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!



festus said...

mmmh, looks like fun, just on the wrong side of the pond.
did you not photograph them or where there no youngsters with monstrous warhamster (or whatever. dont even look furry) armies? those tend to occupy most gaming conventions i dare to visit here.

festus said...

mmmh, looks like fun, just on the wrong side of the pond.
did you not photograph them or where there no youngsters with monstrous warhamster (or whatever. dont even look furry) armies? those tend to occupy most gaming conventions i dare to visit here.

Mannie Gentile said...


There were only a few kids, and all of them were engaged in very conventional looking scenarios. I didn't see any of those Furry warlock demon tankazoid games going on but they were very present in the vendor areas.

To each is own, though I really like the historic stuff.

Thanks for checking in.



tell me bout the paper models.address .By the way what did you buy?
Did you link me?


Mannie I linked you.Can you link me?


Can you tell me where to buy the new BMC?

Mannie Gentile said...


Actually. I bought nothing, I just didn't find the bargains I had expected, I was quite surprised.

Instead I stopped by one of my favorite army surplus stores just outside of Gettysburg and picked up a really choice GK/80B Red Chinese helmet which will be posted some time in the future on my helmet blog(

As far as BMC figures are concerned, You can get them at just about any on-line toy soldier dealer.

I'll link you posthaste!



Come on Mannie write something!!! can't wait.I added you linked you.If you write something I'll send you a fantastic pasta recipe.

Anonymous said...

And all I can see is that this is taking place on what is usually an indoor soccer field. To each his or her own.

The displays look fantastic.

Merry Christmas!

Dan in NC said...

Hello and Happy New Year!
I really enjoyed seeing your ACW dioramas; very nice work!
Like you, I have beeen collecting since the Marx series in the 1950s.
Who makes the dead/casualities figures?
I have seen Barzo's, but it looks like you've found others. ???
Thanks again,
Dan in NC

Mannie Gentile said...


I found some from Conte casualties as well, they appear to be Brits during the Zulu wars period. Otherwise Barzo is the source.

Happy new year!