As you remember, I had made a mould and was waiting for it to set. By Tuesday it had done, and I was able to clean it up before trying it out. As usual, with a new mould, it took a few tries to warm it up, I had to cut a few air passages, but the final results were not encouraging. The figure itself came out reasonable enough, although it lost some detail; the back pack held its definition, but the loose arm holding the rifle came out as an amorphous blob, with missing sections and no discernbable detail. Ah well, back to the drawing board.
What I have been doing for the last couple of days is looking into alternative ways of achieving my object. I've been studying various websites covering toy soldiers and suppliers of castings and spare parts (such as Dorset, Langley, London Bridge, etc.) with a view to fabricating my wants through the use of mixing bodies, arms and heads, along with a little judicious use of milliput, to end up with unique figures. I now need to order up an assortment of these bits, and make enquiries of the makers before I carry on.
While doing this search I used these two books as reference. The Andrew Rose book has every page well illustrated with historic toy soldiers, and is ideal for identifying appropriate original figures for
conversion, and then finding them from manufacturers.
The 'New Toy Soldiers' guide came out in the early 1990's and listed some 109 (I think) makers of these models, though a search through the net shows that not many of them are still active. I wonder what happened to all those moulds?
This little chap appeared on e-bay recently, and was listed as 'Civil War Confederate Tradition Dorset Trophy Britains. I recognised him, but couldn't place him, thinking he was from the 'Great Britain and the Empire' range, and found his photo in the above guide to the new ranges. He is actually a 1st New South Wales Rifle Volunteer of 1861, from the Australian manufacturer Brigadier. He fits well with my plans, is now in my possession, and stands proudly in my cabinet . He has something slightly 'Gabby Hayes' about him.
Anyway, that's this weeks report. I will have something to show next week, but they are still on the painting bench..