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Welcome to the workbench. This page is constantly changing. I aim to update it in the middle of every month, showing you work in progress from various projects. This is a chance to see behind the curtain (or to see the latest mess I’ve made).

Here we are at work on a set of AWI Hessian grenadiers. These boys will be the Rall regiment, which fought at the first Battle of Trenton. They have winter gaiters on, which is a painting conversion I'm doing over the standard overalls of the figures.

Buddy and customer Steve M asked me for some mounted general conversions for his AWI collection. He gave me free rein (no pun intended), so I came up with a few figures that I would have wanted in my own collection. This is a guards officer in iconic bearskin, with gorget and sash added in green stuff.

A Tarleton-inspired commander. I used our standard cavalry riders as the basis for these – in short coat here, but the others are in long coats with tails. His head has been re-tooled from our War of 1812 line and its Canadian light dragoons.

A "generic" Continental leader who has gone out "half-cocked," with his hat anyway. Epaulettes, cuff and a shoulder sash are all in greenstuff. The horses for these are all by TSSD from their ACW line. Steve was okay with the mid-19th century furniture given how dynamic the figures are.

Here's our usual AWI mounted leader. I modeled him after backwoodsman Daniel Morgan, giving him a left arm from our ACW line and head in a floppy hat.

I often get requests for tips on prepping and painting figures, so I thought I'd do a walk-through of a set of AWI French infantry that I'm working on. Here they are getting primed. They've already been filed and sanded of any vent burrs from the casting process. Not so glamorous a step here – it all happens in the lid of an office paper box.

Here I'm spraying the bases and flagpole black to get them all done at one time.

Now they're all based. I used superglue to adhere them to the wooden bases. To grade the elevation between metal and wood bases, I applied a fat bead of wood glue. It smooths the transition between metal and wood. In this case a few applications were required. More pictures next month.

The ATKM shelves were running low of some troops, so I took pictures of a casting day. Some AWI and War of 1812 molds on deck.

New castings, still hot from the melting pot. You can see my inventory sheet with the figure types that need casting highlighted.

Buddy Bill D sends in these pics of his own work in progress: AWI Hessian grenadiers.

Bill is using mostly plastic figures by CTS and Hat, but also has some ATKM guys in there. Awesome work, Bill! Looking forward to seeing the finished results.

Check out our past workbench entries, below.

Here are some shots of the greens to our forthcoming ACW infantry in frock coats. With the Hardee hats shown, they're obviously the Iron Brigade. But combine the bodies with other heads in our ACW line and you get all kind of different soldiers.

The head on the officer is a placeholder for now, while the guy in the middle will be a color bearer. These greens were sculpted by the supremely talented Leandro Ventic. I am wildly behind on getting these into moldmaking and production. Life, the holidays, and overwhelming painting commissions have put me way behind, but these will see the light ASAP in 2015.

Here I'm making master molds of some greens commissioned from sculptor Leandro Ventic. These are AWI musicians, 18th and 19th century militia, and assorted heads. All 54mm, of course! Here you see the greens for the musician and militia bodies being arranged on the mold.

Here's the end result, a master mold from which master castings are produced. The products from those in turn go into production molds, from which the commercially available figures are available. The irregular, flat shape is from an experiment I conducted to make a saddle blanket, but it didn't turn out as I'd hoped.

These are heads and accessories going into the moldmaking process. Some are brand new. Others I've had from the very early days of ATKM and am giving them new life. The shoulder board and tassels at 5 o'clock let you add epaulettes/ shoulder wings to any figure.

And here's that master mold, now complete. All these small pieces go on their own mold versus the larger bodies because small parts require different spin speeds, pressures and sometimes metal temps than larger pieces. To combine them on one mold could be problematic during spincasting.

Here you get to see the master castings lining up. These get cleaned of flash, mold lines and vent marks and go into their own molds.

Likewise the results of several spins of the heads and accessories mold.

The following are pics of the new and revised ATKM facilities. Shown here is the deluxe painting area with more space than before.

Here we have custom-made display cases (which is a fancy way of saying, "I put them together.") The shelves are removable so whole armies can be pulled out at one time.

The mess of a computer station, where sticky notes reminders rule the land.

The ATKM workshop. In particular, the spincaster and melting pot.
These two little fellows are vulcanizers, used to create molds.

The mold cutting and general-purpose area. Normally the place isn't so tidy, but I got sick of my own mess and cleaned up.

Products on this website are for adult collectors. Products are cast in white metal and are not for children under the age of 14. Items also pose a choking hazard.


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