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.

UK Khaki Infantry











Introduction

A year or so ago I mentioned that a mate and I were planning a book or two, well - partly due to my circumstances over the intervening two years my co-author has pulled-out, leaving me with various bits of half finished book. As the Internet becomes a complete 'game-changer' in the world of hobbies, and given that the true number of dedicated vintage plastic toy soldier (or toy figure) collectors is actually quite small, it seems to me that it will be better to put the stuff up here on the blog (already a bit of a vanity project?), than to either publish a vanity project itself (at some personal cost), or a self-publishing thing (where the reward would not meet the effort), which would be impossible to update.

 Zang, Timpo, Britans 'Herald' [Hong Kong] and Reisler

In the UK we have a bit of a problem with the many versions of 'Khaki Infantry' and their derivatives. Now that I've sussed out 'pages' with a little help from Gareth, who saw their potential the moment I started showing him 'the ropes' on blogger, I thought it would be an idea to look at them all, company-by-company, on the same page, so that a direct comparison can be made.


I will update it as and when new information comes to light, and any contributions that help define some of the unknowns and variables will be appreciated. I'll also leave 'comments' on so people can contribute directly.


The two main sets of figures under discussion here are the GI's by Timpo, first issued in hollow-cast as a larger range of poses, and the 'Khaki Infantry' by Zang and Britains - Herald and Herald - Hong Kong. So we will look at these first, then underneath have a look at the various companies; known, unknown and HK, in alphabetical order that have touched on them, with a few other figures thrown in for completions sake.


Invaluable in helping with this page/article have been the Plastic Warrior magazine's 'Specials' on five of the  minor makers here in the UK, all (or their full-colour updates) should still be available from Paul at the editorial address.


Timpo - The G.I.'s
(Toy Importers)

First produced in hollow-cast lead, the range was a little larger than the subsequent choice made available in plastic and included such figures as a potato-peeling sinner on KP's (he's doing laundry apparently), who actually succeeds in looking bloody miserable!


In plastic they were issued in several paint variants, and two main colours; Olive drab for the US GI's and a sandy beige for the 'West German' army...of course they were Afrika Korps! The olive-drab matched the old paint scheme of the hollow-casts and was a sign of Timpo's turn away from metal, to the full-time production of plastics.


There were two distinct mouldings of some of the figures, with a larger and smaller version being the easiest way to tell, but sometimes it's a more subtle variation of sculpting or base shape. The GI's come in various colour schemes, with both gloss and laterly matt finishes used over the years, and a change from grey trousers to unpainted.

The Germans came with two major variations; earlier figures are decorated with a lighter grey on the helmets and a small shield-shaped water-slide transfer in the colours of the West/Federal German tricolour, while later issues tend to a darker grey without helmet transfers.


Markings are clear and consist of an 'ENGLAND' somewhere on the body or upper base of the figure in a 'Typewriter' font, or typical engineers letter-stamp. The Stretcher case getting the whole nine yards with 'TIMPO TOY'S [sic] MADE IN ENGLAND' as seen above. Bases have smooth flat undersides.

The full range with codes is as follows;


9000 - Sentry at Ease
9001 - Walking with Suitcase and Rifle
9002 - NCO with Side-arm and Binoculars


9003 - Mine Detector
9004 - Crawling
9005 - Kneeling Officer with Map (Metal only)
9006 - Operating Field-telephone (Metal only)
9007 - Dispatch Rider with Motorcycle (Metal only)



9008 - Kneeling with Radio*
9009 - Officer with Pistol
9010 - Standing Ready with Bayonet Fitted
9011 - Standing Firing


9012a) - Mortar
9012b) - Mortar No.1 Firing*
9012c) - Mortar No.2 Loading*



 
Another couple of German 'Tubes' with crew - courtesy of Barney Brown (Thanks Barney)


9013 - Charging with Bayonet Fitted
9014 - Throwing Grenade   
9015 - Advancing with SMG


9016 - Kneeling Firing Bazooka*
9017 - Sitting Firing Water-cooled Browning MG
9018 - Kneeling Firing Rifle*
9019 - Lying Prone, Firing Rifle (Metal only)
9020 - Ceremonial Marching - Side-cap (Metal only)
9021 -
Ceremonial Standard Bearer (Metal only)
9022 -
Ceremonial Officer (Metal only)
9023 - Washing Laundry [or; spuds!] (Metal only)



9024(a) - Stretcher Bearer
9024(b) - Stretcher Case (with large pack/satchel by feet)   
9025 - Walking Wounded Casualty (Metal only)
9026 - Kneeling Eating/Drinking (Metal only)
9027 - Sailor Walking (Metal only)
9028 - Sailor with Telescope (Metal only)
9029 - Sailor Marching (Metal only)
9030 - Naval officer (Metal only)
9031 - ? Unknown [may never have been allocated a figure/mould] (Metal only)
*
9032 - Military Policeman

* The metal versions have no bases, but the plastic one were fitted with them, presumably being lighter they developed a tendency to fall over? Other metal versions have smaller 'puddles' than the bases of the plastics.
* There is another running pose in the metal range (one foot on the ground), later copied by Charbens in their plastic range, this may be the 9031 pose?

In an attempt to pin down the missing pose for code 9031, Dave Scrivener sent me this page from the old US export hollow-cast catalogue, with the suggestion that the 'Army Doctor' might fit the bill. Dave also points out that they are both from the Railway Range; Station Master and Mr. Brown. I countered that there are two poses, so am sticking with the running figure with his leg out behind him...but, thanks to Dave for the contribution and valid point (which may be the answer).

Also...I am intrigued by the drums/bales/buckets in three of the sets, could they be Timpolene scenics from Zang? The barbed wire entanglements also looked familiar I wondered if could Hill have run plastic through the moulds for their range of Johillco plastic scenics, or - more likely - copied them, but in fact remembered that Crescent had smaller copies in their 20mm boxed sets, the Johillco ones had bigger bases!

In point of fact, only Timpo needed to be out of alphabetical order here, as the next entry is quite short, and then it will be Britains, who were/are the other set needing to be at the top of the page. So...


Benbros

The Benbros offering was a simple pantographing of the Britains Herald Khaki Infantry (next entry...now!), excluding the various early Zang/Herald standing sentry figure. They are of good quality and detail, but slightly smaller than the donors. I don't know if Britains ever sued, they used to prosecute and it would have been easier to prosecute a London based company that some of the concerns they actually went after?

The base marking was clear and there were various paint schemes and plastic colours, the plastics being from the dark olive/olive drab spectrum, with webbing painted in gloss; brown or various greens.

