Rolf W. Nelson
I wish I was still teaching school because it [3D printing] is the perfect tool, because it not only brings in the CNC part of it and all the things that go with that, but you also have the designing process, and making/creating the part or whatever it is you’re gonna print, and it’s a fantastic learning tool as far as education is concerned. I’m really sold on it. I’m in a maker group locally here and have probably taught about 6 or 8 classes on 3D printing, and we’ve done it for all ages. You’re only limited by the material that it will print. Most of what we work with is plastic because it’s the most affordable for most people and it still gives you a pretty good product, and I know even in Europe they’re even printing houses in concrete.
As far as the soldiers are concerned, that’s pretty much the background on it. I think both George (the art professor) and I, he was an artist, he did some things that are right up there, top shelf stuff. He had a collection of figures that he did probably during the ‘50s, and I don’t know if he cast the actual figure, but it was a collection of probably 1860s/’70s French flags of every regiment in the French army, and the detail on those flags would just blow your mind away.
I kind of had to find my niche, and I liked the period from 1870s, post-Civil War, up through the first world war. The change from the colorful uniforms and then just into the drab ones so you so weren’t so visible on the battlefield. But we did, together, we produced and sold a number of figures representing the US army from about 1880 through 1905, and for some of the figures I actually took a Britain-style figure and reworked it to come up with something that I felt they should have produced but they didn’t, so we did that for several years in the late ‘70s / early ‘80s, and we sold most of those to a gentleman out east, I think Pennsylvania. He dealt in Mignot, and we’d send him out stuff and he’d send us Mignots.