Thursday 27 October 2011

City Watch Part 1

As can probably be gleaned from my nom de plume, I am a fan of the City Watch, in particular Sir Samuel Vimes.  I decided to tackle the City Watch next.  This presented it’s own difficulties however.  With the Death set I had the extra characters but it was quite clear they belonged with Death and didn’t have any particular business being on their own.  However along with the City Watch there are several other characters whose fates seem to be linked to that of Vimes, such as the Patrician.  A key character in his own right, yes but undoubtedly strongly related to Vimes and the Watch.  There are numerous other characters who are related to the Watch by virtue of their relationship with the City.  Even Terry himself has noted that he can’t write a book about the city without it becoming a City Watch book as the Watch are always required somewhere.  I have decided to try and keep this as pure as I can then.  I am simply adding in pieces with a strong relationship to the Watch and then I will do a ‘City’ set another time, containing all those characters linked to Ankh-Morpork.  eg CMOT, Vetinari, the beggars etc.

As with other sections I will go through the figurines according to their number order.  This may mean that characters who have more than one figurine will be split up but I think numerical is the way to go!!

The City Watch series began with Guards! Guards! and introduced a motley crew of members of the Night Watch of Ankh Morpork.  As the books progressed so did the Watch.  The City Watch series is my favourite series of books and after listening to Terry last night it would appear that Sam Vimes has a special place in his heart too.  When Clarecraft first closed down I remember reading Going Postal with such a feeling of sadness as I realised that most of these characters would never be made into figurines.  There have been many additions to the Watch since the first book but I still have that same feeling of sadness that I will never see some of these characters made into figurines.

When I did display most of my collection I tended to group them together.  The group that I was proudest of was my City Watch group.  I had them all together with some of the buildings behind them to make a little tableux.  Very creative (for me, anyway).  When Clarecraft retired I bought some of those pieces that I had always meant to get but never got round to.  This included Nobby and Colon.  I bought several of the newer figurines such as the Monstrous Regiment trio but ignored others in favour of these much more common figurines.  My rule for only buying what I like not what would be an ‘investment’ kicked in.  To my shame though, on looking through my collection I have realised that the only Angua piece I have is Angua as a wolf (which I have twice!).  I have no other Angua piece.  The other Angua pieces just never appealed to me unfortunately, although I must admit it would be nice to one day have a complete city watch set!

Carrot  DW09

Carrot Ironfoundersson, the 6’6 Watchman brought up as a dwarf and then further up as a human, uncomplicated but by no means stupid and possessing large amounts of ‘krisma’.  The quote is from Guards! Guards!  “The young man is called Carrot.  This is not because of his hair, which his father has always clipped short for reasons of Hygiene.  It is because of his shape.  It is the kind of tapering shape a boy gets through clean living, healthy eating, and good mountain air in huge lungfulls.”.

This is the original Carrot which was sculpted by John Goadby and Leigh.  This was introduced in October 1990 and retired in February 1996.  Clarecraft retired several early figures without ceremony at around this time (including Lady Sybil and Magrat), due to the fact that they didn’t seem popular.  The figures were retired quietly as Clarecraft didn’t think anyone would be interested.  They soon learnt the error of their ways and some of these early figurines remain the most sought after.  

Carrot went through several major changes and a few more minor ones while he was in production.  I only have the total number of pieces sold though and have no idea about the number of each major variation out there, however, the very first version was only sold for a couple of months so it is likely that there are less of these about.

Carrot Mark 1 - produced during late 1990.  Soon after he was introduced it was clear that Carrot was causing painting and production problems.  This version is easy to spot as he has no back armour.  I will post a picture of my Mark 1 Carrot but I have no other version to compare it to, however the back plate is fairly obvious.  There is also a gap between the sword and Carrots back.  This versions also has a noticeable gap between his calves and a long sword hilt.  This version will have an early trademark of some sort.

Carrot Mark 2 - During 1991 the second version included the back plate.  The gap between the calves was closed.  This version also has a long sword hilt.  This version will also have an early trademark.

