Wiking Ships – Introduction

Pioneer Shipwrights

Wiking

The German firm of Wiking (pronounced ‘veeking’, and meaning “Viking”) are nowadays known for their range of detailed plastic 1:87 vehicles. However, they first made their name as a pre-war pioneer of metal waterline ship model production, in 1:1250 scale.

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Solido Military – Development

Keeping Up To Date

Currency

Throughout most of the production lifetime of the Solido military range, the main French tank was the AMX-30. Naturally, as soon as it appeared Solido made a model. Over the decades the AMX-30 served with the French army, it spawned many variants, and underwent several evolutions. Toy makers like their offerings – especially flagship models for the home audience – to remain current. So how well did Solido fare?

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Dinky Aircraft – Forgotten Greats

Preserving the Memory

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.

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Solido Military – Components

Hidden Complexity?

Design

When designing a new model, two factors have to be balanced when considering how many components to use. On the one hand, the fewer that are used, the simpler the production process and consequently the lower the costs. A good example of this approach is the Dinky military range. On the other hand, the more components, the more detail can be included, and features added into the model. Solido vehicles are big and chunky, so there is certainly room for lots of parts. To examine the Solido approach, let’s start with a fairly complex machine – a military half-tracked personnel carrier of WW2, the SdKfz 251.

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Dinky Aircraft – Early Days

Pre-War Beginnings

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.

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Solido Military – Variants

Ringing the Changes

Ringing the Changes

One way that toy manufacturers can maintain a stream of new releases is by creating new versions of existing models, simply by altering the paint scheme and markings, and possibly changing plastic accessories. This allows them to advertise new products and keep their customers interested, without having to invest in expensive new metal mould-making.

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Dinky Aircraft – Introduction

Compact & Charming

Dinky Aircraft

The first aircraft models were released by Dinky in 1934, and the range continued, with a break during World War 2, up to 1965. As with their contemporary range of military vehicles, there were two main periods of production: the first models were created during the 1930s, and then a new set of models replaced them in the 1950s. During both periods, separate but complementary selections of models were produced by the UK company in Liverpool and by the French factory in Bobigny.

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