April 27, 2014

Links, Web Gems & Other Digital Delights : Soldatini Magazine Issue 105 Now Available

One of the great effects of the digital age is that it opens up a wide variety of possibilities that were previously not economically feasible. One perfect example is Soldatini International which is the new digital English language version of the Italian figure magazine Soldatini which until now was only available in Italian. This is the ideal magazine for anyone who has passion in scale model figures. Talented modellers from around the world demonstrate and teach the best and most advanced techniques in figure modeling. The technical aspects in the articles deal with both the sculpting and painting along with historical background. Each issue also covers new releases of military miniatures, toys and flat figures as well as books all of which are evaluated and reviewed.

Issue 105 has the usual great how to articles but also features- 
- The Battle of Chancellorsville May 1863. A diorama created by Enzo Morelli using Conte, Collectors Showcase & W. Britains figures.
- The Scream of War, The French & Indian War 1755. A diorama using plastic 1/72 scale figures from Italeri and others.
- The Legend of Detachable Toy Soldier: The Nardis. Detachable Nardi figures are Italy's version of the swoppet.

Available for both Apple OS and Android devices as a download at the reasonable price of $6.99 per issue or $29.99 for a 6 issue subscription. Check your app store or www.pocketmags.com.


The Gallery of Collections, Dioramas, Figures and Models for & from Our Customers

We have a new 'Gallery of Collections, Dioramas, Figures and Models for & from Our Customers' featured in the ever expanding  Collectors Area of our web site. Have a look at some of the beautiful collections from many different sources and in many different scales. Have a diorama you would like to feature? Drop us an email at michtoystaff@michtoy.com

April 26, 2014

Links & Web Gems: British Pathé uploads 85,000 historic films to YouTube

British Pathé uploads 85,000 historic films to YouTube
Thousands of hours of historical footage showing major events, celebrities and simple day-to-day life from 1896 until 1976 has been uploaded to YouTube. The newsreel maker which documented all walks of life on video during the 20th Century, has uploaded its entire collection of moving images to YouTube. The archive of 3,500 hours of footage was digitised in 2002 thanks in part to a grant from the National Lottery, and is now freely accessible to anyone around the world for free.

The unique collection of video covers major events, famous faces, travel, sport and culture and is a wealth of information on the First and Second World Wars in particular. Scrolling through the archives reveals everything from the tragic: Emily Davison throwing herself under the King's horse, the Hindenburg disaster and the Hiroshima bombing, to the downright unusual, such as Southampton University's 1962 attempt to launch a flying bicycle.

Alastair White, general manager of British Pathé, said: "Our hope is that everyone, everywhere who has a computer will see these films and enjoy them. This archive is a treasure trove unrivalled in historical and cultural significance that should never be forgotten. Uploading the films to YouTube seemed like the best way to make sure of that.
“Whether you’re looking for coverage of the Royal Family, the Titanic, the destruction of the Hindenburg, or quirky stories about British pastimes, it’ll be there on our channel. You can lose yourself for hours.”

April 23, 2014

Links & Web Gems: Figure Painter Magazine Issue 12

Figure Painter Magazine Issue 12.
This is the best issue yet in my humble opinion. There is a great interview with Sheperd Paine, considered by many the be the man who put historical miniatures and dioramas on the map. There is also an excellent article on Chipping Medium and several great tutorials!

From the publisher- Wow, number 12! In this issue we have some brilliant articles for miniature painters of all types and levels. Starting us off is a fantastic Insight interview with the daddy of the hobby; none other than Sheperd Paine! We also have lots of excellent product review and a closer look at some of the Chipping Medium that’s on the market. Three massive tutorials which include another step-by-step from Sergey “WE7” Chasnyk and something pretty special from Isaac Jaramillo Sama who show us how to paint Pegaso’s Vlad Dracul! This, on top of all the other stuff makes for one big issue...116 pages in all!

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 and a user gallery. 

April 18, 2014

Figure of the Week #56: The Easter Bunny

This week we spotlight Peter Cottontail aka The Easter Bunny as depicted by the Hausser Elastolin company of Germany. This particular Easter Bunny is actually a 7cm composition figure from the Hausser animal ranges that were produced starting back in the 1920s and up through the 1950s. In the 1960s they changed over to plastic animals. I just hope I get those malted milk ball eggs again this year for the plug. 

April 17, 2014

Digital Delights: Step by Step The Digital Magazine Specializing in Historical Miniatures

Step by Step is a new digital publication specializing in historical miniatures. Produced in Spain Issues 1-4 are in Spanish only but Issue 5 marks the first volume to be published in English. This issue could be called the ‘Bust’ issue as it contains only historical busts. Seven busts are featured across 48 pages. Five of the busts are featured in short 2-6 page articles containing historical background and basic painting techniques and the paints used to achieve them. The other two busts are featured in true a Step by Step format. The Jacobite Highlander is featured in eighteen highly detailed pages with a complete Step by Step tutorial. The Germanic Warrior is detailed in an eight page Step by Step tutorial. State of the art photography brings all these figures to life. As with most publications translated into English from their native language this one takes a little bit of reading  and rereading to get into the flow of the text but once you get the gist of it it’s pretty easy to follow. Anyone looking for true Step by Step tutorials for painting historical busts will find the $8.99 price a worthwhile investment. 

