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Open Book Blondie Hasler and Bill Sparks from RP Models

Discussion in 'Reviews , Video Reviews and Open Book' started by Nap, Mar 31, 2016.

  1. Nap A Fixture

    Hi to everyone.

    In addition to the bust of Blondie 01.jpg have also released 2 smaller scales namely 1/35th and 75mm but this time we have both Blondie and his companion canoesist Marine Bill Sparks
    RP Blondie and Sparks 003.jpg
    Here is the link to the bust review from RP models here on PF:


    In that review there is information on Operation Frankton and also on Major Blondie Hasler himself so I will give some details here on Marine Sparks his fellow companion on Operation Frankton.
    William Edward "Bill" Sparks was born in the East End of London September 5 1922 .
    He became a cobbler at 14 and at the outbreak of war in 1939 volunteered for the Royal Marines, with whom he served at sea. Deeply affected by the death of his brother on another ship, Sparks volunteered for "hazardous duty" and was posted to the Boom Patrol Detachment in July 1942. He trained first in Plymouth and then on the Clyde.
    After the raid he was awarded the DSM (Distinguished Service Medal)
    A1.jpg A1A.jpg
    ...............going onto serve in Burma, Africa and Italy. In 1946 he joined London Transport as a driver, taking a year's break in 1952 to work as a lieutenant in the Malayan police during the insurgency.
    Three years later he was an adviser for the film Cockleshell Heroes with Mel Ferrer and Trevor Howard, and toured America to promote it.
    He also published The Last Of The Cockleshell Heroes (1992) 1aaa.jpg and Cockleshell Commando (2002) 1aaaaaa.jpg 1aa.jpg
    1.jpg 1a.jpg
    Good picture of the clips holding the spray decks together
    He finished his working life as an London Transport garage inspector. At 65, tax regulations cut his invalidity pension, forcing him to auction his many medals aaaaaa.jpg in order to keep his retirement home at Alfriston, East Sussex...a disgusting thing to happen in my opinion but the anonymous buyer allowed him to borrow them for veterans' parades.
    Blondie and Bill are seen here
    His first wife, Violet, died in 1982. Their three sons and a daughter survived him, as does his second wife, Irene, whom he married in 1984.
    · William Edward Sparks died November 30 2002 ...a true hero and a marine to the end.
    as indeed were all those that took part in the operation
    Here we have a couple of You Tube for you:

    We owe Bill and them all a massive debt of respect

    Continued in next post
    Bootneck, chailey and Borek like this.
  2. Nap A Fixture

    Lets have a look at the resin

    Title: Major" Blondie" Hasler Commanding Officer of Operation Frankton with Marine Bill Sparks

    Series: Battles and Commanders

    Reference: RPM-75-12-001 and RPM-35-12-001

    Scale: 75mm and 1/35th


    Material: Gray Resin

    No of parts: Both have 11 resin together with insert giving a history of the Operation

    Sculptor & Box Art: 3D Techniques

    Casting: YS Masterpieces

    Note as we are looking at 2 different scales of the same piece all comments apply

    As with the bust the parts are in the distinctive box well packed in bubblewrap withe the canoes and paddles separately wrapped . RP Blondie and Sparks 003.jpg

    Parts for both scales consist of the canoe , 2 sets of paddles , 2 torso, 4 arms and 2 heads . Prep is the same for both Remove the heads, arms and paddles from the formers and fit to torsos ,a small casting plug to cut away on this, the canoe has a small amount of sanding on the underside to remove .Both scales are ideal for both individual and a seascape diorama
    RP Blondie and Sparks 002.jpg Above is the 1/35th scale with the 75mm below RP Blondie and Sparks  75 001.jpg 0aa.jpg

    The canoes are the full version as seen with great detail in all areas , nice smooth surfaces and sharp details everywhere RP Blondie and Sparks 005.jpg RP Blondie and Sparks 009.jpg Leading edge RP Blondie and Sparks 007.jpg The front half RP Blondie and Sparks 008.jpg The rear section

    The Paddles are as in the bust but scaled down accordingly , no warping on either coming with the hands sculpted onto them RP Blondie and Sparks 004.jpg
    RP Blondie and Sparks 014.jpg
    The Torso,and Arms showing all the folds and details we have seen in the bust on the folds , the ties for the hoods RP Blondie and Sparks 013.jpg RP Blondie and Sparks 012.jpg RP Blondie and Sparks 011.jpg RP Blondie and Sparks 010.jpg

    The Heads are exactly the same we can still see both Blondie's and Bills features well in addition to the textures of the headwear
    RP Blondie and Sparks 006.jpg RP Blondie and Sparks 015.jpg RP Blondie and Sparks 018.jpg RP Blondie and Sparks 019.jpg RP Blondie and Sparks 016.jpg RP Blondie and Sparks 017.jpg
    Final thoughts

    So there you have it 2 really nice additionS to the RP catalogue , , 2 scales both extremely well produced and detailed providing both the full figure and diorama modeller ideal pieces to work with .

    This is the first of the 75 and 1/35th released alongside the busts and I am sure we will see more like this with future releases.

    Here is the You Tube about all 3 releases:

    For more information on this and other RP products why not contact them at

    Thanks to Hugo from [IMG] for the review models and to you all for looking in


    kilsh, Martin64, NickM and 1 other person like this.
  3. Tutilo17 Active Member

    Great review. Thanks. I'm tempted to buy.
  4. Nap A Fixture


    Thanks Stephen it's a nice set whichever scale you go for


    An excellent review. Have just bought the 75mm version, due to failing eyesight! I have been using, today, like many others, a pair of Bulldog clips to hold some bits whilst painting. It is remarkable that these items are still being produced today and available in shops, seventy years on! What I find more remarkable is that four of these bits of 20th Century Technology were crucial to the success of the mission, in keeping out the water out of the canoes!! They are very well cast on the model despite their size, even in 75mm scale. I also find that the facial features are an incredible likeness of the two Marines. Well done 3 D Tech!
    napoleonpeart likes this.
  6. chailey Active Member

    Thank you so much Nap, for your splendid eulogy on Bill Sparks and I totally agree about the shoddy way our veterans were, and quite often, still are treated by successive governments, also a big well done to RP models for producing 'something a bit different' !

    napoleonpeart likes this.
  7. NickM Well-Known Member

    Thanks for the great review, Nap. This set caught my eye when it was released and, while reading 'A Brilliant Little Operation' about the Cockleshell raid, has worked its way to top of the Wishlist. Was great to see your photos and the quality of the figures up close. I just have to decide what scale now!
    napoleonpeart likes this.
  8. Viking Bob PlanetFigure Supporter

    Again Nap , an excellent review. The photo's shown of the resin faces are uncanny. They look like both crew members and a tribute to the skill shown by RP models.
    Again, not my period but a fitting tribute to the 'cockleshell hero's'.
    napoleonpeart likes this.
  9. Huw63 A Fixture

    I couldn't put it any better if I tried.


    napoleonpeart likes this.
  10. Wings5797 A Fixture

    Super review Kevin.........as your normal standard of quality and information.
    Many thanks Mate.
    All the best
    napoleonpeart likes this.

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