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.

HK Britains & Crescent Combat Inf.

A series of articles looking at the various small scale Hong Kong copies of the 54mm figures by Crescent and Britains of 1950's 'Khaki Infantry', equipped with the EM2 bull-pup or SLR rifles, and then latterly; the Crescent 54mm Desert Infantry and some Marx poses, with other figures as they appeared.

The first three parts of this page were previously published on the main blog page, but it makes sense to place them here in the correct order and add the final parts below, which I will get on with, among everything else!

1 - Blue Box, Pt. I - Kidney Based

While the French Resistance were a nice diversion in the world of 1960's small scale, and the Germans complimented the very similar Miniature Masterpieces by Marx, both the US figures and the British gave rise to or - more accurately - were part of much wider families of Hong Kong pirated figures...

...but before I go running off to look at all the others; we'd better look at the 100% Blue box figures first, easier said than done as there are more to come! The US troops will get their 'in depth' coverage another day - we looked at the immediate Blue Box and some of the post-BB the other day.

So these are the first, we know they are the first as they come in sets with 'friends' [green] and 'enemy' [grey] in those very 1950's recycled cardboard boxes with a simple two or three colour litho'd artwork. They come with the motor-cycle (ex-Dinky O-gauge) in both colours, and the other early vehicles also in green or grey. Greys can vary in shade as with the Resistance figures.

Of the six, five are Crescent poses the sixth being the Britains khaki-infantry Officer, he is the one we'll be following through over the next few posts. They match the US figures in material [hard polystyrene plastic] and in the base type; being kidney-shaped and of vaguely constant thickness, unlike the German Infantry and Resistance Fighters - who have the more Marx-like pile of earth. As with the US post the other day, we have looked at them before; Triang Hornby.

The numbering I'm going to be using for these next few posts is entirely arbitrary and is as much for me to make sense of the hundreds of photo's I've been taking for the dozens of collages I'm going to be putting up here than to force anyone else to use. It will also help to cross-reference these posts/pictures with a round-up list at the end, however as we shall see, numbering such ephemeral stuff is problematical as new types keep turning up, but we'll see how it goes!

Some peripheral figures which have more in common with the Brits than the Yanks but which were included with either set of figures or the others we'll looked at below.

The 'gunner'/equipment operator was also looked at in some depth another day, here; Plagiarism with help from the guys at Moonbase (Project Sword), the puke-green figure top right is the early driver for the Jeep and Austin Champ, he would later come in a dark-green more matching the vehicles.

The two equipment operators to the right on the top row are odd because I have found several of these, with the legs cut-off at about the same place, and used to think they were the crew from the Blue Box DUKW, but all my DUKW crews have full legs, therefore; I'm assuming there is a vehicle I've yet to locate from the military range, a possibility backed-up by the figures on the second row, who are hard styrene (everything else is soft ethylene in this picture) and moulded from the waist up, only. Again I have found several loose examples, there are none in any of my vehicle collection and yet they seem to have been 'meant'.

If the hard plastic mystery figures were phased out, it may have been relatively easy to remove the plug and legs of the equipment operator to do the same job? There's also a shell which comes from the copy of the Crescent WWI artillery piece that Blue Box made.

The bottom row - in both pictures - are clearly from the US sets we looked at elsewhere, and are hard to find (as Brits) ; the above three seem to be all I have (there may be more in storage?), the green one being almost certainly early Rado Industries / Ri-Toys, the yellow ones being later sub-piracy's. I'm not including them in the numbering as they will come in the US figure's round-up another day.

2 - Blue Box, Pt. II - Penny Based

So we move to the figures I call - for obvious reasons - the 'penny-based' family. These start with Blue Box 30mm originals, move through the Hornby-Triang commission and then get into the realms of copies and copies of copies until we're looking at 20/23mm blobs that could be used to reinforce the old Combat Group from Airfix.

I would suppose that in order to fulfil the Triang contract for Battle Space figures a  permanent change was made to the bases, which meant that when green figures were required by BB for their own issues, they too appeared with the new discs.

