Latest News!!! 09-19-19 ~ Ken Ciak of LOD Announces the purchase of Barzso Playsets!!

LOD Barzso

The news just came in. Ken Ciak of LOD announced that they have purchased Barzso Playsets. So what does that mean? Well I was lucky enough to talk with Ken this week and ask him a few questions. Here are some highlights about the transaction. 

~ LOD owns all the rights to the figures & foam buildings & terrain pieces and other items.

~ They will keep the Barzso name on the products like the earlier molds they had purchased.

~ Ron is going to stay on and consult for at least a year.

~ Production of the Barzso figures will done in Indiana. 

LOD

Last week Ken posted this picture on Facebook. He left an “easter egg” of things to come by adding some of the classic Barzso figures. I had a feeling that something was in the works. I have been wishing this would happen since I found out that Ken started recasting some of the plastic Barzso sets and when they had both worked together on the last Barzso playset. Barzso playsets is a major part of my collection. So the news that LOD will continue with the Barzso products is an early Christmas gift.

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Earlier in the week I was talking to Ken about a post I was working on and some other things. He mentioned to me about his plans. I was sworn to secretly and I am proud to say I didn’t break, lol. I put some questions together and Ken found some time in his busy schedule to answer them.  

Warhorse Miniatures: I know that you have been working with Ron for a while, so this is really not a surprise to me. Can you tell us how all of this went down?

Ken Ciak: Thanks for the questions and opportunity to share a few details with you and your readers. Ron and I struck up a friendship back in 2015 as I released the initial War at Troy figure set. With us both being from the Midwest and three hours apart, we have ample opportunity to get together and visit on the hobby. I purchased four of his figure molds that are at the same factory in 2016 and we collaborated on the Yorktown Playset in 2018. He wore me down 😊. No, just kidding. We discussed the future of the company and agreed on the value in keeping these popular products in the marketplace. While I am still relatively new to the hobby (and production), Ron and I both agreed that it was a good fit to keep the Barzso products available while also finding new markets and outlets for them.

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Warhorse Miniatures: I bet collectors would like to know your plans. You said you have all the rights to the figure molds and foam piece molds. Do you have plans on recasting all of these or just some?

Ken Ciak: Enterprises did purchase the company so we do have rights to all figure and foam molds. We will be assessing the market and bringing our products little by little. While these dates are not finalized, I would anticipate that we have figure sets available after January 1st. Ron has offered to work with me on a consulting basis so we will develop a plan with specific sets to re-introduce first. I will also be soliciting feedback from collectors and commit to do our best to make as many fans as happy as we can.

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Warhorse Miniatures: Will the figures be recast in resin or plastic. Maybe both?

Ken Ciak: The figure sets will be recast in resin. To have them done in plastic would necessitate making new molds and would be cost prohibitive.

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Warhorse Miniatures: Now that you own Barzso Playsets. Do you have any plans to continue producing playsets like the way Ron did?

Ken Ciak: That is a good question and intriguing possibility, but probably not. I know we will not be re-releasing Playsets that Barzso Playsets did in the past. Those were created at a specific time and many (most) are collector’s items. We will release components of them in figure or accessory sets for sure.

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Warhorse Miniatures: Most of Barzso Playsets was Resin based. But LOD is mainly plastic injection. How is this going to effect the way LOD develops?

Ken Ciak: This is going to provide LOD with the ability to use both processes. We will continue to create figure sets with Eastcorp Toys with new lines and growth within the existing War at Troy series. The resin based molds held here in the Midwest will be accessible for recasting many of the existing sets, but also to create character figures that we do not realistically need 2,000 shots of. We are considering doing the Greek Gods and Goddesses in resin, as an example.

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Original Barzso Sculpts that Ed Borris owns.

Warhorse Miniatures: Here is another question. I know that Ron had some finished sculpts that he never had produced. Do you plan on releasing any of those figures?

Ken Ciak: To be honest, I have not given this one any thought as of yet. I am not against doing that at all.

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Warhorse Miniatures: Thanks a lot Ken. I just wanted to clarify one thing about the playsets. You said that you weren’t going to re-release any of the older sets. But how about anything new?

Ken Ciak: I am not sure on the Playsets at this point. They do create a buzz and are worth looking into, but figure sets and allowing the customer to create their own diorama/scene appeals to me more right now. It is a little different, but I am interested in how Austin Miniatures Playset does this weekend.

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Metal Cannon

Warhorse Miniatures: Have you thought about creating any new resin figures that would support existing sets or themes. For example F&I War British Artillery set?

Ken Ciak: Yes, I certainly want to add on to the existing sets with new figures and sets. I am excited to introduce my sculptor to the production team in Indiana. A lot of creative genius between them and we will be putting out some fun items over the next few years.

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Warhorse Miniatures: Would you like to tell the collectors anything else?

Ken Ciak: We are excited about the acquisition of Barzso Playsets and keeping the legacy of Ron’s creativity and imagination available for new and experienced collectors. He and Mary Ann have become good friends and I can think of nothing better than taking their products out to more and more people.

That being said, we verbally closed the deal a few weeks ago and just announced it at the Chicago Toy Soldier Show. There is a lot of research and work to do on my part (Ron will help). I will keep you and our enthusiasts updated frequently on social media and my website, but we are in the earliest stages when looking at upcoming releases.

Thanks for all of the support and we are excited to take collectors along on this expansion with us.

LOD Barzso

That concludes the question that I have for now with Ken. I hope to continue helping him in any way to continue the fine traditions of Barzso Playsets. I will be doing another post in the near future about the Barzso products. Any feedback from the collectors is most welcome. 

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Most collectors will be happy about the recent news of Barzso Playsets. But some of those greedy eBay sellers will not. I will try to keep spreading the word about new old stock being made as they come out.

I will have some more posts this weekend about the show and LOD. Take Care for now & Thank you for reading.

Interview with Nick & DeAnna Versteeg of TSSD. Plus Mars WWII Japanese Paratrooper Review & some Barzso News.

TSSD

Well it is almost September and the Chicago Toy Soldier Show. One of the biggest plastic makers will not be there this year. If you have been collecting plastic toy soldiers over the last 20 years you probably heard of Toy Soldiers of San Diego or TSSD. When I first started looking for toy soldiers on the internet Nick was one of the first dealers that I found. I remember chatting with him about some hobby related topics and getting few things. He was very helpful.

Nebelwerfer TSSD

Last year TSSD was sold to Dave & Kim Cook of https://micshaunscloset.com. They are now re-stocking older sets if you need something.

 

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I had stopped collecting for a bunch of years and TSSD started producing their own plastic figures. A bunch of years later I started collecting again. This was around the time their Plains Indian Sets were being produced. The have always been a favorite of mine.

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Last year I was planning on setting up to do an interview with Nick & DeAnna, but waited when I heard that they were talking about selling their company. Recently after purchasing some items from them we set up an interview.

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Hi. Nick & DeAnna. It has been a pleasure to purchase your products over the years. I hope that both of your a doing well. 

Warhorse Miniatures: I remember purchasing some things from you before you started producing your own products. Can you tell us how you got started?

TSSD: Hello Mike. 

I started collecting again, perhaps 25 plus years ago after seeing an ad in a civil war history magazine from “The Toy Soldier Company”. Then Conte Collectibles arrived on the scene. I had visited with Richard when he was still in Las Vegas. I was very impressed with what he had already done in the hobby and what he had planned to do.

I wished to design & manufacture figures at least as good as Conte Collectibles had already released. The two keys to our manufacturing success was the sculptor David Lea and Bill McMaster of BMC Toys. He introduced us to his Hong Kong connection for the manufacturing.

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Warhorse Miniatures: You started producing plastic figures in the 1990’s. Your first sets were American Civil War figures. What was the main reason you started with this theme?

