Part 2

Other mould manufacturers with special emphasis on the 40mm scale - Page 2 of 9

The number of manufacturers on the market for moulds for model figures is modest in the region around Denmark. Apart from 30mm flat figures, which are not part of this article there are, excluding Prince August, only two other bigger manufacturers, both located in Germany. One is Schildkröt Spielwaren Gmbh. in Mannheim which according to information received ceased manufacture of its so-called Zinnbrigade some years ago. The remaining stock, which has to be considerable, or perhaps the sale was modest, is still sold by the two German companies Berliner Zinnfiguren & Preussisches Bücherkabinett and Zinn Blei Soldaten. The other mould manufacturer is Nürnberger Meisterzinn. The moulds of both companies consist entirely of the 40mm scale. .

Danish units attempt from the riverside to support a Danish Stronghold besieged by Swedish units Danish units attempt from the riverside to support a Danish Stronghold besieged by Swedish units.


The 40mm scale is the most widespread scale on the mould market

The three companies market a total of around 200 moulds in the 40mm scale, and a considerable number of the moulds contain more than one soldier. This figure also includes the moulds from the Prince August series with Cowboys and Indians as well as the around 50 moulds with historical figures from 1960 designed by Holger Eriksson, which are still available on the market. The total number of different infantries and cavalries on the market, accordingly, comes close to 300 soldiers. To this can be added a huge number of equipment, such as guns, carriages, horses and accessories.

Detachable heads, weapons and other parts offer almost infinite possibilities for converting. If you further belong to the generation, having had access to buy "Brigadier-parts" (The brand name for a closed-down Danish manufacturer of model figures) in hobby shops in the form of bodies, heads, weapons and equipment, only your imagination sets the limitation. It is further worth mentioning that the range from the Danish manufacturer Hertz of model soldiers of Prussians and Danes from the 1864 war is still up for sale in a hobby shop in Copenhagen. More elegant horses in the 40mm scale have never seen the day of light. It is therefore rather baffling that soldiers in the 40mm scale enjoy such modest dissemination inside the Society.

Besides the already mentioned manufacturers the German mould manufacturer Gebrüder Schneider from Leipzig, a manufacturer of moulds in the beginning of the 20th century, deserves to be mentioned due to occasional rumours that someone intends to take up the manufacture of these moulds again. The company marketed a huge range of moulds, of which the majority were made of aluminium and as a rule had wooden handles on the backside of each mould part. The figures included known military units from a number of countries with emphasis on Germany. The scale differed somewhat between 40mm and 60mm. The design quality of the figures also varied quite considerably. The moulds have become collectors' items and are, consequently, rather expensive. There is a big antique market for these moulds in Germany and the US.


Figures in the 40mm scale do not always fit well together

As it may have appeared, there are countless possibilities to cast different figures in 40mm, but they do not all fit well together. It is normally not the height, which poses a problem, but the thickness or roundness. Converting figures by e.g. changing heads presupposes the figures having a certain thickness of the material in order to allow for drilling a hole for the socket of the head. Of course you can cut the socket off the head and glue the head directly on in the place, where you removed the original head. But the gluing is more vulnerable without a socket. Besides a fully round head has a more dominant effect on a flat figure. Even inside the 40mm mould ranges of Prince August the scale does not fit well together. The Karoliner range from 1960 Nos. 11 - 59 and the new range from 1986 Nos. 901 - 957 fit well together, but they are somewhat flatter than I like it, and so flat that you cannot drill a 2½mm hole for a head socket without having the drill come through the side of the body. In turn, however, the last part of the range from 1960 Nos. 60 - 73 (The battle of Rossbach series) fits very well with the figures from the moulds of Nürnberger Meisterzinn. Both ranges are considerably more fully round with necessary thickness, allowing for easy changes of heads and weapons.


Schildkröt Zinnbrigade

Schildtkröt moulds are similar to the moulds of Prince August made of black rubber, but with a slightly advanced finish. It is obvious that the moulds are not just a secondary item with the object of delivering the result of the designer. The person responsible for the manufacture of the moulds, has obviously had a metallurgical background, and deep knowledge of how molten lead reacts, when it is poured into the mould. You can learn a lot alone by observing the arrangements, which have been made in the form of advanced undercuts, small rooms for accumulation of lead and air outlets in the moulds in connection with e.g. horse reins, flags, horse legs and other notoriously difficult casts. The result is quite simply that you sustain less recasts. The assortment consists of two ranges, of which one includes 13 moulds from the Napoleonic Wars from 1804-15. The moulds contain French and Prussian infantries and British dragoons including horses. The other range includes around 18 moulds containing Prussians exclusively from the time around 1900. The range also includes infantry, artillery, cavalry and band, and as a rule there are two soldiers in each mould. If ever the moulds of Schildkröt were marketed in Denmark, it certainly is a long time ago.