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.

Tuesday, January 8, 2019

B is for Box-ticking - WWII Russians - Charbens & Timpo

The last of my British production Russians in 54/60mm (excluding Airfix; coming soon) are the Charbens set; poor sculpts/poses and the Timpo set; poor sample size!

54mm Figures; 54mm Russians; 54mm Toy Soldiers; Charbens 54mm Troops; Charbens Russian Infantry; Charbens Russian Toy Soldiers; Charbens Soviet Infantry; Charbens Soviet Russians; Charbens Toy Soldiers; Small Scale World; smallscaleworld.blogspot.com; Vintage Plastic Figures; Vintage Plastic Soldiers; Vintage Plastic Toys; Vintage Russian Infantry; Vintage Toy Figures; Vintage Toy Soldiers; WWII Plastic Toy Figures; WWII Russian Infantry; WWII Toy Soldiers;
They're fun, but they are struggling in the accuracy department aren't they, and suffer from the semi-flat'ness of a lot of Charbens production, some throwback to the hollow-cast days!

Also reissued recently (Blockhill-Marlborough-Plastics from the Past), my original officer is lacking a scabbard and the Vickers-Maxim is a tad on the odd side! Note also he's a darker, greenish, 'field-grey'. At least they have a single star, front, centre on a reasonable rendition of a 'Deputy Dog' hat!

54mm Figures; 54mm Russians; 54mm Toy Soldiers; Timpo 54mm Cossacks; Timpo Russian Cossacks; Timpo Cossacks Toy Soldiers; Timpo Soviet Cossacks; Timpo Soviet Russians; Timpo Toy Soldiers; Small Scale World; smallscaleworld.blogspot.com; Vintage Plastic Figures; Vintage Plastic Soldiers; Vintage Plastic Toys; Vintage Russian Cossacks; Vintage Toy Figures; Vintage Toy Soldiers; WWII Plastic Toy Figures; WWII Russian Cossacks; WWII Toy Soldiers; Cossacks
Harsh indeed was the punishment
for forgetting your sword at muster!*

Getting very brittle now and both as rare as rocking-horse shit and priced to match! Timpo's Cossacks, the better one is probably the commonest survivor being a bit more substantial, but while I'm lucky to have him, I think I'm luckier to have the other one with all his arms and swords and scabbards flying around to break-off, but he's actually quite supple still, and I have a theory about that . . .

. . . along with their (Timpo's) solid 8th Army and German Infantry who are also both known for their tendency to brittleness and several of the Crescent sets (60mm Wild West, Romans, Elizabethans &etc.), it seems to be a bit of a factoid that when you do find them still flexible, they tend to be heavily played with . . . you know the state; hardly any paint, scuffed buckles, faces or hands, twisted or chewed bayonets and scabbards, garden-grime pressed into the sculpting, odd stains, home-paint, bent bases . . . !

I believe it's down to nothing more complicated than the oils in human skin and/or other substances they came into contact with during that heavy playing . . . grass, damp soil, rain, cake, sticky sweets? Coupled with the fact that constant handling would have lead to flexing, which may have 'exercised' the long-chain polymers, or maybe even the constant temperature changes help?**

It's not a hard and fast rule, just a bit of a factoid, but when you find mint-paint, 'laid-down' or never played with (all that old shop-stock of the Turks/Afghans kicking around a few years ago), they can be as brittle as biscotti, but find a tatty, played-with figure and it's often still as bendable as new?


* In Berlin our 'in house' (or in the glasshouse!) prisoners used to have to double to the cookhouse at lunchtime holding a wooden WOMBAT drill-round above their heads. They would often vomit their meal back-up, whilst doubling back to the guardroom after lunch, and that was 'fluffy Britain' in the late 1980's!

** I know some sources blame temperature change for 'plastic cancer' but there's no empirical evidence for it, direct sunlight is the killer as the ultra-violet passing-through will blast out the polymer's free-radicals and kill everything left on a windowsill or shelf, over time; even polystyrene gets crumbly! but I've had my whole collection in several - very different - storage facilities over the years; commercial, old stable, attic and shipping container (where temperatures are even more extreme than an attic) and it's suffered no noticeable changes (except to un-bagged PVC figures which go mouldy (black 'soot' or grey 'flock'), but the mould rubs/washes off with no apparent detriment), the temperature changes (even a 'sudden' frost), take time, and the polymer adjusts with its inherent flexibility. There will be a whole page on polymers here one day.

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