Friday, 10 February 2017

'The Prince and I' article by Scott Dummitt.

           Prince August Moulds and myself go back a long ways. I was 18 years old when I got my first set so we’re talking 43 years ago. I even remember my first mould; it was an 18th Century Musketeer figure standing shooting. Believe it or not I still have it in my box of moulds. I thought I would approach this subject as the days of buying a couple of dozen figures to create a display of soldiers have gotten rather expensive for most of us. It has also gotten difficult to find the right bands that we want for our display, and yet with a set of moulds we can still create small armies at a rather respectable cost.

            With the use of a hot plate, a starter set and my first mould I was able to create a firing line of British soldiers representing a Royal regiment from the French & Indian wars. Of course the same mould could be used for producing a French regiment as well. The early sets of moulds produced by Prince August Limited were made in Ireland, and then shipped to Sweden for packaging, so many of us believed that they were a Swedish company. In fact the owner of the company, Lars Edman, is Swedish. The factory is now found in Kilnamartyra, Macroom, Co.Cork, Ireland and both production and packaging are done in the same place.

            Most of Prince August Limited’s early moulds were 40mm or 25mm figures, and while you could do a lot of moulding using lead weights, it didn’t fulfill that need many of us wanted, 54mm. Then something wonderful happened. The company started producing 54mm moulds of Prussian Seven Years war figures. While still not an era I was deeply interested in, it was a start. Time at University, and an early 1st marriage, took me away from the hobby for a while. I still dabbled in trying to paint connoisseur style using Imrie/Risley miniatures and Airfix sets, but as far as the toy soldier style went, that was out. Then something magical happened in the 1980s when I was in the Navy. William Britain Limited came out with a ceremonial set of the Cameron Highlanders and I was hooked once again. I also found John Tunstill’s Soldiers Soldiers in the UK while on leave and was able to not only purchase finished products, but could purchase the castings as well. This all lead back to me collecting Toy Soldiers again and getting involved with a group in Victoria, BC.  This round about story leads me back to Prince August Moulds.

            While stationed at Esquimalt, I met a former Canadian Guardsman/PPCLI Officer named Steven Brodsky. Steve was a wonderful gentleman and taught at Royal Roads Military College. At one of our meetings Steve brought in the Colours and Escort of the Royal Roads Cadets. He had made the set from a recently released 54mm set of moulds produced by Prince August Limited. I desperately wanted to get my hands on this set of moulds as I could imagine doing countless regiments of Canadian & British units. It would be another 5 or 6 years before I could find them. Remember there really was no internet of home computers in the late 80’s.

            Eventually I was transferred to Ottawa after a trade transfer and things didn’t start off to well while I was there. I was frustrated with the military and my second marriage fell apart. It was a pretty low time in my life and then I came across a small store in Norwood, Ontario that sold militaria, soldiers, and prints. The gentleman who owned the store had some Prince August Limited 54mm moulds that he wanted to sell off (they were used) of the Dragoons and Household Cavalry. I purchased these from him and using tire balancing weights; I started moulding a Blues & Royal mounted band. I used any band instrument arms that I had managed to scrounge or collect over the years and constructed the tenor drums from cigar sleeve holders and wine bottle lead cork wrappings. A few months later I showed the set to the store owner and he suggested I start making the figures for purchase. By this time I had also found the address for Prince August and had received a catalogue from them in the mail. I may not have had a lot of extra cash at that time, but using the Prince August moulds and a little ingenuity, I was able to start getting back in the hobby. It also started me off with my own business.

            In 1996 I created figures for the Canadian War Museum and sold them on consignment in their small souvenir shop in the old location. This also lead to my first contract for figures when I was approached by Marty Lane of the Governor General Foot Guards kit shop to create 100 sets of a Guardsman and Sentry Box for their 125th Anniversary. While I produced the Guardsmen from the Prince August “Toy Soldiers on Parade” moulds, I purchased 100 W. Britain sentry boxes from OMSS member Richard Malott. Dick told me later that it was the largest single sentry box order that Britains had ever had. If you look at the official GGFG web page today, you can see that they still have some of my sets in stock.

            Today I only use the basic body to start creating figures for my business and all figures are cast using lead free pewter. Using spare heads, and Milliput you can make a lot of different figures with the basic moulds. All of the PRIDE OF THE NATION figures that I produce have been built off of the headless, armless figure you can cast using Prince August. The great things about these sets are you really are only limited by your imagination and your abilities. Casting figures and painting them gives you the ability once again to create large groupings for a fraction of the price that finished products cost. Some of my personal creations are the Corps of Drums Canadian Guards, REME Staff Band, the RCN Stadacona Band, the Corps of Drums Fort Henry Guard, the mounted band of the Blues & Royals, “Brock’s Last Charge” and countless other figures. The Corps of Drums Canadian Guards set has extremely strong feelings for me. I had started the figures around 2006, but had put them aside. Then in late 2007 I decided to finish them off and put them in the 2008 OMSS competition. I had found a wooden side drum rim to use on the display base and my Dad took the time to strip it and sand it for me. This was our last project together as my Dad passed away early in 2008. I finished the project for the show that year and if you look at our OMSS pamphlet you can see that the unit is the center photo.


