An Interview with Austin Beidelschies of Austin Miniatures.

Logo LG

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.

Austin Covboys1

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.

Cowboy1a

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.

Terrain

Austin Prototype1c

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.

Western2

Cowboy5a

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.

Austin Japanese1

Prototype1

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

Marines4

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.

Playset3

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

Playset1Playset2

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.

Metal G-Man

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.

Painted

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. 

Austin Compasion1

Austin CompasionAustin Compasion2Austin Compasion3Austin Compasion4Austin Compasion5

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”.

Logo LG

Thank you for reading. That is it for now 🙂

Banzai!!! World War II Japanese Plastic Toy Soldiers Project.

101 Banzai Charge3

 

WWII Japanese Toy Soldiers

When I was in my early teens I picked up some Airfix  World War II sets. I got a few of the WWII Japanese Infantry and it is still one of my favorite sets that I have. I put two videos above mainly just for the sounds of the Banzai shouts.

Airfix Japanese2

Airfix Japanese2aAirfix Japanese2bAirfix Japanese2cAirfix Japanese2dAirfix Japanese2e

Ever since I picked up those Airfix WWII Japanese I have been looking for more plastic Japanese figures to go with them. The first set few sets that I got were the dark green figures. Later on I started finding the beige colored Airfix figures.

Airfix Japanese1

Airfix Japanese1aAirfix Japanese1bAirfix Japanese1cAirfix Japanese1dAirfix Japanese1eAirfix Japanese1fAirfix Japanese1gAirfix Japanese1hAirfix Japanese1iAirfix Japanese1j

This is a project that I started many years ago. I am putting together different groups of figures to be used for a Japanese Army. I have found other brands over the years that are nice too. The Japanese figures by TSSD blend very well with the Airfix figures. I like the TSSD WWII Japanese figures too. They capture the “Banzai” attack with their set. There are action poses of running, shooting and charging with bayonets fixed on the rifles. The bayonets look really nice too. Plus the different pieces of head gear. Right now TSSD & Airfix are my favorite combinations to use.

TSSD JapaneseB

TSSD Japanese

TSSD Japanese1aTSSD Japanese1bTSSD Japanese1cTSSD Japanese2TSSD Japanese3TSSD Japanese4TSSD Japanese5TSSD Japanese6TSSD Japanese7TSSD Japanese8TSSD Japanese10TSSD Japanese10aTSSD Japanese10bTSSD Japanese11TSSD Japanese11aTSSD Japanese11bTSSD Japanese12TSSD Japanese12aTSSD Japanese12bTSSD Japanese13TSSD Japanese13aTSSD Japanese13bTSSD Japanese14TSSD Japanese14aTSSD JapaneseBTSSD JapaneseC

This year BMC released recast figures using original Marx molds. These figures are really nice and seem to have not lost much accept some extra flash. I like the Marx figures too. They are a little taller and thinner than the Airfix Japanese for the most part.

BMC JapaneseBMC Japanese1BMC Japanese2BMC Japanese3BMC Japanese4BMC Japanese5BMC Japanese6BMC Japanese7BMC Japanese8BMC Japanese9BMC Japanese10

Mars released a set of WWII Japanese figures this year. They match well with the Marx in scale. They are crudely made. I only like 4 of their poses. They are the running and shooting figures. I am going to try to customize a few of the figures to make them look better.

Mars JapaneseMars Japanese1Mars Japanese2Mars Japanese3Mars Japanese4Mars Japanese5

Next year Austin Miniatures is going to release a set of Japanese Infantry. From the prototypes they look really good. The Austin US Marines are really nice too. I will get a few sets when they are released. These figures should mix well with the TSSD & Airfix figures.

Austin Japanese

Austin Japanese1Austin Japanese2

I will get some foam bunkers in the future to set up a nice display one day. Right now I have the BMC Iwo Jima playset and an old Playmobil piece to use. The BMC terran piece is really nice and so is the whole set. This is probably the best priced playset being produced today. You get a quality set at a great price.

