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 Britains Zoo Models Book

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elephas_maximus



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PostSubject: Britains Zoo Models Book   Sat Feb 09, 2013 2:26 am

I don't know if this has been posted yet but there is a really great book on the subject of the Britains Herald plastic zoo models. I purchased my copy from the authour, Barney Brown, on eBay.
The 70 page booklet is a guide to the zoo figures produced between 1960-1971 with a complete list of the range along with a bit of history about the line.

I am interested in the history of the Britains Zoo line, particularly the sculptors and how they went about making these models.
It seems live animals were used as reference, the 1965 catalogue features George Ford sculpting the 1310 African elephant cow at London Zoo.

Perhaps some of the forum members have more in depth knowledge on this subject? Chris Sweetman perhaps?
Does anyone know of any other publications which cover the history of the Zoo line?
I consider the Britains line to be one of my favourites due to the excellent quality of the figures.

Here are a few pictures:
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Some early concept sketches along with sculptor George Ford studying an elephant calf which he would later model.
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Kikimalou
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PostSubject: Re: Britains Zoo Models Book   Sat Feb 09, 2013 4:45 am

It seems to be an excellent book. How much does it cost ?

Looking at the drawings, I would love BRITAINS made some of them drunken

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elephas_maximus



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PostSubject: Re: Britains Zoo Models Book   Sat Feb 09, 2013 6:07 am


Kikimalou: The book cost £17.99 when I bought it on eBay but there doesn't seem to be any more listed currently.
There is a link here with the authour's email address and I presume you could buy directly from Mr. Brown by contacting him.
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For those interested the authour also published two other books:
Britains Herald Plastic Farm Models 1955-69 ~ A Collector's Guide
Britains Floral Garden - Collector's Guide



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PostSubject: Re: Britains Zoo Models Book   Sat Feb 09, 2013 8:45 am

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For those interested the authour also published two other books:
Britains Herald Plastic Farm Models 1955-69 ~ A Collector's Guide
Britains Floral Garden - Collector's Guide


What fantastic drawings !!!!!
I got th far animal one in a trade some time ago, but wasn`t very impressed. It seems the Zoo animals book is much better...and more rare Laughing

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PostSubject: Re: Britains Zoo Models Book   Sat Feb 09, 2013 10:55 am

A phantastic rare book!!! cheers cheers cheers cheers cheers cheers cheers

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PostSubject: Re: Britains Zoo Models Book   Sat Feb 09, 2013 11:11 pm

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I am interested in the history of the Britains Zoo line, particularly the sculptors and how they went about making these models.
It seems live animals were used as reference, the 1965 catalogue features George Ford sculpting the 1310 African elephant cow at London Zoo.

Perhaps some of the forum members have more in depth knowledge on this subject? Chris Sweetman perhaps?
Does anyone know of any other publications which cover the history of the Zoo line?
I consider the Britains line to be one of my favourites due to the excellent quality of the figures.

Some early concept sketches along with sculptor George Ford studying an elephant calf which he would later model.
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Hi elephas_maximus

I have all three of Barney Brown's books on Britains. They are useful to collectors but lack any real detail. Although Mr Brown points out that his books only discuss the major models not moulding variations. I found the George Ford section in the Zoo animals book most interesting. However, Mr Ford's involvement is discussed at some length in Peter Cole's book - acknowledged by Mr Brown.

Peter Cole's book is called: "Suspended Animation - An Unauthorised History of Herald and Britains Figures". I have found this book extremely useful regarding production of Britains/Herald plastic figures and the main artists behind the sculptures. Regarding the Zoo range Ron Cameron is equally important but his involvement was after George Ford's. The book is a complete history of Britains/Herald and includes a lot of the pre-history behind these two companies as well. I have the first edition and I highly recommend it to anyone interested in these manufacturers. The appendix contains line drawings of every Britains/Herald figure made together with their history and dates introduced/replaced/deleted. These include people along with farm and zoo animals. Here is a link:

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Background information for my Britains posts comes from this book plus my Britains catalogue collection and personal research.

Norman Joplin's "The Great Book of Hollow Cast Figures" is also very useful particularly for Britains Zoo range because most of these models were based on Britains hollow-cast ones. It provides dates of manufacture and coupled with Peter Cole's book provides the best combination for any Britains collector. It is expensive because it is out of print. Two versions were published, hard back - the original and soft back.