Without the sentry the range was a nice round eight figure poses, I have yet to track down decent versions of the running without pack or the officer.

These are - I presume - repaints, they are a bit of a mess and I well remember painting stuff like this when I was a little boy! They do however show the two missing poses from the more recent acquisitions above! There's also a couple of better base-marking shots.

Some close-ups kindly sent-in by Barney Brown (in-house Britains expert [jointly with Peter Cole!] at Plastic Warrior magazine), I'm guessing the red helmets were 'enemy' - FG Taylor and Hilco seem to have adopted a similar approach!

Four more which came-in after the  Plastic Warrior show in Richmond last year (2014), shows how long since I edited this page! All appear original, so points to note are the paint on the top two - very different, and the metallic green radio-operator. The other two are rather poor make-weight's in the bag.



Britains - The 'Khaki Infantry'
(Zang for Britains, Zang Herald, Herald, Britains Herald, Britains Herald - Hong Kong, William Britains)

The other main donor for all the 'Khaki Infantry' of the British toy soldier market in the 1950's, '60's and 1970's was Britains. But - as with most things toy soldier - it's not quite as simple as that...without Zang (who we last saw over on the homepage using ex-Brent splodge to make crude figures for Timpo, first figure in the below shots) there may never have been a Britains Khaki Infantry range, or even a Britains (post hollow-cast)?

I love a line-up...Illustrating the history of the range in one shot. Britains had obviously watched what was happening with plastics and thought to experiment, clearly better to get someone else to shoulder the risk and the expense of trying a new technology, they turned to Zang.

Zang produced a small number of ceremonials (which could be shifted to the London tourist trade if they failed in the toy shops) for Britains, consisting of bear-skinned guards and Highlander musicians and the like, which must have sold well as they were followed with four 'stand alone' (and 'standing' alone) sentries, another guard, a Sikh soldier, a Highlander in 19thC colonial uniform and the second figure from the left above.

Proving successful, the range - by now named 'Herald' was expanded with the addition of American Civil War, Wild West and the figures we are looking at here, and for a while they were boxed as Zang. However, once Britains saw the potential, they bought out Zang, and the range became Britains Herald.

The original four sentries were sold together on a little half-moon card and there are three versions of them; the Zang marked figure, a plain flat based (interim) figure  and the final version with the Herald mark. Not every figure exists in every version, and while the Sikh has the first two, with the blank base a smaller re-sculpt; with the Khaki sentry, the second version is the Herald base (third figure above), he is also slightly smaller.

Once Britains had forged ahead with plastics and consumed Zang, they re-sculpted the figure again (figures four and five above) with a large-pack and helmet as if straight from the pages of the Infantry Training Manual...Combat Equipment Movement Order!

Finally he was replaced by a marching figure manufactured in Hong Kong, but not before he had had his paint reduced (final two figures, on the right)

So Zang's set was six figures, I haven't got the guy running with a large pack. They too were sold on the half-moon cards to begin with four on each card. The figures have smooth helmets, which varies in colour, and is usually a different shade to the green used on the bases/webbing.

Like all the other 1950's figures we looked at on the main blog-page a few years ago, they were mostly equipped with the EM2 bullpup-layout experimental assault rifle as exhibited by the demonstration battalion at Warminster's School of Infantry. Two of the figures however, are equipped with an SLR ('being shot' and advancing - full pack), while the other charging pose has a weapon sculpt which could be either...or neither!

A quick look as base marking, top left is the Zang original, to the right of that is the UK production Herald mark and below them the two versions of Hong Kong separate base, the earlier 'cloud' base to the left and the latter apple-green straight-sided base to the right - the final base type.

Another re-sculpt saw the addition of helmet nets, and 'Enemy'. Above shows the two main versions of the enemy, the first 'full paint' and the second 'reduced paint' sets. Interestingly the earlier set have blue shoulder flashes, which could be interpreted as the Gloucester's US presidential citation!

They weren't sold as that - as far as I know - but the Eyes Right range was issuing troops as Glosters at about the same time; the last stand at hill 235 on the Imjin river being in the popular imagination at the end of the 1950's.

Barney Brown sent me a large number of relevant shots on this subject among which was this near-mint boxed-set of Britains / Herald enemy troops.

Comparison images of smooth helmeted and helmet-netted troops along with a colour variation, this chap (running in full pack) is in the same brown the Wild West range used, and I don't know if he was part of an enemy issue, or just a Friday afternoon job?

The final indignities - PVC vinyl replaced the ICI Alkathene (polyethylene) that had been used up to that point, and then production was moved to Hong Kong. The sentry disappeared and four new figures were issued, the sentry seemingly replaced by a chap marching with shouldered arms. A modern AT weapon in the guise of a bazooka was added along with the mine-sweeper most of Britains rivals had been including in their sets for years. A prone figure also joined the range, crawling with SLR, a weapon the marching fellow was carrying.

The full range in the late 1970's. The final incarnation of these figures was separateplug-in bases, there were two generations; cloud-shaped that mimicked the old Herald bases and then simplified bases with straight sides (the apple green ones above). The painting was reduced to a bare minimum and was of the stab-and-hope school of decoration.

More comparisons, colour variations in plastic colour of both bases and bodies, bright pink flesh and near white flesh...

The left-hand base marking in both the lower shots is the earlier moulded-on version, the first of the Hong Kong production, along with more sentry comparisons. The later minimal-paint sentry was still being sold on the half-moon cards, especially in London (tourist trade) and is really quite common as a result.

The Swoppet range had been selling alongside the Herald (at a higher price) for some years and here we see a comparison of the closest figures from one range to the other.

A few more shots taken either for the original book idea or in the photo-session of the last few days. Occasionally unpainted figures turn-up from Britains, as they were painted by out-workers, some never went back, and do appear from time to time. These two (top left) are both late vinyl production from the UK.

Diagrammatic explanation of the above information, there should be an overlap for 301 into the HK years, but you get the picture, there were other overlaps, but no one knows exactly when each change was made, for instance, did the helmet nets first come with enemy troops and then further issues of the khaki, or was the change made to a batch of khaki before the enemy were thought of?

One for the family Album! The annual reunion, don't think much of the Hong Kong cousins; they've really let themselves go! And the oldies from Timpo are getting a bit infirm with old age....

Airfix piracies of the Britains figures, they may have used the Lilliput versions for their rip-offery, but with masters always modelled larger then the finished article in those days, they probably used these full sized ones.

The catalogue entry for these from the early 1970's, there were two counter boxes, each with the contents as illustrated and various boxed sets from the basic five-figure set up to the large window-tray with two sentry boxes and a 25lbr. gun.

