Author Archives: Michael

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40 years in Kilnamartyra

40 Years Anniversary in Kilnamartyra

March 1, 2016
Michael
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Lars Edman recounts his first experiences in Ireland.

In early January 1976 my newly wedded wife and I came to Ireland from Sweden. We had bought a factory building in the small village of Kilnamartyra in late 1975 and now was to time to get started. After a few days of recruiting a couple of local people we started the factory on the 8th January. We had brought 2 mould making machines from Sweden and the first thing we did was installing them. It did not take long and after a week the mould production started.

Our first employees were Joe McCarthy and Tony Nott. I particularly remember Tony as he came into the factory, said nothing but hello, grabbed a hammer and started to work. We had no interview or formal agreement. He just floated in and became an employee. Both of them have left us but the next employee, Dan Golden, is still with us.

In the first year we sent back all our production to Sweden for packing and sale. We had a good market in Germany and we produced as much as we could. In 1977 we started packing all the products and employment increased to 15 people.

The facilities at the factory was very basic at the start. We had no heating but we were kept warm by mould making machines. At the breaks everybody was gathering in the only office in the building. It gave us a good chance to get to know the local people and practice the local accent.

The telephone system amazed us most of all. There was a handle on the phone which had to be turned fast to get the attention of an operator. It sometime took a while to get a reply from the local operator but then she had to transfer the call to an operator in Macroom and that could take an eternity. It drove us absolutely crazy. After growing up in a country where we took automatic telephones for granted it was very frustrating to get used to the old system. It took until 1984 before our phones went automatic.

It is quite a contrast to think back on how things used to be. Today we are taking mobile phones and internet for granted. It is amazing how things have changed!

Telephone operator.

Toy Soldier Factory Visitor Center

So what is casting miniatures all about?

February 23, 2016
Michael

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Not sure what we do at our factory?

Most people never think about making miniatures, they think about collecting them, painting them, trading them or using them in a battlefield or war-game, but actually making them usually never enters the picture. Well that changes at our factory.

We don’t just sell miniatures, we also sell moulds so YOU can make miniatures, at home, in minutes. This seems impossible but as you watch the video below, it is actually very easy. Our moulds are pre-designed, with lots of themes to choose from, including chess, fantasy, historical and decorative. There are literally hundreds of moulds to choose from, and you can cast most figures within 10 minutes.

Hobby Casting Metal Miniatures using Prince August Rubber Moulds

What are our figures made of?

Well we cast in white metal, a low temperature metal that can easily be melted at home on your cooker, or using one of our handy hotplates. Our flagship metal is Model Metal, which comes in 125 gram ingots that can easily be melted into our ladles and then poured into our vulcanised rubber moulds. Allow five minutes to cool and open the mould and pop out the figure. Each mould can cast many copies, up to five hundred, if care is taken of the mould.

Can you try it at our visitor center?

You sure can, just sign up for a workshop, either before you arrive from our booking page, (thus saving 10%) or pay when you arrive. We offer a great selection of test moulds, including fairies, toy soldiers and seasonal decorations that suit adults and children.

What do I need to start casting at home?

Well we supply a wide range of starter kits that include many of the key ingredients, and we have supplementary accessories to enhance the hobby too. Once you get started you can expand on many of our ranges. One of our customers, using our 25mm scale Napoleonic moulds, cast whole armies  and made a huge Battle of Waterloo battle scene, which we now have in our exhibition hall. It will inspire you.

Leprechaun Approved new website.

Welcome to our 2016 new Toy Soldier Factory website.

February 23, 2016
Michael

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Our old website has been retired at last. It was made about 10 years ago and it was time to put it out to pasture. Our new website will have far more flexibility and be mobile friendly, a vital improvement to any site nowadays.

Old visitor center site has been retired.

The old Toy Soldier Factory website was retired in February 2016.

You will be able to search through our new site, on any browser or platform, easily and quickly. There will be more frequent news and fresh posts appearing every week and more photos of our happy customers will populate our gallery section.

If you have any more ideas to share about how to make our little site more inviting please post your comments below.

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