About Me

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No Fixed Abode, Home Counties, United Kingdom
I’m a 51-year-old Aspergic CAD-Monkey. Sardonic, cynical and with the political leanings of a social reformer, I’m also a toy and model figure collector, particularly interested in the history of plastics and plastic toys. Other interests are history, current affairs, modern art, and architecture, gardening and natural history. I love plain chocolate, fireworks and trees but I don’t hug them, I do hug kittens. I hate ignorance, when it can be avoided, so I hate the 'educational' establishment and pity the millions they’ve failed with teaching-to-test and rote 'learning' and I hate the short-sighted stupidity of the entire ruling/industrial elite, with their planet destroying fascism and added “buy-one-get-one-free”. I also have no time for fools and little time for the false crap we're all supposed to pretend we haven't noticed, or the games we're supposed to play. I will 'bite the hand that feeds' to remind it why it feeds.

Thursday, June 17, 2010

1947-1955 (approximately); [Civil] The Zoo Animals & Zoo Brix - No Scale

First advertised (as far as we know) at the same time as the Life Guard/Horse Guard set in 1947, this set and it's subsequent offspring present a few questions once you look at it in detail.

A whole card, when I bought this, the vendor had about 6 similar cards, the animals - which the original advertisement tells us numbered 12 different - were randomly assorted so that while there were never two animals the same on any card, they were not divided into two sets of 6, which would have made far more sense.

My set is of polystyrene plastic, the same as the later Zoo Brix, however it seems almost certain that like the contemporary figures, earlier production would have been cellulose-acetate, indeed . . .

. . . the three brown animals above and the yellow lion in-line with them ARE cellulose-acetate and their bases are the same as the carded ones, so it's fair to assume they are slightly earlier (actual 1947) production.

The 6 animals in the row above them are polystyrene again, however there are subtle differences in the duplicate animals, and the elephant is markedly unalike the carded example. Having only got the 'Brown Bear' in the Zoo Brix Series 'A' (below) this yellow one could be the plain 'Bear' (from the Zoo Brix Series 'C') but without seeing the Airfix animal in the flesh can't know if it's as close to the Airfix moulding as the lion or camel, but given the moulding variations in the Bergen/Beton figures and the early set of 8 soldier poses, it's likely these are all Airfix production or copies of/from Airfix mouldings. Likewise the slightly less defined elephant in pink.

The dogs have the same base style, and could originate with Airfix, but even if they did - I'd put money on their having been sold as playing pieces in a 'Totopoly' style dog-race game. Going to 'The Dogs' was far more popular in the fifties than now, and a fair few dog track board-games exist. The nice thing about these is that they are all slightly different and therefore each - unique. These days you would sculpt one, pantograph it in multiples and produce the same piece/pose in a half-dozen colours!

A close up of the lions and the 'wood-wasp' in the timber-pile; A donkey or ass/mule thing...stripe-less zebra? The dodgy-origin set has slightly thinner bases, however, as the Airfix ones barely stand up, they may be a first effort, but - if that's the case - why didn't the equine subject survive? Also, donkeys and dogs are not really 'Zoo' animals, but rather 'Domestic' animals.

The Logo hiding away in the Jungle foliage, if it's not a jungle, it's a very spacious zoo for the 1950's!! I'm guessing this 'Ape' is meant to be a Gorilla, although it looks more like a Sasquatch I encountered on the Brecon Beacons once!

A Year later the animals were used for Pattern No. 430 Zoo Brix; a boxed set of 6 infant's rattles/bath toys/building-blocks I first covered back in January last here; Bargain! which might be worth a read, however the pictures here are better, I was trying too hard to be clever with the Collage feature last time!

The bases were made wider and glued onto the base of the brick, they were also used in a similar capacity in the end of a baby's rattle/soother. As they would have stood-up better with this wider base, one wonders if they weren't also sold separately, or perhaps supplied as a premium somewhere?

I took these purely to show the size in relation to something more familiar to Airfix fans, one of the dancing para's with his space rifle and pockets stuffed with tissues! What WAS going on with that set, and why did people keep buying it - they must have or they wouldn't have kept churning it out?!