TSSD: DeAnna and I could not afford to “Lay an Egg” on our first attempt. So we went with something safe, the American Civil War. At the time, it seemed that the most popular historical period was the Civil War.

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Warhorse Miniatures: You have produced figures from the Alamo, American Civil War, Cowboys & Indians, Romans & Barbarians, Vietnam War and World War II themes. If you were going to start making figures in new theme, what would that be?

TSSD: Perhaps World War One. There are so many different ways to go. WWI had everything from Cavalry to Tanks!

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Warhorse Miniatures: It seems that the cost of producing plastic figures these days has really increased since when you first started. Can you give us your insight into this?

TSSD: It has been years since we first started manufacturing. I think it is logical to assume that all costs to produce new figure set would have increased by now. That being said, it still seems very reasonable to me. The key to keeping the costs down is to manufacture enough sets the first time out.

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Warhorse Miniatures: My favorite sets that you produced were the American Indian sets. They are really great to paint too. What are some of your most favorite sets and why?

TSSD: I agree, David did a great job with the American Indians. I have always like the long coat winter Union Civil War Infantry. They are different from most other Civil War sets made by anyone. They came out very well and they also look great when painted.

Also our very first set the Civil War Confederates have always been some of my favorite figures. I remember when we first released set # 1 they were very well received. Collectors had really not seen anything like them at the time.

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Warhorse Miniatures: Along the way you worked with Barzso Playsets and Paragon Scenics. Was there any other companies that you worked with or wanted to work with?

TSSD: It was really great teaming up with Ron Barzso on “The Road to Stalingrad” playset. It was a big hit!! Today if we were to make something new, I would like to team up with Ken Ciak the owner of LOD Enterprises. I like what he is doing and what he plans to do.

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Warhorse Miniatures: What are some of your favorite things in your collection? And are you still collecting?

 

TSSD: My favorite TSSD set is Set # 1, the Civil War Confederates. The sculptor did an amazing job. I also named each figure pose, which people really enjoyed. To this day they still are a hit with collectors. Over 10,000 sets sold world wide!

I also really like some of our foam pieces. Most made by Gary Fournier in SoCal. The 12 pieces that we added to the “Conte Collectibles” Alamo are some of my favorites too. With the Conte pieces and the TSSD Alamo pieces & TSSD Chapel building. You can easily make a great looking Alamo diorama.

Today I mostly collect “King & Country” metal figures. Years ago we were also a metal dealer. I have some metal figure sets from K & C, Frontline, Conte, W. Britain and other older companies. 

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Warhorse Miniatures: If there was one more set of toys soldiers or a foam piece that you could make what would it be?

 

TSSD: I would like to do something different. Like “The Charge of the Light Brigade” or If money was no object a Massive “Picketts Charge” type of playset or similar! 

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Warhorse Miniatures: One of the reasons you retired was because of your health. How are you feeling these days?

 

TSSD: I’m doing ok. I had a stroke several years ago. Plus several other heath issues since then. I feel lucky to still be here and still a part of the hobby. My Amazing wife DeAnna has been through all of this with me as well, Unfortunately! DeAnna ran TSSD while I still had my real job and she learned the business. She has done a Great job.

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Warhorse Miniatures: Your journey in this business has been an inspiration to me, the Cooks and to others. What advise would you give to any one thinking about trying start there own toy soldier company?

 

TSSD: I would say “Go For It!!” Make a good business plan and follow it. Find the best sculptor that you can. It all starts there. Visit with other toy soldier companies as well. I wish everyone working in the hobby and anyone wanting to manufacture all the Best & Good Luck.

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Warhorse Miniatures: Thanks again for taken your time in answering the questions. Would you like to share anything with the collectors?

 

TSSD: I would like to Thank Everyone in this Great Hobby that helped us and supported us all these years. And I want to Thank my business partner & Wife who made all this possible! DeAnna has been the perfect “Toy Soldier Wife” and business partner!

Thank you everyone and keep on collecting!!

Nick VerSteeg

FORMERLY ‘TOY SOLDIERS OF SAN DIEGO

TSSD

Well that concludes the interview. Thank you Nick & DeAnna for all everything you have done for the hobby. Now we will start with some news.

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Barzso Sculpts

Ed Borris has acquired these original Barzso sculpts that were never made. He has plans to have them cast for a limited run mini set. These were supposed to go with the Bushy Run set Ed says.

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I read on Stad’s page that X-Force is getting ready to release a medieval set again. Here are what look like some peasant militia. You can read more over here, Stad’s Stuff.

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Mars Japanese Paratroopers

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I recently got these Mars World War II Japanese Paratrooper from Kent of Toy Soldier HQ. You can check out his page over here, http://toysoldierhq.com/. He also sells on eBay, Kent on eBay. Mars is getting better with there sets. I would give them a B for this set. The grade of B is mainly for a missed opportunity of this set being so much better.

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I like the subject matter and most of the poses they did chose. The main thing that I dislike is the scale of these figures. If they were just a little thicker, it would have been a great set. They do look good when you mix them in with Marx & MPC Japanese figures. MPC is there best match. Some of the Marx figures look ok mixed, some not that good. TSSD are bigger that these figures and Airfix are thicker. Like the Marx figures, the Airfix figures look ok with some poses and not that good with others.

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Some of the figures look clean and some less. You can see what I am talking about by looking at the pictures. The weapons look better than the earlier Japanese set. For the price it is worth getting to add these figures to you vintage Banzai!!!

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It has been a busy summer with work. I have picked up a few more figure sets and playsets the last couple of months. While writing this article I purchased the TSSD/Barzso “The Road To Stalingrad” playset, lol. In my next post I hope to have some pictures of the things that I have been getting. Plus a few more reviews of new or older products. That is it for now. Thank you for reading.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Collector’s Corner ~ Interview with Ed Borris.

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Todbringer

Around 2015 I started becoming more active in collecting toy soldiers again. I joined a few of the facebook groups and started this blog page. I also started attending the toy shows on a regular basis. After a while you start building some connections & friendships with other collectors. One of those collectors is named Ed Borris. He reminds me of Boris Todbringer from Warhammer. The Grizzly Leader of Middenheim who gave his eye defending his realm also known as Elector Count Boris Todbringer, Graf of Middenheim, Grand Duke of Middenland, Prince of Carroburg, Protector of the Drakwald, Warden of the Middle Mountains, Beloved of Ulric. They must have used Ed as inspiration. 

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Today I got a chance to sit down with the Infamous Ed Borris. If you have been collecting for a while you most likely have either heard of him, met him at a show or seen some of his custom conversions on the internet. He is famous for his Alamo conversions. He also has a some limited run figure sets made. Plus a custom designed figure of himself set in the Alamo theme. Which I am proud to say I own.

Borris Figure

Hi Ed, I hope you are feeling better soon.

Warhorse Miniatures: I know that you are a collector of a lot of the Marx figures. Can you tell us about yourself and when did you start collecting?

 

Ed Borris: Well, I was born and raised in Chicago. I was hooked at an early age (with toy soldiers). What got me me hooked was my Alamo playset that I got for Christmas one year when I was 5. It was the large Alamo with 5 cannons, the cream and metallic blue Mexicans and the 45mm defender. I’ve been collecting off and on since then. I really got back into it in 2000 and slowly became a dealer/collector.

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Warhorse Miniatures: I have seen some of your great conversions over the years. When did you start doing this?

