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.

Tuesday, August 2, 2016

C is for Chitinous Creepy-Crawly Carded Chinacritters

So - I am declaring August 'Rack Toy Month'. I'm not sure if the UN or HMG will add it to their lists of official days, weeks, months and cultural years, but certainly at Small Scale World, this August will be Rack Toy Month . . . and if Brian Berke keeps sending me images and examples at his current rate, it'll be Rack Toy Month for the whole of the second half of 2017!

As well as lots of images from Brian, I've collected a few myself recently and there are a few older ones in Picasa, all of which can be grouped, lumped or thrown-together violently in thematic posts, or as stand-alone posts.

We'll start with last week's little act of serendipidy or co-incidence; I had to go on an epic journey the other day involving 7 buses and several miles of walking, I won't bore you with the details . . . all frightfully parochial real-life shite involving a drive-belt for a garden chipper, but I had to pop into Farnborough for some vape-juice (over two years, no fag!) at the start of the day so popped round the corner to a party shop I check for this stuff occasionally and got more lizards, four key-rings, a bag of cats (coming soon) and a bag of insects!

The netted set top right, be they! One of the key rings was a snail, so the two purchases rather drove each-other. Two buses later found me in Frimley, where there used to be a shed-load of charity shops, some of them seem to have gone, but there were a few and with 20 minutes to kill for the connection, I flew round them and found the old tub of insects - bottom right.

As I'd seen, and rejected a set of large and not very good insects in The Works earlier, I thought "Well, 'it has to be' now!" and so, two buses later, shelled out the couple of quid for the set to the left in the above collage!

The contents of the three sets, you can see why I initially rejected the Works ones, they (upper shot) are big, rubbery, lacking detail and are not trying too hard to resemble anything known to entomologists - in all cases the legs/thorax rule is studiously avoided!

Below them to the left is the Ackerman charity-shop purchase, with 13 present I suspect a couple are missing? To be honest they're not much cop either but were only 50p! Finally the Unique branded bag's contents are a bit better, probably not that accurate either, but better sculpts and more subdued colours make them a reasonable set. They would respond well to a repaint.

Comparisons between the sets, you can see the sizes in the previous collage are pretty close to the actual size comparisons here, anyone who knows how Picasa collages work will know that's more by good luck than good judgement!

The un-branded key-ring which started the insect purchasing frenzy is probably a marine mollusc - with a shell like that, certainly something very foreign to the UK? I've removed the ring & chain for this shot, and looking at it next to the monkey and horse it came with, I suspect they were tub/toob items themselves once?

Supporting evi'dawnce! A few weeks ago I'd got the trick roach, also from The Works (59p, for a hysterical insect . . . bargain!) to add to the small number of novelty insects and invertebrates we saw back in December's novelty posts, now I'm well on my way to my first shed-full!

Several of these will be very useful as monsters in a secret dungeon trap! Although the best candidates for that are the scorpions who all need their tails bent up with hot-water treatment as they are all moulded flat. Indeed; the scorpions (count the legs!) can all be ridden by 25/30mm figures?

Again . . . from the I-buy-this-stuff-so-you-don't-have-to dept., a couple of day after I put this article to bed, I found these two, from H. Grossman (HGL) which I bought a while ago with next December in mind, bearing in mind last December's novelty 'season'!

The snake is vile, both sets come with a protective sheet to prevent them damaging the card backing and neither has the 'may stain clothes' warning of the 1970's capsule toy we looked at last Christmas. But, while the maggots are fun and quite realistic; the two larger black ones are more like leeches than maggots - the snake is a blob, which stained and deformed the first PE bag I put it in, which went soft and wrinkly - in hours?

I've now stored it in foil, rolled in one bag, in another bag, with a mental note to chuck-it if there are any more problems! Vile, I tells' ya; cold, slimy, probably radioactive, lump of sun-gelled, hell-spawn!


Jan Ferris said...

You had me scathing all night with all of your insects; I will need to go out tomorrow to purchase more insect repellent!

Hugh Walter said...

They do get under the skin Jan!

Funnily enough I was scouting Toys-R-Us yesterday, and HGL (Grossman) had the Unique beetles in glow-in-the-dark plastic barnded to them, so [not so] Unique!