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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.

Sunday, May 10, 2015

MPC is for Mini Ships - Part One; 'Ships of all Nations' Comic Offer

So I promised a round-up of the MPC mini ships a while ago, and this is it - The low-down on the set of model vessels called "Ships of all Nations" by Multiple Toy Makers / Multiple Plastics Corp. (MPC) [and if that reads a bit 'poncy' - it's because it's for search engines!]

With help from Marc Frattasio (who kindly dealt with my emails asking for information on his examples, and identified those I didn't have, but which he did), between us we can present what is pretty-much the only detailed information on these among the billions of pages (approximately 4.71 billion to date) on the Wibbly Wobbly Way, or at least I can't find much else! I have linked to what little there is.

There seem to have been 68 models in the range and they vary from the obvious to the frankly esoteric vis-a-vis the ships depicted and it took a while to work out the whole range as there are different totals presenting themselves when the student of old toys first looks into them.

Each model had its name, nationality, length and gross tonnage in relief on the base underside. Some models had no tonnage given, while quite a few are missing their SS, MV, USS &etc. prefix, I have used the given titles wherever possible as that's how they will be listed by on-line sellers. Nationality, again; is the given one, ships such as Liberte having had three owners. There were dates given to each vessel listed on the comic ad. but they (the dates) weren't included on the vessels...with the exception of the two British Tugs - and maybe some of the 'details unknown' ones below?

The main source of them seems to have been as a single purchase of a full-set+, to wit; 102 vessels, including at least one of each, how the duplicates panned-out I couldn't tell you and the adverts in old Marvel and DC comics give no clue as they only list 64 of the boats. I assume they must have been available as a retail shop-purchase at some point but can't find any details on that at the moment.

Another problem with getting this article together has been the plastic they are manufactured from - with the exception of the green ones; it registers very high in the infra-red spectrum and has proved hard to photograph so that the detail is clear, this was also a problem with the 'planes we looked at last time we visited MPC minis, but with them it wasn't such a bind as they have their distinctive outlines to help....but these ships have very fine detail which needs to be captured in order to help ID them.

Therefore I've been preparing this on and off for a few weeks now, retaking photographs and trying different techniques to get focus, playing with saturation in Picasa and so on...as a result there is now a second page (below this post on the homepage or click 'previous article' at the end of this post) with various comparisons of other compatible / near compatible or similar ranges.

The final list is incomplete in some details, and understanding that some people will have better collections but no desire to advertise the fact; any help - even anonymous - will be greatly appreciated to both complete the listings and base-marking data. A better scan of a comic ad (or the dates to the left of each vessel) are particularly sought-after.

There were 102 included in the comic offer [this is the best version of the ad. I can find on the Internet] 64 vessels are listed in the adverts - split into four groups; 16 Current US Combat Fleet, 16 Historic Passenger and Cargo Fleet, 15 Modern Passenger and Cargo Fleet, 17 Historic Warships (neither UK 'Tug' is listed and there seem to be two interpretations of  Burton Island; 'BI' and 'USS Burton Island'?)

68 vessels are listed on old MPC paperwork - split into three groups, 16 large, 32 medium and 20 small ("68 assorted miniature ships") wait for the page to load fully and then keep an eye on the first slide-show for the original worksheet to appear...I have tried to get a copy of the sheet off the chap via Facebook, but no joy there! There will be 68 vessels listed by the end of this article

So to Marc's picture which was included with an old image of some of mine when I did the round-up last time, now named, these are all missing their/any accessories but the number of locating holes are included in the listings. We will follow the photographs left to right, top to bottom, where possible and because of a few duplications as we work down the page, I will place the full list at the end in alphabetical order.

