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.

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

C is for 'Civis'

A guest post tonight with thanks to Bernard Taylor for all images and the information behind them, it all goes back to 'stupid blog' which was going to be all the text only listings, one of which was the Merit list (now; Here), when I brought them back over here Bernard dropped a comment to the effect that some sets I had bracketed 'May not have been issued' were actually issued as he had some...well; the other day he sent me pictures of the ones he had, which were of such a quality they were suitable for posting, hence...

Photographs of three of the four sets, correctly labelled and a shot of the typical late packing that was probably the first version they came in, missing out on the 'cartoon artwork' and the rail scene packs that preceded this type.

In the original list I had ignored 5128 with a typo duplication of '27' and had them in the wrong order, but as I was working from Merit, Peco and Pritchard paperwork at the time there may be a reason for the wrong order, anyway; unless you read this and follow the link in the first few minutes after I publish it, I will have updated the list by 'now'!

Of interest is that the separate bases in clear styrene common to Merit (and missing from most Model Scene sets) have been dropped in favour of integral bases more like the Triang Model-land/Minic Motorway figure sets of a decade or so earlier, whether these were sculpted by Stadden at the time or as a later additions is unknown, they certainly have the look of his work and could have come from the Havent plant, the Merit pink plastic was the same as a lot of that Triang/Mettoy stuff?

A Prichard Patent Products (PPP from Peco) catalogue scan above some of the figures Bernard is working on for a layout, these are as well painted as any small scale I've seen (sorry Paul, sorry Sam, sorry Peter, sorry Carmen!) and remind one that it's not just toy soldier people who have the painting and modelling skills or an interest in figures! Bernard is taking them back a few decades - to the Edwardian hight-point of 'Steam' - so all the ladies have had their hemlines dropped so's not to over-excite men to whom they are not married! It's not just Islamic fundamentalists you know, ask Mrs. Spankhust - as the National Theater of Brent called her!

Two of these are the Slater's figures - the sailor and the woman with a hat (far right) - that were originally metal Mastermodels (Wardie) sculpts and then early plastic members of Merits population, but that's a story half-touched on before and - fully; for another day! [Bernard added that the shiny ones will get a final coat of matt varnish!]

The N gauge sets - I was pretty sure these both existed as I had one in the late Merit brown & red version of these graphics, I never-the-less marked the one I didn't have as possibly not being issued, as I never accept a product existed until I've seen it!

When Peco picked up what was left of Merit, they re-branded the whole range 'Model Scene' and used the last type Merit HO sets colour scheme for both gauges. As Model Scene these are still current and those few surviving High Street hobby stores still stock them.

Thanks again to Bernard for the info and pictures, we will return to Merit again, as there is a lot to get through.

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