January 30, 2013

Ooh La La! Andrea to Release Valentine's Day Pin-Up Figure

Andrea Miniatures has announced the latest figure kit in their popular Pin-Up Series. Another 'Holiday' themed figure to follow their Christmas issue Pin-Up-27. Pin-Up-28 Valentine's Day is a 80mm kit with 14 white metal parts.

And don't forget the just released book AP046 Andrea Miniatures Painting Pin-Up Figures By Andrea master painter Julio Cabos. This book shows you how to paint your own Pin-Up collection by using sophisticated acrylic painting techniques clearly explained in step-by-step photographs. First you will learn basic paintbrush techniques; then airbrush ones and finally a combination of both as the best way to get unbeatable results.

Live Resin To Release Modern US Infantry Kits in 1/35th Scale

Known for their exquisite 1/35th scale modern weapons and accessories, Live Resin has announced their first three figures kits of Modern US Infantry. Live Resin designs and manufacture resin figures and accessories in 1/35 and other scales for discerning modellers. They utilize modern advanced 3D modelling and rapid prototyping last generation technology. As experts in both history and technology, their products are the most accurate reproductions of original items you can find anywhere in the world. Look for these in February.  View Our Live Resin Listings

January 29, 2013

Revell to Reissue Matchbox set of NATO Paratroops

In 1/72 Scale news...For 2013 Revell have just one new figure set scheduled for release. Calling it  'British Paratroops (Falklands War)'  set 2596, is in fact a re-release of the old Matchbox set of Nato Paratroopers. Look for it in May. 

Ak Interactive Weathering Winter Releases

Over the Holidays you may have missed some of the great new weathering products AK Interactive released including a great new range of weathering washes for ships including six new washes available individually or in two different sets. While these are called 'Naval Weathering' products these can be used in many different  ways on AFV's, Aircraft and Dioramas too. There was also a new range of six artist quality oils colors and a great track weathering set which all combined makes for plenty of weathering stuff for those winter modeling builds you have planned! 
View all the AK winter releases by Clicking Here

LINK OF THE WEEK 29jan2013

Our Link of the Week comes from the Facebook page of Weird Retro.  Self described as a wonderfully wacky world of Weird Retro. A digital cabinet of curiosities. A repository of ethereal ephemera. A repository of the strange and bizarre world of retro images and culture. From alternative and often surreal propaganda comics of the 40s and 50s, through surreal adverts for the weirdest of products, to cinema posters and magazine covers of downright unhinged madness. This is classic weirdness at it's best. 

(Moving) PICTURE OF THE WEEK 29jan2013

Our Picture of the Week comes from You Tube and is a video of fantastic diorama titled Military Miniatures - Video Gettysburg - American Civil War 1863 General Lee's Confiderates. This 1/32 & 1/30th scale military diorama is a collection of today's best toy soldiers from Britains, King & Country, Collector Showcase and Kronprinz. The buildings are Hudson & Allen and First Legions with most of the diorama pieces from Build-A-Rama.
Click here to view the video

January 22, 2013

MTSC PRODUCT SPOTLIGHTS: Weathering Brush Set for Pigments

Weathering Brush Set for Pigments 

One of our best sellers...
Use This Special Brush Set To Apply Weathering Pigments, Pastels and Powders to Perfection! 
This 6-piece set of specialty brushes includes goat- and pony-hair bristles in the texture, stiffness and contour needed for perfect weathering powder application. The brush tips pick up just the right amount of powder and distribute it just where you want it. Then, use the large brush to blend powders right on the model for maximum realism. Use the foam applicator for spot application of washes that simulate the effects of rain water. Packed in a snap-shut soft nylon case, which not only protects the brushes from damage, but also prevents residual weathering powders from soiling other tools.

View & Order MCK-85197

LINK OF THE WEEK 22jan2013

Shooting the Wild West With Figurines

In December Slate.com did a feature on the latest work of artist David Levinthal (one of our customers) who has made a career of photographing toys and figurines. His current work features Black Hawk Toy Soldiers. In the past he featured Elastolin western figures in the book The Wild West he published in 1993. He featured Marx western figures in Small Wonder: Worlds in a Box Published by National Museum of American Art, Smithsonian Institution in 1995. Both are worth picking up. 

