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.

Saturday, November 30, 2013

M is for Matchbox Kit Figures

I have in the collection two boxes in the 'Unknown Dept.' containing kit figures, one has all the large scale (40, 50 and 60+mm) GI's from the whole gamut of early era kit makers (Pyro, Revell, Renwall, Monogram, Snap, UPC et al), most of which I do have a clue to, but because they all seem to have copied/licensed/borrowed to and from each other I can't give any of them a definitive place. The other box has all the small scale stuff, including bags and bags of pilots left off 'plane-kits and a few AFV crew.

Despite Matchbox being relatively easy to identify, there were two of these in that box for a number of years!

Allies - The French and Americans don't get many...one kit each! The gunner from the quad.50cal half-track is taken from the commander figure in the turrets of some of the Battle Kings AFV's. The Russians only get one figure, but he's a corker! A pity they never did sets of Russian and French in the figure range as they would have been good. The rest are British or Commonwealth, including the 4 casually dressed chaps from the SAS/LRDG set.

And then there are the figures from the Flower Class Corvette model - I don't actually know how many figures come with that huge 1:72 scale vessel-kit, nor do I know how many poses there where/are (Revell is re-issuing it sporadically).

The Axis; all Germans (we have to look to Esci for Italian kit figures), but some could be painted-up as allied troops. Top right are some conversions that have come my way in mixed lots. The three-figure seated vignette from the Sd.Kfz.11 half-track can be separated easily to help spread them about a bit.

The two main types of boxing during the flourishing of the Matchbox kit period. In this case a Sd.Kfz. 234/2 'Puma' armoured car. There are minor variations beyond these two, and now there are various Matchbox/Revell and Revell/Matchbox boxing's.

One of the minor variations is the 'free' glue offer from C.B. Baggs, as it was a sticker on the cellophane it's quite a rarity now. This was the kit that offered-up my 'unknowns' as the two gun-crew looked more like Hasegawa than Matchbox!

Top left - The only other attempt at a hard-styrene palm-tree I can think of is the Aurora Rat Patrol ones. Although a bit of thought later - actually there's the Marx Miniature Masterpiece ones as well - factory painted, and some jungle/dinosaur scene ones...also Aurora?

Top right - My Sherman Firefly hiding behind a farmhouse (by Pola - I think?), I added a wire aerial and some sandbags from grey Humbrol filler, it's my preferred filler, the green Revell stuff comes out a bit soft and crusts too slowly while the Testors stuff is like working with gritty-snot! Or - it used to be; I never used it again and was turned-off it about 20 years ago! 

The Humbrol grey filler on the other hand can be run-out in a tube and left for five minutes to crust, then it can be cut into 1cm sections, left for another couple of minutes to crust again and then the 'bags' can be formed in the fingers and squidged together on the vehicle just like the real thing. The fumes will glue them to the hull and a rat-tailed file rolled over them will leave a hessian (burlap) patten in the filler which will dry-brush/highlight beautifully.

Bottom left - if you have a good pose, use, use and use again! From the left; Battle King, US kit figure, US Infantry figure set, German Infantry figure set and German kit figure, the pantographing of the pose again and again reducing the German kit figure to HO gauge!! there are some rather good Hong Kong piracies of these figures that take this pose even smaller!


John said...

New to your blog - just discovered it via Google Image Search while researching some bizarro eBay toy. Just wanted to send a "splendid job!" to you from sunny Florida. Absolutely lovely photography on both blogs. I've been picking up some of the window box Airfix kits from my childhood lately, and I suspect we are kindred spirits in the toy world (though, as an old American dude, I'm of course fixated on Marx figures and such. I look forward to delving into your superb bloggings as time permits! Cheers! - John Arnold, Eustis, Florida, USA

Maverick Collecting said...

Thanks for the kind words John, I'm not the most regular of blogger's and the Airfix blog particularly, tends to go in fits and starts.

I have loads waiting to go on there including some large-scale and Greek piracies, but time waits for no man and I'll be posting here over Christmas!