 

Ed Borris: Back in 2000 I started gathering Alamo figures off of E-Bay. At first I bought all my conversions from Roger Ross and Gary Dutko. While I like their figures they didn’t necessarily cover the poses I wanted.  So examined what they did and decided to try it myself. I made poses I felt I needed. One day a buddy came over and he saw my Alamo that I had set up in my basement at the time and some of my conversions. Well he really liked them and asked if he could buy some of them from me. I was reluctant, but I said why not and he bought 25 or 30 of my conversions. I thought if he liked them maybe other people would too. So I started making them, most of them unique. Unlike others I don’t do too many guys over and over or just do a lot of head swaps. The first time I went to a show and tried to sell my conversions I brought about 140 or so of them. Four or five guys bought 5 or 10 at a time. Then suddenly Craig Remington walked in took one look at them and said how much. I gave him the price and he said he’ll take them all. I’ve been churning them out ever since.

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Warhorse Miniatures: I would think that you must have done thousands of conversions. Can you tell us about the process?

 

 

Ed Borris: There are few standard conversions that whoever converts does and I do them too. My process is, I think a pose up in my head or look at a picture from some book or magazine what pose I think I want to do. I then try to find the parts from my rather large pile of figures & parts to make the pose come alive so to speak. My actual process is fairly simple I don’t have a drill or a saw, I cut everything with an X-acto knife and use brush on crazy glue with straight pins to attach all the parts. I do use filler now and then, but often the glue and the paint can obscure the seam lines. Often when I’m trying to put together one of my visions I discover my idea won’t work, however the guy I end up with is better than my vision. (At the end of the interview we have a tutorial that Ed provided.)

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Warhorse Miniatures: Last year you had a limited run set of Mexicans based from original Barzso sculpts. Do you have any other sets planned that you want to make?

 

Ed Borris: I do have one figure in the works that I found in a junk box, I made a couple slight changes and suggested a couple of more to Jason Pope who is going to make him up for me. It will be small run, very small.

Barzso Metal Indians

Warhorse Miniatures: Besides your Alamo collection. What are some of your favorite things to collect?

 

Ed Borris: My only other real interest is Custer’s Last Stand. I also collect single figures that I find interesting, they can be from any era. Generally they are odd figures that you don’t often see or take notice of. The pose is what usually strikes me.

Stengel

Warhorse Miniatures: Any funny stories that you would like to share with us from some of the shows?

 

Ed Borris: John Stengel and I were at a dealer party at Mad Dawgs in San Antonio. I got there late because my original flight got cancelled. By the time I got there most of the people were half in the bag. So I had some catching up to do. Anyway gradually everyone else cleared out except John and me. We were pretty toasted. We finally decided it was time to go and we suddenly realized we didn’t really know how to get back to the motel. I somehow managed to remember part of the way I walked there and we staggered back together to the motel.

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Medieval figures by Valdemar Miniatures

Warhorse Miniatures: What do you think of the hobby these days? There was Marx and then nothing. Then companies like Barzso & Conte popped up. Do you have any insight about the hobby from the past to the present?

 

Ed Borris: Unfortunately I didn’t get involved at the height of the Marx heydays. I got back around 2000. I say the tail end of the higher prices, but the height of Conte & Barzso and the emergence of TSSD & Paragon. When I got interested again those newer companies were already in action. I think they were great for the hobby, they breathed new life into it and got more people involved. Not just old Marx collectors. The more the merrier I say. If the hobby was just old Marx items the hobby would had pretty much died out. Many people involved now have no interest in old Marx items and collect newer items.

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Ed Borris’s Ron Barzso tribute figure made by Jason Pope

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Conversions by Ed Borris

What is a conversion?

My definition would be the transformation of a figure into a new and different pose.

Why would someone convert a figure or figures?

No matter how many figures are produced on a subject or era, one can always imagine a pose or poses that are lacking for their needs. Most manufacturers of plastic figures and even metal figures generally only cover the most basic of poses even if it is a specialized set. Like perhaps a cannon crew. Someone may want a dead cannoneer draped over the cannon which may not have been produced. If someone truly desires that pose for their diorama, they would either need to make one themselves or pay someone to make one for them. While I convert different era’s my specialty is the Alamo. I find that casualty figures are lacking. It seems that  when manufacturers are making figures that they shy away from these poses. They have a limited number of poses that they can produce in one set and they fill them standard poses. That’s what got me started in converting in the first place, trying to fill that void.

What process is involved in converting a figure?

⦁ Visualize the pose you want to end up with, this really the most important step,. You have to know what you want in the end before you can start. Do you want to produce someone being shot, dead, firing, charging, fighting hand to hand etc etc.

⦁ Consider what parts would be needed to transform the figure to the desired pose.

⦁ Locate the parts needed from other figures or other sources.

⦁ Verify that those parts from other figures are compatible with the original figure. There is often a difference in sizes in various figures even if produced by the same manufacturer. The parts could be too large or too small. There are differences in the way they are dressed to make them not compatible. For instance a figure in long sleeves cannot easily be matched with a figure with short sleeves or a figure from the Revolutionary War may not match up well with WWII Marine.

What tools are needed to convert a figure?

There are many tools that can be used, some people use small hand held saws, Dremels, drills, and soldering irons. These all have their uses and over time you can decide for your self what you need. I however believe in the KISS philosophy ( keep it simple stupid), I use the flowing tools:

X-acto knifes ( I use a large one for cutting and a smaller one for fine tuning)

Straight pins (they reinforce any parts you may add to the base figure)

A push pin (use to make the hole in which you insert the straight pin)

Glue (choose your favorite, I use brush on crazy glue)

Combination wire cutters/pliers (to push in the straight pin and cut the inserted pin down to size)

Bic Lighter (I use BIC you can use whatever you like if you choose to go this route. I use the lighter to heat up one of the X-actos to smooth out rough seams where you are attaching parts from different figures)

Paint (often the parts you may use may be different colors than the figure you are merging them with) I try to paint all figures to fit into the typical play set theme, where different armies are one color.

Simple Conversion

I will now go through a step by step of a simple conversion.

Tools

I use simple tools. Once you get comfortable making conversions you may find other tools not pictured will help you in your task. I have two X-acto knifes, glue, straight pins, push pin, combo pliers/wire cutter and a BIC lighter. The push pin is hidden by the glue.

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Figure Selection

I selected these two figures as I have done them many times before, instead of standing firing pose and an advancing pose, we will have a shooting pose advancing.

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Cutting the figures

I am going to cut each of these figures at the waist. There is a clear division between the torso and the legs, it’s hard to make out in this photo, but I am going to make my cuts at this division.

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Preparing the figure for pin insertion

When combining figures from different makers, you will often find that the plastic from one figure is of a harder type then the other. I always insert the pin in the harder plastic figure so it makes it easier to combine the figures later on. Since these figures are from the same maker, I selected the upper torso as there is more room to insert the pin without worrying about the pin protruding from the legs when I combine them. It is not necessary to completely insert the push pin, just insert if far enough so you will get a firm connection.

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Inserting straight pin and cutting off the pins head

Use the combo pliers/wire cutter to push the pin into the figure, again don’t push the pin all the way in as you will want to use the pin to connect to the other part of the figure you are trying to make. Just push it in far enough so you will have a firm platform to combine the figures. After you have inserted the pin to your satisfaction, cut the head off the straight pin, you will want to leave enough pin sticking out so you can combine it with the other part or parts. The length you will leave protruding will vary depending on the parts you are combining. For example you would leave more pin when combing upper and lower torsos then you would for a hand or head.

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Combining the parts

You are now ready to combine the two parts. Line up the parts and try to center them so they will combine as evenly as possible.

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Now that you have it lined up, put some glue in between the two parts. I use a brush on Crazy Glue as this makes it easy to apply the glue where I want it. Once you have applied the glue push the parts together.

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Hold the two parts together firmly and give the glue a chance to set up. You now have a new figure.

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The only thing left to do is try to smooth out the seams between the two parts, I heat up the smaller X-acto knife and smooth out the junctions.