(Moving) PICTURE OF THE WEEK 22jan2013

With the release of the first new batch of WWI Germans by W Britains we thought we would pass along these great images and news reels on the Battle of Verdun 1916. 

January 20, 2013

Channel Surfing Pays Off...James May's Toy Stories

This weekend while channel surfing I came across a cool program on BBC America. The show is called James May's Toy Stories. It is a show form the UK where James May is out to prove why traditional, old fashioned toys are still relevant today when he pushes them to the limit in spectacular, supersize challenges. Although the show is several years old it was new to me. The premise of the 6-part show was to bring favourite toys of the past into the modern era, by using the toys in real life large scale enterprises. In each episode, he also explores the history of each toy. 

   This episode was titled Airifx in which he builds a full-sized (1:1) model kit right down to the actual sprues of a WWII Spitfire fighter plane, using the plastic moulding and assembly technique used in the Airfix self-assembly plastic toy scale model range while enlisting a group of 13 year old school children to help in an attempt to show them the joys of modeling. He even attempts to get the kids to build either a Airfix 1/72 scale Chieftain or a T-60 tank kit and also takes them out to see a real one in action. A great show full of fun and fascinating facts about Airfix, modeling (or the decline of it), the Spitfire and toys in general.  Check it out on You Tube you won't be sorry.

January 19, 2013

Toys in the Attic - Johnny Seven OMA (One Man Army)

The Johnny Seven OMA (One Man Army) and quite literaly it WAS!. An awesome firearm for any would be John Rambo but predated Stallone's era by a good 3 decades or so. This rifle from hell could unleash an amazing array of seven different lethal plastic projectiles varying from little bullets to big kill everyone grenades and anti tank rockets. Anyone who had a kid with one of these in their team whilst playing war would no doubt be victorious. The leader of any opposing team might just as well give up.

Topper Toys released the Johnny Seven in 1964 and immediately every boy wanted one. It was beyond  cool, it was a One Man Army and it said so on the stock ‘Johnny Seven OMA’. Why Johnny Seven? I’ll tell you, seven weapons in one stupendous toy gun. There was a grenade launcher, anti-tank missile, bunker buster missile, armour-piercing shell which shared the launcher with the bunker buster, sprung loaded gizmo that produced a tommy gun sound, bolt action rifle, and detachable cap gun pistol. One of the schoolboy/playground chants of the sixties was ‘Who won the war, in nineteen sixty-four’? I’ll tell you who; anyone with a Johnny Seven.

View The Original 1960s TV Commerical

January 18, 2013

W Britains Battle of Fredericksburg Range Now Available

Britains has released the first seven figures of their all new Battle of Fredericksburg 1862 American Civil War Range. The initial releases were scheduled for February but the first seven arrived ahead of schedule. This series initially includes 15 figures and two scenic details. I was fortunate enough to see pre production samples of these figures in person upon a recent visit to sculptor Ken Osen's house. I have to say they are spectacular and among the best figures Ken has ever done. The Irish Brigade flag with photo-etched battle honors is simply stunning. Also of note is that Ken has sculpted a new Angle of Marye's Height set for the series. Those who have followed him will note that he did this same set way back in 1996 during his first tenure at Britains. What a difference 15 years or so makes. It shows just how far this hobby has come. To round out the range Ken has sculpted two sets of scenics to make up the sunken road at Marye's Heights. My hat's off the Ken & Richard Walker for developing this exciting new range of figures.
Click Here to View & Order 

The November 2012 issue of the Britains Collector Club magazine 'The Standard' contains a feature on the new range as well as a feature by Ken on how he crafted the series including the use of living historians in period dress, background on winter clothing during the Civil War and the actual sculpting of the figures. 

Another great feature in this issue is an article by Craig Appleton on Germans on the Somme in WWI. Another new range to be released by Britains in early 2013. 

