Greetings everyone. A few weeks ago I received in the mail a package of mainly Airfix figures. I paid $20 for the lot. They had advertised Vintage plastic toy soldiers, Germans, British and others on eBay. They are mostly World War II plastic figures. When I looked at the pictures I noticed that the Germans where mostly Airfix Italian Infantry. These figures are 1/32 in scale.
I went through the box and divided the figures into about 10 different groups.
Most of the figures were Airfix but some where from other brands.
Timpo & Airfix 8th Army figures.
One of the bigger groups was of Airfix British 8th Army.
The next group was of Airfix Afrika Korp figures.
The next group was Airfix British Commandos.
The next group was Airifx British Infanty.
The next group of figures was Airfix German Infantry.
The next group was of some Airfix Gurkhas.
The next group was Japanese Infantry. It looks like all the poses are here.
Besides the World War II Airfix figures there was some Modern Germans and some British.
There was 24 Italian Infantry inside the box.
There are 7 poses in the Airfix Italian set.
I have been looking for some more Airfix Italians for a while. I think this set was one of the last World War II 1/32 scaled figure sets that Airfix made.
Here are some Vintage Western figures that I picked up. I think they are a mixture of Crescent and Cherilea figures.
I purchased this used Ultimate Soldier 1/32 Japanese Zero for $25.00. It is missing a couple of pieces I think. I want to add this to a diorama that I plan on making later this year.
I received this W. Britain Collector’s Club Viking figure about 2 months ago. The last picture has a Conte Viking figure that I painted.
Rodion Makheav sent me some preview pictures of Warhansa sets. I also found a few more. Most of these sets should be available in by the end of March.
I think these figures are about Conan the Barbarian. Conan was one of my favorite comics to read growing up.
These looks like another Conan inspired set.
This figure appears to be of Lenin.
This figure is of Harald Hardrada the King of Norway form 1046 to 1066. He is part of the 1066 Saga for the Throne of Britain. Harald lived a very interesting and adventurous life. He met his end at the Battle of Stamford Bridge in 1066.
Here are the World War II Russian Infantry again.
Here are some figures from Runecraft Miniatures. I think they are part of Publius. They make some interesting figures in 1/32 scale. I don’t know when these will be available to USA customers.
You can find the Publius Saxons again on eBay. This time they are in blue.
The picture above is a preview of post that I will be doing in the near future. That is it for now.
In 2013 Austin Miniatures started production of plastic toys soldiers plus foam buildings, terrain bases and accessories. Their figures can be compared to Conte figures in scale and detail. The first figure set made was of cowboys. They followed later with a set of Marines for the Pacific Theater.
I noticed their figures about the time I started collecting again after about a 10 year absence. I had picked up a set of the WWII Marines a couple of years ago. They have nice details and mix well with other brands.
Recently I was able to chat with Austin Beidelschies. Austin is the son of Dan Beidelschies. Together they are now expanding the product line of Austin Miniatures. He was able to take some time to answer a few questions.
Warhorse Miniatures: Hi Austin. My first question is; can you tell us about yourself and how did Austin Miniatures get started?
Austin: My name is Austin Beidelschies, I am 19 years old and I am the concept artist and painter for Austin Miniatures. My dad (Dan Beidelschies) started up Austin Miniatures in 2013 and named the company after me in hopes that I would eventually take over the business. Which I am most definitely going to do. The passion for toy soldiers started with my dad when his mom bought him a Marx Battleground Playset when he was just 8 years old. Like some of us he “grew up” and got rid of his toy soldiers. He still regrets doing it to this day. It wasn’t until his late twenties that he reconnected with toy soldiers again. He saw Conte’s Airborne figures on the internet and was so amazed at how detailed they were. So then I got to grow up with all these great WW2 figures from his collection. He would make these giant dioramas that went from the kitchen to the end of our living room. Playing with Conte’s WW2 figures is how my passion for toy soldiers began. I was around 14 years old when we released our western figures. Since I have grown I have been becoming increasingly more involved into Austin Miniatures. Just last year I created some concept sketches of a new set of WW2 US marines and now they are in the hands of our sculptor who is making a new set of US Marines. These will be the first Figures coming from Austin Miniatures that I have designed.
Warhorse Miniatures: I recently picked up some of your cowboys the details are really nice. Why did you start here as your first set of figures?
Austin: We decided to do cowboys as our first set because we love the idea of the wild west. This era of American history happened very fast but so many awesome characters and battles have came from the wild west era. My dad grew up watching many western movies. It just seemed right to make cowboys for our first set.
