Welcome back for another post about toys soldiers. I hope all is well with everyone. As usual I have been real busy with work, eBay and all of my hobbies. No rest for the wicked…Today we will take a look at Conte’s new Romans, LOD Barzso American Rangers, some Publius Vikings.
I recently purchased some of Conte’s new Romans. They come in 3 different colors of Red, Silver & Gold. The are 1/32 in scale or about 57mm if they were standing tall. Each bag has 16 figures. They are packed nicely. Inside the plastic bag the figures are broken down in separate bags. Plus some have plastic supports.
Some of the figures can be customized with different arms. This way you can have some extra poses. Most of the Romans are armed with a Pilum or a Gladius. I am glad that Richard was able to produce these plastic toy soldiers. Because of the cost we see less plastic injected figures being made. I don’t have too many Ancient themed toy soldiers. The ones that I do have are Barbarians or Celtic Warriors. Now I have some Romans to fight them.We should see some future Roman sets down the line.
When I was collecting Barzso Playset products one of the sets that I wish I had purchased was the American Rangers. It is a hard set to find at a reasonable price in the secondary market.Now I don’t have to worry about that because Ken at LOD Toys Soldiers has reissued them again. They are cast from the original molds and in the original lime green color or close to it. This is a great set. They are a little bigger than the earlier Colonial sets but blend well with them.
Renamed “Roger’s Rangers 3” this set was originally released in 2010 for the Bushy Run playset.Seven figures in seven poses.
A few months ago I got these Publius Vikings. As usual they are super detailed. They are about 58mm in height not counting the base. The second Viking in the above picture is a little bigger than the others.
The cost of these figures is between $10 to $25 and can be found on eBay. They are cast in a rubbery type of resin.
These figures fit nicely with a bunch of different brands.
I will have some news in a few weeks about the things I am working on. These will be 3D printed. We are testing some new figures and some other things. Thank you for reading. That is it for now.
To my fellow Countrymen. When your sitting around drinking a beer, grilling some food on the BBQ, going to the beach or doing nothing at all, it’s because of American blood that was spent protecting your rights and freedom. Remember all the fallen Heroes this holiday weekend and every day also. Because Freedom, isn’t Free.
The Conte Collectibles plastic Roman sets are now available. The come in 3 different colors of Red, Silver and Gold. They look really nice. I will have some in the near future to do a review. Right now they are $35 a for a bag of 16 figures or you can get 3 bags for $99 and free shipping. Head over to the Conte website to order some here, https://contecostore.myshopify.com/collections/all.
Plastic Platoon is starting to show some previews of their American Revolution figures and they just released an Artillery set. Now they are doing some figures based on the Battle of Bushy Run which took place during the Pontiac War period. I am looking forward to this. I hope to learn more about what they have planned for a future post.
The guys at Warhansa were kind enough to send me some pictures of the latest sets. The first one are English Knights based off of an old movie. They have that Robin Hood/Ivanhoefeel to them. I like them and will do a review in the future. The second set is of movie characters from the 1990’s. Can you guess what movies they are based from?
Here is the Viking Drakkar set. The set is made up of 5 figures, 4 Male warriors and 1 Female. They make great character figures for your Dark Age figures. I like the female warrior the best. The removable base is a nice idea too.You can check out their page over here, http://warhansa.com/.
I am working on a few things and hopefully they work out the way I want them. I will keep you updated. That is about it for now.Thank you for reading.
It has been a while since my last post. I have been busy working extra and dealing with the weather for the most part in January. I have gathered some things that have occurred over the last month into one post.So let us begin with some news from Airfix.
Airfix is releasing 6 of there classic World War II sets this summer. British Paratroops, German Infantry, US Infantry, US Paratroops, German Paratroops and British Infantry. I think these are now being produced in India. I wonder if they will be in a soft plastic again?
Conte’s plastic Romans are in production and should be available before the end of this year. Hopefully by the summer if we are lucky we shall see Roman Legion Set #1. They will come in bagged sets of Gold, Silver & Red.
