About Me

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No Fixed Abode, Home Counties, United Kingdom
I’m a 58-year-old Aspergic gardening 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.

Wednesday, January 27, 2016

News, Views etc...Local Toy Exhibition

Currently on display in the Public Library (there are benefits to having no Internet!) in Fleet, Hampshire, a small display of toys, put on by the Local Historical Society...enjoy...

Saturday, January 23, 2016

News, views etc...update

Very swift visit to the blog, couple of comments, an additional image of the Merit ray-gun Jig-Toy on that page, and some images to the HK Romans page, text to follow. Also up-loaded some more article images 40-odd waiting now! And there's much being added to the Airfix blog, but no text! Too many irons! Still no spell-check...

Thursday, January 21, 2016

F is for Follow-up - Charms

So....I'm opperating out of the libray for a week or two, so no spellchecker (or caps checker!), and while I'm loading lots of articles I'm waiting until I can edit them properly befor I publish, so 30-odd to come, but likely to be the second half of February!

When I popped-in to see Paul (of Plastic Warrior) before Christmas he thrust a bag of bits at me, and a few of them came just a day or two late for the charms post i did in the fluffy, plastic, tat run-up th Christmas! So here is an up-date/addtion to that post.

From the same source as each other but different subjects/scales, these figures seem to be based quite recent and turn-up on evilBay quite a bit, there were some yellow dancers on these last week!. The bandsmen seem to be based on old composition figures?

Added 21-08-2016 Cake Decoration versions now here

The same sculpts as last time but different colours, it would seem they were issued probably as a set of six, with six unrelated items in a set of 12 crackers?

I'm building quite a fleet of these now! A couple of them were in Pauls bag, and I dug mine out for the mass 'Dunkirque' effect! And to make myself realise that the one with a blue clothes-tag looking thing has - in fact - got a clothes-tag looking thing, not some weird simplified boatman!
Cheers Paul!

Saturday, January 9, 2016

News, Views etc...Plastic Warrior 161

So, a week later than I intended...getting better!

Plastic Warrior's last issue is a bit of a Christmas cracker! Issue 161;

Covers are Cherilea front and Replicants back, with help from Ruth Martin, Dan Morgan and Eric Keggans

* The issue kicks-off with a fascinating article from Peter Evans on wannabe sets which definitely aren't Timpo, Britains or Charbens.
* Andreas Dittmann and Paul Stadinger examine a figure which turns out to be a Tiawanese plastic version of a metal figure based on a US composition figure of....subscribe!
* Expeditionary Force's Greeks come under the skilled knife of Tom Stark.
* Igor explains the history behind (his) Engineer Basevich, giving a potted history of Russian 'boys toys' in the Soviet era at the same time.
* What the !&*$? is choc-full of stuff in this issue, one quickly ID'ed by the Ed; Giampiero Larizza's Dulcop GI, Barney Brown has an interesting variant of...subscribe! Joe Bellis gets me jealous with some lovely 54mm 'khaki infantry' grenade-thrower variations, a Bren-gunner from Hilco and a Highlander.
* 'From the Archives' brings us up to speed on the sub-scale mounted figures of Lone Star.
* Alwyn Brice's back to Elastolin in 40mm.
* 'Monty' gets restored by Eric Keggans who then paints-up the rest of the set - Cherilea 8th Army.
* While Les White converts Star Wars Command figures.
* And 'Herald Notes and Queries' reaches the end of its run (?) with a round up of various items of interest/late entries, as Daniel Morgan shows us some treasures in part 9...Odds and Ends and eBay Finds.

* 'What's New' inspects recent product releases from:
  • - Armies in Plastic (AIP) - Camel Corps
  • - Publius (who've now adopted the 'u's I've used all along, oh come-on; it was hideously pretentious! "Puvooblivoos") - Crusaders and Saracens
  • - Engineer Basevich - Yogolavian Partisans of WWII
  • - Paragon Scenics - Charging ACW with bayonets (available in Union blue and Confederate grey)
  • - LOD Enterprises - Trojans and Greeks
*  Readers letters this month include
  • - James Opie's news of a move to C&T Auctions
  • - Memories of carded versions of what sound like Kellogg's divers from Richard Blezard
  • - eBay's Confederate-flag idiocy from Peter Rushton (the idiocy being eBay's not Peter's I hasten to add!)
  • - James Peter Young poses a bit of a What the !&*$? re. some ACW figures spotted in a movie
  • - Peter Evans muses some points on Hilco-Starlux figures/poses
  • - and there's room for a mini-article from Dan Morgan on Britains conversions
* Plus all the usual small-ads.
* 'News and Views and other stuff' asks about some Ukrainian/Russian looking new production in the issues third What the !&*$? (actually 'first' but you know what I mean), the Obabma portrait by Joe Black 'painted' in toy soldiers we looked at here a few years ago sells for...Subscribe! Eurofigurines latest issue gets a hat tipped, and the news from James Opie is fleshed-out.

It's been out for five weeks now, which means a new one (162) in about seven weeks time!

Plastic warrior is now on-line here;
eMail; pw.editor@ntlworld.com

And they are on Paypal.

Spellcheck didn't like Bren-gunner but is happy to accept any of the above!

Friday, January 8, 2016

M is for Margarine Menagerie

As the common cream coloured 'ivorene' margarine premiums these have been identified as being issued by Cleverstolz, Lowenbrink, Markt-Apotheque, Raulino, Sanella and Voss (among others), but the four sets represented by the small sample below remain more mysterious...to me!