BMC IWO JIMABMC IWO JIMA1

The BMC Iwo Jima Japanese figures are nice too. They are a little bigger than the TSSD and Marx figures. 

BMC Iwo Jima Japanese1BMC Iwo Jima Japanese2

Most of the poses that I look for are the ones that will join my “Banzai” attack. This was the Japanese tactic they used to try to overrun their opponents. They would rush against an enemy as a suicide attack. It was used mainly as a last resort.

101 Banzai Charge1101 Banzai Charge4

Banzai Charge3Banzai Charge3aBanzai Charge4Banzai Charge5Banzai Charge6Banzai Charge7Banzai Charge8Banzai Charge9

BanzaiBanzai3

Banzai4Banzai5Banzai6Banzai7WWII Japanese Warrior Soldiers and Rising Sun Flag

Tenno Heika Banzai!!!

Thank you for reading. Take Care for now.

Latest News!!! December 23rd, 2018. Weston Trail Drive Set & Gunfighters Review. Hobby News, Austin Miniatures WWII Japanese, LOD Amazons, Plastic Platoon German Partatroops & Vintage Finds. Playmobil 1804.

Weston Cowboys

I ordered the “Trail Drive” set last month from the Weston Toy Co. website which is here Steve Westons Toy Soldiers. I had purchased the Weston Gunfighter set a few months ago on eBay. Both sets are really nice.

Weston Trail Drive BoxWeston Trail Drive Box1

Weston Trail Drive 1

The Trail Drive set came in a white box and the figures were protected in plastic padded envelopes. The are 6 Longhorn Cattle in 3 different poses and 4 mounted Cowboys in 4 different poses. The cattle have detached horns and 2 have detached tails. The figures are made out of Poly-resin. They are in 1/32 scale. We will first take a look at the Cowboys. 

Weston Trail Drive 3

Weston Trail Drive 9

 

Weston Trail Drive 14

Weston Trail Drive 11

Weston Trail Drive 33

Ever since I started collecting some of the vintage western figures this year I wanted to pick up this Trail Drive set. It fits very well with the vintage 54mm figures. I like the fact that the saddles are attached to the Cowboy and they fit perfect on the horses.

DSC09115

Weston Trail Drive 19

These figures will look great displayed or in a diorama. The poses tell a good story when setup right. Each Cowboy has a role to play in this cattle drive. The first figure is the Trail Boss shouting out orders. The second figure has the point or acts as a Scout. The third Cowboy is pushing the cattle along with his leather strap. As the last figure with the neckerchief comes in at the rear.

Weston Trail Drive 20

Now we will take a look at the Longhorn cattle. Their poses show that they are on the move. One has his head looking towards the right. The other has his head looking towards left and the last pose has his head up looking forward.

Weston Trail Drive 21

Weston Trail Drive 24a

Weston Trail Drive 28c

Weston Trail Drive 2

Weston Gunfigters

Here are the Weston Toy Co. set of Gunfighters. They are also 1/32 or 54mm. These figures are made out of plastic. There are 14 figures in the set with 7 different poses.

Weston Gunfigters1

I think these cowboys are supposed to be the “Magnificent Seven” or maybe the just appear that way.

 

Weston Gunfigters2

They are the same scale as the Trail Drive Cowboys.

The poses are nice. Some are classic poses and some are unique. I like the one that appears to have a knife in his hand ready to throw. Plus the one with his hand out forward like he is telling someone to stay calm or to wait.

Latest News

Now we move to some hobby news. As I was putting this post together Ken Ciak of LOD Enterprises was posting a video on Facebook.

Here is a preview of the Amazons that are supposed to come out next year. They look nice from what I can see. I think there will also be two mounted figures too.

Weston News

Other news about LOD comes from Steve Weston. He says that his Weston Mexicans will now be distributed by LOD in the USA after the TSSD was sold off.

