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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.

Saturday, November 24, 2012

I is for Interim

Tonight's post looks at the stuff that carried both Hornby and Tri-Ang names, or the more esoteric bits and some odds that are not figural at all! When the two companies came together, it was the 'true' Hornby that suffered, with most of its range being dropped. Triang had 'new tech.' plastic rolling stock with a high degree of detailing, free-flowing wheels etc..And, while Hornby had started to move into plastics, both with figures and rolling stock, there was too much lumpen heavy-metal and tin still in the range, so it went!

These were the figures that 'replaced' the crystal boxes of Hornby, being already in the Triang oeuvre. Issued as painted or unpainted 'budget' sets in white, cream, or pink styrene in the case of the passengers and dinning car sets and white, cream, navy and blue-black for the train crew set, they are not that bad, looking a bit wooden though compared to the fluid movement and grace of the Hornby oppo's.

At one point painted passengers seem to have been glued to platform sets in the factory, but that may be a false conclusion based on my constantly finding them like that, any train fan know for certain? The contents of the Dinning-car set seem to be a bit of a movable feast, with three, four or five figures, sometimes one of each, sometimes one missing and/or [another pose] doubled-up. The seated train-driver in the crew set is similar but not the same as the chap we'll look at now below.

These run through from before the Hornby buy-out to the present day, have carried several codes, came with numerous steam locomotives (under the individual loco code), and in the last 30-odd years (of a +50-year reign) have usually been accompanied by some accessories, which vary according to the set or accompanying loco, but include some or all of: Brake Hoses, Lanterns (and 'Lantern Plates'?), Fire-box tools etc...

They have been packaged in tissue-paper, waxed-paper or cellophane envelopes, cellophane, heat-sealed or self-seal/click-shut polyethylene bags and carded blisters and have also been painted (earlier) and unpainted (later) in blue-black styrene and straight black. As a result they are impossible to fully itemise as a definitive list! The seated figure is- as I said - slightly different from the one in the stand alone crew set above and the two figures bottom left at the front are both, with the loco accessory on the left and the train crew set figure on the right.

On to other things...among the earlier experiments with plastic that Hornby were stating to explore as they (or their parent group) went under, were the horses - above left - for the horse-box wagons. Showing the O gauge one in a neutral grey and the OO gauge pair next to him, these were also included in road transport horse-box models from Dinky and Dinky-Dublo.

To the right of the horses is another long-lasting set of platform fittings and equipment that I think is still in the catalogue (occasionally?), early ones have a full Triang marking and code in/on the underside of the bigger pieces, the modern ones (paler green) are unmarked.

Below them is a really nice clip-together fence system marked Tri-ang, which I assume to be from the Model-Land range? Mine must be slightly lacking as I can't get it to make a prefect oblong! The shot bottom right is of a piece from the TT range, a cattle-loading dock, which makes a fine sheep-loading dock in HO/ or OO!

Can anyone help with this wheelbarrow? It's not the same as the Merit one, it's not Preiser or Merten, I'd love a name for it if anyone recognises it. It may be from a kit (Revell/Bachmann?) as there is clearly a wheel missing but no sign of glue, nor any locking mechanism for a free-runner?

Finally, the 'problem' figures...they're big, at about 27/29mm, they have a hollow base with an 00X code and 'ENGLAND' in raised lettering. I have only found 3 figures in 40-odd years, and only the two poses. I was finally told last weekend, that they 'may' be a last-minute Hornby thing, and while two separate sets of model railway dealers told me - they all made clear it was a very tentative identification.

If it is correct, that leaves two possibilities, one; that they are part of a larger set that replaced the 'crystal-box' set, or two; that the picture shows a complete 'pair' of train crew? Does anybody have any other idea or definitive proof either way? I used to think they might be Playcraft, but I learnt years ago that they imported the French Jouef figure sets.

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