The top row above are the hard plastic (polystyrene) figures from Blue Box that replaced the older kidney-based figures. The figures themselves are exactly the same as the older ones, in the same five Crescent poses, led by the Britains Herald officer.

Eventually, like the US troops there was a soft (polyethylene) issue - unlike the US troops though, these were painted as the older figures had been. The shade of green varies so I've shot a darker group and a lighter group to give some idea of the variation.

Decoration on  these was crude, as with all BB figures, what I call the stab-and-hope school of painting - the impressionist period! There was a variation; smaller figures on smaller bases, so far I have only found three, in two poses - the figures bottom centre; standing firing and the radio operator.

There are also a few Polypropylene figures in a tinny-sounding rigid 'soft' plastic, there is no visual difference at all, but I've shown one bottom right for the hell of it! Other shots are colour variations and a shrinkage figure who appears to have gone to the Airfix Paratrooper training school!

There is no real reason for numbering the soft plastic ones as type 3, but with the extra bases it sort of makes sense. The Battle Space figures on the other hand only get a 'b' as they are to all extents the same as the green styrene figures, but in brown! There is a type 2c, the unmarked based figures that come between the BB set and the grey set, which being all new poses (albeit very similar to the Blue Box figures) deserves a number outside the sequence.

All the above types were also looked at in the previously referenced earlier post Here, so apart from lining them up there's not much new here.

Close-ups of a size variation or two and the bases, along with decent views of the two type x prone poses. The smaller grey officer seems to be standard mould shrinkage (his chest has swelled as it fills with the plastic withdrawing from the extremities), however the smaller (unmarked) type 2c brown figure is a separate moulding, and - along with the smaller based type 3's - would seem to point toward mould damage leading to the x type being developed to replace the old Blue Box moulds?

However, before the mould was replaced it was run with various colours of soft ethylene by Blue Box and a seventh figure was added (type 4 above), namely; the standing firing pose from Britains Herald, similar to but distinct from the Crescent firer who had been run since the kidney based days of the late 1950's/early 1960's.

As this was all happening around the time of the Triang figures, the shrunken officer and the smaller bases, it all points to the moulds coming to the end of their useful life, although these figures are very clean and well detailed so they were probably cleaned-up at the same time as the additional figure's inclusion.

Type 5 are pretending to be Blue Box, but are smaller, and made from a more modern glossy polymer. Probably Ri-Toys, they came painted (a) and unpainted (b) and there has been a slight loss of size and detail.

The subsequent types listed above take us firmly into the realm of sub-piracy's, ie; those figures form small Hong Kong manufacturers, who rather than bothering to go to the source material (Crescent and Britains 54mm figures), just copy the copies from their 'rivals' down the alleyway, across the road or at the other end of the industrial park!

7a and 7b are the same mouldings with different base markings, they have yet to come together in the same lot, so can be considered different 'sets'.

A closer look at the type 4; Size differences point to a second set of mould inserts and as can be seen from the officer this is not a case of the coloured ones being later, both sizes come in both colours in the same lots and were clearing running together...by the 1970's there was more wealth in the west and greater demand for pocket-money toys. The second mouldings are clearly both smaller and thinner than the first and will have been copied from the earlier set. Along with the problems already covered it's another pointer to the death of the Blue Box/model railway's penny-based British Infantry.

There's also a close-up of the new Herald pose and the grenade-thrower on the far right has been caught by the machinery and pinched in half!

The X2 pose (not clear in the shots but he's there) would appear to be actually a type 4, but probably only in later issues? Packaging is quite colourful, which comes with youth in the dating of these rack toys, earlier ones tending to more austere graphics.

Comparison between the above figures, excluding the Triang-Hornby sets, with a size comparison and the various base markings. Photographing the bases is - to put it mildly - an inexact science!...trying to get then all readable, in focus and out of glare or flash-back at the same time is not easy. Also, these three shots are not to the same scale.

