Camel, lead flat

From The Brighton Toy and Model Index

Camel, lead flat

BTMM map 044.gif
Arch Three , Area 44
The Zoo (display)

An orange painted cast lead "flat" model of a striding two-humped (Bactrian) Camel of unknown manufacture (probably French).

The camel is mostly orange with a dark brown head, neck and upper forelegs, and is posed on a green strip of ground.

Lead flats

"Flats" were three-dimensional cast lead models with a very much reduced depth, so that they'd still look reasonably three-dimensional when seen from either side, but they still looked obviously flat when viewed end-on.

Flats were useful for background figures, and had the advantage of being cheaper to produce because they used less lead, and could be cast quickly and turned out of their moulds faster. They were, however, less realistic, and were not so popular in the British market, whose expectations were higher due to the large output of fully three-dimensional hollowcast lead models, which had some of the reduced-material-cost manufacturing advantages of flats but with a proper three-dimensional result.

The main "flats" that Britains did still produce in the 1930s were their model trees, which would have been overly complex as full three-dimensional lead castings, and which would have tended to be used as background scenery anyway.