The Standard is only available to members of the Britains Collectors Club. I highly recommend joining. Click here for details

January 16, 2013

NEW from Vallejo- Model Wash

Twelve new washes from Vallejo are now available. Use Vallejo Model Wash for armor, vehicles, planes, ship, figures and war game figures. Model Wash is packaged in 35 ml bottles with flip top and can be mixed with pigments to achieve a wide range of effects such as oil and flaked rust, mud, earth, dust, moss, etc. and when mixed with acrylic colors, they further help achieve the impact of heavy wear and weathering. The washed have been formulated with a modified acrylic resin so that the superficial tension is similar to that of the traditional solvent-based washes and filters, but with the advantage of working with a water-based medium. Average drying time is around 20 minutes. If several layers of wash are to be applied, it is best to wait around 40 minutes between applications. Painting tools are cleaned with water. View & Order By Clicking Here


Hmmm... Probably a good investment!

LINK OF THE WEEK 14jan2013

Painting Waffen-SS Plane Tree Camouflage

Our Link of the Week comes from Warlord Games where Warlord Games painter Andres Amian Fernandez had produced an invaluable tutorial for how to paint early Waffen-SS Camouflage schemes on small scale figures.

January 13, 2013

The Army Painter MEGA Hobby Set - Limited Edition Release

APR-5111 The Army Painter MEGA Hobby Set - Limited Edition Release
This set is the perfect intro into the world of historical figure building, basing and painting. It includes everything needed to assemble & glue miniatures, converting, priming, basecoating & painting and even basing the models. From box to finished figure – all crammed into one box!
A limited edition release for this Xmas - The Army Painter has created the ultimate gift/hobby set. Basically you can take a box of miniatures or a figure kit and using only the contents of the set you can assemble, convert, spray prime, paint and base your models! It also has a self healing Army Painter cutting mat made only for this set.

LIMITED EDITION With a massive saving of up to 25% off normal Retail prices - don't miss out!. 
View and order by clicking here

January 11, 2013

PICTURE OF THE WEEK 08jan2013 Girls und Panzer

Is this the ultimate weathering job on a armor model? Apperantly there is a Japanese anime television series Girls und Panzer that has inspired young ladies in Japan to build and trick out armor models. I don't know for sure if this is one such model but it sure adds a whole new dimension to the art of armor modeling and earns our Picture of the Week honor.

From Wikipedia

Girls und Panzer (ガールズ&パンツァー Gāruzu ando Pantsā?) is a 2012 Japanese anime television series created by Actas. The animation is directed by Tsutomu Mizushima and produced by Kiyoshi Sugiyama. Takaaki Suzuki, who has earlier acted as a military history advisor for Strike Witches and Upotte, has revealed that he is involved in the production of the anime. The series began airing in Japan on October 8, 2012.


The story takes place in a universe where girls participate in Sensha-dō (戦車道?, lit. "Way of the Tank"), the art of operating tanks, as a traditional martial art. Miho Nishizumi, a girl who has had a bad experience with Sensha-dō, transfers to Ooarai Girl's High School to get away from it. However, soon after joining, the school revives Sensha-dō and Miho, being the only student with any experience in operating a tank, is ordered to take part. Despite being initially reluctant, Miho soon comes to enjoy Sensha-dō again and, joined by her new friends; Saori, Hana, Yukari and Mako, enters a national Sensha-dō championship where they face off against various other schools

January 09, 2013

Accion Press/Euro Modelismo Publications Rings in the New Year with 3 New Modeling Publications

The Spanish publishing company Accion Press-Euro Modelismo has released details on three new publications coming early in the new year. You may pre order these now and save by Clicking Here

Panzer Aces Profiles I German Tanks 1935-1945 is a guide to camouflage and insignia of the German Tanks. This is the first release in a new series.

