The Sola Topi or India Pattern Sun Helmet
Captain Glynnis Penny-Farthing, OBE, retired. by Gary Menten, on Flickr
The India pattern helmets were worn by British troops in the far east from the early 20th C into the 1950's when they were declared obsolete. The name Sola Topi comes in part from the material from which they were made, the pith of the roots of the sola or shola plant, whist "topi" is derivative of the Hindu word "Tope," which means hat. Because of the material with which they were made, they were very light, and very comfortable. The India pattern is easily distinguished from the other major type in use by the British in this era, the "Wolsely pattern" by the flattened top of the crown and the distinctive shape of the brim. Generally, the top part British sun helmets were covered in khaki cloth, while the undersides were covered by green cloth, and I've never seen either a Wolsely or Sola Topi that didn't have a puggaree (pagri) wrapped around the base of the crown.
Captain Glynnis-Penny Farthing, OBE, Retired by Gary Menten, on Flickr
As one can see from the photos, Captain (retired) Glynnis Penny-Farthing has also acquired herself a Thompson submachinegun someplace to replace that old, very un-British German Mauser rifle. She will also acquire more weapons as time goes by and retain her bush has shown in a previous post on DIY hats and alternate between the bush hat and topi.
Kamiko Takahara: Her Inner Samurai
Kamiko Takahara: My Inner Samurai 1 by Gary Menten, on Flickr
Next are a series of Kamiko wearing a kimono over Kamiko body #2. This is my second Kamiko body #2; the first having been eventually used to create Erika von Stroheim. I keep two bodies because it's a giant pain to undress Kamiko body #1 with it's tall boots and tight pants every time I want her in a different outfit.
What's really new here however is that Kamiko has acquired a sword, technically a WWII era Type 94 Shin Gunto, or new military sword, but since many of these were in fact katana's made in the traditional manner and equipped with a metal scabbard, I've decided that Kamiko's gunto is exactly that; a 17th century blade with a 1930's scabbard
Kamiko Takahara: My Inner Samurai 2 by Gary Menten, on Flickr
The model sword itself is a DiD Shin Gunto parted out from the Captain Sam, 77th ID set and purchased from Monkey Depot. It's all metal and has two metal scabbard rings as Shin Gunto's were required to have, though the lower one was only used for ceremonial purposes and the sword was normally hooked to the belt using only the top ring. Since this represents a captured sword, it didn't come with belt or hangers and I fashioned a hanger and brass hook to hang it from the sash on Kamiko's kimono.
Kamiko Takahara: My Inner Samurai 3 by Gary Menten, on Flickr
Though Kamiko considers herself American and much prefers firearms and doesn't usually carry a sword in combat, her inner samurai sometimes gets the better of her and in her off duty time, she often wanders off base wearing on a kimono, a sword and her Walther PPK. She refuses to tell anyone what she does during that time, but the photographic evidence suggests she plays with her sword.
Kamiko Takahara: My Inner Samurai 4 by Gary Menten, on Flickr
Kamiko Takahara: My Inner Samurai 5 by Gary Menten, on Flickr
Kamiko Takahara: My Inner Samurai 6 by Gary Menten, on Flickr
Mutant Hunter and Rocket Scientist
Next, Dr. Laura Neville, P.Eng has become a full-fledged member of "K" (Kimono) Troop, Pinup Patrol, and as such has been re-quipped with mode modern weapons than she previously had. The flashlight equipped MP5 SMG is meant to be a modern equivalent to the improvised flashlight equipped Smith & Wesson SMG sometimes carried by Dr. Robert Neville (Charlton Heston) in The Omega Man. She's also gotten a Glock 9mm to replace her old S&W .38, not to mention a hand grenade. She is Kimono Troop's resident expert on hunting mutants, as well as their "Ms Fix It," whenever anything breaks. She is after all, an aeronautical engineer.
Laura Neville 2 by Gary Menten, on Flickr
Laura Neville 3 by Gary Menten, on Flickr
Laura Neville 4 by Gary Menten, on Flickr
Finally, a few months ago I received an S23B body and coupled it with a Kimi Toys KT005 head and named he Cynthia because I found itreminded me a lot of the first girl I ever had a crush on, way back in elementary school. Cynthia's last name is "Luna" and she's originally from Santiago, Chile, with prior service in the Chilean military. Because she's a heavy weapons specialist, her barracks mates have nickname her "Luna Kabooma."
Luna Kabooma 1 by Gary Menten, on Flickr
The bazooka is a ZACCA model of an M20A1 3.5" rocket launcher or "Super Bazooka" first used by US troops in the Korean War. Overall, the model is not bad for the $4.99 I paid for it at Monkey Depot, but for some reason, the Japanese manufacturers thought it would look better with black plugs firmly glued at each end of the barrel than open as it should be. I don't now what they were thinking. Not satisfied with this, I drilled holes into the plugs with progressively larger drill bits, though my largest bit was still smaller than the bore of the weapon and I had to ream out the excess with sharp knife. It's isn't visible in the photos, but I now have to sand the inside of the bore with some sandpaper to smooth out the rough edges left by the reaming.
Luna Kabooma 2 by Gary Menten, on Flickr
Luna Kabooma 3 by Gary Menten, on Flickr
As you can see from the photos, the Bazooka is quite large, quite true to the original. This, and it's diameter caused a lot of problems for posing with a female figure as the females are smaller than the males. To boot, the figure's firm silicone breasts tended to interfere with the weapon's shoulder rest. I'm not sorry i bought it; I like the obsolete retro look of the thing, but had I known the problems with posing, I would have gotten an RPG-7 instead. It does break down into two pieces, just like the original and the real one, properly used could penetrate 11" of steel armor, so it could knock out any tank of the 1950's and most 1960's tanks as well. They were used in combat by Argentina as late as the Falklands War.
Luna Kabooma 4 by Gary Menten, on Flickr
Luna Kabooma 5 by Gary Menten, on Flickr
Well, that's all for now. I plan to head out again to Marcel Laurin Park and my favorite pile of rocks either later this week or next (I'm on holiday and have nothing better to do) so more photos to follow. As always, please feel free to comment, critique or ask questions.