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.

Wednesday, October 19, 2016

CC is for Christopher Columbus . . . C is for Colonising Couple of Continents, Cruelly Crushing Centuries-old Civilisations!

Back in 1992 Preiser produced a set designed to celebrate the 500th anniversary of Europeans wreaking two whole continents with their little flags, and; forgiving Preiser (but not Columbus); it is a sublime set which represents the highest peak of Preiser's output, both in terms of design skills and production techniques.

Each of the three main runners contains a number of 'multi-pose' (home-assembly) figures with a few accessories, while another runner contains more bits and bobs. Above we see the 'character' runner with both Europeans and Amerindians, and the extra runner with an assortment of shields and weapons.
The other runners were a matching pair with the 'background soldiery', again for both sides of what would become a cultural cataclysm, for one side at least.

The figures in the set are beautiful, and while modern 3D CAD/CAM processes can take some of the credit for all Presier's modern developments, it's true also that somewhere in the organisation you need people with flair, vision and a sense of imagination - I'm sounding very poncy suddenly, but there's not a lot to add to a few 'sprues' of unpainted figures!
We can however add the box-art - showing both the unpainted figures 'made up' (which allows me to keep mine on the runner!) and some of Presier's wonderful 'suggestions for arrangement'.

While the reverse has the same figures, fully painted and photographed from both sides as a painting and positioning guide for the various parts.

Although there is also a full instruction sheet included in the set for those who need words and arrows and numbers and things!

It also carries more views of the landing scene, and a rather nicely posed 'plug' for Revell's 1:90th scale Santa Maria model-kit.

Not the first time Preiser and Revell have worked together; soon after taking over the Elastolin archive, Preiser licensed the Romans & Celts, Normans and Saxons of the later, to the former, suitably reduced in size for their 1:72nd scale polyethylene figure set range.

They have also worked together to get Prieser's excellent FH18 field howitzer, crew, limber and team simplified for production in the same soft-plastic figure range.

Due to its release being tied into the anniversary year, although it was never marketed as a limited edition - to my knowledge - the Columbus set was nevertheless swiftly withdrawn from the catalogue and became considered a rarity (despite everyone I know who wanted one, getting one) carrying the evilBay price premium that such a status comes-with these days. [frown-ani, angry emoticon!]

However, the bulk of the useful figures from the set are now available in a large unpainted set (16359 - the best way to purchase Preiser, who can be considered very dear as painted sets), along with all sorts of other useful items for medieval war-gamers and dioramists.

Of interest are the re-enactor market traders and serving wenches in costume or the shop-dummies; which with feet added (or longer skirts) and heads (of which there is a supply attached to the 'serving wenches') will make lovely additions to the Italieri Tournament sets - as will everything in these new releases.

Also - at this scale - you can't tell if the dealers stalls have been kit-built with s coach-bolts, or lovingly hand-built with blacksmiths nails, so all the various structures can go straight into a medieval diorama or onto a medieval war-game table, while the Saxons (returning from their loan to Revell?) are equally useful, if tiresomely 'old hat' now! Set 17216 also seems to have the accessory-runner from the Columbus set, but the Amerindians are notable by their absence.

The best bits above are the transparent green bottles (Rothenburger I'm sure!), I can see them appearing in the hands of diminutive Panzer-crews or GI's at modelling shows!

A high-res image scan of the flag carried by the colonists (Castile?) which is printed on the boxes heavy card end-flaps, it may be of use to someone as a download, re-size it to about 1x2cm; it's only meant as a little standard or guidon, for a lance or pole-arm.


Paul´s Bods said...

There ya go.I´ve been hoping that the columbus set would re-appear and now it turns up again but with bells on! The idios never really interested me, I was after the europeans but wasn´t prepared to pay the "re-morgage the house" Prices offered on evil bay.
Now I know the new sets exist (market etc) I did a quick search (22 euros for 125 bods..bloody bargain and 35 for the market set..another bargain) I found this Little lot
The small lights could have been better hidden but still some good dios using the bods from 16359.

Hugh Walter said...

Nice post, that's that mad diorama/museum thing isn't it?

I posted the landshe...landschnec....those mercenaries I can never spell - ages ago (also a Gary Worsfold donation) try Preiser in the tag list?

Jan Ferris said...

I have a small collection of Preiser figures that I have been wanting to make posts. I just don't seem to get around to it. Over the years there have been a few Preiser kits I wish I had purchased. However, I cannot say that I have ever seen the likes of these. Nice finds.

Brian Carrick said...

Such a shame they never made them in 54mm!

Hugh Walter said...

Jan - Cheers! you should blog them, there's a lot to be said about Preiser, so the more people who Blog them the better, even a handful!

Brian - They will! Probably....eventually...if you ask them nicely? Seriously; they do pantograph up and down between scales and may well be encouraged to produce them as a 54mm set...without the Amerindians they could be sold as Conq....you know (I'm not risking that without spell-check!)