Euro Modelismo Model Laboratory Issue 2 - Junkers JU88
In this second issue work is done on the Junkers Ju 88 A-4 with a Step by step process which explains various tricks and techniques including:
Assembling the fuselage, Cleaning mold residue, New paneling lines,
Masking transparent plastic pieces, Paint chips, Hairspray technique, Painting the BalkenKreuz, Applying decals and Oil paint work

Tanks in Russia IV
This is the 4th in a series dedicated to German and Russian heavy tanks Panther, Tiger, and Russian IS-1. Both the Tiger and the IS-1 are shown with two different processes
applied to the same model, displaying wider range of techniques and effects.

Link of the Week 07jan2013

Sea Monkeys? Amazing X-Ray Specs?, Live Miniature Dog at No Cost?, A Nuclear Sub or Army Tank to start your own army? Our Link of the Week is the Top 10 Outrageous Comic Book Advertisements of All Time courtesy of Toptenz.net.

In today’s comic books you don’t see the advertisements you used to – no ads with outrageous promises to be taller or more muscular. No advertisements to own a nuclear sub or army tank can be found nowadays. But if you look in older comic books you’ll see a treasure trove of sneaky ads, crazy claims, preposterous promises and looney lies.

FIGURE OF THE WEEK 04jan2013: Comic Book Toy Soldiers

This week we salute the Comic Book Toy Soldier as our Figure of the Week.
A brief History:
Milton Levine was just a few years out of the military in the late 1940s. Like many young men returning from WWII the New Yorker was searching for his place in post-war America. He read in Kiplinger’s Letter that there were several ways to make big money—two suggestions were “plastic toys or bobbie pins.”
Levine’s real success would come later when he imagined another idea that would sell into the millions and become a mail-order cult classic. But in 1946, his main goal was to enter the “exciting world of plastics.”
Levine formed a partnership with his brother-in-law, E. Joseph “Joe” Cossman and the pair set out to form a mail-order toy company. E. Joseph Cossman & Company (aka Cossman & Levine Co.) was launched. The pair’s business plan was based on the prospect of a post-war baby boom and a manufacturing upswing in the U.S. Since 1912, Cracker Jack had packed small novelty toys in their boxes and that’s where the partners began their search for a manufacturer to make their toys. NOSCO Plastic of Erie, Pennsylvania, was a supplier of plastic toys to Cracker Jack and that’s where the first “flats” were made.
While no one can agree on a time line, 1950 seems to be the year the mail-order business was in full production.
Initially the small print ads (usually 2-inches x 2 1/4-inches) were placed in local newspapers throughout the southern New York area and later across the nation. The toy soldiers ads were a phenomenal success.
Allow 6-8 Weeks (maybe more)
Sometimes weeks or months after ordering, the postman delivered a package of flat, styrene-based, hard plastic pieces in a marbled green color mixed with varying shades of black or white. Many of the figures were detailed with rank stripes or branch logos on their shoulders.
Levine credits the success of the business as having had “the right product, at the right time, at the right price.” At $1.75 (later $1.98) every child with a minimum deposit in their piggy bank could scrape up enough money to order “100 Toy Soldiers Packed in a Footlocker.” In fact, the footlocker did not arrive for nearly a year, but its addition doubled an already thriving mail-order business. Cossman & Levine hired a staff of women to open the huge amounts of mail that arrived each day. Before long there were daily visits to the bank to deposit thousands of dollars in one-dollar bills and bags of quarters.
  Soon, competitors were selling similar items with very similar advertising. The pitch was always the same: a lot of toys for a low price. Mastercraft, a Boston company, sold “100 Toy Soldiers for $1.00,” but did not include the important “footlocker” that held the Cossman & Co. playsets.
It is believed that Levine and his brother-in-law either set up a number of separate companies (all with East Coast P.O. Boxes) or sold wholesale to other mail-order companies. New names with new mailing addresses began to appear by 1951 and endless variations of the offer were appearing.
Cossman also sold a popular “100 Cowboys & Indians” set. This set of western figures arrived in an illustrated box with a unique die-cut “pop-out, build-it-yourself” diorama. The plastic figures were typically flat but came in bright red, yellow and blue colors.
“3 Ring Circus” was a popular offer that featured a pop-out center ring where the animals and performers could be arranged. Perhaps the pink and purple circus set was expected to attract little girls with imagination and a piggy bank. Levine has been quoted as saying the circus set did not do well.
Mail Order Mania
By 1952 there were dozens of competing ads. Most collectors assume the majority were in some way related, since the products were nearly identical.
In addition to the flat hard plastic pieces, new 3-D figures made of soft, molded plastic began to appear.
Sometime in the mid-50s ads were placed on the back pages of comic books and soon became icons of that decade. Millions of play sets were sold including these:
  • 150 Civil War Soldiers ($1.49)
  • 30pc Indian Village Kit ($1.00)
  • 132 Roman Soldiers ($2.98)
  • 200 WWII Soldiers ($1.98)
  • 204 Revolutionary Soldiers ($2.50)
  • 162pc Viking Attack ($2.00)
  • 104 Kings & Knights ($1.49)
  • 116 Planes of All Nations ($1.25)
There was also a line of wargame sets that included the plastic figures accompanied by full-color fold-out play mats, accessories, and rules of play.
  • Woods Edge ($1.00)
  • Tank Trap ($1.69)
  • Task Force ($1.69)
  • 132pc Fighting Ships ($1.50)
  • 196pc Blast Off Space Game ($1.98)
  • 146pc Daniel Boone’s Trek to Ol’ Kentucky ($1.50)
The Evolution of Toy Soldier Ads
The comic book ads produced spectacular results and the toy sellers realized that a little packaging upgrade—at least in the print ads—might bring even more orders. Russ Heath was one of the preeminent illustrators of the time. His work for DC Comics and other publishers was well-known for its style.
His boss came to him with a small pick-up job to design an ad for an advertiser. Heath’s creation of the Revolutionary Soldiers ad set the standard for all future toy soldier offers. Of course, his ads worked like magic.  Heath’s imaginative styling added the action and adventure element that had been missing by just showing the plastic figures set up in rows.

