Tuesday, May 31, 2011

The BMC / Minifigs Chronicles - Part 5

Finished a few more repaints:

Indefatigable class Battle Cruiser
This ship has a distinctly less toylike profile than the Invincibles, wonder if more than one sculptor was employed.  Rebuilt the tripod masts and added the missing guns to X turret.

Devonshire Class Armored Cruiser
Very little needed to be done here aside from drilling and inserting a new mast.

Edgar class Protected Cruiser
Based as HMS Theseus. This closeup gives a good view of B.M.C.'s Roman numeral marking scheme at the stern.  This is one of the models that prompted me to dig deeper into their origins as there seemed to be little reason for inclusion of obsolete cruisers from the early 1890's in a set designed to wargame WW1.

Class B Destroyers
A previous owner had chopped the aft funnels for some reason, making the boats hard to identify.  Restored with styrene tubing, didn't have exactly the right diameter but close enough.  And what navy ever had cooler names for their ships than the British ? 

That's it for now. Plenty remain to be repainted but I'm going to work on scratch building Germans for a bit.


  1. Great Site !!

    I like what you've done to your old BMC ships.

    I have been collecting these BMC and Minifig ships since the 1980's and first bought some Minifigs in the early 70's from a model shop in Harrow, Middlesex, England.

    The Minifig ships (solid lead, number cast in underneath) were cast in silicone rubber moulds using the earlier BMC models as modified masters ie - roman numbers deleated, upper bridge and mast detail added.

    The earlier BMC models (possibly made before WW1 and on into the 1930's) were slush cast in solid metal moulds. These moulds were made out of metal strips and built up 'bread and butter style' deck by deck gun barrels, torpedoe nets, port holes were then just punched in using a cente punch and simply made straight line hand punches. The reason for the roman numbers on the stern is because the letters are symetrical as reversed or mirror image impresssion is needed in a mould.

    The BMC name I think stands for Brighton Metal Company. I was told this by an old toyfair stall holder who only dealt in pre WW2 tinplate and lead. This info was given me in about 1990 and not sure if Brighton is spelt correctly as it could be either the place or company name with a different spelling. Metal company sounds to be correct as they would probably have strip metals in various thickness for the mould making - not the sort of thing a model company would have easy access to in the early 1900s.

    I have actually produced my own German destroyers using the 'bread and butter' mould making method.

    BMC also produced 1-1200 ships, the larger ones in the Vectis pictures. Also, on Vectis is a Bassett Lowke boxed set of BMC ships called Fleet Review. I have also seens a box called HMS Irresistible with BMC ships in.

    That's enough for now......... do like your models.


  2. Hi Steve

    Like your blog.

    I too am a keen BMC, Minifig fan

  3. Thanks, Gentlemen !

    Great background information, Richard. Thanks for taking the time to fill in the gaps.

    Best regards,