Thursday, November 28, 2019

Toy Soldiers...and Sailors...Forever!

I just shot this video of a model of the USS Higbee that I made several years ago.  I populated it with little sailors that I created using the microsoft "paint" application. 

 There are about 85 of them and they are all I was when I served aboard the Higbee in 1973-'74.

Until next time...

Soldier on!


Sunday, November 10, 2019

Cannoneers Post! Loading and firing ACW artillery video

Join the gun detachment of South Mountain Battlefield State Park as they travel to Antietam National Battlefield to demonstrate the loading and firing of the 12-pounder light-gun howitzer...the Napoleon.

Soldier on!


Monday, November 4, 2019

Strombecker 54mm American Civil War figures

Here is grist for a future post.

Today, at our local flea market I picked up this set of four soldiers and a horse manufactured by Strombecker in 1966.

I remember the company from my childhood, they made slot cars, but I'm unfamiliar with these figures.

The finishing and painting will be a nice winter project.

I'll keep you posted.

Soldier on!


Sunday, November 3, 2019

Home-casting...old school.

Here was a nice surprise.  My brother-in-law gave me one of his childhood treasures - a Rapco soldier home-molding kit. 

 These kits were a real "dad and lad" thing from the 1940's into the late the good 
old days before we realized just how toxic lead is.

This is model 1295C from Rapco, Inc  of Chicago which started out as part of Rappaport Brothers home foundry.  Rapco manufactured kits like this through the mid-1960s.

I've had it for a while and this weekend the time seemed right to give it a whirl.  The kit is comprised of a little hot-plate melter, a ladle, one clamp and two, two-piece three cavity molds with handles.

The little hot plate hadn't been fired up in decades and just couldn't seem to develop enough heat to melt the lead.  I ended up using my mapp gas torch for the melting.

The first casts had very little detail, so I threw them back in the ladel to melt again.  In the meantime I applied the torch to the assembled and clamped mold.  By heating the metal of the mold the next pour was able to pick up much more detail.

The kit makes three Afrika Korps Krauts and three G.I.s.  I opted to take just one of the figures through to completion, and that's the soldier throwing a stick grenade.

Just popped out of the mold, super-shiny, with lots of flash to be trimmed off.

Fifteen-minutes with a nipper and file ended up giving me a pretty clean model.

He then went into the spray booth for an even coat of Tamiya gray primer.

This is the finished product, finished bright, and ready for battle.

This was a fun little experiment that produced a pretty satisfying result...ready to join the ranks out in the toy soldier studio.

Do any of you have a childhood memory of kits like this?  Let me know.

Until next time...

Soldier on!


Saturday, November 2, 2019

A Civil War artillery video I made.

Go here to see a Youtube video about Civil War artillery.

I made this video when I was a park ranger at Antietam National Battlefield.

Soldier on!

(ranger) Mannie