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.

Monday, June 2, 2014

C is for Curate's Egg

It would be 'C is for Cautionary Tale, but we've already had one of them!

I don't know how many figures have been produced in plastic over the years, but the more you know of, the more - not less - likely you are to make a mistake occasionally (this allows those who take delight in spotting mistakes to make a point, hey CS? - still waiting for your erudite feedback!), and I made one at the Plastic Warrior show the other day...here it is!

I saw these and recognised the boxes, asked the dealer if they were really Merten (he's a well respected member of the hobby and made the same mistake so I won't name him!) as they seemed a little cramped...and he said yes, adding they seemed to be repaints, which I concurred with.

Because I use to be a small scale only collector I'm always on the lookout for new or interesting small scale (which in my mind always goes to 45/50mm 'ish!), we negotiated on the pair and I got a bargain (some will argue as they read on - a hell of a bargain...).

Because I'd already a bought a few bits these were perched a bit precariously on the top of the pile as I went on round the venue, and within minutes I was running into people I know who said the usual "Anything nice?" to which I pointed to these and said "Some nice Mertens in 40mm I haven't seen before"!

Well, those not blinded by the red mist of 'purchase frenzy' immediately identified them as WHW figures, repainted!

I should have seen it for myself as I have some undamaged originals, but in the 'heat of battle' failed to recognise them. They are actually KHW [Kreigshilfswerk] or War Relief rather than the earlier WHW [Winterhilfswerk] or Winter Relief and are from the set of Guard Corps figures issued by the Gau of Berlin in January 1942. Polystyrene flats, 45mm (50+ with headdress) originally painted in a simpler form. Because they were issued only in the Berlin area they tend to carry more value than the national issues, but do turn-up fairly regularly.

The figures are mostly paint or actual conversions of about 6 or 7 (mostly infantry) figures from a set of - I believe - ten original sculpts, missing is the lovely Imperial Kürassier sculpt with his eagle-helmet and the Hussar, along with the earlier Kürassier figure (all cavalry). There are head-swaps above, well done and some converting of full length muskets to Jaeger carbines, little metal strip bayonets have been added to a couple, pin-swords to others etc...

I am assuming they represent a specific group of uniforms from a specific time period sometime between the Franco-Prussian War (1870-71) and First World War (1914-18)?

So it really is a curate's egg...the actual value is questionable, the intrinsic value is questionable, the historical value is questionable, and without the correct paper inserts, I can't use the boxes for 40mm Mertens despite needing some, so they might as well stay in them for the time being...do I regret the purchase? No, they're a really nice group and will look good on a shelf somewhere!

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