Now that you have a finished figure you can paint it if you wish, note the figures used in this conversion were the same color, that is not always the case. I paint all my Mexicans one color and the defenders another, so I have that clear distinction between opposing forces.

I would also advise to save your extra parts as they may come in handy later for making additional conversions.

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Ed Borris & Plastic Toy Soldiers

Marx 60MM

I sometimes find myself asking why I collect plastic unpainted toy Soldiers. This requires me to take a close sometimes scary look at myself. So, I’m going to take you on a journey to my early years.

I grew up in Chicago in a predominately white lower to middle class neighborhood as an only child. We lived in the basement of a house owned by my grandparents. The dominant religion in my neighborhood was Catholic. The ethnic makeup was predominantly of Eastern European descent with a sprinkling of Irish and Italians. Although Chicago is a vast city our street only extended for one block,but that one block housed a lot of children.

One of the interesting facts about Chicago is that it averages about 84 days of sunshine a year and the winters can be rather snowy and cold. You may ask yourself what does this have to do with unpainted plastic toy soldiers? Well, due to the weather a lot of days are spent indoors.

Marx Gallant

 

What does a young child do to occupy himself on these days spent indoors? Different children do different things, some watch TV, but in those days we only had four channels to choose from, you can read, or the most popular, play with toys. Different kids had different tastes, so many would color, play with cars or build things with building blocks. My personal choice was generally unpainted plastic toy soldiers.

Why unpainted plastic toy soldiers? Well, they were readily available, almost every drugs tore or variety store carried them back then from one maker or another, they were cheap and for me they held my attention. I could set them up and have battles for hours at a time. There was a cool little variety store located a couple of blocks from where I lived called Darby’s. It was an old-fashioned store with wooden floors that sold just about everything. They had a candy counter and one half of an entire aisle devoted to toys with a counter made of wood portioned with glass forming bins containing all sorts of toy soldiers, plus rack bags galore. This store was a favorite of mine, so when my mother would announce she was going there I tried to always tag along and con her into buying me some toy soldiers as they were always my first choice. Back then there many different toy soldiers to choose from in the many bins in the toy aisle. Some contained painted metal, mostly Barclay pod feet type guys or unpainted plastic Marx 60mm figures, the ones that later became Warriors of the World. On most trips my con game was successful, I would choose the plastic figures that you got the most bang for your nickel or dime. Sometimes my dad would accompany us and he would usually buy me a Barclay metal figure. I guess he identified with metal toy soldiers and he probably thought they were more of a collectible item. I preferred the plastic guys, but who was I to complain?

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Why do I prefer unpainted plastic? To me there is something simple yet elegant in an unpainted plastic figure, you can see the facial expressions of each figure. The lines in the clothing, the details of the weapon they hold plus the were usually advertised as unbreakable. Always a plus with rowdy young child.

Once I returned home, always an anxious time for me because I could hardly wait to tear open that bag and incorporate these newly purchase figures into one of my many battles. I had a sandbox in my yard and on those sunny days my toy soldiers would accompany me to the sandbox where I could dig trenches, make fox holes and give my battlefield a more realistic feel.

In my early days, I didn’t get boxed play sets, but rather just bagged or loose figures. That all changed with my 5th Christmas.  On Christmas morning there was a rather large box under the tree. When I opened it there was a box that said Alamo on it. I waited anxiously as my father removed the large staples from the box so I could see what was inside. Inside there was a tin Alamo, bags of Mexicans & defenders, horses, cannons accessories and everything a kid could need to fight his own battle of the Alamo. My set had two bags of metallic blue Mexicans one bag of cream defenders. Then I had two bags of silver and one of tan defenders, there were 5 cannons , bags of accessories and horses. I was in awe and couldn’t wait to start my battle. Of course I had to wait for my dad to read the instructions and assemble all the tin pieces before I could begin the carnage. Funny thing after 67 years on this planet I can still remember that day as if it was yesterday, it was the first Christmas I remember and one I will never forget.

Marx Alamo 3544

 

For the next four or five Christmases or birthdays I would receive a Marx play set every year and each one was greatly appreciated, some more than others. I would put a set on my want list every year, Battleground, The Artic Explorer and Cape Canaveral. But instead of the Marx sets I requested I’d get a substitute and although grateful, there was always a tinge of disappointment. Although in some instances I probably got more enjoyment out of some of these replacement sets than I would have from the Marx set I wanted.

Anyway, from the age of 5 to perhaps 14 unpainted plastic toy soldiers were a part of my life, when I wasn’t outside doing whatever it was that kids did back then I was inside playing with my toy soldiers. Of all the things that occupied my time, I enjoyed those times the best. I remember with sadness when my parents started commenting that I was getting to be too old for toy soldiers and maybe I should pass them on younger kids. I guess they could never grasp how I felt about my toy soldiers and all those things they meant to me, they were like friends to me. The day my mother finally made me give them away almost broke my heart, it was another one of those days I will remember forever. However, that day was a day of sadness and not joy.

Gradually I accepted that perhaps I was too old and maybe I should move on to other things. Whenever I would go over to a friends house and if he had a little brother playing with toy soldiers, I would always check them out. If I was at some store that sold toys, I would make it a point to sneak into that aisle to see what was being sold in the way of toy soldiers.

As I grew older, I moved on to other things and for the most part I was occupied with girls, sports , school and working. Toy soldiers were pretty much on that back burner, but I never fully forgot those good times I had with them. If I would go to some store that carried them I would always make it a point to check out what was new. While I would refrain from purchasing any it was more out of a sense I was too embarrassed to buy them, not that I didn’t want them.

Eventually I got married at a young age, too young really and I found myself disenchanted with my wife and basically bored with her. At this point I decided that I was of the age that I could become a hobbyist and build dioramas. That would be like playing with toy soldiers again, but not actually crawling on the floor and having battles. So I began buying them with the intent of making a diorama that depicted Waterloo. I would run off to the local hobby shop and buy boxes of Airfix 25mm figures, terrain pieces and other items to complete my diorama. When I wasn’t playing ball, working or out chasing women (yes, I was still married), I got to work on my diorama. I should point out that at this time I ventured into making conversions, they were somewhat crude. But conversions none the less. I would spend hours when not otherwise occupied setting up and gluing figure to my diorama base, then viewing the battlefield and rearranging them.

One day I got divorce. About a year later I got remarried. This event caused me to put my hobby on hold again as I now had what I thought was new purpose. This hiatus lasted 19 years. Once again I found myself getting a divorce after 17 years of marriage, I got custody of my two young daughters so after two years of learning to be a proper parent I discovered E-Bay. The first thing I searched for on E-Bay was you guessed it, unpainted plastic toy soldiers. My first purchase was a home made Alamo compound. Once again I was back in the hobby, now that I had an Alamo compound I needed figures to occupy it. I was off and running and haven’t looked back since.

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Since that initial purchase I have bought many unpainted plastic toy soldiers and even revived my making of conversions. Eventually, I graduated into becoming a dealer and have remained one to the present time. What do I sell? Why of course unpainted plastic toy soldiers.

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You can see what Ed & Mike are selling on eBay at this link, eBay Seller beverlkutnic-0.

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Thank you for reading. That is it for now.

 

Interview with Sergey Zabashta of Mars Figures & some Hobby News.

Mars

 

I first noticed the Mars Figures company a few years ago, http://www.marsfigures.com/. At the time they were making little plastic toy soldiers in 1/72 scale. I don’t collect figures in that scale so I really didn’t pay any attention to them. After reading an article on the Stad’s Stuff website I was aware that they had now began producing figures in 1/32 scale. 

Mars Panzer Grenadiers5

They started making some sets based on modern warfare. These subjects I do not collect, so I still didn’t really give them to much notice. They did remind me of the old boxed Airfix, Esci or Matchbox plastic toys soldiers that I used to get as a kid.