The little granules used to provide the rattle are small pieces of cellulose-acetate raw-material, which was being phased out at Airfix, and what better way to get rid of it than to flog it to the general public a thimble-full at a time! In the words of someone in the industry at the time (I can't find the reference, one of the TIMPO guys?) "Like the little stones in the bottom of a fish tank".

Here's a 'to be updated' chart showing the known poses and their position within the Airfix oeuvre. Which were the other four poses on the original cards? Where does the donkey fit in? Why two Elephant moulds? When - exactly - was the change to all-styrene polymers? Are the Dogs from the same source?

Ist Update.....

Airfix state in their 1947 toy trade advertisement, reproduced in Plastic Warrior magazine's latest 'Airfix Special' issue (2012) that;

"Zoo Set - A new line, 12 different animals. Many colours."

From the same publication, a 1940's catalogue shows the following animals mounting the ramp of a mocked-up card 'export' Noah's ark and disappearing inside;
  • • Kangaroo/Wallaby
  • • Squirrel/Mongoose
  • • Mountain Goat/Deer (with curved horns)
  • • Camel (two-humped dromedary)
  • • Penguin
  • • Elephant
  • • Monkey/Gibbon (on all fours)
  • • Lion
  • • Rhinoceros
  • • Hippopotamus (? picture not clear)
  • • Pelican
  • • Bear (assume brown)
For - indeed - a count of twelve. On my card we have an additional:
  • • Dog
  • • Ape/Gorilla (on two legs)
  • • Ostrich
For a count of 15, but the 1948 zoo bricks give us some further additional animals
  • • Crocodile (series 'A')
  • • Bull (series 'B')
  • • Bear (series 'B' assume Polar?)
  • • Sea-Lion (series 'B')
  • • Tiger (series 'C')
Getting us up to 20 animals, with loose figure additions in the questionable/possible pirate set (with different elephant):
  • • Donkey
  • • Cow (if not the same sculpt as the 'Bull')
For a final count, assuming all have some origin with Airfix of 22 animals which is a nice round number if nothing else! But then there's the second Elephant sculpt!

So: the question marks in the table can be disregarded; this turned up the other day (PW's show 2017), and confirms the slightly dodgy yellow set, the white one is the 'brown bear' this one is the 'bear', clearly a polar bear so that puts the bears to bed - just got to clear-up the different elephants, the donkey and the cow question, then hope no other new ones turn up and try to find the other greyhound poses described in the Plastic Warrior Airfix special!

In attempting to answer that last question! 5-06-18 This is the cow (which looks increasingly likely to be also the bull) from the 'Pirate' set, it was covered with a powdery mildew-like coating which came off easily to reveal either a factory-painted enamel finish or a very subtle oil-over-white-undercoat type professional 'flat' paint-job, but it was not damaged by the mould-removal so it's not clear and I wouldn't like to call it either way if my life depended on it, but it doesn't and I'll call for a very good home-paint.

These two came-in via Adrian Little of Mercator Trading at Potter's Sandown Park fair in September ('18), two more 'polar' bears, as per those above, but in two reds. After the pink one turned-up 16-months ago I now have more of these than any other animal!

Further reading;

Plastic Warrior's 'Airfix - The Early Years' again.

Tony over at the Airfix Collectors Forum has the same set (from the same seller!), but has tracked down a few of the other animals; Zoo Brix. Be careful as the Kusan bricks on page two are 'similar' but completely different and there's probably no connection between the two - other than a good idea!

1947 - 1955 (approximately); The Bergen/Beton Mounted Figures


All or none of the figures in this post could (or could not) be by Airfix, or any of the other manufacturers mentioned in the text. Most of the horses probably are Airfix, those over-which a question mark remains are pointed out in the text.

First advertised in 1947 these are probably the first 'plastic' Toy Figures produced commercially in the UK as playthings...

Group Shot

These figures (where they ARE Airfix) were probably pirated from the Bergen Toy (Beton) company rather than licensed, after Nikolai Kovespachi (Nicholas Kove) came back from his reconnaissance to America sometime in the mid-to-late 1940's. The horse is deliberately different with it's tail slightly to one side and there are subtle differences in those figures which are duplicated, while the Life Guard seems to have been an Airfix original?

