Tuesday, February 5, 2013
1:32 Mongol Flats
Not all toy soldiers are round. I've read that the first tin figures made in Germany were originally two-dimensional figures, often called "little Eilerts" or "flats" and were the first toy soldiers to be mass produced. Two slate mold halves are clamped together, and an alloy of tin and lead, heated to approximately 300 °C is poured into the mold. When the metal has solidified, the mold is cracked open. Toy soldiers became widespread during the 18th century, inspired by the military exploits of the Prussian King Frederick the Great.
The figures displayed here are not tin but plastic copies from an unknown maker. I've only recently found out info about flats and tried out a few packs of different figures. These plastic flats are scaled to around 1:32 scale or 54mm high figures and came in a variety of colors. For the Mongols, I just picked up the silver ones and discovered that the pieces are nicely sculpted and the design, though stylized, works. There are a few casting plugs on the surface but look easily enough to clean up with careful sanding. I do hope I can get another set so I can try painting.
These flats depict Mongolian horsemen and warriors. The Mongols emerged as an empire in Central Asia with the unification of the many fractured Mongol tribes under the leadership of Genghis Khan. The empire expanded westwards across Asia into the Middle East, Rus, and Europe; southward into India and China; and eastward as far as the Korean Peninsula, and into Southeast Asia.
If I could get more of these, I'll try to combine them into wargaming units. I've seen pictures of folk who wargame with flats and the tables and minis look so cool. More on these figures soon.