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This year I noticed that they had started to make some World War II sets. I liked some of the figures in a couple of these sets. But it wasn’t until the Pirates of the Caribbean set was released that I really wanted to get a set of their figures.

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Earlier in the month I started talking to Sergey Zabashta the owner of Mars Figures about doing an interview. After a few weeks he finally found time to answer a few questions.

Warhorse Miniatures: Hi Sergey. Can you tell us a little about yourself and Mars Figures?

Sergey Zabashta: Yes of course. From my early childhood I was fond of collecting model airplanes. The same was for 1/32 & 1\72 scaled plastic figures. When the USSR collapsed it was a difficult time for many people. Many people stopped taking part with their hobbies because they were faced with many other problems. My interests had also changed. Approximately in 2001, I realized that I wanted to work and make money that brought me satisfaction. I analyzed the 1/72 scale market at that time. I concluded that I can earn money and that I would be interested in doing it.

 

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(Sergey continues) It began with the fact that I created the EVO brand and repackaged LW products (At that time, a company with a large assortment of figures of 72 scales) in bags with my EVO logo. I also resold wholesale products from Zvezda, Miniart and others. It did not last long. Then I leased a number of molds from the Archipelago company. By that time I decided to make a beautiful package(box art) and a new brand that I called Mars (god of war and a close planet in my horoscope :-))

 

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(Sergey continues) Things went well and I also bought some of the molds from the Converter company. The production of these figures from those molds were copies of Esci and Revell figures. At that time it was not prohibited in my country but buyers from Europe had a negative opinion about such products. Therefore it was decided to make new original molds. The first set was Pirates of the Caribbean Sea in 1/72 scale. There were many difficulties with the production of the first set, but I was able to achieve a good work of the mold. Today we have more than 100 sets in 1/72 scale. And about 20 sets in the 1/32 scale. This year 10 new sets are planned.

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Warhorse Miniatures: Most of your figures are cast in the 1/72 scale. When did you decide to cast them in 1/32 scale?

Sergey Zabashta: I had long thought to start producing figures on the 1/32 scale. I played with toy soldiers of this scale in my childhood. I liked to play WWII figures. In the USSR we had WWII themed toy soldiers from Matchbox, Airfix, and Hong Kong copies growing up. I wondered if I could make a mold for figures of the 1/32 scale. The production of these molds takes a lot of time and money. So for a long time I did not dare to experiment. One day, a friend of mine suggested that I remake the Taliban set in 1/32 scale. This set initially consisted of 8 figures. My friend once invested in producing this set from Oritet. Two molds were made. At that time they were issued, but the head of Oritet died and the project was discontinued. I made a mold using these 4 figures. Production of this mold took about 1 year, but the mold turned out to be successful and is still working. After that, I finally decided that I would release some of the sets in the 1/32 scale.

 

Mars Afghan Mujahidin or Taliban Fighters

Warhorse Miniatures: Your first sets cast in the 1/32 scale were based on modern warfare of Afganistian & Vietnam. Why did you choose these subjects?

Sergey Zabashta: I thought that the 1/32 scale from the USA were the most favorite of this scale being collected. So I wanted to make some sets on the topics related to the conflicts in which the USA took part. Six sets were released for this period. My favorite is Viet Cong. The period of the war in Afghanistan was also limited by manufacturers of 1/32 scaled figures. I made 2 sets for this period, but the sales were low. Therefore more sets for this period are not planned.

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Warhorse Miniatures: My favorite set you did in 1/32 scale are the Pirates of the Caribbean. The sculpting with this set has really improved over some of the earlier sets. Are you using a new sculptor?

Sergey Zabashta: This is the same sculptor who made the figures in Vietnam and Afghanistan. 

Update. Sergey says that the Pirate, Vietnam and Afghanistan were sculpted by the same sculptor. The World War II sets are made with new technology and sculptor. The Somali Insurgents had a different sculptor too.

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Warhorse Miniatures: I know you are planning some new WWII sets and Napoleonic sets for the future. What else are your planning?

 

Sergey Zabashta: I plan to continue making WWII sets. I am also planning on making sets of Conquistadors. They will be heavy cavalry and light Cavalry. 

Update. Sergey said that there will be 4 Mounted poses. These figures will be new sculpts. He is in the process of making the horses first and looking at different sculptors for the figures. He is real excited about this project.

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Warhorse Miniatures: There are a lot of collectors out there like me that collect Barzso, Conte and Airfix. We are looking for new figures that match those figures in scale. Your last set of Pirates of the Caribbean figures match the Barzso pirates perfectly. Are you going to make future sets in the same scale as these brand of figures?

Sergey Zabashta: Yes, of course. I plan to produce figures of 54-58mm. I do not plan to make larger figures in the same way as they produce some technological difficulties.

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Warhorse Miniatures: Thank you for taking your time in answering the questions Sergey. Is there any thing that you would like to say to the collectors?

Sergey Zabashta: Today, most collectors are people over 40 years old. I would like a younger generation to grow up being interested in history and figures. It would be nice if fathers played with their children using toy soldiers. Then when their children grow up they would also continue this. I still remember my feelings when I first picked up the Airfix soldier from the Ghurkas set. I was only 9 years old then. I hope my thoughts were interesting to you.

For questions about the distribution of Mars figures, write to
marsfigure@gmail.com

Mars Blog5Mars GermansMars Panzer Grenadiers9

Mars

That concludes the interview section of this article. I have a few things that I would like to also share.

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I repainted a Barzso Block House foam piece that I got in Gettysburg last month and took out some figures to take some pictures. One of the Barzso Redcoats in the kneeling pose firing had a base. Up to this point I thought they all came with out a base. I had a few other sets that I had in storage that I took out and noticed that these had bases. 

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My question is when did they discontinue or start using a base?

 

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Ever once in a while I stumble across something on eBay or sometimes I read something on Stad’s Stuff about some foreign plastic figures and then will look for them. A few weeks ago I stumbled across these Cromoplasto Indians. 

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They are 1/32 in scale. The material used is rubbery. The are almost semi flat too. One day I will repaint these too….

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Last month I picked this metal figure up at a local flea market. He was made by The Saturday Evening Post in 1982. They appear to be about 1/32 in scale. Probably around 56mm or so in size. The details are really nice. I paid S5.00 for this figure. I will paint this one too, one day……

 

The Workshop

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Last month while at the Gettysburg Toy Soldier show I purchased this Barzso Block House for S100. It had been repainted a semi gloss brown. I didn’t like the way it looked. So I planned on repainting it. It was another project to add to the pile of never ending projects. I was lucky enough to find some time when the weather was nice. Here are some pictures below of my progress.

Barzso Block House2Barzso Block House3Barzso Block House4Barzso Block House5Barzso Block House6Barzso Block House7Barzso Block House8Barzso Block House9Barzso Block House1Barzso Mars

I noticed a few areas that I have to touch up. I was thinking of maybe repainting the stone too. Besides the touch up I was also thinking of dry brushing the wood timbers. What color should I use? A beige or light gray? Plus a ash brown wash?

 

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Next time when you are having a bad day, think of the time Davy had to fight a Grizzly Bear with a tiny knife….

Take Care and Thank you for reading.

Defender

Interview with Michael Sreckov of Warring Warbirds. Plus some hobby news.

Warring Warbirds Logo

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.

Egan

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.

Collectors

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.

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Horsa Glider MKI E3c

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.

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Michael found some time to answer a few questions.

Warring Warbirds

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.

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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.

Horsa Glider MKI E3d

 

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.

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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.

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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.

WW2

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.

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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.

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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.

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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. 

