Wiking Ships – Harbours

Safe Havens

Harbours

Ships spend a lot of time docked in harbours loading and unloading, and a dockside diorama is a great way to display a collection, so it’s only natural that Wiking should have produced a range of harbours. As we have already seen in Fighting Toy Stories, Minic did the same and took the opportunity of presenting their harbours with modular components, that could be assembled and reassembled in various configurations. How did Wiking, some 20 years earlier, approach the subject?

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ESCI Figures – Pantography

Big Brothers

Scaling Up

In 1988, ESCI produced a surprise. A new range of plastic figures was launched in the larger 1:35 scale. If the figures looked strangely familiar, this was because exactly the same figures had appeared in their 1:72 range. So, obviously, some sort of re-use or re-engineering was involved here. More importantly, how do the larger figures compare?

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Matchbox Skybusters – Introduction

Simple and Snazzy

Matchbox Aircraft

In 1973, Matchbox introduced two new ranges of aircraft to the market. The first has already been covered in these pages – plastic construction kits. The second was a range of diecast models, the Skybusters.

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Airfix Military Series – Comparison

Checking Out the Competition

A Crowded Marketplace

As we have seen in Fighting Toy Stories, the Airfix Military Series of 1:32 plastic figures were both cheap and good quality. They sold well, and not un-naturally, other manufacturers were attracted to the market. How well did the Airfix figures stack up against the opposition?

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Dinky Aircraft – Big Planes

Bigger and Better?

The Big Planes

The last of the roughly 1:200 series of aircraft models that we have so far been examining was produced in 1960, and the range fairly quickly faded out of production. But after a short hiatus, the first new aircraft of what is generally called the Big Planes range was released in 1965, and this was followed over the next 10 years by another 15 models.

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Wiking Ships – Finishes

Changing the Colours

Introduction

Cruise ships are repainted many times during their lives, and sometimes this is more than a fresh coat of the same paint. New ownership will usually require an entirely new livery, and of course a changed colour scheme can breathe new life into a jaded liner. Modelmakers will sometimes follow suit, updating the colours on their models to keep them up to date – but they will also sometimes change the colour schemes for other reasons. Wiking were no exception in this, and we can see how they rang the changes by taking as an example their model of a relatively humble yet long-lived ship, that began life as the SS Sierra Salvada.

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ESCI Figures – Plastics

Hard or Soft?

Plastics

Over the years, military figures have been made in various types of plastic. The two forms most used are polystyrene and polythene. The former can be categorised as ‘hard’ because it is rigid and the latter ‘soft’, because it is flexible. ESCI has used both types, so let’s explore why by taking a look at a typical set that has been modelled in both materials – the Afrika Korps.

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