January 02, 2013

Link of the Week 01jan2013

Link of the Week
 Scale from Answers.com

One of the most confusing thing about miniatures is scale and size. Scale for toy soldiers and miniatures  is expressed as the soldier's approximate height from head to foot in millimeters. Because many figures do not stand up straight, height is usually an approximation. Standard toy soldier scale, originally adopted by W. Britain, is 54 mm (2.25 inches) or 1:32 scale. Among different manufacturers, standard scale may range from 50 mm or 1:35 scale, to 60 mm or 1:28 scale. For gamers and miniatures enthusiasts, 25 mm and even smaller scales are available. On the larger end of the scale are American Dimestore figures, and many of the toy soldiers produced in Germany, which are approximately 75 mm (3 inches) or 1:24 scale. 

An excellent list of scale model sizes, definitions and explanations listing a variety of size ratios for Scale Models, Miniature Gaming Figures and Toy Soldiers can be found by following our Link of the Week>> Scale from Answers.com

Picture of the Week 01jan2013

Little Wars, by H.G. Wells.
"a game for boys from twelve years of age to one hundred and fifty and for that more intelligent sort of girl who likes boys' games and books"

Everyone knows H.G. Wells, right? The Sci-Fi author who wrote War of the Worlds? Well, aside from all that end-of-the-earth stuff, he also played with toy soldiers with his kids. And then he wrote two books on it, Little Wars, and Floor Games. A game, an illustrated historical text, and a humorous read all in one!
H.G. Wells took his hobby of wargaming very seriously, as shown by the photos of Edwardian gentlemen crouched or lying prone on the lawn ready to "kill" each other's toy soldiers. The book consists of explanations of how he and his friends developed their game rules, the game rules themselves, variations on the rules for indoor and outdoor games, suggestions on toy soldiers and the construction of buildings and other game pieces, a demonstration game, and suggested expansions on the rules. Photos and hilarious little drawings accompany all these and during the demo game Wells "transforms" himself into his imagined soldierly counterpart, the fierce mustachioed General H.G.W. of the Blue Army.
Link to View more images and the The Project Gutenberg EBook of Little Wars