Oosterbeek Hotel HartensteinOosterbeek Hotel Hartenstein1Oosterbeek Hotel Hartenstein2

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

michael@warringwarbids.com
Mobile: (708) 683-0518

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latest-news

 

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It was announced on May 30th that the East Coast Toy Soldier Show will continue. It will be on Sunday, November 3rd 2019.

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We have more news about Conte. They released some information about their plastic figures on facebook. You can read that below.

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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)

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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’

10)When?

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.

 

Mars

Mars Zombie Pirates1

Mars Zombie Pirates

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.

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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.

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Well that is it for now. Thank you for reading.

 

 

An Interview with Gene Abravaya of Paragon Scenics & Miniatures.

Paragon

One of my favorite themes to collect is from the Great Plains Indians Wars period. When collecting figures for this theme Paragon is one of the first companies that come to mind first. If not, it should be. You can visit their website by clicking on this link here Paragon.

I first learned about Paragon Scenics & Miniatures in 2012. They produce Western themed sets in plastic. Their miniatures fit into three themes; The Alamo, American Civil War and The Great Plains Indian Wars. Besides the miniatures they also sell foam terrain pieces, buildings and Forts. They also have produced a few playsets. Their Native Americans figures are considered some of the best ever made in plastic.

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I have wanted to do an interview with Gene since I started doing them. But we couldn’t set some thing up until now. With the help of Ed Borris I was able to put this together. Thanks Ed : )

Ed Borris

An Ed Borris figure by Jason Pope fighting off two Paragon Native Sioux Warriors.

Today we get a chance to talk to Gene Abravaya the owner of Paragon Scenics & Miniatures. Hi Gene. Thank you in advance for taking your time to answer some of these questions.

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Box Art from one of Paragon’s sets.

Warhorse Miniatures: Can you tell us about yourself and how did Paragon get started?

 

Gene: First of all, thank you Mike for giving me this opportunity to reach out to other collectors. This labor of love started a long, long time ago for me when, back in 1959 or so, I received my first Marx Fort Apache playset. I admit that, during my teenage and college years, when I was more concerned about dating and pleasing girlfriends, I was absent from the hobby. After that, pursuing a career and then raising a family took me further away. But always the love of toy soldiers lingered. It wasn’t until my own children gave me a set of Lord of The Rings figures that the desire to collect was reawakened. And shortly after that, the desire to create my own line of figures took hold of me. I have always been a creative person, a lover of all the arts and an over-achiever – the type of person who has always looked to challenge himself. If I was going to make my own line of figures, I was going to make them myself. Something in me kept saying ,”you can do this.” So I did.

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(Gene continues) After checking out the leading manufacturers of new figure sets – Conte and TSSD in particular, I realized how far the industry had come. The work they did and continue to do in advancing the quality of product has to be recognized for its genius and respected its love for the hobby. They were my inspiration and still are. I contacted Nick VerSteeg, who not only unselfishly gave me the benefit of all his insight but gave me the names of the people I needed to contact if I was serious about getting into “the business.” That’s how it started, and after producing sixteen different sets and close to thirty foam diorama pieces, I am still at it. 

Paragon Wilson’s Creek Banks

 

Warhorse Miniatures: Your Native American figures are some of the best sculpted miniatures ever made. Who is the sculptor and can you tell us any background in the development with these figures?

 

Gene: Whether or not other collectors are a fan of my figures, I can honestly say they are the product of my own creation. I personally sculpt each figure of each set. The process has taught me patience if nothing else.

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Warhorse Miniatures: Your latest set is the Alamo Mexican Set 3. They look very nice. I like the new pattern of mixing some mounted figures with figures on foot. Will you continue this practice?

 

Gene: Most of our sets are six figures. Recently, because of rising costs, I have released new sets with four poses but, in many cases, these sets have swivel and swappable heads, giving collectors options that they don’t have when buying other manufacturers’ sets with six or more poses with fused features.

Paragon Mexicans Set3

Paragon Mexicans Set3bParagon Mexicans Set3a

Warhorse Miniatures: It seems that you are very fond of the American West or American Civil War History. Have you ever thought about producing another theme?

 

Gene: Taking a serious look at what had already been produced and what needed to be produced, it seemed like there was an opportunity to make my own presence known to the collecting community by beginning with a line of figures that, growing up, I had always wanted for myself. I have always loved John Ford’s Cavalry trilogy – Fort Apache, Rio Grande, and She Wore a Yellow Ribbon. At that time no one had done the Apache Wars of the Southwest, circa 1870’s, so it seemed like the perfect time to do it. We now do three Apache warrior sets, four US Cavalry sets and one set of Cavalry and Apache Scouts.

Paragon Fort Apache

(Gene Continues) From there we have produced two sets of Civil War figures, Sioux warriors and, another personal favorite, The Alamo. The very next set I received as a boy after my Marx Fort Apache was, you guessed it, Disney’s Davy Crockett Alamo playset. I still remember watching the Davy Crockett series on TV. It was the first time, I believe, a main character of any TV series, died at the end, and if you didn’t exactly see him Fess Parker die (I think the final scene Davy is swinging his rifle at the top of the stairs, the camera pans up as he is surrounded by Mexican soldiers from all sides), it was definitely implied. Nevertheless, to a youngster it was riveting and The Alamo, became not just a monument and a memorial to the nation but something epic in scale in my imagination. I’m very proud of my Alamo sets. What they lack in authenticity, they make up for in drama and versatility. The Mexicans are very reminiscent of Disney’s original designs (minus the backpacks) and the defenders are not just buckskin-clad Tennesseans but from all walks including Tejano.

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Warhorse Miniatures: There was some talk on one of the forums about you retiring at the end of this year? What are your plans?

 

Gene: That brings us to the present and the future of Paragon Scenics and Miniatures. I am currently working on a whole array of foam scenic pieces, twenty or more to be specific, intended for five new playsets that are in development. Two will be 7th Cavalry in concept – Paragon’s version of Custer Hill and the defensive position by Reno and Benteen’s men on the bluffs above.

(Gene Continues) Two will be what I call The Antietam Series – The Bloody Road and the taking of Burnside’s Bridge.

(Gene Continues) The fifth and last of the new playsets will be an expanded version of what we began with – The Final battle in John Ford’s Fort Apache. I believe the design and detail in these new pieces will be unsurpassed by anything plastic collectors have seen in the past, and I hope they delight and spark not only those collectors’ imaginations but their children’s and their grandchildren’s.

Paragon The Apache Wars

Warhorse Miniatures: Thank you again Gene. Is there anything else that you would like to say to the readers?

 

Gene: What does the future hold? My answer to that is “who knows”. I have always been driven by inspiration and by my wife’s love and patience. Currently, I have sacrificed a den, a guest room and 90% of my garage to this business. How much more I can sacrifice depends on my health, my wife’s love and her patience. Happy collecting to all!

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Well that is some exciting news about all the future sets and terrain pieces. I can not wait until the Plains Indian theme sets show up.

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Paragon makes some really nice foam pieces. You should try to get them while they are still available. 

Their figures blend very well with other companies like these Barzso Buffalo. They also look great with the TSSD Native American sets. Speaking of TSSD, the new owners have a new website over here at https://micshaunscloset.com/.

Paragon also has painted sets available for sale. Check them at over at http://www.paragon-scenics.com/miniatures/Painted_Figures.html.

 

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GTSS1Gettysburg Toy Soldier Show - Made with PosterMyWall

The Gettysburg Toy Soldier Show

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Warhorse Miniatures is proud to support Prikaz Toy Soldiers. I have set up a online catalog for Alexey Pisarev. The page is still under construction and will be updated soon. It also will be updated as each new set is produced. You can see and read more about this over here at Prikaz Toy Soldiers

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Well folks that is it for now. Thank you for reading.

An Interview with Austin Beidelschies of Austin Miniatures.

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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.

