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.

Saturday, October 3, 2015

N is for Not Butter Nut!

Having touched on the Britains Swoppets the other night while looking at the 'other colours' in the collection, we might as well tick this lot off the list at the same time.

The confederacy, sans butter nut, there were actually very few parts in total and both the concept of 'swoppet' and a bit of paint gave the full range its apparent diversity of poses and 'official' 6-pose count, with the odd flag, a change of hat or a sword.

Another ACW rule is established here; unique to Britains though, and easy to ignore...Confederates have butter nut packs and white blankets, the Union - grey and red respectively. Less easy to deal with is the Union have long-tailed jackets, Confederates don't rule!

Britains 'pocket' catalogue illustrations from the end of their run, the Confederates are shown with the 'Stars and Bars' but the 23rd Alabama Regiment flag with my sample was just as common and widely pirated in Hong Kong. These figures have a value today which seems to me to be greater than their availability would suggest, as they are not that rare, but they are lovely figures and clean examples are always in demand.

The Union's forces, you can see how simply moving the arms would change a firer into a 'ready' pose and how the bottom row are all on the same legs. The prone firer is probably the most expensive figure to produce - per retail unit - as both his legs and torso are unique him, with no real swap'ability vis-a-vis the other figures.

Play-wear leads to the red-paint of the blanket-rolls getting very dirty, sometimes a bit sticky (it was almost impossible to successfully paint PVC's in the 60's with paint technology where it was at the time), or rubbing-off the ends 'till it's easier to oven-clean them back to the bare white.

7 comments:

Ed and Bettina Berg said...

Britains ACW figures were excellent and their cavalry was the best for its time. Too bad American companies didn't offer much by way of pre-painted figures. True, Marx did have its Warriors of The World but the line was very limited.

Hugh Walter said...

But they were expensive Ed - For the suburban middle-classes! We only had four, two 2nd series cowboys (sitting Mexican and standing with the twig/prickly pear on his base) with two Indians and Mum made sure we looked after them!

H

Ed and Bettina Berg said...

Thank goodness for plain old fashion Little Green Army Men. Buy 'em by the bag full and save!

Hugh Walter said...

Because we were the rural middle class we weren't allowed HK either! The Swoppets were too posh and expensive, the HK was too cheap and 'down market' so we were restricted to Timpo and Airfix with a bag of Lone Star, Crescent and HK herald we got at a Church Fête! I'm sure that's why I have an unnatural affinity with HK stuff now...Doh!

H

Ed and Bettina Berg said...

I grew up in what is today called a 'mixed use' neighborhood in the inner city. That means it wasn't only residential but there were enough essential businesses to make it comfortable to live - no long commutes like those guys livin' in the 'burbs. We had a supermarket (minuscule by today's standards but it served us well) and a Rexall drug store right across the street and between the two of them there were plenty of cheap toys. I'm sure the Roundy's (the supermarket mentioned above) is where Mom got me my Deluxe Reading Operation X-500 set.

Hugh Walter said...

Our first 'supermarket' was the Key Market in the teeming metropolis (not!) of Farnham, it was a glorified grocers with strip-lighting and a shiny floor! No Toys, cheap or otherwise!!!

Ed and Bettina Berg said...

There are definitely some advantages to living in a big city, but over here even the small mom-&-pop corner stores had toys in them. Not many toys, but something to keep the kiddies (like me) entertained.