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.

Sunday, July 30, 2017

B is for Baravelli

Not Barabelli! That's something you get in Tunisia if the hotel's chef doesn't cook the fish properly!

Today's post comes courtesy and as a collection of contributions from three people, so I'd better name-check them first, Kostas X from Greece sent me several of the images about a year ago (?), and I was holding them for the HK Blog (where they will still appear, but now as duplicates!) when the other day I got an eMail from John Roquas in the Netherlands, offering me Baravelli images someone had asked him about.

Given other stuff which was occurring at the time; I was a mite confused and replied in such a manner as to confuse John in return! However we then arrived at the fact that Tim ('Gisby' in comments) had been the one asking! So thanks to Tim for facilitating, John for supplying, and Kostas for all he's sent the Blog[s] (most of his contributions are on the Airfix Blog) over the years.

I believe some of these images have recently been seen by some of you on The Facebook, so I've tried to enhance the post with stuff from the collection, where it's ID'able as being the same Hong Kong stuff as was supplied to Baravelli, but apologies - if it's all 'old hat'!

Also as mine are all in storage we will look at them again one day, but their absence is not a great loss as the only set I think I have which is not here is the foot Romans, which are simply copies-of-copies of Giant.

The earlier boxes were parroting Airfix (and/or the first version Atlantic boxes), although with the same bloodthirstiness - as the old guy gets blown-away - that Airfix had with their dying card-sharp type.

The later boxes (which I think we've looked at?) were a more disappointing generic, with six artwork 'thumbnails' on each side, and a sticker or marker-pen mark to indicate which of the 12 the contents were most likely to represent!

These are John's, and their contents have been somewhat enhanced! With a box normally having 15 mounted or 42 foot figures, it appears these have the contents of two foot sets, a mounted set and a few more. John explained that that was how they ended-up as his boxes became the casualties of childhood!

Points to note are that the foot figures are all Airfix piracies while the mounted figures are late copies-of-copies of Giant. The Indians have two poses made from Airfix mounted figures, while the Cowboys have one made from the crawling guy, who now seems to be being shot, nosily and messily? They also have three clones of the High Chaparral's 'family-in-residence', namely Blue Boy (pointing), Uncle Buck (bottle!) and Manolito (designed for riding - See the AirfixBlog post)!

But, in Kostas's box, it all goes a bit 'Pete Tong' and not because the contents have been added to post-purchase, but because the contents have been cobbled together to fulfil an order/contract on a Friday afternoon . . . or something like that!

The majority of the contents are copies of Britains and Crecsent 'combat infantry' usually associated with Woolbro, to which have been added four mounted cowboys and Indians with their horses (neither hoses nor riders the usuall Baravelli types) and a lone ex-1st version Airfix 8th Army man running.

The bag is identical to those in mine which came from a mint batch Andy Harfield had in his lists back in '97, even to the very small-sized staples, so I'm sure it's 'right', just so wrong!

So these are the figures filling the bulk of the bag in Kostas's box of Cow Boy A Piedi; we looked at them as a tail-ender on the Khaki Infantry page but will have a quick look now. The six common poses of Britains' Khaki Infantry and five of Crescent's Desert Troops, all scaled down to approximately 25mm.

While the bag's contents are a bit of a shock, over the years there have been various Baravelli sets appear on the web with odd or non-standard contents, so I think they weren't that fussy?

The sets they are more commonly associated with.

I don't have any yellow ones here, but I do have some blue ones (UN!) along with the more common green ones. The mounted figures are found in the Fort Cheyenne Frontier Set from YF (who carried ex-Giant knights and Mongols), and we will look at them in detail on the Hong Kong Blog when I pull my finger out and finish the posts - there's 69 in various stages of editing in Picasa!

Back to Baravelli proper and this is a set I don't have - so a bit of jealousy, but only really for the box which is so cool; it's half-Airfix artwork and half Army Men rack-toy artwork, with a quite 1960's French-looking armoured patrol in the background.

Although this set doesn't have as many foot figures as an Airfix box, it is heavier on the cavalry, which back in the 1960's/70's made this stuff very useful if you were looking to build cheap war-games armies.

Because Baravelli were shipping generic HK Airfix-clones as imports in/for their branded packaging rather than either sourcing their own more unique figures (Solpa), or making them themselves (Montaplex), they do turn-up elsewhere and we've looked at them on the Airfix Blog, but we can touch on them again.

This set is pretty much the same as John's, but exactly half the contents; all figures in a similar neutral sand colour with one each foot and two each mounted on horseback and mounted on camel.

They were also available in other colours!

Roman Cavalry; again there's the contents of about two-and-a-half sets here, and I know when I got mine from Harfields there were exactly 15 hoses and 15 riders in each little sealed bag - although after that bag in Kostas's cowboys; the rule seems to be . . . anything goes!

These are sub-piracies of Giant's Romans, sort of 2nd/3rd generation, mounted on the horse I call Mexican and we have looked at several variations here, but will look at them all again on the HK Blog. One pose each from Marx and Britains Herald and one converted from a Crescent foot figure.

A close-up of what appears to be a good match, as we saw on that Roman page; the differences can be quite subtle, and without the Baravelli's in my hand, it can only be guesswork but I've tried to match the figure colours; just couldn't find a black horse at short notice!

The foot figure is only a guide, but I think he is Baravelli, and we will look at the Infantry properly one day when I get my sartorially rather fetching mauve'y, purple'ish puke-pink sample out of storage!

Thanks again to John Roquas, Tim Peterson and Kostas for creating this post.


Jan Ferris said...

Nice Baravelli stuff.

Hugh Walter said...

Cheers Jan, but Tim was the catalyst and the other two the contributors, so very-much a team effort!


Gisby said...

Tim is a great guy, happy to have him around. Always helpful, and a deep well of wisdom & knowledge. We need more like him.

Hugh Walter said...

Indeed! We do!


Anonymous said...

I have a small collection of maybe a 100-150 pieces of these small plastic pieces. They all appear to be hand painted, but have seen some use and the paint is flaking away. I am 99% sure they are the Baravelli stuff you have here. I was going to throw them away, but I figured to do a bit of research first. Are these worth anything?

Hugh Walter said...

Hi Anonymous, to be honest they'll be worth more with the paint off! Also they are easy to mistake with 'standard' Hong Kong rack-toy smallies, if you want to send me a picture or two I'll try and put you right?


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