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Marines

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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

Western Figures

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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.

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The playset could look something like this? These are pictures from the Austin Miniatures.

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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.

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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.

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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. 

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You can see more at the Austin Miniatures website. They also sell on ebay at https://www.ebay.com/usr/maschefie2005. To get the latest news go to the Austin Miniatures page on Facebook.

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”.

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Thank you for reading. That is it for now 🙂

Interview with Igor Basevich of Engineer Basevich.

Engineer Basevich Custom Logo

 

 

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.

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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. 

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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.

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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.

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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.

Soviet Army 1935-1939

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).

 

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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.

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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.

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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.

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Warhorse Miniatures: As a collector, what are some of your favorite brands to collect?

 

Igor Basevich: Atlantic, Starlux, Marx – old. Conte, TSSD, S.Weston- new.

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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.

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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!!

Engineer Basevich on Facebook

Toy soldiers Engineer Basevich

 

That ends this blog post. Thank you for reading.

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Interview with Alex Pisarev of Prikaz Toy Soldiers.

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Prikaz Toy Soldiers is another company from Russia that is owned by Alex Pisarev. Maybe not as popular as Plastic Platoon or Engineer Basevich. But that should change with each set they make. Prikaz means “Order” or “Regiment” in Russian. Last year was the first year of production. The first sets they made were of the Streltsy. Russian riflemen from the 16th Century to the 18th Century.

 

 

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Then they moved to medieval sets. These sets had many figures of everyday people besides the normal collection of warriors.

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Recently Alex was able to answer some questions about his company.

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Warhorse Miniatures: Hi Alex. I understand the you began making your figures last year. Can you tell us something about yourself and about your company?

Alex Pisarev: Hello, Mike. Yes, I began to produce sets of plastic soldiers a year ago. For me, this is a completely new and very interesting page of my life. About myself, in short, then: I am 39 years old, married, a historian (Ph. D.). For 11 years I worked in a school as a history teacher. From 2000 to the present day I have been a reenactor (Vietnam War, earlier – Moscow Streltsy, Indochina war and historical fencing). With the soldiers it turned out like this: I made a series of sketches of figures for the set of “The Ancient Slavs” by Igor Basevich (Engineer Basevich), and became interested in the design of the soldiers. From design to production, in which Andrey Litvinenko (Warhansa) helped me a lot. The name “Order” appeared from a long-term scientific study of the 17th century Russian army. The order is a regiment (Moscow Streltsy) in Old Russian.

prikav3Warhorse Miniatures: You told me that you were a History teacher for a while and a Historian. Your figures seem to be historically based. Can you tell us more about your existing figure sets?

 

Alex Pisarev: Yes, as I said, I am a historian and worked for a long time as a schoolteacher. For me the creation of the figure of an ancient warrior is an amazing opportunity to apply my knowledge as a historian with the experience of a reenactor and  to combine all this with my love of a toy soldiers. In total, I released 12 sets of soldiers on two topics. The first theme was the release of figures about Russian & European Warfare in the 17th century. There are Russian Streltsy with their commanders and Polish soldiers. The Russian & Polish soldiers are in action poses. My second favorite theme is the Viking Age (and of course the Ancient Russia as part of this era). In this series of sets, I did not focus on action poses. Although I love them very much. I wanted to create a peculiar world of the princely court, an old Russian or Scandinavian city. To populate it with not only military, but also with civilian characters. Thus, an old woman housekeeper, a Jewish merchant, a Scandinavian merchant, Princess Rogneda, a pagan priest, Prince Rurik on a throne and other figures appeared.

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Warhorse Miniatures: Your latest set is based on the Indochina war of 1947-54. This is an interesting subject. Can you tell us why you chose to base some figures on this era? Also any other sets from this theme?

 

Alex Pisarev: The Indochina War and the battle of Dien Bien Phu is my newest project. I would like to model this after my medieval sets. To make soldiers of various units, historical personalities (such French officers as Jean-Pierre, Raphalle, Saint-Marc, Bijard, Langley, Vietnamese – Ho Chi Minh, Vo Nguyen Ziap and others), plus civilian characters of French and Vietnamese. It’s hard for me to say exactly what attracted me to the Indochina war. I am generally fascinated by Vietnam. Moreover, both the Indochina and Vietnam wars in Russia are known only to fans of this era and  profession historians. In the set of “2BEP” combined interest in the unknown, the love of adventure and respect for the exploits of the warriors of the past.

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Warhorse Miniatures: Your Medieval sets are my favorite figures that you have made. Will you continue making sets with this theme?

 

Alex Pisarev: Of course, I will continue this series. Because a Prince needs a Princess, a Princess needs servants, merchants need helpers and competitor. Then there is a need of peasants, artisans, and of course new warriors. I would like to expand the geography to make sets about the Saxons, Franks, Normans, Baltic Slavs, maybe Czechs & Alans.

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Warhorse Miniatures: Can you tell us what sets you have available for sale?

 

Alex Pisarev: Yes, certainly. Currently available for purchase: the Viking Age sets: “Prince’s court -1”, “Prince’s court-2: Konung”, “Prince’s court-3: Prince”, “Squad”; the wars of the 17th century sets: “Assault”, “Streltsy (Russian king guard)”, “Streltsy: the Headquarters”; the Indochina war sets: “2 BEP”.

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Prince Court #1. Russian Medieval Market.

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Prince court #2. Viking life. Ragnar.

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Prince court #3. Russian Prince Rurik

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Squad. Noble Warriors

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2BEP. Dien Bien Phu

 

 

 

Warhorse Miniatures: That is great news that you plan to expand with more medieval sets. The villager poses are much needed. Anything that you can tell us about any future sets?

 

Alex Pisarev: I can’t reveal my plans completely, but I will say this; in the development now is the set “Squad 2”. It will include 1 Horseman and three foot soldiers of 10-11 centuries. What exactly they will be, I will not say yet. Let it be a surprise. Also in the development is the set of “Princely Court 4: Princess”, where there will necessarily be a figure of Princess Olga, maybe Prince Svyatoslav, the maid of the Princess and an Orthodox priest. I am also thinking about the second set of the Indochina War series, “1 BEP” .

 

 

Here is a preview of an Artillery set that Alex is working on too.

 

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Warhorse Miniatures: I have only seen a few of your sets on eBay. Where else can collectors find your figures?

 

Alex Pisarev: I have a group on Facebook PRIKAZ plastic toy soldiers and VK “ПРИКАЗ” солдатики Алексея Писарева.

You can also write to me directly pisarevalexey1979@gmail.com.

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Warhorse Miniatures: Thank You again Alex. Is there any thing else you would like to say to the readers?

Alex Pisarev: Thank you, Mike. Dear readers – also thank you very much for your attention and interest in the toy soldiers “PRIKAZ”.

Sincerely, Alex Pisarev

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The Prikaz figures were a wonderful surprise for me last year. I have been looking for some figures that I could use to create a village. These figures are perfect for that. You can set up a lot of displays with the poses of these figures. The even look a lot better painted. You can order from Alex directly. He is selling most of his sets right now between $30 to $38. 

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Well that is it for now. Thank you for reading.

 

 

Interview with Mikhail Glikin of Plastic Platoon. Интервью с Mikhail Glikin из “Пластического взвода”.

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https://www.facebook.com/soldiers.plastic.platoon/

https://vk.com/plasticplatoon

Mikhail Glikin started producing highly detailed toy soldiers a few years ago under the name “Plastic Platoon”. They entered the market selling figures based on the Vietnam War. In a short time they have set the bar in quality. Recently they started creating figures based on World War II. The figures are more like “Military Miniatures” than toy soldiers.

