lundi 12 décembre 2011

NON FIRING REPLICA (Metal) : Winchester M 1897

This is the MGC (Model Gun Corporation) replica of the Winchester 12 gauge pump shotgun Model 1897. The look is fine the wooden stock is in good condition. The barrel in (zamac) is gloss black, the frame is in a dark steel color, the magazine tube is in steel an blued. Apparently you could still find recently an upgraded version of this rifle from Tanaka at
The finish of these recent models are really nice, but remember that they replaced some metal parts with ABS plastic... 
On the side, it is mentioned "Model 1897 Shotgun", and U.S. on the frame.
The front of the rifle looks impressive, as most shotgun rifles.
The hammer is external, this is typical to this 1897 model.
The markings on the top of the barrel are :
Safety device shotgun model designed by apr. 28. 1975 Manufactured by Modelgun Corporation Tokyo Japan.
And the MGC logo of course.
The 28 of April 1975 ! That's an accurate information... Before or after lunch ?
Anyway it gives you the information of the start of the production time for this replica. I remember buying this one end of the 80's.
I remember also that I have replaced the screws maintaining the rear plate of the wooden stock, and I erased the MGC logo, that was in "relief".
Based on pictures, I've added a serial number on the frame and an arsenal number on the stock
Actioning the pump will push a Dummy cartridge in the frame, moving the pump forward will raise and will load the cartridge in the chamber (not really in fact, but it is very complicated to explain... And it is linked to the use of Caps in "firing mode" with the appropriate dummies).

My dummies are in red plastic, the chrome of the base of the cartridge is quite fragile, and some chrome chips went away with time...

Other non firing replica : MGC Colt XM 177 - AR15 Commando
Other non firing replica : RMI Colt 1911 A1 45 acp

dimanche 11 décembre 2011

NON FIRING REPLICA (Metal) : MGC Colt XM 177 - AR15 Commando

Here is the MGC 5 (Model Gun Corporation) replica of the XM177 (of the 70's). You can see some of these replicas in the movie: "Full metal jacket" From S. Kubrick. It is in metal (zamac) like the RMI 1911A1. You can still find some of these models (even cap firing, but improved) at It seems that the production and distribution is not regular, if you see a model and if you want it, you'd better be fast... But be cautious too, today some models are partially in abs plastic and zamac...
And the price is totally insane ! Ok it is collector, but you can find excellent full metal airsoft replicas, for half of this price... But.. Ok ! The purpose is different, I can not judge...

This model is in three tones, black, dark metal and blue steel.

This is not a perfect replica, but the overall shape is ok

Of course the markings, at that time, had nothing to do with the reality...
But you can see that it was "made in japan", when the Japanese toys invaded europe in the 70's, everybody complains of course, and after the japanese crisis, most of the Japanese productions were delocalized, and today Made in Japan is a sign of the past...

You can load a dummy cartridge in the chamber, and eject it, the system was created for caps blowback use. But I never saw it working on this model, again, go on the website to see more videos.

The bolt carrier is not realistic, the loading and ejecting is working well, but visually, they could have done a better job...

The 223 dummy cartridges are not as realistic as the 45 ACP ones...
The magazine has a very nice blue finish, it is not compatible with the real one.
You can not load real 223 ammo in the replica of course.
The two magazines, replica and real, look really close, but can not be exchanged.

Other non firing replica : Winchester M 1897
Other non firing replica : RMI Colt 1911 A1 45 acp

samedi 10 décembre 2011

NON FIRING REPLICA (Metal) : RMI Colt 1911 A1 45 acp

In the early eighties, I started to collect, weapons replicas. At that time
the best replicas were coming from japan, I still own some of these replicas, I sold most of them 10 years ago...
Apparently there are still some enthusiasts of these heavy zamac replicas (Mainly in countries were gun control is "drastic"). Of course today the nice blow-back airsoft guns are more attractive, You can have the look and the pleasure to shoot inside, without any inconvenient, but I though that it could be fun to mention this "era" of the replicas, just before the triumph of modern airsofts.
The name zamak is an acronym of the German names for the metals of which the alloys are composed: zink (zinc), aluminium, magnesium and kupfer (copper).
Zamak can be electroplated, wet painted, and chromate conversion coated well.
One of my main concerns about these replicas was the black finish, and the very irregular surface treatments.
These models can be handled and dismantled quite like the original. There was also some models firing dummy cartridges using caps, the "blow back effect" was therefore functional.
But the mechanism use to get dirty very quickly and it starts to jam soon...
I have just found that some models are still produced and the quality seems to have been really improved and according to the videos the blow back effect today is working very well...
Watch here :
The slide can move and load a dummy cartridge in the chamber. Of course the gun barrel is "blocked" and can not be modified to shoot real amunitions.
The main parts, like the frame and the slide have been weakened to guarantee the destruction of the gun using blank or real cartridges.
You can see here the irregular surface treatment... I remember that I use to customize some models, by polishing them completely, the result was cool, but zamac gets oxided very quickly, I had to polish them frequently, to keep a realistic shine, and not a silver gray that looks like nothing real...
Moving the slide was fun (at that time) and the sound it makes was quite realistic.
I think that some of these replicas were used in theater and movie industry when no real shooting was necesary, I remember an episode of Columbo (of the 70's...) where you can see a room with some props, and a lot of RMI boxes...
Some people exhibit their collection of replica as a decorative element in their house.
Some spanish factories still produce zamac replicas but nothing to do with the japanese "quality".
Here is the view of a 1911 A1 partially disassembled. For the ones who know the original, you can see that it was "interesting" for a young "noob" like me to handle something that looks like a real 1911 without any danger or paperwork...

