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, May 25, 2012

U is for Unknown, Flats

These - like most flats you encounter - tend toward the 'unknown' end of the identification spectrum, however there are a few clues as to their provenance/origin and hopefully someone will be able to help here? They come in at a pretty standard 30mm and are factory painted.

The packaging; this is very similar to packaging used by a company [possibly] called Kästner (Ochel Aloys made by Kieler Zinnfiguren - see comments), although that means nothing as these staple-cornered recycled/low-grade card boxes are used for a lot of stuff from Germany as we've seen on this blog in the past, Christmas decorations, wooden toys and erzgebirge, former East German stuff, the [possibly] Nazi torpedo-boat posted the other day, etc...

The Kästner/Kieler Zinnfiguren (?) set that accompanied them had an identical box and packaging, but with the addition of a red top-layer of paper to present the unpainted figures in a better light and no sticker/label, which is why I'm not 100% sure they are the same firm. These are packed with two pieces of card and double sheets of paper, the card on the bottom and near the top with the bases slipped down the sides.

The gun-line keeping the enemies heads down! This set was part of an auction lot of about 30 sets with all the sets being 'complete' units of French, Russian, Prussian and Austrian troops from the same period. There are marks on the bases, mould or figure codes, but they are for the most part unintelligible either through slight moulding or heavy paint (or a combination of the two!) and probably wouldn't help much without one of the early books on flats, of which I only have one - and it's in storage again!

What I particularly like about this set is the decoration which is best described (by me!) as Cezanne style Impressionism with traditional toy soldier faces! The uniforms are hinted-at with splotches and sweeps of overlaid colours, braid, gaiter buttons and belts added on top as an afterthought, the faces then painted-in in a classic toy soldier fashion with red lips, black button eyes and bright pink skin, the whole in a gloss finish.

The contents of the box; Austria [Set No.] 1 - Artillery Brigade Firing 'KZ' (Kästner Zinnfiguren? Kieler Zinnfiguren). Among the other sets was an Austrian artillery train with Grimbeauval-system 'dolly wheel' small limbers. This is a really nice set, with a mounted officer, two drummers to beat out timings and commands, 11 crew and some small 'bits' to add atmosphere.

From the paint style and condition of the boxes, we suspect these are quite recent - maybe 1970's or early '80's, other than that - if anyone can add a positive ID to this post - please do!


Brian Carrick said...

Hi Hugh, they are Ochel Aloys made by Kieler Zinnfiguren. Kastner are marked KH and have a different shaped base.

Anonymous said...

Thanks Brian - I knew someone would know! I'm on a laptop that Google won't recognise as mine so I'll have to update the tags next time I'm on one they do!!

Maverick Collecting said...

Suitably updated Brian! I found the website, they sell them individually now and there are literally thousands of them! Do you know when they were issuing them like this? Anyway thanks for the input...