hand cannon. Using a piece of bronze stock, I drilled a hole down its length, drilled another smaller hole into the large bore at right angles to it at its depth, and cut it to scale size. It was then chucked in the jewelers lathe and the open end turned down to a cannon muzzle for a distance of 1/4". I then clamped it in a swivel vise sketched a design around its entire surface, and with a small hammer and small chisel and a lot of light tapping, removed enough metal to change its shape to that of a Chinese dragon which had swallowed the cannon and wrapped its long body around itself, leaving only the muzzle protruding from its mouth. A tool turned out of drill rod formed the shape for the eyes of the dragon, and this same tool held at an angle to the work was used to produce the scales on the hide. This was my first attempt at metal sculpturing, and it was good enough to take its place wilh the rest.
While making the Oriental Hand Cannon, representing some of the earliest Oriental Handicraft, I decided that my next model must be a copy of one of the newest from that part of the world, a souvenir Jap Nambu Pattern 14 automatic pistol. This pistol is of fairly simple and fragile construction and, in its miniature size, posed a problem of how to clamp it down to work on it. The bolt itself required three attempts before it was finished, and the trigger guard assembly with its unorthodox shape required more effort than usual. The two recoil springs, mounted one on each side of the bolt, required the smallest diameter turning I have had to do to date (slightly less than 1/32" O.D.). The magazine had its own special problem in the cast aluminum base. This part finally was made of steel and polished bright. It looks good, I added it to the collection.
During the construction of the Nambu, I received through the mail four miniatures which, at first glance, looked more like toys than true miniatures. I re-read the letter that accompanied them, then went back to the models themselves, and finally realized just what I had: four miniature workable models of childrens toy cap pistols! Triggers and hammers were cast in a mold, as were both sides of the pistols themselves. They show lines where the halves of the mold join, and the halves are held together by two or three rivets. An advanced collector purchasing his first Walker revolver could not have been more thrilled.
Maybe because of where I grew up—the Chicago city fathers call it Cicero, and the Beer Baron A1 Capone called it home—the desire was planted in my mind to own one of Mr. Thompson's sub-machine weapons. This was a very elusive item. First I was too young; next they were too expensive; finally they became illegal to own. Just recently, with Federal blessings, and after about 30 years of impatient patience, I finally got my Tommy. Needless to say I lost no time in scaling it down to miniature. It was a work of love from the start. Everything seemed to go just right, and in it I have incorporated parts of all the various models. It has the finned barrel of the early models, mounted on the smaller lightened receiver of the military gun; the removable shoulder stock and pistol grip under the barrel of the old, and the bolt style of the new. The bolt handle, although representing the old in being mounted through the lop of the receiver, is retained by the bolt with the method used on the Ml model. The adjustable rear sight, although representing a lot more work, was much more desirable than the stamped out military version.
With the completion of this miniature, I had attained the theme of my collection: "From Hand-Cannon to Sub-Machine Gun in Miniature." Any future pieces will have to fit into this framework.
"How do you do it?" This is the question which always comes up every time the collection is displayed. I suppose the simplest answer would be, "Get started and iron out the problems as they present themselves." A lot of education is various fields would help, but I started too young to have
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Deer hunting is an interesting thing that reminds you of those golden old ages of 19th centuries, where a handsome hunk well equipped with all hunting material rides on horse searching for his target animal either for the purpose of displaying his masculine powers or for enticing and wooing his lady love.