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, June 22, 2018

O is for Odd's & Sod's in Olive-drab!

And other colours! The images in this post have been taken in four different years, on five or six occasions, by two people, and, to be honest; it doesn't amount to a hill of beans . . . but it may help you with some of the stuff in your 'unknown' pile! And if Chris Smith hadn't sent me a couple of them the other day, the rest would have sat around in Picasa for another year or two!

Odd's & sod's; Specifically figures from toy vehicles . . . from the left we have the Bren-gunner form the late Dinky Toys die-cast model of a Bren Gun Carrier, a 'troop' from Tri-Ang's Mini-highway amphibious troop-carrier and an unknown, up-scaled copy of an Airfix HO-OO (now 1:72nd!) artilleryman. I can't remember if he's been shown here before, we did look at his painted brother with some Marx stuff a few years ago (2011/12?) and I mentioned him at the time.

Inset bottom right is a comparison of the mounting spigots in the bums of the two figures. Duplication is a feature of this post as everything got shot in different configurations from time to time!

More Bren-gunners, I think the smaller ones are all TAT, but there are subtle differences between the two, the paler one being a heavier sculpt, and with all those HK plastic vehicle companies copying each other, they may be from two sources, I doubt it though, and suspect mould-cavities, or tool-tweaks as being behind the differences!

The respective drivers, the polyethylene Dinky driver has a fold-up steering-wheel on a flexible tag, the polystyrene TAT driver has his integrally moulded, which to do - in the way it's been done - must have had him sitting at an odd angle in the mould-tool, which was a three-part'er, lot of effort for a pocket-money toy!

The TAT are copied of the earlier Britains hollow-cast era, slush-cast Bren-carrier, and while we did look at one here a while ago, Chris sent me more images as I was editing this post, so there will be a quick look later today!

While the Dinky are from the Lines-owned period, so I would guess they are Stadden sculpts, probably from the Havent Minimodels plant, but I'm not going to keep bugging the younger Stadden with questions on such esoteric matters, so it's only a thought! And - even if they are his (the elder's) work, the criteria - being stuffed into a small space, in a die-cast toy, where accuracy is a question of compromise - means they are not his best.

Chris sent me these two shots of the Triang amphibious troop carrier and ambulance. They're loosely based-on the Stalwart amphibious artillery servant/logistics vehicle, and/or the 1-ton Forward-Control (FC) Land-Rover's both of which were newish vehicles when these toys first hit the selves. There's a bit of early Pinzgauer DNA in there too!

These are interesting in being 'crossover' toys from  the Minic era, being half-plastic and half-tin plate, there were 6 different upper body variants  with various numbers of the same figres and including an armoured car with none.

Both are suffering from melted wheel 'syndrome' as the phthalates leaching from the unstable PVC tyres/tires attacks the polystyrene wheel-hubs/rims. If you find good ones, it's best to remove the rubber tyres, coat the wheels with either a clear, matt enamel, or (less desirable an option) a matching yellow - which you would have to mix yourself (add a bit of olive-green to a 50/50 mix of matt and gloss yellow for the closest match?).

You could also try my new remedy for these plastics' problems - a quick coat of plumber's sealant? And if you have some real-world car/auto bumper-gel or dashboard shine (both silicon products) it might be worth a try wiping a small amount on the inside of the tyres before you replace them?

Despite the fact that this is supposed to be the once-in-a-blue-moon Odd's & Sod's round-up, there is a figure still absent, the Officer; who sometimes accompanies these (- lose; boxed he's always in the cab I think?), now I know I have one somewhere, but can I find him - can I hell! He looks like the soldiers but with a peaked cap and no '58 Pattern webbing's kidney-pouches.

So we'll have to return to these again one day, but in the meantime, like the three posts the other day (Lone Star Roadmasters, Kleeware crazy cops and . . . err . . . the other one!), these will be - for a good number of you - one of those 'what are they' questions marks you can now put to bed.

The mystery figures - both copied from the Airfix small-scale Artillery kits 6-lbr and 25-lbr - the pointing figure was in both kits, the guy with an empty shell case/blank was only in the 25-lbr kit.

One is painted to match hard-plastic versions of the Marx 45m figures, the other unpainted and missing a base? I think the painting is more coincidental than anything else; back in the day paint was gloss and came in about twelve colours! Similar painting styles (two, three or four-colour gloss) are found on made-up shop display models from Aurora, Monogram, Pyro and others.

I think they must be piracies, used for something like an early Crown or Aoshima kit, presumably an artillery piece or SPG? Aoshima did a bunch of 1:48th scale AFV's, while Airfix themselves bought-in a small range of 1:35th kits in the 1970's; where they included-in/added-to one of them?

Have you seen the other poses - drill-sergeant/SNCO with swagger stick (25-lbr), Standing at attention (6-lbr) and holding full, pointy shell - both kits; there's no reason to suppose they were all copied, but no reason not to . . . or do you know where they originate?

So that's a few odd's & sod's from the vehicular 'khaki spectrum', more on TAT later today.

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