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.

Sunday, May 10, 2015

MPC is for Mini Ships - Part Two; Comparisons

So to comparisons between the MPC mini ships and other comparable vessels ancient and modern (of manufacture), to give an idea of what goes with what size-wise, as 'scale' is so clearly a moot point with these models.

Starting with the larger submarine, it's actually quite close to both the similar and almost as accurate (in outline) ballistic missile subs from Galoob's Micro Machine lines, the other three are really just toys.

I left the similar sized Crescent sub off the first image, so have squeezed it into both collages as a continuation shot, I also forgot the Lido one so I've placed that with both as an inset. It's quite interesting as it's an early Nuclear-sub design which keeps some of the lines of the old U-Boat styles, but for scale purposes, would have the size of the more modern ships.

These are all board-game playing pieces with the possible exception of the two grey ones nearest the Patrick Henry (dropped [or; lowered?] an aitch on the caption!), which may be war-game pieces, and the two aforementioned (Lido and Crescent) which were both 'carpet' toys.

Landing craft; The MPC WWII one flanked by the two modern ones from the Airfix HMS Fearless kit, and all lead by an unknown kit boat (LCA shape...'ish) which I think might be from one of the odd box-scale kits from Pyro or early Revell?

On the MPC vessel the spigot sticking out of the back may be for an unknown accessory, or just a bit of frame? Likewise the indentation forward of the wheelhouse may be a mounting hole for an unknown accessory, but I think it's just shrinkage.

Battleships - The larger size and by association smaller scale range of the MPC minis;  the INGAP and the penny-toys are quite similar, but the Hong Kong and Crescent boats are modelling smaller vessels, so are over-sized in comparison with the MPC ship.

When I say penny-toys, it's only because I don't have a name for them and they have 'cheap' decoration. They may be by a later a 'name', there were several smaller die-casters in the UK making toys in the 1950's-60's such as Benbros and Kemlow, these may be by either? They are also all slightly different and marked B1 through to B3.

[Now ID'd as Chad Valley, probably from a boxed set, 1950's?]

Intermediate or medium size, here using the Tramp Type steamer and an LST from MPC as comparison vehicles for food premiums from Manurba and Sanella and the Matchbox accessories from a large harbour play-set they did. Painted-up these would all look fine next to each other size-wise.

The smallies; the MB Games Axis & Allies ship in the centre is a much smaller scale, being a tramp steamer, and both the Montaplex vessels are military ships of larger scale size.

Back to the medium sized rage, for more naval vessels, the Lido set are all roughly the same size, but obviously one of them is a much scaled-down battleship, as is the MB Games Axis & Allies one.

03-09-2016 Unknown (bottom right, along with two pale grey subs above) is now known - Silvercorn


The ocean liners are all from the bigger end of the MPC stable and match the Rosenhain and Lipmann (R&L) for Kellogg's cereal premium pretty well. The kit is scaled by collectors at 1:3640 and is missing two very fine mast mouldings, I suspect it's a tad smaller than the MPC mini ships, being the larger vessel in real life?


Quaker also had a go at Ocean liners and their little set are scaled smaller that both the MPC ones and the Kellogg's import. A Direct comparison with two versions of Liberte (Europa for most of her eventful life) showing a lack of accuracy as well!

We looked at these Quaker liners here and there's more here.

Shades of blue above with three each from MPC, Quaker and Hong Kong above, the HK vessels being - I believe - copies of the old Triang Minic waterline series.

I forgot (or meant...) to label this shot, but the red one is Tina Onassis the only cargo-ship in the Quaker set and I've done a comparison with similar vessels, the HK one being a militarised version of the original Triang mail or packet steamer? The USS Eddy Country looking like a cargo vessel and the SS Varicella being a tanker.

The Hong Kong set were looked at before in the post linked to above with the Quaker and other smaller ones, but I've since got some more, so a new line-up of mouldings and colour variations is above with a look at the various tugs.

There are three tugs from Hong Kong, the one I've numbered '1', is a full hull model which I suspect goes with these from Lucky Toys, sort of confirmed by the unpainted pale one, going with the unpainted versions of the larger vessels in the linked post. The number 3 (two designs) goes with the similar blue-grey and sea-green copies of Triang Minic vessels, while the charcoal grey one I've numbered as '2' seems to be from a third source or even a kit, it has better detailing and a smaller superstructure.

The MPC version as a higher prow, and probably isn't a copy of the Triang one, this was a standard design of tug-boat and years ago the harbours of the world were full of them, indeed we've already seen MPC produced two, dated a few years apart, but they're all but identical.

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