Some of the figures require assembly. You will have a some choices with the poses. This is a nice feature when building armies. Also the hot & cold water solution to straighten the spear might be needed. Head over to the Conte website over here, https://contecostore.myshopify.com/.
Next we visit CHELOVECHEK / LITTLE MAN.Set №8, which is called “The Missing Expedition of Franklin – EREBUS (1845-1847).” In the set are 6 men in 1/32 scale made in rubber plastic. Here is a short description: – Captain John Franklin with Capuchin the monkey, Private of the Marine Corps armed with a capsule shotgun, Ice Master with hook and pistol, Diver with bogor, Cook with a heavy look, and an old sailor with a ice ax.
Plastic Platoon is very busy these days. They have a new set coming out soon. It is Indian Warriors of the Battle of Little Bighorn #3.
Plastic platoon. Soviet scouts 1943. 1/32 + Master model. Planned for release in Spring 2021.
Here are some 3D rendered Indian figures for the new American Revolution theme sets being developed.
Here are more renders of the figures of the series American Revolution. This time, the figures are from the Artillery Revolution set. The girl is Molly Pitcher.
Next we see what Publius is up too. Here are a few of the new sets being released.There is a crusader set, Greeks and Knights.
The last thing I have to report about Publius is the prototype of an Amazon.
Mars has two new sets coming out later this year. They are World War II German Paratroop Artillery and Mortar sets.
David and Kim at MicShaun’s Closet have some new foam pieces in development.Here are the photos of their new North Africa Building in three paint schemes.
PlusPalisade Walls for the Alamo and other dioramas. Three different pieces – plain wall, angled section (more for Alamo) and and artillery section.Check out more of their products at https://micshaunscloset.com/.
Last time I previewed the English Archer set by Warhansa. They have continued with some new medieval themed sets. They are English medieval themed sets. I really like these sets.
One of my favorite projects was the Robin Hood Set. After the set came out in 2007 I had 5 more Merry Men sculpted by the brilliant Jay Richardson of Ft. Worth , Texas. They were to be the basis for a small add on set called the Men of Sherwood Forest. The figures were in various camp poses , seated , standing around, etc. One guy was designed to carry a variety of items , like firewood , a cask, etc. I got involved with other projects and put the originals away for safe keeping. I put them away in such a safe place that I forgot where they were! From time to time I would mount a determined search , but always without success. Years went by, with no Merry Men in sight.
Fast forward to last Saturday night. I was moving some boxes around and found one labeled ” Original Sculpts .” even though I had looked in the box before , I thought I would check each small box inside. Each box contained a set of original figures that I sent to the mold makers and which they had returned, Aztecs, 1805 Marines, Hurons …and then I opened a box labeled British Grenadiers figures #1-#4. But within the box was the set of long lost, misplaced , missing in action Merry Men in Camp ! I immediately called my old buddy Jim Clouse and told him the happy news . We met the next day at a McDonalds parking lot so I could hand them over for some professional photographs. (In addition to his sculpting skills Jim is also an accomplished photographer.
Finally, I communicated with the new owner of Barzso Playsets, Ken Ciak. Ken was excited too and plans to finally produce these figures along with maybe a surprise or two. ( I had planned to include a Maid Marion and Ken makes great female figures and , well, you get the idea.
So there is the story of the missing Merry Men. I can hardly wait until they come out. Can you ?
~ Ron Barzso
Photos were taken byJim Clouse.These figures will probably be out sometime in the summer or early fall.You can see more of the LOD products over here, https://lodtoysoldiers.com/.
Total War announced that they will be releasing Warhammer III late this year. It is a PC video game. Game Workshop is also developing new miniatures bring back the Warhammer Fantasy tabletop game.
Now for some news. I will not be attending the Midwest Toy Soldier Show this year. I will be at the Gettysburg and Columbus Toy Soldier Shows. Maybe some other shows too. But we shall see. I will have some of the Russian based figure sets at these shows. Companies like Prikaz, Warhansa and Publius. Plus the LOD resin sets and some foam products. I should also have my figures ready sometime late spring. That is all for now. Thank you for reading.
