Sunday, November 11, 2018

New product

All too often overlooked in the canon of American Civil War history are the courageous maraca players of the Army of the Potomac.   This new product from Toy Soldiers Forever! finally gives these gallant men their due.

Lest we forget.

Soldier on!


Monday, November 5, 2018

W. Britian #17101, Iron Brigade charging

Issued only in 1999 this trio of Hoosiers charged into my mailbox last week from their barracks at Crown Military Miniatures.  These are needed reinforcements to my ever-growing W. Britain Iron Brigade.  These little pewter men are blissfully unaware that they are headed for a 54mm cornfield at Antietam on September 17, 1862...but that's the grist for a future post.

The Hardee hat at top is from 1999, and the one below is from an Iron Brigade drummer produced in 2014 (#31235). Note the subtle differences in detail.  The blue infantry cord as well as the hunting horn are rather sloppily painted, where the same on the more recent hat are more meticulously applied and even shaded.  Another nice detail is the company letter on the corps badge.

Here's a nice piece of detail; note the slits cut in the flap of the cartridge box to affix a missing brass "US" plate.  As was frequently the case these plates went missing or weren't installed in the first place.  A tip of the TSF kepi to the sculptor of this piece.

Also of note in this closeup is the crude shading technique of these earlier Britains.  There is no subtlety or gradiation of shading that you find on figures of later generations; instead a darker color is quickly brushed into the fold.

Until next time...

Soldier on!


Saturday, October 27, 2018

Premier's anti-tank gun


I've been hunting for one of these guns for some time, it's the Premier's knock-off of the made-in-England Bollock anti-tank gun. These guns were manufactured in the early 1960s.  I recently profiled the Premier's 25-pounder howitzer here.

 This is a pretty impressive gun, measuring eleven and a half inches long and weighing in at exactly half a pound.

Many anti-tank gun splinter shields had irregular top edges, to reduce their contrast against surrounding foliage.

If this 57mm US anti-tank gun had a hard-edged rectangular shield it wouldn't so easily blend in with its surroundings, making it more prey than predator. 

The trails are moveable, allowing the gun to be in towed...

or deployed position.

The Bullock cannons came as an unassembled kit, to be put together by the lucky kid who got one as a holiday present from Aunt Sophie and Uncle Lou.  The construction involves some very hefty screws, nuts, and bolts.

Whether or not this Japanese copy was intended to be a put-together kit is unknown to me.

I like the look of the flared muzzle

The elevation mechanism includes a knurled brass nut on a threaded shaft

The range of elevation is modest, typical for a flat-trajectory weapon like an anti tank gun.

A robust towing ring locks the trails in the towing position.

The leaf-spring firing mechanism is pretty elegant in its simplicity.

The hammer-wire is drawn rearward until it locks into the cocked position.

The projectile is placed into the breach...

and the beaded lanyard is pulled, releasing the mainspring and sending the projectile downrange. 

The test-firing achieved a very respectable 26 feet six inches.

Back in the day cheap knockoffs were made in postwar Japan rather than Red China.  You just can't beat the low overhead of using slave labor.  You may like to read this on that subject.

The gun is an odd scale; too large for a 60mm soldier, but just about right for a five inch soldier. None of the four Premier's guns I own are of a common scale one to the other. 

The box art depicts something more like a 20mm antiaircraft gun.

Premier's 25-pounder is on the left and the anti-tank gun is on the right. The only components that they share are the wheels and the breech mechanism, otherwise they are very different from each other.

I'm very pleased to have gotten this little gem, and at a pretty good price to!

Until next time...

Soldier on!