            Yes, the Prince and I have had a long relationship together. I expect it will continue until my hands aren’t steady enough to hold the moulding ladle or a paint brush.

Examples of Scott's painted work.

Tuesday, 17 January 2017

New Year 2017 Sale on Prince August moulds.

Prince August has just started a large sale on many products today (Jan 17th), including reducing some moulds to just 1 Euro (exc. tax). However stock is very limited so first come first served. We have put the stock numbers up on the sale too, so you can see what is available per sale item.

Also Prince August has reintroduced our Lucky Dip Mould bags. Each bag contains five random moulds. There are no documentation with these moulds but they are all unused. There are less than 20 bags for sale and as I write this that number has already dropped almost in half.
This sale will end at noon on Jan 24th 2017, unless we sell out before the weekend, which is possible.

Wednesday, 11 January 2017

Mithril Miniature MZ630 Duinhir Painting Competition. Entries to be submitted by Feb 16th.

MZ630 Duinhir of Morthond.

Mithril Miniatures wants to invite you to paint our latest MZ figure, Duinhir of Morthond, and tell us how you did it, and as a reward the best entry gets five free releases (figures that are released after closing date).
The conditions are pretty simple:

  • No digital text of any kind including watermarks. 
  • No digital backgrounds, if you put a background in, make it a real one.
  • No other figures are to be in the photo.
  • Figure cannot be altered physically in any way, or obscured in some fashion.
  • Photo must be jpeg format, highest quality possible.  Over 1200 pixel size.
  • MZ630 must be photographed clearly and in focus.
  • Take at least six supportive photos to show progress in painting figure.
  • Write some supportive text (in English) for each photo or overall to explain your thought process in approaching this figure.
  • Video submission (via youtube link) is allowed but must supplement other requirements, not replace them.
  • Final entry date is midnight February 15th 2017 GMT.
  • Only one entry can win.
  • Entries submitted by email, info at mithril dot ie, with subject line "MZ630 Painting Competition Entry".

The winning entry will be used in advertisements for Mithril. Credit will be given to the artist on the website. The homepage of Mithril will link to an article all about the winning entry and this competition, giving the title "master painter" to the artist. They will win the next consecutive five MZ figures released by Mithril Miniatures for free, postage included.

Thursday, 5 January 2017

MZ630 Duinhir of Morthond - FIRST 3D designed Mithril Miniature released in 2017.


MZ630 Duinhir of Morthond - First 3D digitally designed Mithril figure.

This is stage two of a two part transition from traditionally clay sculpting figures to fully 3D digitally designing and printing master figures. Finally, after a year of frustrating delays, we are able to start producing the new type of miniature. The figures available for sale are still cast in metal, but their master figures have been completely produced using the new techniques for the first time.

Duinhir is therefore the first to bear the letters MZ instead of the MS in its product code. All future miniatures, from the Fellowship range, will have that code for the foreseeable future.

This figure was the winning idea from February 2016, and was suggested by Fellowship member 'barliman'.

Duinhir was a Gondorian lord that lead his two sons and five hundreds skilled archers to aid Minas Tirith, Gondor's capital, during the siege by Mordor. His archers were particularly useful against the huge Mumakil and their war towers. Unfortunately Duinhir lost his two sons during that battle.

This metal figure is 32mm scale, primed in grey undercoat and does require a little assembly (bow with partial arm and sword are separate and need to be glued on).

As a special introductory offer, Mithril Miniatures has cut the normal price by 50% to allow everyone to see just how amazing the new figure is. The detail is crisp and clear and the figure will look astounding when skillfully painted.

MZ630 Duinhir of Morthond - back and front views.

Friday, 16 December 2016

Bank of Ireland Enterprise Exhibition in Macroom Cork with Dr Eva Orsmond & Lars Edman

Lars Edman & Dr Eva Orsmond cast witches at the Bank of Ireland Enterprise Exhibit.
With a history of growing up in Scandinavia and sharing the nordic tradition of casting in white metal, Lars Edman helps Dr Eva Orsmond cast little witches from Prince August moulds (Halloween Decorations) at the recent Bank of Ireland Enterprise Exhibition in Macroom, County Cork.

There are also other Halloween decorations available too, including a Spooky Ghost, Scary Black Cat and a Jack O' Lantern Pumpkin. Each mould can be reused hundreds of times and the figures have little loops to hang them from ribbons or chains if desired.

The Toy Soldier Factory is now the oldest factory in the area, allowing customers to cast their own Halloween figures when they visit (via seasonal workshops).

Monday, 12 December 2016

Lord of the Rings December 2016 releases: Ohtar and Gollum miniatures.

