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Mr. Mark A. Christian (Louth, Lincolnshire, England.)

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Les Blindes et Figurines Heller 1965-2012 (Maquettes, Figurines Et Jouets)
Les Blindes et Figurines Heller 1965-2012 (Maquettes, Figurines Et Jouets)
by J-C Carbonel
Edition: Paperback
Price: £13.99

4.0 out of 5 stars How The ESCI Title Should Have Been Written, 7 Oct. 2015
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Definitely the most useful title on Heller that I am aware of with kit listings in the appendices and a timeline showing their introduction. The fact that the text is all French is no drawback as the dominant content is the artwork. Lavishly illustrated throughout with probably all the box art for all the incarnations of all their military kits, if you're a kit collector and have no Heller title, this should be added to your library.
J-CC has, for me, got the balance just right this time with occasional photographs of made up kits, dioramas and open boxes. He also looks at military helicopter kits (The Super Frelon and Super Puma) and armour models aimed at the toy market (Clickclac) but thankfully doesn't dwell on these. There are sections on their 1/35 and HO/OO figure ranges but, he doesn't repeat vast sections from his other excellent book "Airfix's Little Soldiers" as he did in the Esci title, thus wasting space.
There is homage to competitor coverage of French armour in the model world but, again only in a small way which doesn't detract from Heller. The Airfix/Humbrol moulds that made their way into Hellers' ranges are also looked at but, usefully with the Heller artwork only.
An excellent companion volume to his other Heller title "La Gamme Heller-Musee" which looks at their French aircraft kits of World War II subjects in great detail. There is obviously room for Heller naval and post war aircraft titles too...
Happy Modelling!

The Story of ESCI (Models and Figures)
The Story of ESCI (Models and Figures)
by Jean-Christophe Carbonel
Edition: Paperback
Price: £17.00

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars The Company For Trade With The International Colonies, 13 July 2014
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A very useful and readable history of ESCI.
The book is mainly divided into chapters covering a single year of production from their inception to their demise.
As one might expect, you get a lot of box art, but by no means all of it. There are photographs of boxed, unboxed and completed kits, (sometimes by the author) and sections on the people behind the firm. There is a lot of emphasis put on their 1/9th scale kits and we learn that they first entered the market purely as a decal producer and these feature heavily too.
I would have liked to have seen a lot more focus on their 1/72 AFV range. More coverage seemed to be given to their 1/72 polyethylene figures which were covered in "Airfix's Little Soldiers" by the same author and publisher. Also, as far as I can tell, the reverse of the boxes, bar one example, were ignored. If I remember correctly, this was where they placed their profiles and painting/decal guides.
The Appendices are very useful and focus on a complete listing of all their kits and decals (I will always think of them as transfers) including the expected Aircraft, Tanks, Trucks, Cars etc to the unexpected "Products announced but not issued".
The book could have been substantially larger and still not covered everything. I presume it is limited by the publishers to fit their "Models & Figures" Series. Unfortunately as a consequence, it barely scratches the surface. And don't be fooled-the only reference to their large scale cockpits, apart from in the text, is on the front and back covers!
Happy modelling.

50th Anniversary Book with Fiat G55 Kit
50th Anniversary Book with Fiat G55 Kit
Offered by Buy-For-Less-Online
Price: £30.68

