For all Singaporean males, serving the National Service regardless of vocation is a rite of passage. This year (2017), Singapore Celebrates 50 years of National Service otherwise known as NS50.
The road from boys to men is transformational - I can vouch for that having served and also seeing my sons go through the same. NS is something all Singaporean men can proudly speak about and amongst brothers, we are proud to have served. With celebration in full swing this year to recognise present and past NS Men, I came across this miniature figurines made by a company called Miniature Stories.
The company is started by husband and wife team of Caleb and Terra. The figurines are made to 1/30 scale and at its tallest, measures 60mm. Each figurine is cast in a metal alloy and hand painted. Featured here is a Section Commander with a SAR21 assault rifle in camouflage uniform.
Because the miniature is hand painted, not two figurines are alike. From the rank epaulette, to the SAR 21 rifle to the camouflage painted face, the details are incredible.
Side profile of the Section Commander in action, leading the way.
The SAR21 in it's full glory. I used the M16 during our days and never had the chance to use the Singapore developed SAR21 Assault Rifle. As we understand it, the SAR21 (Singapore Assault Rifle) was made for the SAF by the then Chartered Industry of Singapore. Even the Division insignia is painstakingly hand painted. Here, the folks at Miniature Stories allow you to choose the different formation insignias. From 6 DIV to 9 DIV to Guards or Commandos to even Armour. All figurines are die cast in metal and gives a heft - a joy to hold in your hands. Caleb and Terra got it right - down to the uniform, weapon, uniform and all the gears.
Even the boots and the grass is hand painted in great detail. Remember those days of parade boots? Burning the spoon and smoothing out the toe cap? Fun nights using the candle after lights out, burning the spoon and then applying it to the toe cap to smoothen it before apply coat after coat of black kiwi (polish). Then you had to polish them to a spit shine - no teeth no count during stand-by parade. I am sure those of us who have gone through that understand what I am saying. Then there was the change parade... but then I digress...
Take a closer look at the details which include knee guard - something we never had in our earlier years in the army. Come to think of it, the welfare of the soldiers today are way better compared to the earlier years. Remember those starched uniforms and rubber boots? Bee hoon (vermicelli) we called rubber bands? Green bean soup (mung beans) with sand? Those were the good old days and I am sure many of us look back with pride having gone through the hard times.
Now for the back. Accurate details again. I recalled the toggle rope - we all called it "togo rope"... never really knew how it was spelt until now...
The figurines are of a high quality as the details will show. These are my first pictures and I have not fully explored the other figurines. But I am confident they are of equally good quality.
I will be posting more of these figurines and sharing the joys of the memories these figurines bring back. For more information, you may visit the Miniature Stories website. Currently, they are having a promotion - if you buy any 6 figurines, you can get one figurine free (conditions apply). And if you have already received your NS50 Vouchers, you can use it to purchase these figurines. The cost of each figurine ranges from S$59 to $75 for those featuring soldiers going through the Standard Obstacle Course (SOC).
Look out for more features of the figurines I purchased from Miniature Stories. Support local and buy something unique. Something that will remind you of those good old days, those days that will bring back a smile. And I understand the folks at Miniature Stories are making more such figurines. Stay tuned!