USS Eddy Country, USA, L.328, GRT 1,625 (x1 - offset T-mast)
TSS Rotterdam, Holland, L.748, GRT 38,845 (x2 masts?)
SS Liberte, France, L.936, GRT 49,750 (x2 - single-post mast, small T-mast)
Tramp Type, Great Britain, L.331, GRT 3,100 (x2 - Y-shaped twin-boom masts)
RMS Lusitania, Great Britain, L.762, GRT 31,550 (x6 - 4 funnels/stacks, 2 masts)
August Victoria, Germany, L.459, GRT 7,661 (x2 - masts?)
USS Eddy Country [duplicate in shot]
Merrimac, CSA [Navy], L.240, GRT 3,500 (no accessories? possible tab on stern for rudder)
SS Hawaiian Pilot, USA, L.492, GRT 12,500 (x4 - parts unknown)
Yerba Buena Ferryboat, USA, L.256, GRT not given (no accessories)
HMS Devastation, Great Britain, L.285, GRT 9,320 (x1 - mast)
USS Dewey, USA, L.512, GRT 4,770 (x4 - 2 communications masts, crane, torpedo tubes?)
TS Bremen, Germany, L.700, GRT 32,336 (x6 - 1 single-post mast, 5 unknown - king-posts, or cranes?)
Great Britain, Great Britain, L.680, GRT 18,915 (x6 - 3 different offset T-masts, 1 Y-mast, 1 single-post mast)
SS Normandie, France, L.981, GRT 79,280 (x2 - unknown, masts?)
Scharnhorst, Germany, L.755, GRT 26,000 (x6 - angled mast, 2 loading derricks, 3 triple-gun turrets)

These are all small ones, they seem to have no accessories, but there's a possibility of the LCM having one (or more) but I doubt it and I look at both possibilities in the next post.

Tug 1936, Great Britain, L.120, GRT 250 (no accessories - Identical sculpt to 1940 version)
Termoil, Great Britain, L.205, GRT 1,800 (no accessories)
LCM, USA, L.56, GRT 22 (no accessories? possible spigot for mounting something at stern)
Yerba Buena Ferryboat, USA, L.256, GRT not given (no accessories)
Monitor, USA [Navy], L.179, GRT1,200 (no accessories)
Tug 1940, Great Britain, L.120, GRT 250 (no accessories - Identical sculpt to 1936 version)
U-2, Germany, L.175, GRT 250 (no accessories)
USS Yatanocas, USA, L.81, GRT 310 (no accessories)

Submarines or semi-submarine type things! One of the things that will already be becoming as clear to you, as it now is to me, is that there is no constant scale to this set, with a higher and lower range in all three groups (large [liners, battleships], medium [merchantmen, other warships, packet steamers] and small [all sorts]), so it's hard to group them anyway other than 'by eye'!

USS Patrick Henry, USA, L.455, GRT 5,600 (no accessories)
Monitor, USA [Navy], L.179, GRT1,200 (no accessories)
U-2, Germany, L.175, GRT 250 (no accessories)

Some spare photographs I didn't get to label, and they are all listed elsewhere, so just eye-candy - this one! Two of the very small ones have accessories though, as - indeed - some of the larger ones have none. Note the two shades of blue used. All my small ones are the darker shade, with the mediums in the paler colour.

While it's common to struggle to photograph reds (flowers as well as plastics!), with these both the yellows and the blues also give a 'white-out' effect due to a high infra-red range 'reading', hence ending-up with two usable shots of the large yellows, I'm not going to copy and paste them twice so see the next image for the listing.

It's worth noting that anyone who's tried to photograph the MPC Wild West 54mm Cowboys and Indians will have had the same problems getting decent shots of the same colours, so it is an MPC plastic thing!

Another thing to note is that my sample - which came from one source - seems to have red and yellow 'large vessels', dark blue 'smalls' and pale blue 'mediums' with few greens? I've seen similar demarcation with different colours in each group, so - and I'm guessing here; that they cut the runner/s (the link above to factory paperwork seems to suggest they were all on one runner/sprue) in the same place, and then mixed the colours in each 'lot' before mailing?

Five 'bigs' and the rest 'mediums'? Until I've tracked them all down, it won't be clear, but it would seem the bigs were the carrier/s, battleship classes and large ocean liners, everything else was medium, and the 'smalls' are more obvious?