The same page, from the mid-1970's, now photographed and the marching and being-shot guys have swapped counter boxes for some reason lost in the mists of time? I think I'm right in saying that the blue box (4306) had colouring-in panels on the back for added play value?



Charbens

Charbens have their own box, and it's not here! Also because they are quite easy to identify, they weren't a priority when I did the original photographs, so for the time being just a couple of box shots as bookmarks. It may be a year or two before this section is fully updated as well! They do deserve to be here though as they were derivative of the Timpo poses.

The typical counter display box for loose Charbens figures

Lidded boxed set

Thanks to Gareth Morgan for answering the call - we now have some images of the Charbens GI's. They are easy to differentiate from some of the others on this page once you know what you are looking at. These are from two batches, the darker (metallic?!) blue with same-colour helmets have been glued into a boxed set by the look of their bases, the paler blue with grey helmets probably tied-in or sold from a counter display box?

The figure on the far right is - in the Timpo original - my entry for the 'Who's code 9031' competition! And; the mortar isn't going to get confused with the others, it's operator is attached!

Close-up of a radio-operator who's come in in the last year or two, it that a US MI, or a British Paratroopers helmet? You can see the metallic nature of the paint clearly in this shot as well.



Cherilea
(Cherilea Toys, Phoenix, Sharna, Sharnaware)

So, this page is all about plagiarism, piracy, derivation, copyists and copying, and of all the makes, marks and brands on the page, this lot takes the biscuit!

A couple of handfuls to give a flavour of the range, there are Britains poses bottom right, and various other figures including the Timpo GI sentry above. Other poses call to mind Lone*Star (flame-thrower) and MPC (bazooka)

Also a close-up of the typical base mark for Cherilea 50mm khaki infantry, and a lot of other Cherilea production.

I sort mine by colour! And these are the basis for the following images, this set is now available in a soft PVC vinyl, and I would have shown one here, but A) it's in storage and B) the bloke I bought it off - a couple of years ago on evilBay didn't actually send me the proscribed 'complete sprue', preferring instead to sent me a sprue with most of the figures attached, four loose, with one missing and one duplicate in another colour!

When I questioned this, his reply (bearing in mind that he was a 'trader' with a few thousand feedback's and a posh evilBay shop, drop down how-many-do-you-want boxes on his buy-it-now stock &etc) was..."I thought you wouldn't mind"! The bare-faced...I could have made a big thing of it, but really? Reissues? So I let it go, but if anyone has bought one of these sprued sets - we could use an image here?

Greenies, a bit of factory paint on some of them. Like Hilco and Speedwell, Cherilea produced these in many colours and many colour schemes, sadly the paint adhesion was poor and they usually only have fragments of the original paint on.

Yellowies, one of these - artilleryman - is looking quite French, the Timpo sentry is hiding behind the Herald full-pack guy. The yellows sort of slide into Greenies, so my system of storage should really be changed, a few more samples and the bags will be getting full, so maybe sorting by pose lies in the future!

Greeny-brown! I've seen a note elsewhere on the internet claiming that the four ex-Britains poses in this set are from the Hilco range, added to this range after Cherilea inherited the moulds in 1960, in fact - they are not. The Hilco poses are larger and of far better quality and the Cherilea figures have thinner squared-off bases. Also I don't think Hilco produced a copy of the running with full pack pose - as above?

 Sandy - more paint!

These are about the same colour as the reissues, but they are actually ethylene originals. I guess the Britains officer is a home-paint!

The commonest form in which they are found are these windowed boxed sets with six figures and a few items of scenery and the flat/semi flat foliage Cherilea made. If you Google these figures a fair few of these are to be found in old auction lists - Bonhams and Vectis have both photographed them over the years.

Some more of the 'probably Phoenix' figures, but I'll continue to stick them here for now, perticularly like the UN chap in a dark brown plastic.



FG Taylor and Sons
(FGT, Taylor & Sons)

Another one of the pirates who are easy to indentify as they mark the bases rather well. Copying only the Britains poses, Taylor were just being lazy, they had produced unique stuff both as themselves and as their previous incarnation - Taylor and Barrat.

 Base Marking, the bases are quite like some Lone*Star


The figures, like the Benbros ones quite well detailed, a tad smaller than the Britains originals and I don't know how many poses they copied, may have only been six (see comments, 8 poses were offered, they would have been the Britains poses), may have been all eight helmeted figures from the Herald set? Hopefully will put another picture up soon that might answer the question? Eventually it will all be here on this page though!



Hilco
(John Hill & Co., Johilco, Phoenix - then see; Cherilea)

Hilco (who had sold hollow-casts as Johillco), went one better - in the piracy stakes - by copying both Britains and Timpo figures, a Lone*Star chap and then adding a few French (Starlux - I think?) poses to the mix!

Hilco produced their figures in dozens of paint versions on dozens of plastic colours with both marked and unmarked bases, which wouldn't be so much of a problem - they are quite distinctive, but Speedwell who be be near the bottom of this page (eventually!) gave their range similar treatment AND copied the French figures (or at least one of them), ergo; the unmarked base figures can be problematical.

More variations, I particularly like the two bottom right, they have the air of WWII Pacific landings or Korea about them. Bottom left adds a Lone*Star pose to the mix with the flame-thrower operator along with the three French poses (the leaning forwards is a Starlux pose, I'm not so sure on the other two?). Top right are the Timpo thefts, note that the Radio operator and Bazooka firer's bases are in the 'pod-foot' style of American 'Dime-store' figures, unlike the Timpo originals.

Three of the Britains poses show the difference between these (similar the the originals in figure quality, but with smooth fat bases) and the Cherilea ones. Again - I don't believe Cherilea did the running without pack pose shown here.

Showing the unmarked bases; these are probably all Hilco, but there's a question mark over the orange one, generally the rule would seem to be; if the helmet and boots are the same colour they are Speedwell, if the helmet and boots are different colours they are Hilco?

With regard to the orange one, there is the possibility that he is a Cherilea or even Phoenix branded reissue figure. Cherilea - a company founded in part by Johillco's ex-chief figure designer Wilfred Cherrington (itself an irony as Hill was an ex-Britains man) - having bought the rump of Hill when they folded in 1960. The grenade thrower above is a home-paint.

The flecked/marbled figures, some of which show signs of having been painted, most looking like they were never painted, and with unmarked bases - there is again the possibility some might be Speedwell, particularly the crawling pose who I've seen sold by Bonhams as Speedwell.