Carrot, Mark 3 - From March 1993 the Mark 2 Carrot was produced but with the new Discworld Logo.

Carrot Mark 4 - finally, in March 1995 the sword hilt was totally redesigned to make it less prone to breakages.  In this version the sword hilt is well below the top level of the breastplate and it cannot be seen from the front of the piece as in the other versions.In all, 958 Carrots were sold at an original RRP of £25.25 and a retiring RRP of £27.50.  These have made up to £450 for a mint Mark 1.
Mark 1 Carrot, Sword hilt can clearly be seen over shoulder

No back plate, gap between calves and long sword hilt

Lady Ramkin DW10

Lady Ramkin is not in the City Watch herself so is not strictly a Watch character however as she became the wife of our (my!) hero and has been in the series from the start we will include her here.

The quote is from Guards! Guards!.  “Vimes knew that the barbarian hublander folk had legend about great chain mailed armour-bra’d, carthorse-riding maidens who swooped down on battlefields and carried off dead warriors on their cropper to a glorious roistering afterlife...”.

This was sculpted by Leigh and introduced in December 1990 with an RRP of £25.25.  She was retired in February 1996 at an RRP of £27.50.  The figure depicts Lady Ramkin stood in her stout protective leather apron with a padded jacket underneath (she was wearing hers before they were fashionable outside the country set!).  She has a swamp dragon on her shoulder and a water bucket in her hand.  A particularly nice touch is the string of pearls around her neck.   When I began collecting I had a little mental list of pieces that I really, really wanted.  Over time I have managed to get most of these, the cloakless Vetinari, the arch point of sale but there are a couple that despite my efforts continue to elude me.  As previously mentioned, one of these is the Lancre Bookends but the other one is Lady Ramkin.  I have a soft spot for Sybil anyway but the figure itself is such a lovely one that I have always wanted one.  They do come up on eBay but the time never seems to be right!  They have made as much as £350 but generally make in the region of £200.  There were 645 sold in total.There were no major changes to this figure so no variations as such but a very small number (around 3 or 4) were painted with little fish in the bucket of water Sybil is carrying.  These were put in by Rosie, a Clarecrraft painter who used to enjoy adding little accents to the pieces. This just adds to the charm of the piece and I have not seen a goldfish one come up on eBay.

Since I originally published this some months ago I have finally got my hands on a Lady Ramkin!! I have been collecting since 1998 and I have always wanted a Sybil to add to my collection. I have added a picture of my new acquisition!

Detritus the Troll DW22

Detritus did not start off as a Guard, he began life as a ‘Splatter’ (a sort of troll bouncer).  He later developed into a major member of the Watch so as such I have placed him here.The quote is from Moving Pictures.  “He recognised, a few feet away, the big rangy shape of Detiruts, an ancient troll well known to the students as someone who found employment anywhere people need to be thrown very hard out of places for money.”.  He later joins the Watch to gain respectability and make something of himself at the prodding of his beloved Ruby.

This is a lovely big chunky piece (I do like the tactile pieces!!) showing Detritus stood, wearing nothing but a loin cloth gazing ahead in what looks like rapt concentration with his knuckles gently resting on the ground!!This was sculpted by Leigh and was introduced in early 1991 (that’s as specific as it gets folks!) at an RRP of £20.45.  He was retired in August 2000 at an RRP of £21.99 and Clarecraft offered no numbers sold.  There were no changes to this piece.  This was one of the pieces that was produced in bronze and pewter finishes.  As I mentioned at the beginning of this blog, Clarecraft offered many of their early figures in a plain pewter effect or bronze effect finish.  This was meant to make them more affordable for people, however, people preferred to pay the extra as very few of the alternative finishes were sold.  A pewter finish Detritus was produced and had an RRP of £10.80.  Detritus was also offered in the bronze finish but there are no recorded sales of him in this finish.  So if you have one then you have a rare piece indeed (and questions may be asked about how you acquired it!!).

I did have a Detritus but unfortunately he came a cropper and bounced down my stairs, this cost him his head.  I miss him, he is one of the pieces I do intend to replace when I get chance! (I have just recently replaced my Detritus bookend so he is probably next).