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Михаил Гликин начал производство высокодетализированных игрушечных солдат несколько лет назад под названием «Пластиковый взвод». Они вышли на рынок, продавая цифры, основанные на войне во Вьетнаме. За короткое время они установили планку качества. Недавно они начали создавать фигуры на основе Вторая мировая война. Фигуры – это больше “военные миниатюры”, чем игрушечные солдаты.

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Recently Mikhail found some time to answer some questions. This interview will be in English and then followed in Russian. If your using a translator the English might be corrupted. 

Недавно Михаил нашел время ответить на несколько вопросов. Это интервью будет на английском, а затем на русском.

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Warhorse Miniatures: Hi, Mikhail. I have been a fan of your work since the first time I saw them. The detail in your sculpting is amazing. Can you give us some history about yourself and Plastic Platoon?

Привет, Михаил. Я был поклонником вашей работы с тех пор, как впервые увидел их. Детали в вашей скульптуре удивительны. Можете ли вы рассказать нам немного о себе и о Пластиковом Взводе?

 

Mikhail Glikin: Hi Mike, I have been collecting plastic Soldiers for over 30 years. My collection consists of more than 10,000 plastic figures in 1/32 scale. The idea to make toy soldiers began about 10 years ago. I wanted plastic miniatures that were highly detailed. The fine details of small parts with the flexibility & strength of plastic. Finally the technology  was available to achieve this and I was financially able to start their own business.

Привет, Майк, я собираю пластиковых солдат уже более 30 лет. Моя коллекция состоит из более чем 10 000 пластиковых фигур в масштабе 1/32. Идея сделать игрушечных солдат возникла около 10 лет назад. Я хотел пластиковые миниатюры, которые были очень подробными. Мелкие детали мелких деталей с гибкостью и прочностью пластика. Наконец-то появилась технология, позволяющая добиться этого, и я смог в финансовом отношении начать собственный бизнес.

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Warhorse Miniatures: You started with the Vietnam War. Why did you start here?

Вы начали с войны во Вьетнаме. Почему ты начал здесь?

 

Mikhail Glikin: Everything is very simple. Six years ago I flew to Vietnam. I have been fond of military history since childhood. I traveled across Vietnam and visited many military sites. For over a month I traveled through the military bases, battle sites and tunnels. Until I just got sick of the country of Vietnam! I decided that the Vietnam War would be the background for my first toy soldiers made.

Все очень просто. Шесть лет назад я летел во Вьетнам. Я с детства увлекаюсь военной историей. Я путешествовал по Вьетнаму и посетил много военных объектов. Больше месяца я путешествовал по военным базам, местам сражений и туннелям. Пока я просто не заболел страной Вьетнама! Я решил, что война во Вьетнаме станет фоном для моих первых игрушечных солдатиков.

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Warhorse Miniatures: It states that your figures are in 1/32 in scale. Are the size of your figures the same as Conte or Airfix?

В нем говорится, что ваши цифры в масштабе 1/32. Размер ваших фигур такой же, как у Conte или Airfix?

 

Mikhail Glikin: I suggest right now to compare. What is a collector with experience. All the figures at hand! (Mikhail supplied us with these pictures  of his figures compared to some Conte, Airfix, Matchbox and TSSD figures)

Предлагаю щас сравнить. Что такое коллекционер со стажем. Все цифры под рукой! (Михаил предоставил нам эти фотографии своих фигур по сравнению с некоторыми фигурами Конте, Аирфикса, Спичечной коробки и TSSD)

Warhorse Miniatures: Now that you have started with your first WWII German Paratroopers from Operation Mercury. I assume your building some sets around the Battle of Crete?

There are a lot of collectors that have been waiting for some one to make WWII German Paratroopers in this scale.

Теперь, когда вы начали с ваших первых немецких десантников Второй мировой войны из операции “Меркурий”. Я полагаю, что у вас есть здание вокруг битвы на Крите?

Есть много коллекционеров, которые ждали, чтобы кто-нибудь сделал немецких десантников Второй мировой войны в этом масштабе.

 

Mikhail Glikin: Of course, in Crete, we have planned 4 sets. The first is parachutists jumping with parachutes. They are with knee pads and parachute strapping. They will have an additional set of containers.

Yes. There are a lot of collectors that have been waiting for some one to make WWII German Paratroopers in this scale.

Конечно, на Крите у нас запланировано 4 комплекта. Первый – это прыжки с парашютистами с парашютами. Они с наколенниками и парашютом. У них будет дополнительный набор контейнеров.

Да. Есть много коллекционеров, которые ждали, чтобы кто-нибудь сделал немецких десантников Второй мировой войны в этом масштабе.

plastic platoon set one gp

Mikhail Glikin: We are also preparing 2 sets – Defenders of Crete. British infantry (you saw the master model). Maori will be with them. And the fourth set – the Greek infantry and the militia (it will be a truly incredible set, because in the militia there will be a girl)

Мы также готовим 2 комплекта – Защитники Крита. Британская пехота (вы видели мастер модель). Маори будет с ними. И четвертый сет – греческая пехота и ополчение (это будет действительно невероятный сет, потому что в ополчении будет девушка)

crete british

crete britisha

Warhorse Miniatures: What other themes do you think Plastic Platoon will do in the future?

Как ты думаешь, какие еще темы сделает Platon в будущем?

Mikhail Glikin: The next topic after Crete will be very logical. Paratroopers after the battle of Crete in 1941 sent near Leningrad. Therefore, we will do the battle for Leningrad. There will be units of the Red Army and the Soviet Marines. Plus Wehrmacht infantry units and our old acquaintances, paratroopers.

Следующая тема после Крита будет очень логичной. Десантников после битвы на Крите в 1941 году отправили под Ленинград. Поэтому мы будем сражаться за Ленинград. Там будут подразделения Красной Армии и Советских Морских пехотинцев. Плюс пехотные части вермахта и наши старые знакомые, десантники.

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plastic platoon set one gpa

Warhorse Miniatures: Your figures are really detailed and from my knowledge your sets are made in a limited amount. What is the process that you use to produce your figures?

Ваши цифры очень подробны, и, насколько мне известно, ваши наборы сделаны в ограниченном количестве Какой процесс вы используете для производства ваших фигур?

 

Mikhail Glikin: Yes, this is absolutely true. We cast our kits in limited quantities. Approximately 300 sets. Cast from a special polymer. By properties, it is like rubber / plastic. Flexible but durable. Figures can be thrown from the Table and squeezed in a fist; nothing will happen to them. For casting, we use silicone molds. Unfortunately, they withstand only 30 castings, so we make 10 sets of molds. We also work with beautiful sculptors for figures. For weapons, flasks, helmets and other trivia we use 3D Technologies and a 3d printer.

Да, это абсолютно верно. Мы отливаем наши комплекты в ограниченном количестве. Примерно 300 комплектов. Отлито из специального полимера. По своим свойствам это как резина / пластик. Гибкий, но прочный. Рисунки можно выкинуть из таблицы и сжать в кулак; с ними ничего не случится. Для литья мы используем силиконовые формы. К сожалению, они выдерживают только 30 отливок, поэтому мы изготавливаем 10 комплектов пресс-форм. Мы также работаем с красивыми скульпторами для фигур. Для оружия, фляг, шлемов и прочих мелочей мы используем 3D-технологии и 3d-принтер.

Warhorse Miniatures: You said you have over 10,000 figures. What are some of your favorite brands to collect? What are some of your favorite items in your collection? 

Вы сказали, что у вас есть более 10000 цифр. Какие ваши любимые бренды собирать? Какие из ваших любимых предметов в вашей коллекции?

Mikhail Glikin: I love my collection very much. And of course for me the inspiration of most favorite sets are Conte World War II figures.

Я очень люблю свою коллекцию. И, конечно, для меня источником вдохновения для большинства любимых наборов являются фигуры Conte World Второй мировой войны.

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