S. Berliner, III's sbiii.com AUTHENTICAST/COMET Continuation Page 2 keywords = Comet Authenticast Metal Products Slonim ordnance tank armor armour track self-propelled artillery gun cannon rifle airplane spotter ship naval navy

Updated:   10 Dec 2020,  14:30  ET
[Page created 16 Jul 2003; converted 03 Aug 2011;

    original AT&T Worldnet Website begun 30 May 1996.]
URL:  http://sbiii.com/authcmt2.html
[was at "home.att.net/~Berliner-Ultrasonics/authcmt2.html"]

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

[consultation is on a fee basis]

Technical and Historical Writer, Oral Historian
Popularizer of Science and Technology
Rail, Auto, Air, Ordnance, and Model Enthusiast
Light-weight Linguist, Lay Minister, and Putative Philosopher

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


AUTHENTICAST/COMET Continuation Page 2


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.


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.

On the Authenticast/Comet continuation page 1:
  Comet Metal Products History
    (collected and moved there 02 Jul 03)
  1945 Comet Metal Products AUTHENTICAST Catalog
    Tank Scale of 1:108
  1945 Comet Metal Products AUTHENTICAST Price List
  AUTHENTICAST Miscellany.

On this Authenticast/Comet continuation page 2:
  1950s Fitted Case of Tanks.
  Atomic Cannon
  Honest John
  USS Northampton - CLC-1
  South Salem Studios
  Comet, AUTHENTICAST, South Salem, and Related Links

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

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:

On the Ordnance Continuation Page 2:

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

Comet "Authenticast" 1:432 Aircraft Models,     and see Airplanes on the main Comet/AUTHENTICAST page.

Comet Metal Products Co., Inc.

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

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

Comet Then and Now and Map and A History (continued)

Much more on Comet, AUTHENTICAST, and Holger Eriksson followed here (briefly) and is now to be found on Comet AUTHENTICAST continuation page 3, with Comet Then and Now and Map, The Greater World of Comet AUTHENTICAST - A History (continued), and Red, White, and Blue Boxes.

1950s Fitted Case of Tanks

I hauled out that fitted case yet again (16 Jul 03) and opened it for the second time in perhaps six or more years and it's even worse a mess!  Many more models have succumbed to IGC and a few are falling apart along glue lines or have paint flaking off.  However, I found things I'd completely forgotten about!  The models appear to be in numbered order in the order of their acquisition (my master list is in the misplaced catalog).  There are a few ringers, like one of the Chevvies is a civilian car I painted OD (I had completely forgotten that Comet put out a line of civilian cars in putative HO).  Also, there are two M22 Locust tanks (don't ask me why!) and there are a dozen seated soldiers that came with one of the Jimmies, the one with seats along each side of the stake body (I'd completely forgotten about them) and some incredibly tiny figures that I can't even begin to identify.  I still haven't found my missing closeup lenses and the light was again less than ideal.  That M26-cum-M46 prototype* hasn't fared well (I really DO know it doesn't have the small idler wheels under the sprockets but I explained that to the Slonims and showed them photos):

Auth Tanks 01 Auth Tanks 02

Auth Tanks 03 Auth Tanks 04
(16 Jul 03 photos by and © 2003 S. Berliner, III - all rights reserved)
[These first four photos (only) are thumbnails, click on images for larger pictures]

The little ball-headed pins on the table hold Plexi/Perspex/acrylic panels in place to protect the models; the panels are resting against the backs of the case halves but are barely visible.

The cubbies have tiny, typed labels, numbered from 1 to 100 from upper left, across and down on each side:

    1  2  3  4  5  |  51 52 53 54 55
   6  7  8  9 10  |  56 57 58 59 60
  11 12 13 14 15  |  61 62 63 64 65
  16 17 18 19 20  |  66 67 68 69 70
  21 22 23 24 25  |  71 72 73 74 75
  26 27 28 29 30  |  76 77 78 79 80
  31 32 33 34 35  |  81 82 83 84 85
  36 37 38 39 40  |  86 87 88 89 90
  41 42 43 44 45  |  91 92 93 94 95
   46 47 48 49 50  |  96 97 98 99 100
which are (or were) held in place by the old, shiny clear tape which is browning and drying out out after all these years.

The paper arrow pointing down is in the cubby for the Atomic Cannon (which, of course, wouldn't fit); it used to be displayed on the desk/table/counter top in front of the case.  There are 100 cubbies but only about 90 unique vehicles in the case, plus the Atomic Cannon and Honest John (I must assume empty cubby 60 was for the Honest John).

The next photo is of incredibly tiny mini-figures that I could not explain at all# - see below), the seated soldiers as found, those same soldiers seated in the Jimmy rigged (by Comet) as a personnel carrier, and an example of the worst of the IGA; it's a Japanese heavy tank (Model 97?) that's getting lighter all the time; just look at how badly the track/suspension plate has warped:

Auth Tanks 06 Auth Tanks 07 Auth Tanks 09 Auth Tanks 05
(16 Jul 03 photos by and © 2003 S. Berliner, III - all rights reserved)

Those seated soldiers all have painted faces and hands!

Now we come to a badly corroded JS-1 Stalin tank, a sadly affected M-48 Patton II, and my poor old M-26-cum-M-46 pilot model*:

Auth Tanks 10 Auth Tanks 08 Auth Tanks 11
(16 Jul 03 photos by and © 2003 S. Berliner, III - all rights reserved)

* - I note that I got my model numbers scrambled; the pilot I made for the Slonims was an M-46 Patton, cobbered up from an M-26 Pershing; the even-newer tank then was the M-48 Patton II!

Look again at that Stalin; it has a plain old finishing nail for a cannon!  That's the way it was assembled at Comet, rather like the sheared-off nail furnished with the KV-2 {wrong - the KV 2 gun is original; that on the M45 is not}

On 29 Jan 04, I heard from a retired General who treasures his AUTHENTICAST tanks that his Panther has "Tiger" imprinted on the bottom; I'm not about to unpack my case just for that but I was really curious.  Well, I remembered this when I finally did dig the case out yet again; that and over 100 photos are now posted to a new Authenticast/Comet continuation page 5 at 1950s Fitted Case of Tanks.

Atomic Cannon

That ca.-1955 (NOT 1945!) model of the Atomic Cannon (q.v.) still looks reasonably good; it's 10" (90') long in 1:108 scale (NOT HO!) and turns out to have been model #5189:   rev (10 Dec 2020)

Auth Atomic Cannon Model - ca. 1945

Here's what's left of the original box:

Auth Atomic Cannon Box - ca. 1945
(Ca. 1945 model and box and 1999 photos by - and © 1999 - S. Berliner, III)

It was made by Comet Metal Products of Richmond Hill (Jamaica area), Long Island, New York, as part of their WWII tank and armored vehicle series (and is older than the "M65" production designation).

The old, missing images were shot THROUGH the thin plastic upper case of the Atomic Cannon package (which is stapled to the base and which is finally cracking after all these years); I was amazed to find that I had packed the underside of the lower case with strips of shirt cardboard to bear the great weight (1# 2½oz!) of the model and not crush the cardboard base - clever pre-teen kid, eh?

{I will add the other pictures here}

Honest John

    [see Fantastic Find, below.]

As I noted on the main page, I ran across the AUTHENTICAST Honest John Rocket Launcher in its original box (like the Atomic Cannon, it would not fit in my fitted case).  The box is labelled "GUIDED MISSILE HONEST JOHN 5194" and probably dates from 1950 or so.  Here, for your delectation are the box, as found and the label and opposite end:

Honest John box

Honest John label Honest John box end i

the rocket, stowed on its "Jimmy" 10x10@ (4¾" long, overall), and the rocket, in firing position:

Honest John, stowed Honest John, firing

and raised to maximum elevation:

Honest John, max. el. Honest John, max. el.
(Photos 03 Feb 00 by, and © 2000, S. Berliner, III
and 06 Jul 03 © 2003 - all rights reserved)
Hey!  Where'd the rocket go?  It's NOT detachable!
I reshot this one (right photo) on 06 Jul 03!

@ - HEY! - Isn't a Jimmy supposed to be a 6x6?
The model definitely has duals.

Notice the box (above) in which the Honest John rocket came from Comet; I had never noticed 'way back that it is entirely in a railroad motif and carries nary a peep about Comet.

Those railroad illustrations appear to be a straight rip-off from Mantua!

USS Northampton, CLC-1/CA-26

    "Snort'n Nort'n"

The veterans of the USS Northampton, CLC-1/CA-26 have a 1:500 model of the ship (the actual ship was 800' long and the model is 16" in length), marked, under the wooden base:

3AA Series  USS NORTHAMPTON (CLC-1) Scale 1:500
Date of Approval March 21, 1955  SECURITY RESTRICTED
COMET METAL PRODUCTS Co., Inc. Richmond Hill, NY 18

The ship was built in Bethlehem's Quincy, Massachusetts, shipyard and was commissioned there in 1953.  She was scrapped at Kearny, New Jersey, in 1980.  The ship's 1955-57 radio officer, an HO RR modeler, had the model for repair; it needed a new radar antenna, a few masts, some radio whip antennas, hull numbers and a repaint job.  We who are deeply into Comet AUTHENTICAST models should have pitched in to help.

Here are some preliminary photos of her - port broadside, ¾ port bow, ¾ starboard stern, and bow views:

N'hampton 3

N'hampton 2

N'hampton 1

N'hampton 4
(cropped from photos courtesy of L. A. Glaser - all rights reserved)

    [Whoo!  I'm feeling GREEN and my face is RED!  I managed somehow to get my STAR and LAR reversed!]

Here's the model photo with missing items superimposed in red:

N'hampton 5
(cropped from photo courtesy of L. A. Glaser - all rights reserved)

Since no one stepped forward to help, Len Glaser (LTJG, USNR) repaired and spruced up the model well beyond the basic Comet ID model:

N'hampton 8

N'hampton 9

N'hampton 12
(cropped from photos courtesy of L. A. Glaser - all rights reserved)

The model was** to be placed on permanent display inside an acrylic box in the "U. S. Navy Cruiser Sailors Memorial Room" in the U. S. Naval Shipbuilding Museum aboard the USS SALEM (CA-139) at the Fore River Shipyard in Quincy, Massachusetts, Northampton's birthplace in 1953.

The Northampton at Norfolk (Virginia) Naval Base in 1955 and at anchor:

N'hampton Norfolk 6

N'hampton Anchor 7
(cropped from xerocopies courtesy of L. A. Glaser - all rights reserved)
[Thumbnail images - click on pictures for larger images]

Love those cars pierside.

Len also sent along this undated shot of her anchored at Villefrance-sur-Mer:

N'hampton 13
(photo courtesy of L. A. Glaser - all rights reserved)

** - this is enough to make one sick!  In spite of Len's entreaties that the model be placed in a plexi or glass case, it was left out and has been STOLEN!  What kind of scum would do that?  Len wanted this notice posted on the ship:


The model is a one-of-a-kind; even if another 1:500 model were to turn up, it could not be mistaken for this lovingly-crafted custom version.  Will everyone who knows anything about naval models please keep their eyes peeled for this one?

South Salem Studios

Here's a competitor/collaborator that's new to me!  I got an inquiry about this set of 1:1200 scale "5-A U. S. Minature Ship Models" on 04 Nov 2003, from someone most-appropriately named "Seaman"; the case is marked "Serial No. 3028 / Contract No. NOS(S)-2351":

So Salem
(photo from R. Seaman - all rights reserved)
[Thumbnail images - click on pictures for larger images]

Fred Dorris (in Steel Navy), tells us that a French emigrée, Enzo Yocca, owned this small shop and made 1:1200 ID models in conjunction with Comet.  A Ridgefield, NJ, bank president, Jim Doubleday, and a bank officer, Frank Warner, and lot of local ladies worked at South Salem during the war.  That makes no sense, geographically; Ridgefield is just west of the George Washington bridge and South Salem, New York is over above the Connecticut line, some 15 miles north of Stamford, so the studios had to have had a branch in the Ridgefield area.

South Salem also produced "Auxiliary Pocket Models" in 1:2000 & 1:5000 scale (were some of those of pocket battleships?).

Can anyone please shed any additional light on this source?

A correspondent has (Nov/Dec 08) a very rare cased U. S. Navy set of 1:1200 American WWII ships from BOTH Comet AND South Salem Studios; this cased set is now available - see Comet Authenticast Page B (on sbiii.com).

I don't know if they are from Comet or South Salem (yet) but a fellow called from Texas on 06 Jan 04 to advise that he's had the boxed set of 1:1200 German Navy models in mint condition for over 57 years!  Not only that, but it is Serial No. 8!  He should send photos soon.  As an aside, he also noted that, as a child in Wyandotte, Michiogan, he received defective black rubber aircraft I.D./spotter models from Teddy Morehouse, a speech-and-hearing-impaired (that's NOT what they called him, then) man at the Wyandotte Toys plant [oddly, Wyandotte was also known as All Metal Products, but also made painted rubber toys; they were best known, howver, for stamped steel cars and trucks and planes].

Comet, AUTHENTICAST, South Salem, and Related Links

        [Neither exhaustive nor necessarily current.]

Ship Model Links:

Mike's Mike's Tanks site, and especially his Comet Metal Products and AUTHENTICAST Armour/Land pages (as well as airplanes, ships, figures, model railroad, and other products) are fantastic compilations of little known details, some of which Mike was kind enough to allow me to reproduce on my site.

S. (Steve) A. Backer's Steel Navy, a massive compilation of ship and ship model information.

Paul Jacobs' "1200 and 1250 Scale Modeling, History and General Information", a separate section within Steve Backer's Steel Navy, featuring "1200 and 1250 Scale Modeling, History and General Information", with "A Brief History of the Hobby, How They Make the Models, The Model Makers, Guides & Periodicals, Classic 1:1200/1250 Models, and Where to Get 1200/1250 Scale Models.

"A Classic Collection in Association with Paul Jacobs' 1250 Scale", a fabulous set of detailed photos of "1:1200 lead models manufactured by either South Salem Studios or Comet Metal Products for the U.S. Navy during the first years of the 1940s" but posted anonymously, even though input is requested.

Harry L. Rinker, ostensibly an expert in antiques and collectibles, offers an interesting history of Comet and a high valuation of a Navy ID set.

If you want highly-detailed small, almost scary, look at Fritz Wagner's 1:1250 Ship Models and especially at Heinz Dieter Schlingelhof's 1:1250 scale aircraft displayed on the deck of a model U.S.S. Enterprise!

There is a lengthy listing of similar links at Links: Ship Models and Ship Modelling.

Fantastic Find!

Digging around in really old files, I ran across these three pieces of paper, a blank Comet/AUTHENTICAST sales slip(!), a NEW MODELS! flyer, and NEW MISSILES IN MINATURE announcement of the #5193 Hawk #5194 Honest John, and #5195 Nike-Ajax (with the #5189 Atomic Cannon in the background):

Auth Sales Slip

Auth New Models

Auth New Missiles
(scanned 29 Mar 00 by, and © 2004, S. Berliner, III - all rights reserved)
[Thumbnail images - click on pictures for larger images
(click HERE if you want to see that last image at a staggering 900Kb - the dots show!)]

# - Will you look at the tiny figures on that last picture?  Now we know!  I never bought the Hawk or Nike-Ajax, but they have to be the ones that came with the Honest John and are shown in compartment 75, above!

    [I sold the Honest John in Sep 2004 and completely forgot all about the micro-soldiers!
      Being an honest dude, I must dig them out and forward them to the buyer
    (IF he'll kindly contact me).

    Well, I donated my boxed set of tank models to the Ordnance Museum and the little missile men went off with it in error;
      I located the Honest John buyer, recovered the figures, and he has them at long last (Aug 2012) - honest!]

Oh for crying out tears; just look at those prices!  FIVE BUCKS for the Atomic Cannon?  (08 Aug 2006)


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


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