Warhorse Miniatures: I have seen your prototypes of the WWII Japanese Infantry for a few years now and heard you were supposed to produce that set years ago. Can you tell us more about this?
Austin: We have been teasing you with the Japanese figures for a very long time. The simple answer as to why you don’t have them yet is life. We are not a multi million dollar corporation like Hasbro or Mattel, we are just normal everyday Americans. Sometimes life gets in the way of our goals and aspirations. But they are going to be available for purchase this year so we can all look forward to that. Trust me I want to make shooting noises and knock over the Japanese figures just as much as you guys do. We at Austin Miniatures are just as much collectors as we are producers.
Warhorse Miniatures: This year looks like it might be a break out year for you with the announcement of a few news sets to be produced. Can you tell us more about your plans?
Austin: So for 2019 we have 3 new sets planned as well as a pacific theatre playset. We have another set of WW2 US Marines coming after the Japanese. The new Marines are being sculpted as we speak and will include 2 riflemen, an NCO with a Thompson, a Navajo code talker radio man, and a new and improved BAR gunner. Included in the set will also be interchangeable arms and equipment. This will be very useful for the guy who likes to convert their figures. For example; the radio man can swap his radio for a backpack turning him into a standard infantryman. Maybe you want him to have an M1 Garand instead of a carbine, you can do this with our new set. Because of our new system we were also able to include the parts to make a Marine with a Winchester model 97 shotgun which I am very excited about. After the Marines we have more cowboys in the works. So far the new set of cowboys will include a Mexican bandito, “Old Timer”, an Indian scout, and the kneeling rifleman that we have not yet released yet. As for the playset it is going to include everything you need for a battle in the pacific. Marines, Japanese, one of our foam battlefields, BMC amtracs, Pegasus palm trees and some other accessories. If this playset sells well you will definitely see more playsets from us. We have all those awesome western buildings so it only makes sense to do a couple western playsets.
Warhorse Miniatures: Are you planning on releasing the playset this year will you be releasing it for next year?
Austin: We are planning to have the playset ready for sale at this year’s Chicago toy soldier show.
The playset could look something like this? These are pictures from the Austin Miniatures.
Warhorse Miniatures: I collect mainly Dark Age or Medieval figures and early American Colonial figures. I recently started collecting WWII & Western figures. Do you have any plans on ever making Medieval figures or Colonial figures?
Austin: We currently have no plans for medieval or colonial figures. However we are gonna be coming out with a bunch of new stuff in the next couple of years. I will just say that NOTHING is off the table. We are collectors just like you guys, except we can produce figures. So we might see a new movie or read a new book that gets us excited for a certain battle or war. If there is enough demand for something we will definitely consider it. There are many sets that I personally would like to produce. World War two is my favorite time period so I would like to make Waffen SS and US GI’s some day. The big conflict when I was growing up was the war on terror in the Middle East, I have always wanted to make modern marines and insurgents. The possibilities for the future of Austin Miniatures are endless. I believe the future of the toy soldier hobby is very bright. The third “Golden Era” of toy soldiers is coming.
Warhorse Miniatures: Here is my last question. I would like to thank you and your father for taking your time to answer the questions. Is there anything else you would like to say to the collectors?
Austin: Thank you for the interview! The only other thing we would like to say to the collectors is thank you for your continued support to Austin Miniatures and to all the other great producers in the toy soldier community. Keep an eye out for our new products, we will be posting pictures of our new sculpts as we get them.
Besides selling plastic toy soldiers, they also offer painted sets too.
Here are some comparison pictures below of Austin figures with some other brands out there. Their Pacific Marines are some of the best World War II plastic figures since Conte released his WWII figures.
If you like to make displays or dioramas, their foam buildings are really nice. Some detachable roofs and/or 2 stories. They also have a few accessories, like a Gallow.
I am excited about the news of the World War II Japanese Infantry and future WWII sets. It was nice to also talk to someone that is young and so passionate about the hobby of Toy Soldiers. It looks like Austin will be taking an active part for a long time. The future does look bright. I hope we do enter another “Golden Age”.
In 2010 Engineer Basevich came on the scene. Unlike most of the other Russian toy companies, Engineer Basevich produces figures in the classic plastic like Marx and Airfix of old. Most of there figures are on the same scale as Conte 1/32 figures. Today they are one of the leading toy companies of plastic toy soldiers.
The sets they produce are historically based. A lot of them are based on the history of Russia. These sets are cast in limited run sets. The last few weeks I have been messaging Igor Basevich with some questions.
Here is another interview of a Toy Soldier company owner from Russia. This time it is Igor Basevich of Engineer Basevich.
