About Me

My photo
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, October 11, 2014

T is for Tractors

Definitely had that header before! We have visited Tractors on more than one occasion and will doubtless visit them again, as I like tractors, I used to drive them...Massey's* of course! These aren't Massey's though...

This is a boxed set of Matchbox 1-75 type small scale models, die-cast with plastic wheels and plug-ins, otherwise available separately. The indivdual boxes simply being dropped into a larger liner.

All represent John Deere machines, a brand which has the same kind of fan-base among American farm kids as Massey Ferguson inherited from Furguson's 'Fergies' over here. Ertl made their name as a toy company with their relationship with 'JD' and there's a very good book on Ertl tractors kicking around with all of them in it.

They are nominally HO Gauge sized, but...the American toy industry has two HO's. The HO gauge they use for model railways (or 'railroads' over there) is - as far as I know - the same as everyone else's (maybe closer to the UK's OO in the modelling of passenger cars?), but basicly what you think of as HO in Europe, but - through the radio control hobby - they have a slot-racing HO size, which is actually aiming for 1:64th scale...these are they! [Potato Pottarto, Tomato Tomartto!]

I'm not going to show you all of them for three reasons, first, we might look at some another time, second, they look like the drawings on the boxes above and thirdly...I hate row-crop tractors, I really do, it's irrational, I know, but really?...holding your legs together like a virgin on a crowded-train is not macho, tractors should be macho, and row-crop tractors are stupid-looking! "Ooh, get me! Tip-toeing through the tulips like a ponce!" is what a row-crop tractor says to [shouts at] me!

Luckily, the early models and later beasts have their wheels where they should be - so here's one of each to give a flavour of the set. The figures are from the Ertl Farm Country range, specifically the Rodeo sets.

* There was a short while with an all-white David Brown I like to draw a veil over...Tractors should really be red (or green at a push!), with WIDE front wheels...have I told you what I think about row-crop tractors...


MSFoy said...

Excellent fun - I like tractors myself - in fact I like all farm equipment, if it isn't actually spraying slurry at the time. Where I live is the tractor capital of Scotland. A lot of our new tractors here are blue - I must check out what they are. The branding thing has become confused by New Holland being Ford (or not Ford, can't remember now). Some of the combines are coming in unusual colours now - combines have been yellow mostly in the past.

Agree about red tractors, but the REAL oldies all seem to be grey. The only one I ever actually drove (and I rolled fields in it, not just posing) was a 1947 Fordson - you had to stop to change gear - and that was as grey as a Scottish dawn.

Hugh Walter said...

Funny that, one of my many jobs was with a slurry-pump supplier, we used to get blocked ones sent back, and the first thing we had to do was unblock them by running them out the back door of the warehouse...this was OK if you set the pump and pallet right, if you didn't...oh deer or ordure as I believe the word is!

You can't beat a Massey 135 in my opinion...except my mate Derek Katz who had the harbour's 165 with a 'road' gearbox and could beat my 135 by about 4mph!

I don't know the full story with the branding, but someone called something like Agricorp owns most of the brands and I remember when Kameron and Claggie went to visit the factory (Essex? Luton way?) the machines were literally coming of the line red, yellow, green, blue, red, yellow...etc.

So - as a customer - you can keep your decades old 'brand loyalty' (the fuss when my uncles bought their first International - still red though!) but under the paint and plastic fairing details it's the same uni-unit!

My Uncle Mike has a small collection of vintage tractors, one or two of which he takes to ploughing matches and he has a grey Fergie!

Cheers H.