One of the best websites is Richard Lewis':

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Again I have found the information here most useful.

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PostSubject: Re: Britains Zoo Models Book   Sat Feb 09, 2013 11:18 pm

[You must be registered and logged in to see this link.] wrote:
Looking at the drawings, I would love BRITAINS made some of them drunken

Me too Christophe. Britains Zoo and wildlife range would be even more fabulous if these had made it into plastic! Very Happy

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PostSubject: Re: Britains Zoo Models Book   Sat Feb 09, 2013 11:21 pm

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What fantastic drawings !!!!!
I got th far animal one in a trade some time ago, but wasn`t very impressed. It seems the Zoo animals book is much better...and more rare Laughing

Hi Susanne

For me every Britians/Herald Zoo animal is most impressive. But then I grew up with them and have the nostalgia illusion. Very Happy

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PostSubject: Re: Britains Zoo Models Book   Sat Feb 09, 2013 11:22 pm

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A phantastic rare book!!! cheers cheers cheers cheers cheers cheers cheers

Andreas

The books are not rare. Barney prints them every so often. My wife, Jane, bought all three books last year for me. Very Happy


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PostSubject: Re: Britains Zoo Models Book   Sat Feb 09, 2013 11:26 pm

Hi elephas_maximus

I was considering writing a Britains zoo/wildlife book covering post 1971 production. However, I need a few more models to obtain first.

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elephas_maximus



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PostSubject: Re: Britains Zoo Models Book   Sun Feb 10, 2013 4:53 am

Hi Chris, I'm glad you saw my post as I've been looking around the forums and see you are quite knowledgeable about Britains.
I wasn't aware of any other sculptors on the zoo line until I saw your rhino/gaur post about Ron Cameron.
Thank you for providing those two publications, I've know of Peter Cole's book for a while but haven't got around to purchasing it yet......sounds like a good reference book to have.

Do you happen to know what was suppose to be "1312" in the plastic zoo line?
I've always wondered if there was suppose to be another elephant model as it sits between the 1311-Indian elephant and 1313-African calf figures.
Perhaps 1312 was the revised Indian bull elephant but a new number wasn't assigned.

[You must be registered and logged in to see this link.] wrote:
Hi elephas_maximus

I was considering writing a Britains zoo/wildlife book covering post 1971 production. However, I need a few more models to obtain first.
Please do, I'd buy a copy. I was disappointed Barney's book stopped at 1971, I was hoping he would cover the entire range to the end.
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PostSubject: Re: Britains Zoo Models Book   Sun Feb 10, 2013 11:50 am

[You must be registered and logged in to see this link.] wrote:
[You must be registered and logged in to see this link.] wrote:
A phantastic rare book!!! cheers cheers cheers cheers cheers cheers cheers

Andreas

The books are not rare. Barney prints them every so often. My wife, Jane, bought all three books last year for me. Very Happy


Thank you, sunny sunny but here you not often find Laughing

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PostSubject: Re: Britains Zoo Models Book   Mon Feb 11, 2013 12:34 am

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Hi Chris,

Do you happen to know what was suppose to be "1312" in the plastic zoo line?
I've always wondered if there was suppose to be another elephant model as it sits between the 1311-Indian elephant and 1313-African calf figures.
Perhaps 1312 was the revised Indian bull elephant but a new number wasn't assigned.


A good question Andrew.

Britains had an Indian elephant calf and an Indian elephant 'teenager' in their hollow-cast line. None of these made it into plastic. The calf pose selected was a brand new design by George Ford and the 'teenager' was too close in pose to the adult Indian elephant. I guess Britains wanted a range of animals quickly and needed to use their resources effectively to include other popular animals. A lot of the hollow-cast poses were from the 1930's and therefore wildly out of date for the 1960's and needed urgently replacing. For example the gorillas, the male lion and the walking polar bear.

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PostSubject: Re: Britains Zoo Models Book   Mon Feb 11, 2013 12:35 am

[You must be registered and logged in to see this link.] wrote:
Hi Chris,

[You must be registered and logged in to see this link.] wrote:
Hi elephas_maximus

I was considering writing a Britains zoo/wildlife book covering post 1971 production. However, I need a few more models to obtain first.
Please do, I'd buy a copy. I was disappointed Barney's book stopped at 1971, I was hoping he would cover the entire range to the end.

