Tin soldiers are miniature figures of toy soldiers that are very popular in the world of collecting. They can be bought finished or in a raw state to be hand-painted. They are generally made of pewter, tin, lead, other metals or plastic. Often very elaborate scale models of battle scenes, known as dioramas, are created for their display. Tin soldiers were originally almost two-dimensional figures, often called "little Eilerts" or "flats". They were the first toy soldiers to be mass-produced.Though largely superseded in popularity from the late 19th century by fully rounded three-dimensional lead figures, these flat tin soldiers continue to be produced.
The first mass-produced tin soldiers were made in Germany as a tribute to Frederick the Greatduring the 18th century. Johann Gottfried Hilpert (1748–1832) and his brother Johann Georg Hilpert (1733–1811) established an early assembly-line in 1775 for soldiers and other figures; female painters applied a single color on each figurine as it was passed around the workshop. Hilpert, living in Nuremberg was probably the first to create them as a mass-produced toy. The world's largest Tin Soldier is located in New Westminster, British Columbia, Canada.
"Real" tin soldiers, i.e., ones cast from an alloy of tin and lead, can also be home-made. Moulds are available for sale in some hobby shops. Earlier, the moulds were made of metal; currently, they are often made of hard rubber which can stand the temperature of the molten metal, around 250 °C.
The best-known tin soldier in literature is the unnamed title character in Hans Christian Andersen's 1838 fairy tale The Steadfast Tin Soldier . It concerns a tin soldier who had only one leg because "he had been left to the last, and then there was not enough of the melted tin to finish him." He falls in love with a dancer made of paper and after much adventuring, including being swallowed by a fish, the two are consumed together by fire, leaving nothing but tin melted "in the shape of a little tin heart."
Tin soldiers also play a role in "Knight's Castle" by Edward Eager.
In printing, type metal refers to the metal alloys used in traditional typefounding and hot metal typesetting. Historically, type metal was an alloy of lead, tin and antimony in different proportions depending on the application, be it individual character mechanical casting for hand setting, mechanical line casting or individual character mechanical typesetting and stereo plate casting. The proportions used are in the range: lead 50‒86%, antimony 11‒30% and tin 3‒20%. Antimony and tin are added to lead for durability while reducing the difference between the coefficients of expansion of the matrix and the alloy. Apart from durability, the general requirements for type-metal are that it should produce a true and sharp cast, and retain correct dimensions and form after cooling down. It should also be easy to cast, at reasonable low melting temperature, iron should not dissolve in the molten metal, and mould and nozzles should stay clean and easy to maintain. Today, Monotype machines can utilize a wide range of different alloys. Mechanical linecasting equipment uses alloys that are close to eutectic.
An action figure is a poseable character model figure made most commonly of plastic, and often based upon characters from a film, comic book, military, video game or television program; fictional or historical. These figures are usually marketed toward boys and adult collectors. The term was coined by Hasbro in 1964 to market G.I. Joe to boys.
A scale model is a physical model which is geometrically similar to an object. Scale models are generally smaller than large prototypes such as vehicles, buildings, or people; but may be larger than small prototypes such as anatomical structures or subatomic particles. Models built to the same scale as the prototype are called mockups.
Bronze is the most popular metal for cast metal sculptures; a cast bronze sculpture is often called simply "a bronze". It can be used for statues, singly or in groups, reliefs, and small statuettes and figurines, as well as bronze elements to be fitted to other objects such as furniture. It is often gilded to give gilt-bronze or ormolu.
Louis Marx and Company was an American toy manufacturer in business from 1919 to 1980. They made many types of toys including tin toys, toy soldiers, toy guns, action figures, dolls, toy cars and model trains. Some of their notable toys are Rock'em Sock'em Robots, Big Wheel tricycles, Disney branded dollhouses and playsets based on TV shows like Gunsmoke. Its products were often imprinted with the slogan "One of the many Marx toys, have you all of them?"
A toy soldier is a miniature figurine that represents a soldier. The term applies to depictions of uniformed military personnel from all eras, and includes knights, cowboys, American Indians, pirates, samurai, and other subjects that involve combat-related themes. Toy soldiers vary from simple playthings to highly realistic and detailed models. The latter are of more recent development and are sometimes called model figures to distinguish them from traditional toy soldiers. Larger scale toys such as dolls and action figures may come in military uniforms, but they are not generally considered toy soldiers.
