December 29, 2013

Tips & Tricks: Building a home-made light tent for photographing models and figures.

The Armorama website has a neat article on photographing your figures and models and building a light ox or tent to get great results.
Click Here to view the article

From Armorama- Getting decent photos of your models is a skill that requires learning. Here's a great tip how to take photos like a pro in a simple and easy manner. Everyone can learn from this how-to article from Hussein El Kaissy; find out how to build a home made light tent.....

December 28, 2013

2 New 1/72nd Scale Sets Coming from Linear-B in Early 2014

Look for new sets from Linear-B featuring Roman Farmers and a Roman Slave Market in their range of 1/72nd scale Roman life sets in early 2014. No set details or pricing yet but we will post here as soon as we get it.

THE BEST PRODUCTS OF OF 2013 from our PRODUCT SPOTLIGHT: Austin Miniatures Cowboys in Plastic

2013 Best Seller
Austin Miniatures is the new kid on the plastic block.  Their first set of figures is the Cowboys and since it's release in October it has consistently been one of our best selling sets. There are eight figures in eight poses in this 1/32nd scale plastic set, some of which are based on movie characters. Can you name them all? Available in two colors you can Check Them Out Here

December 27, 2013

Links & Web Gems:Figure Painter Magazine Issue 8 Now Available

Figure Painter Magazine Issue 8. In this issue we have four great reviews plus Lyn Stahl tells us how she gets inspiration for colour schemes. We also have a great Insight interview with Rafael Garcia Marin and turorials from Federico Sorgi and Alex Huntly. As well as our usual articles we also have a new feature called Questions, Questions, Questions? where influential people from the hobby, past and present, answer a series of questions. To kick this off we have Jean Bey, the artistic force behind and founder of Rackham and he describes his last days at the company before his empire, sadly crumbled.Please let me know if this is possible.

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 and a user gallery. 

December 26, 2013

Here is the image for our New Years themed Caption Contest #19

Here is the image for our New Years themed Caption Contest #19. Come up with the wittiest caption for this image you will win a $25.00 gift card from MTSC. Just think... you get free money and you get show off your comedic charms that will fly around the world via our Newsletter, Blog & Facebook page. We will post the winning right here entry every Thursday.

We Have a Caption Contest 18 Winner!

We have a winner for this weeks Caption Contest It's Thursday so...We Have a Caption Contest 18B Winner!  Ron Strickler who entered via Facebook is this weeks winner of a $25.00 Gift Card from Michigan Toy Soldier. Thanks Ron and to all of you who entered.

and...a 18A Winner!
Joe Blashill who entered via email is this weeks winner of a $25.00 Gift Card from Michigan Toy Soldier. Thanks Joe!

December 25, 2013

Another History Buff's Christmas Tidbit: The Christmas Truce of 1914

The Christmas truce was a series of widespread, unofficial ceasefires that took place along the Western Front around Christmas 1914, during World War I. Through the week leading up to Christmas, parties of German and British soldiers began to exchange seasonal greetings and songs between their trenches; on occasion, the tension was reduced to the point that individuals would walk across to talk to their opposite numbers bearing gifts. On Christmas Eve and Christmas Day, many soldiers from both sides—independently ventured into "no man's land", where they mingled, exchanging food and souvenirs. As well as joint burial ceremonies, several meetings ended in carol-singing. Troops from both sides were also friendly enough to play games of football with one another.

According to Stanley Weintraub, who wrote about this event in his book, Silent Night, All of a sudden, German troops began to put small Christmas trees, lit with candles, outside of their trenches. Then, they began to sing songs. Across the way, in the "no man's land" between them, came songs from the British and French troops. Incredibly, many of the Germans, who had worked in England before the war, were able to speak good enough English to propose a "Christmas" truce. Signboards arose up and down the trenches in a variety of shapes. They were usually in English, or - from the Germans - in fractured English. Rightly, the Germans assumed that the other side could not read traditional gothic lettering, and that few English understood spoken German. 'YOU NO FIGHT, WE NO FIGHT' was the most frequently employed German message. Some British units improvised 'MERRY CHRISTMAS' banners and waited for a response. More placards on both sides popped up. A spontaneous truce resulted. Soldiers left their trenches, meeting in the middle to shake hands. The first order of business was to bury the dead who had been previously unreachable because of the conflict. Then, they exchanged gifts. Chocolate cake, cognac, postcards, newspapers, tobacco. In a few places, along the trenches, soldiers exchanged rifles for soccer balls and began to play games.

