May 31, 2016

TRENCH RUNNER REVIEW: Steven Lowenthal Takes a Look at AK Interactive's Learning Series no.4 Metallics Vol. 1 Book

There are few things that fill a modeler with consternation like executing a metallic finish.  Some won’t even attempt them. Which is a shame because some subjects almost demand them. Many late war WWII aircraft for instance.  However, some of the trepidation is understandable.  As if the meticulous prep work wasn’t tough enough, the available products can be messy, smelly and difficult to work with. Metallic finishes are fragile. They can be damaged through handling, weathering and decaling.


Coinciding with the release of their Xtreme Metal metallic paint line, AK Interactive has released METALLICS Vol.1, the fourth book in their Learning Series line. The book’s intention is to take the mystery out of using metallics and educate the modeler on how to achieve a realistic finish on different surfaces with the currently available products.

The book is serious about educating the modeler. It begins with a quick discussion on basic Color Theory, Light Diffusion regarding both regular and metallic paints and even touches on how metal rusts. I found the information interesting and a good, albeit, very basic explanation on how matellics work. This section is only four pages long so it is by no means a focus of the book. 
While AK Interactive produces the book, it is not an advertisement for their products disguised as an instructional on the subject. The next chapter presents the currently available products. The paints, pastes, inks, pencils and foils from numerous manufacturers. Next is a Top 10 list of the most popular metals for modelers. How they weather and discolor in real life. With recommendations on how the modeler can replicate this process. Both in the description and with images. One of the best pieces of information is the next section that compares the top brands of the color Aluminum. Comparing them over several criteria and images. This will certainly help with your decision when picking a brand to work with.
OK. We’ve been given the science behind metallics, briefed on the current market, and given the hows and whys on what we are trying to accomplish. With Chapter 4 we are ready to get into the meat of the book. How to apply and obtain the best possible finish from the different materials out there. The following sections are presented by the individual product. Waxes, pigments, paints and so on. Each gives a step by step walkthrough of many techniques, all with high quality photographs.  Extra attention has been paid to the photography as the subtlety of the images tones, shades and weathering show up rather well. The subjects used for demonstration are diverse. Tanks, aircraft, engines, sci-fi and more. Frequently, books from the Spanish manufacturers have grammatical issues that can be challenging at times. I think AK must be addressing the issue as any syntax problems are few and not unintelligible when they do occur. 
Chapter 4.1.1 illustrates using AK’s True Metal Gun Metal wax to paint a German MP40. Since I am currently painting Knight Models’ 72mm Punisher, I decided to give their method a try on his guns and see if I could get a similar result to the book. Since the figure’s gun is smaller than the one in the book, I choose to use a brush to apply the True Earth Gun Metal instead of a Q-Tip as suggested. It comes out of the tube with a consistency like toothpaste. Too thick to apply directly, so I thinned it with some AK White Spirit. Just a dab of thinner was enough. It then flowed smoothly and had excellent coverage properties. However, clean up took more than other “paints”. It needed a lot of repeat cleaning to get those tiny metallic bits off the brush. If you don’t already do it, I’d recommend separate brushes for metallics. After about a 30 minute dry, I continued with the next step and applied a mix of acrylic Shiny Black and Brown Filter (thinned brown wash in my case). It had to go on thick to stay in the small crevices but otherwise it went on easily. Once dry, I gave it a rub down with a Q-Tip and then finished it off with a polish of Dark Steel pigment as the book mentions. Once completed, I was pleased with the results and it resembled what was shown in the book. Overall I would say the methodology used was easy to follow. Someone unfamiliar with the technique should be able to reproduce it. 
AK Interactive has built its reputation on quality modeling products. It’s book line included. I have purchased a number of them and have leaned many new techniques and drew inspiration from their dynamic  photography. This book is no different. I learned a few new ways to reproduce a realistic metal finishes that I haven’t tried before but now plan on using on future builds. Where the book truly excels is as a primer on the subject. Providing enough basic information, and hopefully the confidence, to get the results you are looking for. 
As the title suggests, this isn’t the last word on the subject either, as there is a follow up coming soon, Metallics Vol.2. Where they look at metallics on historical and fantasy figures.  My only question is; How long do I have to wait, AK?
Steven Lowenthal

