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.

Wednesday, October 21, 2015

S is for Slush-cast...Not!

Two in one night...he must be clearing crap out of Picasa again! I shot this at a show a while ago, not really a 'bit of me', show me a Khaki one with an allied star, or show me one with a figure and I'll be interested, but pure civi stuff in 1:24th (or thereabouts), is not something I get excited about.

But, I was interested enough by the apparent attempt of a metal toy to try to look like a plastic toy, as to photograph it. I'm referring specifically to the yellow wheels, which are exactly what you'd find on dime-store plastics of the 1950's/early '60's. The wheels are also fixed to the body in a similar way, simple mouldings of axle and both wheels as one piece, they sit in a grove which is hammered-closed over them - as you might collapse two plastic spigots either side of a plastic axle with a hot blade.

Also, this is not slush-cast, but looks like it. When you pick it up it's too light for soft white-metals (lead; as was), this is actually a very crudely cast mazac/zamak alloy which has not been fettled, leaving rough edges to the windows as if slush-cast in soft metal.

Slush-casting of toy vehicles was a bit like hollow-casting of toy soldiers, but with a slightly more complicated mould; you sloshed the molten metal around and poured-out the excess, leaving an uneven interior, but hopefully the exterior had taken the detail of the mould's surface. This model has an equally smooth interior, which has been painted to the same high-gloss, helping the faux-plastic look.

Just as generals and politicians always start fighting the next war as if it was the last (until they realise the enemy has new tech. and new tactics), or economists always treat the new crisis like the last one (until they realise the variables are all different), so toy manufacturers always try to use the new technology to crate the toys of the old technology, and this is trying to be a slush-cast car (because it's metal), using dime-store plastic techniques (because it's injection moulding) and end's up the bastard child of both, because no one has yet though..."do you know what, with this tech., we could include fine-finish shelves for windows, we could drill and screw a base-plate?"

It's a fascinating example of a nascent technology, I don't know the maker, it was unmarked, but it must be among the earliest die-cast vehicles, and was really clean.


Jan Ferris said...

Interesting treatise.

Hugh Walter said...

Thanks Jan...I've just spotted a couple of typos, so I'll sort those out! No idea on a maker?