Thank you Andrew.

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PostSubject: Re: Britains Zoo Models Book   Mon Feb 11, 2013 1:01 am

[You must be registered and logged in to see this link.] wrote:
[You must be registered and logged in to see this link.] wrote:
Hi Chris,

[You must be registered and logged in to see this link.] wrote:
Hi elephas_maximus

I was considering writing a Britains zoo/wildlife book covering post 1971 production. However, I need a few more models to obtain first.
Please do, I'd buy a copy. I was disappointed Barney's book stopped at 1971, I was hoping he would cover the entire range to the end.

Thank you Andrew.

I want a copy too! Very Happy
Britains is the only brand that made me feel love of collecting a brand. It has some importance considering that I don't care with brands. I don't collect them hardly but I can't say good bye to a single Britains and it is not true to any other brand in my collection. Very Happy

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elephas_maximus



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PostSubject: Re: Britains Zoo Models Book   Mon Feb 11, 2013 4:48 am

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A good question Andrew.

Britains had an Indian elephant calf and an Indian elephant 'teenager' in their hollow-cast line. None of these made it into plastic. The calf pose selected was a brand new design by George Ford and the 'teenager' was too close in pose to the adult Indian elephant. I guess Britains wanted a range of animals quickly and needed to use their resources effectively to include other popular animals. A lot of the hollow-cast poses were from the 1930's and therefore wildly out of date for the 1960's and needed urgently replacing. For example the gorillas, the male lion and the walking polar bear.

Thanks Chris, I have the mentioned teenager elephant in my collection. I've managed to get all the elephant models from the zoo line, lead and plastic including the pre and post war 901 Indian elephant variations with rubber/ lead trunks. The 901 is one of my favourites still after all these years from any company.
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PostSubject: Re: Britains Zoo Models Book   Mon Feb 11, 2013 7:37 am

Hi elephas!
I am a very fanatic Britains collector to, i have most of them since i was about 12 years old or so.
Since i am older now, i do have most of the plastic models, but sadly enough not very much of the hollowcast lead models... Crying or Very sad

I knew about these books to, and even had contact with Barney Brown about them, he offered me them for 16 euro each.
But when they are not really what you aspect, it would be nice to scan them for us, and save us the buy of these books.
same for the book that Chris mentioned after that.
Would that be possible guys? Laughing

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Chris Sweetman

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PostSubject: Re: Britains Zoo Models Book   Mon Feb 11, 2013 8:42 pm

[You must be registered and logged in to see this link.] wrote:
[You must be registered and logged in to see this link.] wrote:

A good question Andrew.

Britains had an Indian elephant calf and an Indian elephant 'teenager' in their hollow-cast line. None of these made it into plastic. The calf pose selected was a brand new design by George Ford and the 'teenager' was too close in pose to the adult Indian elephant. I guess Britains wanted a range of animals quickly and needed to use their resources effectively to include other popular animals. A lot of the hollow-cast poses were from the 1930's and therefore wildly out of date for the 1960's and needed urgently replacing. For example the gorillas, the male lion and the walking polar bear.

Thanks Chris, I have the mentioned teenager elephant in my collection. I've managed to get all the elephant models from the zoo line, lead and plastic including the pre and post war 901 Indian elephant variations with rubber/ lead trunks. The 901 is one of my favourites still after all these years from any company.

Andrew

This sounds like an amazing collection of Britains elephants. I don't have any Britains hollow-cast Zoo animals yet but I do have their rather nice 1:42nd scale African elephant which was part of the Mini-Set range. Set 1033 along with said elephant also included a boy with a bag of buns and low fences on a base.

