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.

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!

G is for Guards - Taken from Hollow-cast Moulds

A few figures were produced in plastic from old hollow-cast moulds, or maybe from moulds taken from Hollow-cast figures - as most of them seem to remain 'unknown' when it comes to maker. here are a few I've picked up;

Both in the 19th Century dress of the Crimea or Post-Crimean War era. I suspect the kneeling one is from a Britains mould? The other has some similarities the the Hilco figure of an officer walking I posted yesterday, but equally doesn't fit totally.

These are quite common, appearing from time to time painted or unpainted in cellulose acetate, polystyrene or soft polyethylene. The four on the left and the highlander seem to be a stable cellulose acetate (but it could be an early - tinny - styrene) and are courtesy of Adrian Little. 

The standing firing chap has the same paint as the others, but a green base, so in this case might be from another set?

They are about 50mm and again one of them has the full webbing straps of an earlier era, when Line Regiments as well as guards wore this type of uniform.

M is for Matchbox Battle Kings

Actually there are a few 1-75 Series in this post, but they are here because they need to be, or it makes sense (to me) to put them here!

The vague 25lbr/Air-portable howitzer called Field Gun. This was the first time the figures that would become Battle Kings appeared, on bases they would lose in the larger range, designed to fold-up and fit in the standard box, they can be removed and trimmed-down to two individual figures.

The Weasel - a fictional vehicle given that it is neither the US M29 Weasel or the Bundeswehr 'Weisel'. Named to fit in with the Badger (gold thing top right), someone I'm acquainted with has named everything looking like it in his 'definative' book 'weasel', when in fact most of them are Ferrets! Which this is - minus the turret - replacing the older model (bottom right), not that Ferret's didn't have turrets, they did, just not like this and not called Weasel.

The Badger also had a commander figure who can be considered part of the Battle King range, being roughly the same size and the same polypropylene material.

The figure range on my 'check-list' sheets. Not sure how it will reproduce on the PC until I publish, but it's the best I could do with the old camera and Picasa! Two sets of numbering and an odd combination of 5 GI's, 3 Germans and 5 beret'ed post-war/Modern NATO types, but then the AFV's were an equally incongruous assortment of WWII, Modern and fictional vehicles...and they were toys!

Also the camera flash has changed the look of the figure columns, with some of the darker ones going light and some of the lighter ones going dark, but hopefully you get the idea - there are visually lighter and darker issues in each of three colours; mid-green, azure blue-grey and sand. Then there is the less common orangey ones I have placed above, along with a very dark green damaged 1C-6C who may be a HK pirate of another toy range all together?

Some but not all were also paired-up with a connecting strip and all 'mint' ones whether single or paired should have the little 'spruelet' drums. In one of the early catalogues they show a set in sky blue, I have asked about them, nobody seems to have any and the only person who claimed to have some failed to produce them?

Two re-painted and venerable survivors of childhood here in the 'Israeli' SPG and Patton from one of my old armies! The others picked-up in adulthood as having figures of the same style as the individual ones (and the Badger above).

These AFV's came in two ranges, the first being hideous metallics (there's a metallic apple-green tank under that Patton's Humbrol 56 or whatever number; 53?) including a silver King Tiger!, the second issue were more realistic and they're the ones I've tried to pick-up, but as you can see it's still a bit bright! Also the running-gear left a lot to be desired but...they were toys!

A few loose ends, plug-in tank commander and MG along with the troops from the half-track. The three German poses above and compared to their subsequent 1:76 scale compatriots - below left.

The Battle Kings figures were made from either a high-density ethylene or a polypropylene (I favour the latter) which allowed for high-detail and fine parts (a property of PP), but which leaves them with slightly brittle extremities. The Germans suffering particularly from this flaw, with the barrels of the SMG and Officer's pistol and the stick grenade more often missing than not these days!

G is for Guards - Standing, Kneeling and Prone; Firing

Guards firing, because as soon as you've marched past Horseguards Parade, gone down the Mall, negotiated the Victoria Fountain and disappeared behind Buckingham Palace, you're off down the ranges in your best kit...didn't everyone know that?

Unknown sucker from Hong Kong (the same people who do the LP space-man knock-offs), Lone*Star - smooth headdress and round base, Lone*Star - furry headdress and oblong base, two colours of HK piracy of the Lone*Star and a separate base Honk Kong Herald

Crescent, Timpo early type, Unknown (Charbens?), Britains Deetail and a penny-figure from a hollow-cast mould and in a polystyrene plastic.