Doughboy in 'Brodie' helmet

This figure may be (and the horse definitely is...) a Beton product, but he comes within the scope of this article/post and ended up first in line because I wasn't too bothered about the order in which I uploaded the photographs! The horse is a dense cellulose-acetate polymer called Tenite, and while the figure is similar, he seems more clearly a polystyrene, so late US or European production?.

Staff Officer

Beton called this chap either M416; U.S. Cavalry Officer, or with a paint change; M418 Traffic Officer. Airfix called this the Horse Guard. Beton Horse on the left with a polyethylene Airfix horse on the right, The Airfix horse is marked 'MADE IN ENGLAND' withing the hollow underside/belly.

The red figure has probably only had his paint removed, you can see the figure on the left is suffering a crystalline reaction between the paint and the plastic, sometimes this reaction results in a sticky mess which is better removed.

Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) 'Mountie'

The Mountie, again not sure if Airfix produced this one, Reisler did, and as they produced the Life Guard, it's possible they got their figures (or a license?) from Airfix which would suggest Airfix produced a Mountie as well. Airfix horse again on the right.

The Mountie was also produced by Tudor*Rose, but as part of their wild West range and will be covered when I look at them.

Later - Yes they did, these are both Airfix, a later polystyrene one on the left and an earlier cellular acetate one on the right, see below..

Later still (several years later!) - Tudor Rose didn't do the Mountie.

Lifeguard in ceremonial uniform

The Life Guard, clearly aiming at the Tourist market, all these figures - when originating with Airfix - were supposed to stand up when removed from the horse, they rarely do! These are probably both Airfix with the horse in polyethylene and the rider in a styrene polymer.

Hunting party with both poses

The Hunters, Beton produced a female rider and a Jockey in racing silk, both in a larger size, neither of which - as far as I know - were part of the Airfix issues and don't seem to have featured in the Reisler inventory either.


2013 - By Airfix - the hunters were sold in a boxed set with the two dogs above, these dogs were also sold in a kennel shaped box with other breeds. Early ones are cellulose-acetate, these are the later polyethylene run.

The dogs are marked internally in the same manor as the Airfix horses. The lower two are also ethylene, but in black. It would seem they come in the same colours as the ethylene horses, with some in the reddish/oxide browns.

2014 - Somehow I forgot the Alsation? Well here it is and there's now a setter on the STS forum thread, along with a red-brown Beagle.

2016 - Now a setter (English? Not Irish...not shaggy enough!) joins the collection with a lurcher/greyhound racing type.

2017 - This has been added to the 'pack'; it's a duplicate but in nicer condition than the one I already had and it was a bargain!

2018 - Another random picture that was sitting in Picasa, it might as well sit here.

Academy Cadet/Circus Performer/Ceremonial figure

This horse is from a different source altogether (the Woolworths Crazy Clown Circus) but might be an Airfix original and this figure looks good rearing up on it! These are technically only 'Cadets' but they do look like simplified ceremonials or those generic Napoleonics that feature so much in early toy production, while he also works well as a circus performer!

The following will help identify these figures in greater detail;

Kent Sprecher's Beton page.
The Reamsa figure on JC's blog.
Reisler page click-on; SGI / Riesler then either 'I Soldater og Politi' or; 'III Sportsryttere' below the thumbnails.

Further reading

Plastic Warrior magazine have produced a guide: Airfix - The Early Years, which covers all this early production in some depth.

Any of Richard O'Brien's volumes on firstly 'Collecting Toy Soldiers' and latterly 'Collecting American Made Toy Soldiers will fill you in on the Bergen/Beton production.

Indeed, one of the main questions remaining comes from his work if an American reader can help...did Beton use both sets of codes or is one O'Brien's own system?

Added 20th November 2012

And then this turns up! Raising that whorey old question of who copied who? An original Timpo boxed-set, the horse is quite a lump of lead, and seems to be early enough to be pre-war, except that Timpo aren't supposed to have made lead until after the war...was it intended for the composition range?

And/So; did Timpo copy Bergan-Beton, or did the Americans have a stab at a British piece of hollow-cast but in plastic (albeit: cellulose-acetate)

Clues point both ways - The edges of the horse are a bit rough, so it could have been the copy, taken badly and not cleaned up, while the solid belly and hollow-cast nature of the piece would make copying almost has hard - thechnically - as making a new horse pose from scratch, suggesting it IS a new pose and not the copy.

