While the standard of sculpture and casting of today's figures is outstanding, and something only dreamt of just a few years ago, I have always held a high admiration for some of the figures produced in the early 1980s.
At the time, many kits were, by today's standards, pretty bad in terms of casting. Heavy cast lines (aka "flash") that would often take days to clean up, or misproportioned figures due to mold compression. Whatever the case, buying figures at the time, and frankly until the dawn of the internet, was hit or miss.
You had to go to the Post Office, send International Response Coupons to dealers who were more often than not in the UK or Europe and get back a few hundred pages of hand typed lists, with, if you were lucky a few photos. That took a few weeks to get, then you had to go get a postal money order and send in your order, and hope after 4-6 weeks the figure you got was usable.
Well some companies, like Chota Sahib, were virtually always great figures. Long out of production, sadly after their producer, Sid Horton's passing and then the tragic passing of his wife, these figures were, at least to me, some of the finest ever produced and I began collecting them. I have virtually every figure on this list except a few . I have every intention of someday painting all of them despite having to live to 432 years of age to do so at my rate.
There are a few other Chota Sahib collectors and enthusiasts out there who also collect and many thanks to them for sharing images with me to post here. Ian Spence of Australia for example is always in touch and sending me everything he comes across.
While my primary focus is on Chota Sahib, I also collect kits from DF Grieve, LeCimier, and some others, so if you have any you'd like to part with, please feel free to contact me here. I will be adding more content on those lines to the site soon, so please check back.
Prices of old figures vary a lot depending obviously on the condition of the kits, casting, if it is unused or not, but there are also fluctuations in the market. Some time ago, the 54mm Chota kits I collect, of course were going for a pretty penny - they've since dropped to about $10 each. While you don't collect these to get rich, I very often see people throw these out, when a relative passes without knowing they can have a figure, or figures that range from $50 to hundred of dollars in value. So I am always happy to help make sure people get full value for their old kits.
Vintage Figure catalogs
While doing research I came across this website from France that offers up PDF versions of vintage catalogs of many lines of figures that are no longer in production. A helpful tool if you also collect and come across some of these kits on ebay.
The main site is in French, but all catalogs are listed in their native language. This is a great reference and has a treasure trove of information on vintage kits. In time, I'll be building my own library of catalogs and scans - my goal is to make this page a one stop resource for modelers and collectors of vintage kits.
Share your collection!
If you have a collection of vintage kits, and would like to share it, please email me photos and I'll add them to the page. If you have any information on the sculptors and manufacturers of days past please share it and I'll post it during updates.
Click on the logos below to be take to their pages