March 2021

Welcome to our March 2021 Newsletter.
You will note that we are now using the same masthead as the original Imperial Newsletters, dating from when the company was started.

We (and our little apprentices) were very excited to finally receive our shipment of new spin-casting machinery last month, all the way from Milan, Italy. We had ordered it in October 2020 but as with all international freight, Covid-19 interfered with the shipping timetable. We chose Nicem as our machinery supplier for their global reputation for excellence.

To date Imperial products have been cast in a traditional lead alloy, however we are wishing to move to a lead-free product. Once the machines were installed we started testing various alloys from both Italian and New Zealand suppliers. We have now decided on a tin-based alloy which is similar to pewter and includes bismuth, antimony, and copper. We have discovered that it provides beautiful detail, has a higher tensile strength than the lead alloy (meaning it is less likely to bend), and carries a decent heft so that the figures feel nice and solid in your hand. And the best part is, the figures look exactly the same as the previous lead-based figures. As of today, we are casting using the new alloy.

You can also expect a faster turnaround time for orders now that we are using the new machinery.

We are joining the digital age and have set up Facebook and Instagram accounts for Imperial Productions. Please head on over and 'like' our page where you can keep up to date with our current work and production processes. We enjoy hearing from collectors so your comments are very welcome!

From time to time we hear from collectors wondering whether figures they have bought or inherited are Imperial products. A full list of sets, both current and retired, is on our website, and for our civilian ranges you will be able to easily refer to the product pages of the website. For military ranges however, here are the hallmarks of authentic Imperial products for easy reference:

  • Bases are always oval.
  • Where figures are in motion, their feet are always protruding over the edge of the base. If the figure is walking, both feet protrude over the edge of the base. The left foot is always forward.
  • Horses do not have bases unless rearing on two legs. Otherwise a horse will have three, or sometimes four, points of contact with the ground.
  • Some early sets have copyright IPNZ stamped on the base.
  • Where a soldier is aiming down the barrel of a rifle, one eye is always closed.
  • In general terms, you will also recognise Imperial products for their elegance and cleanness of lines, accuracy of paintwork, and often moveable arms (for example where lancers are holding a lance, that arm will be moveable).

Unfortunately, we are aware that there are some unscrupulous operators who have made their own home-castings using Imperial products as masters. You will likely be able to recognise these immediately as inferior quality copies. We do not condone this practice and will take legal action if it is brought to our attention, so please let us know if you do come across any copies. On that note, we do not sell unpainted castings. Imperial paintwork is very specialised and is an integral part of the beauty of the finished Imperial product.

If you have a figure that you are unsure about, you are welcome to send us a photo and we can confirm whether it is an Imperial product or not.

Finally, our new Pavlovski Grenadiers and Scots Greys have been mentioned in UK-based Toy Soldier Collector magazine, and will be reviewed in their next issue (100).