I’m a 51-year-old Aspergic CAD-Monkey. Sardonic, cynical and with the political leanings of a social reformer, I’m also a toy and model figure collector, particularly interested in the history of plastics and plastic toys. Other interests are history, current affairs, modern art, and architecture, gardening and natural history. I love plain chocolate, fireworks and trees but I don’t hug them, I do hug kittens. I hate ignorance, when it can be avoided, so I hate the 'educational' establishment and pity the millions they’ve failed with teaching-to-test and rote 'learning' and I hate the short-sighted stupidity of the entire ruling/industrial elite, with their planet destroying fascism and added “buy-one-get-one-free”. I also have no time for fools and little time for the false crap we're all supposed to pretend we haven't noticed, or the games we're supposed to play.
Taking a shot of an unknown mini-sub for the other blog gave me the chance to shoot all the boats, and so I've added images of the Rubber boat to the 1st type US marines (the post is still waiting for text!) and the canoe to the 1st type Commandos, doing their thang in a water-butt!
This will always be a 'work in progress' as photographs are added or upgraded and missing bits are slotted in. Aiming to be no more than a guide to the figural production of Airfix Products.
Wherever possible it will quash urban myths or commonly held beliefs which are incorrect, most of which have grown-up during the 'Internet Years'.
As many search terms as possible will be used in order that anyone visiting whether familiar with Airfix or a new collector/casual browser will be able to find what they want, either singly or in groups of similar size, period or subject matter using the 'Click-on Index' to the right. Likewise the title-blocks will be as comprehensive as possible so they can be discerned in the 'Blog Archive' feature on the left of the page.
As this is designed to be a sort of second page for the Small Scale World blog, there was going to be no 'comments' feature, but I've enabled it, still, anyone with an issue concerning the factual accuracy of any entry can eMail me with supporting evidence and will be fully acknowledged for any resulting change or update.
I will also not use the Pink/Khaki thing here as I have on the general Blog, I want it to be cleaner and more streamlined, so people can find what they're looking for with ease, although I will date additions if I think it's relevant.
Eventually, every post/page will have the figure set complete, a one-of-each-pose numbered line-up for ready reckoning, a set on the runners ('sprues') - if applicable - box types/artwork, inserts, copies/piracies, comparisons with other versions and other makes, moulding variations, conversions, painted figures both my own (when I get round to them!) and tatty old OBE's (Other Bugger's Efforts) from way back when, close-ups of the vignettes and anything else pertaining to each set I (or you - contributions welcome) feel is relevant, interesting, funny or weird!
I spent ages editing the catalogue illustrations from the 1975 catalogue the other day, kindly scanned and sent in by Kostas from Greece, they contained a page of my favourite feature from the early catalogues, the painted sets, set-up on a card. However, what I didn't notice - tired, late at night - was that Airfix had miss-attributed the two illustrations, so although I collaged the correct margin entry for each picture, the animals were from the other set!
The errant catalogue entry above; to be fair no one told me they were wrong, and with only 20-odd hits on either thread since they went live a couple of years ago, I'm guessing it's of no consequence to most of you, and I probably could have got away with it if it hadn't been for this pesky Aspergic kid!
Still, I seem to recall other errors in the catalogues and there's the famous Guards box-art screw-up which will appear on the correct post eventually, but as this concerns two sets and one image they can have their own post for now. Both images have now been corrected on the two Zoo Animal's posts below somewhere.
First advertised (as far as we know) at the same time as the Life Guard/Horse Guard set in 1947, this set and it's subsequent offspring present a few questions once you look at it in detail.
A whole card, when I bought this, the vendor had about 6 similar cards, the animals - which the original advertisement tells us numbered 12 different - were randomly assorted so that while there were never two animals the same on any card, they were not divided into two sets of 6, which would have made far more sense.
My set is of polystyrene plastic, the same as the later Zoo Brix, however it seems almost certain that like the contemporary figures, earlier production would have been cellulose-acetate, indeed...
The three brown animals above and the yellow lion in-line with them ARE cellulose-acetate and their bases are the same as the carded ones, so it's fair to assume they are slightly earlier (actual 1947) production.