Ohtar with the shards of Narsil
Ohtar with the shards of Narsil

Mithril Miniatures has released two more long awaited Fellowship miniatures this week. The first one was 'Ohtar with the shards of Narsil' (MS626), the winning idea from August / September 2015. Ohtar was Isildur's squire, who carried the shards of Narsil, the broken sword that cut the One Ring off Sauron's finger, to the house of Elrond. Eventually the shards were reforged and renamed as Anduril and given to Aragorn to aid him in the War of the Ring.
The second figure was Gollum (MS631), who needs no introduction to any fan of Lord of the Rings or The Hobbit books. Here he is following the Fellowship as they leave Lorien by river, on small boats. He improvised and used an old log to float after them, forever keeping his huge eyes fixed on his ultimate goal, to reclaim the One Ring.
Both these figures are limited to only 100 and are primed with grey undercoat. These are 32mm scale metal figures sculpted by Chris Tubb. Originally they were to be made using the new 3D printing process but delays meant they were remade using the traditional methods instead.

Gollum - the log with eyes.
Gollum - the log with eyes

Tuesday, 6 December 2016

Time to give fairies the home they deserve. Introducing our Fairies & Fairy Door craft kit

An affordable craft kit that includes paints and brushes as well as casting equipment to make fairies at home.

Prince August has a wonderful new craft kit that is perfect for a gift to children 6 or over. Cast, with your Mum or Dad, little fairies and then give them a home in your home. Inspire a child's compassion and imagination as well as their artistic creativity this season. This kit contains a surprising large amount of contents, including casting equipment, 11 acrylic paint tubs, a primer tub, 2 different paint brushes, a Fairy mould that casts two different fairies, a wooden engraved detail fairy door and a pack of self adhesive decorations. 
Adult supervision is required for casting with small children but that is part of the fun, getting some quality time with your kids. The metal used is pewter so it is safe to handle.
There are options to add more metal and fairy door packs too, to extend the fun to friends as well.

Cast up to 7 fairies with this family craft kit


Mithril Miniatures Christmas 2016 | Dunlending High-chief miniature - 2 versions available.

Christmas 2016 Mithril figure | Dunlending High-chief - antique finish version

Mithril Miniatures has restored the long cherished tradition of manufacturing a special Christmas figure annually. 2015 did not have one, but 2016 does. The tradition also calls that the figure be a leader or king and this year it is the Dunlendings High-chief we honour. 
Dunlendings were driven into the hills by the Rohirrim and this seeded deep animosity between the two peoples. During the War of the Ring, Saruman profited from that anger and used them to bolster his armies as well as have raiding parties harrass Rohan villages.
A high-chief to such hardy folk needs to be both strong in leadership and skill in battle. They would never tolerate a weak man in such a role.
Mithril Miniatures produced 100 of these 32mm scale metal figures. 25 are primed in Mithril's grey undercoat and 75 are antique finished, which involves dipping the metal figure into a mix of black gloss and thinner and allowing it to soak into all the details, then wipe off the surfaces, resulting in better contrast.

Christmas 2016 Mithril figure | Dunlending High-chief primed version

Wednesday, 30 November 2016

New Release | Seven Years War French Infantry Moulds in December 2016.

Seven Years War French Infantry moulds released Dec 2016.

Prince August has previously released Prussian, Austrian, Hungarian Regiments in the Austrian army and finally Russian army moulds. Overdue but finally released, the French army is a welcome addition to this expanding 40mm scale range that focuses on the mid-eighteenth century international war that swept the known world.
These French moulds can cast fusiliers and grenadiers with and without turnbacks on their coats, as well as drummers, NCOs, standard bearers and officers.
As expected these moulds have interchangeable parts so there is more flexibility than first meets the eye.
As a bonus Prince August is offering all four moulds in a bundle with 10% discount on R.R.P.

The previous release (Russians) are also now available as an 100+ Army Pack deal, which includes 20 bars of metal so you can cast up to 100 soldiers for as little as 1.21 Euro (ex. tax) per soldier.
Pretty amazing value.
Seven Years War Russian Army Pack deal.

Wednesday, 23 November 2016

Clearance Sale + Black Friday Sale 2016

Clearance Sale on Mithril Miniatures.
Clearance Sale on Mithril Miniatures.
Mithril Miniatures is planning to produce a lot more miniatures in 2017. We had run into technical snags with the changeover to 3D printing that slowed us down in 2016, but we are overcoming these challenges one by one.
However we need room, so we ran a poll on 100 miniatures we currently still manufacture and asked which we should keep and which should be retired. We selected from that list those most popular to retire from ongoing manufacture and have marked them down by up to 60% off.
Once they clear they will never be available on our website again so if you are a collector of LOTR miniatures you might wish to grab these excellent bargains before they are gone for good.

Also since Black Friday is fast approaching we have marked down all our miniatures in the following ranges or categories by 50%. All of these are limited and when sold out will not be produced anymore.
The categories are:

The Black Friday sale ends at midnight Cyber Monday (Nov 28th) 2016 GMT.