Wednesday, 26 August 2020

Robert the Bruce in the Tower of London

 Over on facebook someone on the "Friends who like Plastic Warrior" group was asking about the plastic figures made by John Niblett & Co (Modelmakers) Ltd that used to be on sale at the Tower of London.  I have a couple of them so I put a picture up on the group, they're such nice models I thought I'd post it up here too.

Robert the Bruce is based on the 1964 statue at Bannockburn by Charles Pilkington Jackson, the rider is a little over 54mm and I think it was originally sold with an unpainted gilt finish.  I bought this back in the 1980's as part of a collection, sold at Phillips Auctioneers, which had belonged to a chap who'd been a serious student of heraldry.   His collection had been broken up into several lots, most of which were high end metal models, but there was also a big box of plastic odds and ends that nobody was interested in, so I went for it. The box contained lots of conversions which he'd made himself, based on historical figures and all painted in the correct livery, so I'm guessing that he painted up this model of the Bruce.  Helpfully he put a little hand written sticker on the bottom of each base to say who the model was of.

The second model is the suit of armour of King Henry VIII which I seem to recall had been on display at the Tower, it stands about 80mm high and is missing a pikestaff but otherwise is in original condition.  I know there was at least one more model in the series, a mounted knight in Gothic armour but there may have been more, anyone know of any others?  John Niblett is of course best known for his work on the 1:72nd scale figures for Airfix but he worked on a freelance basis for several manufacturers as well as producing these and his own range of very fine wargame figures.

As mentioned above, I have recently joined facebook, which is a sure omen that it will shortly collapse, if my past history for joining such groups is anything to go by!  In the meantime I'm enjoying touching base with many old names from the collecting world who don't necessarily bother to follow the blogging world.  My only beef with FB is that the photos don't blow up very large and I'm very much a pictures person, also you have to trawl through reams of stuff if you ever want to refer back to them.  For these reasons I will probably post pictures here and on FB, I hope that won't become too annoying?

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