Saturday, 11 June 2011

Homecast toy soldiers

Making your own toys soldiers at home has long been a popular pastime, perhaps not so much in recent decades with the universal shift towards political correctness and safety concerns, but there used to be a big market for the sale of moulds to cast your own in lead. Homecasting moulds were sold extensively across Europe and the U.S. under many diffferent trade names but the figure designs invariably come back to one company in Germany, Gebr. Schneider (Schneider Brothers).

Sometimes enterprising individuals would produce figures from these moulds and paint them to a good standard for resale (as I suspect is the case with the first figure above) but mostly they were cast to a poor standard from whatever mix of metals could be found, often fishing weights or, according to urban myth, lead stripped from the church roof! The figures are mostly about 40mm high but size varies all the way up to about 60mm. They are exactly the sort of toy soldier that you will dig up in your back garden, crushed and suffering greatly from lead rot, and then be disappointed when you put it up on ebay and it dosen't sell. They are generally very crude and get little interest from collectors but I rather like them and they are great for playing wargames.

4 comments:

  1. About 7 years I won an auction for 1/2 dozen Schneider molds but they never arrived in the mail. A rare and very disappointing experience.
    ROss

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  2. Hi Brian,
    I´m a collector of homecasting moulds and I agree to what you wrote about the poor standard those figures in most cases have. But it´s only because the people use the wrong metal mix (if you put too much lead into the alloy you loose all the details)and they do not really care about the painting. The old moulds from Schneider, HD, Schildkröt, SCAD and so on are really good sculpted and very detailed and if you put a little effort into it you can build beautiful figures.
    Here you can find some pictures of figures I made.
    http://spielzeugsoldaten.webnode.com/zinngiessform/
    Just click on the company´s name!
    Regards
    Peter

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  3. Yes I agree they are good moulds if you get the metal mix right, I have some very nice ones. Thanks for the link Peter, I will take a look.

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