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Sunday, 9 October 2016

Cowboys. Spacemen. Cavemen and more-like Etruscan than Romans

If anyone from my Yahoo groups reads this could they please comment on this blog because I often miss messages -and that way people will know what I'm writing about.

For instance, someone was "positive you were involved with making toy soldiers or painting them?" Well, the confusion was probably caused by two little fun posts I did.  So this ought to clear the confusion up (I've really nothing better to do).

It's Monday! Time To Paint The Cowboys And Cavemen!

Well, after another bad night there was no way I was going to clean walls before decorating the last room.  I tidied up my hallway which is a private art gallery of illustrations given me by Terry Bave, Mike Western (including the pencilled Leopard From Lime Street illo I then inked!), John Cooper, J. E. Oliver, Donna Barr (I was asked by someone if an illo in one photo was by Roberta Gregory -no. Sadly, none of her work here), Kate Glasheen, Pekka A. Manninen as well as old seaside "saucy" postcards.

You see, I do love art and items sent to me by friends may well attract offers of money that I really could do with BUT this is art from friends.  I have a few pieces by Bristol's Paul Ashley Brown, recently returned from a fact-finding tour of Berlin...or to lounge about with Herr Peter Lally.  One of those two.

One day I'll post some images of Gallery Hooper -you will NEVER see any of my work on display, though!

So I moved the Charbens "Ancient Romans" and Lone Star Cowboys as well as Spacemen to a place above my window.

Then I painted my Tim Mee Cavemen (30 of the hardy beggars), continued to add a few more touches to my Airfix WW II US paratroopers to make them more like 1950s-1960s colonial troops and then added more flock and vegetation to my Stargate style standing circle, then added touches to a gate tower.

Did I do any REAL work?


I'm currently following up some creature reports from the US and learnt some interesting news today about what was planned for me had the Ucu Argentinian expedition gone ahead back in the 1980s. And tomorrow I have to try to follow up various items because, it now appears, no I will NOT be getting a place at any UK event in 2015 and with no entrepreneurs or publishers getting interested in comic publishing the stagnant waters of British comicdom have started getting these horrible smelly clumps floating about.

Everything is, quite honestly, up-in-the-air at the moment.  Overseas publishers I'm open to offers from!

So, you all relax. Apart from the odd **** out there I loves ya all!

Which was followed by:

The Crescent Cowboy Rises While The Crescent Eagle Indian Soars..

....Just go with the flow til I explain.

You see, not everything has to be comic book related.  That said, the scenarios I've had (not to mention the imagined comic strips) looking at these would make a good connection.  Anyway, these are 1960s British plastic toy cowboys manufactured by Crescent.

I've mentioned my little cowboy collection before -remember It's Monday -Time To Paint The Cowboys? 

If not how about the much longer Straight Outta Ashton Vale? Jean Hofler and Crescent cowboys as well as hollow lead ones were dealt with in that:  
The Crescent cowboys I referred to in the previous post were 60mm whereas these are Crescent 1/32 scale or 54mm versions.  Now, it has been written that the ones given away with Kellogs cereals were unpainted yellow.  In fact, I know that 54mm figures were given away with a few things including washing powder -and some of those were red.  Kellogs did give away Queens and Kings of England flat back figures that were a creamish colour.
A new company is bagging any of the old figures they get and adding a new card header -as below. You'll see these are unpainted figures.  There was no way I could resist these because there are two native American figures that stick in my memory -one was a 60mm mohawk haired guy and the other was the "Winged" Amerind. 

 This, I believe, represents the Hopi or Zuni Eagle Kachina Dancer -not a fighting figure but remember these figures had everything from woman nursing babies, blanket wearing chieftains and Totem posts.
Below: All I said was that I was going to draw!!! Once I have other things out of the way these will all get cleaned up and then a new -my scheme- paint job.  Just realised a few of these chaps appear to be carrying packed lunches....

oh.  They are bank robbers. Fifty years it took me to realise that!

