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.

Thursday, August 24, 2017

H is for Whirlybirds!

Well; I intended to try and do a small follow-up to the Kamley post, specifically on the twin-rotor jobs as I knew I had the second shot below, but as these things do sometimes, the post grew rather and while it's not all of them (I found another two putting some of these away!), it's a reasonable overview of placky-tacky rack-toy Helichopp'ters!

It's funny, because the Kamley post grew 'organically' in the same way, as bits were added, fell into place or got re-shot and yet - because I had the old shots from the 2012 helicopter photo-shoot we've been getting the odd post out of for some time - I never went to check the tub, which, if I had, would have revealed that I had all three versions of the Kamley all along!

It must have come from Brian Carrick, Garreth Morgan or Peter Evans, so thanks to the three of them for all the rack-toy stuff they've fed me in recent years. Therefore, in the suspected order, from front to back of the upper shot, the three main variations of Kamley-Kositoy-KS twin rotor which begins life looking more like a stripped-down Chinook and ends life looking more like a Sea Knight.

And the wheel-failure thing continues in the helicopter department with the absentee from the other day also only having one set!

Below them are the original reason for the thought behind this post, the modern clones, although time marches-on and the sandy one is probably no (or not much) newer than late Kamley's, a machine it's definitely based-on. I can't now remember where it came from but I've had it since the late 1990's and it came with a 'Gulf War' (the legitimate one) themed rack-toy 'Army Man' header-carded bag o'shite.

The other three are far more Chinookey-likey, with the red and blue ones originating in play-sets (bagged, carded, toob'ed or bucket) with the fire-fighters and police we looked at back at the beginning of this year's RTM.

I think they accompany the Top Toy/pound-shop types we've looked at before, but can't be arsed to check and if you look carefully the military one is slightly different (possibly the donor for the red/blue clones) so there will be other sources such as MTC, Jaru, Hing Fat, Toy-wotsit or Hunson for one design or t'other (see Erwin; anyone can produce a wordy-list of current "so called joggers"!).

Again I could check but can't be arsed - I remember posting the army one though; as I commented at the time about the non-matching rotor blades (I left one off this time!), so Poundland (Funtastic) or 99p Stores (Top Toys?).

This is a variation of the shot we saw the other day and just gets it out of Picasa!

I think we had this as a mini-post either last RTM or one of the Christmas novelty posts? The wheel-failure problem continues unabated in my cheapie-helicopter park! Still - at least they are both there in the bag; it's the rotors that have gone AWOL and it seems to be a reasonable copy of the Kamley 'II', but with nipples where the missing rotors should be anchored!

The little die-cast (from my mum, who - at 80 - panders to my strange obsession with kiddies toys!) is the sort of thing you often find in the kinds of sets we looked at last Sunday and is a copy of a late Matchbox or Corgi toy from the 1980/90's, while the wheel-failure yellow one is confirmed/supported by an opposite colour-way, in a carded set clearly harking to the (then current) campaign in Vietnam or - at a stretch - Malaya/Borneo/Brunei (then recent).

Closest to a Model 61 Bell HSL, it remains a made-up model from the fevered imagination of a Hong Kong Chinese designer!

"Which one shall I take-out today?"

It was at this point the post was going to end, but having included the green background shot I thought I may as well clear them all from Picasa, so this was taken in 2012 and was (still is) the contents of the Odds & Sods tub. Easier to number them and wiz-round the arrangement from the top left clockwise:

Number-1 is a relatively modern take on the old 1960's precursor to Chinooks (Belvedere or Shawnee?); 2 were German bubble-gum capsules, I think they are missing a floor which clipped onto the wheels, it may have been card (?), I've certainly never seen one and sources differ on whether they are Manurba or Siku in origin, the clear-orange styrene one being probably earlier than the ethylene yellow one and; like the bubble-gum tank, probably made by several suppliers?

3 is Kinder, missing it's skids and I have a green one complete in storage with other Kinder's so a return to them is inevitable. I suspect 4 is from some carded set of divers, or spies or some TV related stuff (sentient simians?), from/via someone like Larami or Imperial? It's rotors have snapped like chalk with age.

