Sunday, November 30, 2008

Holiday Hiatus

Greetings everyone,

I'm taking a break for the month of December, with hopes of receiving lots and lots of toy soldiers in the mail or from Santa.

Here are some pix taken recently at the old toy soldiers home:

MPs from the Nuremberg Trials enter the courtroom (with pony).

Protesting military healthcare providers stage walk-out at Walter Reed Army Medical Center.
And who can blame them?  (they look pretty angry)

Do you suppose this young soldier was called "lard-ass" in Japanese boot camp? (that would be "ラードのろば" in Japanese).

Very flat figure, very high trajectory!

Jamaican artillery division moves large gun into position.

Nazis have no rhythm.

I'd like to see this one painted.

Feel free to place this one under my tree!  You may send the pirates elsewhere, however.

One word of caution: "recoil".

Off-scale soldiers will be machine-gunned on sight!  (gas masks optional)

Cow on runway causes overreaction by ground support crews.

Click on this one for a close up.  From the looks of that knee I think he's going to lose that leg.
(as hungry pooch waits patiently)

Dude in rear surrenders even though no one is paying any attention to him.

I had one very much like this when I was just a wee boy.

Music to toddle off to war by.

Crazy Jumpin' Jeep clone kids need to have alignment check soon.

Welcome to the stupid looking gun club.

Do take this opportunity of my short vacation to look at my other blogs:

...on park rangering

...on helmet collecting

Also check out my youtube videos and let me know what you think.

I'll be back to regular twice monthly posting on January 1.

A happy holiday season to all.


Saturday, November 15, 2008

Fall In! 2008

Last weekend my wife and I attended the big "Fall In!" gaming convention up in Gettysburg (an obscure Pennsylvania hamlet north of here). I've never been a gamer - at all - I've always found the rules to be incomprehensible and more of an obstruction to simply playing with toy soldiers. But remember, this is coming from someone who can't divide fractions, 'nuff said.

It was, in a word, fun.

We entered a big facility filled to bursting with many, many vendors, each and every one selling really cool stuff  sure to appeal to all gamers and collectors.

Although there was a paucity of my favorite 54mm scale, what there was, was choice,  as the array below demonstrates!  

(click to enlarge, and join me in a hyperventilation episode)

These really caught my eye, peddled by a young vendor (family guy with family in tow) who deals in all types of ships including these fantastic dreadnoughts.  

I liked his wares and his very young family seemed like a bunch of good-sports.  I've selected him as my sole plug for this post:

Something else that caught my wife's eye were some really fine paper buildings.  There was more than one vendor of these highly detailed and very affordable paper kits.   I can see these as entree for women and kids into the world of miniatures and gaming.

Speaking of which, the clientele was not particularly diverse, which was no surprise.  Nonetheless this is a hobby which I hope will grow in popularity among a variety of populations.

The vendors and gamers were certainly welcoming enough despite one oaf's overtly racist attempt at humor I saw displayed in one booth.  Someone needs to clue this douche in on the fact that its the 21st century.

Speaking of diversity; here's some 54mm Mexican soldiers about to scale the wall of the Alamo (nice segue huh?).

The level of intensity of the gamers varied from table to table.  Some guys seemed to be in actual combat...

Others were more casual, with frequent checks on rules.

I didn't know there was going to be a test.

The hall was filled with wonderful photo-ops.

Hey! who brought the girl?  Oh yeah, I did.  Boys, meet Virginia.  She commented on how much obvious fun this group of aviators was having.  They were a particularly jolly bunch...must be the altitude.

Hands in pockets does not smack of combat readiness fellows.  This crowd was very patiently guiding the lad through the basics of the Normandy invasion.  One thing that both Virginia and I saw a lot of were gamers and vendors inviting bystanders in to experience some of the basics of gaming.  I liked the general air of enthusiasm and welcome that pervaded this event.

Another bunch of guys who obviously know what they're doing.  Remember what I said about fractions?  Still, I had fun watching.

Appears the desert rats are guarding this vital desert water source.

Now check this out:
I love the multidimensional aspect of this layout.  Its very dynamic and animated.  This is good stuff.

About the only ones not having a good time were these "last standers" in a delightfully detailed and animated Custer diorama.

Despite all of the combat, ground and aerial, factual and fantasy, 15 or 54 millimeter, nobody got hurt and everybody seemed to have, as the fellows below demonstrate,

a really good time.

I look forward to attending this, and similar, events again, and I recommend that you do too.

Here's a link for Fall-In!  and another for Cold Wars.

See you there.

Soldier on!


Monday, November 10, 2008

Happy Veterans Day...

from my favorite veteran...


(pictured slightly backwards on Naval Communications Station, Guam, 1971)

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

See you there!

Fall in! 2008

This Saturday will find me up in Gettysburg at the 2008 Fall in! military miniatures in war gaming convention (link here).

Though focused on miniatures and gaming, I'm inclined to think that among the dealers I'm bound to find some deals on unpainted plastic 54mm ACW guys by some of my favorite makers. Also I think it'll be fun to meet some of the other enthusiasts up there and see the levels of play involved as well as the historic scenarios of the simulations.

I'm not into "miniatures"; those beautifully hand-painted, pewter soldier figures that are both expensive and non-conducive to playing in the dirt. Also I've never been into war gaming which involves two of my least favorite aspects of human life: competition and following rules. I prefer simply setting 'em up and knocking 'em down. Still I think it will be both fun and interesting to watch others maneuvering their period-correct, little armies across various historic tableaux. I'm also expecting to encounter some pretty jolly people as well, and that's the main thing.

If you see me be sure to say hello.

With my limited wardrobe, I'll look like this:

Though as I think of it...there will be a World War One
theme to the convention. hmmm...

...then again...