chariot teams (also non-Giant), a couple of non-Giant foot figures (in need of some paint stripper!) and a Marx soft-plastic Viking. A Britains ACW swoppet arm (Union, trooper, for the use of) and a Quaker Foods Gladiator and horse made-up the rest of the bag.

Finally I bought these from a 10p rummage-box along with a Timpo-copy totem-pole, I think they are modern, Hing Fat or Toy House or someone like that, but they'll make a nice backdrop in a cabinet one day!


Paul said...

Crikey Hugh what a haul!

Maverick Collecting said...

I tell you what Paul - It's a funny business this collecting malarkey...you run around buying all these little bags and margarine tubs and chocolate boxes of stuff...before anyone else sees it!

You shove it into two or three shopping bags under your table (if you're lucky enough to be there as a trader) or a hold-all and think you've got a mass of stuff and spent a fortune.

The last hour you spend the shrapnel on single items from rummage-trays which end up in various pockets, and then when you get home you first go through a sort of disappointment that there's not as much as you thought and that it cost too much!

Once you've sorted it out, you find all the little nuggets (like the two Christmas Cracker guards) which remind you why you spent 2 quid on a bag of junk!

The next morning you look at it all again and it is good, so you declare a day of rest! you then sort it into the collection, forget why it was good and become focused on the next outing!!!

I believe it's the same with women and 'Shopping Therapy' or drugs! It's a bit of an addiction...but it keeps me sane'ish.

This is a typical haul from a show like Birmingham, Richmond or Herne, so I've dragged this sort of plunder home maybe 40/50 times in 18/20-odd years, most other shows you take a few bits like the Sandown post above, and maybe top-up with new-production if the budget has funds...but I always buy cheap due to low income, so it's luck and a good eye...although I paid a lot for the Emergency Ward-10 sets (£20 and £18 - I think, but rare and in good condition, it was worth it for the collection), but the three Godzilla's for instance were maybe ten - the lot? And I can't find them on Google so I think they may be rareish 1960/70's stuff?

The real bargain was that little bag of Detail French Wellingtonians I think it was 3 quid while people charge 5/8 each on feeBay and yet they 'do' nothing for me, just PVC collection-gap-fillers!!

It's a very odd business this collecting...you're better-off being a War-gamer or modeller!


James O'Connell said...

I think the two brown camp items two the right, one with stretched skin, are from the BMC Custer set.

Maverick Collecting said...

Thanks James, BMC are putting their stuff into rack-bags now under the 'Americana' label so it's a little confusing!


This is late response but the MOST of the 1/87th (ho Scale) unpainted metal victorian figures are by LYTLER & LYTLER Scale architects - they made metal and plastic American Victorian architectural kits for Ho scale model railroads - their figure line was called RAGTIMERS . There were sets with names like LADIES & GENTS , LARIMER STREET MERCHANTS, FOURTH OF JULY, BORN WINNERS & BORN LOSERS, THE DIGNITY OF LABOR , SUNDAY ON THE LAKE. Theses were manufactured between 1979 and 1993. They were highly detailed and on par with the quality of Preiser's sculpting. Each set included about 8 figures and often a few accessories , except SUNDAY ON THE LAKE wich included the boat, oars, a man and a lady. For a short time there was a company that sold many of these figures individualy in painted editions .

Hugh Walter said...

MIKE! YOU ARE THE MAIN MAN! Every comment is sent to my hotmail, so they can be as late as you like, but hey . . . you've ID'd them!!!!!!

I've been coming back to them again and again with no luck, and you just drop this in for a laugh . . . a good omen for the coming year (and God know I need a few of those!).

Follow-up question, I have a couple of Walther's catalogues (in storage) one mid-1980's the other about 2003? Would I find these in them? I could then 'set' them up and do a full article on them in the future?

Many, many thanks . . .