Monday, June 23, 2008

Speaking of toy soldiers

Scott Mingus was kind enough recently to feature some of my custom made pewter Civil War soldiers on his fine blog Charge! Civil War Wargaming and News, and you can see a bunch more of my guys by clicking right here

Here's some more pictures of the 54mm Old Third Michigan Infantry Regiment as they form a firing line in my back yard.

Although about half of my guys I cast from commercial molds, the other half are created by me and are unique. This is one of the high-temperature silicone molds I made to produce my own soldiers. On the left half rests one of my plastic prototypes and you can see the pewter version of that pose still embedded in the mold.  On the right half of the mold you can see at left the plastic prototype I made of the marching soldier, to his right is the finished pewter soldier, painted bright, and below both are the cavity in the mold that they hail from.  

"TUEBOR" is the legend on the Michigan flag which translates to: "I will defend".

The flags, by the way, started out in civilian life as Hunts tomato sauce cans.

The young victorian diarist and Grand Rapids resident, Rebecca Richmond, wrote extensively in her diary about the presentation of the colors to the regiment prior to their departure for Detroit and the seat of war beyond - Washington D.C.

Here's the link to Steve Soper's excellent blog on the Old Third, it is comprehensive and outstanding!

Jack Dempsey, I know you're on hiatus, but I hope your tuning in.

Lastly, here's a little i-movie using some of my pewter guys to symbolize the development of the "ring forts" the Civil War defenses of Washington D.C.  This is from a larger project entitled Washington D.C.: Lincoln's Fortress City which is taking forever for me to get back to working on.

Unfortunately, I neglected to remove an eerie sound effect at the end of it.

Nonetheless, I hope you like it.

Digging in, just north of Boonsboro,



Anonymous said...

With soldiers like that defending Washington, its no wonder that Bobby Lee headed for Sharpsburg!

John C. Nicholas

Anonymous said...

Mannie, Your talent and diversity of skills continue to amaze me. You are truly a renaissance man! What can I do to get you to fab me a couple dudes from the Stonewall Brigade?

Mannie Gentile said...

Well thank you for the very kind words.

It was as I was setting these guys up in the sunlight for a picture that I thought perhaps I should do an equal number of Confederates, perhaps the guys the Third faced at the Peach Orchard. Then I started doing the math. I think I started this project in 1993, so that's 15 years to get around 250 guys.

Yikes, just thinking about it already has me defeated by those Rebs, and they're only three inches tall.

So to answer your question. If and when I get set up again on a production footing I would be happy, Michael, to cast and paint a couple of "lean and hungry grey wolves" for you.

And I could have a lot of fun painting those bedrolls!

Best wishes, and thanks for tuning in,