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Remark: The scale for most tank models is 1/108, the railroad accessories and sets of soldiers released later are near 1/87.

Comet Metal Products

Authenticast models were made by Comet Metal Products, a die-casting company founded by Abraham Slonim in Richmond Hills, New York in 1919. After producing all kinds of die-cast goods in the beginning, Comet started making metal soldiers in the 1930s. In 1940 Comet copyrights the 'Brigadiers' brand for their first line of diecast toy soldiers. Comet tried to interest the US government in using their models for identification purposes, but it was only after WWII started that Comet was actually commissioned by the US military to manufacture identification models of ships, airplanes and military roadvehicles. The military vehicles were cast to U. S. Government order at 1" = 9', thus 1/108, not even close to 1/87. In 1945 Comet / Authenticast initially offered over 50 tanks and other military vehicle models from the US, Britain, Russia, Germany and Japan to the public, but as time passed more models were developed. Their catalogue eventually lists about 75 military models in two scales, 1/108 and 1/36. Apart from these military models, Comet also produced railroad accessory sets that contained car- and truckmodels, we are still looking for more information on these. The production at Comet stopped somewhere in 1962.

Authenticast = Spincast

Authenticast models are spincast, a centrifugal casting process developed in the 1930s, which allowed the maker to increase the level of detail (compared to die-cast models of the period). Comet named this the 'Authenticast' process to indicate the accuracy of the models that were produced and even patented their centrifugal casting process. Spincasting is a process that requires a master model. Since Comet had access to the US plans as well as the plans to British ships refitted in the US, the actual building plans were often used to make these master models. Once the master is created, it is placed between two rubber disks. These disks are placed in a frame and then placed in a press that contains heating elements. The disks are squeezed together and heated simultaneously. The squeezing forces the heated rubber to flow all around the master model whilst further heating hardens the rubber to about the same consistency as a tire. The disks have now turned into a mould, after they have cooled down they are separated, the master model is removed, and channels are carved from the center to the cavities. The mould is then placed in a centrifugal casting machine where it is spun while molten metal is poured into the mould. The spinning causes the metal to flow through the channels into the cavities thus creating a model. The mould is then allowed to cool for a while, and only several minutes later the model can be removed from the mould.

The 1/108 military models


Ref# Model Ref# Model
5000 Cruiser Mk.V tank 5007 Crusader Mk.II tank
5001 Churchill Mk.II tank 5008 Daimler Scout Car
5002 Bren Gun carrier 5009 Cromwell Mk.III tank
5003 Humber Mk.I  5010 Churchill Mk.VII tank
5004 Carden Lloyd carrier 5011 Sherman VC tank
5005 Valentine Mk.V tank 5012 Centurion tank
5006 Matilda Mk.II tank - -


Ref# Model Ref# Model
5051 2589 Amphibious tank 5055 2597 Tankette
5052 2592 Tankette 5056 2595 Light/medium tank
5053 2594 Medium tank 5057 2590 Heavy/medium tank
5054 2597 Heavy tank - -

US American 

Ref# Model Ref# Model
5150 M3 gun carrier  5174 M32A1 recovery vehicle
5151 M6T1 tank  5175 LVTA4 (landing vehicle tank) 'Alligator'
5152 M4A3 'Sherman' tank  5176 LVT (landing vehicle, open) 'Alligator'
5153 M8 'Greyhound' scout car 5177 M44 armoured personnel carrier
5154 M3A1 halftrack 5178 M45 'Patton' tank 
5155 M18 'Hellcat' 5179 M46 'Patton' tank
5156 M7 'Priest' 5180 M41 'Walker Bulldog' tank
5157 M8 75mm howitzer 5181 M?? 2,5t 6x6 truck
5158 M5A1 'Stuart' / 'Honey' tank 5182 M?? command car
5159 M10A1 'Wolverine' tank destroyer 5183 M?? 2,5t troop carrier
5160 M?? Willys Jeep 5184 M?? trailer
5161 M29 'Weasel' 5185 M?? 4x4 weapons carrier
5162 M3A1 scout car 5186 M47 tank
5163 M? 'Quack' amphibious jeep 5187 M48 'Patton II' tank
5164 M12 155mm gun 'Long Tom' 5188 M43 tank
5165 M26 'Pershing' tank 5189 M65 atomic cannon
5166 M24 'Chaffee' tank 5190 T981 tank
5167 M36B1 'Slugger II' tank 5191 T99E1 self propelled gun
5168 M36B 'Slugger' tank 5192 M3 'General Grant'
5169 M4A3 'Sherman' tank 5193 Hawk AA missile
5170 T9E1 / M9 'Locust' airborne tank 5194 Honest John AA rocket
5171 T17E1 'Staghound' armoured car 5195 Nike-Ajax AA missile
5172 T17E2 'Staghound' armoured car 5196 M42 'Duster' twin AA gun
5173 DUKW amphibious truck - -


Ref# Model Ref# Model
5100 PzKpfw III, model C tank 5107 PzKpfw VI 'Tiger' tank
5101 PzKpfw I tank 5108 Puma ? 8 wheel armored car
5102 Jagdpanzer tank 5109 PzKpfw 35T tank
5103 PzKpfw IV, model G tank 5110 PzKpfw V 'Panther' tank
5104 PzKpfw IV, model F tank 5111 Sturmgeschutz 75
5105 PzKpfw II tank 5112 ?? 3 ton 1/2 track
5106 PzKpfw III, model H tank - -


Ref# Model Ref# Model
5200 5200 KV-1 tank 5205 5205 STZ armored carrier
5201 5201 KV-2 tank 5206 5206 T-34/85
5202 5202 JS-I tank 5207 5207 JS-III tank
5203 5203 T34 tank 5208 5208 SU 100 tank
5204 5204 T70 tank - -

Where'd the moulds go ?

In 1962 the masters and moulds were sold to Superior Models who continued releasing the models. In the early 1970s however,  Custom Cast bought the Comet masters and moulds from Superior, and partially sells them to a collector in 1982. This collector sells the masters to Reaper Miniatures who in turn sell the armor master models to another private collector in 1994. The airplane masters remained at Reaper Miniatures, and were up for sale. A set of armor models moulds remained in the possession of Custom Cast, these moulds were acquired by Quality Castings in 1984. Finally, in 2002, Quality Castings is sold to 19th Century Miniatures. Authenticast Models are still sold, but most of them only remotely look like the original Authenticast version because many of the castings have been improved to increase detail. Many of the models still have the original 'Comet' logo on the base though. 

The (near) 1/87 civil models
- Information received from Sylvain Le Stum

Ref# Model Ref# Model
R63 ? flatbed truck    
? 1948 Chevrolet sedan ? Chevrolet tanktruck
? 1948 Chrysler sedan ? Chevrolet boxtruck
? 1948 Plymouth taxi - -

Models included in sets

Ref# Model Ref# Model
R92 Street scene   R94 Wrecker/ambulance set  
R93 Fire department set   R96 Bus stop scene  

Help on identifying the models in these sets is still welcome !

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