5 is a common-enough HK take on the Soviet-era Kamov utility/spotter (I think! Tals all wrong - married to bits of a Wasp?), 6 was also a capsule toy, but I don't think it was Kinder, one of the lesser makers like Ziani maybe? 7 is the other aircraft (British - Wessex) from that carded set above and several like it, it also survived for years as an individually-bagged 'party favour' alongside the Kamov and a third similar design.

Which leaves 8, ID'd over on the Moonbase Central as a Captain Scarlet design from Gerry Anderson (I stated to write Adams there!) if I recall correctly. It belongs in the same 'Army Man' sets as number 1.

Seen here before, but by this point I was grabbing anything Hong Kong and helicopter-related I found to chuck in the post! A boxed generic from Tai Sang mirroring their brand Blue Box's own sets and containing a diminutive Wessex type along with late soft-plastic Blue Box GI's.

The lower shot was taken ages ago, since when the US airframe has gone to Blue Cross (with various other donations), the animal charity, I regularly take stuff in with a "Try it at 20p per item for a week and send the unsold to recycling after!", but I always keep at least one of each for the master collection, which is in the upper shot.

The 'British Cobra'* is the better of these dirt-cheap 1970/80's HK rack-tat-mobiles, with realistic skids and little flash, either side are lesser sub-copies while the two in front have a daft, plug-in tail-rotor. There is - however - a worse one; the Rado/Ri-Toys version didn't have skids so  much as a couple of scaffold-poles welded to its legs - they all go to charity, I may have set them low, but even I have standards! No; I lie; I have space-limitations!

*we wished - surrounded by 3rd Guards Shock-army and half the Volkarmee with a couple of liaison/orientation-tour Gazelles to our name! And it was no better down at Clay Allee, the Americans only had a few tired, old UH1's to call-on, one of which I rappelled out of, Yes! A day well-spent! But then BB - UK, French, Grenzschutz/Polizei or Yank - was . . . errm, considered . . . 'expendable'!

Tank Hunter-killers with a micro-machine of unknown origin; the smaller die-cast, like the fire service Sea Knight above is another common member of those sets we looked at on Sunday, it looks like the South African entry (Roorikat or something?) in the attack helicopter trials of the 1990's/2000's usually losing-out to the Apache.

The larger one is quite nice and I have a feeling I know where it came from, but it's lost (the note that is) in storage if I do, I think it's a copy of a larger model from someone like New Ray and is well finished in a solid polypropylene at a size which makes it useful for 25mm war gaming.

The little one is a mystery, again looking like one of the losing entries in the 'new medium-lift/troop-carrying helicopter' trials around the turn of the century as Pumas and Jolly Green Giants were being scrapped (yet the Chinook flies on - solid fella!), it is in a soft PVC and could be from a board game, or a little set like those Silvercorn suitcases, some micro-toy like Takara's robot Votoms, or dare I suggest modern/current'ish gum-balls?

The closest thing I have to it in general feel and appearance is the painted Dalek donated to the blog by The Toad, years ago, which came from a Dr Who advent calendar, might someone have produced an 'Army Man' calendar, GI Joe, something like that?

This was going to be picture 3 or 4 as a sort of 'forthcoming attractions' finisher, but we seem to have looked at most of them now! Missing totally are the UH1A/B Huey Slicks which may be because they are in storage, or we've already had them and I've hidden the tub somewhere! Try the Helicopter tag?

The two right-hand tubs have new stuff for future posts - giving weight to my Ri-Toys lie; the top right tub is stuffed with smaller choppers, several of which are Rado (some from Moonbase!) while the attack-helicopter tub below it has several additions since the previous shot was taken.

The little scouts, Jet Rangers and OH's haven't been covered at all and I have them in plastic and die-cast, while a bag of painted machines awaiting stripping are the single-bagged ones mentioned earlier (above). The green one lying on top is one of several larger Jet Ranger types that have come-in in the last few years with current toob/tub toys and they can wait a while.

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