The 6 animals in the row above them are polystyrene again, however there are subtle differences in the duplicate animals, and the elephant is markedly unalike the carded example. Having only got the 'Brown Bear' in the Zoo Brix Series 'A' (below) this yellow one could be the plain 'Bear' (from the Zoo Brix Series 'C') but without seeing the Airfix animal in the flesh can't know if it's as close to the Airfix moulding as the lion or camel, but given the moulding variations in the Bergen/Beton figures and the early set of 8 soldier poses, it's likely these are all Airfix production or copies of/from Airfix mouldings. Likewise the slightly less defined elephant in pink.
The dogs have the same base style, and could originate with Airfix, but even if they did - I'd put money on their having been sold as playing pieces in a 'Totopoly' style dog-race game. Going to 'The Dogs' was far more popular in the fifties than now, and a fair few dog track board-games exist. The nice thing about these is that they are all slightly different and therefore each - unique. These days you would sculpt one, pantograph it in multiples and produce the same piece/pose in a half-dozen colours!
A close up of the lions and the 'wood-wasp' in the timber-pile; A donkey or ass/mule thing...stripe-less zebra? The dodgy-origin set has slightly thinner bases, however, as the Airfix ones barely stand up, they may be a first effort, but - if that's the case - why didn't the equine subject survive? Also, donkeys and dogs are not really 'Zoo' animals, but rather 'Domestic' animals.
The Logo hiding away in the Jungle foliage, if it's not a jungle, it's a very spacious zoo for the 1950's!! I'm guessing this 'Ape' is meant to be a Gorilla, although it looks more like a Sasquatch I encountered on the Brecon Beacons once!
A Year later the animals were used for Pattern No. 430 Zoo Brix; a boxed set of 6 infant's rattles/bath toys/building-blocks I first covered back in January last here; Bargain! which might be worth a read, however the pictures here are better, I was trying too hard to be clever with the Collage feature last time!
The bases were made wider and glued onto the base of the brick, they were also used in a similar capacity in the end of a baby's rattle/soother. As they would have stood-up better with this wider base, one wonders if they weren't also sold separately, or perhaps supplied as a premium somewhere?
I took these purely to show the size in relation to something more familiar to Airfix fans, one of the dancing para's with his space rifle and pockets stuffed with tissues! What WAS going on with that set, and why did people keep buying it - they must have or they wouldn't have kept churning it out?!
The little granules used to provide the rattle are small pieces of cellulose-acetate raw-material, which was being phased out at Airfix, and what better way to get rid of it than to flog it to the general public a thimble-full at a time! In the words of someone in the industry at the time (I can't find the reference, one of the TIMPO guys?) "Like the little stones in the bottom of a fish tank".
Here's a 'to be updated' chart showing the known poses and their position within the Airfix oeuvre. Which were the other four poses on the original cards? Where does the donkey fit in? Why two Elephant moulds? When - exactly - was the change to all-styrene polymers? Are the Dogs from the same source?
Plastic Warrior's 'Airfix- The Early Years' again.
Tony over at the Airfix Collectors Forum has the same set (from the same seller!), but has tracked down a few of the other animals; Zoo Brix.
All or none of the figures in this post could (or could not) be by Airfix, or any of the other manufacturers mentioned in the text. Most of the horses probably are Airfix, those over-which a question mark remains are pointed out in the text.
First advertised in 1947 these are probably the first 'plastic' Toy Figures produced commercially in the UK as playthings...
These figures (where they ARE Airfix) were probably pirated from the Bergen Toy (Beton) company rather than licensed, after Nikolai Kovespachi (Nicholas Kove) came back from his reconnaissance to America sometime in the mid-to-late 1940's. The horse is deliberately different with it's tail slightly to one side and there are subtle differences in those figures which are duplicated, while the Life Guard seems to have been an Airfix original?
Doughboy in 'Brodie' helmet
This figure may be (and the horse definitely is...) a Beton product, but he comes within the scope of this article/post and ended up first in line because I wasn't too bothered about the order in which I uploaded the photographs! The horse is a dense cellulose-acetate polymer called Tenite, and while the figure is similar, he seems more clearly a polystyrene, so late US or European production?.
Beton called this chap either M416; U.S. Cavalry Officer, or with a paint change; M418 Traffic Officer. Airfix called this the Horse Guard. Beton Horse on the left with a polyethylene Airfix horse on the right, The Airfix horse is marked 'MADE IN ENGLAND' withing the hollow underside/belly.
The red figure has probably only had his paint removed, you can see the figure on the left is suffering a crystalline reaction between the paint and the plastic, sometimes this reaction results in a sticky mess which is better removed.
Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) 'Mountie'
The Mountie, again not sure if Airfix produced this one, Reisler did, and as they produced the Life Guard, it's possible they got their figures (or a license?) from Airfix which would suggest Airfix produced a Mountie as well. Airfix horse again on the right.
The Mountie was also produced by Tudor*Rose, but as part of their wild West range and will be covered when I look at them.
Later - Yes they did, these are both Airfix, a later polystyrene one on the left and an earlier cellular acetate one on the right, see below..
Lifeguard in ceremonial uniform
The Life Guard, clearly aiming at the Tourist market, all these figures - when originating with Airfix - were supposed to stand up when removed from the horse, they rarely do! These are probably both Airfix with the horse in polyethylene and the rider in a styrene polymer.
Hunting party with both poses
The Hunters, Beton produced a female rider and a Jockey in racing silk, both in a larger size, neither of which - as far as I know - were part of the Airfix issues and don't seem to have featured in the Reisler inventory either.
By Airfix - the hunters were
sold in a boxed set with the two dogs above, these dogs were also sold
in a kennel shaped box with other breeds. Early ones are
cellulose-acetate, these are the later polyethylene run.
The dogs are marked internally in the same manor as the Airfix horses. The lower two are also ethylene, but in black. It would seem they come in the same colours as the ethylene horses, with some in the reddish/oxide browns.
Somehow I forgot the Alsation? Well here it is and there's now a setter on the STS forum thread, along with a red-brown Beagle.
Academy Cadet/Circus Performer/Ceremonial figure
This horse is from a different source altogether (the WoolworthsCrazy Clown Circus) but might be an Airfix original and this figure looks good rearing up on it! These are technically only 'Cadets' but they do look like simplified ceremonials or those generic Napoleonics that feature so much in early toy production, while he also works well as a circus performer!
The following will help identify these figures in greater detail;
Kent Sprecher's Beton page.
The Reamsa figure on JC's blog. Reisler page click-on; SGI / Riesler then either 'I Soldater og Politi' or; 'III Sportsryttere' below the thumbnails.
Plastic Warrior magazine have produced a guide: Airfix - The Early Years, which covers all this early production in some depth.
Any of Richard O'Brien's volumes on firstly 'Collecting Toy Soldiers' and latterly 'Collecting American Made Toy Soldiers will fill you in on the Bergen/Beton production.
Indeed, one of the main questions remaining comes from his work if an American reader can help...did Beton use both sets of codes or is one O'Brien's own system?
Added 20th November 2012
And then this turns up! Raising that whorey old question of who copied who? An original Timpo boxed-set, the horse is quite a lump of lead, and seems to be early enough to be pre-war, except that Timpo aren't supposed to have made lead until after the war...was it intended for the composition range?
And/So; did Timpo copy Bergan-Beton, or did the Americans have a stab at a British piece of hollow-cast but in plastic (albeit: cellulose-acetate)
Clues point both ways - The edges of the horse are a bit rough, so it could have been the copy, taken badly and not cleaned up, while the solid belly and hollow-cast nature of the piece would make copying almost has hard - thechnically - as making a new horse pose from scratch, suggesting it IS a new pose and not the copy.
While the figure stares at us inanely, giving no clue as to his parentage, being easier to copy either way, and being as clean a moulding here as he is in plastic?
Also, there were other poses than the Mountie produced by Reamsa, and other stuff has come to light on this much copied/licenced set, so I will update this post properly one day!
It seems that the Cowboy was an Airfix pose, so I will have to update the table above, and it means we'll probably end-up with the Tudor*Rose and other figures here as well...
So, a quick correction of the blurb for the Mountie post above and we can look at this little group, late - polystyrene - production with a quick splash of blue on the chaps/boots and brown hats. No Indian? But a cowboy, cowgirl and the Mountie (Royal Canadian mounted Policeman - RCMP). These is also a Hong Kong copy of the cowboy for comparison.
These are the standard Tudor*Rose horse, not always marked, but their saddles give them away with the arrangement of stars round the edge. All the producers of this horse varied the saddles, and when I get the rest out of storage we'll look at them all in more detail, but for now these are Tudor*Rose and have two open stars forward of the girth (?) strap and five squashed stars behind.
