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.

Monday, February 26, 2018

B is for Beware - Greeks Driving Chariots!

I know! But with HäT , Zvezda and the other new producers concentrating on more historically realistic machines, if you really want chariots for the mountainous city-states of Greece, you have to look to Atlantic, or scratch-build your own (I tried that too - it ended-up looking like a muck-cart!).

One of those occasional visits to the commoner makes brings us back to Atlantic. Although we are looking at the 'HO' set, they (the ancients) all had the 1:32nd scale sets painted-up as artwork, except the Trojans, who came a bit later (1981/2'ish) and if you're a 1:32nd scale-only fan, just get closer to the screen and imagine they're bigger for the rest of the post!

Came in several shades of orange-to-flesh coloured polyethylene and had some problematical, fiddly bits, which were probably pantographed down from 1:32nd scale, where they wouldn't have been troublesome at all!

A four-horse, aerodynamic sports model with Carlos Fandango extra-wide racingwheels and Triumph-Spitfire quick-release hubs, she was a little dinger, a peach, a pearl - no bloody good for fighting in a mountainous environment, but hey; she looks the business popping "darn the Spar for milk"!

Rear of the smallest box (1806), you normally got two complete units, but sometimes you got four, someone in the factory hadn't read the packing instructions! Another slight problem is getting both crew to hold the grab-handles (without glue or trimming/removing the bases) and - again - I suspect something which was not a worry for those with the bigger figures - as can be seen from the artwork.

If you did keep it in the Greek army, it was best to use the archer from the Infantry set, still anachronistic, but slightly less so!

The fiddly-bits! The wheel-hubs are illustrated without the 'wings', but they look better for them as they can be the blades used on Persian chariots, when you transfer them to the Persian army under lend-lease, to get some slightly more realistic service out of them!

The hubs also tend to be flashy or lumpy and one has the mounting-hole off-centre! The driver's whip and the eagle finial/ram from the horses' yolk-beam are also easy to lose.

Interestingly, both the instructions and the painted 1:32nd scale set have no wings on the hubs, but I'm pretty sure they did get them on the production release, so they must have proved problematical - even in the larger size - at the pre-production stage.

I noticed that another issue, as well as being a lighter brown, has a French postal code added to the disclaimers/consumer-information panel, does this help date the sets?

I remember getting my first 'late type' graphics' boxes of Atlantic (WWII and Ancients) in around 1977/78 in Germany and by 1981 Concord,  Beatties and Tangley round-here had piles of them, literally piles! The French adopted these five-figure codes in 1972 which is much earlier so it may be the printer just left it of the other box by accident?

I loved these back in the day, far preferred them to the chunky Roman one, and I had two, painted-up, with 8 cavalry (from the larger combined set) and a pair of Airfix Roman chariots (along with the muck-cart!) as the 'flying wing' of my Greco-Roman army, which was actually supposed to be 'Etruscan' . . . unless it was invading Britain, then it became Caesar's rather-camp legion!


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