We voted to leave the most exclusive club in the world and the pound fell through the floor, but nobody's learnt the lesson! "Start buying a little extra tinned-food every week . . ." someone should have told the people of Aleppo, six or seven years ago ". . . you never know if you may need it one day".
Thankfully, we can rely on our toys to deliver exactly what it says on the tin, every time . . .
This 'tin' was so old it was hard to see through but it still, clearly said: "Little green truck and a few Airfix copies". And that's exactly what it contained, a copy of the Dinky or Britains Austin Champ and a handful of ex-Airfix US Marines (1st type) and Russian Infantry; similar to, but not the same as, Baravelli's early figures.
Well, I say clearly; I commissioned a few polls prior to buying, and they all said that while it looked like a green jeep, it was likely, going to be, almost certainly, definitely, by about a 2% margin; an orange armoured car! Imagine the surprise of everyone (even one James Naughtie on the BBC's World Service) when a green truck fell out.
I normally wouldn't de-bag a first example, but with the bag failing and the remains of the rubber-band welding the sample card to the header; it wasn't worth trying to keep in one piece.
Keen and Gay, if it wasn't printed on the sample label, you'd think I'd made it up to annoy the parochial fuckwits who get annoyed about such things! "Drop'em Danno, I'm commin'in!"
Nothing about the company in Monks, nothing in Garratt, nothing on-line, Garratt mentions a Gay making 'solids' presumably in metal in the Disunited States back in the 1960's, but otherwise nothing, just another jobbing jobber with an office (well; a Post Office box number!) in the colony?
Although the finish is poorer than Blue Box's Champ, it's not that bad as a model, with moulding of the tools racked to the sides and a much better rendition of the wading snorkel.
The Austin Champ was a solid, reliable, Rolls Royce-engined answer to the jeep, but as I think I've mentioned before was a bugger to work on when it failed to be reliable - as all military vehicles do from time to time - as it had a 'sealed engine' (whatever that means - something to do with the wading capability?), and in the end while a whole bunch were produced, it lost out in trials with the Land Rover and Austin Gypsy, to the former, which the British Army still use in large numbers.
Those production vehicles were palletised and racked at the big bulk store in Donnington, for use in a future war, where the story used to be that the majority were destroyed in the big fire in the 1980's, but none of the Champ websites seem to mention it, so we'll put that one down to rumour-control!