4.0 out of 5 stars Fifty Years of Italian Modelling, 1 Mar. 2013
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A beautifully bound hardback book of 161 pages measuring 23x20cm, in landscape format, printed in Italy.
The text is split vertically on nearly every page, italian on the left, english on the right. As expected, the english translation suffers a little from spelling and grammatical errors but gets the point across. This is the norm in the construction kit world though-consider the instruction sheets to be found in most imported kits...
The first three chapters are an introduction, the foundation of the business ("A Story of People") and how models are made ("From Prototypes to the Real Thing"). Chapter four covers packaging and the evolution of the Italeri logo and name.
Then we get to the section we expect to be the biggest:"Fifty Years of Models". Here is to be found fifty of their most important mouldings. Not always what one wants and not a model from every year, but a cross section of fabulously illustrated kits. Dont expect just aircraft and armoured fighting vehicles because ships, cars and trucks feature prominently too. These pages normally show an expertly completed model, the box art, a description of the model and how it came about.
Later chapters cover their models produced for magazines, their associations with other kit manufacturers and future plans.
The final chapter purports to be a complete listing of all Italeri models. The date each was first released would have been interesting, but is absent.
So, what else is missing? Well fifty models only scratches the surface and there is very little coverage of their catalogues or newly acquired Esci moulds. Don't misunderstand, there are many wonderful models looked at besides the "50", but I would have preferred a bigger book and happily dispensed with an unnecessary re-release of their first model kit, the Fiat G55 "Centauro"-I have no intention of opening the sealed box so am unable to comment on its' quality-sorry.
Happy kit collecting/modelling.

Doctor Who Top Trumps Dalek Collectors Tin
Doctor Who Top Trumps Dalek Collectors Tin
Offered by Goulds Emporium
Price: £14.99

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Not Enough Daleks, 11 Feb. 2013
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I write this mainly as a collector. I am virtually certain that anyone reading this will be fully conversant with how the game is played so I will skip to a description of the packaging.
At first handling it is robust and effective. For someone who is, after first perusal, simply going to want to store it safely, it is a very awkward shape. Repeated opening and repackaging would, I am certain, very quickly damage the cardboard surround and plastic sheath.
The Dalek sound effect is novel-simply a repeat of the word "Exterminate" (what else) no less than nineteen times, every time you twist open the tin! I weep for the unwary parent buying this for their kids to play on a long car journey...
The "Allies" deck is a collection of all the television Doctors and their main travelling companions. There are some companions missing but I will not bore you with a list. What I was expecting was a larger number of Dalek cards in the "Enemies" deck. I was hoping for examples of different Dalek travel machines from different stories-after all there were all eleven doctors in the "Allies" deck. In fact you get one Dalek card (Tennant era) one Davros and the Emperor Dalek (Tennant era again). The rest of the enemies are a good selection of the most well-known and loved(?) monsters. Also note that if you own the Top Trumps "45 Years of Time Travel" set (the one in the Tardis tin) you may notice that a good proportion of the pictures used for the cards are exactly the same.
Despite packaging that better befits the "Star Wars" and "The Lord of the Rings" collections there is at least a passing resemblance of the tin to the cartoon strip Emperor Dalek and I think it will be a popular set.
Happy collecting.

This Laugh Is on Me: The Phil Silvers Story
This Laugh Is on Me: The Phil Silvers Story
by Phil Silvers
Edition: Hardcover

5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A Must Read For Bilko Fans, 24 April 2011
A very readable and interesting life story. The focus however is on his stage career, travelling the US.
It gives a view on the politics and powerbrokers in the Hollywood film industry and how a talent like Phil Silvers could be sidelined. Expect plenty of name-dropping.
An insight into backstage on the Bilko set it is not. Obviously he acknowledges Bilko as the high point in his career but, doesn't dwell on that period in his life nor the people he worked with on "The Phil Silvers Show".
For the Bilko fan it really does give you a totally different view of the man, his early life and work, the women he loved, his gambling, his fears, the loneliness of his later career and how he fought and won a long battle with depression. Learn more about one of the best comedians that has ever lived.

The Vintage Years of Airfix Box Art
The Vintage Years of Airfix Box Art
by Roy Cross
Edition: Hardcover
Price: £26.00

12 of 13 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Incomplete Airfix Box Art, 12 July 2009
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Unfortunately not the comprehensive tome I was expecting. Certain paintings are conspicuous by their absence. Others are actually referred to in the text, such as the Vickers Wellington, Boeing Superfortress and Avro Lancaster. In order to obtain these works you have to buy another book... To be fair the book didn't promise to include all his work but, I still feel a little cheated with such important kits excluded.
However, not a complete let down as the wealth of artwork that is included is beautiful and the book includes a glimpse of what might have been the box-art of our childhood memories.
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Jan 28, 2011 5:35 PM GMT

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