The Tudor*Rose mounted cowboys, next to an Airfix 'original'. At some point these was a re-design on the figure with a more complicated lasso/lariat (can any American reader explain any difference between the two, or is it just preference/local dialect?), possibly designed to damage less easily than the earlier one which was happy to brake if you as much as looked at it wrong and is often missing, especially from the earlier hard plastic figures - from all the makers of the pose.
Below them is a close-up of the full Tudor*Rose marking in the under-belly of the horses, you can see why I always write the asterisk in Tudor*Rose, they always put the little graphic Tudor rose symbol between the Tudor and the Rose!
Mounted on the Tudor*Rose horses they make a nice group, but is there an Indian or two? We will look at other peoples Indians in due course.
Definitely in production by 1949 (when they were advertised in Toy Trader & Exporter), I'm guessing the unpainted polystyrene figures arrived first with the painted Polyethylene versions following at a later date, but that is a guess.
I only have two of the hard plastic ones at the moment; 'Airborne' and 'Knight in Armour', more will be added as I find them.
In soft plastic we see from left to right; '18th Century Fusilier', 'Paratrooper', 'Airborne' again (as opposed to paratrooper!!?) and finally 'German Soldier'.
These figures were also issued in Australia by a company called Pierwood Plastics under the Fethalite label in the unpainted hard plastic version. Some of the names/titles were however changed.
Smaller (copies/pirates?) have turned up and various mould variants of the Paratrooper seem to exist - both versions shown in the Plastic Warrior publication 'Airfix - The Early Days' have different arm-gaps from mine - and each other.
This post will be for the odds and sods not included in the above posts and will be for any other Airfix toys from the early years as they turn-up.
I'm starting with a set which may not even be Airfix, but there are more clues to them being so than not, so for the time being, here are the 'provisional' mini-planes.
So far I have found four aircraft types, the Mosquito, Spitfire and Lancaster from Britain and the American Lightning with its twin-boom fuselage. There are also two distinct issues, an unmarked, early phenolic plastic (probably cellulose acetate) and a later tranche in polystyrene marked 'MADE IN ENGLAND' on the wing undersides.
The Mosquito - the damaged phenolic plastic one is the same colour as the granules left in the later animal rattles and building-blocks seen above, and the carded dog, while the later pale blue one is the same colour as those later animal flats.
Lightning, again the colours are similar matches for the other early Airfix toys, here the phenolic blue (damaged, top left) matches some of the early carded animal flats.
Avro Lancaster, this is in a much smaller scale, not that the other two were the same scale, but this is such a large real-life aircraft the difference is a tad more obvious!
The fact that they are all 'same size' suggests they may have been made as novelties for budget Christmas Crackers, which would put Tom Smith in the frame, and the UK's leading maker of crackers in all price ranges when I was a lad! Not that I'm adding them to the tag-list, that's an assumption too far!
Finally the Spitfire; here a washed-out candy-pink one clinches the Airfix moniker for me, this colour is used by the later animal flats and other toys, while other (Thomas - Tudor Rose/Kleeware, Lipkin - Pipin/Triang and Bell/Merit being the obvious) makes pinks are of different shades.
The model is in the largest 'size', scale being the wrong word for such an inaccurate representation; the wings are close, but what's the cockpit doing so far back? It looks more like a racer!
Open to evidence of actual provenance on these, but for now - Airfix?
First issued in 1958 this was the first of the 'Figure' sets, except that it...er...wasn't part of the figure range, which would be a year or two in the gestating still! This was actually part of the Railway Accessory range, and would remain so until late 'Blue' box era, when it was given a place in the figure range.
The two early bags from the Railway range, the earliest having a cursive scrip on the 'Banner' logo, while the later bag had a printed 'AIRFIX' and the graphics changed to match the other ranges. Both faded to dirty-white now.
Finally it gets a place in the mighty figure range (well - it was then!), and apart from a couple of Tamiya or Italeri/Heller kit boxes, possibly the only time someone is seen smoking on a toy figure box?
Also please note that the Fat controller seems to have been borrowed from the Reverend Scouse-Beetle, a bit misleading as the contents of this set are - to a man; or woman - suffering from the post-war austerity diet of the 50's and all need a good feed!
After some time 'off the ledger', the set returned in the 80's, with graphics to tie-in with the new Airfix railway range and catalogue, which would end up as 'Mainline' after Palitoy via Heller to Dapol...or something...ask the man with a notebook at the end of platform 5; Woking Station, he'll know.