SS Liberte, France, L.936, GRT 49,750 (x2 - single-post mast, small T-mast)
USS Dewey, USA, L.512, GRT 4,770 (x4 - 2 communications masts, crane, torpedo tubes?)
USS Eddy Country, USA, L.328, GRT 1,625 (x1 - offset T-mast)
SS Varicella, Great Britain, L.643, GRT 21,800 (x2 - small single-post mast, broken-T mast)
USS Canberra, USA, L.673, GRT 13,600 - (x5 - 3 small masts, 2 triple-gun turrets)
Great Western, Great Britain, L.212 - GRT 1,340 (x4 - 3 Y-post masts, 1 double-T mast)
Great Britain, Great Britain, L.680, GRT 18,915 (x6 - 3 different offset T-masts, 1 Y-mast, 1 single-post mast)
USS William T Powell, USA, L.306, GRT 1,200 (x3 - 2 twin-gun turrets, communications mast)
Scharnhorst, Germany, L.755, GRT 26,000 (x6 - angled mast, 2 loading derricks, 3 triple-gun turrets)
Vanderbilt, USA, L.323, GRT 3,360, (x2 - single-post mast, triple T-mast)
HMS Vanguard, Great Britain, L.814, GRT 51,400 (x8 - 2 cranes, 2 A-masts, 4 twin-gun turrets)

Many of the ship models are anything but accurate, and this is one of the better examples of that inaccuracy, the toy bares little resemblance to any of the configurations of the holder of the name in the 1950/60's, but is clearly not the later replacement, yet the rise at the back of the hull, the missing third 'turret' (AA battery), the two distinctive crows-nest masts all make it also hard to place as the earlier vessel...the model is paying less than lip-service to the original.

USS Canberra, USA, L.673, GRT 13,600 - (x5 - 3 small masts, 2 triple-gun turrets)

Dropped a capital 'V' on the large reds, but can't be arsed to do it again, so; sorry Mr. De Vinci! Again it's obvious from the photograph that the accessories were primarily for play value, with some ships having larger moulded-on details (turrets / superstructures) than other models have smaller plug-in ones, and it seems totally arbitrary, there's no problem with undercuts etc...Fuso being the exception, as there would be undercuts if the superstructure wasn't a plug-in.

The 'United States' has a miss-moulded accessory (common with these, especially if they were all on one mould-tool, leaving the accessories far from the main sprue-gate) which I'm assuming is the other aerodynamic stack-top?

USS Maine, USA, L.425 - GRT 6,682 (x2 - masts with 2 crows nests; 3 arm and 2 arm)
SS United States, USA, L.990, GRT 53,350 (x3 - single-post mast. stack-top, 1 unknown)
Fuso Class Battleship, Japan, L.660, GRT 42,000 (x5 - 4 twin-gun turrets, main superstructure)
TV Leonard Da Vinci, Italy, L.763, GRT 30,500 (x3 - assorted masts, king-posts, MPC Spelling, correct 'Leonardo' in comic ads.)

Medium Blues, the Tramp steamer ('Tramp Type') is a very different style, due to it's being in a larger scale I suspect, but the lines are captured well, as kids we would be taken to see these when there were still a few to be seen from the bridges in London and when empty they looked just like this, when full they could be very low in the water, and they are big, some served as mail packets or took passengers.

USS Brooks, USA, L.314, GRT 1,190 (x1 - offset T-mast)
USS Atlanta, USA, L.541, GRT 6,000 (x6 - 5 twin-gun turrets, offset T-mast, link's to CL-51 but might be CL-104?)
Tramp Type, Great Britain, L.331, GRT 3,100 (x2 - Y-shaped twin-boom masts)
USS Dewey, USA, L.512, GRT 4,770 (x4 - 2 communications masts, crane, torpedo tubes?)

This illustrates the scale differentials very well for the whole range, these are all roughly the same length - as models - but if you check the stats, Dewey and Atlanta should be much longer.

Further studies of the steamer, I weakened and took the accessories off the side and plugged them in! The result of the collection having been stored (in a smoking home?) in Florida for several decades is to be seen on the Q-tips. A lot of stuff in the [James Chase] collection (the ships came with) had signs of extreme humidity or the results thereof! Compare with the previous picture where the smuts are clearly visible on the sides.

Interestingly, although the bulk of the collection was toy soldiers with a strong Marx presence, he was a Florida harbour-master (can't remember which port!) and must have had a soft spot for these as he also had all the Wiking, Trafalgar and Comet mini-ship catalogues, if he had the models too - they went through Christie's which was a bit too rich for me!