Lone*Star (damaged), Britain Deetail, two HK copies of Lone*Star, separate-based HK Herald and Crescent.

The kneeling ready guy is only here because he's nowhere else to go, or he didn't have until I did the figures from Hollow-cast moulds above! He's not firing he's 'Ready' and is kitted-out for the late 19th century. The lying firing are both Hong Kong produced Herald with the two silver paint styles, bayonet and bayonet & rifle-barrel, they are also very different mouldings, particularly the headdress.

M is for Matchbox Military Bits and Pieces

Military bits and pieces here, not everything, just a round-up of a few things not covered above, and/or photographed in the big session last year.

Mostly 1-75 Series small 'box-scale' stuff, I don't know when the Stingray fish-thing was made (there's probably a date on it but it's back in storage) but it must be before Carlton had the franchise in the late 1980's? Metal to plastic wheels, metal to plastic hooks, the ambulance lorry is a repaint, the Stalwart is missing its cover, a late trailer and dump-truck...all a bit of a mess but this stuff is sub-scale and not on my main radar. Indeed about half the above are left-overs from my childhood that somehow refused to die through adolescence and house-moves! Oh, and a Jurassic Park dinosaur tow-truck!

These are Matchbox Collectables from 1995, not sure if the mouldings have appeared elsewhere (Altaya, 21st Century, Del Prado?), this would have been some Universal or Mattel marketing thing with Dinky copyrighted on the same boxes!

They are rather nice models, compare the Battle Kings Sherman with the MC one. Die-cast and plastic parts, good level of detail and the finish is realistic, something always absent from the Battle Kings! Like the same-generation Corgi stuff there's a ratio of 5 parts packaging to 1 part model!

It was a short-lived venture going to clearance with a year or two and I missed out on a couple of others by not acting quickly when Andy from Harfield's got a few in the late 1990's!

Colour variations of the standard 1:76 scale boxed figure sets, with 'European Theatre' grey-blue Afrika Korps (top left) and grey NATO Para's (top right), I think they ARE grey now but these were a few years old a few years ago!

And - below them - the mad bright blue German Infantry I bought while visiting friends in Berlin in 1994 which must have been an early run under the Revell ownership? By which I mean there was/is a very small Revell graphic on the box but it was a year or two before you could get re-issues of Matchbox figures in the UK under the Revell banner.

The dreadful PVC offerings of the 1990's, least said - soonest mended, but...those images aren't distorted, the figures are that shape!

Friday, November 29, 2013

G is for Guards - Unknown; Food Premium?

The title sums this one up...


I suspect he might be by Texas (we looked at them briefly Here) and they do a gold, plug-foot so he could well be by them, otherwise I have no idea. At Ease, standing a bit easy actually!

He came painted which I was pretty sure was 'home' paint but in case it wasn't I photographed him before the oven-cleaner came out!

M is for Matchbox Farm and Other Animals

Animals, another element to play to be included in an otherwise boring road vehicle, another small piece of plastic to burn-out the motor on you granny's old goblin horizontal vacuum!

Cattle trucks and horse-boxes (livestock transporters) were/are a constant source of horses and cows for the 'unknown' box.

Matchbox went with white for many years (top row) and we see all variations, the larger horses being from the Super King set, the smaller ones from the 1-75 Series.

The cow/bull ran for years with horns in white, then black ones appeared in the late 1970's-early 1980's, by the mid-1980's the 'health and safety' people had frowned at them and their horns disappeared, finally - toward the end; other colours started to appear.

The next row are a bit of a mystery, the three brown ones seem to be the M'Box mouldings, but they are marbled white/chocolate and the quality is poor, they could be copies, they could be pre-production test-shots, they could be a sub-contract for someone else? The black one seems to  be a straight 'lift' with reversed leg positions and a different tail.

The last row are late colour variations of  the smaller 'pony'.

The dogs. I love the dogs, better than the 'HO' dogs of either Preiser or the - much rarer - Marx set, they are well detailed, itsy-bitsy little beauties. The pointer appeared first with the Hunter and a station wagon, I've seen it stated as fact that he came with two dogs, but I've several of these sprues and there's only the one dog.

The gun-dog sculpt was reused for the Kennel Truck, with a new base and three pals; a Boxer, a Collie and a Beagle.

Farm play-sets and larger Super King models came with these - the smaller being around 50mm, the white 54mm figure having another dog sculpt, a Setter, which can often be found loose. The tractor-drawn tools are from a play-set or two.

