Wednesday 28 December 2011

Saladin Knock Offs? or Not?

Many years ago when beer was much cheaper, I acquired a few green plastic armoured cars. These were of the type that were commonly found in bags of Hong Kong knock off Army Men, so I assume that they came from that source.
Plastic Saladins after having repairs made and details added

Over the last sixteen odd years, they have been pressed into service (with some modification) as very dodgy M-8 Greyhounds, and other assorted armoured cars. One was even used lend-lease style as a SdKfz 222 Armoured Car for a friend's Flames of War Army. They have even been used as Saladins. But it wasn't until quite recently that I noticed just how close they were to the Matchbox Saladin.
The view from the top.

Side view. plastic card added to repair rips and add depth to vehicle.
The rear view. The plastic one appears to be a top only cast of the Matchbox vehicle.
 The plastic used in these vehicles is very light, and all of the vehicles are quite warped. Surface detail is very limited compared to the Chieftain knockoffs. Whether this is due to limitations of the plastic, poor mold making, or an old mold, I have no idea. If I was to guess, I would suggest the possibility that these are knockoffs of the knockoffs, as it would explain the poor quality and lack of depth. Still, on to pictures of the beasts.
Look it's a 15mm SdKfz 222! Plastic card has been put over the rips in the turret.

The rear view showing how plastic card has been used to create some depth in the engine department.
Warped Front? No problem, bang in a bit of plastic card and it's fixed!
Missing a turret and a set of wheels. Note the warping.
Plastic card over holes where middle axle was placed further back to help the illusion of it being a M-8.
 Once the plastic carding was finished, they were all sprayed with grey primer. The next step will be to paint them sand, black the tyres, and add insignia. Three more Saladins for Harad, although they may be given a new name in Haradi service.
Three more Saladin Armoured Cars!

The rear view. An improvement on their previous status.

Side views. Quite acceptable result.
 I have never seen any of these vehicles except second hand as part of trades, etc. I am now curious as to what other useful Matchbox diecasts were knocked off in plastic, and if they are easily available.  


  1. Hi Brian,
    very nice job (all of them) I like your blog and add my favourites blogs...

  2. There seems to be a fair bit of loose hardware kicking around Harad - one wonders just how much of it is in the hands of legitimate authority. Sounds like the place is ripe for a Western inspired filibustering expedition. You did mention that Harad had considerable known and an infinitude of potential oil and natural gas reserves?

    I gather divers interested parties have recently begun dialogue with a certain emerging Far Eastern powerhouse; that there is already a liaison between other factions and Western interests, both government and corporate; and that at least one ambitious political grouping is thinking of bypassing the usual medium of trade for oil in favour of something less ephemral than the fiat currencies commonly offered in exchange.

    Interesting times for Harad, then!

  3. You made some great armour on the cheap! I like it that way. If you have some time don't hesitate to visit my blog.

  4. Nice work UB, anything extra is good!