Don't think though these questions marks are definite, I wouldn't be showing them under Hilco if I wasn't pretty sure they are Hilco, however I don't like to put as fact things which are still open to interpretation. There is another rule; Speedwell tend toward lumpy bases like the Britains originals, while Hilco have smoother bases.

The top two here show a marked, unpainted marbled figure, an unmarked, painted figure and a late French figure (probably Hugonnet?) which would have been a bagged rack-toy. The two bottom shots give a further idea of the variety to be found in this range.

Close-up of a marbled figure who has joined the ranks recently, it's very hit-and-miss with this technique and the overall brownness of this one suggests the end of the run and the hot material has been mixed to the point that like those lumps of mixed Plasticine we had as kids when all the colours got mixed together, so the yellows, reds and greens here are not as clear or 'streaky' as the earlier figures in the run might have been.



Kentoy / Kentoys
(Kenway Cycle Stores, Kenway Cycles - then see; Cavendish)

It's once we get half-way down the page that it all starts to get a bit confusing! The real pirates (Kentoy, Speedwell, Trojan, Una, and VP) are not as easy to differentiate as say Benbros or Taylor - with their neat base marks - and because the book project folded before the images were all 'in the bag' a lot of it will be at the bottom of the page under 'Unknown'!

However, for now there are a few that can be put here, because at least some of it IS marked 'Kentoy'

The figures on the right are from the original photo-session from 2007 and were all marked Kentoy, while the stretcher team came in a big purchase a few years ago and are also marked.

A few comparisons also taken at the time, I've made the classic Kentoys (with an 's' ) mistake labelling-up but couldn't be arsed to correct it! When I was a small-scale only collector listening to my wiser peers in the 54mil brigade talking - I got the impression they rather rated the medic's dog "Kentoy original"...but in point of fact it's a lift from a US dog by Tim-Mee (possibly the grey one on the left), which was itself influenced by one of the inter-war period composition dogs by Lineol or Elastolin (of which there seem to have been several).

Kentoy added a base to the MG gunner, along with a British Mk III 'Turtle' helmet (we actually called them 'Piss-pots') and cross-straps, similar changes have been made to the mortar No.2. Also note how much smaller the Timpo take-off grenade-thrower is compared to an original.

Base markings on the stretcher-team (bottom two shots), mortar (top left) and No.2 (top right), no doubt who made these!

Barney Brown has kindly sent several images or us to look at here, and his Kentoy are the first to go up, there will be more...I'm not sure on the top left streacher...if there is a 'rule'; I believe it's satchel [on streacher] = Kentoy and their mates, helmet = Speedwell and their mates, but it remains a question to be answered more definitively. Note also the various treatments of the machine-gun as far as painting goes.

Note also, the shoulder flash on the mortar-crewman, these flashes do pop-up from time to time with these makers and Kentoy seems to use them quite a bit, possibly to differentiate between medics and crewmen for whoever was packing the boxed sets?

David Scrivener has also sent in a Kentoy sample, here too there remains a question mark...the from solid-cast mould prone firer (bottom right); Barney sent me shots of both the prone poses from hollow-cast moulds as well, but I've held them over until I cover them below.

I know the PW 'Kentoy Special' shows them but the editor doesn't actually say they are Kentoy, just that they are believed to be...I believe they (there is a Vickers gunner as well) are Trojan and will explain why lower down..again the shoulder flash, this time on a gunner.



Mortars
(3 inch / 81mm close support weapon)

There are at least five mortars in this group of early British toy soldier 'Khaki Infantry' with a sixth being the T.Cohn/Brumberger version. They are mostly easy to identify, but question marks remain over the 'common' variant.

The one below we know is Kentoy, it comes two parts and is usually marked. The one above was considered Kentoy until the marked ones turned up. It's also got to fill the shoes of being (possibly) UNA,  and (definitely?) VP and Trojan! Help from readers is required on this one!

This is the beast, it has a thick base and the heavy 'Made in England' side marking which - again - when found on figures is considered Kentoy, despite the fact that we've seen some (? all?) Kentoy are marked under the base? The silver one could very well be Speedwell / Una as they produced their smaller indians in that colour (I think?)...the olive drab will match with some 'unknowns' but who had the black one...more on all this in the unknown section, but if you can add anything; everyone visiting this page would like to know what you know?

I used to think the Olive one had a different mould-line, but its a trick of the light and slight scratch on the upper surface, all three are identical.

So, Timpo angular base (not as neat as the T Cohn/Brumberger one), then one previously identified as UNA, now I'm not so sure, less neat than the Timpo version, followed by the Kentoys 'kit of parts' and then the 'common' one covering everybody else. Inset is the Speedwell mortar, which has a very distinctive base.

The Speedwell one is a definite 'Definite' as the mint sets from a large collection of high-end samples (James Opie's?) went through Bonham's a few years ago with these in evidence with all Speedwell solids and swoppet figures and accessories.

Close-ups of the two similar mortars, the Timpo moulding has 'England' down the barrel and a small catch on the sighting arm.

Although I've tracked several of these down for the collection now, I don't have the Kentoy one, and never photographed it at the time fully assembled, so if anyone could help with that...?



Phoenix
(A brand of Sharna (?)) 

Used to market ex-Cherilea and Hilco figures at the end of the 'golden Age' of toy soldiers, the lose figures will be found under those sections (both above), however...

Barney Brown sent this in, and you can see that the painting is pretty psychedelic, and maybe the ones I think are home painted are in fact late Phoenix figures!



Reisler
(Kai Reisler of Denmark)

A quick section as they are not British, but they are local and we'll also be looking at both Hong Kong and South America before we're through! I don't know if Reisler had a licence to lift the poses they did from Timpo or if it was just 'lifting'!

Thanks are due to David Scrivener for the above image, some of his Reislers. The shot shows the wide range of colour-ways they have been issued in and helped me make up my mind on the red figure below I'd bought for the book at last years Plastic Warrior show, and then found myself wondering "Is it a French Copy?"!

The guy I was humming and harring about. He's in the slightly 'soft' or soapy cellulose acetate type polymer of the earlier Reislers, the feamale soldier is an unpainted polystyrene re-issue (these are still available I think) and would make a great WRAC or FANY driver circa WWII.

The Timpo heritage is clear in this shot of a boxed set, this is the commonest colour scheme you will get find them in; a generic 'khaki', with the enemy (Germans!) in grey the second most common. In the small scale range (30mm) which I had collected long before the move to all scales, they only come in khaki or grey, but with the addition of a later soft polyethylene issue.

A couple more in close-up.