Here is a quick recap of what has been happening this week. Plus a review of Chintoys sets 017 & 018.
Here are some pictures of sculpts that were sent to me by Plastic Platoon. They are Plains Indians from the Tribes of the Sioux & Cheyenne. I guess these will be available sometime before the end of the summer or early fall. The details are excellent. These figures are more like a set of Character figures than a regular set. I wish that some of the poses were crouching or running as they would have been at the Little Big Horn. Maybe we will see some figure sets of hand to hand fighting. Or even some mounted figures would be even better.
Here is another figure that is being made for the Conte Romans sets. The details are also excellent. I can’t until these available.
Lion King with alternate arms. Here we have freed him from his ‘flag’ and are turning him loose for hand to hand combat. ; (also have a 3rd left arm holding round shield)
Mars sent me some pictures of the way the box will look for their upcoming set of WWII German Panzergrenadiers.
Here are some pictures of the new sets that have just been released or will be released this month by Prikaz. They are about 56mm or the big 1/32 scale. I will update the catalog page with prices and more pictures soon Prikaz Toy Soldiers
Here are the 6 figures in the Viking Shieldwall set. Three figures with shields standing and three figures with shields kneeling. This set sells for $37.00.
Here are some pictures of the figures from the new “Hunters” set. This set goes for $37.00
Some more pictures of the new Artillery Set. This set has 8 figures and a cannon. This set goes for $100.00.
I ordered the two new sets from Chintoys last week. These sets come in various colors from blue, blue-gray, red and brown. Maybe even more colors? I ordered the the sets in blue. You can find these sets on eBay right now.
Here are the Chintoys Knights Templar CHT017 & Knights Hospitaller CHT018. Here are some more pictures below of the Knights with figures from other brands of Prikaz, Conte & Engineer Basevich to compare them too.
These plastic figures are really nice. I like the choice of poses and use of other medieval weapons the we usually never see. The figures say 1/32 but they are closer to 1/30. They are a little bigger than the Conte medieval figures. But still look really nice with them. They fit very well with the Prikaz & Engineer Basevich figures. If I see the blueish gray color figures I will pick them up one day. I think I will paint a set of these one day if I get another set of the brown ones. I think we will see some Arab warriors one day to fight our Crusaders. I would like to see them do a Teutonic set and some Baltic Pagans to fight. That would some great sets to see.
One thing about going to the toy shows is getting a chance to meet fellow collectors, dealers and company owners. Just to talk about our collections, their products or hobby news. It is almost like therapy, lol. I don’t have to many personal friends that are collectors. So it is fun to talk or explain things to people that actually know what you are talking about or share the same passion in collecting.
Eddie White and Rich Egan.
Or collectors you meet you can talk about the crafting of things. I have been looking into all kinds crafting builds, sculpting items or figures, casting & making molds the past few years. I find it really interesting when I come across someone that is currently creating things. Even if it is something that I might not personally collect. I like to learn what they are doing.
Michael Sreckov on the right talking to fellow collector Thomas Kontos at the Midwest Toy Soldier Show.
A few months ago while I was at the Midwest Toy Soldier show I meet Michael Sreckov. He owns a small business called Warring Warbirds, Inc. They build hand crafted Airplanes and other unique items.
I remember seeing some pictures of his work being displayed in some of the toy soldier forums about the Chicago Toy Soldier Show. They are really impressive.
Michael found some time to answer a few questions.
Warhorse Miniatures: Can you tell us a little about your background and how did Warring Warbirds get started?
Michael Sreckov: I started Warring Warbirds, Inc. about four years ago. I was at the Chicago Toy Soldier Show during the room trading as everyone loves to do. I have been going to this show since 1996 and been a toy soldier collector since I was 12. I loved to see companies like King and Country, Figarti and Britains go head to head in competition with each other bringing new innovated ideas and concepts to the toy soldier industry and to the toy soldier collector. They were always trying to do one up from each other with the so called “Wow factor” to there displays and products. For example the Deutsche Reichsbahn train set introduced on a beautiful diorama depicting a German Train station during WW2 that Figarti did or the awesome diorama’s that depicted snap shots of history that are breath taking that Andy & Gordon Nelson from King and Country would do when showcasing there artistic new figures and vehicles making there creations come alive in miniature.
