Friday 7 September 2012

Authenticast 40mm semi flats - mystery solved!

Back in March I posted an entry about a couple of 40mm semi flat sets made by Authenticast and questioned whether they were sculpted by Holger Erikssson because they were similar to his style but didn't carry the distinctive HE monogram.   Here is a picture of one set to remind people:

I subsequently received a comment and a more detailed email from Hans Jacobson in Sweden telling me that "They are slightly modified figures from about 1910 first manufactured in Stockholm by "Gamla Santonska Tenngjureiet" (The Old Santesson Tin Foundry) originally moulded in slate moulds.  Later the slate moulds were bought by the owner of Autenticast Kurt Wennerberg.  Autenticast modified some of the figures and kept some of them as they were.  He made then new rubber moulds of them that could keep up to commercial use. I think." 

Hans also told me the original figures were made for the Morocco crises 1910-11 and very kindly sent the following picture of the other figures in the set.
I think the mounted figures are stunning particularly the rider firing from under the horse.

The name of Holger Eriksson has become so synonymous with the firm of Authenticast that it is easy to forget that he was just one of the sculptors, the main one certainly, employed by Curt Wennberg who set up the venture in The Irish Republic on behalf of Comet Metal Products of the USA in 1946.  Before that in 1937, Wennberg had set up a company called Treforest Mouldings (in Wales) who are best known for their 1:1200 scale waterline model ships (under the brand name Tremo) but are also on record as making 40mm toy soldiers.  While the ships turn up regularly (at horrendous prices) the soldiers have never been seen, so I am wondering if Wennberg originally made copies of the Santesson figures at Treforest before issuing them on a more commercial basis at Authenticast?
Hans also discovered the origin of the standard bearer, it is a Turkish Janissary from another set by Santesson depicting the 1713 Skirmish at Bender, an action from the Great Northern War which I had never heard of but which would make a great wargame scenario.  Finally Hans sent me a link to the Swedish Toy Soldier Club website which shows early Swedish 40mm semi flats as well as some 54mm figures by Holger Eriksson and another of the Authenticast sculptors, Lennart Norrke.  Here is the link the site takes a bit of navigating but it is well worth it, from the menu list on the left hand side click on "Galleri" then on "Aldre tennfigurer" for the 40mm and "Rundmassiva figurer" for the HE/LN figures.  If you have an interest in old waterline model ships, 40mm semi flats or want some inspiration for Funny Little Wars armies you'll find plenty to interest you here.


  1. Hopefully he didn't say "and here's where you can order them". What wonderful figures!

    Pays to remember that HE did not spring up fully formed in a desert. Some of the style etc may have been learned and shared etc.

    Great post.

  2. Hi Ross, no he didn't say that but a part of me wishes he had! Hans says that HE was influenced by the style of these early figures that he would have grown up with and I think we can all relate to that.

  3. Hi Brian, What a beautiful set! Thanks for digging to get the great information and stunning pictures that I have come to expect at your site. I especially loved the Haiti wargame pictures, they were awesome! Keep up the great work! Brad DeSantis

  4. Thanks for that, Brian.

    I also enjoy browsing the Swedish collectors site. The Santesson figures are most intriguing, I'd love to see more of what the GNW range looked like. The 1713 example looks excellent.


  5. Brad and Steve, thanks chaps, it never ceases to amaze me just how much stuff there is out there in the toy soldier world, 40mm figures are a fairly recent interest for me and anything else I find I'll post here.

  6. Thanks for posting as I really love semi and flats ... Jeff