The smaller ones are just the original premiums in new colours, with a second variant being in soft ethylene palstic (the right-hand column of blue ones in the main image), while larger versions exist in both hard polystyrene (lighter grey rhino) and soft polyethylene (dark grey horse), in which guise they have been linked with Jean and Manurba in the past, neither seem the right answer to me.

Thanks to Paul Morehead and Brian Carrick for most of these, I have the cream ones and a better sample of the larger ones in storage (with whites and browns), so hopefully we will return to them, by which time I may have a better idea on these - probably later - issues.

I is for It had to Happen!

3D-printed Action-figure and Mini's heads...your heads...

and, PR here...

My Modern Met (careful, I got pop-ups from the Etsy link!)

Tuesday, January 5, 2016

News View Etc..Stuff!

I've been a bit lazy for the last few days, I've got a bunch of stuff ready to go, but I know my Internet credit is running low, and I can't sort it out 'till next week so I'm rather husbanding it!

I did add a couple of images and text to the Mountain Troops post on the Airfix blog earlier tonight and will try to get some more texted-up over the next few days...it's a bit poor really, I think I've got more without text that with at the moment! I haven't done the links on that entry either but may return to it later tonight.

This is what's come in over the holiday period, arguably the three quietest weeks of the year for this sort of stuff! It's just never-ending...some of it from Paul, some from Mariya, some bought new, some from charity shops, some blogged already, some to be blogged soon, some to disappear for years before it gets its five minutes of fame here...and some bits have already been put away; the Funtastic Romans and some more capsule stuff!

It's a month today since the paratrooper post and you will see - front centre - a Tobar parachuting Penguin! 1-pound-somthing in Hawkins Bazaar, not worth a follow-up post yet, he'll go in the box until I get the others out of storage. The half-size Britains tiger copy will probably end-up on the STS Animal Forum where tigers have just been voted show-and-tell of the month, while the two additional Deadstone Valley figures are waiting for the possibility of more additions next week.

So...more serious posting in a week or so, in the meantime I'll try and get the PW 161 review up in a day or two and I have a single collage 'flats' article ready which I will risk on Friday if I'm still on-line!

Saturday, January 2, 2016

L is for Lederfett

Which Bablefish assures me is leather-grease...I'm guessing some kind of neutral feed/water-proofer for leather like dubbin? Found (re-found!) whilst preparing an article on the cereal premium kits...

...this red four-engined 'plane - a windowed airliner -  probably dates from the 1950's and was given away as a premium with Solitär lederfett. The company is still going, but the name has been Anglicised to Solitaire (for a wider market?). The white wheels point to early Manurba, but it could just as easily be a Siku moulding or any one of a half-dozen others and I don't know which, yet.

The red Solitär model is all hard polystyrene with a casually applied sticker, the yellow one is all soft polyethylene and probably appeared as a more generic 'freebie' in 'lucky' bags of sweets and novelties in the 1970's.

Friday, January 1, 2016

A is for Army Men!

You can't beat a bag of cheap 'n nasty HK pirates of better figures, to beat-up in the sand-pit and the bigger the better! These are currently in 99p Stores for err...ninety-nine pee!

Four inch (120mm) figures, four of 'em. Made of the new hybrid ethylene which is best described as 'sandy', they are pretty crude, far cruder than the Blue Box Romans we looked at earlier today. But; 99p! That's 24.75pence each.

One of them is based on the old Tim Mee chap who in his original guise was encouraging his mates to attack, but here seems to have given-up fighting in favour of standing, looking rather stunned! Another is paying a vague homage to the Airfix German running, while the the other two are lifted from a couple of commonly-copied Matchbox figures, even to the strange pouches on the grenadier.

But pose is as close as it gets, they are wooden in articulation, the heads/helmets are poor, cartoonish sculpting and the boots look like Playmobile plaster-casts - if you know what they look like!

There are a set of Emergency personnel as well (in blue or red plastic), but I left them on the rack...I may weaken (for the blog) but do I need eight large-scale civilians?

V is for Vinyl Villains

I had a bunch of stuff to publish between Christmas and the New Year, but decided to have a few days off, I hope everyone has had a good holiday, the weather would suggest the [absolutely happening] climate-change models will need tweaking in the new year, my thoughts with those wet souls in the North, along with the victims of fires in Australia and California, unseasonal - in severity - tornadoes in the South-west States (and snow in Mexico!??) along with anyone trying to find the melted North Pole...Happy weird New Year!

Perhaps - with the Paris agreement now dry - 2016 will be the year people finally understand the Hippies were right all those years ago, and big business has got away with another 50 years of unregulated damage-making...still, we buy their shit, and elect their overseers, so we can only blame ourselves! Trump for President of the end of the world!

Spotted in Poundland in the lead-up to Christmas. Dressed in the in-house Funtastic branding, these seem to be re-badged BBi (Blue Box International) Elite Force copies of the Schleich for Revell 'Epix' figures of a few years ago, same poses but cruder castings and much cruder paint!

These appeared about three weeks before Christmas, and I never managed to get the standard bearer before they sold out, whether they will be restocked in the new year remains to be seen, but worth looking-out for over the coming months.

The crudity of the copies is soothed somewhat by the fact that they are a pound each, while both Revell originals and BBi branded copies (which can still be found about the web) are between £5.99 and £7.99 or thereabouts, while a skilled painter can soon enhance these.

One shouldn't condone blatant piracy, but if companies as big as Schliech or Revell don't prosecute a company as established as Blue Box, then it's left to us to exploit the situation! 8 poses at the moment; three knights, four legionaries and a gladiator, I think this may be the same story for the similar large pirate/buccaneer figures issued in the same stores a year or two ago?