Michael Sreckov continues:
It was my fellow collectors and I that would talk nonstop of the many wonders they would see room to room. My friend Hans gave me the idea that he would love to see more WWII aircraft to go with his figures and dioramas that he was buying from K& C and Figarti. Then it dawned on me that this was a niche I would love to fill, but how. You heard the saying when opportunity comes a knocking you start a rocking. It was at one of my brother-In-Laws family parties that my opportunity came. See my brother in-law wife’s family are Filipino. My sister in-law’s first cousin was a artist and wood carver. His family owns a mahogany forestry in the Philippines and they carve airplanes, boats and cars and other wooden products. I could not believe what I was hearing. I spoke to him about starting a model plane business that catered to the toy soldier collector. From there it began. I started to ask my fellow collectors what they would like to see in planes.
Michael Sreckov continues:
I would make prototypes like Horsa Gliders and Lancaster Bombers all in 1/32 and 1/30 scale like the toy soldiers and bring them to the show and showcase from the back of my car in the parking lot of the Chicago show. Every plane I built was sold and more people asking where they could get them. I started to think, If I could get orders from customers at the shows. I could start getting them made and delivered to them. I knew my customers, because I am that customer. That toy soldier collector that knows all the details from the exact colors, patterns and accessories of a soldier as to the details to a model plane of a Junkers JU-52 transport bomber. See the devil is in the detail and so am I when it comes to creating works of art. As you can see in the photos I attached.
Warhorse Miniatures: What is the process with the designing of the planes?
Michael Sreckov: It takes 6 to 12 hours in research on the planes then a ten stage process: Carving, Interior build, Putty, Masking, Priming, Base coat painting, Masking, Secondary coat, Detailing, and Final sealer coating. Then the item is carefully packaged for shipping.
Warhorse Miniatures: Are they made of solid wood or a mixture of different materials?
Yes, they are made from Mahogany wood.The only other material would be metal land gear and polymer canopy’s.
Warhorse Miniatures: So I am guessing that most of your sales are at the shows & orders you receive by email. Do you do custom orders too?
Yes at the shows and orders that we receive by email. We do custom orders, but these can take longer pending on the size and detail special pricing.
Warhorse Miniatures: How much do you charge for these?
That depends on the size of the model, The level of detailing and shipping costs. For example a fighter plane 1/30 scale can be around $600 – $800 a model. Medium size range from $800-$1,500.00. Larger planes under 48″wing span $1,500- $1,800 and then there is custom which we would quote a price.
Warhorse Miniatures: Besides the planes do you do the dioramas too?
Yes. Typically bases for the model planes so they can be displayed. Like a 2 x 2 or 3 x 3 diorama base with a run way and area for adding toy soldiers,vehicles and buildings.
Warhorse Miniatures: And any other creations besides airplanes?
Well my good friend Marcus Thorsen of Thorsen Studios has made some beautiful dioramas for my plane displays which are for purchase. For example: We displayed the Hartenstein Hotel from the Movie Bridge Too Far. See pictures attached.
Well that concludes the interview. Michael will be at the Chicago Toy Soldier Show this September. Stop by and say hello. Here is his contact information below.
Michael Sreckov Warring Warbirds, Inc. 3640 Waterscape Terrace Elgin, Illinois 60124
firstname.lastname@example.org Mobile: (708) 683-0518
It was announced on May 30th that the East Coast Toy Soldier Show will continue. It will be on Sunday, November 3rd 2019.
We have more news about Conte. They released some information about their plastic figures on facebook. You can read that below.
Mr. C thought we should show this one, so you understand the process a bit.
