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, March 22, 2018

VT is for Varmint Trampling . . . Stage Coach

We looked at one of these way back at the beginning of the Blog, it was a cheaper, marked JTC one, then we had one sent to the blog a year or so ago (below) probably from France, now we return to - the then - crown colony of aichkay for another look at a better-quality copy of what is quite a complex model.

And this is the 50th use of the 'Wagon' tag, Small Scale World's now showing well over a hundred wagons!

From both sides, I left the driver in for one shot although I'm not convinced he is connected to the coach in any other way than just happening to almost fit! In point of fact he's leaning forward slightly as his feet are too big for the space they need to fit in, luckily I have a bag of these 'Mexican-hatted' wagon crew somewhere, so I'll get one to match hopefully.

The real crew used to turn-up all the time in mixed bags of junk as they aren't terribly well attached, and although they have a 'cowboy hat' (I couldn't tell you if it's a Stetson, ten-gallon or twenty-two-and-a-half liters!), it's usually so over-scale when you first encounter them lose, you think they're trying to be Mexicans - ironic when you think that nowadays Mexicans are all trying to be Americans!

You can see how the UK driver (Tudor Rose or Kleeware? There's one currently on feebleBay as Morestone but I've shown on on a T*R wagon in the past) is jammed-in and pushed forwards by his feet pressing against the raised detail containing the locating stud and hole of the coach's body-halves.

Marking is a VT or TV but as the 'V' is larger I suspect it takes precedence, it'll likely be something akin to Victoria-, Victory- or Viscount Toys . . . probably; who knows? [I think I've covered my arse from TJF & TCWML there?] Yellow- it's a bugger to photograph!

Note how the two halves of the coach body are also held together/in place by the base-plate of the suspension moulding.

The axles are also different from the usual type you'd expect on a toy like this, being flatter in one plane and therefore non-revolving, firmly held in place by longitudinal slots with a true round section only on the wheel-hub itself.

The draw-bar is equally 'over-engineered' with a through cotter-pin holding everything together and providing a pivot-point. One of the side ropes is missing and the other damaged so I'll be looking out for a replacement, and the hole at the front of the draw-bar/main-pole suggests a second or subsequent horse team/s - something else to look out for.

Again the roof, which on other similar toys would be either a straight plug-on, or integral to the rest of the body moulding/s, is instead held on with long pins stretching down from the luggage-rack and washers with a partial flange or catch; which hooks over the window frame. It's frankly a miracle it's remained as intact as it has?

The guy's head has been dyed a realistic flesh-tone by pigment-bleed from the unstable additives in the over-sized hat - now THAT is serendipity! The cheaper versions have integral heads  but the same plug-on hat.

Another look at Brian's contribution reveals all the same construction quirks, but copies of the French horses, rather than the more typical HK ones of the VT effort. These coaches (and the wagons they sat next to in the toy-store) were common and there are many variations of both French and HK types (and the Spainsh Mezquita seen here), and the quirky features are the same for all of them.

It also shows what the driver of the VT stage coach should look like!

Here's one issued with a simple wish-bone draw-bar ( ) and only one horse, which looks a little better in brown, I think both figures are there, but you can only just see one in the top right-hand corner.

I'm using the image (ex-evilBay; for research purposes) because A) it's about 15 years old, B) it's fuzzy but proves a point and C) is one of the commonest versions, like the steam road-roller I blogged a few years ago, or the HK copy of the Thomas Roman chariot, these small-bag, header-carded, generic rack toy 'novelties', priced for pocket-money were common back in the day, and do turn-up quite often. Note, however; that the artwork (similar to the other two mentioned) shows the full wagon with two horses.


Terranova47 said...

I think my coach was by APS-Politoys Texas, Made in Italy. The colors are so garish it's nice that the HK copies are more accurate.

Hugh Walter said...

Cheers Terra' - I think I credited it to Hugonette/Feral/Bonux last time, but there's a lot of them around! In addition to the JTC one and this one , I think I have a box of loose bits in storage, so I will return to them again one day for sure!