A heat-shrink top left and the marking variation of the 7's. Also shown here is a close-up of type X2, this is not actually a true member of the penny based family, as it is a throw-back from some figures we'll be looking at further down the page (if I've got my head round these!). As a pose it seems to be the torso of the Britains Herald charging with pack attached to the Britains Swoppet mortar crewman's legs!

In the original articles I'd left a gap where No. 8 should be, but no one pulled me up on it, and - fortuitously - in the meantime this chap came in, penny-based and marked 'China'...ergo, and indeed voilà; Number eight! The  China mark puts this as being post 1995/7'ish, and the fact that it's the only one so far hints at lucky-bags, gum-balls, budget Christmas Crackers or the hollow, plastic gift balls you get for Christmas trees.

He's also semi-flat, and while having  a penny base, isn't really part of the 1960-70's line of continuation the other above sets are queued in. Being a copy of copies, harking back rather!

The final true penny based figures based on the Blue Box offering (we will look at the 'interim' sets next) are mainly in small samples of poor quality and were mostly issued with Lucky Bags or in Christmas Crackers, in small quantities - often only one or two. As a result they are hard to find or amass in quantity, and there will almost certainly be other poses missing from the above samples, and other types/sub-types still to be annotated into the family/oeuvre.

Another size-comparison shot - the final figure (type 14) is every bit compatible with the contemporary Airfix 23mils and most of these late figures can be painted-up and used with that size of war gaming figures. Some of these - if not all - will be copies of copies of copies.

The weapon used by all the British Infantry figures in the penny based family - and the later figures we will be looking at soon - is the EM2, a bull-pup designed automatic weapon which never saw service. Wikipedia EM2 page states it did, but uses few references, mostly a single Canadian work. The fact is that it was given a designation; the Rifle, Number 9, but outside of the Demonstration Battalion at the School of Infantry, Warminster saw little or no 'real' service.

The Demo. Btn. would have provided the troops for press-days (and the Lulworth Cove fire-power demo's) in the Cold War, from whence it (the EM2) would have garnered column inches in the tabloids, and through them the boys magazines and annuals. This coverage of it led to Britains, Crescent, Lone*Star and Taffy Toys adopting it for their toy and model soldiers.

Interestingly, the first Zang Herald figure was equipped with a Lee Enfield and the latter Swoppets had SLR's.

The beauty of these small scale copies is that the external appearance of the weapon is similar to the modern SA80 and when painted these figures make better late 1980's figures than they ever made 1960's troops!

3 - Intermediate Imposters

So holding the link with Blue Box - but generations beyond them - come the intermediate sets, the first two having the BB poses, the third; the penny bases.

There are penny bases on some of the poses in the type 15 sets, but not all of them, and while the sculpt quality is similar in both sets there are notable differences making the two sets separate and I wouldn't be surprised to learn that either the originating factories were close rivals OR close co-operators, perhaps owned by relatives!

The first set which I'm calling 15a come in a wide range of subdued greens, oranges and yellows, quite a dune-like or desert palate methinks? I have a soft spot for these, they were common when I was a kid (in both versions) and have the toy charm that can only come with bright colours.

The second version (15b) are slightly smaller, have a more limited palate of colours and different base markings, it's as if they are trying to be the others, but whether that is to fulfil orders or to steal market share has been lost in the mists of time

Comparison with both types, 15a, green; to the left in all shots. You can see how chunky yet smaller the type b's are, with the larger markings and broader rims to the bases.

Packaging for a type 15a set, whether the 15b came in the same packs or some other thing altogether I have still to find out, and if they did come in the same packs - were they first or second? Quality suggests second, but question marks always remain until evidence defines the answers.

Well...a couple of weeks have gone by since I wrote the above...and I have found out...sort of...

Containing almost totally a set of 15a's, in three distinct greens and two shades of the sandy-orange...but: there are also 15b's, three of them, in blue (a new colour!). So far so good, they must be by the same company and the crappy ones (15b) replaced the good ones when the good ones mould got two poor to use?

