About Me

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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, September 20, 2017

News, Views Etc...Plastic Warrior No.168



A week adrift catches me almost totally 'on the ball'! Issue 168 is themed around civilian items this month but is still filled with all the usual goodies, and following the normal order;

Articles This Month
* Barny Brown begins a series on Cherilea farm animals with the 'from hollow-cast' mouldings (confirming my 'unknown' hen!)
* 'Comances' sees an investigation into the more realistic Indians produced to represent Southern States natives by Tom Stark
* The best article this month is Michael T. Hyde's 'Parade of Popes' which does exactly what it says!
* Converters Corner the one conversion this month; a rather nice paint-up of a Starlux figure by Eric Critchley to represent . . . still not subscribing huh? Try back-issues! Cleaver badge-technique too.
* Adrian Norman is also beginning a series, Scalextric Figures, with backgrounds and historical overview this issue and sets to come, a much-needed subject gets the PW treatment!
* The story of Total's golden footballer premiums ("Big League Football Stars of the 1970's") and the moulds is told by John Begg - the best article in this issue - since the last one!
* The reason for a shout-out by Colin Penn for information on F&G Products here on the Blog recently is revealed with the news the Crazy Clown Circus was boxed by them, as no one visiting here knew, let's hope the PW readership is more successful.
* Ashley Needham's piece on a Hong Kong set of Salvation Army bandsmen would get the 'best article of the issue' award, if we hadn't had two already!
* Ferrero's recent Kinder set of Barbie-doll figurines is itemised by Les White and I'm regretting ignoring the pink eggs as 'girly' now!

'What The !&*$?' has three question marks this quarter;

  •       Some idiot wanting to know about a PVC sailor/'heavy' figure clearly forgot to tell the Editor it's got a Heimo 'Marx' mark on the base along with the Hanna-Barbera 1979 ©! I'm sure it's in the PVC book, but mine's in storage!
  •      Brian Carrick shows a lovely little cavalryman he thinks may be Spanish
  •      He's also looking for an ID on two quite lovely Ancient Greeks

* 'Stone Age News' from Andreas Dittman brings news of immigrants from the Neander Valley, via Tomy-Takara
* Yours truly delivers a Spear's Game - A Shepherd and His Dog [Adrian mentioned at the weekend just gone that the cover may have shown Britains originals, but the original shots aren't clear enough to tell, the sheep were grey though and the shepherd had a green base - both visible in the PW reproductions]
* Colin Penn closes the latest Plastic Warrior with two fine shots of the Britains zoo set Chimps Tea Party in reverse-colours

Regular Features
* 'NEWS and VIEWS and other stuff ' carries
  •      News on a televisual presentation called Bargain Hunt, which seems to have been a bargain for the final buyer!
  •      A correction of capiera to Capiepa from issue 167
  •      More hysteria around the Timpo white-gloves (although as the previous hysteria was confined to the Internet; it's only fair!)
  •      C&T Auctions have an important collection coming-up for sale on the 10th October [www.candtauctions.co.uk]
  •      News on artist Volker Küne from Stephan Dance
  •      A call for readers to grab the last few copies of Andreas Dittman's illustrated guides on German toy figure, novelty and premium manufacturers; Domplastic and Manurba, for UK readers only though. Although I notice Kent Sprecher's still listing both along with Andreas's Lefredo guide on his site Toy Soldier HQ
* 'Readers Letters' is a post-show follow-up with penned contributions from Ashley Needham, John Cross, Stephen Wood and Eric Keggans and images from Les White and Eric Kemp
* 'What's New' takes a sabbatical to help make room for everything else!
Plus all the usual small-ads
Front Cover is a recreation of the crowd watching James Hunt finishing the British Grand Prix . . . I think! . . . I counted over 150?
Back Cover - Comanche!

Remember also; for subscription details or to 're-up', for contributions, letters or queries, Plastic Warrior is now on-line through various platforms:

And they are on Paypal.

Another vintage issue!

Tuesday, September 19, 2017

I is for Itlerpud - Part Five; The Plank

All good things come to an end shipmates, even ITLAPD "Aa'haarr!" and this post is a few things that got left out, as - with my usual chaotic planning - a couple of posts became four and the comparison shots ceased to make so much sense as they contained figures from a 'still to come' post, whichever one went first!

So, to the main purchases this year on the piratical front; Zizzle and Safari mixed, and mixing well, it has to be admitted! Peg-leg is a bit on the short size, but he is an elderly chap and would be, equally they both have taller figures (top right), while the Zizzle sculpts are generally heavier that the Safari figures, with Davy Jones ('lobster claw') a particularly heavy chunk of vinyl!

You've probably noticed by now that the sculpting (?) of the pistols in the Safari set is very weak, old Peg-leg looks like he's carrying around a rasp-file to carry-out running carpentry repairs on his ersatz appendage! While Little Miss Lady Pirate looks to be watering the lawn, with an invisible hose?

