S. Berliner, III's sbiii.com MILITARY MINIATURES Page keywords = Military Miniatures Dinky Meccano Hornby Britains Comet Authenticast Comet Metal Products Slonim Geo. Borgfeldt Superior Models QualiCast Custom Cast 19th Nineteenth Century Battle Honors Old Glory 15's Revell Renwal Adams Solido ordnance tank armor armour track self-propelled artillery gun cannon rifle AFV fighting vehicle airplane spotter ship naval navy AHM Associated Hobby Mfrs Manufacturers Model Minitanks Minimen Minimovers

Updated:   10 Aug 2016;  13:55 ET
[Page created 03 Jun 2005; converted 16 Jan 2014
    original AT&T Worldnet Website begun 30 May 1996.]

URL:  http://sbiii.com/mil-mins.html
[was at "home.att.net/~Berliner-Ultrasonics/mil-mins.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 been scrambling to transfer everything.  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



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

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


On this Military Miniatures Page:   rev (10 Aug 2016)
  Unindexed so far except for:
    Britains Models.
    AHM Special Modeler's Catalog [Minitanks, Minimen, Minimovers (and Minianimals)].
    Emperor Franz Josef at 54mm (07 Feb 2016).

On the main Meccano Dinky Page:
  Ca. 1950 Dinky Toys Catalogs.
  Drawerful of Dinky Toys.

On the Meccano Dinky Continuation Page 1:
  Motorized Dinky Airplanes? (21 Mar 2008)
  Hornby Trains.

Go to HOBBIES and SPECIAL INTERESTS on my Home Page 2 to see many of my other interests, such as these with their own pages:

  Comet Metal Products Authenticast Models Page.

  Strombeck-Becker StromBecKer Model Kits Page.

  Erector sets.

  Meccano and Dinky Toys models.

note-rt.gif - I use the term "MILITARY MINIATURES" rather loosely here, going far beyond lead soliders.

My interest in MILITARY MINIATURES started with my fairly-extensive set of immediate-pre-WWII large-scale Britains tanks and armo(u)red fighting vehicles (AFV) which I "bombed"* into scrap as a child, a set of Britains marching U. S. Marines which I treasured until they, too, ended up melted down into ingots (which I still have), a set of smaller-scale Meccano acquired during the war (how?), a few of which survive, and extended into a replacement set of the smaller Meccano vehicles built up as a teen to replace those I destroyed, all of which survive virtually intact.  During the war, I became aware of the black resin aircraft spotter models and managed to get a Stuka Ju-87b that inflicted most of the damage to my Britains.  As the war ended, the Comet AUTHENTICAST line of spotter models of tanks, planes, and ships became available to the public and I bought a few ships and all the tanks.  At that point, however, plastic kits came onto the market and I started building them (or, at least, starting them) in vast quantities.

* - I should add "shelling" to "bombing" because much of the damage was inflicted, now that I think back on it, by repeated and rather accurate punishment from my spring-loaded Britains cannon and their tiny but lethal lead shells.

[I had erroneously written "Meccano" for large scale models and the cannon
but they were Britains, NOT Meccano.]

    [Expanded and moved from the Meccano Dinky Continuation Page 1 10 Aug 2016)]

Britains?  Britains?  Other than the olive drab wheels with white rubber t(i)(y)res (noted on the Meccano Dinky Page) from old Britains vehicles, I didn't recall that I had ANY surviving Britains, Ltd. (or William Britain) pieces (other than late-model RCMP and London Guards figures) until it dawned on me that there was a modified cannon in my "Fourth of July" box.  Sure enough, there it was (I was sure that I'd just written this up elsewhere - it turned up here); I had modified the breech so that, when I fired caps in it, the smoke and flame would issue from the muzzle, instead of spewing sideways from under the striker.  Here it is, 8" (20cm) long from muzzle to pintle, and not too much the worse for wear:


(10 Aug 2005 pictures by and © 2005 S. Belriner, III - all rights reserved)

It's not my original childhood one but a later replacement and it shows some evidence of heavy (if only annual - usually) use; the gases and other byproducts of the explosion of caps have worked their way between the the two halves of the cast barrel and resulted in a fine emergence of corrosion along the upper and lower seams.

There is no model number, only "BRITAINS LTD" under the trail; an auctioneer lists it as a "Naval Gun".

I still have many of those later Meccano models and am de-accessioning as I get older.

Throughout all this, I also kept a steady interest in miniature railroading (I can't really call it model railroading because I have little regard for authenticity, cobbering up atrocities that make serious modelers shudder).  Along with the advent of plastic kits, Rivarossi in Italy began pumping out a prodigious variety of military vehicles in HO and I picked up many of them; they, too, reside on the HO Berlinerwerke layout.  Then, in 1979, I got interested in Z scale (1:220) and started the Berlinerwerke-Z in 1980, which led to the aquisition of a frightening number of microscopic miniatures, including some military ones.

During my teens, I also got heavily into HO (1:87.1) and near-HO Dinky models.  Most of my Dinkys (both military and civilian) are ensconced on my HO layout to this day.

Because of the bewildering array of web pages I have created since this website was begun on 30 May 1996, many of which are about, or touch on, military miniatures, I am building up this page to index, cross-index, and consolidate information from my hobby, ordnance, railroad, aviation, and marine pages.  It will always be only a work in progress.