The magazines (in steel) had a very nice finish, sometime better than the originals...
But of course the dimensions were slightly different, to avoid mixing parts with a real pistol.
The brass dummies look like hollow points (why not?) the proportions were OK...
There was a more luxurious version, with a nickel finish, the surfaces were better polished, cover with copper and then nickel (using an electrolytic process), the effect is mirror, with a light yellow tint (not gold, but not chrome... I would say in between).
This one was... IS, still very realistic

I remember that I have learned how to use resin polymer casting, to duplicate some "ivory" style grips, this one is one of my copies of an eagle engraved grip. I filled the engrave areas with enamel black, the result is still very nice 20 years after...
It was fun to remember this collection, I will try to post more about "Non Firing replicas", I think I still have a few models, 3 1911A1, 1 Colt SAA, 1 P38, 1 S&W 357 K frame 6 inches, 1 P08 Luger (to be fixed), 1 Winchester 1897 trench gun, 1 Ar 15 commando (XM177 Vietnam). Maybe more... I'll check...

Other non firing replica : Winchester M 1897
Other non firing replica : MGC Colt XM 177 - AR15 Commando

mercredi 23 novembre 2011

Star Wars Collection : Imperial TIE Fighter (2003)

Hasbro (Bye Bye Kenner)
"Scale" : Made for 3-3/4" figures.

This is the last of my "midget" standard TIE Fighter...
They made more improvements, that we will review here, but...
It still looks "ridiculous" (small solar arrays).
I had the same problem with the X-wing, the first one was a caricature...
As a kid, I was not interested by the models with strange proportions
OK today I've got them all... And in many variations... But the reason is that I'm insane... like many other crazy geek or collectors.

So, this one again is in MINT condition, The box is "modern", I mean that you see the toy through the plastic window. The reason is that you can watch the object on the shelves of the shop (yes, remember! Some years ago we were supposed to "GO" shopping, meet people, order things and be very patient sometimes... yes, yes the world was crazy... Today you "clic", after 10 minutes you complain, and you never move your ass anymore of course...)
The other reason, is that the collectors can store their precious little crap and be able to look at them without opening the box. NEVER OPEN THE BOX !

That's how I realized my illness, and my addiction, these things are only toys, not a piece of art...
"They" produce these "wonders", to be a collector Item immediately, the price is "collector" also of course... This is stupid... Where is the pleasure to search, gather information and share with others ???

I do not get it... My point of view is that a toy is just a toy... Specially the ones "Made in china".

I do not blame anyone, I was accumulating thousands of items during many years and I had fun with this hobby, but today it is over for me. I have other interests, and no more room anymore in my house, So I'm happy to exchange or discuss about the collections (Star Wars or others) but I do not "invest" anymore...

Let's come back on this other "midget TIE", the last one...
The frames of the cockpit glass are painted, the sticker of the dashboard is OK.
No red LED anymore or sound effect, so the front is nice.
Oh yes, you get a "free" pilot with the fighter...

YES ! That's an improvement ! It took them 25 years to achieve this...
A nice rear side.

The origin is obvious... No "Mexico" anymore...

The solar arrays are the structured ones, with black painting.
It is "cool" but nothing new..

So, on this one, a huge progress as been done, the rear side !
But what about the wings??? How many years will we have to wait???
In fact as you probably know it, they made it... But this will be for another topic.

We are getting closer, but it still looks completely stupid.

Star Wars Collection : Imperial TIE Fighter (1995)

"Scale" : Made for 3-3/4" figures

This version of the TIE Fighter, even if it does keep the main defects of the previous models (solar array much too small), have also some improvements that was announcing the future models.

This one is MINT condition too, 10/10.
This fighter is in gray-green injected plastic.

This model has been simplified , no light and sound (mecanical) anymore.
The elevator has been removed.

No more button at the rear, but the "block" used as a "handle", that was containing the batteries, is still there.

One nice improvement is the cockpit glass which is painted in light gray, there is a stupid colorful sticker on the front of the dashboard

Another nice improvement is the solar arrays, bye bye stickers ! Now there is a nice structure painted black

To summarize :
- No more "middle age sound system" (rattle clacker) I'm not kidding open one of these old toys and you will see...
- No more sad stickers but a nice black structure for the wings.
- Some color on the frame of the cockpit glass.
- But sadly in 1995, the small wings are still there... This will change...

So globally many interesting improvements, but still... the "big" problem... The ridiculous small solar arrays...
I remember that even with these improvements, I did not buy any TIE fighter at that time...