Igor collects mainly plastic toys soldiers. He is not a fan of resin figures. Rather likes the classic plastic that many of the vintage toy companies used.
Warhorse Miniatures: Hi Igor. I have been a fan of yours for a while. I would like to thank you for taking your time to answer the questions I presented for you.
Igor Basevich: Hi Mike! Thank you very much for your interest in my soldiers. I am glad that my work does not leave people indifferent. I will try to answer your questions.
Warhorse Miniatures: My first question is who is Igor Basevich and how did Engineer Basevich come around?
Igor Basevich: I am primarily a fan of plastic soldiers, a collector and enthusiast for the promotion of toy battles. No war propaganda. “We are at war on the tables, no more war on earth!!” I was passionate about soldiers when I was 7 years old. First it was the Soviet soldiers of metal and plastic, then East Germany & Poland. With the fall of the “iron curtain”, there were more opportunities and plastic soldiers of Western Europe and the USA were added to the collection
Engineer is my first profession, engineer-technologist of semiconductors. In the 90’s Russia began with the bourgeois revolution and the engineers were not needed. I was forced to go into private business. But the dream of making my own soldiers did not leave me. And then there was such an opportunity, it was necessary to come up with a brand. I combined my profession and passion. So there were Toy Soldiers Engineer Basevich.
Warhorse Miniatures: I understand that your sets are made in limited amounts. What is the process of production?
Igor Basevich: Initially, I do not set myself the task of making this a business. For me it is primarily a hobby. Over the past 20 years, all production links in Russia have been destroyed, the market is saturated with Chinese goods. Specialists in the manufacture of plastic products was not found. I spent almost five years searching and building the structure to make my soldiers. It was necessary to find a sculptor, caster, galvanist and most importantly, the manufacturer of molds. I managed to do it, and now my team consists of real professionals. Limited edition due to financial costs, they are significantly less. As well as the ability to more quickly implement the entire batch and release the next set.
Warhorse Miniatures: I see three main themes with your figures so far. First is 20th Century Russian themed history. The second is medieval themed Russian related history. The last is Ancient Biblical related historical civilizations. Are your future plans to continue with these main themes or do you want to expand into something else?
Igor Basevich: First of all, I tried to realize my childhood dreams and historical Hobbies. Civil war in Russia, the Second world and Russian Imperial wars. But Ancient times and the middle Ages have always been in my heart. I hope to continue all these topics, but also to please my colleagues collectors with new unexpected sets. In my personal collection there are all time periods, almost all world brands. Lately, I’ve been really into non-military figures in the Bible . The theme of Christmas and Jesus ‘ life (only plastic).
Warhorse Miniatures: I see you have a love of history. I love history too and have a collection of old history & military related books. Besides the figures do you collect historical objects?
Igor Basevich: Yes, I love war books very much. I collect Soviet children’s books on the military theme. I visited a lot of European flea markets and antique shops, and if you come across cheap (!!!) military badges, medals, ammunition, photos and porcelain figurines, that I could afford to buy. Specially I do not buy.
Warhorse Miniatures: I also see that you are involved with Chintoys. Can you tell us something about this?
Igor Basevich: Poor Chintoys, many do not give (it a) rest! 😃😃. My old business partner wanted to invest some money and decided to invest in soldiers. So as he too had toys in his childhood, but not fan(collector). I helped him. But then the sales did not go to well with the first sets. Because it’s a business for him. Then we decided that we would combine our business, and I do marketing and management. Chintoys brand belongs to him. We sometimes also exchange ideas and sculptors for his new sets.
Warhorse Miniatures: What plans do you have for the future for ChinToys?
Igor Basevich: I do not like to talk about my plans in advance, and my partner has a different opinion😀. He has already passed the information about the two sets of Maya and Inca. Work on them is very hard, but it will be just a masterpiece.
Warhorse Miniatures: As a collector, what are some of your favorite brands to collect?
Warhorse Miniatures: I see that your have some sets in different colors. Do you ever plan or releasing some of the older sets in different colors?
Igor Basevich: No, the molds of the old sets are lost.
Warhorse Miniatures: I am sorry to hear about that. Even the Ancient Slavs?
Igor Basevich: Yeah, they just run out of stock and that’s it.
Warhorse Miniatures: I would like to thank you again for taking you time answering the questions. Is there anything else that you would like to say?
Igor Basevich: I would like to thank all our fellow collectors for their interest . Join my FB group TOY SOLDIERS ENGINEER BASEVICH. Unfortunately modern politicians try to separate us, let soldiers unite us!!! Thank you for your attention!!