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This section is focused on 1:32 scale, also known as 54mm, medieval knights and other figures of the era, including Lone Star and Britains
Below is a selection of my own knights, this is the beginning of what could become a large collection.
Related articles, other scales
W Britain, have been around since 1893 and started out with lead hollow cast figures, after a merger with Herald in the 1950′s plastic became the material of choice, the launch of the Swoppet series in March 1958 changed what were up to then fixed pose figures forever, these were poseable plastic figures than generally came apart at the waist and neck, the idea originally came from Britains although copied by others including Timpo.
In 1971 Britains began phasing out its plastic Herald Miniatures that had been produced in Hong Kong since 1966 with Hong Kong Herald ceasing operation in 1976, 1971 saw the launch of the first of the Deetail range with a change of the plastic type and the addition of a diecast base. In 1976 Britains developed Super Deetail, an overmoulding process where different coloured plastics came together in one figure.
The first picture show three Britains archers, the one on the right is one of the first of the Deetail range and the base is marked 1971, they do not have the Deetail name on the base that the later one’s have and the base has rounded ends, so it seems if my information is correct the round edge based one’s were made in China.
The other two are mark as Deetail but not dated, this archer figure and pose goes back to the lead days in the 1950′s, finding out whether these are numbered or named has been next to impossible so will leave this information until available.
Two more Britains Deetail, same knight, different colour scheme.
Another Britains knight, unusual because it’s not in an attack pose.
Another figure dated 1971 on the base below, but not convinced the base colour is original, first one I have seen like this.
A few more from the Britains Deetail ranges.
This is one of the much later mounted metal knights made by Britains aimed at the collector, this is No 40224 and called De Beauchamp Mounted Knight, I bought this just to see what they were like and must admit I’m impressed, although not as detailed as the DelPrado or De-Agostini knights they are a nice quailty, a nice touch is the lance arm moves up and down and there is no base.
The only down side I can see is the glossy painted finish, I would of preferred it to be matt or at least satin finish, I suppose a coat of matt varnish from my airbrush would cure this so may take that route.
I have however ordered another the same but in a different colour scheme which will give me a pair of jousting knights.
This one is called Neville, Earl Of Warwick No 40225, both of these was issued between 2000 and 2002.
Both knights together in jousting pose.
And speaking of jousting knights, ideally you would need an audience and a throne for a diorama, well how about this set.
Again these are heavy cast metal and part of the Britains 2005 ‘Knights of the round table’ series, this is supposed to be set No 41138 with Sir Lancelot, Sir Galahad and Sir Gawaine (according to the box they have arrived in), although I am not convinced as from my research there is possibly one, maybe two of these figures from set No 41139 Sir Percivale, Sir Tristan and Sir Mordred, so maybe I have a mixed set, these really are a high quailty casting and the painting is spot on, although unfortunately this comes at a price, what I have seen of these sets for sale range from £30.00 to £150.00, again Ebay and the like are a good bet as they do come up cheaper every now and again, fortunately I didn’t pay anything like that, and even if it is a mixed set the price I paid, I am more than happy with them.
This range by Britains under new owners RC2, who also happens to own the Ertl branding too.
A little history worth mentioning here;
- 1996 Racing Champions Corporation is formed.
- 1997 Ertl purchases Britains
- 1999 Racing Champions acquires The Ertl Company
- 2003 Racing Champions Ertl acquires Learning Curve, changes name to RC2 Corporation.
The Rc2 Corporation website can be found at http://www.rcertl.com/
Incidentally, if your wondering about the scenery and backdrops on this page check out Castle scenery
Lone Star, Knights of the round table
These knights were diecast and released in 1982, the series consisted of only five of the knights and King Aurthur, it was short lived and withdrawn a few years later.
The knight with the axe is Sir Galahad, with the sword Sir Bedivere.
Lone Star Knights, (Harvey Series)
Lone star made a set of knights from 1957 until 1962, there was only ever eight knights in the series and were either supplied painted, No L.216 or unpainted No UP.5.
The first picture below shows the original painted knights and although many are duplicated the colour schemes differ.
The unpainted set below, all have Lone Star on the base along with, Harvey series
Another set I have were a re-issue by and company called Toyway who re-issued Lone Star and Timpo figures and although the figures are of the same mould, the ‘Harvey series’ name has been removed from the base along with ‘Made in England’ as these were being produced in China, Toyway are better known for their range of plastic Dinosaurs but were bought out by Pocketbond in 2010, better known for their range of Classix diecast 1:76 scale cars and trucks.
As for Timpo, I have one early example of a mounted knight, sadly missing his lance but armed with a dangerous looking toothpick
Crescent plastic knights were a hand painted series like the earlier Lone Star Harvey series. Although these figures are not rare, finding good examples can prove challenging again like the early Harvey series.
The first one from the left in the picture below is a Roman rather than a knight but like it all the same
The second from the left is known as ‘Squire’ and the third ‘Man at arms‘
Below, also Crescent, from left to right is, ‘Halberdier’ , ‘Crusader’ and ‘Swordsman’
Marx also made knights (below) in 1:32 scale, these are the first I have and have more coming soon, these are likely to be earlier models and were later issued in plain silver plastic.
Another from Marx
The same figure from another viewpoint.
I call this one the unknown knight as I have no idea where he comes from, possibly Cherilea but not confirmed, but is 1:32 scale just the same.
The following three figures are however Cherilea and thought to date from the 1960′s.
At present the only one I have and made of cast metal
I have two of these, the first is of a French foot soldier, it is however a true 54mm figure and will be looking out for more.
The second is mounted and again good quality and detailing
This is number 20 in the series and called the ‘ Lombard Knight’ and a true 1:32 scale figure.
This is, so far my only DelPrado figure but will be looking out for more, the medieval series contains about 80 figures some mounted some on foot. This one is numbered SME078 and called Sassanian Clibanarus, 7th Century.
By the weight alone this is obviously made of lead and stands about 95mm high.
These figures are listed as 1:30 scale or 60mm and a little to big to sit well with 1:32, but that said are nicely detailed figures