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The Honor Guardsman

 

About Us


Who we are

We a have a presence on the Internet in the field of hobbies.  Two of our websites generate plenty of traffic.  The All Gauge Model Railroading Page ( http://www.thortrains.net ) is a popular spot for folks who love trains.  It is a massive site with many resources for model railroaders, train buffs and children.  You can even see pictures of our garden there.

 

            Our other site is The Army Men Homepage ( http://www.armymenhomepage.com ).   It started as the result of a joke between former servicemen.  Today it is entertaining young and old alike. 

 

            One of my hobbies is casting miniatures.  I find a simple joy in turning base metals into something nice.  While I have molds to make knights, Civil War soldiers, Revolutionary War troops, skiers & skaters, Santa Claus and some others, my favorites are the classic “army men.”  I am proud to have served during the era of green fatigues and steel helmets.  Perhaps that is why I love making those miniatures.

 

I call my miniature work "Toy Soldier Art."  Recently I added a website by that name to showcase some of my own work. Along with Honor Guardsman there are many other kinds of soldiers displayed there. ( http://thortrains.net/toysoldierart/ )

            We are not a big company.  We are barely a small one.  It is mostly one man making everything.  I love doing it.  That is your assurance of a quality American product.  I take pride in my work.  Maybe it is not “museum quality,” but you can see in that blown-up picture that I do nice work.  If it looks that good at twice the magnification, think how good he looks when you hold him in your hand.

T. Sheil


A little about how we make the Guardsmen

 

Metal casting used to be a popular hobby.  They used to advertise casting kits in big catalogues as late as the 1960s.  Over the years it has become less common.  Perhaps folks got worried at their children making models with molten metal at 700 degrees. 

                       

            You can see how the mold works.  It is in two halves.  There are cavities inside.  Here you see the mold halves and some of the soldiers it produces.  This particular mold makes a trio of attacking paratroopers.  To make them, the mold halves are clamped together. Molten metal is poured into holes on top.  It fills the cavities and cools.  As you saw in the picture, the cooled metal takes the shape of the mold’s cavities.  Out come soldiers.

            The tools for this include a hot pot and pouring ladles. It can take up to 700 degrees to melt the various alloys used in casting.  Safety gear includes welder’s gloves and safety goggles.

            Once the metal has cooled enough, the soldiers are taken from the mold. There is usually a little excess on them.  It must be carefully trimmed and filed off.  Next, the figures re cleaned ,and then whisked with a wire brush.  The brush creates very tiny grooves which can only be seen using a powerful glass.  Because of them, the priming coat bonds to the miniature.

            Primer is a coating that covers the metal.  It makes paint adhere without rubbing off. Once the primer dries, we can paint.  It takes days for a good paint job. Each coat must dry thoroughly before the next can be applied.

            The last step is a clear, protective coating.  That gives an added level of weather and wear proofing.

The end result is your Honor Guardsman, ready to serve!

 

 

 

 

 

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thortrains@comcast.net