EXERT FROM APPENDIX 1 from Don Featherstone's Battles With Model Soldiers
(The book that got me started.)

"Nothing in these pages is a dictate, no word says you must or you shall do it this way. On the contrary, the book sets out from the very beginning to stimulate the reader to think for himself, and to use what he has read merely as a foundation for efforts and ideas which reflect his own temperament and character. Only in this way will he obtain maximum satisfaction from the hobby of battling with model soldiers."

-Don Featherstone 1918 - 2013

Thursday, June 2, 2016

Young braves cast in the mold of their ancestor

Yes, yes, this was supposed to wait until next year but I'm waiting for the new PA French Infantry moulds and I have been thinking about MacDuff and about my old Toy Soldiers and I want to play a game, but I promised myself I would fix some of the broken and chipped Indians before they appeared on the table again. Sooooo.......

The new and the repainted.
There are a few of my Britain's Indians that came from my own childhood collection. One of those was a one armed chief (or heroic warrior?) in a tight feather bonnet. I figured that as long as I was fixing him I might as well make an ordinary warrior running forward crouching with a rifle since that was what I needed most. I thought about adding a blanket to complete the description of the Cree advancing at Cut Knife Creek but decided that it was too limiting. By doing him in long hair and fringed shirt as shown above, he would be easy to convert to a bearded Metis in wide brimmed hat. 
My casting box with bottom 1/2 done..
I calculated that I had just enough putty left for one mould. I'm still a little uncertain about the putty vs traditional liquid rtv but if I could get a good mould, it is fast and I'm not exactly the patient type. Screwing up my courage (insert thought bubble of $$$ flying out the window) I mixed the first 1/2 and set to. At first I thought I hadn't mixed enough for the size of mould that I was planning and quickly adjusted the moveable blocks. Then I realized that it was an illusion and I actually had too much but it was already gelling so too late to readjust ($#^$#@$#@) . So I persevered, let it set 10 minutes, applied mould release gel. and mixed up a 2nd, smaller  batch, and applied it.    

One tip that I picked up too late last time, is that the putty does best if a bit of pressure is applied so that when it expands as it sets, it is forced tight up against the master. My box has a lid that can be screwed tight to apply just this sort of pressure so I dug out the top and used it. Seems to have worked thus far but I was pessimistic at best at the likelihood of a usable mould.
  
Waiting for the vault to reopen.
I had garden chores to attend to so I let the mould sit and cure while I worked. When I cracked it open, the mold release goop had mostly worked but I had trouble prying the two halves apart. Eventually I managed it without damage to the mould although the master lost his feather and dropped his rifle in the process. I wasn't too sure about what I found. Apart from one arm being buried, I like to have two fairly even, level, halves. In this case due to my initial miscalculation and the fact that one of the masters arms wasn't in line with his body, the mould look like a thick wedge with a thin lid.  Still, there was no point in not trying it.
A slippery slope.
The rubber is very soft and I'm not sure how long it will go without tearing but once vented the new mould  quickly produced 6 new warriors, no problems. This putty stuff may be alright after all!  Quick and easy. 
So, there are now a dozen repaired figures on the painting desk (mostly broken rifles with new barrels)  and brand new castings waiting in the wings. Can a game be far behind?

At Top, left to right: Another broken original, the modified broken figure, a new casting. 

In the meantime, I have been able to find out more about the Cyprus Hills Secret. Its not exactly what I thought but it would certainly have been a big scandal had it gotten out.  Some readers may be glad to know that the Government of the United States was not involved but that is all for a future post.
Security Guard of the Cyprus Hills Land and Transport Company.
Miniature Molds copy of an I/R original. 

16 comments:

  1. It's always great to see old toy soldiers given a new life.

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    1. When it came to toy soldiers my mother's money was well spent.

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  2. Great stuff Ross. That looks like a bunch of fun and you get troops at the end!

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  3. Those look very fine Ross. You'd turn a mans head to moulds making. I was bemoaning the lack of a Prussian infantry mould just the other day.

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    1. Some people have been known to take a PA British infantryman and, ignoring the shape of the spiked helmet, paint him blue instead of red.

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    2. Surely no-one with whom we might be associated?!

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    3. Oops my bad, This was the post I was thinking of but he swapped heads.

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  4. I have thought about mould making but it looks a very fraught subject and I believe I've used up my monthly allowance of bad language already ! , Tony

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    1. I keep swearing off it but like many habits......

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  5. An interesting and effective technique you have used to produce the figures- it is all a little different to what I use Ross...I think the Cold-Curing Rubber has it's great advantages. Regards. KEV.

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