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.

Thursday, March 8, 2012

S is for Ships (and other vessels); Part 5 - Bigger boys!

Looking at some of the larger vessels, we have something a bit special from Germany; an S-boat and some nice Celluloid bits form Japan, both nations - at the time of likely production - on the 'other side'!

This is one of the ten things I should try to save from a fire, at first appearance it looks like a Hong Kong item, and if it had come in a bag of dusty bits I'd probably be telling you; "It's almost certainly an HK item", but it 'ain't...it's German, and it's actually 'almost certainly' from the era of the Third Reich.

The box is the same type of box the German wooden tractors, the plaster railway figures from Berger we looked at a month or so ago and German Christmas-baubles come in, the paper wrap is more reminiscent of the earlier half of the 20th Century and the spring-loaded firing mechanism is very 'European' in execution.

The clincher is that something - almost certainly an Eagle - has been painted-out on both sides of the wheelhouse...for export? or to comply with the Allied de-Nazification program?

So why does it look HK? Because back in the early days all cheap plastics looked the same, and the Germans in the immediate post-war period through to my childhood in the 1960's/early '70's were second only to Hong Kong/Japan in the production of plastic toys and novelties.

The paper wrap with the torpedoes in (and out!) and a close up of the finger-operated firing mechanism. I can't work out if the torpedoes are plastic or wooden, if they are wooden it would be more proof of the likelihood of the origin, but I think they are plastic, it's just hard to tell and I'm not going to start scraping the paint off!

The S-boat (Marked S-71, with a '71'painted below the engraved version) is about 125mm long, the Japanese blow-moulded celluloid gun-boat next to it is a tad smaller at 100mm. This Website reports S-71 as being lost; "Hit by artillery in battle with British units in the Channel" in 1943 and was a real vessel, another reason to doubt it's HK origins.

 Next to them is another Celluloid vessel, this appears to have dome sort of mechanism in the base, but I can't work out what it is, even with a jeweller's 'eye' and a torch. It may be only a weight, but seems to have brass and white-metal components? And I owe thanks to Pam Taylor (Kleeware collector supreme!) of Wales for the tall-ship which is 6cm long.

[Added 24th November 2013...I saw another one the other day, the mechanism is a rusted-up spring return form a novelty tape-measure!]

Other larger odds and sods (we'll look at the bulk of the bigger vessels and landing craft on other days in a year or two, this is enough bobbing about on the briney for me for a while!); The top image shows two liners marked 'GERMANY' (9.5cm) and will most likely be Manurba or Jean, and also 'look' like Hong Kong product. They have an polyethylene upper deck and a polystyrene hull. The other liner is a whistle (7.5cm) and probably an early British product in a flecked-styrene polymer.

I don't know how the hovercraft got in this lot - well I do; they were 'to hand'! The one on the left is the one currently in Poundland, the other was a common rack-toy in the 1980's and I've seen them painted on some of the Blogs I link to here in the last couple of years, and they came-up quite well. They are a vauge HO-guage type size/scale thing...

The small sailing vessel (3cm) is a Christmas cracker toy, the yellow tug (65mm) is a recent (1970's?) baby's bath toy, the other two tugs (55mm) are the 1950/60's equivalents.

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