Colour variation of the red is subtle, but is does exist, here the TV Leonard Da Vinci is in a darker and paler shade. Note also the miss-moulded masts on the yellow Dewey and paler Da Vinci.

Fuso Class Battleship, Japan, L.660, GRT 42,000 (x5 - 4 twin-gun turrets, main superstructure)
USS Dewey, USA, L.512, GRT 4,770 (x4 - 2 communications masts, crane, torpedo tubes?)
TV Leonard Da Vinci, Italy, L.763, GRT 30,500 (x3 - assorted masts, king-posts, MPC spelling, correct 'Leonardo' in comic ads)
USS Maine, USA, L.425 - GRT 6,682 (x2 - masts with 2 crows nests; 3 arm and 2 arm)

[caption incorrect...shows SS United States not TV Leo...]

The USS Maine is another one which bears only a passing resemblance to the actual vessel which had its two main turrets offset to either side so they could both fire forwards.

USS Maine, USA, L.425 - GRT 6,682 (x2 - masts with 2 crows nests; 3 arm and 2 arm)
NS Savannh [sic] (NS Savannah) - USA - L.595 - GRT 22,000 (x3 - 2 double-x-post masts, 1 unknown - correct 'Savannah' in comic ads)
SS United States, USA, L.990, GRT 53,350 (x3 - single-post mast. stack-top, 1 unknown)
Motor Trawler, Germany, L.140, GRT 200 (x2 - angled loading booms)
Light Ship, Great Britain, L.110, GRT not given (x1 - single-post mast)

This is my 'the rest', a pile of bits and no clue as to which goes with what ship. A similar sized lot to mine was on evilBay recently, and with most of the accessories like these, it went for over $250, plus postage! These were 102 for less than a cent-and-a-half each for the best part of a decade (approximately 1963-1970), and there must be many! I hope the buyer finds this post to match-up some of his bits, but it was silly-money for a lose/unattached accessory lot!

City of Paris, Great Britain, L.346, GRT 2,556 (x3 - parts unknown)
TS Bremen, Germany, L.700, GRT 32,336 (x6 - 1 single-post mast, 5 unknown - king-posts, or cranes?)
USS Eddy Country, USA, L.328, GRT 1,625 (x1 - offset T-mast)
City of Paris [duplicate in shot]
USS Rankin, USA, L.459, GRT 7,040 (x6? - parts unknown, 10 holes but some paired?)
USS El Dorado, USS, L.459, GRT 10,700 (x? - 2 tall single-pole masts, 1 short single-pole mast, 1 piece of electronic equipment; total x4...no other accessory mounting spigot/sprulette apparent on my sample, but 5 holes?)
USCG Picket Boat [link is .pdf], USA, L.40, GRT not given (x1 - parts unknown)
Tramp Type, Great Britain, L.331, GRT 3,100 (x2 - Y-shaped twin-boom masts)
Elco, USA, L.105, GRT 58 (x6 - 1 cannon, 5 unknown)
MS Bergensfjiord, Norway, L.578, GRT18,739 (x3 - parts unknown, nee; De Grasse - Rasa Sayang - Golden Moon)
USS Gyatt, USA, L.390, GRT 2,425 (x3 - parts unknown)
USCG Patrol Boat, USA, L.95, GRT 51 (x2 - parts unknown)
Burton Island, USA, L.269, GRT 3,500 (x4 - parts unknown) [might be listed as both USS Burton Island and B.I. in comic ads?]

So, that's all I can show for now, it would be nice if people like Marc and Paul Harrison (who you will remember was the other contributor last time) who have these could let us know what the missing data on the bases of the other vessels are, or even supply shots of them complete, or with the accessories still attached. I will repeat my call for the current whereabouts/contact details of/for Bob Maschi, and of course if I had his guide in my hands this article would have fewer gaps, has anybody got a copy to hand? Does it help fill the gaps? We also need the one or two question-marked ship's names solidified.