Rocco
 (Royce Company)

I wasn't going to put Rocco up here as the three figures I've got are all of the 'influenced by Lone*Star' variety, in storage and I've always considered them sub-scale at 45/50mm. But as can be seen from the photograph (also supplied by David Scrivener) there is a Britains heritage to some of the poses, so here they are;

There is a Lone*Star original to the left and then three clearly Britains poses by this ephemeral company. Mine are all a mid green, I've never seen these brownish ones before, and mine are all brittle, I don't know about the state of these. Identifiers are easy; smaller, berets, chunky squared-off bases. The green issue I've got also have painted bases - a pale herb-green.


Speedwell
(Speedwell Manufacturing Company)

So, we get to Speedwell - Some of Speedwell's contribution is easy to identify, some of it just adds to the question marks over all these early British 'Khaki Infantry'. We'll look at the easy stuff first, and then move on to the question marks!

Standard box....these are really quite common, and there must have been a mountain of them when the company folded. I photographed this one at the start of the book project, there are several on sale on the Internet at the moment (in France?) and quite a few have been through Bonhams and the other auction houses in the last decade or so, and many can be found on the Internet with a quick Google search.

Certain 'rules' are established straight away, one; the boxes tend to have a limited number of poses, in this case one! But the other examples you will find tend to have only three or four poses. Two; Speedwell's plastic colours tend toward the more 'bright' greens (making them easier to mistake for Hilco) and three; their paint colours likewise are brighter and again closer to the Hilco palette.

I am confident that most of the above are Speedwell, the rules re. plastic and paint are both adhered to, and the three prone are from the previous box. The image bottom right however is taking us into a greyer area, the Bazooka-man is certainly Speedwell, the other two....well...! Another rule, and the one that helps with the flat-based ex-Timpo poses is Hilco - helmets and bases different colours, Speedwell - helmets, bases AND boots & puttees/gaiters the same colour. It's not hard and fast, but it helps.

Larger sets by Speedwell also contain this tank, this is a bought-in Hong Kong job, which I photographed with the small scale for another project, not having one of the large Speedwell sets! Those large sets also included the scenic items we're not going to look at here, and the Speedwell 'swoppets' which we saw briefly here; Swoppet GI's.

Ignore the Jeep, the gun however was also bought-in for Speedwell sets. In on-line images it's hard to tell if the tank had a tow-hook missing from the common versions, or if they were just sewn/glued-in to look as if they were towing the gun, which is a not-bad copy of the Dinky 25lbr.

I'm 99% sure this is the Speedwell mortar, but as we will see below, that doesn't mean they didn't have another! A simplified single moulding with a base that's unlike everyone else's.

More questions than answers here...we've looked at the bottom right one already. Top left and bottom right; the standing firing poses are almost certainly Speedwell, the crawling figures however are one of the big question marks - compare the rifle to the boxed figures above, on these two it's a flat, home-carved cartoon rifle...a pointed stick with a flat butt. Yet, both figures otherwise suggest Speedwell? Did they have two very different prone crawlers.

The two figures top right are here because (at the moment!) there's nowhere else for them to go? The flecked plastic of the bino's guy means he could be Hilco, but - as far as I know - it's not a Hilco pose, while the Charbens are much smaller.

The grenade thrower seems to be the Speedwell version, but could be a late Reisler, as they produced the small scales in ethylene? See below for more on this 'desert' version.

These were taken at the time of the book idea, I seem to recall they are all comparison, but...either failed to take notes. lost any notes, or have some notes in storage! So, bit of guesswork as to what we're looking at here...

Large picture (top left) two possibly Speedwell on the left (plastic colour rule!), then one that looks like Hilco (ignores the paint rule) but has a 'Speedwell' base, then a VP shooter. Below them to the left; the two grenade throwers again, note - Glosters flash again, and VP style camo on the helmet, but not VP colours.

The two kneeling figures...VP to the left in both shots, and an unknown in front new rule - Silver weapons, the left-hand standing firer is from the same source? The right-hand standing firer is also 'unknown' in that he's two well finished to be Speedwell, he's trying very hard to look like Britains (in fact it might be a Britains comparison shot?)

The falling wounded and radio poses are both VP-Speedwell comparisons, except that the Speedwell's may not be Speedwell...

...because they look like these...plastic rule; check! Paint rule; check! But...mortar is the one I've tentatively ID'd as UNA, and; UNA use paler plastics too, if UNA are responsible for unmarked bases, including the MG gunner they usually do with a heavy hollow base, these are UNA (and will be moved as this page hopefully - over time - loses the question marks!), equally they could be Speedwell, either grouped with the 'wrong' mortar, or that these mortars were passed around, which seems unlikely as the more we do discover about these figures, the more the 'rules' stick?

David Scrivener sent this in last night, with no opinion as to which of the makers was responsible, I've put it here, because of the brown grenade thrower (three shots) above. However, again the paint rule is out of the window on these as they have been well painted with the anklets, boots and helmets all different colours. I suspect they will move in time, but can sit here until more is know, and thanks again to Dave for contributing.

Supplied by Barney Brown, this is another nice selection of (what I believe to be) the late paint Speedwell, some in the earlier (?) olive-drab and others in the later (?) paler colours. Why they adopted these bright herb greens - and dozens of them - for helmets and boots is anyone's guess!


Barney Brown sent this image in and thinks its Speedwell, the guy on the left looks a bit Trojan to me, and they are both the earlier olive-drab, which makes them harder to attribute, the tube however is the common speedwell version, and given the problems I'm having with identifying the mortar-teams 3-shots above, is as likely as not (as a group) to be so. The figures however must retain a question mark!


Taffy / Thomas Toys
(Taffy Toys - Thomas Industries - TNT - T.N. Thomas)

Images courtesy of Brian Carrick

See home blog for more on these figures which while resembling some of the Britains poses are really suitably different to be kept off this page...they're also 70mm giants.

Trojan
(W.Shipton Ltd)

One of the more prolific of the 'minor makes' connected with all these versions of Timpo and Herald combat infantry, yet the least understood? There is a bit of history for the company in the Plastic Warrior special on Trojan, and while I'm trying not to lift stuff strait from the specials, I am referring to them so's to not make too many boo-boos!

The chap I bought the big 'Autumn Purchase' off a few years ago now had a lot of these early makes and told of the time he and his Uncle (of similar age) had actually gone to the Trojan factory in Granville Mews, London, 'on spec', and had a whale of a time there. He reported a "huge vat of liquid" (which he thought was plastic), suggesting there was some metal production going on, as this isn't in the catalogues PW has tracked-down, they may well be responsible for some of the unknowns in the hollow-cast collecting field? They left with tons of figures at cost, mostly Germans, but he remembered animals being on display.

