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.

Monday, April 7, 2014

F is for; From Hollow-cast Mouldings

Further to the new page on UK produced plastic 'Khaki Infantry' I've started (see UK Khaki Infantry at top of the blog-page), some sets were stand-alone. We looked at some of the modern troops a few years ago, and Trojan's Germans and small scale have been covered, along with some of the 'swoppits'. Another set that suffered little plagiarism or derivative production, but was itself derivative of it's own hollow-cast forbears was the WWII British Infantry from Timpo.

Nine poses in plastic, from ten in metal, I don't know what the tenth one was, I suspect a motor-cycle dispatch rider, a casualty of some kind or a sentry/ceremonial marcher? These were all themes in the US set of the same era. Prone firing - see comments, thanks Dave.

There are two generations with the British in plastic, the first taken from the hollow-casts with little change, although the bases where beefed-up and given the same marks as the early plastic Wild West from hollow-cast range; 'TIMPO ENGLAND' or 'TIMPO MADE IN ENGLAND' in the recess under the base of most - but not all - the figures. They also had a gloss finish. The later versions have a matt finish and the mark is now on the upper surface of the base (like the later 'solids' from Timpo), reading; 'MADE IN ENGLAND' only.

The above shots show older bases/figures top left, and - from the top; left, right and centre of the right-hand pictures, with bottom left being the newer version, along with right, left, right of the smaller images. The left-hand figure in the bottom-right image is the hollow-cast original with the drain-hole showing in the helmet.

A couple of line-ups; Above being the earlier set in  a glossy plastic with gloss paint and the deeper bases. it can be seen that a couple of the figures don't have the deeper bases, but rather have the original 'puddle' of their hollow-cast brethren. The kneeling shooter has no base, as per the original and in contrast to the US GI's, where all the kneeling figures taken into the plastic range were given an additional base.

The lower group are the second versions, they are matt-finished, and the plastic has added chalk to help the paint adhere, as a result these suffer far more from brittleness than the earlier set. They've now all got the larger base with the upper-surface marking, even the chap steadying himself on a substantial rock...a really nice pose as well, by the way! I haven't tracked-down a kneeling firer from this second batch, so don't know if he got a base, he may not have been kept, I believe some sources think the second set only went to 8 poses (?), although I would drop the crawling guy if I had to drop one...

From left to right on both images; lead hollow-cast original, intermediate glossy plastic and final incarnation in the matt scheme. Note how time also lowers the quality of the painting from 7-colours, to 5, to only 3, with the gaiters, bayonet frog, chin-strap and eventually waist-belt & yolk falling by the wayside.

It goes some way to explaining why the old hollow-cast collectors always viewed plastics people with a little pity, the figure on the right is but a shadow of the figure on the left. A mass-produced plastic 'scrap' with a stab-and-hope paint job in three colours, as opposed to a figure hand-cast from a scoop of molten-lead - a carefully measured scoop by an experienced eye, hand-finished (fettled) and hand-painted to a high degree!

2 comments:

David Scrivener said...

The 10th lead figure in this set was lying firing a rifle, with legs fairly wide apart.

Maverick Collecting said...

Thanks Dave - I knew someone would know!

Interesting that they did carry one of the prone figures over? I wouldn't mind betting the other turns-up in plastic at some point! When I first got interested in this set, people where still saying it only had six, then eight figures, it's now at nine!