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1930 toy aircraft lead

These crude aircraft models (pictured about full size) came my way years ago from a box of jumble sale bits and bobs.  They are made of lead, poured into a mould, and must date from the late 1930s or possibly 1940s. Back then you could buy really sophisticated metal model toys from firms like Dinky and Britains, but they were very expensive.

These primitive lead castings were the other end of the market. I’ve seen animals, soldiers and other moulded lead toys, but not many aircraft. I assume models like the ones here, probably based on early monoplane designs – the wings are quite Spitfire like – were sold from small corner shops for a few pence.  Kids are masters of using their imagination!  The RAF roundels are transfers (the red ones are painted) and the colours seem original.

These toys are so fragile now, I’m amazed the propellers have not broken away, and being lead they have warped a little over the years. You could buy (or even make) your own lead moulds and many people did this.  With 3D printing now coming on stream, the world of manufacturing comes full circle.

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