I'm pretty sure these are the Trojan efforts - unmarked squared-off (ish) bases and not attributed to any of the other makes, they are quite common as far as these early British plastics go, so they are here for the time being. Also this example ties in with some of the Tiny Trojans in my collection, both in plastic colour and brown guns/matt green webbing-helmet-base with black boots. Not that that is a rule, there are several versions of the Tiny Trojan paint styles and so it seems to be with the larger brethren.

Case in point - I could have saved these for the 'question marks' below, but I'm pretty sure Trojan is the link here, even if these are not all from the Trojan works? I'll explain; The prone rifleman is an old Hill/Johilco pose, the machine-gunner seems to be an old Crescent mould and the kneeling radio operator above has the reasonably substantial base associated with other ex-Timpo poses in the Trojan line. In the above selection all three of the olive-drab ones also have a small pin-hole in the base. All three came from the chap who'd been to the factory (although there's no evidence or statement from him that that's where these three came from) and Trojan's 'Tiny's consisted of 6 poses from Crescent moulds with 2 others (not based-on actual Crescent moulds), there is no reduction in size on the Crescent poses.

So it seems to me that (until contrary evidence comes to light?!) they have to be Trojan, though not listed in the catalogues, and taken straight from the hollow-cast figures, if not; the moulds, it may even be that that was how Trojan got started...with other peoples old hollow-cast moulds, then piracies to build the range?

As to the other two (the baseless ex-Timpo kneeling firer being uncommon and again closer to the lead original) with the garish gloss paint on creamy-white plastic? They could be mould-share from another maker, test-shots, early production or any one of a number of other explanations? Some of the Trojan wild west figures are in white plastic as well.

A couple more of the two commoner types, there are from Barney Brown (thank you) and tie-in perfectly with some of my Tiny Trojans, again the pea-green, the brown rifle...These figures are - in addition - marbled plastic (more obvious on the lower figure), now I have held the rest for the 'question mark' section, but will be arguing for their inclusion in Trojan's oeuvre, and these chaps are partly why.

Where Trojan uses the same figures as other people, they seem to be the poorer quality, the four Britains figures in the first image having bad joins/mould-lines and blobbier detailing, this small piracy of the Kentoy Mortar-man keeps turning up often in odd colours and would seem to be Trojan, though whether he is from a short-lived 'enemy' set of khaki infantry or was sold with the Trojan Germans (his paints not right for that though) I couldn't begin to guess.

The US infantry are a bit easier, substantial bases and pale-grey helmet and trousers mark these out at a glance from the Timpo originals. I only have the two poses/figures so if anyone can help with images that would be helpful!

There are some heavy-weapon crew I think are Trojan but I've held them over for the question marks for the time being...also I have to migrate the sand-coloured stretcher team down here from the Speedwell section and re-write that caption...soon!

In the catalogue reproduced in the PW Special on Trojan there is the information "1144  Miniature Plastic Sandbags (Set of 4)  41/- Gross 6d [rice to public". I believe these are they...another image courtesy of Barney Brown.

Now moved here from the Speedwell section, these 'desert' versions were issued with the sand-plastic examples of the Trojan 14th Army (Commonwealth/ANZAC) soldiers. The green version would have been issued with the Khaki Infantry, and were not listed as part of the green-plastic 'Australian' set.



UNA
(UNA Games & Toys Ltd., UNA Pen Company Ltd.)

Although they seem to have been the most prolific (or equal with Speedwell?) the problem with putting Trojan on a page like this is that so much of their output is open to question, not properly attributed yet or actually someone else's.

Happily, UNA have a distinct base and are easy to identify...except when you get to boxed sets! But lets look at the obvious ones first.

The commonest form of UNA; Painted like most other Khaki Infantry of the time in a simplified version of the Zang/Herald figures and covering both Britains and Timpo poses, they have an extra deep base-plate added (to what seem to be Speedwell moulds) which allow for a hollow within, where the UNA mark is to be found, the join-line of the mould-extension being quite clearly discernible running around the high edge of the base.

I suspect these came later, but they may have been a contemporaneous cheaper, unpainted line, or even a premium of some kind, or maybe in bags at seaside kiosk? I don't know how many colours these unpainted ones come in but the brown seems to be less common than the blue-grey and grey ones. They might - of course - have been an attempt at 'enemy' troops, but why no paint?

Some more shots of the figures above, the green grenade thrower shows another connection with Speedwell, paler plastic than the normal olive-drabs.

This is problematic - for two reasons, one; I'm not sure where the images came from, they seem to be in sequence with other shots I took about a year or so ago (but that's only a default Samsung compact numbering), yet I can't find the images numbered immediately either side of them? I'm pretty sure I took them at Sandown Park of a mates purchase, but again can't remember fully, so if you recognise these as yours and want them removed; drop me a line with proof and I'll happily delete them.

Two; the figures are so mucked about I don't think we can learn anything from them. In Plastic Warrior's 'special' on UNA, there are other boxed sets, still glued in, clearly showing Speedwell output, but this set has three or more UK makers products, plus a repainted US flat with similar repaints of some of the other figures (yellow arrows), therefore I think it's safe to assume this box just contains someone's 'toy soldiers' as a container, and nothing more, however, it gives an example of box-art.

Some lovely paint-condition shots from Barney Brown (thanks again Barney), the deeper bases are obvious in these images. He's included a crawling figure, as the paint matches that seems reasonable to me, I've rather failed to attribute most of mine (late Speedwell being the obvious exception), and we'll be looking at them under the question marks below.

Base marks set into the cavity in the deeper base, the marks on some of the Indians were not as 'polished' as these very professional-looking stamps, and one feels that away from the boxed set problem, UNA figures (from shop display boxes (PW reports they were at one point sold by weight) should always have a mark?



VP
(Probably; The Verity Pen Company Ltd.)

The Verity Pen connection (courtesy of Plastic Warrior magazine and their research into these companies) is almost certainly connected to the fact that UNA were also the UNA Pen Co.! For years I looked for a connection with Victory Industries in Guildford, because of the Kentoy connection, but as we'll see in the question marks section, that's not there as a connection and the research by PW pretty-much proves that!

Also like UNA, there is the feeling (hope!) that most of the counter production (weapon crews excepted) were clearly marked with the little VP mark.

The commonest form of VP figure are those at the top left with a small VP mark under the deepish base and the 3/4 yellow splodges on a green helmet camouflage. However all the above are marked VP and therefore when unmarked figures are to be found to be VP-like, there is nothing to differentiate them from some Speedwell, or indeed any similarly unmarked UNA.

