Custom Paints by SSG

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lionofludesch
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Custom Paints by SSG

Post by lionofludesch »

In the early 1970s, probably around 1972, I wrote to Subbuteo asking if they would paint me a team to order (as I was bloody useless at painting myself). I got a nice letter back from George Underwood (a nice bloke who I always felt had the player at heart), enclosing a form with a black and white drawing of a player.

The form was obviously aimed at stockists and offered to paint teams in any colours (presumably at wholesale price) subject to a minimum of 100 teams. At the time, there were (probably) 75 or 81 colour references, covering England, Scotland and Wales pretty well, but you could see this offer being attractive to some overseas stockists.

Anyway, George invited me to colour in the player to my requirments and he'd send it to his top painter. I was a bit worried about getting spares, so we agreed a price for a goalkeeper and 14 outfield players (about 20 years ahead of our time in the substitute department).

I did this quite a few times and, true to his word, whoever painted them was a bloody genius. The detail on the Hull FC strip (irregular black and white hoops for anyone not familiar with Rugby League) was unbelievable.

I just wondered if anyone had ever come across this before.

By the way - the price was (read it and weep) - a quid per squad !!
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Cheadle Athletic

Post by Cheadle Athletic »

Not quite the same but the mother of a bloke I used to work with was one of the outworkers employed by Subbuteo and did him a team in his school teams kit
Neil

Post by Neil »

As I posted on the forum some while ago, a shop in Nottingham used to regularly have Subbuteo football teams that did not feature in catalogues.
Legend had it that the shop owner knew someone who worked for Subbuteo and they were supplying these items.

Neil
Guest

Post by Guest »

A lot of items like that appeared on Derby market. I wonder if they were from the same shop in Nottingham?
Guest

Post by Guest »

A very interesting story.

Wonder if it helps explains some of the 'are they are they not' reference variations that have appeared from time to time.

I wonder if that Hearts fans shop keeper knew what he was starting when he thought to himself one day - I wonder if a couple of hundred with the stripe down the front will sell!
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lionofludesch
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Post by lionofludesch »

Provenance would be virtually impossible - not that mine are for sale anyway, in case you were wondering !

But the fact that George was able to produce a printed form pretty much by return of post suggests that this was probably quite common.
FIFA World Cuptipping competition
Winner 2010,, joint with Takis2014 and 2018


® :angry:
Neil

Post by Neil »

Jim Bomb wrote:A lot of items like that appeared on Derby market. I wonder if they were from the same shop in Nottingham?
Interesting, Jim, I understood one of the owners of the Nottingham shop did live in Derby. Could well be the same source.

As regards the comment about 'are they are they not' people tend to forget the vast amount of repainting of heavyweights that went on in the 60/70s. The ability to paint players was one of the great attractions of the h/ws.

At the time football strips were changing quickly and Subbuteo was always playing 'catch-up' with the teams it released. On the other hand, a tin of Humbrol and a brush and an up to date player could be achieved when teams changed strips. In the circles I moved in there was also a strong move towards creating your own distinctive colours, with actually using teams in the standard kits supplied by Subbuteo being regarded as questionable taste. The usual approach was to buy a team that was close to what you wanted, then add trims, stripes, change the shorts and socks as required. I can still recall a green 54 being changed to green and black hoops in honour of a youth club team!

Neil
Guest

Post by Guest »

I remember picking up Mickleover Jubilee from them. I think it was a repaint of Crystal Palace
donsaverio
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Re: Custom Paints by SSG

Post by donsaverio »

SSG's policy was for 50 teams per order. That system was only for UK retailers (also Scotland) not in Italy nor Belgium or any other foreign county.
As stated to add little details by using humbrol was the rule, whereas a special order made sense for sports shops wich had to meet a farlo large demand (e.g. Derby league champions in the early '70 had them make a special kit with double collar and cuffs).
In my opinion no kid would accept to extra pay for his own special and wait for weeks if he could add a trim in such an easy way.
Anyway, fairytales are always amazing 😉 and one could believe whatever he wants.
Ciao
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