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. I will 'bite the hand that feeds' to remind it why it feeds.

Thursday, June 30, 2016

ANZAC is for Australia and New Zealand's Army Corps

Technically it's for 'Australia / New Zealand Army Corps', but that's a Blog-post title, not Part One Orders! We leave the denizens of DC and Marvel's fantasy worlds for figures more firmly anchored in the fighting history of the real world.

There are strangely few 'obviously' Antipodean troops available in the toy soldier world, and even in the countries concerned, the only figures issued were a small set of Museum figures (I'm still hoping to return to one day) and some flats that look like bog-standard 'Tommie's in helmets . . . which of course; was how they usually appeared in combat.

While the Slouch-hat, which best represents them was either a WWI thing (where there is an equal dearth of figures), or a non-combat thing, like our beret, or the American side-hats or baseball caps . . . thinking more of WWII there, now everyone has berets, and Slouch-hats are more of a formal headgear down-under, I believe?

Even when toy-makers tell you they are modelling 'Australians' or ANZAC's, they usually then give you figures wearing a generic jungle hat, which was also worn by the Brits, Yanks, non-Hindu Indians, Ghurkha's and other allies! But here are some anyway:

These are quite hard to find and command a decent value when they do turn up - Hilco's Aussies; these are copies of the old Timpo solid 8th Army figures but with the addition of the aforementioned 'ANZAC' headgear. Not as crude as the similar HK marked piracies, they are smaller than the Timpo originals at around 50/52mm

I've been spiriting these shots away in a Picasa folder for a while, waiting for enough to make a post, when Brian sent me the upper Timpo 'swoppet' picture the other day, more in conversation than intended for the blog . . . but "I can use that" says I!

I don't think I have these at all, maybe one? I don't remember Blogging them when I did the other 2nd type 'khaki Infantry' with berets and helmets, and if I had any they would have come in that same collection-purchase back in 2010. Hard to find and commanding a similar value to the Hilco's, maybe a tad more affordable!

Below is a Trojan 14th Army figure. Trojan made them in this green as Jungle fighters, not specifically ANZAC's, and in sand as Australians - presumably in the Western Desert?

Here is one! This is my only example to date and he's a bit tatty, from last May's Plastic Warrior show (PW163 is out now - if you don't subscribe), he's missing his muzzle/flash-suppressor, but as it made his Thompson SMG far too long (in scale), it's not so bad a problem!

I've posed him with a couple of Airfix figures in the upper picture, to which he scales well and with the smaller figures from Blue Box (on the left) and Ri-Toys (Rado Industries, on the right) in the lower picture.

The Blue Box figure is a bit on the small side, but the Rado is awful - pantographed down from a Blue Box original, and then given the Airfix officers arms as a cut-n-shut, near same size, he ends up looking like a bug-eyed, knot-kneed, monkey-pirate, holding a blunderbuss in one hand and a butcher's knife in the other!

This is a cheat; these aren't close to ANZAC's at all, being actually French Indochinese colony troops, cast in aluminium from Cofalu, it's easy to see how they lost Vietnam, casually wandering about, lightly-armed or playing music, they needed to take the Vietminh a bit more seriously!

Thanks to Adrian Little for letting me photograph these and the 14th Army chap, and to Brian Berke for the Timpo shot.


Jan Ferris said...

Nice set of Anzac you have here.

Al said...

Post of the year! There were also some 'museum' figures made for an anniversary of some kind: NZL Wars, Boer War, WW1, WW2, Malaya

Hugh Walter said...

Jan - Nearly all conributuuions! Mine are the sorry little lot in the third image!

Al - Long story...I did Blog one back at the start of the blog, and two guys offered to send me some, one did (Al Clarke I seem to recall?) but they never arrived (Royal Fail), the other is still 'adding to the lot' and hopes to send them one day, after which I will blog them complete! In the meantime, they were in Plastic Warrior magazine about 10 years ago...eMail Paul Morhead, he may still have the back issue or a page he can send you?