The truce is often seen as a symbolic moment of peace and humanity amidst one of the most violent events of modern history. It was not ubiquitous; in some regions of the front, fighting continued throughout the day, while in others, little more than an arrangement to recover bodies was made. The following year, a few units again arranged ceasefires with their opponents over Christmas, but the truces were not nearly as widespread as in 1914; this was, in part, due to strongly worded orders from the high commands of both sides prohibiting such fraternisation. In 1916, after the unprecedentedly bloody battles of the Somme and Verdun, and the beginning of widespread poison gas use, soldiers on both sides increasingly viewed the other side as less than human, and no more Christmas truces were sought.

December 24, 2013

New 60mm Plastic Greeks from Expeditionary Force Now Available

Expeditionary Force has released their new Ancient Greek plastic figure sets. These are 60mm multi-part figures with plug in heads, arms, shields and and are compatible with Conte figures from several years ago. Look for Persian adversaries to be released later in 2014.

Ancient Greeks
EXF-GRK01R Psiloi Archers & Slingers
EXF-GRK02R Peltasts
EXF-GRK03R Hoplites
EXF-GRK04R Spartans Sacred-Band
EXF-GRK05R Cavalry Set 1
EXF-GRK06R Cavalry Set 2 
Click Here to View & Order

Figure of the Week #47: "The Steadfast Tin Soldier"

Our latest Figure of the Week, Holiday Edition is "The Steadfast Tin Soldier" based on the literary fairy tale by Hans Christian Andersen about a tin soldier's love for a paper ballerina. After several adventures, the tin soldier perishes in a fire with the ballerina. Valiantly enduring various trials, the soldier remains steadfast until the end. The tale was first published in Copenhagen by C.A. Reitzel on 2 October 1838 in the first booklet of Fairy Tales Told for Children.

On his birthday, a boy receives a set of 25 toy soldiers and arrays them on a table top. One soldier stands on a single leg, having been the last one cast from an old tin spoon. Nearby, he spies a paper ballerina with a spangle on her sash. She too is standing on one leg and the soldier falls in love. That night, a goblin among the toys angrily warns the soldier to take his eyes off the ballerina, but the soldier ignores him. The next day, the soldier falls from a windowsill (presumably the work of the goblin) and lands in the street. Two boys find the soldier, place him in a paper boat, and set him sailing in the gutter. The boat and its passenger wash into a storm drain, where a rat demands the soldier pay a toll. Sailing on, the boat is washed into a canal, where the tin soldier is swallowed by a fish. When the fish is caught and cut open, the tin soldier finds himself once again on the table top before the ballerina. Inexplicably, the boy throws the tin soldier into the fire. A wind blows the ballerina into the fire with him; she is consumed at once but her spangle remains. The tin soldier melts into the shape of a heart.

Read the complete short story here by clicking here

December 21, 2013

Another History Buff's Christmas Tidbit: PRINCESS MARY’S 1914 GIFT BOX

In November 1914, an advert was placed in the English press asking for contributions to a Sailors & Soldiers Christmas Fund which had been created by Princess Mary. She was the 17 year old daughter of King George V and Queen Mary. The aim was to provide everyone wearing the King's uniform and serving overseas on Christmas Day 1914 with a gift from the nation. With the money raised an embossed brass box was designed by Messrs Adshead and Ramsey which was engraved with an outline of the Princess, the monogram M and the words Christmas 1914. The contents varied depending upon who was to receive them. The majority contained a pipe, a lighter, 1 oz of tobacco and twenty cigarettes in distinctive yellow monogrammed wrappers. However non-smokers and boys received a silver and brass bullet pencil and a packet of sweets instead; Nurses serving abroad were treated to chocolate, and Indian troops often got sweets and spices.