When Dapol inherited the moulds for the railway range, they also got a lot of ex-factory stock of the figures and so to start with just re-bagged them in cream polyethylene, they appeared in these bags and were contemporary around 1994 when I got this in the New Tottenhamcourt Road Beatties (which must have been just before the whole group went belly-up?). Note - they've kept the artwork but removed the paint references at the ends of the pointer-lines!
Once they had used up the old stock they (Dapol) re-ran the mould in 'standard' grey polystyrene, which was easier to glue, convert, paint etc...and gave them a new style of bag to boot!
As to the discolouration..."Careful with that mould-release agent Eugine!"
It is one of life's little annoyances that red velvet is just not the background for photographing pink'ish-white'ish-creamy coloured figures, so this little lot will need to be re-done, but for now, here is a full set 'on the sprue' and laid-out, the best thing about this set was that the various machines, loads and trolleys; when used as street furniture and barricades, made a Stalingrad carpet-war so much more realistic!!
Comparison between Airfix and Merten rail staff and/or loco-crew, this illustrates how Airfix - by calling their range "HO/OO" were covering all the bases, this set is perfectly compatible with the European figures of Presiser, Merten and others, but small for OO gauge layouts.
Another size comparison, on the left a current production Noch figure of a waitress, on the right a vague copy of a Merit porter from - I think - Moonbo Toys. Moonbo seem to have been connected to Kader, but at the budget end...they made cheap rack-toy clockworks, or straight 'push' train sets with soft plastic accessories (like this figure, trees, signals etc...) and harder styrene station buildings and the like.
OBE's, mostly gloss, mostly stab-and-hope with a free 'craft' brush by the look of them, but the charm is there and the nostalgia is there!
Sorting, with more OBE's, the pale, used chewing-gum coloured ones are the really early issues, and have faded like the red Guards Band and Colour Party figures of the same era, but without the colour to start with, they just go a dirty greyish! You will find sets on-runner in this condition, particularly the early header-carded bagged sets, it's not a 'differnt' colour, just non-fast dyes.
Colour variations, for the pale whitish-grey ones see comments for above image, there where also several shades of the later cream with warmer pinkish shades and cooler whiter hues.
The two weighing machines had the same stand, one (second row) being the coin-operated "I Speak Your Weight" type platform amusement, the other (bottom row) being a 'lolly-pop' sack-scale for the porters or Royal Mail parcel guys to use. I think the third machine down is a platform-ticket machine?
The machine at the top could be for chocolate or cigarettes, I can remember when every tube station platform had two or three of these with their own size of Cadbury's bar, in different flavours.
Comparison shot between the Station Accessories and the nearest equivalent pose from the later Civilians, although they joined the figure 'set' range earlier, they betray the improvements in sculpting that a few extra years brought to the process. Note how one snapped as the photo-shoot proceeded...old figures now, all of 'em!
There is nothing quite like a military band on the move, and the popularity of the larger figures by Britians - in metal and plastic, Crescent/Kellogg's, Lone*Star et al...was bound to be mirrored in plastic and Airfix proved that when the first 'proper' set in the small-scale boxed figure range was a set of generic British guards regiment's bandsmen.
A full set of poses in the later cream-coloured plastic (circa mid-1970's), this set suffered from flash in the later stages and was a nightmare to paint, yet another pointer to why Airfix went bust, it was no longer about the customer, or; common sense, it became about cost/profit, and somewhere in the depths of Airfix's account department, some bean-counter thought a reduction in the colour palate would save a few beans!
Eric William's otherwise excellent site had a few issues with colours, not least because he was archiving one country's products in another - mostly before the internet, so while I have in the past corrected the blue ACW Artillery question, and have a problem with his view on the position of the grey issue of French Waterloo cavalry, with the guards it's not so clear-cut. Eric does his careful positioning of a figure of each colour with each box type as he believes them to have been issued, and I don't disagree with his distribution, except that the earlier vertion of the type I box should have a red option as well as the pink, the reason being...
...there was no such thing as pink guards issued by Airfix.
This is not to say that you won't find them, it's not to say that I don't remember them being pink in the boxes - they were! But it is to say that I believe they left the factory gates as nice red figures, ready for a bit of matt black on the bearskin and trousers.