View to Order in our web store HERE
Read Steve's Review of Volume 2 HERE

Links, Web Gems & A Somewhat Daily Dose of Useless Tidbits for May 31th, 2016

Have you seen JoshiBlob?
Nothing  warms a heart like a youngster who embraces our hobbies. Ours is as they say "a graying hobby". Not enough kids getting into the hobby anymore. Then along comes Joshua Bennett who has started a You Tube he bills as "Straight to the point no nonsense model kit tutorials, reviews and builds, other hobbies include art, cycling and baking" And that it is! This kid is fantastic and tackles modeling building like a seasoned pro. One can only hope he inspires others of his generation with his enthusiastic and expertly edited videos. View his You Tube channel HEREBe sure to subscribe and become a blobling today!!

here is JoshiBlob in his own words...

Hello, my name is Joshua Bennett, but most people know me as JoshiBlob. That’s because I have a YouTube channel called JoshiBlob where I make models. My channel is growing rapidly. I started modeling about six months ago, when I was 15. My granddad got me into modeling. He is a huge inspiration to me. He used to work with planes in hangars and on the lights on racetracks. I love listening to his war stories about all the planes he has flown in and worked on. He has since miraculously survived cancer, and I truly admire him for his bravery. If any of you modelers have an interest, you can check out my YouTube channel by searching for JoshiBlob. I hope we can all learn together.
– Joshua Bennett Wigan, Greater Manchester, England

Links & Web Gems:

Figure Painter Magazine # 37

Now Available for Download
...Check out the great tutorial " Making a Figure from Concept to Boxart" by Ian Succamore and the fascinating Insight Interview with Illustrater and miniature painter Gabriele Delg'otto.

From the publisher-
Welcome to Figure Painter Magazine issue 37.
We have a very packed issue for you this month with tutorials and reviews that will suit everyone’s tastes. Things like The Little Captain by Joan Carles Ros Magán. Making a Figure from Concept to Boxart with Ian Succamore. Marko Paunovic starts his new Post-Apocalyptic Diorama series and Fernando Ruiz starts his two part tutorial on FeR’s new Norman Knight & Saxon Housecarl. We have reviews of FeR’s major Tom, Nuts Planets Sapper and Pedro Fernández Works’ Redemption, plus many more. We also have a couple of fantastic interviews like the Inspirational with Kaha ’aka' Katarzyna Górska, but to get us all started we have something pretty spectacular and Insight Interview with the world famous comic artist and miniature concept designer Gabriele Dell’Otto.
Bats by Gabriele Dell’Otto
From Us-
STILL THE BEST DEAL ON THE WEB! FPM is available as a downloaded PDF for less then $2.00 a copy.  FPM is a independent magazine dedicated to sculpting, painting, displaying, collecting and gaming with miniature figures from all genre's. The magazine has details on new releases, reviews, interviews with the industries top painters and sculptors, show reports, tutorials!

Links & Web Gems

It's Toy Soldier Tuesdays over on our Google+ page where we take a look at the fantastic French & Indian War dioramas by the Playlet Addict. View HERE

MTSC FIGURE OF THE WEEK #119: Lafredo Mohawk

This beautiful plastic figure comes from Lafredo of Madrid Spain. Lafredo was one of the big Spanish manufactures with a penchant for the old west. The company produced plastic figures in various scale from 60mm to 160mm from 1952 until 1977. This 120mm woodland indian is from the series produced from 1961-1964 in various sizes including 70mm, 80mm, 120mm, 130mm and 160mm. Lafredo was sold in Germany exclusively by Hausser Elastolin and Cherilea did the same for the company in England. These are highlight by their outstanding sculpting given the limitations of 2-D injection molded plastic figures. The bases include skulls, cats, branches and other scenic tidbits.

To learn more about Lafredo and other plastic toy soldiers from Spain check out what is arguably the best book ever produced on toy soldiers...

Andrea Press
Plastic Toy Figures Made in Spain, 1948-1978
By Juan Hermida (ref. AP-047 )
View to purchase HERE
Lafredo Cowboys & Indians 1961-1964 from the above book
Click all images to enlarge


May 30, 2016

MTSC PRODUCT SPOTLIGHT: Open Fire! Flames Of War Tabletop Miniatures Wargame

Flames of War is arguably the most popular historical wargame on the market today. Flames of War is a World War II tabletop miniatures wargame produced by the New Zealand company Battlefront Miniatures Ltd. The 1st Edition set of rules was published in 2002.

