About Me

My photo
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 29, 2017

C is for Chinatanks!

Except a fair few of these are Hongkongatanks, but I think they all qualify for the one moniker! Similar procedure as yesterday, but more examples, yet not enough to be more than a gentle mosey through the oeuvre!

What I found to shoot without digging too deep in the attic, and allowing for the fact we've looked at the bubble-gum ones and the mini-tanks recently and that a lot of the smaller ones are still in storage.

Going from the Imperial Patton at around a large 1:48th or small 1:35 at number 1 to whatever-size at number 8 (small), these are mostly classic 'Chinatanks' being simple polyethylene mouldings with (or without!) revolving one piece turrets and the odd-pair of carpet wheels hidden behind integrally-moulded track-units/running-gear.

The exception being number three; which is (was!) a battery-operated toy, albeit with hidden wheels and a single-mould hull and chassis.

We've looked at 1, so moving swiftly on . . . a Space Tank! Looking like (or having several of the features of-) a few things on the drawing-boards of the Third Reich in 1945, this beast is too cool for automated, fire-control gunnery-school and would look quite at home supporting Dick Dastardly's space marines is some far flung, rim-world colony of some farfetched Star Chamber's 'Imperium' vs. Aliens parody; being ideally sized for 28/30mm figures.

Picture 3; tank number 3, exploration of the battery-compartment lead to three exploded watch-batteries and severely corroded contacts. As I can't find any on-off switch anyway, it's SOP's remain a mystery although there's clearly a hidden-speaker for sound effects and a light in the end of the barrel.

Interestingly the wheels are all free-wheeling, so it may be that deliberate movement, by hand application, produced default sound and light? Anyway, a vague M46/47 in vaguely WWII Japanese camouflage is all VERY Chinatank!

These were quite common in the 1980's and I'm afraid when I wasn't collecting the larger sizes I sent a lot of these to charity! I've kept all six for now but intend to hang on to the asterisked-three, after moving one of the Union flags to the Centurion, so I'll have one of each colour-way/flag/turret-type . . . you'll have noticed the hulls are all identical M48's!

They're crude, but again - very useful for carpet wars, or garden gaming, quick spray and wash/dry-brush and you've a large unit - cheap! If the German's had had Chieftains in 1945 - we'd all still be talking German - and if that thought is a bit beyond the pale; think - no Putin and no Trump - bargain!

Classic Chinatank layout of four pieces, two hidden wheels, body and turret.

We looked at 5/6's the other day so; on to 7 . .

. . . .and this is only two parts screwed together! But another pretty cool 'Space Tank', clearly based on the M2/M3 Bradley/A-Cav.-thingy, it nevertheless has a futuristic look to it.

Despite its simplicity I like it so much I shot it twice! Hollow, fixed-turret, no redeeming features but damn, it is cool! I even love the air-rifle's iron fore-sight! Stick your head out of the turret and get a bead on the enemy . . . left a bit, left a bit . . . oh dear! Love it.

Looking at the plethora of photo's it appears something may have broken-off the back of the cupola-ring? Machinegun or aerial of some kind? If it's a space tank it probably needs a sonic-beam, killerdegrator-dish!

We've looked at these before (Poundland or 99p Stores in the tag list), but there were a couple of new mouldings in the Big Bag from Peter Evans, so here's a few comparison shots with the two rocket-launchers again, left out of the Chinatank group-photo.

This is also classic CAD-CAM, the hull and running-gear is identical for all the models but can be seen here in five or six sizes.

You 'CAD it up' as a solid, then shell it (hollow it out) and then take copies to add whatever secondary details (turrets/superstructures) or hidden constructs (screw-channels/release-pin points) you want, scaling up or down in cyber-space (or on cyber-paper; accurately - 'paper-space') and sending each finished variant to a CNC-milling machine to produce the tool.

No, I don't know why I took so many either! Especially as we did give them a good look last time . . .doh!

Ri-Toys take on the old Blue Box polystyrene blob, itself a copy of a larger battery-operated . . . oooohhh - déjà vu! We had this entire blurb the other day with the LB sets in the Jeep post didn't we! Ri-toys; home-painted, period.

I was meaning to take a few shots for a collage of tank 9, the diminutive Centurion, but I never got round to it. It's a common inclusion in rack-toys from the late 1970's through to the mid/late '80's and beyond and I've more in storage so we'll come back to it, some time.

Smallies - we looked at the apple-green one with it's Matchbox piracy figures last year, the other two could be taken from the Imperial one, which has been around for years in one form or another, or the Airfix 'poly'[ethylene] one?

They are quite common and have been around for a while now in various colours/qualities for several sources. I think I have a whole bunch in storage so we'll have a better look another day.

The dark green one went with yesterday's dark green truck, while the other two came with matching figure; we are due to look at in RTM, but I'm running out of month so I think Rack Toy Month may over-run!

The apple-green one is a vague AMX-30 Napoleon; "A what"? I hear you ask . . . exactly!

Copied from the set of mini-tanks we've looked at here - a while-back - and behind them both is a funny little hard-styrene tank in two plastic-colours with a die-cast metal turret from really cheap - usually window-boxed - play-sets.

Late Additions
So not in the numbered line-up at the top.

Two teenies - the one (hex-turret) seen here before, the other (Tiger I with a turret covered in gas-alert paint!) probably from a board game.

These are all from the old, defunct, imageshack.com account and consist of some of the more unusual examples from the collection otherwise in storage - from top right clockwise:

A rather too narrow and/or too tall M48 with push-and-go action motor which I'm hoping; when they are together, will prove to be a maker-match for the lorry we saw yesterday? It’s certainly got some age and like the bigger - and more realistic - Jimson (and for Fairylite) version, carries a soft plastic polyethylene turret on a colour-matched hard plastic polystyrene hull.

These two (bottom) are - I suspect - copied from Galoob stuff, I think there was a larger 'Action Fleet'-sized Indiana Jones line, from which the WWI'ish tank has been taken, while the Marine Landing carrier will be from the Battle Squads/Defenders lines (with the rocket-firer removed), but it's only a suspicion and other, similar toys are around to be pirated! However; they are both unusual which makes then pretty neat for Chinatanks!

Finally, this little chap (top left) who does have an on-off switch somewhere, is from those track-puzzle toys where you join the plates-up to make a course and then set the tank/London taxi/cartoon jumbo-jet to go round and round the channels until you get board and switch it off!

It came with some nice, slightly cartoony GI figures we'll look at when I get them out of storage! If we haven't already? I'll check, we may have looked at them a long time ago? Link below if we did.

We did . . . first week of the Blog! First - but not first figures and by some coincidence this is the 1900th existing post, including stuff in edit, excluding stuff deleted in the past and stuff on other Blogs!


Ross Mac rmacfa@gmail.com said...

#2 also bears a slight Hong Kong-y resemblance to the turreted M108 SP Artillery .

Hugh Walter said...

Slight Ross . . . Hong Kong-y . . . shuuuushh; it a Space Tank!