Sergeant Frederick Colon of The Night Watch DW30

Colon is one of the central original Night Watch members.  The City Watch was originally made up of the Night Watch and Day Watch.  These were eventually combined into one.  Colon, Nobbs and Vimes were the original unholy trinity who were joined by Carrot.  One little nugget about Colon I always loved was that he had a small toy pig when he was little who was called Mr Dreadful!  This quote is from Guards! Guards!.  “You could describe Sergeant Colon like this: he was the sort of man who, if he took up a military career, would automatically gravitate to the post of sergeant.  You couldn’t imagine him ever being a corporal.”.

Colon is also described in the book as a man with a round red face, the kind of man who would make a good sausage butcher.  The piece accurately reflects this.  Sculpted by Leigh and introduced in 1993 he was retired on closure.  On checking my own Colon figurine I found an interesting combination of trademarks.  I bought the piece when Clarecraft retired so expected him to have to pewter trademark (as my Nobby, bought at the same time did).  My figurine has a painters mark plate on it, indicating it was produced after 1997 however it not only has the early (1992) Discworld trademark it also has a second Clarecraft trademark from 1993.  This makes it a bit of a mystery and I would love to know how this one figurine ended up with all these marks on it!!!

Errol DW36

Errol played a pivotal role in helping the Watch out of a tight spot in Guards! Guards! so has earned his place here.  His quote is from Guards! Guards!.  “Errol lay in the wreckage of the fourth fruit box Nobby had scrounged for him.  The rest had all been eaten or dissolved.”.

Actually named Goodboy Bindle Featherstone of Quirm, bred by Lady Sybil, he was named Errol by Nobby who stated that Errol resembled his brother.  Errol appeared to be a badly designed swamp dragon but he in fact turned out to be a perfectly designed jet engine.  Errol was referred to as a ‘whittle’, which in the book is a slang term for a runt, this of course is a nod to Frank Whittle, inventor of the jet engine.This piece is another appealing piece sculpted by Leigh.  He was introduced in September 1993 and retired in February 2002.  His RRP went from £25.50 to £27.50.  The top price paid is £92.


  1. Hello Commander Vimes,

    Thanks for yet another interesting item about Clarecraft and Discworld figurines. Hope to read more from you.

    But i think i can help you with a puzzle.
    You wonders why there were so much different marking on the base of Sergeant Colon.

    I think that this was the case.
    Sergeant Colon was never changed after introduction. The only alterations were the adding of markings on the base.
    When this was needed, it was easier to add the new marking than instead of removing the old ones.

    The plaque for the painters mark is therefore placed added to the base instead of, as with later figurines, in the base. Since they started with placing a painters mark in early 1995 anywhere were was room for it on exciting models, they added room for it later on.

    Instead of making it a puzzle it also gives you information of when this piece was produced.
    Since it got no pewter Discworld logo, witch was introduced mid 2001, it has been made late 1995 and early 2001.

    As said before hope to read more from you.


  2. Oops a mistake detected.
    1995 was the year that the sculptors signed there new pieces. 1997 was the time that the painters was given credit for there work.
    Therefore the production was, as you said, after 1997 but before mid 2001.

  3. Thanks for your comment Peter. It's nice to know this is interesting to someone other than myself!! I've got quite an early Colon as the marks used on him were phased out early on. It's the last thing you expect when you buy a figure in 2005!! I love the fact that Clarecraft did this, mixing and matching the trademarks! Thanks for your help in solving it :-)


  4. There are 5 versions of DW09:-

    Carrot Mark 1 - produced during late 1990. no back armour, gap between calves and long sword hilt

    Mark-2 (the rarest version) Back armor, gap between calves and long sword hilt

    Mark-3 In the transition from Mark 2 to the Mark 3 the whole figure was heavily reworked. Gap between legs closed,gaps between arms and body closed.Head size changed made smaller. More muscled legs and arms. Trish herself commented on how much perter the Mark 3's buttocks are pert

    Mark-4 Discworld logo added

    Mark-5, small sword ~half the size of the orginal