The Jurassic Park franchise threw-up the die-cast figures and dinosaurs top right, while lions have been a feature from the 1970's.

G is for Guards - Officers

Officers, mounted and on foot - both at attention and marching...

At Attention;
Unknown (Charbens?), Hong Kong, early Timpo, late Timpo with black collar.

Walking;
Hilco and a damaged Lone*Star (who may be a 'standing at ease soldier - not an officer at all!).

Marching;
Crescent 60mm, Crescent 54mm, early Timpo, Late Timpo with gold collar and Herald...

...Lone*Star with 2 Hong Kong copies, a hollow-cast 'ghost' (Britains!), 2 Charbens with different bases and another Herald

Mounted here are Britains Herald (we had the saddle errors once before - I know!) and Timpo. The Timpo one come son a brown horse and two mouldings of white horse, one with the drooping reins and one without (is there is a difference in the number of plugs on the feet as well, or was that the Apache/7th Cav. one?), I can never remember which of the three is the rare one!

Likewise I don't know if there is any significance to the black/gold collar question? There are mounted guards by Charbens and others but they are somewhere else - so not photographed.

M is for Matchbox Emergency Personnel

All the main die-cast toy vehicle manufacturers have emergency vehicles in their ranges, as kids like uncommon things, or noisy things or things their parent make a babyish-fuss about when they drive past...Military vehicles and construction vehicles being the other obvious candidates for this vicarious transfer of enthusiasm.

The beauty of Emergency vehicles is that play-value can be added by the expedient of a few cheap bits of plastic added to the boxed ensemble...

This is actually one of the last mouldings Matchbox gave us, being from their Super King range and around the 54mm size. He appears as both a stretcher-bearer and a construction worker. Starting life with painted hair, hands and face, after a while only the fizzog got a touch of brush, in the end even that proved a cost too far for the failing company.

As a construction worker he was allowed a wheel-barrow, a wheeled skilage (skillage?) or tipping-barrow and a rather odd-looking sack-barrow. The black and green one is a soft rubberised material, more likely to be silicon than PVC and might be an HK piracy, or late Universal or Mattel stock?

A similar pose here, early ones were white, later ones in the goldie-yellow. The clip-on blanket is innovative (although Britains had done it decades earlier!) and even on the older issue paint was minimal.

Other stretcher cases from various ambulances, one; 1-75 Series (top left, around 25mm), the rest; Super Kings, (around 40mm) note how the strapped-patient design is copied on two different issues.

The Fire Brigade were also well represented in Matchbox's ranges and here are a few variations on the firemen poses. Paint again starts with hands and faces in flesh and white helmets, with first hands then helmets being dropped as the mouldings lasted through the years.

I'm not happy that the sitting black plastic one is M'Box, he seems to be by a different sculptor, I've never found the other poses in black and so he may be a late addition to the range, or from another makers model, or a HK cheapo?

Colours for all these vary but tend toward the navy-blue section of the spectrum.

The police, mechanics and someone who looks like a logger, but as he also comes in 'Bundesgrenzschutz' green he may be a policeman as well? Finding the kneeling mechanic with both spanners intact is a bit of a trial, and with the US 'Cops', there is the pale azure-blue variant.

Most of the above a polypropylene, the small stretcher and the clip-blanket stretcher are however a styrene polymer.

G is for Guards - Royal Salute, Present Arms

Continuing with a theme....Royal Salute, right-heel in the arch of the left foot and at approximately 45-degrees to it...

Left to Right;

Unknown (Charbens?) Timpo early, Timpo late, Charbens, Lone*Star furry headdress, Lone*Star smooth headdress, Herald, Herald Hong Kong late...

...HK copies of Lone*Star x2, Herald Hong Kong x2 intermediate, one with separate base, one with moulded base.

M is for Matchbox - Miscellaneous

Following on from the previous posts; tying up a few lose ends from Matchbox ancient and modern.

The road signs follow the old pattern pre-the 1960's reforms. There are two issues of these the first lot were die-cast alloy (front row in larger image and smaller image) the re-issues were polyethylene (7 in rear row) and there is a close up of them both metal to the front (top left).

The early cast petrol-pumps and attendant, replace with a totally new design in the 1970's, I can only hint at it as mine is in storage, but I do have the broken legs! The legs were attached to the pump-stand in white-finished die-cast, the upper body came on a separate sprue with two lamp-stands. The supported brand changing from Esso to Shell.