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PostSubject: Re: Britains Zoo Models Book   Mon Feb 11, 2013 8:54 pm

[You must be registered and logged in to see this link.] wrote:
Hi elephas!
I am a verey fanatic Britains collector to, i have most of them since i was about 12 years old or so.
Since i am older now, i do have most of the plastic models, but sadly enough not very much of the hollowcast lead models... Crying or Very sad

I knew about these books to, and even had contact with Barney Brown about them, he offered me them for 16 euro each.
But when they are not really what you aspect, it would be nice to scan them for us, and save us the buy of these books.
same for the book that Chris mentioned after that.
Would that be possible guys? Laughing

Willy

Hopefully, I will get round to writing this book and use Blurb to print it. When viewing a book on Blurb the author can select how many pages can be viewed so that a customer can decide if this is a book is worth purchasing. Blurb also has a function that allows the "book" to be download enabled for a much reduced price.

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PostSubject: Re: Britains Zoo Models Book   Mon Feb 11, 2013 8:57 pm

[You must be registered and logged in to see this link.] wrote:
[You must be registered and logged in to see this link.] wrote:
[You must be registered and logged in to see this link.] wrote:
Hi Chris,

[You must be registered and logged in to see this link.] wrote:
Hi elephas_maximus

I was considering writing a Britains zoo/wildlife book covering post 1971 production. However, I need a few more models to obtain first.
Please do, I'd buy a copy. I was disappointed Barney's book stopped at 1971, I was hoping he would cover the entire range to the end.

Thank you Andrew.

I want a copy too! Very Happy
Britains is the only brand that made me feel love of collecting a brand. It has some importance considering that I don't care with brands. I don't collect them hardly but I can't say good bye to a single Britains and it is not true to any other brand in my collection. Very Happy

Wow two sold already! cheers

Better get started! Very Happy

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PostSubject: Re: Britains Zoo Models Book   Tue Feb 12, 2013 1:18 am

Better a scan, much cheaper, haha! Sad(o)): cheers

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PostSubject: Re: Britains Zoo Models Book   Mon Dec 23, 2013 1:32 pm

Not only with their plastic zoo range, but Britains also claimed they designed their lead zoo range from live animals in London Zoo in 1930.

For all I know, this might have been true for some of them, but a pair (Vols. 1 & 2) of books on my shelves, 'The Living Animals of the World', various contributing authors, published by Hutchinson circa 1902, suggests not all of them. Here are a few photos from Vol.1 which might look familiar to Britains zoo collectors.  Wink 

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PostSubject: Re: Britains Zoo Models Book   Mon Dec 23, 2013 8:27 pm

Great book  sunny sunny 

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PostSubject: Re: Britains Zoo Models Book   Mon Dec 23, 2013 9:03 pm

Great information Dave  Very Happy  Hausser did the same with German animal pictures.

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PostSubject: Re: Britains Zoo Models Book   Tue Dec 24, 2013 2:49 am

Very nice Dave, the animals on the pics do look very familiar indeed, i could dream those models, so very recognisable for me! cheers 

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PostSubject: Re: Britains Zoo Models Book   Tue Dec 24, 2013 3:28 am

Great information Dave, very interresting thanks for sharing. Do you happen to know if 901 lead elephant was referenced from these books as well? It seems to have been modeled after the London zoo elephant rides.

The howdah on the elephant's back is reminiscent of the ones used at London.
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PostSubject: Re: Britains Zoo Models Book   Tue Dec 24, 2013 12:59 pm

[You must be registered and logged in to see this link.] wrote:
Great information Dave, very interresting thanks for sharing.  Do you happen to know if 901 lead elephant was referenced from these books as well?  It seems to have been modeled after the London zoo elephant rides.

The howdah on the elephant's back is reminiscent of the ones used at London.

The link below has the whole of Volume 1, The Mammals, of this book scanned:

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Andrew, you may be interested in page 173. The illustration shows an elephant calf in a pose very similar to the plastic version sculpted by Ford. But this book was published in 1902!

Volume 2: [You must be registered and logged in to see this link.] features all other animal life.

BTW one of the authors was none other than Frederick Selous. He had an interesting life:

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Hope this helps.

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PostSubject: Re: Britains Zoo Models Book   Tue Dec 24, 2013 6:04 pm

Thank you Chris for sharing the link for the digitized volumes, I always find old wildlife text interesting. I suppose Britains had these books available for their sculptors reference. I will have to comb through both these books to see what other Britains poses I can find!

The pose of the young elephant does look familiar even if it is an Asian.
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PostSubject: Re: Britains Zoo Models Book   Tue Dec 24, 2013 6:12 pm

You might find a few farm animals by Britains as well, plus poses/figures used by other UK manufacturers, such as the playing terrier dog by Cherilea.

