Friday, 29 May 2015


I'm still collecting the Batman vehicles in the Eaglemoss Batman Automobilia collection, and to be fair there are quite few intriguing models among them.

But, while there are a good few recognizable examples, there are many more which don't register with me at all.

The latest edition is a sporty looking coupe from Batman Odyssey # 1 , a mini series written by Neal Adams which sadly passed me by. It sounds like a great story, featuring Bruce Wayne being interviewed by Clarke Kent .

Unfortunately, there's so much Batman spin off stories, that it's hard to keep up.

The latest Batman meets Superman film will reveal yet another variation of Batmobile, and that example is due to  make a guest appearance in yet another spin off, the forthcoming, Suicide Squad.

The Eaglemoss  Batman vehicle collection is supposed to finish at issue 80, but right now I have my doubts.

Holy obsessive collector, Batman!


A long time ago, in a dark alley on fleabay, I came across the offer pîctured above: a clear manifestation of the madness every young boy seems to go through (yours truly not excepted!) by trying to improve some old toys, usually with a heavy-handed paintbrush. In this case, a number of vehicles had been updated with various items of heavy-calibre ordnance from model kits as well. But the Apollo Tracker at top-right looked relatively unharmed, so a price was paid that was quite commensurate with its condition.

Upon arrival, the two poor Surveyors were confirmed to be quite beyond salvation. The Cricket was equally ruined in having had its launcher extended by somebody who applied polystyrene cement even thicker than the paint. But happily, the Tracker had indeed been spared any Frankensteinian surgery; it was merely covered in a thick crust of Humbrol.

So without much decorum, the whole thing was dunked into a jar of brake fluid and left overnight. This is medicine fit for a horse, and successfully got the paint off. As well as the original chrome plating (which after all is paint as well). And the printing on the sole surviving name sticker. Worst of all was the transparent dome, which had turned opaque white almost entirely and eventually cracked. The other plastic looked a bit whitish as well in places, where I initially thought the brake fluid might even have leeched out some of the colour. Thankfully however, it turned out to be mere residue from the paint and brake fluid.

The Tracker then stayed like that for a long time, while I tried to find a way of getting the chrome finish replaced. Which eventually was handed to me by my good neighbour across the road, who builds large airplane model kits at an industrial rate and to museum quality. He showed me a P-51 he'd just finished, done in late-war bare-metal finish. Which was most splendidly reproduced on his model, far removed from the dull silver that Humbrol does. Here was the stuff I needed, and thankfully it's available in a nearby town. (For those interested, see )

Things now progressed by leaps and bounds. The whitish residue proved rather resilient, but a lucky combination of automotive cockpit cleaner and lots of elbow grease made almost all of it disappear. Some good photographs by Bill Bulloch confirmed that colours were as they should be, and that any fears of bleaching were definitelty unfounded. Next, the chrome parts received a couple of coats of the wonderful alclad and shine like new. 

The hubcaps couldn't be removed so the wheels were masked with Maskol. The metal axles and weight (fitted inside the chassis) were cleaned with steel wool. The driver was glued black in place and a wrecked Cricket provided a replacement dome. When refitting the wheels a bit of chrome on the edges of the hubcaps was rubbed off, but this looks quite like the wear on the original plating so will probably stay like that.

Final item were the name stickers, and here Mike Burrows came to the rescue with good detailed photographs of the ones on his Tracker. A bit of photoshopping turned these into black & white artwork of the right size, which was then output onto adhesive transparent stock, trimmed to size and put in place. The end result is below, one Apollo Tracker looking like it should!


Some of the booty netted this half term holiday at boot sales and on the net. All interesting in one way or another. The old Dutch Prins Valiant comic is opened at the start of a Zero X strip.

Bill built a Thunderbird 7/ Project SWORD Beetle by Imai, which had been lying around for ages. It looks neat on an empty LP Moon Explorer box he kindly donated. Like many Imai models this one has a battery-operated remote control for forward and reverse motion.

Blue dog is just about to stretch and yawn its all so exciting!

The opened Thunderbird 7/ Beetle reveals a pull-back spring missile firing chute. One of the missiles is a small copy of the Project SWORD Booster Rocket. The model's labels have yet to go on.

Mint Imperials! Some more bagged LP cake toppers

A lovely Major Matt Mason cake decoration in its original shop bag...

..... which when turned over reveals a super cool SWORD Apollo Saturn cake decoration, based on the Sears version [more on this to come]. This is the icing on the cake!

A US flag cake decoration

A JR21 Land Rover sans windscreen

On the base it simply says Made in Hong Kong [do you have a different colour to this red readers?]

A Kidco Turbo Firebird from 1980 - the key is missing [how did they work?]

and two pirate action figures which remain a mystery if anyone can help me identify them?


Another guest coming to Andercon this year is Kate Levy, who appeared as Jane Masters in the 1975 Gerry Anderson pilot, 'Into Infinity - The Day After Tomorrow'.

Kate did appear at a  Fanderson convention in 2006 when she talked about' Into Infinity', and having a crush on co-star Nick Tate, who played her Father, Captain Harry Masters.

Katharine also appeared in the spooky supernatural children's TV serial , The Children of the Stones in which she played Sandra.

Katharine as Livilla, the sister of the young Claudius in the BBC historical epic, I Claudius.

A slighter later role as Sarah De Talmont in Robin of Sherwood.

Following her successful acting career, these days ,I believe Katharine works behind the camera as a television,producer.   I look forward to seeing and hearing her at this years Andercon.


Another vintage competition featuring UFO, this time from  a  1971 Look-In magazine. 

All you had to do was match up the cut out parts of 'Sky diver' , (actually a photo of SID) , and win a Mattel 'ZZZoom-It.

To be fair, the editors did realise their mistake a few issues later, thanks to several readers writing in and pointing out the error.

the definitive guide to vintage thunderbirds toys - steve's thunderbirds vintage toys

BLOG EXCLUSIVES ARCHIVE: CUrrently out of order

Spacex Mobile Launch Pad Instruction sheet courtesy of reader Mike Burrows

Spacex Nuclear Pulse Instruction sheet courtesy of reader Mike Burrows

Tarheel Moon Prospector Instruction sheet courtesy of Woodsy

Snow Train and Hover Tank Make a Model Book Century 21 courtesy of Woodsy

Scout 3 Box copy to print out and make up by Woodsy and Wotan


Courtesy of Graeme Walker

Blog exclusive 3 - tarheel moon prospector instruction sheet - print-out a4 and keep!


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