 Many of these items were sent in a slightly larger cardboard box, as the photograph of a soldier receiving his shows, as once the standard issue of tobacco and cigarettes was placed in the tin there was little room for much else apart from the greeting card.

December 19, 2013

Figure of the Week #46: Inspecting the Troops by TedToy Miniatures

Our latest Figure of the Week comes from Ted Deddens over at TedToy Miniatures who made this whimsical little set of Santa Inspecting the Troops. This 54mm (1/32nd scale) set is designed, sculpted and hand painted right here in USA by Ted himself.  This has long been one of our favorite Christmas toy soldier sets and is displayed in our store every year along with all the other cool holiday sets we've accumulated. These troops have defiantly passed muster and in fact we love this set so much we even made it one of our Thank You Cards several years back making it more than worthy of our FOTW.

AMMO of Mig is Coming to Michigan Toy Soldier

AMMO of MIG is a new company from Spain that will offer the 'ammunition for modeling' and provide ideas and solutions to fellow modellers. Formally in partnership with AK Interactive and before that MIG Productions, Mig Jimenez is now on his own with this exciting new company. Two new books and two new paint sets head up our initial offering with much more to follow.

AMO-6000 TIRAN in Lebanon 
AMO-6001 SS Camouflage Guide- Color Profile of SS Vehicles During WWII
AOM-7107 WW2 Soviet Vehicles Acrylic Paint Set 
AOM-7109 Modern Russian Camo Colors Acrylic Paint Set 
Pre Order Now and Save

December 16, 2013

The Tournament by Black Hawk Toy Soldier

The Tournament is a beautiful new collection by Black Hawk and is a faithful recreation of a typical European tournament from around the 1350s. These are 54mm (1/32nd Scale) painted pewter figures comprising a complete set of accessories and interchangeable, multi-purpose figures, allowing for the creation of many exciting tournament settings. 

BHT-BH-0901 Beltrain De Guesclin
BHT-BH-0902 The Encounter
BHT-BH-0903 Squire
BHT-BH-0904 Jester
BHT-BH-0906 Guard
BHT-BH-0907 Noble Lady
BHT-BH-0908 Countess
BHT-BH-0909 Count
BHT-BH-0910 Boy
BHT-BH-0911 Trumpeter
BHT-BH-0912 Herald
BHT-BH-0913 Booth
BHT-BH-0914 Tent
BHT-BH-0915 Edmund De Thorpe
BHT-BH-0916 Jean De La Quite

This collection will be available in late December
Pre Order Now and Save

The exact origin of the tournament is by no means easy to establish, but the existence of military games in ancient times is well known. Skill in the use of arms is only acquired by extended training, so no doubt even in remote antiquity men prepared themselves for warfare by means of mock combats. In fact, properly speaking, the word tournament or “tourney” refers to groups of warriors engaged in battle, whilst the term “joust” applies to just two contestants

December 14, 2013

Another History Buff's Christmas Tidbit: Santa Claus & The Civil War

Did you Know?
The bearded, plump image of Santa Claus we recognize today was created during the American Civil War by Thomas Nast. At the time, most depictions of Santa Claus showed jolly St. Nick as a tall, thin man. Nast, who was known at the time for his political cartoons immortalized Santa Claus with an illustration for the January 3, 1863 issue of Harper's Weekly. This first Santa Claus appeared as a small part of a large illustration titled "A Christmas Furlough". This Santa was a man dressed up handing out gifts to Union soldiers. Nast, known as the father of the American Cartoon also first showed the GOP as an elephant, and the Democratic Party as a donkey, symbols that both parties (and cartoonists) use to this day.