This page was inspired by an inquiry from Australia about a model of an L5 105mm Pack Howitzer manufactured by Oto Melara, the Italian ordnance firm, successor to Breda and Terni (Genoa) and Odero (Leghorn).  The model was a large-scale replica, approximately 55-60cm in length, fully articulated with removeable trails, breech block, muzzle brake, etc., and was often given to various customers, including artillery regiments so-equipped.  Understandably, the regiments will not part with theirs for any price and so my correspondent seeks a model through other venues.  Here is the L5 in several variations (06 Jun 2005):

l5packhow105mma l5packhow105mmb l5packhow105mmc
(images courtesy of W. Setzinger)

Does anyone out there have such a model they'd be willing to sell?  If so, please contact me and I'll pass your direction along.

[This quest reminds me of my start in ordnance, when I asked President Truman for the large-scale M-46 Patton model with which he had just been presented (probably by Chrysler) ca. 1946, as related on my main ordnance page.]

As I note on my so-called Culture page, I got my mother a 54mm military miniature of old Franz Josef in his white uniform and green, feathered shako, reading a proclamation; she said he had a cabbage on his head but loved it dearly.  It was destroyed after her passing and I'd love to find some replacements for my family. (10 Aug 2005)  Here is an image of a simlar current 54mm figurine (left) and that same image doctored roughly to look like the old one (right) (07 Feb 2005):

(current figure at left; doctored image at right)

The actual figurine was far more delicately modeled than the one shown.  I have never been able to find the figure with the proclamation on the Net or in miniatures stores.

Among the many names, both reverèd and cursèd, in the military miniatures pantheon are/were Dinky, Meccano, Britains, Comet, Authenticast, Superior, QualiCast, Custom Cast, 19th Nineteenth Century, Battle Honors, Old Glory 15's, Revell, Renwal, Adams, Solido, and many, many others.

Ca. 1956 AHM Special Modeler's Catalog [Minitanks, Minimen, Minimovers (and Minianimals)] - I have an undated catalog from AHM [Associated Hobby Manufacturers (or Mfrs.)].  It measures 5¼" wide by 4¼" high (13x17mm), has 30 pages plus the front and back covers, and is undated.  Judging from the newest American tank therein, the M48A2 Patton, it must date from around 1956, when the A2 version was introduced.

After a protracted bout with my flat-bed scanner; here then is the AHM Minitanks catalog ca. 1956:

(ca. 1956 AHM Catalog Front and Back Covers scanned 16 Jan 2014)
[click on thumbnailed picture for larger image]

(ca. 1956 AHM Catalog Pages 1 and 2 scanned 16 Jan 2014)
[click on thumbnailed picture for larger image]

(ca. 1956 AHM Catalog Pages 3 and 4 scanned 16 Jan 2014)
[click on thumbnailed picture for larger image]

(ca. 1956 AHM Catalog Pages 5 and 6 scanned 16 Jan 2014)
[click on thumbnailed picture for larger image]

(ca. 1956 AHM Catalog Pages 7 and 8 scanned 16 Jan 2014)
[click on thumbnailed picture for larger image]

(ca. 1956 AHM Catalog Pages 9 and 10 scanned 16 Jan 2014)
[click on thumbnailed picture for larger image]

(ca. 1956 AHM Catalog Pages 11 and 12 scanned 16 Jan 2014)
[click on thumbnailed picture for larger image]

(ca. 1956 AHM Catalog Pages 13 and 14 scanned 16 Jan 2014)
[click on thumbnailed picture for larger image]

[ca. 1956 AHM Catalog Pages 15 and 16 (centerfold) scanned 16 Jan 2014]
[click on thumbnailed picture for larger image]

(ca. 1956 AHM Catalog Pages 17 and 18 scanned 16 Jan 2014)
[click on thumbnailed picture for larger image]

(ca. 1956 AHM Catalog Pages 19 and 20 scanned 16 Jan 2014)
[click on thumbnailed picture for larger image]

(ca. 1956 AHM Catalog Pages 21 and 22 scanned 16 Jan 2014)
[click on thumbnailed picture for larger image]

(ca. 1956 AHM Catalog Pages 23 and 24 scanned 16 Jan 2014)
[click on thumbnailed picture for larger image]

(ca. 1956 AHM Catalog Pages 25 and 26 scanned 16 Jan 2014)
[click on thumbnailed picture for larger image]

(ca. 1956 AHM Catalog Pages 27 and 28 scanned 16 Jan 2014)
[click on thumbnailed picture for larger image]

(ca. 1956 AHM Catalog Pages 29 and 30 scanned 16 Jan 2014)
[click on thumbnailed picture for larger image]

That's it; enjoy it (and weep at the prices)!

{to be continued}

For military miniatures by Parade Square, Imperial, and Bussler, for reproductions of, and spare parts for, William Britains toy soldiers, for all sorts of related hobby items, and for Z-scale (1:220) model railroad equipment, contact my friend Ron Ruddell's:

London Bridge Collector's Toys, Ltd.
16 South 3rd Street (new address)
Emmaus, Pennsylvania  18049
610-967-6887 (FAX: 610-967-6887
E-Mail: lbct@londonbridgetoys.com


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


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