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.

Wednesday, February 17, 2016

A is for Abilene

Another box-ticker really, this time it's Atlantic and their little frontier ghost-town (no figures!) Abilene with its attendant Fort Riley.

The lovely box-art of the later Atlantic sets showed you what was possible with a bit of paint, some lichen and a bucket of dry sand, and must have helped sales...I remember the frustration of not knowing what was 'really' in the Trojan Warriors set...even though the artwork was colourful.

Scrolled assembly instructions on the back of the box hint at the simplicity of design and construction, and there was a reassuring solidity to the contents when you shook the box!

There was a certain disappointment when the box was finally home and opened, the smaller units are very small, and the larger units are all corner-stands. But once they were made and up they could be arranged in a variety of ways to make a little township and it's not as if the Wild West fan of the late 1970's was over-supplied with pioneer architecture in this scale.

The frames came in two colours with one large and two small building's parts per frame, so mixing and matching could help vary the unpainted castings while stickers added a bit of colour and helped set-up any story-lines. You also realised that one of the reasons the box-art was so enticing was careful arrangement and cropping of the 6 building!

The garrison that helped the town grow were housed (once you'd bought them separately) in Fort Riley, again - to people raised on Airfix and Hong Kong forts, disappointingly chunky...until you gave it some thought...these things were built from trees...they should be chunky!

Put-together it makes a fine edifice for the edge of town (several inches from the centre of town!), and despite the chunkiness, shares the same approximately 8x8-inch dimensions of the Airfix forts, the Giant and Giant-like forts, the MPC 50mm figures fort and the Italian pocket-money fort we looked at on the Blog an age ago and which will be near the bottom of the 'Forts' tag-results page.

It should be noted that from the start the real Fort Riley was a stone fort, so best make-up another name-plate, however there was an Abilene town - also in Kansas and that would have been timber, a later Abilene was built in Texas.

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