Lost-wax casting – also called investment casting, precision casting, or cire perdue – is the process by which a duplicate sculpture is cast from an original sculpture. Intricate works can be achieved by this method.
In miniature wargaming, players enact simulated battles using scale models called miniature models, which can be anywhere from 2 to 54 mm in height, to represent warriors, vehicles, artillery, buildings, and terrain. These models are colloquially referred to as miniatures or minis.
A model figure is a scale model representing a human, monster or other creature. Human figures may be either a generic figure of a type, a historical personage, or a fictional character.
Thingmaker, also called Creepy Crawlers, is an activity toy made by Mattel, beginning in 1964. The toy consists of a series of die-cast metal moulds resembling various bug-like creatures, into which is poured a liquid chemical substance called "Plasti-Goop", which comes in assorted colours. The mould is then heated to about 390 °F (199 °C) in an open-face electric hot plate oven. The Plasti-Goop is cured by the heat, and when cooled forms semi-solid, rubbery replicas which can be removed from the mould.
In different periods of time and in different countries, the term majolica has been used for two distinct types of pottery.
Bellfounding is the casting and tuning of large bronze bells in a foundry for use such as in churches, clock towers and public buildings, either to signify the time or an event, or as a musical carillon or chime. Large bells are made by casting bell metal in moulds designed for their intended musical pitches. Further fine tuning is then performed using a lathe to shave metal from the bell to produce a distinctive bell tone by sounding the correct musical harmonics.
Model horses are scale replicas of real horses. They originated simultaneously – but independently – in the United States, Canada, and the United Kingdom, followed later by Sweden (UK-influenced), Germany (US-influenced), and Australia. They encompass a wide variety of fanbase activities, from those who simply like to collect, to those who show their models at model horse shows. Unlike model cars or trains, model horse collectibles do not need to be assembled from kits, although they can be altered to the collector's liking.
Britains, earlier known by the founder's name W. Britain, is a British toy brand and former manufacturing company known for its die-cast scale models of agricultural machinery, and figurines. The company was established in 1893 as a toy soldiers manufacturer.
Benbros (London) Ltd was a British toy company in existence from the late 1940s to 1965.
The Barclay Manufacturing Company was an American metal toy company based in New Jersey that specialised in diecast toy cars and hollowcast toy soldiers. Due to their common availability at five and dime stores, collectors often refer to Barclay's toy soldiers as "Dimestore soldiers".
Dimestore soldiers are a name first given by collector and author Don Pielin to American made toy soldiers sold individually in five and dime stores from the 1930s to the 1950s before being replaced by plastic toy soldiers called army men. Though most figures were hollowcast metal, composition and plastic dimestore figures were also made. The popularity of the toy soldier reflected public interest in wars around the world and America's own military preparedness of the era. The largest dimestore companies are: Barclay, Manoil, Grey Iron, and Auburn.
Traditional Mexican handcrafted toys are those made by artisans rather than manufactured in factories. The history of Mexican toys extends as far back as the Mesoamerican era, but many of the toys date to the colonial period. Many of these were introduced as teaching tools by evangelists, and were associated with certain festivals and holidays. These toys vary widely, including cup and ball, lotería, dolls, miniature people, animals and objects, tops and more—made of many materials, including wood, metal, cloth, corn husks, ceramic, and glass. These toys remained popular throughout Mexico until the mid-20th century, when commercially made, mostly plastic toys became widely available. Because of the advertising commercial toys receive and because they are cheaper, most traditional toys that are sold as handcrafts, principally to tourists and collectors.
Penny toys is a name used for inexpensive tin toys mostly manufactured in Germany between the 1880s and 1914 that were sold in the UK, Europe and America in the late 19th century and early 20th century.
Imperial Productions is a manufacturer of toy soldiers in Greytown, New Zealand. Operating since 1982, it produces 54 mm cast lead figurines which are painted by hand. The miniatures depict mostly soldiers from the British Army in Napoleonic times through to World War II, as well as Māori and Victorian civilians.