Wednesday, May 20, 2015
Here's a nice mold, SCAD's Napoleonic Prussian cuirassier. Maybe the best deal I've gotten yet on eBay. French eBay in fact, the new mold going for 10 euros with free shipping to the US. Putting myself in the seller's shoes, the transaction can barely have been worth the trouble to pack the mold and drive to the post office.
Here's the mold design.
It casts nicely except for a couple of trouble spots, the scabbard casting short and the reins designed somewhat overly ambitiously in attempting to capture the full detail in thin channels out front of the horse. The scabbard problem I belatedly fixed by cutting a channel down to the base, the reins I'm not bothering to salvage so long as the main portion casts okay.
These molds all come with a painting guide.
And as completed and painted.
I neglected to post a head on view, but the casting is quite thin. For all practical purposes it's a flat although not engraved, but made from a sculpted master. Stylistically it's closer to a fine miniature than a toy soldier and perhaps that's where SCAD missed the target a bit.
I'd rather the rider had been sculpted in a more warlike pose with the sword drawn and shouldered, but at least the elegant horse is in motion, and the figure still of some use on account of the style of helmet and uniform being common enough in the early 19th Century. So I'm pleased with it and plan to paint more in time.
Friday, May 8, 2015
Here we have some examples of the Nowikoff home casting figures. Similar to the Createc Napoleonics ? Yes, identical in scale and style. I can find almost nothing about these on the internet although likely there's a connection to sculptor Anatoli Nowikoff. I welcome comments from any collector who knows more about the rather mysterious Nowikoff line of molds.
So far the only dealer I've been able to find is Berliner Zinnfiguren and although they've discounted the molds somewhat less than the list price for me, no question that at their prices these molds are expensive. Of course I can always rationalize, there's some economy of scale as - the more you cast the cheaper they get, at least relatively speaking.
No matter, let's take a look. This blurry photo gives the general idea. The material is somewhat harder than the soft rubbery Createc molds but the casting design is the same, with a simple straight pour into the shako plume and bayonet. For some reason I haven't been able to get many full casts before the results tail off. The weakness is incomplete casting to the middle of the musket, as you can see I've cut another channel there and perhaps I'll widen it. Some experimentation with metal temperature may also yield improved results.
As you might expect, they're thin. Fine by me as it saves lead. I think at this point it's pretty clear that for better or worse, I'm wed to the flat and semi-flat figure styles.
And as painted. I do like the Russian uniforms ca. 1812, quite appealing.
I've ordered one more of the marching infantryman pose to speed up the casting process. I plan to use these for the early 1800's imagi-nations project. I'm going with historical Napoleonic uniforms to add resale value (when the day comes) but the flags will be imaginary. Next up, the results of my best deal ever on eBay.