There's a lot of exciting Plastic Army Women news to report. The plastic injection molds have been built and will be tested next week. This is a major milestone for the project and gets us a big step closer to final production. Testing is followed by further adjustments and refinements to the molds. This process of testing and refinements may have to be repeated a couple of times. After all the refinements have been completed the molds get shipped to the local factory. The factory will install the molds in a plastic injection molding machine for testing and dialing in the best settings for actual production. I know everyone wants to know when the troops will be shipping out, but I don't have a final timeline just yet as the length of time for each of these final steps can vary. My best guesstimate at this time is late October for Kickstarter Backers and early November for Pre-Orders and hopefully available for regular purchase by Thanksgiving. Here's a look at the in-progress molds:
It's hard to see details in the mold photos, but you might notice some poses you don't recognize. I had the crazy idea to add some 'Conversion' figures to the mold instead of just duplicating existing poses to fill up the mold.
This seemed like an especially bad idea at the time because the master prototypes were behind schedule and I couldn't risk setting the project back even more. New sculpts were out of the question, but I had some ideas for 'conversions' that might be possible. Conversion are when an existing figure sculpt is altered in some way to make a new figure. Common conversions can be a head swaps, equipment change, or adjusting the position of legs or arms. Sometimes parts from different figures can be combined. Ive seen lots of amazing conversions over the years and even a live demo of some of the techniques demonstrated by Ed Borris at the Chicago Toy Soldier Show (speedy recover Ed).
The molding and casting of the final couple of figures would take a few days, so I presented my conversion ideas to the sculptor (James Van Schaik). I also checked if the mold maker could use the converted sculpts directly instead of having resin masters made (which would take too long). It's generally not done this way because if the only copy of the sculpts are lost or damaged in transit a whole new sculpture must be made from scratch. With the sculptor and tool maker on board I decided to take a shot, and if the conversion figures didn't work out, nobody would ever have to know. Since you're reading about this I can finally announce the 6 "Surprise" figure poses that will be in each Plastic Army Women set:
- Figure #19 Light Machine Gunner Firing
- Figure #20 Field Cap Pathfinder Captain
- Figure #21 Prone Rifleman (without scope or bipod)
- Figure #22 Field Cap Kneeling Sharpshooter with Scope
- Figure #23 Mechanic (scaled down Rosie the Riveter with plain base)
- Figure #24 Advancing with Bayonet
Here's 5 of the conversions, some are original sculpts that have been modified and some are resin masters that have been modified:
The final packs of Plastic Army Women will include 2 groups from mold A which is all the combat action poses and 1 group of Mold B which includes the medical and more specialized poses. This totals out to 36 pieces per pack that includes 23 different figures and a stretcher accessory. I'm not counting the MWD leash in the piece count, but it is separate from both the dog and handler.
...and speaking of the Rosie the Riveter side project, her mold has also been built and was tested yesterday. Here's a photo I received from the first test figures:
One of the next items on my to-do list is to get the Rosie pre-orders up and running.
You can already Pre-Order to receive your set of Plastic Army Women as soon as they are available and you won't be charged until your order is ready to ship.
Jeff at BMC Toys
June 20, 2018: BMC Toys: Plastic Army Women Project Original Post
August 10, 2019: BMC Toys: Plastic Army Women Project: Update #1
August 30, 2019: BMC Toys: Plastic Army Women Project: Update #2 (IT'S HAPPENING!)
September 9, 2019: BMC Toys: Plastic Army Women Project: Update #3
October 20, 2019: BMC Toys: Plastic Army Women Project: Update #4
November 8, 2019: BMC Toys: Plastic Army Women Project: Update #5
November 28, 2019: BMC Toys: Plastic Army Women Project: Update #6 and Happy Tanksgiving!
December 24, 2019: BMC Toys: Plastic Army Women Project: Update #7 and Merry Christmas!
March 8, 2020: BMC Toys: Plastic Army Women Project: Update #8
May 22, 2020: BMC Toys: Plastic Army Women Project: Update #9