Flames of War allows players to wargame company level battles from the European and North African Theatres of World War Two, using 1/100 scale miniatures (15 mm figure scale) and miniature armor. The 2nd Edition of the rulebook was published in 2006. The 3rd and current edition of the rules was released on March 10, 2012.

Open Fire! has been carefully designed for someone who has never heard of Flames Of War before, or has seen the 256 page rulebook and not known where to start. Open Fire is not a simplified set of the Flames Of War rules, but rather a complete introductory box for a new player! Open Fire is your ticket into World War II wargaming.  It’s got everything you need to discover many aspects of this exciting hobby, from assembling and painting miniatures to playing games on the table top.

The Box Contains:
• 36 Page Full Color Open Fire Rule Book
  The Open Fire Rulebook is designed to be learned quickly and get you playing in no time. They are informative, with helpful picture diagrams to walk you through the steps of the game. Over time you can choose to stick with the Open Fire Rulebook, or choose to take a field promotion and move on to the Flames Of War rules.
• 40 Page Full Color Forces book with German, British, American and Soviet Army Lists
  The Forces Book gives you the information you need to assemble an army. There is a lot to explore with Open Fire Four major nations are represented and each offers their own unique equipment and styles of play. After you choose a nation, easy-to-use company diagram show you how to choose and add platoons to your force with. Platoon diagrams that tell 
• 11 Finely Detailed tanks, including three StuG G assault guns, six Sherman V tanks, and two Firefly tanks.
• 2 Grenadier platoons, one PaK40 platoon, and one US Paratrooper platoon, for a total of 105 infantry figures and 2 guns.
• 1 V1 Flying Bomb Terrain Piece
• Cardboard Terrain
• Game Tokens and Objective Markers
• Open Fire Army Quick Reference Sheets
• 20 Dice
• Measuring Stick

From the manufacture:

Over eighteen months ago we decided that we wanted the third edition to be a new milestone for the game, not just a more graphical and polished set of rules. We wanted to create the ultimate starter set for Flames Of War. With this lofty goal in mind, and the new technology of plastics to learn, we started down the path to Open Fire! 

We ended up using three differing methods of plastic manufacturing (zinc casting, pantography and digital design) to produce the two complete forces in the box. These two forces give you a British armoured squadron with support from some fearless US paratroopers to deal with the German grenadier company defending their V1 launcher (yes that is in the box as well) with the aid of a StuG platoon and some anti-tank guns. As well as the plastics, the box comes with a quick-start booklet, terrain, tokens, dice and a complete 296 page copy of the rules for you to dive into after you have played a few games.

Available to order on our website by clicking HERE


May 29, 2016

Memorial Day 2016

Four score and seven years ago our fathers brought forth, upon this continent, a new nation, conceived in liberty, and dedicated to the proposition that “all men are created equal.”

Now we are engaged in a great civil war, testing whether that nation, or any nation so conceived, and so dedicated, can long endure. We are met on a great battle field of that war. We come to dedicate a portion of it, as a final resting place for those who died here, that the nation might live. This we may, in all propriety do.

But, in a larger sense, we can not dedicate – we can not consecrate – we can not hallow, this ground – The brave men, living and dead, who struggled here, have hallowed it, far above our poor power to add or detract. The world will little note, nor long remember what we say here; while it can never forget what they did here.

It is rather for us, the living, we here be dedicated to the great task remaining before us – that, from these honored dead we take increased devotion to that cause for which they here, gave the last full measure of devotion – that we here highly resolve these dead shall not have died in vain; that the nation, shall have a new birth of freedom, and that government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth. 
Abraham Lincoln.

May 28, 2016

Memorial Day 2016 “In Flanders Fields”

Inspiration for “In Flanders Fields”
During the early days of the Second Battle of Ypres a young Canadian artillery officer, Lieutenant Alexis Helmer, was killed on 2nd May, 1915 in the gun positions near Ypres. An exploding German artillery shell landed near him. He was serving in the same Canadian artillery unit as a friend of his, the Canadian military doctor and artillery commander Major John McCrae.

