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.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

02 British Paratroops (2nd version) 1:32 scale/54mm

This page will move at some point! but with most still in draft - It don't mean nutun'

A few colour variations, the 'crisp-bag' grey and a Polish copy of the kneeling firer.

The basic set of 7 poses, one of the best selling sets in the UK I would have thought, nice poses, accurate personal-kit and easily convertible into more modern infantry/para's which helped make them a favourite as well.

First incarnation of small scale copies of the 54mm set, these are as 'Bod's' Paul states; poor quality, however they were exactly the right size, looked OK with a bit of paint and were all we had for most of the 1970's and early 80's.
Almost certainly coming from Ri-Toys, the packaging has a lot in common with other production from the same firm in that era, but in this case unmarked, probably so individual companies in the West could have overprinted or have sticker-mounted logos added.

Here the previous set is in the second line from the top. The top line were from roughly the same time, perhaps a little later in the 70's and are a touch bigger, useable with 25mm metal figures but a bit chunky for our old Airfix armies.

The third line is recent (current?) Ri-Toys production, having given them all berets originally, they are now all equipped with a rather generic helmet, probably to help sales in the Far East where the 'Tiger Economies' have led to vast new markets of pocket-money spenders.

Forth line are a re-hash of the original moulds, now showing their age, these can still be found in the odd corner shop. The bottom row are a 30mm scale-up of the helmeted figures and were common in the 1980/90's

Wearing a sticker for Casoa SA of Spain; this is a typical Ri-Toys 'generic' for branding/marking by end-user with a mix of US marines and the advancing Paratrooper, being one of only two poses to migrate to this set/issue, the other being the kneeling firer.

Seen in close-up in the third line in the previous photograph, these have been re-tooled or are 'new' copies and quality is quite good, but the helmets are a let-down.

A pair of size comparison shots with both Airfix sizes (lower picture) and some of the larger copies above. The bottom line is another incarnation of the current helmeted figures (also inset top right), with flat bases they - again - come with a bunch of US Marines, but this time most of the Para's poses are re-produced, not however; the radio-operator.

Larger figures, all helmeted, these are all from post 1980, the 60's and 70's having been well supplied with copies of Britains, Lone*Star, Crescent, Timpo and the like.

Note the advancing pose (bottom, 3rd from right) has now got himself a repeater shotgun! All these figures represent everything that is bad about Hong Kong/China production, there isn't one you could 'paint-up' with any success, nor would they donate anything useful to a scratch-build, hence my poor samples, even I lose interest at a certain point!

Also provided by Kostas, a follower from Greece comes what looks like a complete box of Solpa piracies, these (like quite a bit of Solpa's larger scale output) are really quite good and could be easily mistaken for faded or sun-bleached originals, the only real clue is the topographic sculpting on the bases, like contour-lines on a map!

Two the right of them are a few examples of a more technicolour batch!


Paul´s Bods said...

An excellent set..pity they didn´t make them in 1/72nd scale.
All there is is the dreadfull hong kong things

Hugh Walter said...

Dreadful Hong Kong things will follow!!

Paul´s Bods said...

You will not believe this but today a work colleague gave me about 200 hong kong para/DAK/us marines Airfix copies!! Mostly the "a bit bigger than the HO originals" and some copies of the 54mm Airfix paras but 32-33mm tall.
Funny old world eh?? :-D

Unknown said...

Hello, people.
Can anybody tell me how to know if airfix paras are original or copy?
I meant this play set: