S. Berliner, III's sbiii.com AUTHENTICAST/COMET Continuation Page 1 keywords = Comet Authenticast Comet Metal Products Slonim ordnance tank armor armour track self-propelled artillery gun cannon rifle airplane spotter ship naval navy

Updated:   14 Jan 2013,  20:40  ET
[Page created 18 May 2002; converted 03 Aug 2011;

    original AT&T Worldnet Website begun 30 May 1996.]
URL:  http://sbiii.com/authcmt1.html
[was at "home.att.net/~Berliner-Ultrasonics/authcmt1.html"]

S. Berliner, III
Consultant in Ultrasonic Processing
"changing materials with high-intensity sound"



note - The vast bulk of my massive Web presence (over 485 pages) had been hosted by AT&T's WorldNet service since 30 May 1996; they dropped WorldNet effective 31 Mar 2010 and I have to scramble to transfer everything by then.  Everything's saved but all the links have to be changed, mostly by hand.  See my sbiii.com Transfer Page for any updates on this tedious process.


S. Berliner, III's

sbiii.com

AUTHENTICAST/COMET
Continuation Page

imgintpg.gif

Comet Auth Part-Color Logo Comet Auth B&W Logo

Comet Auth Full Color Logo Comet Auth Waterline Logo (Logos from 1945 Catalog)


Please refer to the Ordnance page, et seq.

INDEX:

Because the indexing of Comet AUTHENTICAST information has gotten too complex to keep up to date on each of the many individual pages,
a Master Index will be used for currency and the indices on each individual page may not be kept current.   new (14 Jan 2013)

On the main Authenticast/Comet page:
  Comet Metal Products, Inc.
  AUTHENTICAST

On this Authenticast/Comet continuation page 1:
  Comet Metal Products History
  1945 Comet Metal Products AUTHENTICAST Catalog

Tank Scale of 1:108
  1945 Comet Metal Products AUTHENTICAST Price List
  AUTHENTICAST Ship Models.
  AUTHENTICAST Miscellany.

On the Authenticast/Comet Continuation Page 2:
  1950s Fitted Case of Tanks.
  Atomic Cannon
  Honest John
  USS Northampton - CLC-1

On the Authenticast/Comet continuation page 3:
  Comet Then and Now and Map.
  The Greater World of Comet AUTHENTICAST - A History.
  Red, White, and Blue Boxes.

On the Authenticast/Comet continuation page 4:
  WWII Tank ID Box.
  1:500 Ships Price List
  Old AUTHENTICAST Photos.
  WWII Japanese Ships ID Box.

On the Authenticast/Comet continuation page 5:
  1950s Fitted Case of Tanks, 1-50 (continued from Cont. Page 2).

On the Authenticast/Comet continuation page 6:
  1950s Fitted Case of Tanks, 51 - 100 (continued from Cont. Page 5.

On the Authenticast/Comet continuation page 7:
  1950s Fitted Case of Tanks, comments (continued from Cont. Page 6).

On the Authenticast/Comet continuation page 8:
  South Salem Studio's U. S. Ships Navy Case
  Comet Authenticast HELP!

On the Ordnance Continuation Page 1:
  MORE ORDNANCE APOCRYPHA

On the Ordnance Continuation Page 2:
  RAILROAD GUNS.
  ATOMIC CANNON.
  SMALL ARMS.

On Ordnance Continuation Page 3:
  CALIBER (Calibre).
  Anzio Annie.
  SMALL ARMS (moved from Page 2 on 13 Apr 00)
  BIBLIOGRAPHY
  Russian Armor.
  HELP!

Comet "Authenticast" 1:432 Aircraft Models,

and see Airplanes on the main Comet/AUTHENTICAST page.


Comet Metal Products Co., Inc.
AUTHENTICAST

Comet Auth Part-Color Logo Comet Auth B&W Logo

Comet Auth Full Color Logo Comet Auth Waterline Logo (Logos from 1945 Catalog)

Comet Metal Products Co., Inc. History

(collected and moved here 02 Jul 03)

Old Comet Logo

During and after World War II and at least into the Korean "police action" (1940s, 50s, and 60s), a small firm in Richmond Hill (Postal Code 18), Queens County, New York (near the Long Island Rail Road's Morris Park Shops, built a line of scale model ships (see logo above), planes, railroad cars, tanks and armored vehicles, and soldiers under the trade name "Authenticast".

[Actually, their plant was hidden deep against the LIRR yard in the wye between the Main Line and the line to the Flatbush Avenue station and you couldn't get there from Atlantic Avenue except by driving to the Sheffield (or Sealtest) plant and turning north through a tunnel under the RR embankment (130th Street) and then going in a block or two, turning right (east) on either 92nd or 91st Avenue or on 90th Avenue or 89th Road and going into either of the two cul-de-sacs they formed to stub segments of 132nd Street and they were on the northeast corner of one of those two tiny blocks, facing north on either 91st or 89th Road (how's THAT for a 50 year old memory AND a drawn-out sentence?).]

Per An Abbreviated History of Comet on Mike's Tanks, it had been founded in 1919 by Abraham Slonim, an immigrant from Germany, who started trying to interest the U.S. government in ID (spotter) models ca. 1930, and was carried on by his sons Joseph and Samuel Slonim, who came to the U. S. in 1935.

I'd run across a page of "15mm" castings of tanks and AFVs that sure looked like my old AUTHENTICAST models; the QualityCast line (Quality Castings Inc.).  I e-mailed and asked about the "15mm".  Chuck Cook replied instantly; he'd bought up the old AUTHENTICAST molds, refurbished them, and added more.  The "15mm" scale is an approximation; the Slonims built the models in the weird scale of 1" = 9' (1:108) instead of HO (1:87.1)!

Comet's history was amplified by Chuck Cook on 26 Jun 03; Chuck advised that Comet/Authenticast went out of business in 1960.  He started Quality Castings (QualiCast) in 1984 with some molds from a predecessor company Custom Cast and then began doing new models in the mid 1980's.  Chuck doesn't remember exactly which ones, but thinks the first 48 (6000 to 6048) US and the first 13 German, and the first 12 UK, and 7 Japanese and 8 Russian were AUTHENTICAST, but later redid a lot of those models and in some cases kept the same numbers and in others renumbered them.

Quality Castings Inc was sold to 19th Century Miniatures effective 26 Mar 2002.  The entire business was relocated to the 19th Century Miniatures facilities in Michigan; NCM owners Steve Jamieson and Stephen Thomas continue expanding the QC line and improving it.

{One can't find Nineteenth Century Miniatures on the Web;
it is doing business as Battle Honors - Old Glory 15's at www.oldglory15s.com - SB,III - 25 Jun 03}

WARNING! - you can not access their full site on older browsers; it is fully framed and requires sequential entry by product, country, era, and category.

Another site (about ship models) has a partial history of Comet; it is on Paul Jacobs' 1250 Scale site (within the Steel Navy site) on which he notes that "In 1962, the last of the Sloman {sic} brothers died, and that brought Comet to an end.  Several collectors managed to buy the moulds and began producing under the name Superior" and that in 1962 Superior "began production after purchasing the old Comet/Authenticast line" (that is the 1:1250 ships models ONLY).

Paul's Steel Navy site leads one to Pete Parschall's ALNAVCO, which carries the 1:1250 ships line along.  There we find more of the Comet/AUTHENTICAST history as related by Wayne Smith, a consultant to ALNAVCO, who was hired by Superior ca. 1967 at the age of 16; he "started by finishing ships and spray painting them, then casting them, then making 'conversions' and finally making the 'masters' from which the castings are made".  Wayne relates that a "number of the Superior masters are 60 years old as first developed by Authenticast".  "Purchased in 1960 by Ian 'John' Carter, many were updated with AA guns, deck hatching, and boats and in some cases completely replaced".  "In 1999, John Carter retired and Alnavco, who had been the primary dealer for the company for 34 years, bought the Superior ship lines and immediately embarked on a program to upgrade many of the models, mainly in the area of casting the secondary turrets separately, as well as issuing models that had not been available for years."

Because of heightened interest in these models, I have reproduced here the entire {?} 1945 catalog of planes, ships, and tanks of WWII; it is 3-color (on white), but the illustrations are all black on white.  In addition, I also include the (apparently) accompanying price list; it is B&W and undated but also includes an announcement of RAILROAD ACCESSORIES, INDUSTRIAL MACHINES, and OFFICE and DRAFTING ROOM FURNITURE in O, HO and OO scales.

I am unable to locate the provenance of these images or the order in which they should appear; the pages are unnumbered and so are presented in an order that seems appropriate to me at this time.  The catalog is largely arranged by type of model and by war period.

If the person who provided these scans would like to be credited, just let me know.

Mike's Tanks reminded me that Comet also produced minature football squads and that reminded me, in turn, that I once had both those AND baseball teams.

Image pr17 conclusively sets the scale of the tanks at "1 in. to 108 in.",

1:108,

NOT HO scale (1:87.1),
not even close (about 24% smaller - 1" = 9')!

As I note on the main Comet/Authenticast page, I am reasonably certain that the soldier sets which followed later were, in fact, at HO scale.

The frontis matter is somewhat obvious as to order; the product information is grouped in two ways, by "planes, ships, and tanks", and by battle or theater.

So, in no great semblance of original pagination, here is the 1945 Comet Metal Products Co. AUTHENTICAST catalog [with very large thumbnails for these images, please be patient (I'll resequence them eventually)]:

1945 AUTHENTICAST
(Comet Metal Products) Catalog

1945 Catalog Cover 1945 Catalog Frontis

pr14 pr15

pr16 pr17

pr18 us19

us19detail

jp20detail

jp20 sh21

at22 ge24

wl25 af26

br27 fr28

wl29 ph30

am31 jp32

tk33 el34

br35 ge36

tk37 nc38

fh39 pt40

wl41 sf42

al43 ax44

pl45


1945* AUTHENTICAST
(Comet Metal Products) Price List

The price list is undated but accompanies a 1945 catalog and is also unpaginated; again in no especial order:

[I just made up (large) thumbnails for these pages; I'll resequence them shortly.]

1081 PL top 1082 PL bottom

12br 12c3

12gr 12jp

12us 5002

pln1 pln2

acc3 acc4


Anent Comet/AUTHENTICAST history, Bob Beattie, a war gamer, advised 25 Aug 03 that Comet was in some way tied to Holger Eriksson's S.A.E. (Swedish African Engineers) who, in 1957, started producing 30mm painted figure sets; they apparently also made HO scale railway and military figures.  HO soldiers listed are 6002 - Union army, infantry, cavalry, and artillery and 6003 - Confederate army, ditto.  They were made between 1946 and 1950 in Ireland and between 1954 and about 1960 in South Africa.


AUTHENTICAST Ship Models

[Excerpted from Naval and Marine continuation page 1.]

During and after World War II and at least into the Korean "police action" (1940s, 50s, and 60s), Comet built a line of scale model ships (see logo above), under the trade name "Authenticast".  These were originally U.S.N. recognition models, "Waterline Models" in the scale of 1: 500 and "Waterline Miniatures" at 1:1200.

There is a partial history of Comet Metal Products Co., Inc., and its ship models, above, from Paul Jacobs' 1200 and 1250 model warships page and Pete Paschall's ALNAVCO site.  I remember that I got one of the more elegantly-shaped British battleships, the German Schlachtschiff (battleship) Scharnhorst, and the Japanese carrier Shokaku, ca. 1945, all long gone now, battered into pancakes by incessant "bombing" from my model airplanes.  PLEASE don't ask me why those three (I have absolutely no idea).  I'm beginning to think there may have been a few others, as well, such as the Atago.

A correspondent wrote on 08 Dec 02 that he has a set of German model ships that was used for training by the USN Bureau of Aeronautics Special Services Division.&nsbp; The models are contained in a large wooden box bearing marking saying "Device 5-AA Serial Number 280" and "Mfrd. by Comet Metal Products Co., Inc."  Can anyone tell us more about these (I referred him to Paul Jacobs.)

I promised much more information on an equivalent set of Japanese ID models for you; here it is, a true rarity and a gem!

Jap. Ships 08 Jap. Ships 09
(Thumbnail images, click on pictures for larger images)

This is a near-mint Comet (not yet AUTHENTICAST) Japanese Ship Model Spotter Set which a 10-year old boy got 24 years ago and which has been sitting ever since.  The 14" x 16" wooden box is dark gray with black stenciling (hard to decipher or photograph) reading "U.S. NAVY MINIATURE MODELS - JAPANESE NAVY" under rope handleS.  It contains 20 models, each attached to a wood base and on the bottom of each base is the message:

MFG. BY COMET METAL PRODUCTS, CO., INC.
RICHMOND HILL, N. Y.

and the name of the ship.  The name of the ship also appears molded on the side of each model. 

  Amagiri class, Aoba class, Asashio class, Atago, Chokai and Haya,
  Fuso class, Hatsuharu class, Hibiki class, Ise, Kongo,
  Mogami, Mutsuki class, Nachi class, Nagato class, Natori class,
  Sendai class, Shokaku class, Tone class, Wakatake class, Yubari.