Jarman's Newsagents and Tobacconist in Mina Road, St. Werburgh's -the memories from that place both comics and toys!
And to make this an epic "Terry Hooper has gone soppy in the head and plays with toy cowboys" Sunday:

Straight Outta Ashton Vale

Just continuing the gangsta theme.  Mind you, I am currently listening to the fantastic Christine and the Queens, from France.

I ramble in the bramble while others scramble. Kah-chaaa!

Only problem cosplaying Tarzan when you walk to the shops or sit on a bus is the willy tends to pop out a lot.
Ahhhh.  Yes, scarily, not in a great deal of pain at the moment but I'm sure that will change when I wake up properly.


ah. There we go.

So, before anyone calls the police and tells them I'm sitting naked on the roof singing let's get to the point.  Hang on.....YES!  Yes got the postman with a piece of the chimney.

above; 54mm Britain's hollow lead cowboys below 1960s Crescent 60mm photo: Kent Owen Sprecher and Toy Soldier HQ Inc –

Anyway, it has been pretty grim on the comics front for a while and so I've been relaxing by painting up some old toy soldiers and finding out what makes they were -I've had some of these things 40 years and last night I spent three hours trying to identify cowboys.  My old hollow lead ones are, of course, Britain's.  I also have a couple of the 1960s plastic Crescent cowboys.
But the biggest pain-in-the-arsch was a set of seven figures (one without a horse but I have that in a box).  I looked for every make and type of plastic cowboy from the 1950s to the 1960s made in the UK. Nothing.

There was, however, a distinctive look.  With most cowboy figures the neckerchief has the main part usually at the front or to the side (figures 4 and 6 above).  However, with the tie-knot and 'tails' at the front is a mainly European look such as from Elastolin (and, no, I do not have these!):

Europeans seem to like this more formal look -even tewart Granger, actor and man of style displayed this -here Winnetou has a chat with Old Surehand (oo-er!) Stewart Granger who has his knot and 'tails' proudly on show!
But these were not Elastolin.  Then I had this idea: "Terry, why not turn them over and look at their bases?"  and I then banged my head repeatedly on the table -that might explain why this post started the way it did.  Bugger.

So, the blue plastic cowboy (the paint hardly existent on it now) base had "W. Germany" stamped on it.  d'uh!  The others, in a cream plastic, had numbers -1, 3 and 5 (I know there are others here "somewhere"!).  And "Made in Hong Kong" which confused me.  However, with "made in W. Germany" stamped on them I had a clue -I've written books on things that started out with less!

Jean Höfler.  A German manufacturer of Burghaslach in "Middle Franconia". Renamed BIG in 1962.  1960s and it seems some production may -well, obviously!- have gone to Hong Kong though I am not sure if this was legit the figures WERE sold in Germany in the 1960s and that would not have been allowed (legally) without BIG permission. has some info on these:

So, I have figures from Set 1 (below) and here is the Winnetou link because the second figure (blue) in row two was rumoured to be based on Granger -it's stated that a lot of figures seem based on stills from Western movies so......?

And set 2 -brother Mike did a nice paint job on my version of the first figure in row one  -with checked shirt (cowboy not Mike).

You want to grovel to me then send me Höfler  (one US site writes it "Hoeffler") figures!  I also have a few other figures including knights that seem to be Höfler.

But you sit there asking what this has to do with comics?

Well, in the photo I uploaded to Army Men Home Page, I have my (re-issued) Timpo Cowboys on a shelf next to my Charbens 60mm "Ancient Romans" and next to those are 1990s 50mm astronauts and behind them is the Deluxe Edition of Winnetou starring Pierre Brice and Stewart Granger and that was sent to me by German blogging supremo Subzero!

You see? Synchronicity, man.  Synchronicity (and I don't mean that 1980s album by The Police).

Off for a coffee....then finish off the zombies...toy zombies obviously.

You got cowboys AND dinosaurs....what's missing?  CAVE MEN!

The Cavemen Went A-Walking!

An average day in Ashton Vale....

Actually, some American Tim Mee cavemen I painted up "toy soldier" style.   I'm sure a few of these  are based on relatives.

And let's leave it at that, shall we?


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