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, 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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