In general, the focus of any range of military models tends to be on the items that actually do the fighting. But, as any military historian knows, the fighting units depend heavily on the vital, and often more numerous support services that command, administer, train and supply them. They may not be sexy, but they are essential!
Continue reading “Wiking Ships – Auxiliaries”
It’s easy to think of the ship range created by Wiking in the 1930s as being old-fashioned, since post-war developments have enabled more complex, more detailed models to become the norm. However, at the time the models set new standards of accuracy and robustness, which were achieved by the application of novel production methods and materials. To appreciate the range properly, you have to understand how innovative they were in the context of the 1930s. To help us on our journey, let’s use as an example an unusual warship which was one of the earliest produced by Wiking.
Continue reading “Wiking Ships – Production”
Carrying the Mail
Sometimes, a toy manufacturer will create a model for which, in later years, we are truly grateful, because it preserves the memory of a fascinating but otherwise long-forgotten subject. Most makers manage to (unwittingly) do this at some point! In the Dinky Aircraft range, there are several such models, but none better than that of a rather unique craft designed to deliver the mail.
Continue reading “Dinky Aircraft – Forgotten Greats”
The First Set
Prior to the Second World War, Dinky produced a range of about 40 aircraft, including both civilian and warplanes. During this period, the early hollow composite models evolved into the more robust solid diecast models that typified their post-war production.
Continue reading “Dinky Aircraft – Early Days”
Unique Selling Point
When it came to choosing subjects for their aircraft kits, Matchbox seems to have followed a policy of backing two horses. On the one hand, they followed the other major manufacturers in creating kits of the most well-known and popular aircraft but on the other, they also modelled some very unusual subjects.
Continue reading “Matchbox Aircraft Kits – Uniqueness”
Matchbox kits were colourful. Very colourful. In fact, some people think they were too colourful! To understand why, let’s enlist the help of a small Finch…
Continue reading “Matchbox Aircraft Kits – Colours”
Understanding the Context
Toys, like most objects, reflect the times they are made in. They can do this in many ways, but perhaps the most obvious is through the choice of subject to be modelled. When I see a model, I like to be able to identify the subject and understand why it might have been made. Researching this can open the door to some fascinating history, and teach us a little about the past.
Continue reading “Dinky Military – History Lessons”