Repairing Old Oversize Oddities 60mm+ Figures

This week in the figure repair desk, I have three or four of these play-worn and paint-distressed oversized 60mm+ metal Scots Highlanders by Johilco (John Hill and Co).
Size comparison of 54mm Britain’s / Herald figures with 60mm figures

Hong Kong marked broken ‘Elastolin style’ Ancient warrior to rearm and repair, alongside my Cherilea ‘Viking’ as I have always called him.

The Cherilea ‘Viking’ over the years had lost spear, sword scabbard and finally one helmet horn. The spear and scabbard were roughly repaired with wire (old sparkler wire). The damaged helmet and missing horn was more difficult. A piece of foam and the round end of an old paintbrush were superglued into place. After painting, these should blend in.

For family household allergy reasons, I do not usually use epoxy fillers, Milliput or Green Stuff for figure repairs. Instead I improvise with PVA, UHU glue, matchsticks, cocktail sticks, wire, tissue paper, masking tape, superglue, Fimo polymer clay amongst other things such as cast metal 54mm spare heads, arms etc.

Cherilea plastic 60mm ‘Viking’ figure, an oversized oddity of my childhood.

One of the odd one out figures of my childhood, this oversize 60mm sized ‘Viking’ in my family’s collection may have arrived sometime in the 1960s/early 1970s in company with this pegleg pirate, which also needed repair from wear and tear.

Both oversized figures probably came from a job lot of odd plastic figures that my late Dad bought us all from the family next door in the 1960s once their children were grown up.

I kept them as crumbling curios. With so few and such weird choices of oversized figures, it was hard to fit them into games. Viking versus Pirate? Pirate versus Cowboy or Indian?

Plastic figures once marketed as unbreakable, indestructible – time & chemistry has changed this.

This fine 60mm Long John Silver figure by now had suffered a broken base, missing crutch and pegleg. A tuppeny base and garden or sparkler wire inserts wrapped in masking tape were secured with superglue. Not sure of maker, the base was so damaged.

Like Weebles and many other plastic figures in our house from the early 1970s, a basic Airfix grey home paint job needs replacing with something better.

The Viking’s attractive Cherilea roundel logo – sometimes I find similar figures with a more basic (pirate copy?) roundel with raised dots- then the basic Crescent Toy Co letter coding for each range or the simple ‘Hong Kong’ marking.

Size and scale comparison of Lemax Christmas Village figures (big 1:32) with 60mm Indians – a source of civilian figures?

Identifying some of these Crescent and other 60mm figures is made easier by the great photos at Barney Brown’s Herald Toys and Models http://www.heraldtoysandmodels.co.uk/catalog/index.php?cPath=26

A growing war band of 60mm Indians – I may leave the well worn paint as found on some of these. The front one is repaired Crescent, the others are unknown makers, the bases marked with a round circle with a pattern of dots and lines.

I hope that I can gently use these Indian figures with some ACW and cowboy figures for a Forest Indian oversized figure skirmish in the next few weeks. This might be the first time in decades that they have seen any play action.

Two red painted oddities from my childhood, a Crescent 54mm or 1:32 scale Friar Tuck and a ACW or 7th Cavalry 60mm plastic podfoot. We must have had a surplus of red gloss or a shortage of other paint at home. Well worth a repaint, especially so Tuck can rejoin my other 54mm Robin Hood figures.

The unmarked seventh cavalry type figure was unstable as a podfoot so I have added a tuppenny base.

Downsized back to 54mm figures now

The last three figures came from joblots and from amongst the wider family – original Airfix 1:32 paratroopers from 1969 that I never saw or knew of as a child. I was familiar with their poses from the smaller OO/HO Airfix paratroop figures.

Fragile early Airfix 1:32 paratroopers 1960s, repairs to one’s fractured legs and missing SMG. The damaged one will get a repaint or paint job.

These crumbling, fragile plastic figures, where broken, needed careful keying or roughing up of the broken joint areas with a scalpel tip and gentle pin drill holes with an insert of very fine jewellery wire. Finally masking tape covered difficult joins or damage. This one damaged figure has both cut marks (lawnmower?) and teeth marks!

1968/69 issue figures, replaced quite shortly by the familiar 54mm 1:32 paratroops I grew up with.

More about these first 1968/69 54mm figures here at Hugh Walter’s excellent Small Scale World plastic figure blog including pictures of all the 1:32 poses –

http://airfixfigs.blogspot.com/2010/05/01-british-paratroops-1st-vertion-132.html

Repro cardboard Airfix brown boxes are available on eBay in Australia!

More figures on the repair and repaint desk next time include a jigsaw of arms and legs that were once oversized 60mm plastic paratroops and a 54mm Timpo Napoleonic British standard bearer in bits.

No crumbling plastic man left behind!

Blogposted by Mark Man of TIN, 19 June 2020.

10 thoughts on “Repairing Old Oversize Oddities 60mm+ Figures”

  1. The broken Hong Kong viking appears to be a smaller copy of one of the 3″ Marx hard plastic Warriors of the World series. I had the 1″ version that came in their Miniature Masterpiece Knights and Vikings playset. I still have the castle and knights but alas in a moment of moral weekness as a child, I allowed myself to be talked into trading my vikings for more knights! Sighh. At least Orion included all the poses in their 1/72 Vikings set so I have them back! (Just smaller and not so fragile)

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  2. What an enjoyable post.I have 8 or 9 of the big highlanders in Scottish Brigade. They tower over the smaller 54mms but I think thats bescause they are muckle braw laddies and am quite happy to play with them looking bigger. The Viking is a splendid fellow and I enjoyed seeing him very much indeed. As for indians you have a good growing collection here. I found quite a few in the shed when tiding recently and ought to get them ready for a game.

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    1. I usually as a child just found all of these 60mm+ figures too big with 54mm ones, so they stayed in the toy box. Curious that Johilco made few or no other matching metal figures.
      I wish you joy of digging out your Indians for your Forest Games, they are just right for Close Wars.
      The Viking is rather fine, there are more poses from this range on Barney Brown’s Herald Toys website / shop http://www.heraldtoysandmodels.co.uk/catalog/advanced_search_result.php?keywords=Viking&search_in_description=1&x=0&y=0

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  3. The pegleg pirate in flesh coloured soft plastic is by Marx, these were made in the UK for a time at their factory in Swansea. All the 60mm Indians and the pod foot 7th cavalryman are by Cherilea. It’s a very noble thing to give a veteran from your childhood years a new lease of life. I can empathise with your fractured para, I’ve just emerged from hospital where I was repaired in similar fashion with a pin and lots of tape after breaking my leg in three places!

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    1. Ouch! If I’d known I could have popped round with my Superglue, lots of masking tape and some garden / sparkler wire to patch you up. Repaint as required or just leave the playworn paintwork.
      Take it easy and dig out an old or reprint copy of Donald Featherstone’s Solo Wargaming with its excellently cheerful chapter on ‘Wargaming in Bed’ with 54mm Duelling and jousting with Timpo Swoppets etc. A real period piece.

      Thanks for the ID on the Welsh Marx pirate, the 7th cavalryman and the Indians from Cherilea (were these copies? the bases have dots and dashes where the lovely Cherilea logo should be.)
      Best wishes Mark Man of TIN

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      1. Thanks Mark, I think Mrs C would like me to have a repaint but I’d be worried about losing the worn, chipped character of the original. Looks like I won’t be bloging for a while as I can’t get up the stairs to where all my toys and books are. The Cherilea figures are original, just later production, after Cherilea was bought from Administration by Sharna Ware, most of the production with dots and lines was exported to Italy.

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