As the brigade doctor, John McCrae was asked to conduct the burial service for Alexis because the chaplain had been called away somewhere else on duty that evening. It is believed that later that evening, after the burial, John began the draft for his now famous poem “In Flanders Fields”. Read the complete article HERE

Inscription of the complete poem in a bronze "book" at the John McCrae memorial
at his birthplace in Guelph, Ontario

The Story Behind the Remembrance Poppy
From its association with poppies flowering in the spring of 1915 on the battlefields of Belgium, France and Gallipoli this vivid red flower has become synonymous with great loss of life in war. Yet the scope of the poppy and its connection with the memory of those who have died in war has been expanded to help the living too. It was the inspiration and dedication of two women who promoted this same “Memorial Flower” as the means by which funds could be raised to support those in need of help, most especially servicemen and civilians suffering from physical and mental hardship as a result of war.

The origin of the red Flanders poppy as a modern-day symbol of Remembrance was the inspiration of an American woman, Miss Moina Michael. Read the complete article HERE

May 26, 2016

MTSC PRODUCT UPDATE: : Meng Models WWI 1/35th Scale Armor Kits

This article is one from the series
Building The Great War in 1/35th & 1/16th Scale
featured here on News From The Front

MTSC SneaK PeeK>>> Coming Summer 2016 TS-029 British Heavy Tank Mk V 

Coming Summer 2016 TS-029 British Heavy Tank Mk V Female The MK.V (female) used the same chassis, same power system and had similar appearance as Mk.V (male). Since the army needed battlefield break-through weapons and the tactics were limited at the time. The Mk.V (female) was equipped with 6 Hotchkiss light machine guns, whereas the male Mk.V’s were equipped with larger main guns. This all machine gun tank was better suited to suppress and kill enemy infantry to back up the heavier assault version Mk.V male tanks.

The latest WWI kit from MENG>>>TS-017s German A7V Tank w/Limited Edition Engine.This is MENG’s second A7V tank model kit. It includes two precision resin engines and two different paint schemes of A7V No.542

This very limited edition kit features crisp exterior surface with rivets and hex bolt head details, floors have tread-plate pattern, detailed commander/driver station with (seats, gear levers and steering wheel), two resin Daimler-Benz 4-cylinder engines, radiator with etched front mesh, detailed 57mm QF canon with breech and gunner’s seat, ammo box and seats for the forward machine gunners, rear compartment has additional seats for four MG gunners with racks and four infantry rifles, mounts for four 7.92mm Maxim MGs with ammo belts, optional separate large hull side crew doors, front vision ports, optional driver’s compartment side plates with separate visors (etched brackets), detailed undercarriage and suspension with (multipart bogie assemblies, chassis, drive sprockets and idler wheels) and individual workable track links, additional separately molded on-vehicle filigree parts. Decals and markings for two camouflage schemes: 542 “Elfriede” Abt.2, German Army, Villers-Bretonneux, France, April 24, 1918 and Exhibition of Spoils of War, Paris, France, October 1918.

....At the end of WWI, a limited number of A7Vs participated in the last strategic offensive of German army along the Western Front – the Spring Offensive (Kaiserschlacht). The A7Vs showed both advantages and disadvantages just like other new equipment in these battles: a single A7V destroyed and damaged five British tanks, while some A7Vs got stuck in sandpits and didn’t see further action. The A7V No.542 was such an example. The trapped tank was captured by the French after the battle. Later, it was sent back to Paris for exhibition. 
Only a limited number of TS-017s kits will be available. 

MGK-TS08 WWI French FT17 Light Tank with Cast Turret 
MGK-TS11 WWI French FT17 Light Tank Riveted Turret 
SOLD OUT>>> MGK-TS17 WWI German Krupp A7V Tank
MGK-TS17S WWI German A7V Tank w/Limited Edition Engine

MGK-TS20 WWI British Heavy Tank Mk V Male
MGK-TS21 WWI Mk A Whippet British Medium Tank
MTSC Product Spotlights
The British Heavy Tank Mk.V by MENG

In 1916, British and French troops launched the Somme Offensive against German army astride the River Somme in northern France. This battle, one of the bloodiest in human history, has also been remembered because of a new weapon that shocked the German army, the British Mk.I heavy tank. Tank, one of the greatest inventions in the war history of the twentieth century, marked the beginning of a new era of army mechanization. 