But it's not that simple. the 15a's in the bag are of good to normal quality as far as detail, flash &etc. goes, and the bags header cards are not the same when compared...

One of the older bags is to the left, you can see that the right-hand bag is a copy, using a photographic copying process which has washed both the colours out and the definition of the original artwork's fine lines, it's not sun-fading, both sides are the same. The one lithographed, the other dot-matrix, with a price that places it around the late 1970's - a box of high-quality (higher priced Airfix HO/OO was still only 19p in '77.

A more possible (or likely) scenario [I offer it only as a scenario, not as fact!] is that a second HK 'contract manufacturer' or export house (Company B) acquired the remainder of the figure stock (15a) from Company A, presumably along with some header-cards, or at least one header card, and - in order to fulfil an existing order (?) - commissioned or made copies of the figures (15b) which were of poorer quality and had new bases/base markings. As the stock on-hand ran-out: they added the new figures, starting with small quantities, probably ending with all type 15b's in a bag...a bag I've yet to find, but we're halfway there!

The other interim design doesn't get numbered in the sequence at all, this is due to the fact that while they have penny bases, the poses are nearly all new, there are no Crescent poses present and I remember these being on sale in the late 1970's (the two jade ones came in a Lucky Bag from the newsagent off Pleasant Valley road in Saffron Walden in 1978!), so they are quite late for this type of figure...the 1980's and 90's belonged to the Matchbox and 54mm Airfix piracies!

There are two base sizes for each of the 8 poses - some obvious some just a tad, all being the Britains Herald figures with the exception of the kneeling firer, who also looks more like the Wend-Al figure! there is evidence of multiple moulds with differences in size and etched detail.

Therefore despite the bases, this is a stand alone set, copies of copies, poorly executed and belonging neither in the penny based sequence nor the coming family of Britains/Crescent from the source of Giant.

Small packs with copies of the common gun design which has been around for years, the illustration on the card suggests that other vehicles were available, and each pack contains only one or two figures. The Lucky Bags we bought back in the 1970's only had two or three figures per-set as well.

4 - New Poses, New Origins

So we run into a problem with my chosen numbering system, which as it's only arbitrary is not a problem, you can adopt any method of sorting these you like, don't take my word for any of it! However, were I to continue with '16' we'd find it confusing when referring back to them in the future, not least because we're about to look at figures that are probably as old as the type 4 figures above. So I will give this family an A prefix, to differentiate them from the first three groups we looked at, which were the 'penny-based' family.

A1 - Now I have muttered Giant in relation to these, but they are not Giant; I will explain below, but let's look at them first...

...so we've retained a couple of the Britains Herald poses and added to them to make a set of the six commonest fighting poses, and all the previous Crescent poses have been dropped in favour of six new ones from the 54mm '8th Army' range of desert troops..in their shorts and berets!

They are not the same quality as early penny-based 3's or 4's, but date from the same era, and these are the best of the bunch as we'll see going down the page. Figures are relatively clean and detailed, though not well moulded, the Britains poses on 'cloud' bases, the Crescent on oblong bases, both originally sold in strips of six, in the order shown above with the radio-operators on one end of each strip.

For those who are slow to get abstract concepts, or who like to deliberately misinterpret my conversational, Aspergic English literally in order to have a dig elsewhere, I stress that these are contemporary with the earlier sets above, but not connected with them in any way, other that having a few poses in common.

These represent/are the surviving evidence of: a different group of Hong Kong manufacturers, exporters and salesmen, ripping of the same European figures, to chase the same market/s with different products for different contracts.

So - When I say poses have been dropped or retained, I mean that we - the readers, studying them 20, 40, 60 years later, have noticed the changes in these samples over the penny-based samples as we mosey down the page, not that someone in Hong Kong related to the earlier sets, decided to change things to produce these sets...it was two different bunches of peeps! Accepting that several bunches of peeps were evidenced above - at least 15 bunches of peeps in fact! One should bear in mind when dealing with these - There were literally thousands of 'registered' toy manufacturer's in and around Hong Kong in the 1960's.

