Sunday, July 18, 2021

Navarone; part 1

 You may have noticed that The Battle of Guam is on hiatus...It is a big job and I had to take a break...but I've been plenty busy toy soldier-wise.

The current project that I've turned my attention to is a Marx Guns of Navarone fantasy set, that is to say I'm trying to improve on the original Marx Navarone set.

I got most of a beat-up Navarone set on ebay two years ago, and started on this project, a little at a time.

What I'm adding is a backdrop, additional soldiers, vehicles, and other accessories, and tons of terrain that I'm making from foam (pillboxes too!).

I loved the movie The Guns of Navarone as a kid, and there were some enduring images for me, including the hooded and goggled Germans, covering their ears, in DEVO-like unison.

Another scene that made an impression on my kid mind, were the images of the shattered village of Navarone at the foot of the mountain; in this post you'll see my 54mm version of that.

I am painting original and reproduction Marx terrain pieces for this fantasy set, and here is a progress report.

A test set-up of some of the components, including a modified BMC pillbox.

I've just begun painting the new backdrop on large sheets of cardboard, this will allow my original backdrop to be preserved for future battle scenarios.

Here are some of the components that I've been painting:

Marx enthusiasts will recognize these components from the various Battleground playsets, including this original, bottom painted.

Small sandbag emplacement.

Large sandbag emplacement.

Ruined house.  I made two of these, one with a red for and one with a blue door, I modeled them off traditional color schemes of typical Greek villages.

As with all of my toy soldier components, I go more for the look of toys rather than military miniatures.  My stuff always has a little bit of a "cartoony" look to it.

Here is my shattered Greek cafe.  It's the BMC recast of the Marx exploding house.

It is comprised of five pieces which fly apart when the front door is jostled. You can just barely see the shattered panes of glass in the window frame.

I salvaged the mousetrap-style explosion mechanism from an incomplete Marx exploding bunker.  It all needed some cutting and filing, but I've gotten it to work pretty well.


Even the venerable Blue and Gray ruined mansion has been dragooned into service for Navarone village.

I'll post more as things develop.

Until then,

Soldier on!



Scott B. Lesch said...

Wow that's fun.

JohnM said...

Great project ! Looking forward to seeing how it progresses. Cheers, John.

Unknown said...

Love it!

Unknown said...

Sooo cool!!! said...

Looks Great so far. You have a lot of good ideas.

Grognard54 said...

Nice work! The Navarone playset is a classic. I watched Guns of Navarone and to have the playset.

Unknown said...

Nice work Mannie! I remember seeing that movie with my brother back in, I think, 1961 - at RKO Keith's, in downtown D.C.

Thought of you recently. I was at a wargame convention called Historicon, up near Philly. They had vendors there and a flea market where people could sell their surplus stuff. I saw a bunch of 54mm plastic soldiers for sale. I also saw one or two games that were being played with 54mm figures. One of them was lead by Mike Priest, I believe (I was on my way to another game & didn't have time to stop). Anyway, you might be interested to stop by a future convention & do some shopping! Check out Historical Miniatures Gaming Society, HMGS on the internet for more info or message to me.

Mannie Gentile said...

Hey unknown. I know. Mike Priest takes a man of courage to game in 54mm. Email me and tell me about HMGS.