Comparison shots of various paint/decoration treatments, again these are all marked, and for the time being we must assume the brown ones were 'Enemy' troops following the Herald issue?

Unmarked figures in the common paint-scheme along with unmarked US figures from the Timpo mouldings. The US standing firer could just as easily be Speedwell from the green boots? The three (Speedwell, UNA and VP) companies figures - when not obvious - are a problem to attribute easily.


This little selection were sent in by Barney Brown and are all identified as VP by him, so I assume they were all marked, but again the selection in the bottom left shot could just as easily be Speedwell, maybe the two companies not only shared moulds (or mould-makers) but also out-painters? Scenic items are usually marked if Speedwell, if unmarked could be UNA or VP.

A selection of figures, all marked showing - from the left; Unmarked but almost certainly a VP mortar crewman; marked in the common style; less common paint-scheme and finally; one trying quite hard to resemble a Zang / Herald figure.

The VP marking, this can be mirror-reversed (about 1-in-3) or inverted but is usually readable from left to right in the English manner. This is due to two sets of engineer's punches being employed by a chap who clearly didn't have much grey-matter in the visio-spacial department! Note the unpainted brown one as we will come back to him in the question marks.

There is a flat mark (no drum-like hole/depression) on some of the Wild West figures which reads "VP MADE IN ENGLAND" and may be found on smooth bottomed Khaki Infantry, but I've yet to find any.

Wend-Al (or Quiralux?)

Aluminium copy of the Britains kneeling firer, from the lack of a base it has to be assumed that it's a Wend-Al figure rather than a Quiralu one as Wend-Al removed the bases toward the end to save money...Quiralu switched to plastic with a name change to Quiralux! Thanks to Adrian Little.


Foreign Makes

PZG - Poland
(Polski Zwiazek Gluchych [Union of the Deaf or 'Polish Association for Deaf People'])

Now I've let the foreigners in - might as well let them all in! Just a sample of the hard-plastic figures from Poland, these are not strictly traditional 'hard plastic' as in polystyrene, they are made from recycled and waste plastic, so the hardness seems to have more to do with them being mixed polymers, probably over-cooked and, in handling, often have the feel of a Bakelite or semi-critical 'thing' from a car engine...do you know what I mean, slightly fibrous, rough-textured, tinny, or they can be very shiny, glossy and lightweight, like a dense propylene! I guess it all depends on what they had on the day?

Here (left in both images) we see a copy of one of the problem-probably-Trojan figures looked at above, he is one of the rougher, fibrous ones.

And these are the more common ones with bases, probably all by the same maker but lacking the heavier bases normally associated with these figures from PZG, you can see from the worn-paint on the yellow-based firer that he's one of the shiny ones, the guy behind him is fibrous and the chap with binoculars in probably a quite pure styrene. All three from the Timpo poses, I've yet to see Britains poses, but I know in the heavier-based range they did do Airfix piracies.

I have tried to keep this page about the various British versions, although they have been copies all over the world, and there will be a Hong Kong section below in the fullness of time and Reisler made it into the post...so...as these are so distinctive, they might as well go here!


Tenco

I'm not 100% on the name; Tenco, nor am I 100% on the origin being Argentina, the other national identities in the frame are Brazil or Mexico, but I referred to Tenco of Argentina in an old post before everything went into storage so I think it's right? It's based on a photograph of some of them in a Toy Soldier collecting book or possibly Plastic Warrior magazine but Paul couldn't remember them.
Very distinctive as they have been given very good copies of Timpo swoppet bases, they are also very good copies of the originals - sadly, the poorer originals from the Hong Kong days!


Hong Kong - A Sample
(boxed, bagged or carded 'brands' may appear on the main Blog from time to time)

There are so many HK copies I can only give a flavour here, and so many 'brands', actual, made-up or jobber-importer types that I'm not going to cover them here at all, when (if) I get the collection out of storage I'll cover some, but apart from a few Monograme copies I'm planning on blogging soon (as a post on the main Blog) I have no boxed, bagged or carded examples of these mostly low-cost, poor quality rack-toys here.

I'm not trying to invent dates or periods or impose the same on anybody, but if you divide the Hong Kong production (as opposed to the modern, post-1990's 'China' era) into three overlapping sections; early (say: pre-1950 to 1969), a mid-period (1965-1978) and late (1975-1989), all 'ish and arbitrary, it will help with this HK section if we run with it for now!

These are probably the earliest, marked 'Empire Made' once a common mark for HK production it hid the negative associations with the Far East, not only poor quality; we'd just had a war with Japan while colonial/revolutionary wars or insurgencies were being fought in most of the former colonies of the European powers.

So the EM mark gave a level of gravitas (small level!) in the search for customers in the UK, Canada and Australasia, all these being sold - in the day - by travelling salesmen direct to small general stores and newsagents (elsewhere called Mom'n'Pop stores or dime stores), pharmacies and the like, anywhere you could get a rack or counter of cheapish toys! The salesmen would have one or two examples of each 'line', often unbranded generics, and would try to get orders, often on sale-or-return.

Also the 'Empire Made' wasn't 'Foreign' with its links - in the mind - to Japan and Germany and all the connotations linked to them so soon after the war.

These would appear to be the smae as the previous Empire Made figures but with the mark changed to Hong Kong. As the market grew and the HK producers grew with it, they would have looked beyond the Empire for customers, and having an increasingly anachronistic mark on the base was something soon addressed and as the '60's rolled into the 1970's. Consequently there's probably only months between these and the earlier set.
We've seen this one in the comparison shots in the introduction and Britains section near the top of the page and having said I wouldn't 'do' brands here; I'll just mention that he might be by ABC, a minor and earlier mark from HK. I say this because while he isn't marked, a lot of the figures from that company and the similar marks - which seem to be in a little group of their own - he has some of the other markers.

Jack Shalatain recently published some [plastic] piracies of Britains hollow-cast British Line Infantry and US Marines in Plastic Warrior magazine No.158, which are ABC. Now; I have almost identical [plastic] figures of RAF marching figures (ex-hollow-cast mouldings) and Guards and Highlanders (from herald)which have the same mark as the above. They are also to all intents and purposes the same as the figures Jack showed.

So there may well be a link between all of them. Equally, he shares a mark with the early period figures above, so may be connected to them, but they may be ABC as well, and ABC has (or seems to have) clear connections with figures marked CK, CM, CMV and HK, so they may all be either...