Basically in each group (on this page) there are two vague era's of these toys, after the very early stuff from Blue Box which might date from the late 1950's, you get the better stuff which dates from around 1960/61 through to about 1972/74, and then the second 'tranche' which is '72'ish to about 79. Following them and not for this page, you get the Airfix copies from the 54mm range by the likes of Rado Industries running through the 1980's and in about 1989 running through to the mid-late '90's the mixed Airfix-Matchbox copies I'll do a post on when I finish this page.

They had a wide colour palette, with the green the commonest, pretty balanced with the orange-browns, yellow-browns and chocolate (the photo-flash has washed them out a bit) - as we will see lower down, they were often issued two colours together for friend/foe play value., the greys and blues being substitute colours in larger sets, tend to be less common.

Also with two strips (presumably in two machine-tools/mould-blocks) some a commoner as Britains, others as crescent poses.

So - the reason for my linking them to Giant: They have a similar base mark to the Giant foot Cowboys & Indians, and to a certain extent (without the primary/candy colours) the same palette and overall style. I'm pretty sure these came from the same factory as the Westerners, which was not a Giant factory, but rather a factory supplying Giant - among others!

Again - it's an opinion, probably never to be proved one way or the other, it's what your eye's see, influenced by your experience in other cases. It's not that there won't be a time when HK toy collectors dig this info out in the same way we (Western Collectors) have dug-out ours, it's that these were family-owned, often secretive, often very small companies with little or no paperwork, using no brands, Anglicized initials or generic 'brands', merging and going bust, or being bought-out by American or 'Empire' management or other companies (like Giant!) and it all happened 30 years ago to people who weren't that interested in the history (or potential future historical import) of their companies or products and who - if they are still around - don't want to talk about their pirate past (Blue Box). Indeed, the toy collecting community in HK, Singapore and further afield (Japan) is probably stronger than ours, but they're not uncovering the histories of these companies and I don't think they're going to, or not in a hurry!

Also, there are not that many different base marks in the whole HK oeuvre, there would have been a few engineering companies and machine-tool shops making and supplying the hand-stamps (die-stamps) for imprinting the tools, and the often 'amateur' guys finishing the tools sometimes using the wrong set of stamps, resulting in reversed or inverted marks or individual letters, or didn't hit the stamp hard enough resulting in faint marks, or hit it again, or just double-hit it with the hammer's own momentum resulting in double or blurred marks.

A lot of the above are general points about the HK industry but we're still looking at what I'm calling 'A1'. The bottom left image above shows an attempt at painting, I suspect home-painting for units, but they may have been a factory thing or an end-user thing? Brown and red berets and helmets or green shorts, all applied without skill in gloss paint. They have come-in in more than one sample hence the possibility of them being a factory thing?

When it comes to sets, they actually had some of the nicest...

These are probably the earlier ones and all share artwork which itself owes a fair cap-doffing to Airfix 'Blue Box' artwork (and WWII propaganda shots!)., although the bagged set, top right, is late production in a glossy one-colour batch.

You can see how a standard set was green/brown, but other sets got the extra two colours. With the set at bottom left, the strips are uncut, top left a half strip of there has been added to each army, the strips again uncut, being held in place with staples.

The little tank was supplied to and included in large-scale box sets by Speedwell here in the UK with both their copies of Britains Khaki Infantry and their 'swoppets'. The guns we looked at on the Main Blog the other day, but I've just added (the next day) a collage-picture below (4 images down) of the same on their cards.

This sort of set is where you start to see the evidence of the 'thousands' of toy producers in the colony, the metal axles and vinyl tracks would have been bought in from an/other single-issue manufacturer/s, possibly all the staff being from the same family, often working out of a single room, likely on the 7th floor, in a residential block! The blisters and even the final finishing being sourced out, or the result of an exporters own efforts.