Available Pocket Mags in all formats including iOS, Android, Playbook, Windows 8 and On-line

D.A.K. from AK

Yup! There's An App For That! PaintMyMinis for iOS

Did it ever happen to you, after taking a break from one of your miniature/army painting projects that you couldn’t get a hold of the right painting order? What kind of mixtures did you create to paint that cool metal blade? What kind of inks did you use and in which order? Was it the late summer green 123 or autumngras 345 flock for the bases?

With PaintMyMinis you can keep track of all these questions and keep it for future projects and expansions. It provides your miniature painting with consistency throughout the whole painting process. Never lose sight again of your painting order, the thereby used colors and bookmark your painting status at every mini in progress.

Key features:
- Plan your project color scheme with the integrated colorwheel* (optionally with auto color harmony)
- Keep track of all your painting techniques, paint mixtures and ratios
- Share your materials and techniques with your friends and the world
- Keep track of your colors* and add them to an integrated shopping list
- One app, all your projects, all your minis, custom materials that can be shared by your minis
- Bookmarks and percentile painting process for each mini
- For your convenience the Vallejo (Game Color, Model Color and Model Air)*, Games Workshop Citadel*, PrivateerPress Formula P3* paint ranges are available for download!

April 15, 2014

Alpine Miniatures Celebrates 10th Anniversary with Stunning Erwin Rommel Figure

Alpine MIniatures arguably produces the finest WWII figures in 1/35th and 1/16th scale on the market today. Celebrating 10 years in business, Alpine Miniatures has not rested on it's laurels and have only continued to up the ante with each new release. With their latest 1/16th scale release of General Erwin Johannes Eugen Rommel (#16024) Alpine has gone all out – just like the award winning U-boat Kapitan of last year they have a top sculptor at the helm – Mr Satoshi Tsujimura from Japan and just as talented a painter in Dr. Jin Kim to finish off the box art version. 

This month also has two SS Panzer Commanders, available individually or as a two figure set. These 1/35th scale figures are sculpted by Taesung Harmms with Boxart by Man-Jin Kim. As with all Alpine figures each includes 2 heads, each with different head gear.

View and pre order these figures HERE

April 11, 2014

HeresyBrush Applies a Dust Effect Using True Earth Products

Rubén Torregrosa aka HeresyBrush applies a Dust Effect to a Minairons Miniatures 28mm (1/56th Scale) Hispano Suiza using True Earth products in this simple & quick weathering step by step.

Links & Web Gems: The 2013 Modelers Annual

Anyone interested in building dioramas or scenery for your miniatures or models should grab a copy of the 2013 Modelers Annual. Published by Westlake Publishing and available as a downloadable PDF this tome is a testament to the art of the diorama. If you have never purchased one of these, this is the one to get. 100+ pages containing 11 full length Step by Step articles by some of the finest modelers. Regardless of what scale or genre you model, the diversity of subject, materials and techniques in these articles will inspire and educate. This is by far one of the nicest, most informative publications covering dioramas I have ever come across. On their site you will also find an excellent modeling forum. And... check out the Westlake Facebook page for more eye candy.

April 05, 2014

Figure of the Week #56: 1938 Dimestore Baseball Players by Sheila Inc.

With the start of the new baseball season this week we continue our baseball themed FOTW. That is to say baseball players that were produced by companies known primarily for their toy soldier products. This weeks figure is a 'Dimestore' style baseball player circa 1937-1938 and made by Sheila Inc. of Cleveland, Ohio . Not much more is known about this company but these 70mm hollow cast lead figure are extremely rare and a mint figure could command upward of $450.00.
These figures are so cool and so rare they are a worthy choice to be a MichToy Figure of the Week.

April 01, 2014

Product Spotlight: Painting Boards for Figures - Imported from Germany

Fredericus Rex
From the land of German engineering comes these handy painting boards for figures. There are two styles. One has a paint strip with six places for inserts. Included are 20 disc inserts. Simply tack down your figure on the disc and put in the painting strip. The figures can be rotated while painting or sculpting. The inclined painting board is covered with soft foam rubber for comfortable resting of hands while painting Optimal alignment of figures for the painter with both hands free. Great for small scale figures. #FFR-T-MBVPF

The second board comes with two paint strips and is excellent for painting quantities of the same figures or armies. Tack the figures on the strips and insert it into the painting board which is also inclined and covered with soft foam rubber for comfortable resting your hands while painting masses of figures. #FFR-T-MBFF

Last but not least we have the Figure Holder for For Painting and Sculpting small scale figures. Holds small scale figures securely. Good for 15mm to 28mm.