...that's why I wasn't going to do brands here!

These would be 'Mid-period'. Not the best quaility, but not the really poor stuff from the late '70's and early 80's. Based on the Britains poses - as most HK stuff was - these have shades of the earlier 'Empire Made' copies by keeping the general outline of the Britians bases.

Similar age, similar decoration, similar base-mark, these may well belong with the Britains poses in the preceding shot, but are the only Timpo poses to be found in my examples.

Borderline mid-late period, late 1960's, these are copies of the copies below. What care was shown in the earlier copies is lacking here and there's no effort in the painting which is minimal, I don't know how many poses are being sought, I have the two only.

As the 1970's slid inexorably toward the 1980's quality went out of the window, the vast estates of newer social housing, older slums and ghetto's in Europe and America had an unending appetite for poor-grade shite, for small change, which might keep the kids quiet for an hour amongst the grinding poverty the customers lived in.

Interestingly: although the quality is so poor, they've actually returned to the late moulds with the helmet nets, so there's no excuse for the poor effort.

These are definitely 'late period' and are still quite common in surviving header-carded bags. Sometimes numbered and sometimes not, big holes, little-holes and filled-in holes, you could spend a year or two looking-out for and buying these and get a substantial blog-post on just them (Oh god! I might one day!)...or you could watch paint dry.

Harder to place, a recent addition and unpainted, but I suspect mid-era? Lucky Products used three-number codes with the 'No.' prefix, but not - as far as I know - ever in a soft ethylene, or unpainted. I like him, but only because he's the first, if I find a tub-full of them at a show I'll go off him!

These were sent in to the Small Scale World by Brian Berke of New York, New York (so good they named it after a great Northern English town with Viking links!), and his favourite Crescent 'sizer' is shown aptly dispatching the foreign clone! Base mark is a clear Made in Hong Kong, in a rounded DIN type font.

This lot are really nice sculpts, their bayonets are sharper than the originals, and while there is a loss of detail, indeed, even a bit of lumpiness, they are nevertheless as dynamic as their originals.

It's also uncommon to get so many poses in an HK set, usually the count seems to be three, four or maybe five poses. Missing from the original eight figures are the standing firer and the grenade thrower.


Unknowns, Question Marks &etc...



I suppose the green chap is a Hilco with unmarked base, but the brown one? Very clean, almost brand new, yet with a rough base unlike any of the identified makes/marques above. Possibly a test shot from the 1990's...Dorset or Marlbrorough...but never went into production? A mystery figure...has anyone else got any?



Again, pretty sure these are both Hilco, the chap on the left deffiantely is; but the chap on the right is quite an unusual mottled figure and without the dink in the base remains a question mark until I an find more obvious Hilco figures in matching plastic.

A group who almost suggest another maker, the bases aren't quite like anyone else's, and as a group they have a distictive feel about them, could be Kentoys...that cycle-shop seems to have a lot to answer for!

Some more, but with squarer bases, thanks to Barney for the lower-left image, given the different stretcher teams and support-weapon crews ascribed to Kentoys by some people, there should be a similar range of standard infantry figures to go with them, some of the above (in both preceding collages) must be them! But they also all 'sort of' fit Trojan as well!




Four rather tatty Benbros (I think...that's why they are down here with the question-marks!) showing an unusual colour variation at the back and some interesting paint-remains which may or may not be original. Below which is one of the Solido figures from Belgium, clearly influenced by the Britains Herald signaller figurine.

Sorting!




Miscellaneous

These turned-up at Sandown Park's toy fair this autumn (Sep. 2015), and at first glance you think; "Hummm...home cast 'piracies'?", but in fact I think they are from the Britains moulds, I can't remember the name of the company, but there was a smaller maker (Tommy Atkins?) advertising in TS&MF Collector back in the mid/late-1990's who had permission from Britains to do a run in soft white-metal with a glossy 'toy soldier' finish, I think these may be unpainted by-product from that enterprise?

9 comments:

David Scrivener said...

In the book by Marion Osborne (doll's house expert)about A. Barton & Co there is quite a lot about B&S and FGT, including a January 1962 FGT price list, which includes:
"No.436 Khaki Soldiers (8 kinds)"

So there you have the evidence - they did copy all 8.

Maverick Collecting said...

Thanks again Dave, it sound's like a useful book and certainly isn't one in my Library (which is in storage).

I'll update the post. And I must put the flying ducks on the other page!

Hugh

David Scrivener said...

Re Speedwell et al:
The desert colour grenade thrower in my photo has extra webbing on the front, which it seems only Speedwell (& UNA) added). It also seems painting and plastic quality was better on early Speedwell, and got worse over time.
Your grenade thrower in photo with binoculars guy does not have front webbing - so not Speedwell, and does have the distinctive shield shaped base with one foot off at the pointy end - which makes him Reisler (see the Reisler site).

Hope this helps, Regards, Dave.
Sand colour Stretcher team in in PW Trojan Special, part of their Australian/14th army set.

Maverick Collecting said...

Thanks Dave

That makes sense, I hadn't even noticed the difference (by which I mean with those figures, I am going to come on to 'Anglicisation' of the US figures when we round-up in 'Unknowns'), but was beginning to think he might be Reisler, if only because he's a bit bigger.

My Trojan Special is in...you guessed it; storage! but I think I credited them to Trojan when I covered the Germans on the main blog?

And...yes, it all helps, hopefully others will contribute, but keep it coming!

Hugh

PS - to all, as the page gets longer it's getting slower to load as Blogger treats it as a single blog-post, as a result if you don't have a fast broadband connection you'll have to wait. Typo's are also creeping in (in larger numbers than I usually let through!) for the same reason, spell check isn't making it down the page properly!

H

Ross Mac rmacfa@gmail.com said...

Very much enjoying these but a little curious as to why Crescent didn't get included (mostly because that's what I had apart from 1 or 2 of the Herald sentry figure).

Hugh Walter said...

Hi Ross - I did cover some Crescent on the main/homepage (try the Crescent tag), they aren't on this age as they didn't copy the Timpo or Britains poses...although the standing Firing 45mm has some similarities and I might add some comparison shots here one day?

There is still some more to come...UNA, VP, Unknowns/question marks, HK, Brazil and Polish figures!

H

Hugh Walter said...

Excuse the capitals...I'm knackered, just spent 9 hours straight formatting the abbreviations page! H

Hugh Walter said...

They're here Ross...

http://smallscaleworld.blogspot.co.uk/2011/12/h-is-for-half-moon.html

Hugh Walter said...

3rd comment above should - of course - read 54mm not 45mm!

H