We start with a wax original sculpt. Then we make ‘mold masters’ out of what is referred to as a ‘casting resin’. Once the mold masters are perfect, we send to the factory for review and prototyping. The gray figure on the right is a ‘mold master’ which is a virtually an exact copy of the original wax.(not shown) The cream colored figure on left is a plastic prototype made at the factory. Once the cream figure has been reviewed/modified/approved by Mr. C the factory can start making the heavy duty molds which ill produce the plastic soldiers we all have been waiting for.
You can see that what the factory is achieving is almost an exact copy of the mold master. Very slight shrinkage in size usually occurs; also the different colors can play ‘tricks’ with your eyes and make things look slightly different.
the great news here is that the final product looks to be true, faithful and beautiful ‘copies’ of our originals
(in the past, especially with product which we made in Canada, our beautiful originals were often heavily compromised, modified or changed at the factory thereby losing some of the action or sculpting excellence which we pride ourselves upon)
In answer to numerous similar questions:
1) we hope to show the first 4 charging attacking fighting poses in one fell swoop when factory prototypes are approved. We might even delay their unveiling a short time so they can be pictured with the 8 additional action sculpts which have NOT yet been sent to the factory.(like the centurion which we’ve previously shown here on FB)
2) many of the attacking/fighting poses DO have alternate heads, arms and such . we will try to prepare photos of the several alternate permutations.
3) no decision has been made on colors of plastic yet but red, silver , bronze seem the usual suspects
4) Yes, there are ‘casualties’. Thus far a falling wounded with spear in chest, a wounded prone on side, a dead face down, a dead face up have been finished as sculpts. Several at factory and several sit here on RC’s desk. Wounded on knee is almost finished as a sculpt.
5) Roman fort. Nothing to report here. We hope to do one if there is enough collector interest for Roman range. Right now, all action is towards figure sculpt and production and a large scale hand to hand battle.
6) Configuration of sets. NOTHING HAS BEEN FINALLY DECIDED. Having said that, we are leaning towards 12 and/or 16 figures per set.
7) Pricing. No conclusions yet. Need to factor in shipping from factory to USA, shipping once in USA to us, customs fees, production costs, sculpting costs, possible tariffs, packaging, costs of mold masters, etc. etc. This is much more involved than many collectors might realize. Our goal is to keep the price as low as possible for our fellow collectors while also being able to make product which is in keeping with(and better than much of our plastic from the past) our historical Conte standards
8) Yes there are centurions (yes plural), aquilifer, signifer, vexillarius etc. either in the mix already or otherwise coming soon. First versions of these ‘characters’ are all in action fighting poses. As I write this, I know that a brand new sculpt of a signifer who is attacking stabbing with sword in one hand and ‘flag’ in other is almost finished. A variation of this pose has him holding the ‘flag’ with 2 hands and using it like a spear.
9) What other Roman ranges (made by others) will these ‘go with’? We are designing these as a “conte” series with typical conte size and have given absolutely no thought at trying to match the size or ‘look’ of Romans made by others.(There are a lot of nice Romans by others) The sculpting detail, the animation, the full-round designs, the ‘interaction ‘ of the figures within the range etc. are what we are focusing on.
Each collector will have to decide for themselves whether our new sets ‘go with’ any of the other Romans out there….
Our Romans will , in general, be a tad shorter than our Barbarians. This is intentional and based upon historical fact and ancient writings. It was even recorded that the Barbarians often attempted to insult the Romans by calling them ‘pygmies’
No set date yet. As soon as the first groupings go into mass production we shall have some updates.
We are as anxious as you to see these fellows in action and doing our best .
Lastly, Mr. C asked me to let you know that while he tries to answer all emails and letters, he cannot respond to all of the private inquiries and questions asking for special advance info or advance sneak peeks. He wants all collectors to have access to updates equally and at the same time. The best places for updates are here on FB or to be signed up (on our web page) for email blasts from us directly.
Sergey sent me a picture of the new Zombie Pirates in green color. They should be out in June. My favorite one looks like Barbrossa.
I almost forgot about the leaked photos of the Plastic Platoon 7th Cavalry prototype sculpts. Plastic Platoon released these are some pictures were leaked. Hopefully we will see these by the end of the summer. Here are more pictures.