Here we have one each in the upper shots with Marx (hard plastic 54mm) and Hing Fat prisoners at the top and Marx Swansea (from WOTW moulding) and Charbens in the middle, all eminently compatible with the newbie figures, we looked at all these, many years ago; American and Other Makes.

The lower line-up show's a Safari figure with some of the smaller stars of this year's TLAP Day "Aa'haarr!"

Romance on the high-seas! Both the new sets had one example of the bane of PVC, a bent figure, nothing hot water/cold water dips won't sort but a pain nevertheless.

That's it, that's your lot for another International Talk Like a Pirate Day "Aa'haarr!" And remember if you haven't spoken like a pirate before midnight tonight you might get a visit from Davy Jones . . . maybe . . . probably not!

I is for Itlerpud - Part Four; Small Scale Scurvy Scallywags

I don't know how these guys have evaded their 'fifteen minutes' for the first eight years of ITLAPD, but time's winged chariot caught them in time for this year's, and then it's back to the relative obscurity they've enjoyed thus far!

We'll be looking at the sets 72001 Sea Warriors English Pirates 18th Century from Orion and set 31 Pirates by LW.

According to PSR's entry the LW set is supposed to contain 16 figures in various singles and pairs along with a two-man gun-crew and two-part gun, however; mine has one each of the pirate poses, two each of the gun crew and two guns (four parts), this disparity will not be a surprise to anyone who has bought multiples of LW or the other brandings in that stable (EVO[lution], HYTTY, Kervella, or Odemars) and I'm sure the boxed re-pack of the same figures; Set 2014 Buccaneers is subject to an equal variety of contents? As a small set it has also been issued as EVO set EVF 016

Two quarters of the Orion set, some (many!) of the figures may look familiar, because they are scale-downs of larger figures from Marx's Warriors of the World, as a result it's a half-reasonable set, given a lot of that early (1997,8,9) Eastern European stuff was a tad . . . err . . . crude - You can shoot the messenger but it doesn't change the message!

The other runner has another 12 figure poses, and to prove the point re. the copies being superior, a skeleton, semi-flat; depicts a man who in life stood about nine-foot-six in his stocking, which look like they were pulled over size 26 feet! Good for 28mm D&D gaming!

Above the left runner we see a couple of the clone-donors for comparison, changes are slight; the oar has been angled the other way, the shovel turned to face the front. Above the right-hand sextet are the LW figures, made from a plastic which is more glass than grey and a bugger to photograph, indeed, they don't show much detail to the naked-eye, but are actually quite nice figures; certainly equal to the Orion sculpts.

Back of the pack for Orion finds them all titled by runner-number, the pick of the 'new' poses has to be the chap with a blow-pipe (16); very different! And both the female figures are nice, one heavily armed and looking for trouble (15) and the other (8) described as "Resisting Pirate", but could as easily be scolding her 'old man' in a dockside- pub, or with a scrap of super-glued tissue - waving-off her beau, hair blowing in the onshore-breeze, rather than being pulled by 7 as is intended - if they are assembled together as a vignette!

In the Legion of Nightmare (set PF12, bottom-left) from Odemars we get three passable pirates, passable that is, in a universe where everyone has been stripped back to an empty-socket, eyeless-skull! Set them to looking for their nine-foot skeletal mate!

On the left is a chap looking more like a Venetian cut-purse or Medici's assassin, a proper pirate geezer in the middle has a proper wooden-leg and everything proper piratey (no parrot, or monkey though!) while the guy on the right is really a French pre-revolution musketeer, but is suitably attired for a bit of pirating.

Is there such a thing? I think Pirates indulge in piracy, but go a'pirating? There's probably a degree-course in there somewhere! For people who haven't got enough B's and C's for Meeja Studies or 'The Comic as a Cultural Phenomena in the 20th Century' - who am I to scoff; I collect plastic toys!

The other two shots are the respective gun-crews, who can combine to create a landing force of some power . . .

 . . . which is why it's an absolute, 22-carat pure gold fact, that my pirates have a gun-line which is 100% more effective than my British Grenadiers gun-line!

Why did Airfix never do AWI artillery? Especially as they had the really useful chap carrying a powder-barrel! Because of the way he's sculpted you can't see his cross-straps as you can with the rest of the two AWI sets' figures, so he makes a very passable pirate, while his officer (both from the Washington's Army set, there are no suitable Grenadiers) with his open flapping coat feels/looks equally at home under the Jolly Roger!

Which is not to say there's no place for Airfix's Grenadiers - someone has to provide 'revenue men' or the pirates will take over and not just on TLAP Day "Aa'haarr!"

I is for Itlerpud - Part Three; Safari Toob

Aa'haarr, mee 'arrtiees we been getin' to parrrt thrree and we'rrrr go'win on ah bit of a safarrriee!