Germans3

Plastic Platoon German Paratroopers will be ready sometime in January. These figures should be the same scale as Conte figures I hear. Here are some pictures of production cast figures. I like the details they have and the color too.

Germans11Germans12

I think Hobby Bunker should have these sometime in January. 

Plastic Platoon Colt

Plastic Platoon also posted this picture of an old pistol. I think it is a colt. I guess we might see a western themed set or two in the future.

Austin Japanese

Austin Miniatures announced last week that they will have 2 new sets to preview at the next Chicago show in 2019. The last Chicago show they had the prototypes of the WWII Japanese Infantry. As I was putting this together Allen Beidelschies of Austin Miniatures shared these pictures of some of them painted.

Airfix German ParatroopsAirfix German Paratroops1

I am planning on putting an online reference guide for a few brands that I collect starting sometime next year. It will include mainly Airfix, Barzso and Conte. Plus some others. About 6 months ago I picked up a few British Infantry sets and noticed that they were bigger than the vintage cast figures. It must be because of the plastic used. The latest figures cast years ago are of a hard model type plastic and probably didn’t shrink like the softer plastic used on the old sets. After a few months searching for a German Paratroops set I finally found one at a fair price. They are a little bigger. The newer sets do lose some of the detail of the vintage sets too. I will keep up the research and post more on this in the future.

The Finds

Playmobil 1804Playmobil 1804 APlaymobil 1804 B 

I found this Playmobil set for $10.00 while I went to a vintage toy show in Allentown earlier this month. It is set number 1804 the Doctor & Nurse Super Deluxe Playset. It is almost complete. The box is roached and I replaced the windshield. But besides that it is in pretty good shape. This a Schaper edition playset. This was probably sold at Sears or Sterns in the late 1970’s or early 1980’s.

Atlantic

I got these figures for a steal at $1.00. They are Greek Infantry by Atlantic. I got about 25 of these figures from Europe. Half had missing weapons. They are 60mm. I stumbled across them while searching for something else. I had not been collecting ancient figures but I had to get these at that price. 

Airfix German Paratroops1

I should have some other posts up soon. Thanks for reading. Take Care.

Latest News!!! December 1st, 2018. New Owners of TSSD, No Texas Toy Soldier Show in 2019.

After a couple of months of speculation about the status of Toy Soldiers of San Diego there was an announced today. The new owner is David Cook. He is the eBay seller MicShaun’s Closet.

TSSD

I have purchased toy soldier sets from them in the past on eBay. I’ve had great service from them. The last time was in July when I ordered 3 sets of the Paragon Plains Indians. I can’t wait to see what their plans are.

41360616_1832411393517150_2963944574348689408_o

https://www.ebay.com/usr/micshaunscloset2013

https://www.facebook.com/MicShaunsCloset/?hc_location=ufi

TSSD Romans

I would like to thank Nick and DeAnna for their time put into creating some nice figure sets and expanding the hobby of Toy Soldiers for us plastic guys.

 

 

Texas

We have some sad news to mention too. The Texas Toy Soldier Show will not continue in 2019. But it should be back in 2020.

Thank you for reading. I hope to have some future posts in a couple of weeks.

46836961_1932413303516958_1652133348786569216_o46844869_1932413996850222_1292207989800828928_o

 

Latest News!!! November 23rd 2018. Black Friday Deals!! Plus some Hobby News……

Black Friday

I hope everyone didn’t eat to much turkey this year. Now that your stomach has settled it is time to find some deals on toys!!! I have a few places to go that I noticed had sales for Black Friday or the holiday season. I hope you guys make out like a Bandit. So lets us begin in alphabetical order.

 

 

AIP logo

AIP Sale

We begin at Armies in Plastic

 

 

ATS

ATS Sale

Next is ATS Toy Soldiers.

classictoysoldiers.com

CTS Sale

Next we visit Classic Toy Soldiers.

lod-logo

LOD Sale

Check out the sale at LOD Enterprises Toy Soldiers.

MTS