Sunday, December 28, 2014

James Bond diecast - BMW Z3

Another premium offered by Shell Helix that I picked up at a "Pound Store" - the BMW Z3 from Goldeneye.

Shell Helix premium - made by Tic Toc

Comes with a nice little acrylic display case and movie billboard.

Shell Helix premium - made by Tic Toc

Sunday, December 14, 2014

James Bond's Lotus Esprit

Just returned from a trip to Liverpool and London. Wife had to go for work, and I was able to accompany her. During the flight I listened to a podcast from Plaid Stallions covering, in part, James Bond-themed toys. Now, to be honest, I'm not a huge fan of Bond. I saw Moonraker as a kid, along with A View to a Kill, and I'll watch the newer films. But I can't say I'm that familiar with the catalog. The toys, on the other hand, are pretty neat. A neighbor of mine when growing up was British, and he had some of the Corgi toys, including the Lotus Esprit. I still remember how cool it was and how imaginative it was, with the spring loaded fins and firing missiles.

I was quite surprised when Hot Wheels recently released some of the Bond cars, and I have some of them. And I was really pleased when I stumbled across some diecast cars in the pound shop in Liverpool. They are apparently a Shell premium, and as far as I can tell there are 5 in the set. First up is the Lotus Esprit.

Featured in the film "The Spy Who Loved Me"

Sunday, September 7, 2014

Unimax M3 Lee

Goal is to do an average of a post a day for September, so loading up on the weekends. Here is a diecast M3 Lee made by Unimax. Had a small collection of 1/32 toys, but sold it off as my interests shifted. 


For the price, the toy was nicely rendered. Prices have really climbed on these - I probably spent $18 or so on this.



late 19th Century US Army

More artifacts from the War Memorial in Indianapolis.

Soviet T-28

1/87 scale T-28 tank sold under the Roco label but made by a Russian manufacturer.

Diorama of Egyptian mummification (part 4)

Part four of the diorama showing the Egyptian mummification process.
"Over two months have passed since the embalmers began their work.

The mummy is finally ready to go to the burial site with mourning relatives and the priests who will restore its human senses during the burial service.

Depending on the wealth and importance of the deceased, a huge entourage, including priests, paid mourners, and musicians and dancers, might accompany the mummy. Of course, not all burials were this fancy. With a simply mummification and burial service, even a poor person was assured eternal life."

Diorama of Egyptian mummification (part 3)

Mummification diorama part 3:

"Bandaging the mummy is a difficult job. 

After washing, oiling and perhaps stuffing the body, the embalmers separately wrapped each finger and toe. Priests oversaw the placement of protective amulets and pronounced the proper prayers at each new step. As much as 400 yards worth of linen strips were used to completely wrap the body.

The internal organs were separately wrapped in special jars, called Canopic jars, to be buried with the mummy. After giving the body a protective coat of hot liquid pine resin, the embalmers might further adorn it with a face mask and additional jewelry before placing the body in its coffin."

Diorama of Egyptian mummification (part 2)

Second vignette of the mummification process on display at the Field Museum.

From the diorama:The body and its organs are dried in mounds of natron.

This naturally occurring combination of baking soda and other salts absorbs water and is mildly antiseptic. The drying took about 40 days. Fluids from the body were absorbed, or dripped off the slanted tables. 

Keeping scavenger animals and insects away must have been difficult. Sometimes we find evidence of insects or even rodents in the wrappings of less carefully prepared mummies.

Field Museum

Field Museum

Field Museum

Diorama of Egyptian mummification (part 1)

Took the kids to the Field Museum in Chicago. I am truly impressed with this diorama that is part of the Egyptian display. Maybe 54 mm in scale.

For the first vignette: 1: The Embalmer's Art - We imagined that these scenes are of a large embalming workshop of Dynasty 21, about 1085 B.C. As more and more people were mummified, the process must have become more like an assembly line. This period was the last before a decline in the embalmer's art took place beginning in Dynasty 22.

The first task is to remove the internal organs. Prayers would be said while the necessary incision on the left side of the abdomen was made, and the person who made the cut was may have been ritually cursed and chased away for having done it.  

After the intestines, liver, lungs and stomach were removed, the body cavity and the organs were washed. The cavity might then be stuffed with straw or linen to help it hold its shape while drying.

Field Museum

Field Museum

Field Museum

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

New shoes for a Starliner

Being from Indiana I have a soft spot for Studebakers. I saw this Maisto 1953 Skyliner for under a buck so I quickly snapped it up. No interior at all, but I really like the paint scheme. The wheels had to go. I had a few sets of M2 wheels lying around, so a quick drill out of the rivets, and viola:

Maisto Skyliner with original wheels

Civil War Days - 2012

Civil War re-enactment at Conner Prairie Interactive Historical Park.

Conner Prairie

Conner Prairie

Matchbox Kenworth Aerodyne with trailer

Here is Matchbox's Kenworth Aerodyne (COE: cab over engine) tractor and trailer in NASA livery. Product number MB045.  Background from here.

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Matchbox NASA Tracking Vehicle - Peterbilt tractor with low bed trailer

Another neat little NASA vehicle from Matchbox - CY15 NASA Tracking Vehicle from the Convoy series. A Peterbilt conventional cab with low bed trailer rigged as a NASA control trailer. (background from here)

NASA Tracking Vehicle

NASA Tracking Vehicle

Hot Wheels Mars Rover "Curiosity"

Two versions of the Mars Rover by Hot Wheels - the variation is the different wheels. (background from here). At 5 cm in length, these are about 1/60th scale (per NASA website, the Curiosity is 3 meters long).
HW # Y4712 and BFC82
BFC82 (right) and Y4712 (left)


Monday, September 1, 2014

Matchbox NASA Tracking Vehicle

I was 2 when Armstrong walked on the moon, so don't really remember the space craze from that perspective. But I do remember when the Space Shuttle Enterprise was unveiled. I had a plastic toy version that had opening cargo doors that, although not to scale, saw many missions with my Micronauts. I remember exactly where I was when the Challenger exploded (Indiana University dorm in the commons). And I still follow somewhat the images from Hubble and Curiosity. So not a hard-core fan, but would say I have more than a passing interest in NASA.

Here is the NASA Tracking Vehicle by Matchbox. Bought it used, as none of my toys made it out of childhood. In fair shape, with some minor nicks. 

18th and early 19th century Indiana

     The Indiana War Memorial has a museum displaying artifacts and re-creations of conflicts involving Hoosiers or the Hoosier State. Fort Sackville was a British fort located near what is now Vincennes, IN. It was captured by George Rogers Clark in 1779.
Indiana War Memorial

Indiana War Memorial

Saturday, July 19, 2014

Aberdeen Proving Ground (part 2) - Mk IV Female

Mk IV Female tank

Mk IV Female tank

Mk IV Female tank

Hot Rods at Cedar Point

Nice custom hot rods on display at Cedar Point amusement park.

1/32 Scale Sd.Kfz. 7

21st Century Sd.Kfz. 7. Not a bad little toy, and it was fairly cheap. Just not a scale I'm interested in anymore, so sold on eBay.