While the figure stares at us inanely, giving no clue as to his parentage, being easier to copy either way, and being as clean a moulding here as he is in plastic?

Also, there were other poses than the Mountie produced by Reamsa, and other stuff has come to light on this much copied/licenced set, so I will update this post properly one day!


November 2014

It seems that the Cowboy was an Airfix pose, so I will have to update the table above, and it means we'll probably end-up with the Tudor*Rose and other figures here as well...

So, a quick correction of the blurb for the Mountie post above and we can look at this little group, late - polystyrene - production with a quick splash of blue on the chaps/boots and brown hats. No Indian? But a cowboy, cowgirl and the Mountie (Royal Canadian mounted Policeman - RCMP). These is also a Hong Kong copy of the cowboy for comparison.

These are the standard Tudor*Rose horse, not always marked, but their saddles give them away with the arrangement of stars round the edge. All the producers of this horse varied the saddles, and when I get the rest out of storage we'll look at them all in more detail, but for now these are Tudor*Rose and have two open stars forward of the girth (?) strap and five squashed stars behind.

The Tudor*Rose mounted cowboys, next to an Airfix 'original'. At some point these was a re-design on the figure with a more complicated lasso/lariat (can any American reader explain any difference between the two, or is it just preference/local dialect?), possibly designed to damage less easily than the earlier one which was happy to brake if you as much as looked at it wrong and is often missing, especially from the earlier hard plastic figures - from all the makers of the pose.

Below them is a close-up of the full Tudor*Rose marking in the under-belly of the horses, you can see why I always write the asterisk in Tudor*Rose, they always put the little graphic Tudor rose symbol between the Tudor and the Rose!

Mounted on the Tudor*Rose horses they make a nice group, but is there an Indian or two? We will look at other peoples Indians in due course.

Added May 2017

Airfix Dogs; Airfix Horses; Airfix Huntsman; Airfix Model Figures; Airfix Toy Soldiers; Bergen Beton; Bergen Toys; Beton Co.; Ceremonial Troops; Early Airfix Figures; Early British Toy Soldiers; Early Toy Figures; F&G; Fox Hounds; Fox Hunt; Fraser & Glass Ltd.; Fraser And Glass Limited; Hunters; Lifeguards; Plastic Beagles; Plastic Hunt Dogs; Plastic Huntsman; Plastic Lifeguards; Reisler; Small Scale World; smallscaleworld.blogspot.com; Wild West Horses;
Picture replaced a year or so later with F&G-updated captions

The above shot is trying to make sense of the more common (or what I have to hand!) figures found in the UK, and is pretty straightforward - apart from all the questions it raises! So don't take the labelling as anything more than a guide.

For instance, why are the cadets not listed in the Airfix catalogues referenced in the 'Aifix Special Publication' from Plastic Warrior magazine? As far as I can tell (from Kent Sprecher's site and Ponylope) Began/Beton didn't paint the trousers on theirs, while these - matching the Airfix Lifeguard would seem to be Airfix? It could be that they were in a later catalogue? Or that they bought them in from Bergan and painted them here?

Maybe they were for a specific contract with someone like Woolworth's and never offered by Airfix to the wider trade? They are - dare I say - even the commonest of the full-painted figures to find over here, with the unpainted versions (bottom right) equally easy to find - at the right show!

Likewise the two westerners seem more akin to the Tudor Rose figures and share the alpha-numerical, single-character codes (white text) on one foot, missing from the 'clearly' Airfix, indeed missing an all the other examples. I'm assuming there is not significance to the codes beyond mould/cavity markers, but it helps distinguish them. While they share the foot-marks, the painted pair has no locating studs - which further ID Tudor Rose in hard and soft plastic, so they both remain a second mystery.

The pink guy is also unmarked, but not Airfix, I suspect 'early Hong Kong pirate' to be his title and epitaph!