I suspect from the artwork and price (6d) that these are earlier, and again the artwork is used with different sets in different ways. Again we see two colours (one strip of each type) a feature of all but the small bagged tank. The tank's figures are clearly taken from a bin and counted out by hand, as the both contain duplicates and both contain the two figures types; Britains and Crescent.

The back of the pack shows how the figure strips are attached with the elastic bands to little semi-chad cut-outs, below it is a close-up showing how with these sets the small bits of frame between the figures have been cut, but only after the strips were sited, as they are in 'strip order'!

At first glance, the two-strip set to the right looks like a four-strip set that's had the bottom two cut-off, but in fact while it uses the layout and the majority of the four-strip card's artwork, it has different lettering and is a re-design. Again, both sets of figures, complete strip of each, in contrasting colours.

The tanks that accompany these figures in some of the sets as seen above. It is on the one hand, a funny little polythene 'toy', but a quick comparison with the 'real-life' originals suggests, that for the 1960's war gamer at least; it made an excellent Tetrach/Harry Hopkins or M22 Locust for the old Airfix Paratroops to drop with

And that's exactly what I was using mine for in the 1970's, a resin or white-metal model of either being prohibitively expensive for a schoolboy of the era, on average pocket-money...if you could source one! Strange how your favourite Hong Kong light-tank, could consistently make mincemeat of Airfix Patton, Chieftain and Panther heavies!

I've yet to find one in blue, but did see a grey one on evilBay once, so they seem to have been produced in line with each figure moulding batch. And - as stated above - a number of these tanks were sourced by Speedwell in the UK and added to some of their otherwise UK-produced contents, larger boxed-sets.

The guns, I looked at them in detail the other day (link above), really nice idea, a modular system of parts, the gun-parts and wheels being interchangeable with three mountings. I have yet to find one of these sets with the coastal/AA mount, but it's only a matter of time, each had a custom blister, so it'll be out there somewhere! Although the 'Long Tom' and howitzer seem commoner as loose examples, so I think the third one is the harder to find?

One of the actuators/recoil springs (?) has come loose, but fixing it is a tedious job, involving as it does carefully unfolding and removing at least one staple, and then poking-about under the blister with long tweezers, but I will do it one day as it annoys me every time I look at it!

...more to come...

A late addition to the above, a darker chocolate brown sample has come in since the above was posted to the page

So, the page is becoming unmanageably long and slow to load, yet we are only about halfway through the examples in my collection, which may not be all of them - by any means! Especially as you can see I have some single figure samples.

Therefore this page will 'continue' on the new Hong Kong (Giant or what?) blog as separate posts dealing with either the figure types (and all sets; where known) or as individual set posts, all cross-referenced through 'Tags'. I may - at some point transfer most of this page there as well to prevent duplication, and leave a simple guide here, with links to the fuller posts elsewhere.

However to deal with Marco B's recent comment we will draw a curtain on the page with one last post, dealing with a set that is - to a certain extent - stand alone...although related to the last lot looked at above, these have both new bases and converted figures, in that the Crescent desert troops are given helmets.

We actually had this set when I was a kid, and I can well remember A) being annoyed at the fact that the longer, thinner bases wouldn't allow the figures to stand-up well on carpets, and B) the fact that there were no obvious enemy! Also, Mum bought us a set each (it was a real 'rainy day' treat - I can also remember the rain!), and it was obvious that if one of us played enemy, the figures and/or trucks would get muddled-up...and when you're that age possession really is 9/10th's of the law!

So my brother and I ended-up playing separately at opposite ends of the living-room floor...well, I say "playing" . . . it was mostly cursing their inability to stand-up!

Overprinted with Woolbro's moniker here (in the UK), there will have been unmarked/generic versions, with - probably - elsewhere - a local importer/jobbers logo in the same area of the header-card...maybe L.I.C (Larami) in the 'States?

