I think I probably still have one or two in my complete loose blue set. I can't remember the Guy's names...how shocking is that, old age creeping-up! They lived at the top of the hill in Guildford as you head out to the Hog's Back, yes - the 'posh' houses, or they were in 1969!! Was it you, do we still owe your bro?
Two mint in box first version sets, the Blue is the earlier, unmarked box (see below) while the 'neutral' Wild West brown would soon replace it, as kids didn't 'get' the two sets of figures all being in blue. The Union got to star on the front of the box.
Also this was around the time 'Spaghetti-westerns' started to ease the crusading Wayne's out a bit at the box office, and making them in brown meant you could give a gun-team to your 'Mexicans' or Indian allies!!
Upper is the early blue figures box, lower is the brown figures with the US price code in cents ($0.50 - don't know the ASCI for cents here at the library!!). The blue aren't that uncommon; about 10% of the total production, so some would probably have made it into cent-boxes, but I've never seen them in blue-boxes, and if I found one now would assume a dealer had put them there.
By having the Confederates portrayed, the reverse tried to get the both 'sides' message across, but most of us had ripped the box, getting the figures out...after all we were going to keep them in the Havana Cigar box, what did we want a hollow cardboard box for!
The Montaplex pirate's with associated equipment. I'm guessing - from the wing markings - the two union crews are for the bomber, while the two Confederate crews use the guns, the set translating as 'Confederate Artillery Unit'. That is - of course - following the 1950-70's 1st rule of playing ACW;
"All Federals have Kepis, all Rebels have 'Cowboy' hats!
And if you think the Bomber is a bit unfair...wait 'till I post the infantry, they get jeeps with twin-automatic cannon mounted on the back, no doubt heading for Tripoli. [this is a topical joke Circa Autumn 2011, that several years from now with be lost on new visitors]
Side-by-side close-up to show the poor quality of the blatant copies next to the originals, I don't suppose the activities of Montaplex contributed greatly to the demise of Airfix, but it was a part of a market denied to them which must have been annoying, especially as it was on the doorstep, but there was nothing they could do with a fascist dictator in charge of Spain's economic activity!
And it gives collectors an alternate version to look-out for...bargain!
My collection has suffered from a post-1995 surfeit of new-releases which leave me with holes in my knowledge, therefore while I think the gun top-right is Eagle Games, I'm not sure, the others are - from the left; Airfix blue gun, Hong Kong gun of about 1:48th scale which I think came with some CTS or BMC (Americana) bagged rack-toy packs? With the Atlantic Gatling-gun as final member of the line-up.
The Gatling and presumed Eagle Games (?) have nicer carriages than the Airfix, but need work elsewhere, the Gatling could use bigger wheels.
Below them are annother shot/close-up of the Montaplex copy and a Bachmann HO model from the Train sets, the Confederate one was the same but with grey figures (the 2nd rule of playing ACW
Also a shot of the ACW gun with the slightly better detailed figures from the Wagon Train set who make a very laid-back crew...
"What? They're going to slowly walk towards us across the floor of the valley over that 3-mile expanse of sun-hardened dirt? Watkins! Canister! As much as we've got, and all the shrapnel...No, no hurry, they'll be out of range for a while yet, and then we'll have them for ten-minutes before they can come back at us, and by then there won't be many of 'em left. Harrison; while you're picking lice, do you want to pack our pipes, this is going to be a long afternoon, might as well have a smoke!"
So most of the above would pass muster - apart from the unpainted ones - wrong brown for natural or weathered wood, some of which (bare-wood guns) seem to have been employed, and the CSA had a set of 4 guns at Gettsburg (12pdr. 'Napoleon' pieces) which were bright red, that would add a bit of colour to an army! Also - and you never see it on these early painted samples - the seat of the Limber should have a copper finish, as a spark-free waterproofing...and for gunners to polish in barracks!
Bottom left show the ACW wheel sandwiched between the Wagon Train wheels, the only other wheel likely to confuse is the RHA wheel, which - if memory serves - has much finer spokes, but I'll check next time I'm in the WWI box and post similar comparisons sometime.
Bottom right...1:76 scale 'Dimestore' pod-foot!
Ashes to ashes
Dust to dust
If the baby's/dog's/cat's teeth, air-gun, matches, vacuum cleaner, washing machine, spirit-burner, conversion tools or land-fill don't get you...
The free-radicals must!