Various boats, mostly from the 1-75 series of 'matchboxes', I think the Gemini-craft might be from a Super King? the earliest is all die-cast (cream deck - top right), then we get a nice die-cast engine on a polystyrene plastic body, then plastic boats without engines and finally the polypropylene of late production.

Top left - two early die-cast horses from the milk float with a 1980/90's reissue of the whole assembly.

Top right - one of several 'Pub-signs', I have a few (again in storage) but happened upon this one a while ago. Others are Rose & Crown, Volunteer (a kneeling Highlander), George & Dragon, City of London (arms), Mermaid, Pig & Whistle etc..I don't know how many there were in total, but it was eight or more, ten maybe (anyone know?)

The rest are just bits and bobs, a pair of dogs cut-off the parcel-shelf of a Morris-1000 (I think!), a 'Kaiser Wilhelm' caricature, various drivers (one of which may be Lledo?) a window cleaner from a cherry-picker, a fireman in 40mm from the airport fire-tender a statue from the 1:32 scale military play-set and both the Matchbox river-police and a HK copy (darker blue pair), and a small fireman in his cherry-picker.

Mega-Rig figures from about ten years ago, not really my thing, but I pick them up when they turn-up - if you know what I mean? Space, construction and military sets clearly existed and there may have been a tie-in with GI Joe or Action Man at some point?

The row top and bottom are a marketing tie-in with (I think?) TSR around 1980, who were at the time the holders of the Dungeons & Dragons franchise. Again I think there were only about 10 in the range and they are in that odd 45/50mm bracket.

The Toy Story figures are actually Mattel's Hot Wheels, but from the period when both brands are under one roof. And are also in that mid-size range.

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

F is for Full-set Formed-up

Just a quick one tonight, a complete set of Tiny Trojan Brits of the BEF or Dad's Army type, I know I've looked at these before but I bought these at the Plastic Warrior show in May and I've just found the photo's while sorting out all the other stuff coming your way at long last, and it's a decent bit of early small scale, which hasn't had featured here for a while so...

...here they are. All the same batch - same paint, same paint scheme, same coloured plastic, no brittleness (which is rare'ish for these (Trojan) in any scale, especially-so in the smaller size.

We looked at them in greater depth Here when I didn't have a good set of all 8 the same, the majority of one set being the brown-weapon/black-helmeted versions.

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

New Product Review - History...still Horrible, but for How Long?

These were supposed to have been published in time for the August launch of the 2nd tranche of sets and figures for this promising series. Sadly, although I got some photographs done as soon as I got them, they had missed the deadline and real life then took me away from Blogger as some of you may have noticed!

Also they didn't send me all of the new sets, did send me some of the old sets and the 2nd series blind bags weren't ready...although they had been announced as prizes in the HH magazine, so I don't know what happened there? They still don't seem to be out now, and with the magazine not sending out the 'free' gold-finished Blackbeard prize either, I feel that although 'promising' the range is already running out of steam? eMails from the fan-site have also dried-up and the last 'newflash' is dated March.

The two new 'battle pack' sets are Mummy for the Egyptians and Gladiator for the Romans. The Horus illustrated above is from the first tranche 'special pack', still missing from these posts is a decent shot of the Centurion, Anubis and Legate. Both of the new figures are also available (in pairs) as painted figures in the Battle Arena - the biggest set so far. In the battle packs the Gladiator is silver and the Mummy glows in the dark.

Some scale comparisons, with top; Crescent and Cherilea Roman soldiers, middle; a Thomas 'Trojan' and an unknown (by me) European (?) figure and bottom; various other sizes of figure.

When you open the large Arena set, you are met by some of the larger pieces and the main figures mounted on a blue box...there are also two card play-mats and a sheet of stickers, but the blue box reveals...

A bag stuffed with other loot, collapsing Romanesque and Egyptian lotus-columns, more pigs to throw about, a market stall, exploding fronts to the two national stands...

The play value here is great for kids, but I know you want the figures and sadly they are well overdue, have slowed to a trickle and there is no news on the websites, there is a carry-case which might be of use when the youngsters have army-built to the n'th degree, but like 'extra-troop' top-ups and 'other stuff' announced; it has yet to materialise.

The Entertainer in Newbury had two sets (one Battle, one Special) a single Arena and the dregs of a blind-bag box last time I was there, and I had the following conversation with a lady in Fleet Toys the other day...

Do you have the Horrible Histories sets?

Err...no

Will you be getting them?

Unlikely

Well, thanks

I never got fully through the door!

I know I could (in a perfect world) have done a little more to promote this range, but I fear the promoters haven't done enough, given it had a New Toy award at Excel last January. My advise is get then if you see them, they may not be around as long as I thought they would?

Monday, November 25, 2013

B is for Battle of the (Corporate) Bears, Bunnies and Boardroom-Bastards!

At this time of year I tend to put something figural yet edible up on the blog, and with my Lidl's Advent Calendar only a week from being opened, this seems a good time to start! However this is not so much about figures edible or otherwise, but rather about the corporate stupidity of the people who would (actually do) rule over us and mould our lives, as such it is a bit of a PPE-rant!

The story starts in the deep mists of time (see comments at end), and really hots up about 15/20 years ago when Lindt, the chocolate people, start defending their products against all-comers, specifically their Bunny. I don't have the various bunnies to shoot, but a mini one is above right...as if you didn't know!

That case;

Lindt V Riegelein

ended as a 5-0 defeat against Lindt at the fifth hearing - the other four (lower court) hearings also finding in favour of Confiserie Riegelei, this being in the German (and now European higher...) courts. Now you might think that loosing five hearings over 12 years or so would have taught Lindt they were on a hiding to nothing...but no, you can't keep an idiot down, and in 2011, sometime around the forth hearing in the other case, Lindt (a Swiss company) decided to go to another court in Austria, in order to sue Aldi, or the makers of Aldi's chocolate bunnies - Franz Hauswirth;

Lindt V Hauswirth

Lindt wins against Hauswirth in 2011....

Hauswirth  V Lindt

....then loses on appeal!

However, before loosing the appeal, Lindt were already involved in another dispute, this time with Haribo, who it should be noted- supply Aldi!! Round one didn't go Lindt's way;

Haribo V Lindt

Haribo win the opening salvo hands-down. However both parties have decided to keep fighting to the European Supreme Court;

Battle of the Bears continues

How long before they are all suing each other over the designs of their beetles, lambs, chicks, worms, tools, mice and other assorted 'TRADITIONAL' confectionary shapes?

Now....you're thinking, so far so good, why the threat to have a rant...after all, the Lindt bears are very much in evidence still, this Christmas, as are everyone else's?

Well, you see this is all costing you and me, these cases cost tens, if not hundreds of thousands of Pounds (or in this case - Euros), millions even (?), which has to be clawed back from the general public, the customers, you and me.

Evidence, if any was needed; Lindt, who keep losing these cases are known for more expensive chocolate, Aldi (who's chocolate is as smooth and creamy as Lindt's - it says so on Mum's Net so it must be true!) were selling their bunny cheaper than ever this Easter...one hopes to rub Lindt's nose in it!

Not only that but the courts should be throwing these cases out at the filing stage, we all know that a bear on its back with stumpy legs up, or a semi-flat rabbit/hare in profile have been made in foodstuffs for...what?...more than a century.

How many jelly moulds going back to the 18-something's are there? I remember chocolate rabbits in Italy (which has so far stayed out of these confectionery wars) in the 1970's looking just like all these rivals products, with or without wrappings in gold, silver and patterned paper. I remember them in the shop-windows of local shops (for Locals!) in Bavaria at the same time.

Equally the Lindt bear came late to the party and everyone's bears, bunnies, hares and deer have a gold wrap and or a red ribbon or both, suggesting that the Judges should have thrown that one out as 'Obvious'.

We should probably be thankful that Intersnack's Pom-Bear with his red collar as so far stayed out of the fight!!!!

The point I'm probably not making well is that this stuff needs to stop, this week in a totally unrelated case it was announced that CAT, the - global - engineering firm are being investigated for possible dumping of perfectly good (railway locomotive?) engine parts at sea, to hide a potential fraud involving replacing components that didn't need replacing.

I don't know how true all that is going to prove, but let's assume that Blags & Crimes Bros. have been doing exactly that...

First they will have been ripping-off the railway operator and through him  the travellers who will pay increased ticket prices. Because most major rail companies get some sort of local or regional government or state or federal, or EU grant, the taxpayers will also suffer. Meanwhile the planet has suffered two-fold, first by giving up more resources than it needed to, and second through the double pollution of an unnecessary ship-movement and the dumping of oily crap at sea. The ship-movement also adding to the cost of  B& G's operation and cutting dividends to shareholders.

That's capitalism folks...and everyone's the loser..every day, including you.

Should you want to read more;

Haribo V Lindt

German Court

Telegraph

Gummi Bear