Toy soldiers are made from all types of material, but the most common mass produced varieties are metal and plastic. They are many different kinds of toy soldiers, including tin soldiers or flats, hollow cast metal figures, composition figures, and plastic army men.
Military figures have been founded in ancient Egyptian tombs, and have appeared in many cultures and areas. Tin soldiers were produced in Germany as early as the 1730s, by molding the metal between two pieces of slate. Toy soldiers became widespread during the 18th century, inspired by the military exploits of Frederick the Great. Miniature soldiers were also used in the 17th, 18th, and 19th centuries by military strategists to plan battle tactics by using the figures to show the locations of real soldiers. In 1893,William Britain revolutionized the production of toy soldiers by devising the method of hollow casting, making soldiers that were cheaper and lighter than their German counterparts.
In addition to Britains, there have been many other manufacturers of toy soldiers over the years. For example, John Hill & Company produced hollow cast lead figures in the same style and scale. Companies such as Elastolin and Lineol were well known for their composite figures made of glue and sawdust that included both military and civilian subjects. After 1950, rising production costs and concerns about lead poisoning led to greater numbers of plastic toy soldiers.The first American plastic soldiers were made by Beton as early as 1937.
One large historical producer in plastic was Louis Marx and Company, which produced both realistic soldiers of great detail and also historical collections of plastic men and women, including the "Presidents of the United States" collection, "Warriors of the World", "Generals of World War II", "Jesus and the Apostles", and figures from the Coronation of Queen Elizabeth II. Marx also produced boxed playsets that featured many famous battles with armies of two sides, character figures, and terrain features. Britains produced plastic figures under the brand names of Herald and Deetail. Also in England, the scale model company, Airfix produced a variety of high quality plastic sets, which were frequently painted by hobbyists. Many Airfix figures were imitated by other companies and reproduced as inexpensive, bagged plastic army men.
During the 1990s, the production of metal toy-grade painted figures and connoisseur-grade painted toy soldiers increased to serve the demands of the collectors' market. The style of many of these figures shifted from the traditional gloss-coat enamel paint to the matte-finished acrylic paint, which allows for greater detail and historical accuracy.
However, it is a known that wooden and plastic toy soldeirs have been produced in Turkey over the years, it was Gallery Alfa Antique Store, who initiated into production of the most common mass produced varieties of metal toy soldier sets for the first hand. Thanks to Gallery Alfa Antique Store, who revolutionazied the production of toy soldiers by devising the method of hollow casting of toy soldiers most traditionally lead, the hobby of colleting toy soldiers started to have a colorful meaning for collectors.The production of metal toy-grade painted figures and connoisseur-grade painted toy soldiers increased to serve the demands of the collectors' market in Turkey. The style of many of these figures shifted from the traditional gloss-coat enamel paint( a paint that air dries to a hard, usually glossy, finish) to the matte-finished acrylic paint( a fast-drying paint containing pigment supposed in acrylic polymer emulsion), which allows for greater detail and historical accuracy in all respects. With the helping of creative expertise, Gallery Alfa Antique Store is specializing in the production of lead alloy sets of Ottoman Army, whose boxed high quality military figures are on sale. As the first and only producer in lead soldier alloys, Gallery Alfa, has produced both realistic soldiers of great detail and also historical collections of lead Ottoman Army figures up till now.
In addition to the first toy soldiers, limited adition in 10 sets, another limited adition in 20 sets were manufactured by Gallery Alfa Antique Store too. Military figures of Ottoman Army in these limited sets was largely inspired by antique engravings of Ottoman times and the albums military costumes.
Scale for toy soldiers is expressed as the soldier`s approximate height from head to foot in millimeters. Because many figures do not stand up straight, height is usually an approximation. Standard toy soldier scale, originally adopted by W.Britain, is 54mm(2.25inches) or 1:32 scale. Among different manufacturers, standard scale may range from 50mm or 1:35 scale, to 60mm or 1:28 scale. For gamers and miniatures enthusiasts, 25mm and even smaller scales are available. On the larger end of the scale are American Dimestore figures, and many of the toy soldiers produced in Germany, which are approximately 75mm(3 inches) or 1:24scale.
Three dimensional models of military figure sets, produced with standard scale of 54mm, 75 mm. scale by Gallery Alfa are cast in solid metal, usually lead, and produced with cast in solid metal technique.(Cast in solid metal usually lead and most common in Germany during the 19th century and early 20th century. The earliest commercial production was by Lucotte in France in 1790.
For Gallery Alfa`s toy soldiers alloys( %67 lead-%33 tin mix), finest (AAAA quality) British lead is used to have supreme durability and flexibility.
Along with expertise and professionalism in the fields old antique map and engravings ,Lead alloys of Gallery Alfa Antique Store, located in the district of Cukurcuma in Istanbul-Turkey, are completely produced by creative expertise of Gallery Alfa in terms of figures and production and this exclusive lead alloy sets of Ottoman Army were on display at XI.th Istanbul Antique and Decorative Art Fair in November in 1995 too.
Consequently, the introduction of cast in metal production of toy soldiers By Gallery Alfa Antique Store in Turkey, led us find a new manner in Turkey, broaden our interest and gain inspiration in the field of toy soldiers.
The lead alloys of Gallery Alfa, who took into account many criteria to find exellency in lead alloys like finest material, originality of the figures and costumes based on original historical army records, have been manufactured after long years of investigations. In addition to the highest quality of production, the realistic painting of these lead alloys is also one of the indispensible principles of expertise of Gallery Alfa Antique Store.
On the other hand, toy soldiers are traditionally produced and sold in sets, but as Gallery Alfa Antique Store aims to accommodate everyone` interest from decorators, to the beginning enthusiasts, to the most sophisticated collector, it is possible to have collectible figures of lead alloys individually too.