The early plastics - as an industrial product/by-product of the oil industry - particularly the cheaper ones, were supplied to end-users as small beads (or sheets - Bellona) of a pale, cream, clay, dirty-white or putty shade (these days some 'raw' plastics come a semi-clear or milky-glue colour), totally pigment free, the pigment was then added to the beads prior to moulding as a faintly greasy powder. I say 'cheaper' as people like Merit and Tudor Rose were producing colour-fast plastics before these figures hit the shops.
Some pigments were more colour-fast then others, and in the case of the guards (both sets - see also Guards Colour Party; next post below) the case seems to have been that the pigment was so weak that the figures went pink after a few weeks or months on the dealers shelves. This was the 1950's remember; these figures were sold in bicycle repair shops, village stores and ancient branches of Woolworth's with no air conditioning, they got very hot in the summer and quite cold in the winter (especially overnight)...indeed they might even be placed too close to a bar-heater mounted on the wall near-by! These environmental actions seems to have caused the pigment of various batches to either fade or migrate to the surface - or both.
The above (upper) shot shows from the left; a - headless - figure which has faded to the base colour (coincidently the same colour as some early Station Accessory sets), next to him is a figure that has faded to a pale pink but shows the darker residue of red in the deeper recesses of the moulding and then the figure that causes the confusion...an apparently pure, even pink-coloured figure. However the shot below to the left shows what happens if you scratch the base of one on these 'pure-pink' figures, you get the same base colour right under the surface.
I would imagine that as the plastics industry developed, the nature of the pigments changed, the 'faded' figures having a pigment that fades-out to nothing (left figure) or leaves traces of red (second left) while the 'pure-pink' figures have a pigment which while fading from red also migrated to the surface as a relatively stable pink layer (the late ethylenes from Began-Beton and some of the Matchbox figures from the mid-1970's would suffer the same problem). But they were almost certainly all red when they were made.
Further advances in the technology led to the darker vermilion-based red (the forth figure from the left) then a shiny, glossy scarlet-based red and finally the awful cream colour of the civil, Napoleonic, late Wild West and ground-crew sets.
How we painted our guards back in the day. It is one of my long term goals to make a proper band with these figures; scratch-building the missing instruments.
Also shown here is a common problem with flash between the legs of the later issues.
Here they are in all their glory, this was an odd set, as it's hard to make a decent display other than a long thin band of three or four files with the bass drum and cymbals taking-up double spaces to make a 'block', otherwise you end up with the odd extra figure; I've hidden a fifer/piper at the back!
As hinted above; it was also a bit odd for the type and mix of instruments - how many fifer/pipers? But they were toys and in the late 1950's must have been a colourful addition to the dining table on a rainy day. One also suspects they were - in part - intended for model railway layouts, where they would make a fine addition to a low relief high-street or parading outside the station for an expected dignitary on the 9.15 from Waterloo!
The least common copies of the Guards Band - and the best quality wise - are these jelly-bean coloured versions, I think I've identified five different copy-ranges (including Montaplex) and these are about as good as they come.
The commonest piracies of these figures are shown in this shot, the 100-piece (actually 98 'pieces') sets included copies of early AirfixCombat Group, German WWII Infantry and 8th Army, along with the post-Giant quality astronauts in silver and this set. There are marching figures hidden in there, but they are not really derivative of the Airfix Guards Colour Party, but the musicians certainly are with the little separate drums spruelette. The best bit is the production of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II from Airfix's Maid Marion! There were probably 50 piece sets as well, they would have had around 47-49 'pieces'
The musicians, they don't seem to have suffered the loss of detail (and dignity) the marching figures did, although there is no fifer and I've not seen one, and I have 3 carded sets so if there was one he should be there? A quick perusal of one of the sets reveals 10 drummers, so the drums and drummers weren't matched up - as the drums are poor sculpts with the bass not staying in its hole and the side's not going in theirs; it's a moot point!
Thanks to Kostas again for the 1975 catalogue image, we see them here with the five-button arrangement of the Welsh Guards, they should have a white-green-white plume on the left of the Bearskin (which is never a 'Busby' or a hat!), and while the artist has left the plumes off, the beauty of the simple nature of the sculpting of these early figures is you can paint anything on you want!
For ease of tagging and the Blogger imposed tag-limits, all copies originating in China, Macau, Singapore or Taiwan will appear under the tag; 'Copies - Hong Kong', this allows me to tag for differentiation of Italian, Spanish or Greek copies &etc...