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, June 16, 2010

1964; [Colonial/WWI] Arabs 'Bedouin', S19 / 01719 / 01719-0 - HO/OO

One of my favorite sets as a kid, despite the lack of poses, the stand-up-only-until-the-owners-back's-turned basing of the horses & camels and the annoyance of three of the mounted figures (50%) being unarmed!

The upper photograph is not to 'show off', but rather to indicate to those who would argue the toss from a position of ignorance from the forum pages of the Wibbly Wobbly Way that actually I do approach the subject from a position of being 99% sure about that which I feel qualified to comment on!

The middle shot shows the four currently known colours. If there are green ones, they will be the same green as the re-issues of the playsets from the mid-1990's, primarily the green of the Robin Hood re-issues from the same series. The figures on the left are no different from the 8th Army or Afrika Korps, a colour best called 'sand'.

Final picture shows a full set in the less common cream and it is 'cream' not yellow, you could call it post-it note yellow if you wanted to be pedantic, but it's just a rich cream. There were yellow figures produced during the hideousity that was the Heller/Humbrol years, the same period that produced the orange Arab above. It was an awful bright lemon-yellow, slightly transparent and so far it's turned up as Waterloo British Cavalry, Highlanders and Artillery, as has the orange which was further used for French Cavalry, WWII Russians and others.

Both sides of the standard 'Blue' box with artwork by Brian Knight, the original sketch of which can be seen on page 5 of One-inch Warrior magazine; volume 9.

Comparison shots of other makes Colonial Period Arab warriors. The Marx/Marksmen/Ri-Toys Arab is far too big, but both the Esci 'Arabs Warriors' and the Kinder figures fit in very nicely, indeed I'd argue the Kinder camels are superior, particularly the large plate-feet for negotiating sand. The little orange one is part of a Kinder Toy

In addition Italeri/Zvezda have produced/marketed a set of ancient/medieval period 'Islamics' with some very useful figures and compatible camels/horses.

The Montaplex take on the war in the Western Desert...a handful of mounted figures and a scout in Aladdin slippers have managed to torch a fort! Brilliant!

Montaplex were beaten to the act of piracy by those naughty boys at 'Empire Made'! and here we see two different sets and some loose figures from the second (right hand) source.The main identifiers between Montaplex and these are the mounting spigots on the camels and the holes (which run right through) on the horse's flanks. Both sets are dated 1968 by James Opie.

A (later?) colour selection, these have all come in during 2014, in those mixed lots of bits & bobs I like, and are more toward the colour range of the right-hand sealed set in the image above, they are that version as well with the mounting spigots on the camels.

A small collection of conversions I've picked up over the years, or - in the case of the half-painted sand ones - produced myself, mostly just adding pin-swords and pin-spears, plus the odd shield from a thumb-tack/drawing pin.One artist has crudely converted robes into loose trousers, while the shield design on another betrays his recruitment to a Greek or Ptolemaic army.

The final incarnation of the Montaplex moulding (to date!) is this set by BuM, with four sprues; two each - Arabs and French Foreign Legion.

The 1975 catalogue entry for the Arabs, image courtesy of Kostas from Greece, who kindly scanned the figure sections of that catalogue for the blog.

A comparison between the Camel from Zoo Set 1 on the right and the Arab camel of the same pose, the Zoo animal is a separate sculpt, with a more detailed head/face and no base, but always looks good tied to the back of a camel-train as a spare/resting mount.

New picture (2014) of the re-issues from the 2000's, how they arrived at dirty orange being a good colour for this set is anyone's guess, but General Mills/Heller years were not happy, from an Airfix fans point of view!

1980 catalogue artwork is not so  much a painting guide as a painting challenge! Taken from the little 'thumbnail' images on the 'long boxes'.

This is the contemporary painting-guide artwork from the Timpo Action Pack range of unpainted 54mm figures which I though was similar to the HaT image above it!

Comaprison between the three similar horses, the arab one being the easiest to distinguish with its more ornate saddle and 'US cavalry' base! It's thee first of the three having the thinnest locating studs, which got thicker each time Airfix re-used the horse!

Another source for the HK copies above has turned-up (May 2019), this being brand-marked to Petrel (inset right), the third Petrel item in the collection and - with evilBay images - the fifth now on the archive dongles! It's another one-colour set and the two horses and two camels have only one rider each, which is worse still for the horse . . .

. . . as his rider (inset left) has a huge lump of flash between his legs (ooh, matron!) making it impossible to mount him on his steed, similar to some copies of the Britains 'Khaki Infantry' kneeling pose which comes posed on a huge 'rock', I think this is when the pressure is high (-er than normal?) at the injector-head  and a fast cycle mould-release leads to a sudden 'bleed' into a bit of available space where there is a weakness in the still cooling/setting polymer?


Paul´s Bods said...

LOL...I used to do the exact same thing using thumbtacks!!!! I did this on some of my Robinhood figures...I still have one or two like that from over 30 years ago!!!
My Bedouin´s come from way back then...a lot of them are getting very brittle...some snapped when I painted the set recently :-(

Hugh Walter said...

One of the three with 'Trousers' snapped after the photo-sesh, I'd kept them upright with Blu-tac and pulled too hard without thinking, they call him Foot-loose now!