Only available in various shades of 'army' or jade green; as mentioned the Crescent figures have been given helmets, the only other notable feature of this version of the Briatins/Crescent figures in small scale is that the 'Monty'/officer type has been dropped from the line-up.

The bases are smooth, with a slight striation left from a sanding or grinding machine, but no signs of a Hong Kong or HK mark of any kind, again a rarity in figures of this age (several of the later Airfix piracies would be left unmarked, but they are for a different day!).

A price of 16p puts them in the mid-range bracket as far as these sets go, and dates them to about 1971/72, by which time Britains and Crescent were seriously losing ground to Airfix as far as popularity with the HK copyists goes!

While the No.445, is a stock code, not a set code, being the same as the codes on the other - contemporary - two-pocket, header carded sets carried by Woolbro: the 'Wild West' Fort Cheyenne and Giant influenced Roman Fortress.

One of my sets has an offset yellow overprint, which - had it been correctly registered by the printer - would have resulted in a redder/scarlet logo which I've never seen, so: although some cards were sent out with the error, the idea was obviously scrapped, perhaps when the screw-up was realised?

Indeed, with the Fort Cheyenne set a red-brown in achieved with a yellow print run (along with  a yellow belt on one figure), yet the Woolbro logo is the same magenta as with these and the Roman sets. The yellow run remains though; to provide the green, and is otherwise correctly registered?

However, there are at least 6 variants of the 'Made in Hong Kong' set in the post above the Woolbro set who should have been here first, along with several more markedly different sets, so they may get slotted-in above, or be the first of these Khaki Infantry to feature on the new blog, but that's going to concentrate on HK Cowboys & Indians first.


Marco B said...

Hi Hugh, I was reading this article and checked my own collection a while ago on the same figures. Strange enough I have a figure which is not mentioned in your article, but for sure related. It's the British soldier with short trousers (normally with beret) with his 2 arms wide, and growing a grenade.....but my copy has a helmet. The rest of the figure is the same. I can send you a scan if you want. For a while now I wonder to which set this one belongs.
greetings, Marco Bijl marco at nvforest.com

Hugh Walter said...

Hi Marco

There's several versions of them, they came in late issues of the double/paired long-pocket bagged sets, I haven't got round to them yet, they were to go here but will probably go on the new blog when I have time....off the top of my head (I'm up the library without pictures) three or four of the bereted figures got the same treatment, with longer, thiner bases...the commonest version being unmarked (I think?!!).


Hugh Walter said...

Correction! I haven't even put the long pocket ones up here yet so I'm talking nonsence!....Briefly (without spellcheck!): The last type above also come in header-carded, bagged sets with two long pockets and backing cards (you will find them if you click on the "1-ton Humber tag"), some marked to Woolbro, some not, with or without the addition of some new (ex-marx and other) poses, they then reappear with poorer quality figures which are the ones you mention...I will try to add them here, and then start with the small sub-piracies on the new blog...but HK horses first!


Hugh Walter said...

The next day...

I checked the pictures still waiting for this page (and probably now destined for the new Blog) when I got home last night and the figure you refer to is from Woolbro's set No. 455 - Mobil Task Force, but I think I have an image of a non-branded version downloaded from a US feeBay'er, so a generic version was probably available, possibly only outside the UK.

The UK version was a 'catalogue-niche' replacement following-up Woolbro's own previous set No. 422 - Miniature US Army Attack Force with the older, better figures (1968, again: available elsewhere as an un-branded generic), but the latter Task Force sets were post-decimalisation (at 6p) so 1970-onwards. They can be found on the 1-ton Humber Mini-truck posts, as [my] Type 2B, the earlier ones being 2A and they should also be on the old Woolbro post?

The Crescent poses given helmets were all bar the officer - who was dropped), issued alongside all six Britains poses; I haven't done the close-ups of the loose figures yet...there may be a new pose or two in some bags?

We actually had this set as kids and I remember getting frustrated at the longer, thinner bases not letting the figures stand-up on carpets!