These were bought the other day especially for ITLAPD "Aa'haarr!" and they arrived in a pack big enough for six sets! Safari have made loads of 'Toobs', mostly animals, but there are some figure sets for the AWI, ACW and Wild West and some civilian stuff I think, however, they also make a set of pirates and like the Zizzle set we looked at earlier, they are around the 54mm 1:32 mark.

Along with a few accessories you get eight actual pirates and they cover all the tropes; beenie hats, head-scarves, wooden legs, hook-hands, tom-boy girl with weapons, man with spade, Errol Flynn'alike, map, big hats, big swords, someone who looks like (and would make a great) Dick Turpin, parrot, swash and buckle - plenty of Swash & Buckle! But no eye-patch? [Shock emoji]

Different background and from the other side, each figure has a title under the base, and they are - top left to bottom right;

- Pirate w/Bandana
- Dueling Pirate
- Pirate w/Long Coat and Sword
- Holding Treasure Map
- Pirate w/Hook
- Peg-leg Pirate
- Pirate w/Parrot
- Lady Pirate

You even get a gay biker - Tom of Finland seems to have had a hand sculpting the guy top left!

When you're a pirate (with apologies to the Village People)

♪♪♫♪ Where can you find pleasure, search the world for treasure
Learn keel-haul technology?
Where can you begin to make your depravities come true
On islands or on the sea?
Where can you learn to kill, play in bars, skin men alive
Ignore Deuteronomy?
Sign on as a Brigand and sit on the hot sand
Watch where your peg and leg do meet!
When you're a pirate!
Yes, you can sail the seven seas!
When you're a pirate . . .
Yes, you can catch a French disease!
When you're a pirate . . .
You can pillage ships at ease!
When you're a pirate . . .
When you're a pirate . . .
Rum, buggery and fleas.

♪♪
Follow the treasure-map inland
When you're a pirate . . .
Come on and join the brigand-band
When you're a pirate
Come on scurvies and make a stand
As a pirate, as a pirate, as a pirate,
...Oh . . .
They want you, they want you
They want you in their pirate crew!
If you…
If you like adventure, don't you wait to enter
The roughest dock-side bar fast
Don't you hesitate; there is no need to wait
They're signing up new pirates fast
You'll never be too young to join up today
So don't you worry 'bout a thing
For I'm sure there will be always badass pirates
Plundering the land and sea
♪ ♫
When you're a pirate!
Yes, you can sail the seven seas!
When you're a pirate . . .
Yes, you can catch a French disease!
When you're a pirate . . .
Come on scurvies, fall upon the bloody sand
When you're a pirate . . .
Learn to smoke when you've hook-hands?
When you're a pirate . . .
When you're a pirate
Follow the treasure-map inland
When you're a pirate . . .
Come on and join the brigand-band
When you're a pirate
Come on scurvies and make a stand
As a pirate, as a pirate, as a pirate, as a pirate,
♫♫ ♪
They want you, they want you
They want you in their pirate crew!
Who me?
They want you, they want you
They want you in their pirate crew!
But, but, but, I'm afraid of slaughter
Hey, hey look man
I get seasick even watchin' through my patch!
They want you, they want you for Jones, Davy
Oh my goodness
They want you
What am I gonna do in a Brigantine?
They want you
They want you, they want you for Jones, Davy
♫♫
When you're a pirate!
Yes, you can sail the seven seas!
When you're a pirate . . .
Yes, you can catch a French disease!
When you're a pirate . . .
Come on scurvies, fall upon the bloody sand
When you're a pirate . . .
Learn to drink when you've hook-hands?

When you're a pirate . . .
Follow the treasure-map inland
When you're a pirate . . .
Come on and join the brigand-band
When you're a pirate
Come on scurvies and make a stand . . . ♫♪♫

As well as a parrot, you get a monkey which is a bit different (although Charbens had one climbing their palm tree); is it a macaque, or a little squirrel-monkey? You can also see from the close-up that while the painting is clearer than the Zizzle's; it's sprayed through pretty poorly registered stencils and both sets would benefit from re-painting.

My favourite piece in the set, unrealistically posed in an upright position which - in reality - would have resulted in a pile of bones, if you ignore such a literal viewpoint and allow the skeleton a bit of residual or supernatural life-force; a nice touch.

Publicity shots for this set often show them with grass-green bases, but mine are on a sandy beach as can been seen.

The other accessories, the gun is OK, it's a fixed barrel, at maximum elevation and the ship's a joke - unless you war game micro-ships in which case it may be quite useful . . .the wagon in the wild west set is a joke, but it's fine (ish) next to the Airfix HO/OO one in an ad-hoc wagon-circle or barrier! While the other pile of stores - sans skeleton - is very useful.

Descriptions - left to right;

- Cannon
- Ship w/flag
- Cannon Balls & Powder
- Sitting Skeleton

Halfway thrrew mee 'arrrtiees, Aa'haarr!