FeeBay images, of note is the maroon colour variant in the centre of the collage

The list in full, alphabetically by name as given on the base of each vessel, or as I can read it from the catalogue imaged above;

Atlantic, Great Britain? (no other details known, see also; USS Atlanta, below)
August Victoria, Germany, L.459, GRT 7,661 (x2 - masts?)
Burton Island, USA, L.269, GRT 3,500 (x4 - parts unknown) [might be listed as both USS Burton Island and B.I. in comic ads? Actually a USCGC...]
BI [B1?] (no other details known, see note; Burton Island above)
City of Paris, Great Britain, L.346, GRT 2,556 (x3 - parts unknown)
Celtic (no other details known)
Clermost [?] (no other details known)
Corzair [Corsair?] (no other details known)
Elco, USA, L.105, GRT 58 (x6 - 1 cannon, 5 unknown)
Fuso Class Battleship, Japan, L.660, GRT 42,000 (x5 - 4 twin-gun turrets, main superstructure)
Great Britain, Great Britain, L.680, GRT 18,915 (x6 - 3 different offset T-masts, 1 Y-mast, 1 single-post mast)
Great Eastern, Great Britian (no other details known)
Great Western, Great Britain, L.212 - GRT 1,340 (x4 - 3 Y-post masts, 1 double-T mast)
Gripsholm, Sweden (no other details known)
HMS Devastation, Great Britain, L.285, GRT 9,320 (x1 - mast)
HMS Queen Elizabeth, Great Britain (no other details known)
HMS Vanguard, Great Britain, L.814, GRT 51,400 (x8 - 2 cranes, 2 A-masts, 4 twin-gun turrets)
Karol Haze [Harol Kaze?] (no other details known)
LCM, USA, L.56, GRT 22 (no accessories? possible spigot for mounting something at stern)
Light Ship, Great Britain, L.110, GRT not given (x1 - single-post mast)
Merrimac, CSA [Navy], L.240, GRT 3,500 (no accessories? possible tab on stern for rudder)
Monitor, USA [Navy], L.179, GRT1,200 (no accessories)
Motor Trawler, Germany, L.140, GRT 200 (x2 - angled loading booms)
MS Bergensfjiord, Norway, L.578, GRT18,739 (x3 - parts unknown, nee; De Grasse, Rasa Sayang and Golden Moon)
NS Savannh [sic] (NS Savannah) - USA - L.595 - GRT 22,000 (x3 - 2 double-x-post masts, 1 unknown - correct 'Savannah' in comic ads)
RMS Lusitania, Great Britain, L.762, GRT 31,550 (x6 - 4 funnels/stacks, 2 masts)
RMS Titanic, Great Britain (no other details known)
Robert E. Lee, USA (no other details known)
Saxonia (no other details known)
Scharnhorst, Germany, L.755, GRT 26,000 (x6 - angled mast, 2 loading derricks, 3 triple-gun turrets)
SS Hawaiian Pilot, USA, L.492, GRT 12,500 (x4 - parts unknown, ex-Burleigh)
SS Liberte, France, L.936, GRT 49,750 (x2 - single-post mast, small T-mast, ex-Europa)
SS Normandie, France, L.981, GRT 79,280 (x2 - unknown, masts?)
SS United States, USA, L.990, GRT 53,350 (x3 - single-post mast. stack-top, 1 unknown)
SS Varicella, Great Britain, L.643, GRT 21,800 (x2 - small single-post mast, broken-T mast)
Termoil, Great Britain, L.205, GRT 1,800 (no accessories)
Tramp Type, Great Britain, L.331, GRT 3,100 (x2 - Y-shaped twin-boom masts)
TS Bremen, Germany, L.700, GRT 32,336 (x6 - 1 single-post mast, 5 unknown - king-posts, or cranes?)
TSS Olympia (no other details known), nee; Regal Empress
TSS Rotterdam, Holland, L.748, GRT 38,845 (x2 masts?)
Tug 1936, Great Britain, L.120, GRT 250 (no accessories - Identical sculpt to 1940 version)
Tug 1940, Great Britain, L.120, GRT 250 (no accessories - Identical sculpt to 1936 version)
TV Leonard Da Vinci, Italy, L.763, GRT 30,500 (x3 - assorted masts, king-posts, MPC spelling, correct 'Leonardo' in comic ads)
U-2, Germany, L.175, GRT 250 (no accessories, still haven't found what they're looking for!)
USCG Patrol Boat, USA, L.95, GRT 51 (x2 - parts unknown)
USCG Picket Boat [link is .pdf], USA, L.40, GRT not given (x1 - parts unknown)
USS Atlanta, USA, L.541, GRT 6,000 (x6 - 5 twin-gun turrets, offset T-mast, link's to CL-51 but might be CL-104? See also; Atlantic, above)
USS Barry [Barmay?], USA [no other details known]
USS Brooks, USA, L.314, GRT 1,190 (x1 - offset T-mast)
USS Canberra, USA, L.673, GRT 13,600 - (x5 - 3 small masts, 2 triple-gun turrets)
USS Dewey, USA, L.512, GRT 4,770 (x4 - 2 communications masts, crane, torpedo tubes?)
USS Eddy Country, USA, L.328, GRT 1,625 (x1 - offset T-mast, a strange choice...USS Achilles had a far more eventful history?)
USS El Dorado, USS, L.459, GRT 10,700 (x? - 2 tall single-pole masts, 1 short single-pole mast, 1 piece of electronic equipment; total x4...no other accessory mounting spigot/sprulette apparent on my sample, but 5 holes?)
USS Enterprise, USA (no other details known, link's to CV-6 but may just be CVN-65)
USS Gyatt, USA, L.390, GRT 2,425 (x3 - parts unknown)
USS Hornet, USA (no other details known, link's to CV-12 but might be CV-8)
USS Long Beach, USA (no other details known)
USS Maine, USA, L.425 - GRT 6,682 (x2 - masts with 2 crows nests; 3 arm and 2 arm)
USS Mason [?], USA (no other details known)
USS Missouri, USA (no other details known)
USS Navarro, USA (no other details known)
USS Patrick Henry, USA, L.455, GRT 5,600 (no accessories)
USS Rankin, USA, L.459, GRT 7,040 (x6? - parts unknown, 10 holes but some paired?)
USS Sarge [?], USA (no other details known)
USS Yatanocas, USA, L.81, GRT 310 (no accessories)
USS William T Powell, USA, L.306, GRT 1,200 (x3 - 2 twin-gun turrets, communications mast)
Vanderbilt, USA, L.323, GRT 3,360, (x2 - single-post mast, triple T-mast)
Yerba Buena Ferryboat, USA, L.256, GRT not given (no accessories, doesn't look much like any of the boats that worked the route or wore the name!)

