The French have the Foreign Legion, the Japanese have their Samurai, the Romans have their Legions, the British have their Knights, the Americans have their Union and Confederacy, and Singapore’s very own Armour Infantry is joining the battle, in its own extremely miniature way.
Local start-up Miniature Stories, formed by the husband and wife team of Caleb Lin and Terra Chua, have crafted a series of 60mm steel figurines, modeled after a Singapore Armed Forces Armour Infantry Section in the midst of a firefight.
The seven comprises of the Section Commander with SAR21, the Platoon Commander giving orders to advance, an M203 Gunner in high kneel position, a SAW gunner firing in prone position, a MATADOR (Man-portable Anti-Tank, Anti-DOoR) gunner on patrol and another MATADOR gunner aiming through sight.
(Yes, the MATADOR has replaced the LAW. Get over it.)
The choice of picking the Singapore Armoured Regiment to form wave one from the company might seem like an unlikely one, given the small number of armoured battalions here, but for Caleb, who served in Armour during his National Service days, the decision was obvious.
“My husband was from Armour and proud of it, hence this initial release is a tribute to Armour.” said Terra to Geek Culture.
And yes, Caleb is also a collector of world armies and dioramas, and has been from a very young age.
“Over the years, I collected miniatures across various periods, from medieval knights to legionnaires of the Roman Empire, all the way to World War II armies and vehicles. But the era that was missing, and one which was close to my heart, was that of Singapore’s National Service experience,” noted Caleb.
But realising that overseas figurine manufacturers such as King & Country and First Legion would never introduce miniatures based on the SAF, he decided to do it himself.
“I felt that our men deserved to have a place in the world of miniature toy soldiers. I wanted to see the NS soldier standing on the same shelf as a Greek Hoplite or a Japanese Samurai.”
And now that the first wave is out for the one-month old business, the plan is to expand on other units with the subsequent waves of miniatures.
“We are actually in the process of releasing customised decals of all the other formations, as well as the specific badges like the Guards tab, JCC badge, Marksman badge, etc. Customers can then use these decals to customise their figurine to represent whatever’s meaningful to them,” said Terra, who now works full time at Miniature Stories.
While each of the figurines are sculpted and individually hand painted by the start-up’s manufacturer, whom they work closely with, the creative process is driven by the couple. The figurines are made of a metal alloy, to provide that unique weight and feel to it.
Down the line, the company hopes to also release other SAF related items, and not just focus on soldiers. Plans for vehicles, such as the Leopard, BX and M113 are in the pipeline, as well as other NS staples, such as the SOC and parade scenes.
But while the art of war might have spurred the passion of miniatures in Caleb, the company is looking beyond the instruments of war.
“Miniature Stories was started with the intention of creating more than just SAF figurines. Our primary objective is actually to capture the cultural essence and history of Singapore, for example, with scenes from cultural festivals like the firewalking scene at Deepavali or CNY celebrations,” said Terra.
“We’re also thinking of producing miniatures of local icons, historical buildings and scenes next time.”
You can check out the company and its figurines here, and follow them on Facebook. They’ve launched a lucky draw, and the top prize is a pair of tickets to the upcoming Guns N’ Roses concert in Singapore next February. More details can be found here.
But Caleb, Geek Culture has a request. For the older men out there, how about doing a special LAW gunner figure?
Oh, and we have a question. If the Platoon Commander is there, where’s the PC Runner? Was his signal set so heavy such that he couldn’t catch up with the section?
Hsals needs more space in his house, and more money in his bank account to pay for all the toys, collectibles and other geek related items that companies are churning out. Free-time? Girlfriend? Who’s got time for those?