Tuesday, March 15, 2011

More New Toys

Over the recent months I've added a number of new things to my collection. Here are some photos and descriptions of my latest.

The photos above are of my 1st Army Black Ulans. The horses are plastic Americana (as are all my cavalry mounts). The rider is an original sclupt made by myself. The dolly I used was one of the riders from the bag of horses. The master is a headless body which I then encased in OOMOO silicone mold making compound. I then cut open the mold, removed the master, and casted 12 bodies in white metal. The heads are my Army Black Dragoon heads. The color scheme came from "Schiffer's - The Kaiser's Army in Color". I found a pdf of this book on the web for free.

Here is my 1st Recon Squadron for Army Red, The left photo shows the ground crew and their vehicle. The Truck is an Ertl 1917 Ford Delivery Van coin bank.I may get around to filling in the slot in the top someday. The placard on the side of the truck was printed on plain paper then attached with white glue. The two crewmen are made from the Prince August Traditional Toy Soldier mold. I filed dow the coat tails a bit then puttied them up to make the coveralls. I modified a Prince August head to add the driver's cap. The airplane is a Bleriot from Fiddlers Green. I built the engine from dowel and wire, cut the prop from a sheet of acetate, and scratch built the pilot inthe cockpit. The running pilot is the one I made and is available from TVAG.

Here is a firing Light Cannon that I have started. The carriage comes from a plastic ACW Napoleon field piece. The barrel is nested brass tubing. I used my Dremel with a cutting wheel to make the slot in the barrel. Also, in the slotted area, there is balsawood filler. This is slotted as well, to allow the safety pin to move freely. The balsa ends about 1/8" from the muzzle end of the slot. This makes a stop for the projectile dropped down the barrel.

To mount the Pin into the carriage, I drilled a hole in the carriage for the pin to pass through.I bent the pin open slightly, passed it through the hole, and stuck the pointy end into the axle. The carriage is hollow, so I filled the cavity with putty to hold the shaft of the pin in place. The remaining parts are made from styrene, balsa, and floral wire.

This gun fires much farther at a flat trajectory than it does at a high angle. I assume this has to do with the greater force and speed generated  near the clasp than further down on the shank.

This is an air rocket launcher. Here is the supply list for making it:
1 3"x6"x1/8" piece of plywood
4 3"x3" craft foam
1 3"x5" craft foam
1 baby nasal aspirator
1 bendable drinking straw
1 wire clothes hanger
1 sheet of paper
1 bag 1/4" wooden screw hole plugs
contact cement
white glue
duct tape

First, I cut the end off the aspirator (which I will now refer to as the bellows)(don't worry, I used a new one) to leave a 1/4" diameter hole. I then cut hole in each of the 4 3" squares of craft foam. This is to make a cradle for the bellows. I glued the four pieces of foam into a stack with the contact cement. I then glued the stack of foam on to one end of the plywood.

Next, I placed the bellows into the foam cradle. I glued the remaining strip of craft foam over the top of the bellows and on to the foam cradle using contact cement. This arrangement was not as secure as I wanted, so I covered the bellows assembly with duct tape.

I cut a length of clothes hanger wire and formed a "U" shaped staple, which I placed over the nozzle of the bellows and inserted into the plywood. This is to hold the nozzle in place. Insert the short end of the straw into the bellows. I put another  "U" shaped staple made of clothes hanger wire To hold the straw in place.

I bent a loop into another length of the hanger wire to make the elevation support. This was slipped over the end of the straw and stuck into holes drilled into the base. The straw was then cut down to match the length of the base.

For the rockets, I cut the paper into 3/4" x 6" strips. I wrapped one strip around a 1/4" dowel, applying white glue to the outside of the strip. When dry, I slipped the paper tube off of the dowel. I then applied some white glue to the end of the tube and inserted a wooden screw hole plug to make the head of the rocket. I painted the rocket yeoolw with a red head.

To shoot the rocket, just hit the bellows with your hand. It works best if the launcher is placed on a hard surface. I my test firings I was reaching ranges over 20' with little side to side drift.


  1. I had a closer look at the uhlans, Chris, and see that they are in dark green uniforms.
    I read your description of the rocket and although its construction is obvious to you I think it would take a while for me to work it out. I'd have to track down the components for a start. Any alternative to craft foam?
    By the way I have made some postings to my blog of war elephant, jungle figures and Viking fantasy game, as well as my space ork fighter plane.James