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.

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

E is for 'Eavy-metal

As - if not more - collectable as the later 'crystal box' plastic sets by the same company, or the Model Land figures of their rival (and eventual buyer!) are the first figures ever made in particularly small scale (they already had an O gauge range) for railways (although some of the Skybirds figures would suffice) as far as Britain goes; the cast lead figures Hornby first issued in 1938 or 1939.

Two sets, they were solids, although they might have used the hollow-cast principle of a hand held clamp-handled mould they were too small to end up anything other than 'solid', they covered both rail staff and passengers and with the aforementioned Skybirds and a few Cresent and Timpo boxed - vehicle/vessel/aeroplane - sets figures would help fix the size Airfix would later exploit to the full...

A post-war set, like the later plastic set (see post below this one) they would have a pose change...right hand upper shot. Accompanied here by the trolleys and a tractor from the later Dinky Dublo range, which got a die-cast driver. As far as I know there was never any luggage with this vehicle (or mail bags?), but by the time it was issued both Wardie Mastermodels and Britains Lilliput had ranges of suitcases, trunks, pick-nick baskets and the like to load them up with, and both the Dinky Dublo plastics and Merit were round the corner.

The set of passengers which is - again - a post-war set. There used to be clear delineation in the books (Hammond, Ramsay...) between the pre-, and post-war sets vis-a-vis colours, but more varients have turned-up over the 20 years since the books were first published, and as some have been around for over 70 years, there would have been a fair bit of re-painting and chipping to the point where (everything was gloss before the 1960's!) it's not possible to make such a clear list any more, suffice to say; that pre-war are better painted.

There was also the problem of piracy, and here we see in the larger image lower left, a copy on the right and an original with the 'HD' of Hornby Dublo on the left. In the upper of the two small images we can see three pirates by two unknown companies, with a crude rail worker and two very good 'man reading paper's' only given away by the heavy base and the base-colour. The lower of those two images shows variations in original Dinky/Hornby figures as does the upper right-hand picture. I always used to think the guy with the small hat was a miss-mould (lost his brim when the figure dropped from the mould) but in fact there are several differences, including - as you can see - a much higher newspaper position, different mould-line etc...

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