Mark series heavy tanks went through several improvements. The only thing unchanged was their unique rhomboid shape which remained in many people’s memory as the main feature of WWI tanks. In 1917, the British found a new transmission and engine, and then they started to improve Mk.IV tanks. Thanks to the epicyclic gearbox, only one driver was needed to drive the new tank. The tank was powered by a 150hp Ricardo 6 cylinder in-line petrol engine and could drive for 10 hours on a rugged terrain. This new tank was finally designated Mk.V. Mk.V tanks were first used in the Battle of Hamel in 1918, when they contributed to a successful assault by Australian units on the German 

During the development of British Mk.V Heavy Tank model kit, MENG received great support from The Tank Museum in Bovington, UK. As one of the most famous tank museums in the world, it keeps more than 300 vehicles, including the Mk.V. MENG’s designers measured the real vehicle and studied a lot of reference materials in order to accurately represent this classic tank. The kit features highly detailed exterior with rivets, full interior including driver's station, commanders cab open/closed, drivers cab roof armor and front armor open/closed, optional trench crossing device, brass chain, optional hatches, detailed engine/clutch/transmission assembly, full weapons stations plus other interior details such a ammo storage racks, machine guns, 2-piece gun barrel, pistol port open/closed, sponsons open/closed, fuel tank, detailed suspension with individual track links and photo-etch parts. Decals and color painting guide for (3) tanks: 9th Battalion, Tank Corps, British Army, France, 1918; Tank Museum, Bovington, UK and Tank 'Devil' 4th Battalion, Royal Tank Corps, British Army, Bovington Camp, 1925 - includes 36 page color instruction booklet.  
Click to enlarge
Some Video Reference
Tank Mark V GREAT footage! (no soundtrack)
Short but sweet! Film of a British Mark V Tank covering territory. Footage from the National WWI Museum Archives.
The Big Picture TV-389 1957. Short but Great WWI footage in this US Army film restored by Jeff Quintet

The Mk A Whippet British Medium Tank by MENG

While the Mark I and later the Mark IV tanks were excellent infantry support weapons, and could even create a substantial breach in an enemy line when used in numbers, they lacked the speed to exploit that gap. In late 1916, William Tritton proposed a faster vehicle to the Landships Committee which would be capable of filling this role on the battlefield. The new vehicle, called the Medium Mark A or ‘Whippet’, was a radical departure from the heavier rhomboidal tanks. The caterpillar tracks, derived from the Little Willie prototype, were more conventional side-slung units as opposed to the all-around tracks of the Mark IV.

Though originally envisioned with a rotating turret, the production model had an armoured housing for three to four .303 Hotchkiss machine guns, which could be relocated between four gun ports. Approved in June 1917, roughly 200 vehicles were produced starting in October 1917. Unlike the large crew of the Mark IV, the Whippet managed with a standard crew of three, a commander, driver, and gunner. Given the gunner was responsible for manning both two machine guns (which could point forward, left, right, and rear), sometimes a second gunner was squeezed in. As its primary role was to get these guns into the enemy rear as quickly as possible, the Whippet was designed with two 45hp engines-one powering each track. This gave the Whippet a top speed of 8.3mph, far faster than its heavier cousins.

The Whippet reached the battlefield during the British Army’s low ebb following crippling 1918 losses in Flanders. Their first action was to cover the retreat of British infantry during the German Spring Offensive. The machine-gun armament of the Whippet proved devastating to infantry caught in the open of No-man’s land, with seven Whippets effectively halting two German infantry battalions at an engagement near Cachy and Villers-Brettoneux.

This 1/35 British Medium Tank Mk.A Whippet model kit features detailed upper deck, all rivets are replicated, armor plates of the turret can be bent easily, multipiece lower hull, separate armored walls for rear fighting compartment, four finely reproduced Hotchkiss machine guns which are movable, road and idler wheels, drive sprockets with attached chain and gear sprocket, cement free individual track links and multiple track spuds for hull. Decals and painting guide for: B. Company, 6th Battalion, Tank Corps, British Army, May 1918 and 3rd (Light) Light Battalion, Tank Corps, British Army, August 1918 - also includes markings for captured German and Russian Whippets.
Some Video Reference
British Pathe News reel on the Tank Medium Mark A Whippet

A7V The Empire's Moving Fortress by MENG

This beautiful MENG kit replicates the A7V tank made by made by Krupp Corp. The plastic model is 229mm long and 100mm wide. The model perfectly replicates the fighting compartment and driver’s compartment; workable track links are provided; all hatches and viewing ports can be built open or closed; precision PE parts are included.

