This week sees the Merchant Navy prestige book and a new 6 1st book of the 4 Machins +2 special issue type. The special issues stamps are interesting in that the prestige book has an Enschede pane with the Royal Mail Ship stamps gummed but the small book has a Walsall self-adhesive version.
There is also a nice pane of four stamps in greyscale which I think are just illustrating the Merchant Navy (the others being part of Post Office transport). The four Merchant Navy stamps have no text at all, just the 1st denomination. As I write this, I cannot quickly recall another issue, other than definitives, that have had no descriptive text but that is more likely to be down to poor memory than an indication of anything significant.
I shall give that more thought before I am inundated with comments highglighting something terribly obvious.
Anyway, that's about as much attention as I have ever paid to special issues - on to the Machins. The 5p is new in several respects. Its gummed with security features. OK, so far, similar to Dr Who and Football book panes - except this is Enschede, not Cartor and Dr Who was M12L anyway. But there is another difference too - for the first time I have noticed, the ellipses in the perforation are near the top, not the bottom.
The 5p also looks a duller, more grey shade. The 50p is the first gummed version in the slate colour. So lots of new entries for this pane.
The small book is as expected - M13L MPIL codes and what I assume must be type 2a slits. We've seen these before.