Kent Sprecher's Toy Soldier HQ site has pictures of two not featured above HMS Vanguard and Gripsholm

If you've read this far and followed all the links, you now know as much about these as I do...or anyone else - I suspect!

24'ish hours later...and another five or six hours work!...I have added text, sorted out typos and several more glaring errors (I have yet to re-do one of the images!) and provided links to most of the ships. Wherever possible that is the Wikipedia page from which you can follow hosts of other links, but for a few of the generic types; other pages have been used, and one or two specific vessels had to have more esoteric findings...one of the liners ended-up with a page of postcards as it was all I could find. One of the USCG vessel's links is to a .pdf file, just be aware if you're on a tight data-leash with you Internet provision, also give it time to load.

The bad news is...we have lost a vessel from the master list! Devastation was - of cousre - also HMS Devastation! I have added BI to make weight and changed the notes. All the real question-mark vessels have no link, and a couple of the links may to to the wrong vessel, as depicted in the set of models.

2 comments:

Paul Foster said...

Excellent effort here Hugh.

I can remember these from the back of the old comics, but I am really surprised how much effort was put into them.

Full marks mate.

Hugh Walter said...

Thanks Paul, they're a nice set! One day I might try and track down the missing ones myself, but for now that'll do!

I've been working on a big departure for me to put another bunch of question-marks, myths and rumours to bed...using images culled from all over the Internet, but presented in a way that is for 'research purposes' rather than plagiarism!

It will be a separate page at the top of this page as it's 70-odd screen-captures! The subject matter probably won't interest you, but the missing link which was the 'light-bulb moment' and has been staring collectors in the face; was Antipodean!

I'm doing the bases in CAD now, and will load it once I've done the text off-line as it's going to be a wordy bugger too!

Keeps me young and out of trouble!

H