In this arbitrary compartment location order (matching the photos), they are:

1.  Asashio class	  6.  Nagato		11.  Amagiri class	16.  Mogami
2.  Mutsuki class	  7.  Fuso class	12.  Yubari		17.  Atago
3.  Hatsuharu class	  8.  Kongo		13.  Sendai class	18.  Tone class
4.  Wakatake class	  9.  Ise		14.  Natori		19.  Nachi class
5.  Hibiki class	 10.  Shokaku class	15.  Aoba class		20.  Chokai and Haya
The Fuso, Ise, Kongo, and Nagato are battleships, the Shokaku is an aircraft carrier (obviously), the Aoba, Atago, Chokai/Haya, Mogami, Nachi, and Tone are heavy cruisers, the Natori, Sendai, and Yubari are light cruisers, and the Amagiri, Asashio, Hatsuharu, Hibiki, Mutsuki, and Wakatake are destroyers.

The bigger ones are in the 6" to 9" length range; here's Shokaku:

Jap.Ships02"

Jap.Ships03"
(Thumbnail images, click on pictures for larger images)

This is the underside of a typical shelf and the imprint on top of the box:

Jap.Ships06 Jap.Ships10
(Thumbnail images, click on pictures for larger images)

The light cruiser Yubari in compartment 12 is the only model that appears to be damaged; it's stern is bent upward but the owner will not touch it (wise).

21/29 Oct 2004 - I heard from a gentleman who has a box of 1:1250 German ships; the battleships are the Tirpitz, Scharnhorst, and Gneisenau; the aircraft carrier is the Graf Zeppelin; the heavy cruisers are the Admiral Hipper, Admiral Eugen, Admiral Scheer, and Lützow; the light cruisers are the Emden, Köln, Leipzig, and Nürnberg; and the destroyers are the Maasz, Narvik, and Galster.  Hopefully, photos will follow.

- - - -* - - -

[Paul Jacobs, the miniature (the ships, NOT Paul) ship model expert noted above and elsewhere on these pages, has written a book about 1:1250 and similar modeling, "MINIATURE SHIP MODELS - A History and Collector's Guide", available from the U. S. Naval Institute:

U.S. NAVAL INSTITUTE STORE]


AUTHENTICAST Miscellany

Well, that has to be absolutely fascinating for old timers who remember all this and for collectors who can only imagine what it was like back then.  One collector mentioned missing machine guns from some of his vehicles and that jogged a 50-year old memory; I knew I had a bunch of spares somewhere and I went off to look.  Sure enough, right in my main hobby storage drawer (of so many), there was an ancient Scotch® Brand Cellophane Tape No. 175 tin, with a faded, yellowed label peeling away where that tape had embrittled and snapped; the label reads MILITARY VEHICLE PARTS and, inside, there they were, sixteen (16) of 'em, most bare but a few painted!  Not only that but there was also a bunch of heavy straight pins I used for replacing hull MGs that snapped off, a tiny fragment of one such, a couple of rolled paper tubes used to snug up loose turret pivots, and a slightly-bent, rusty nail tip.

MGs1Tin MGs2inTin
24 Jun 03 photos by and © 2003 S. Berliner, III - all rights reserved)

That nail tip was the Slonim's poor postwar excuse for the 105mm howitzer barrel of the M45 (not the 152mm Russian KV II).  I had pulled that abortion out of the turret and turned a proper barrel from a piece of round stock, probably by spinning it in my Foredom Electric flexible shaft drill and holding a file and emery paper against it; I didn't aquire a small lathe until several years after I reached adulthood.  Leave it to me to have kept it in the tin all these years AND to have remembered what it was and where!

Two of those painted guns are NOT olive drab but a very dark grey; they don't look anything like MGs!  I wonder if they aren't turreted secondary deck guns from the 1:1200 German Scharnhorst which I demolished?

Just in case anyone can tell, I blew up a detail of the guns (with the M45 nail in between) to pixellation (in the absence of my close-up lenses):

Deck Guns? and Nail
Detail of 24 Jun 03 photo by and © 2003/2005 S. Berliner, III - all rights reserved)
{KVII/M45 gun callout revised 06 Jan 2005}

I got new close-up lenses and here're those details anew, with a very big surprise (for me)!

Deck Guns?, Nail, and Drill!
30 Jun 03 photo by and © 2003/2005 S. Berliner, III - all rights reserved)
{KVII/M45 gun callout revised 06 Jan 2005}

You can see the guns better and the nail AND a home-made 1/32" drill I made at age 12 or so to drill holes in the models for pins for more guns, antennae, etc.  What the heck; here's the drill up close:

1/32 drill
30 Jun 03 photo by and © 2003 S. Berliner, III - all rights reserved)



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LEGACY

  What happens to all this when I DIE or (heaven forfend!) lose interest?  See LEGACY.

COPYRIGHT NOTICE

See Copyright Notice on primary home page.



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