Airfix Dogs; Airfix Horses; Airfix Huntsman; Airfix Model Figures; Airfix Toy Soldiers; Bergen Beton; Bergen Toys; Beton Co.; Ceremonial Troops; Early Airfix Figures; Early British Toy Soldiers; Early Toy Figures; F&G; Fox Hounds; Fox Hunt; Fraser & Glass Ltd.; Fraser And Glass Limited; Hunters; Lifeguards; Plastic Beagles; Plastic Hunt Dogs; Plastic Huntsman; Plastic Lifeguards; Reisler; Small Scale World; smallscaleworld.blogspot.com; Wild West Horses;
Picture replaced a year or so later with F&G-updated captions

A similar treatment of the horse types, and again only take the labelling as a guide, also; the hard plastic version of Tudor Rose are absent, but they are to all intents and purposes the same as the polyethylene ones, with the dimples for the locating-studs on the riders calves setting them apart from Bergan/Beton and Airfix.

And we have a reciprocal question mark to the cadet above, in the two tenite type horses top left; which have the sword hanging from the left of the saddle and the [whatever?] bayonet, truncheon, cavalry musket hanging from the right. While it's hard to see in one of the Airfix press releases in the above mention PW publication, all the other horses illustrated are either hollow 'bent tails' or the later whole-bellied (with paint) we know are definitely Airfix mounts.

It may not look like it in the above two images, but a lot of the horses and riders are not compatible, the fit being either too tight to go together or two loose for the riders to stay-on. However, one of the best fits is the question mark cadets, with the Bergan/Beton horse. If it wasn't for the painted trousers you'd say they were US imports from old lists or since the advent of feeBay, but they are two common, they must have had a reason beyond recent purchase for being over here (in the UK) in numbers.

The four main horse types, from the top of both images; 'Bergan/Beton' with a part-hollow cavity, this is in a heavy, dense polymer which may be a phenolic or cellulose-based thermosetting material; Airfix late with full body sculpt in a lightweight polystyrene - made of two halves glued/heat-welded together; Airfix early with hollow body, flat, slab-sides to the cavity and MADE IN ENGLAND (with a single number), most are a dense'ish polythene but some are a heavier marbled 'scrap' plastic, finally; Tudor Rose late soft ethylene with the cavity scooped-out, and a letter 'c' in this case, others as we've seen above can have the whole logo, some having a number, others no mark.

It should be pointed out that both the painted and unpainted cadets (two shots above) along with the painted lifeguard and the two questionable Wild West figures are all in the same material as the pair of 'Bergan/Beton' horses, while the Horse Guard in service/working dress uniform is a lightweight polystyrene like the later red figures with blue legs.

Helping to prove some of the thoughts above; here they are on the horses they best fitted, with the question mark cadets fitting the question mark hoses, the other painted Airfix fitting the bent-tailed horse, those figures were too narrow to go comfortably on the solid hose, but the blue-legs fitted them snuggly (conforming to the trade sets uncovered by Plastic Warrior magazine's contributors), while the hard styrene Tudor Rose (identical to the same companies soft ethylene versions) fitted the soft plastic horse, it being also identical to TR's missing [from these pictures] polystyrene variant.

Another way of tying these together is matching-up the paint used by the factory/out-painters! The off-white of the cowgirl's hat is a perfect match for the socks of the cross-over horse (?)*, while the 'Mountie's ochre matches the saddles of the solid styrene horses.

* I think the soft ethylene horses pre-date the solid-bodied polystyrene ones, the producing and gluing in two halve coming after Airfix had gained experience in tooling-up for their kit range and infant toys, using the material they had settled on for that core production.

And while I've got my 'thinking' hat on; the very early 'cigarette-box' ships (miniature models rather than kits) by Airfix were in the same dense creamy-white polymer as the 'Bergan/Beton' horse above, but with Airfix advertising the hoses and motorcycles (which are all polyethylene) as 'unbreakable', I think it looks most likely the cadets and matching horses are Bergan/Beton imports painted to match our ceremonial cavalry's trousers, but still: imported by Airfix, or someone like Woolworth's?

These guys all fit the bent tail with the least common variations of both hose and rider to the right, I only have the one soft polyethylene figure, and the horse is as stated above a strange brew akin to a nylon/rayon or early polypropylene, having the rigidity of styrene but the soapy feel of an ethylene, and clearly being made from scraps, I guess an experimental mould shot/mould run, considered OK for retail release?