The kit consists of:
509 parts in light beige plastic
224 parts in black plastic for the track links
30 PE parts
1 decal sheet
1 length of string
2 poly caps

Read a full length review as posted on Pearth Military Modeling site.

Kit can be built with an open interior

A stunning rendition of the Meng A7V by Steve Zaloga
Steve Zaloga's build with open interior
When German Army still depended on their machine guns and cannons, they were given a heavy blow by the British Mark I tanks in the Battle of Somme.
After that, Germany started development of its own tanks. After several setbacks, Germany's first tank, the A7V tank, was put into service in early 1918. The square-shaped tank was like a moving fortress when seen distantly and was greatly different from later tanks. Although normally the crew was 16 to 18 men, sometimes up to 26 were carried. Thus, A7V became the tank that carried the most men in the world. It adopted an improved Holt tractor chassis, and two 100hp Daimler 4-cylinder water-cooled petrol engines. Its armament was a 57mm Maxim-Nordenfelt QF gun and six Maxim MG-08 7.92mm heavy machine guns.

The early A7Vs were produced by Krupp Corp and Röchling Group. As the A7V side armor plates made by Krupp Corp were slightly deformed and Germany was in short of resources during the wartime, these plates were cut into five parts and then built together. Therefore, these early side armor plates made by Krupp Corp were not standard one-piece ones.

Only a limited number of A7V tanks were built and sent to battlefields at the late stage of WWI, and they didn’t help Germany reverse the results. However, as Germany’s first tank, A7V tank set a solid foundation for the rising panzer empire. 
At present, the only surviving A7V (506) is kept in the Queensland Museum, Australia. Another A7V (563) replicated by Germany is preserved in the Deutsches Panzermuseum. Unfortunately they are not the version produced by Krupp Corp.

Some Video Reference   

Essential Links:
The First Online Tank Museum
All about the tactics, battles, technology and evolution of tanks and armored vehicles worldwide from their origin, during World War One, World War Two, the Cold War and contemporary conflicts. A constantly growing encyclopedia. From light tanks to modern main battle tanks, through armored cars, personnel carriers, self-propelled guns, tank destroyers, amphibious vehicles and general purpose military vehicles. Articles cover the origin, development, features, variants and operational history of each vehicle, alongside a myriad of illustrations, specifications and historical or modern day photographs. features a wealth of color profiles, drawings and information on WWI AFVs is a WWI site with a nice forum, histories, images and much more on WWI armor.

Video footage of captured running A7V Elfried
On May 18, 1918, at Saleux, France, the German A7V Elfried is presented to Jules-Louis Breton, Assistant Secretary of State for Inventions. Officers and British soldiers are also present. Between 1 and 5 July 1918 in Bourron, fire tests are conducted on Elfried to verify the effectiveness of the 37 mm gun.

View our Meng Models WWI Listings HERE

May 24, 2016

Links, Web Gems & A Somewhat Daily Dose of Useless Tidbits for May 24th, 2016

It's time for another Toy Soldier Tuesdays over on our Google+ page

Rubén "HeresyBrush" Torregrossa has a fast & fantastic S-B-S on his blog featuring vignette he did for Wargames: Soldiers & Strategy magazine for their special Salute issue. It's a  28mm scene featuring Norman knights from Conquest Games. You will find more information in the WS&S 84 issue. Although this post it is quiet simple, I think that it is very interesting to see this talented modeler at work. You find a wealth of awe inspiring work on Rueben's blog HERE

Mel, The Terrain Tutor, is on a mission – a life long wargamer with a passion for making terrain, he’s using YouTube to share his passion and to see better terrain and gaming boards! He latest is the Bolt Action D-Day Board.

from his You Tube description...
I'm Mel, The Terrain Tutor and I want to help you build better battlefields, no matter what game you play. I'll be posting various videos and projects ranging from quick tips to make terrain building easier to back to basics videos covering all the important tools, materials and techniques used in scenery building. I'll also be posting terrain projects, product reviews and much more.

How It's Made
The Canadian made program 'How It's Made', just featured a really cool segment on Perry Miniatures and show how they create and sculpt figures and how both spin cast metal figures and injection molded plastic figures are manufactured. Well worth watching!! 
The following link will lead you to the listings