I have two pairs of these hefty volumes (I got them all really cheap from 'The Bookbarn', Europe's largest used book store, which is near me), and I've seen them several times in second hand/antiquarian bookshops, at antiques fairs., etc., so I'm thinking it was a popular book, and one which was passed down the generations within families.
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PostSubject: Re: Britains Zoo Models Book   Tue Dec 24, 2013 8:36 pm

Very very interesting stuff!
And i love those old animal texts and knowledge from back then!
Actually my first knowledge on animals came from books like this, but even without pics.
I saw many poses frmo Britains animals, in the lead and plasticseries, and i wonder now why they didn't make their zoo-animal range bigger then is was...

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PostSubject: Re: Britains Zoo Models Book   Wed Jan 15, 2014 10:29 am

A few days ago I was rechecking my examples of the plastic Guenon Monkey with Barney's book, and noticed he didn't get it quite right in his text. He said the head shape was changed sometime during production, to one with a more pronounced forehead.

Actually there were two moulds all along, no doubt on one sprue to increase rate of production, one with each head shape type: pronounced forehead and more rounded skull shape.
The change over time was with the markings underneath, small lettering 'ENG' on first version, larger lettering 'ENGLAND' on second version.
This obviously gives 4 possible mould versions: 2 head shapes x 2 underneath markings.
Add to that some variety in plastic colour, and it just depends how geeky you want to be in defining 'variations'.  geek

Time to get your magnifying glasses out folks.
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PostSubject: Re: Britains Zoo Models Book   Fri Mar 06, 2015 4:42 pm

Hi guys this book is now back in stock and I have just ordered it from the author. There are only limited copies available so if interested then order now. The author has kindly signed my copy too.

I have posted another link with details to the authors web page:

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PostSubject: Re: Britains Zoo Models Book   Mon Dec 07, 2015 7:42 pm

Hi Everyone . I just found this Britains site and Like the info about Mr. Browns books . I ordered the plastic zoo catalogue book last night . I live in the west suburbs of Chicago , Il. I like [You must be registered and logged in to see this link.]' Elephant on his profile picture . Along with Roger the administrators Cocodilian ( Gavial ? ) It is nice to meet you all . Terry Cooper
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PostSubject: Re: Britains Zoo Models Book   Mon Dec 07, 2015 8:18 pm

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Hi Everyone . I just found this Britains site and Like the info about Mr. Browns books . I ordered the plastic zoo catalogue book last night . I live in the west suburbs of Chicago , Il. I like [You must be registered and logged in to see this link.]' Elephant on his profile picture . Along with Roger the administrators Cocodilian ( Gavial ? )     It is nice to meet you all . Terry Cooper

Welcome here Terry :)

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PostSubject: Re: Britains Zoo Models Book   Mon Dec 07, 2015 10:54 pm

Hi Terry, and welcome here Very Happy

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PostSubject: Re: Britains Zoo Models Book   Mon Dec 28, 2015 2:48 pm

Chris Sweetman , You stated that r. Brown had three books . Besides the Zoo book , What were the other two ? Thanks .
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PostSubject: Re: Britains Zoo Models Book   Mon Dec 28, 2015 2:49 pm

Chris , That would be Mr. Brown ...
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PostSubject: Re: Britains Zoo Models Book   Mon Dec 28, 2015 3:15 pm

[You must be registered and logged in to see this link.] wrote:
Chris , That would be Mr. Brown ...

Hi Terry

Barney Brown’s other books with links to his site are as follows:

Britains/Herald Farm 1955 - 1969:    

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Britains Plastic Floral Garden 1960 - 1970 also includes Britains plastic trees and Floral Garden Folk

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In addition to the above Barney Brown co-authored with Peter Cole has published:

Herald Civilian Models The Golden Years 1953 - 1961 not strictly animal related but does include the Polar Sledge with dogs and horses used for cowboys / Indians etc…

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Hope this helps.

BTW the Farm and Floral Garden books are out of stock at time of writing.

All are worth purchasing.

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PostSubject: Re: Britains Zoo Models Book   Mon Dec 28, 2015 4:29 pm

Thank You Chris !
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