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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.

Sunday, November 25, 2012

C is for Crystal

Following the lead sets Hornby produced this fine range of injection-moulded polystyrene accessories. These ran for about five years and are variously known as 'the good ones', 'the crystal box ones', 'the plastic tray ones' etc...I go with Crystal Boxes as they look at their best in their compartments, which at the time were the hight of modernist packaging design, they are also unquestioningly the best model railway figures the UK has managed to produce.

The three sets together with the replaced pose top right. It would seem, that there was always an 'empty plinth' in the second set, why they didn't add a second bench or another piece of street/platform furnitures I don't know, but there you go!

This set had - like the metal sets - a pose change somewhere through the run, as the two poses are about the same in rareness, it must have been either mid-way through the run, or that they ran together contemporaneously, mixed in the factory? And why didn't they just put the other policeman in the empty compartment of the passenger set?

When I say in the post below "fluid movement and grace" I am waxing a bit lyrical, as they are - like most railway figures - standing around waiting for trains for the most part! But there is a subtlety to that standing and this can best be seen in the passenger set, the figures have their weight on one foot and their hips or waists are sculpted to reflect that.

I don't know who the sculptor was, but similarities between these and the concurrent Tri-ang Model-Land sets would suggest Charles Stadden, although these are a little 'heavier' than most of his output, however that could be down to the size of the masters or some other production process factor. They certainly have some classic Stadden signatures, the angular folds in the clothing being typical.Who knows....no really; does anybody know?

Below the figures are a rather nice pair of sets from the accessory ranch that came in with a mixed lot and make the similar sets from Merit look as poor as they are! That's unfair really, the Merit ones are all right but the quality in these is everything that should have made Hornby shine on, not go futt a few years later.

The platform staff figure set is the best of a good bunch, with a mobile magazine stand, refreshment cart (I don't think the 'snack' had been invented then!!) and other paraphernalia of a busy station. You can see a sand coloured suitcase in the boxed set, and I'm sure all four pieces were available in all three colours.

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