This article will allow us to follow step by step, the process of the realization of a figurine, from its conception until its birth and its production. From the project to the realization, from the first drawings to the plaster masters, from the mold to the finished figurine: all stages of production. The study of the project. The photo above illustrates the different stages of making a MIM figurine. The choice of subject is made according to historical sources, and illustrations known at the time. Here, the silhouette of the Persian king Xerxes (like the soldiers of his guard, the “immortals”) is directly inspired by the bas-reliefs exhibited at the Pergamon Museum in Berlin. The iconographic sources generally cited by Emmanuel Steinbach for the ancient period are in particular: Racinet, Hottenroth and Daudré-Bardon. Although very respectable, these references appear to us today, quite obsolete. Émile Salkin, Emmanuel Steinbach’s first collaborator, produced the drawings for the engraver; front, back, two profiles and three-quarter views. A coloring is carried out, as well as the drawing of the weapons and accessories. Drawings for the moulder. The coloring. From right to left: the master’s plasters, and the lead test. From left to right, two reissued proofs and one original proof. Drawings, engraving and production. The realization of the mold. Finally, the engraver produces a finished plaster figurine, which is coated with shellac varnish in order to block the surface pores. It enables a fine plaster mold to be made which is returned to the moulder. The latter can thus carry out the manufacture of the final bronze mold. The design of MIM molds is very particular. All the molds are made on the same model; always in two parts sometimes connected by a hinge which makes them look like a waffle mold. The underside of the mold accommodates a third part held by a tightening screw, which allows to obtain a base engraved with the name of the firm, and identifying the figurine. This particularity, wanted by Emmanuel Steinbach, allowed him to save costly investments, especially for the series of the First Empire. Indeed the same mold with different bases allowed to make a large part of the regiments of the imperial army. We will see in other articles that this system did not only have advantages. Xerxès front. Xerxès back. The mold of Xerxes. The screw blocked the engraved base. The production start. The mold being manufactured, it is put into production. Figures and accessories are cast, trimmed and painted by skilled workers. Each mold, each figurine resulting from this mold, has particularities concerning casting, deburring, welding and painting. A specific cardboard workshop sheet is therefore established for each reference with the precautions to be taken for each phase of manufacture. Casting. Deburring Welding. Cardboard workshop sheets. Painting and packaging. The soldiers are painted with cellulose paint. The coat is thick, sometimes with a coat of primer. For Empire uniforms, the dominant color, for example white for the grenadiers of the guard, dark indigo blue for engineers or artillery etc., are painted with an airbrush. The horses also, which allows to obtain elegant gradations for their dress. Then all the secondary parts of the garment, as well as the “piping”, the cords, the faces and all the details are finely painted with a brush. The individual figurines are rolled in a small tissue paper, and slipped into their box. There are boxes of all sizes depending on the importance of the whole. It seems that the blue was intended for antiquity, and the red for the Empire. The boxes were not very strong for the weight of the soldiers. A detail: all MIM soldiers have blue eyes. An assortment of boxes. To finish.. I hope this quick overview has interested you. If you have any questions, maybe information regarding MIM, please feel free to contact me. Lien. Jacques Witmeur. Before closing this chapter I would like to talk about Jacques Witmeur, Belgian specialist and great connoisseur of the figurine, if there was one. I got to know Jacques during the auctions in Brussels, in particular those of the Hotel Flagey, hosted by Michel Pinckaers. Jacques brought his help for the identification and expertise of the lots. He had a great passion for MIM. Around 2001, a large collection of M.I.M. soldiers was dispersed in Brussels. I was approached by Jacques and Michel Pinckaers, who wished to publish on this occasion, a booklet on the company. From this meeting, a 70-page booklet was born: “La Manufacture d’Emmanuel Steinbach”, written by Jacques Witmeur and published by “Les Editions de l’Hôtel des Ventes Flagey”. In addition to the reproduction of the original illustrated catalog, it traces the history of the firm thanks in particular to the testimony of Madame Emmanuel Steinbach. Jacques urged me to restart production, he wanted to see Emmanuel Steinbach’s projects finally realized; the Greeks, the Gallic cavalry, the unpublished Romans and Assyrians. Unfortunately, he left us a few years ago, without having been able to satisfy his curiosity. When I sink a new MIM soldier, he’s never far away. I wanted to use this article to pay tribute to him.