About Me

My photo
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.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

1966; World War One German Infantry, S26 / 01726 / 01726-8 / 9 01726 / A01726 / 7001 - HO/OO

One of the first sets we had, can't remember when we got it, I think it might have been a Christmas present, they came with the RHA and we had a lot of fun with them, I wouldn't have the French or Americans for years and the British only as a full set as a teenager.

1st type box in all it's cartoonist glory, I like the first type box design, it's very evocative, and they are surprisingly common, but then they ran for quite a long time and were a limited range, in the 'pocket money' price bracket, so would have sold in some numbers and many have survived.

Obverse of the same box, the lists were useful but not always that accurate and some times a bit confusing! Here it's quite illuminating, telling us the chap with Binoculars is a 'Field' officer and the chaps in greatcoats 'Staff' officers. 

It also tell those who don't know such things that the pole weapons are 'Bangalores' (Bangalore torpedo in English!) used to break paths through wire entanglements and heavy under-brush.

One of several H├ĄT Industrie box versions, this one also having a nice cartoon-like graphic presentation, there were also photograph artwork boxes with/of painted figures.

The full contents of a complete set, divided into four vignettes; MG team, medical team pass the staff, firing line and full-on bundle! Almost certainly designed by Charles Stadden, these are really nice figures, as are all the WWI sets whatever idiots say about them, and were issued concurrent with the Nibblet wax-carved 'blobs'

From the 4th edition catalogue (1971) comes this cobbled-together press shot...I can see 1st type WWII Germans, a Paratroop bazooka-man, some actual WWI Germans and a what? Mortar Team?!

The 6th Catalogue (1969) is now showing the correct pieces with a basic paint job and stuck together on a little card.

My favourite catalogues were those showing the painted figures in little rows, you really knew what you were getting...or hoping to get..."Granny; the Hussars didn't fight the Japanese!"

Long box and the inevitable slide to oblivion.

From a German-language edition.

1985 sees a return to the Knight artwork lifted from Eagle magazine.


When left-handers meet, the famous action near loo's (geddit!) when the 7th 'Pals' platoon of the 5th Loyal Meridian's attacked 125 company, 3rd Fantasian Jagers, caught for all time by the Heller-Humbrol-Hornby Inc. Co. Corp. Com. Ltd. war-artist; 'Lefty' Leftson.

Conversions and other peoples paint-jobs, the Boar War Brit is particularly fine, did you do it? Let us know if you recognise any OBE's and I'll give full credit. Zulu War redcoats are another obvious paint-conversion of this set.

The head-swaps are committed on an Airfix US Cavalry officer and an out-rider from the WWI RHA

The image in the bottom right-hand corner shows a little trick I picked-up by trial and error - when you can't get things to stay in/on the base, turn the base over and use the flat side, you might have to remove the second locating 'pin' from a figure with two, as the places are reversed, but the mortars and MG's still line-up because the have symmetry. Bottom-left are an idea of the plastic colour variation with this set.

Comparison shot between the Stadden 30mm's for Tradition and his efforts for Airfix. The difference being that the Airfix masters would have been much larger, so are of a slightly finer finish than the same-size castings of Tradition.

A shot of a big sorting session I did for a dealer friend of mine a few years ago, a complete set on the left of the table fold makes it easy to pick from the right hand side, using good daylight to colour match, a few poses might have a one figure with a larger or smaller base so you have to watch for that.

We did about 20 sets that day, maybe 12 boxed, with a couple of good boxes just checked and a still-on-runners ('sprued') box given a once-over! The rest bagged as loose sets to clear at shows. You have to look out for brittle figures, cleaver conversions, damage, paint and/or dirt, and - with this set specifically - WWII Japanese lying firing poses, which end up in WWI German lots after being included in the first version WWII German set to replace a damaged/lost cavity, and getting a grey colour-change at the same time. I think we found two!

Those purists who would get upset by this and/or condemn me for taking part in this 'practice' would do well to remember a few things, this stuff is 40+ years old, part boxes are bought at car-boots, old collections come-in in a hell of a state from ads in the local press and empty boxes are often purchased in handfuls from regional auction houses, they all need a set of figures, checked, complete.

The lesson is - Don't go buying an unseen set off evilBay from the other side of the world and then go getting upset when they turn up in three shades of brittle shit. Or thinking you've got something rare because the 'seller' (as opposed to a Dealer, someone who has a reputation to uphold, and no plans to change his eBay ID every six months!!) says so, or has re-filled the box with something from somewhere else.

Instead, go to the shows, look at the stuff, examine it. Ring those dealers who publish their phone numbers, or give you their cards, and get round to their house, shop or lock-up and SEE what you're buying, choose the best box of 20-odd instead of buying the first one that comes up on-line - only to spend the next nine months buying six more donkey's before you have a descent construct. All that's going on in these pictures is I'm doing that job for the customer, at some expense to the guy who was paying me!

And remember - they made millions of these!

Above - both a plastic colour study and an illustration of mould degradation; the officer in greatcoat, early example on the left, later issue on the right. Buttons and medal have turned to blobs and the lovely Imperial Eagle on his helmet has become unrecognisable.

It's interesting to note that the corners of the base have been rounded-off as well, that would have required a physical intervention with the mould and a machine-tool! The feet were also re-cut, presumably at the same time as the base-alteration.

Below - one of my favourites when studying these figures...a mould-shrinkage which is usable! Pulling tight in the chest (mould opened before the correct amount of plastic had been injected?) has caused the figure to curl forward over his belt, leading to a more animated attempt to rip some tripped-up allied chaps head off with his bayonet!

Pocketbond's 'Emhar'-to-Airfix comparison...after waiting several decades for more WWI figures (Revell excepted), this set was a hideous disappointment...by the time you've taken the AFV crew out, you've barely got an Infantry section, let alone a platoon! Nicely sculpted...but?

2 comments:

Paul´s Bods said...

Good advice mate. I personally NEVER buy online when I´m after old sets of bods...the only web dealer I buy old stuff from, I know personally and see him regularily at events.
I can only repeat the warning you have given...Evil bay....WATCH OUT!!!
Cheers
Paul

Maverick Collecting said...

I'm working on a cautionary tale right now, a rare example of ignoring my own advice, but it was worth it...watch this space!!