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.

Friday, March 16, 2018

F is for Flats

Probably had that title before, but I'm in a faffing frame of mind, so we'll have it again and move on! Adrian brought a bag of bits to Sandown Park the other week for me, and I also managed to find a few handfuls of plunder around the show, some of which I've already shoved on the Blog

Among both sources were some of the comic flat Romans in hard plastic, which I've put to one side to compare with the soft plastic ones at a later date when I get the soft ones out of storage, a nice metal flat of a motorcyclist, probably from a board-game then . . .

. . . there were these five in soft polyethylene plastic. I may have a few more of the cowboy's set somewhere and he is actually semi-flat or demi-rond, in fact the chicken family is, too, really, and while the see-saw or Jack & Jill may be copied from a European 'margarine' premium, they are - as a group - nothing to write home about (which is why I've packed-out the post with additional material!), and will be sorted into the master collection when that comes out of storage.

As they are soft plasic, they will be gum-ball or Christmas cracker stuff, I'd imagine, and I don't know what's happening with the squirrel, standing up on 'man legs'! The ship on the other hand, has previous 'form', as we can see . . .

. . . in this shot, with a second blue one above the 'new' red one (I have lots in store) in the centre. To the top left is the Maison du Café (house of coffee) premium from which they are ultimately copied, while the two larger pairs of red and green ones are from the 1990's incarnations of Lucky Bag, and seem to be from the MduC tool, with the pin-release mark in the same place.

To the far right [we're all going! Boom-boom!] are two other Maison's, while the one bottom left is also a demi-rond, and while 'unknown' has similarities (in the base) with some stuff I have marked-up to Eei Fein, but I won't be putting it in the tag-list.

The copies match the smaller copies of the Pecos Bill figures from a Marx sculpt we've looked at before here, and like those figures, there are several; generations of polyethylene ship copy, each a bit smaller and crappier than the last.

But the above would have been a crap post, so I grabbed these two from the big waiting-zone folder in Picasa, where they've been sitting since 2015! Without Googling them I think there's a BRDM (top?) and a Fug or Skot (Skot's may be Czechoslovak and 8-wheeled - I'm winging it here, don't tell TJF!)? The whole set has four BRDM/Fug-Skot [whatever] variants with a PT76 and various out-of-scale 54/60mm infantry.

They are Polish-made and some sources state PZG, however, they tended to fully-round sculpts and - usually - are painted, even their flat scenic pieces, so these may be another maker; likely Centrum. It may have a field gun too and I have more in storage so we'll have another look one day!.

These in turn reminded me I had another 'flat' item in the 'News, Views...' folder waiting for a follow-up . . . or something . . .

. . . which is on the left here. It's the tray I mentioned last time we looked at the Russian/Bulgarian cavalry flats and which I kept meaning to show, for those who aren't familiar with it, but kept forgetting to! Doh!

I then went back to the dongles to find the image I knew I had somewhere of the tray in use (on the right) with a mixed group of Russian cavalry chasing the fat dictator's troops out of the motherland! Conversely, these DO look a bit like PZG (from the bases) but are definitely Russian as they have the price in Cyrillic on the edge.

It [the tray] is a superb piece of product-design with larger studs to prevent the cavalry sliding into each other's ranks and smaller studs to stop them escaping the tray horizontally, holes and ridges give strength to an otherwise flimsy moulding and discs balanced - on the ridges - above a row of holes hold the figures to the tray vertically, all in a pretty rough, single-shot product.

The tray also contains the full pricing scheme moulded into the underside:

u11k x8

u11k - 11 Kopeks (price of single figure)
x8 - [= 88] (price of a whole tray of 8 figures)
uEHA kOMMnEkTIA - Complete set [price-]
IP - 1 Ruble

(In other words; the tray = 12 kopeks [8 x 11 = 88 + 12 = 100 = 1 ruble]) It's no wonder Russian spies can knock people-off in British shopping precincts, willy-nilly; they were learning complicated maths - as infants!

I don't know how many poses there are in the full set (left), as you can see I've managed to track-down 10 different sculpts, and assuming you might want two full trays to fight each-other; there may be as many as 16. However - there's no evidence any of these are French units, so your guess is as good as mine?

Other sets were available for the trays, on the right we see six (of a possible eight?) revolutionary cavalry from 1917 or thereabouts; depiction that is, not plastic manufacture; the figures date from the 1970's?


Ranalcus said...

The question is
Are there tabletop wargaming rules for those?

Chris Smith said...

Interesting stuff Hugh. I need to find mine russian/soviet/eastern block flats to compare. Cheers Chris

Brian Carrick said...

I got the whole set of the Warsaw Pact flat troops and armour from Czechoslovakia in 1985, I listed all the pieces in an article for PW back then. Eventually I sold them through the PTS auctions, I heard they went to a Polish collector in USA.

Hugh Walter said...

Renalcus - I don't think so? But I bet some enterprising young Russians got together and made rules . . . then they probably broke the rules and blamed the other guy!

Chris - If you send photo's; Small Scale world will happily share them!