December 13, 2013

Figure of the Week #45: Santa Claus by Crescent

Crescent 54mm Plastic Figure circa 1960s
Our latest Figure of the Week comes from Crescent, an English manufacturer of what now are vintage toy soldiers. Founded in the 20's, they initially made lead/metal soldiers. In the 50's they started making plastic figures and they were in production into the 70's. While this Santa looks like he hit some pretty rough weather over all the years of delivering toys to all those good little girls and boys he still holds the charm of a well loved toy soldier from the past and is deserving of the MichToy Santa of the Week.

December 12, 2013

PRODUCT SPOTLIGHT: Army Sprays from the Plastic Soldier Company

We are very excited to announce the release of a new primer range called Army Sprays. This is a new range of high quality spray paints from the Plastic Soldier Company designed for the WW2 modeler. Developed and researched with Kvasir Innovations (the guys behind Army Painter Primers) to accurately portray WW2 tank and vehicle base colours and WW2 infantry uniforms. 

Now Available:

PSC-SP001 Warsprays: Tank Spray- Late War German Dunkelgelb
PSC-SP002 Warsprays: Tank Spray- Early War German Panzer Grey
PSC-SP003 Warsprays: Tank Spray- Russian
PSC-SP004 Warsprays: Tank Spray- British
PSC-SP005 Warsprays: Tank Spray- U.S.
PSC-SP006 Warsprays: Infantry Spray- German Field Grey
PSC-SP007 Warsprays: Infantry Spray- Russian Uniform
PSC-SP008 Warsprays: Infantry Spray- British Khaki
PSC-SP009 Warsprays: Infantry Spray- U.S. Olive Drab 

Click To View

Coming Soon:
Weathering Sprays & Washes. A quick, easy and effective way to give your vehicle models and tabletop scenery a realistic "battlefield" look. Aimed at WW2 but good for any historical period, sci fi and fantasy.
PSC-WS001 Weathering Sprays: Dirt Brown 
PSC-WS003 Weathering Sprays: Light Brown 
PSC-WSET01 Box Set of Weathering Washes

It's Thursday so...We Have a Caption Contest #16 Winner!

It's Thursday so...We Have a Caption Contest #16 Winner!  Steve Brocklin is this weeks winner of a $25.00 Gift Card from Michigan Toy Soldier. Thanks Steve and to all of you who entered.

December 05, 2013

New Year = New Caesar Miniatures

Last time we heard anything from Caesar Miniatures was way back at the end of 2012 but it looks like they are back with the announcement of five new sets due in early 2014. These 1/72nd scale plastic sets are now available for pre order. Click here
CMF HB06 WWII German Army Combat Team 1 
CMF HB07 WWII German Army Combat Team 2 
CMF HB08 WWII German Army Sturmpioniere Team

CMF HB09 WWII German Army in Stalingrad  
CMF HB11 Modern US Soldiers in Action 

It's Thursday so...We Have a Caption Contest #15 Winner!

It's Thursday so...We Have a Caption Contest #15 Winner!  Ed Rock is this weeks winner of a $25.00 Gift Card from Michigan Toy Soldier. Thanks Ed and to all of you who entered.

December 02, 2013

Mars Readies 4 New 1/72nd Scale Sets

Look for four new sets of 1/72nd plastic scale figures from Mars in the near future.
They will be:
MAF-72066 Lithunian Russian Heavy Infantry 1st Half XV Century 
MAF-72071 Barbarian Pirates 
MAF-72077 Polish Field Artillery 1st Half XVII Century 
MAF-72078 French Dismounted Dragoons Napoleonic Wars 1812-15 

December 01, 2013

Figure of the Week #44: Skiing Santa by Barclay

This skiing Santa comes from the Barclay MFG. Co. Produced in 1930s & 40s this jolly guy was a fixture in many 'Dimestore' collections of the time. He is Made in the USA, 70mm and a hollow cast lead figure. As the Holiday season gets underway its only logical to kiss up to the big guy by making him the MichToy Figure of the Week.
For a few years in the 1930s and early 1940s Barclay was the largest manufacturer of toy soldiers in the United States. At its zenith the company produced over 20,000,00 toys a year. In the days before WWII these were sold for a nickel apiece in Five & Dime stores throughout the country hence the nickname 'Dimestores'.