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.

Thursday, June 17, 2010

1962; [WWII] 8th Army (1st Type), S9 / 01709 - HO/OO

Another of the sets that has dated badly, but which holds the affection of people of a certain age (51 this year!), later replaced by a set of far better sculpts (with a couple of questionable poses). These were the solid heart of many a Western Desert was games army through the 1960's and early '70's, and can still offer...err...a couple of useful officers? Machine-guns...the set still offers a couple of useful machine-guns!

Here is a complete set, in the earlier, darker yellow that tend to be better detailed (they photograph a bit better than the paler later sets as well)...everything you needed for an infantry platoon of 3 or 4 sections are here apart from the 2" mortar, although the Bren-guns needed imagination! There were also mine-clearers and a couple of machine-guns.

 Colour variation with the sand plastic was not as wide as some of the greens, but there are still three main 'types' and various shades within them. In the middle bag we have the earlier darker figures, these - as I've said - tend toward fine detail, or as fine as it can be with wax-sculpted masters in this size of production. You can see the top of the bag has the last figures thrown-in there and they are a yellower shade.

To their left are the later paler figures, these tend to slightly smoother surface detail and distinct mould split-lines often with a bit of flash, again there is variation with the sample, with darker sands and paler beige. The small bag contains semi-translucent or 'watery' coloured figures in various shades, these were toward the end of production and are often very flashy.

The Vickers MG, a simplified sculpt, but useful, although the limits of the early plastic-moulding technology (specifically with regard to 'undercuts' and the non-invention of multiple-part moulds) meant that the front legs have been joined in a flat plate, but hats off to Airfix for trying something they couldn't do...pushing the envelope?

As old sets get brittle the legs are the first thing to go, they can still be used for mounting on LRDG vehicles or in pill-box slots though so don't throw them out!

The upper shot is a few of mine, contemporary with my Afrika Korps...see their entry, I got the colour a bit better on these, but they all seem to have been fully laundered, or recently received 'new kit'.

When the ammo-belt gets damaged, cut it off and have him bringing-up a spare box, if the MG has lost it's tip (or had it chewed I think!) it can be painted-up as a rifle. The officer had a filler-kilt (see below on this post), which has crumbled away leaving a scrap of kilt and the mortar-crewman is - I'm pretty sure - straight from a Terry Wise article, just cut the rifle away from a less-useful figure and Bob's your uncle...well he is mine! The last bloke shouldn't be in the shot!

Other buggers efforts with my old army the two pale rows in the middle. The comments re. paint staying on are thee same as for the DAK I painted at the same time. I like the dip-and-go green figures (second row from the top), presumably off to the European theatre!

The row between mine are quite a fair effort, not sure what's happening with the top row? I can't get enough of these OBE's, they almost carry more nostalgia than the bare figures.

Copies of the 8th Army from Il Giocattolo in Italy, these are about the worst quality I've seen of these early piracies, easily identified by the diagonal 'HONGKONG' mark on the underside on the base, but the packaging has to be the best I've seen! Set supplied by Dario, a follower from Italy.

For those who prefer one of each I've done the usual line-up, but...I wasn't thinking when I set them out, or I was, but I thought thematically instead of by the numbers, and did officers...gun-team, prone &etc. usually I do it up or down by pose number so look-out for the odd order if using this to make-up sets!

A rather fuzzy picture (it was part of the background to something else!) of a 1st version box difference, older on the bottom, later - US price graphic - to the top.

Hong Kong

 Let's all try to look like Blue Box packaging shall we?!!



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