More of the same; if yer got'em, yer gotta' play wi'um! On the right are the big question marks; both 'as per' Bergan/Beton, neither found [yet] in Airfix paperwork, yet painted to the Airfix pattern, not Bergan/Beton's?

Combining with the few already here (mostly Tudor Rose), I'm still looking for the Airfix Archer and Indian holding a rifle (which he holds higher than the common Tudor Rose version), while I have a shortage of Tudor Rose hard polystyrene horses, but I think there are a few in storage. Also the spear-chap is (as always) broken and he seems to be an Airfix-unique post, not carried-through to the later Tudor Rose range.

Hong Kong generally seems to have gone off and re-done them with a new horse (taken from another US donor?) and upper-torso's from Britains and co. as seen along the bottom row and in the bag, the painted horse is cruder and a copy-of-a-copy. The Horse top left is probably from a French rack-toy (called bazaars - as they were sold in markets), several French brands had similar horses, usually as wagon-teams on simple polyethylene models. The blue one is a body-copy and we've seen it before (above a'ways), with the obvious locating studs on the feet of narrower legs and the pink one is at the start of this additional section.

In the preparation of this new section, the very early Airfix Horse Guard started to crumble like a biscuit, he'd already dried out like old bread and shrunk like a prune, so - sticking with the food-based metaphors - I coated him in plumber's sealant and done 'im up like a kipper! Note how handling over the years had protected the feet and lower legs from the worst of the damage, oils in the human skin serving to seal or lubricate/moisturise those areas.

This figure was definitely an unstable phenol- or cellulose-acetate or other 'phenolic' type, some react with their paint and go sticky, some grow a forest of evil-looking crystals; but in the end they all start to crack and brake-up. This coating them in plumber's sealant I've been trying seems to be a good way of getting a few more years out of them, but only time will tell?

The other point worth raising here - as I've run out of pictures and it remains unsaid - is that in the Airfix ephemera tracked down by Plastic Warrior, there is mention of a 'British Policeman' (listed with the RCMP 'Mountie'), while Lifeguard and Horse Guard are listed together. Now, assuming the khaki version of this figure with the service cap is the Horse Guard (Airfix describe "...the Horse Guards in their more sober Khaki..." and I've never seen 'Blues' in the same uniform/pose as the 'Royals'), and assuming that the Mountie is a Mountie is a Mountie; Who's the British policeman - where's the British Policeman? Did they sell the same khaki figure as a Military Policeman and barrack-dress Horse Guard, or is there a blue version of this figure to pass as a civilian mounted policeman?

Also; the Horse Guard is a different moulding from the US figure (Cavalry officer/Traffic Officer), was the airfix policeman a copy of this other sculp, and if so why is it apparently so uncommon compared to the others? And following on from that; there are gaps in the numbering of these early figures which could be occupied by the two cadets (painted and unpainted) . . .

Another pair of Lifeguards, the one on the left in a factory-painted pink polystyrene the one on the right unpainted in a soft, semi-transparent red polyethylene (already seen above), which I've just described elsewhere (on the home blog) as cherryaide-red! This is more cherry-cola red!

Airfix Dogs; Airfix Horses; Airfix Huntsman; Airfix Model Figures; Airfix Toy Soldiers; Bergen Beton; Bergen Toys; Beton Co.; Ceremonial Troops; Early Airfix Figures; Early British Toy Soldiers; Early Toy Figure; F&G; Fox Hunt; Fraser & Glass Ltd.; Fraser And Glass Limited; Hunters; Lifeguards; Plastic Beagles; Plastic Hunt Dogs; Plastic Huntsman; Plastic Lifeguards; Wild West Horses;

Another line-up of Lifeguards - to date (2019). I think these are all Airfix with three early hard plastic (probably styrene) ones to the left and two later, soft polyethylene, unpainted examples to the right. You will notice the 'pink' one is redder where the paint wore-off at a later date on the boot shin and toe, I fancy also that the left-hand of the three is starting to fade, as with the HO/OO guardsmen; on reflection I don't think they left the factory pink, but that an unstable additive was used on some batches (middle figure is fine) which has leached-out/faded from red to pink. It may even be that on one (large? They're quite common) batch, a second additive - being a colour-fixative/setter - was accidently omitted?

Now . . . recent (July 2019) revelations in this quarter's and the previous-but-one issues' of Plastic Warrior magazine (issues 173/175) have thrown new light on some of the above figures and horses, and while I don't think there's any serious corrections to be made - as I was always clear to point out how little definitive evidence there was on either - there is a pinning-down of some of it to be carried out, along with attribution of the more 'phenolic' stuff to a 'new name'; Fraser & Glass (F&G; courtesy of Mr.Mig Bonnefoy), which I will probably do by numbering all or some of the above images and re-annotating them in a piece (below) in the near future. Suffice to say: the clown-connection hinted-at above somewhere, a few years ago, has been proven accurate.

Airfix Dogs; Airfix Horses; Airfix Huntsman; Airfix Model Figures; Airfix Toy Soldiers; Bergen Beton; Bergen Toys; Beton Co.; Ceremonial Troops; Early Airfix Figures; Early British Toy Soldiers; Early Toy Figure; F&G; Fox Hunt; Fraser & Glass Ltd.; Fraser And Glass Limited; Hunters; Lifeguards; Plastic Beagles; Plastic Hunt Dogs; Plastic Huntsman; Plastic Lifeguards; Wild West Horses;

As some examples are finally ID'd; new versions turn-up! These are in the style of Tudor Rose but with a cross-piece or bulkhead which seems to have the job of preventing distortion or the splitting you get with some of these. They are unmarked and while glossy/shiny - in a late production sort of way - are well finished with sharp detailing to mane and tail and no obvious flash or other blemishes.

My thought is a late re-cut or re-design (new tool) for Tudor Rose (or one of their rivals), from the late 1970's or even post 1980? They are too 'professional' for Hong Kong! The riders remain 'unknown' as the horses came in this state; rider-less! But I suspect they will be one of the many lots of soft-plastic Wild West figures out there; probably equally 're-cut'?

Airfix Dogs; Airfix Horses; Airfix Huntsman; Airfix Model Figures; Airfix Toy Soldiers; Bergen Beton; Bergen Toys; Beton Co.; Ceremonial Troops; Early Airfix Figures; Early British Toy Soldiers; Early Toy Figure; F&G; Fox Hunt; Fraser & Glass Ltd.; Fraser And Glass Limited; Hunters; Lifeguards; Plastic Beagles; Plastic Hunt Dogs; Plastic Huntsman; Plastic Lifeguards; Wild West Horses;

Recent additions to the pack made this shot inevitable! Expect another one in about eight or nine years with a pack of 12 foxhounds! I'm not sure the horse is original paint, he seems a little too good compared to all the others (made by whoever!), however, the rider is quite well finished as well, so maybe the really-early production by Airfix; which this is (bent tail), received a higher level of 'care' from painters than later batches would? Especially given that the 'Began-Beton / Early Airfix?' horse labeled (by me, above) is now known/believed to be F&G! Equally it could be dirt giving the impression of dry-brushing/shading!

Dogs are all soft polyethylene (unlike the rider and horse who are polystyrene) with three in black, one white, one cream and one (latest addition) a mottled charcoal grey, I've never found a polystyrene one, not even damaged, so it seems - as per musing above - that they were always PE, possibly because of the tails, which are a weak point in Polyethylene, and may have proved a nightmare in PS test-shots?

Airfix Dogs; Airfix Horses; Airfix Huntsman; Airfix Model Figures; Airfix Toy Soldiers; Bergen Beton; Bergen Toys; Beton Co.; Ceremonial Troops; Early Airfix Figures; Early British Toy Soldiers; Early Toy Figures; F&G; Fox Hounds; Fox Hunt; Fraser & Glass Ltd.; Fraser And Glass Limited; Hunters; Lifeguards; Plastic Beagles; Plastic Hunt Dogs; Plastic Huntsman; Plastic Lifeguards; Reisler; Small Scale World; smallscaleworld.blogspot.com; Wild West Horses;

How the hunters and dogs appeared in the catalogue shown by Plastic Warriormagazine in their Airfix Special Publication. As stated elsewhere in this post, I assume the six dogs are the two beagles and four other breeds; Setter, Pointer, Alsatian and one other - possibly a boxer type although a spaniel would fit equally well?