About Me

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No Fixed Abode, Home Counties, United Kingdom
I’m a 56-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, January 4, 2013

T is for Thales

That's 'Tar-les' not 'Thailes'

About a year ago I was hanging around Newbury, with an hour or so to kill, and having outstayed my welcome in the local coffee house thought I'd do a quick overpass of the charity shops in the main square, of which there are about 5, as, despite there rarely being any major pickings in charity shops these days (not because there's nothing there, but because they mostly save stuff 'out back' for their local tame collector!) you can sometimes find the odd useful piece.

And in one I did indeed find something, in the little restaurant-style bread-roll basket of infants toys and squeaky things, there was this soft expanded-foam moulding of what was obviously a pretty modern item of military kit. Well, it was what it was (20p?) so I bought it and when I got home Googled the thing, found it was one of a family of similar vehicles and thought "Ah! Different versions of prototype must equal different versions of toy, surly?", and I was right, but must stop calling myself Shirley (if you got that - you're showing you age!).

So this is the beast I found, it's a very accurate model - given the material - and seems to be around the 1:50 mark, scale wise. Clearly an advertising premium, the underside has more basic sculpting than the upper surfaces but gets across one of the main selling points of all vehicles of its type these days - mine resistance, with a clearly emphasised blast-protecting/directing ridge running the full length of the crew cab and passenger sections.

Anyway - I then eMailed a couple of the people I found on the websites and sat back to see what would happen...not a lot...and for a year this collage sat in Picasa with me wondering weather or not to blog it as a stand-alone. So a couple of months ago I tried again, obviously got a different eMail, and the result was a small parcel all the way from Australia with the rest of the crew on-board.

At this point I must thank Julian Elliott of Thales PR/Communications down under for going the extra mile.

Not only did Julian help with the rest of the Bushmaster family, but also sent me two versions of the smaller Hawkie ('hawk-eye'), a small air-portable AFV and the I-Mast, an integrated naval radar system (with all the various electronic units in one structure), which is manufactured by the Thales subsidiary in Hengelo, Netherlands, although the foam model is made in the same place as the Aussie AFV models.

The other members of the Bushmaster family are an APC version of the armoured ambulance I'd found and soft-skin versions of a pick-up truck with short and crew-cab layouts (the ACSV?). The I-Mast just screams 'Dalek HQ' to me and with Doctor Who Adventures magazine giving us no less than 6 old-type Daleks last week in five colours there's potential there somewhere for a good scrap (HOTT rules?).

Indeed all these lend themselves as very hard-wearing pieces for a gaming table, and would go very well with the modern standard 28mm Sci-fi or fantasy figures, or - of course - any similar sized 'modern' troops, the Bushmaster being in service with several armies now.

I was also given a small koala bear! he's now on the Christmas Tree!!! For those who have more than a passing interest in AFV's, these are interesting vehicles, not least that the original Bushmaster design comes from an Irish company called Timoney who - I'm pretty sure - made an interesting AFV/APC for the Irish army in the 1970's that looked like a Big-wheeled Ferret on steroids! Also the camouflage on the Hawkie, is quite similar to the camouflage on a 6x6 heavy-weapons conversion of the Land-Rover Defender I saw at Farnborough airshow about ten years ago, which also came from Australia.

Detailed links for those interested;
Hawkie Air-portable Light Wheeled AFV
Bushmaster Protected Mobility Vehicle - Wikipedia


Christopher Walkerloo said...

promotional soft toys... baby branding... for weapons technology. v.funny...(?):D. soft toys care. I remember being teased be my bro before bath. I was nude, little and he had five years on me - so I needed a tool... in the toy box I found my spikey die cast bat-mobile flicked out the in-bumper blade and got him in the face from the other side of the room. From the smacking I received from the father I conclude bat-mobiles are evil and squeezy arms promo. toys are good. (... my bro did start to take the threat of my retaliation seriously). top blog btw!

Hugh Walter said...

Hi Christopher

I have similar tales of sibling antics, not necessarily naked, but it might hearten you to learn that as the eldest I usually got the blame!