Sunday, 30 January 2011

A Timely Arrival

Good morning, good people

It is the morning of the Stoneleigh Militaria show and, much as I would love to be in attendance, I'm afraid I'm not going to be able to make it, on account of the little fella pictured in the photographs below

Matthew Charles Fell, Mummy and Daddy's Little Soldier

Due to arrive on Monday, 31st January, he clearly had other plans and came along at 2.23 am on Saturday. With any luck, he will grow up to be a toy soldier collector, wargamer and airsofter of the future, but only time will tell. He is beautiful, of course, just as he is

If anyone out there is going to Stoneleigh and is thinking of taking some photos, if you would be willing to share them and contribute a few well chosen words for the blog your contributions would be very warmly welcomed

For now, I wish you all 'good night' and sweet dreams

Monday, 24 January 2011

Dates For Your Diary

Hi there. The somewhat strangely titled element of the blog 'Points of Interest' has now changed, some of you may have noticed, and is now called 'Dates For Your Diary', a much more appropriate heading for what was essentially, and still is, a list of events you may be interested in attending or, at the very least, finding out about

There are no dates associated with the events named either this time round. I have made each of them a link to the website associated with the event/event organisers, so if you click on it that should take you to the relevant URL and you can find out the dates of forthcoming events as well as sundry additional titbits of information. I hope you find this useful

A major event on the militaria collector's calendar coming up this weekend, of course, is the militaria convention at Stoneleigh in Warwickshire on Sunday, January 30th. I will be in attendance, all being well, along with thousands of others, and hope to bring you news of the show, together with some pictures, shortly thereafter

Also added to the site is an image link to Arnies Airsoft and a news feed to same

Happy roaming

Sunday, 16 January 2011

New Releases from First Legion

Well, here I am again, taking a very brief glimpse at a handful of new releases from Matt and the team at First Legion

They aren't currently available but will shortly be up on the site for pre-order. First up, four German tank riders well and truly wrapped up for the winter battles in Stalingrad. Designed to complement the already released winter version of the Panzer III, these tankers will come in two versions, one with bases as shown in the photo, and one without

Ready for winter

Next up, enemy for the Military Order Crusaders, a selection of Mamluk Turks, resplendent in their intricately detailed armour and beautifully emblazoned shields

The Fall of Acre range is proving to be one of the company's most popular. If you haven't already seen my previous posts on the Crusaders, then take a look, or pop over to the company website, and I'm sure you will understand why. I'm certainly not alone in looking forward to the release date!

Terrific Terrain

I was browsing the Treefrog Treasures Toy Soldier forum the other night and came across a post from a fellow First Legion collector, which included some photos of a diorama he had just had built by Dave over at TM Terrain

I was pretty impressed, not that Dave's work is in any way new to me, and so I thought I'd put some of the shots up here. Dave's work has featured in various wargame and toy soldier magazines over the years, as well as being used by a number of toy soldier dealers to display their figures and vehicles on at shows. He can turn his hand to anything and produces terrain and scenic items in a variety of scales for wargamers, toy soldier collectors, model makers, anybody in fact who needs some terrain to display something on!

Just in case you were wondering how good this might look with the addition of a few judiciously placed First Legion figures, here are three pictures taken by the man himself, Dave of TMT, at a recent toy soldier show in London where this diorama was on display

Germans prepare to overrun the town. Little do they know, the Russians are lying in wait!

There's plenty more eye candy over on the TMT site. Just click on any of the links here and prepare to spend a few hours drooling over the keyboard! Enjoy!

Thursday, 6 January 2011

A 'Must Have' for 2011?

A small word of warning. You will need deep pockets, and somewhere pretty special to show this off to its full potential, but in my humble opinion the new German railway sets being produced by Figarti could well be one of the scenic highlights of 2011, although some of the pieces have been available since last year. I was able to see a few of them at the Birmingham Toy Soldier show in October and they are pretty special

Sold under the title of 'German Reichsbahn' there are 11 'new' pieces currently available and I have included pictures of all of them right here. There is also a Coaling Crane, and two sets of tank defenders, consisting of a couple of anti-aircraft machine gunners and two riflemen with a spotter, all of which could be used alongside these new railway pieces. Add to that the gargantuan 60cm Karl Morser artillery piece, together with its rail transporter, and you have a series, quite frankly, without parallel, but not inexpensive

Coaling Crane
Anti-aircraft Machine Gun Team
Riflemen and Spotter

The Karl Morser Artillery Piece and Rail Transporter
The BR-52 Locomotive
Flatbed Wagon
Gondola Wagon
Boxcar Wagon
Light Flatcar Wagon
Track Barrier
Water Pump
Low Goods Wagon
Passenger Wagon
Additional Track

Wednesday, 5 January 2011

One of the Scenic Highlights of 2010

I read with interest an article in the latest edition of 'Toy Soldier Collector' about this very piece. Clearly, it won't be to everyone's taste, nevertheless, The Collectors Showcase have done a marvellous job with their representation of Hitler's office

As a collector, one of the things I really look forward to are scenic items I can use in the creation of dioramas. In my opinion, there aren't enough of them. This piece is made from a combination of resin and plastic and includes maps to be strewn across the impressively recreated marble-effect table, wall and table lights to position, a rather grand looking national eagle towering above the heads of anyone you might care to place around the table, and a rippling swastika banner, which is removable

It's an impressive piece, and I wish I had one. Sadly, according to their website, they are sold out. There may be one or two lying around on the shelves, or in the store rooms, of one or two dealers here and there but I reckon you'd be very lucky to get hold of one

The Fuhrer's Reichkanzlei office
Equally impressive are the seven character figures produced to occupy it. They could just as easily be displayed in a different setting, likewise, other figures could just as easily be displayed standing and deliberating around the table. Each figure has been produced with separate caps and Heydrich, Dietrich and Himmler have also been given a steel helmet, allowing for a good deal of flexibility in terms of how they are displayed. You could have some of the hats, for example, casually laid on the table alongside the maps as the discussion gets a little heated!

The full 'rogues gallery', in addition to the three already mentioned, includes Erich von Manstein, Goering, Adolf Galland, who flew in Spain in 1937 and later became a WW2 fighter ace, and Hitler himself, all instantly recognisable and excellently sculpted, and very reasonably priced at £25 each

Adolf Hitler

Reinhard Heydrich

Josef 'Sepp' Dietrich

Erich von Manstein
If you aren't able to get hold of one of the office pieces, perhaps you would consider splashing out on The Collectors Showcase rendering of the Lichterfelde Barracks, once the HQ of Hitler's bodyguard regiment, the LAH

The central building with flags, national eagle and stone statue guards

The side building, or annex, complete with railings

Each building piece is sold separately and can be used singly or as part of a whole building facade. The flags are removable and the central building is a great size, 15" x 11.5" x 14" (with top flags attached ). The side piece building measures 15" x 7 1/2" x 9 1/4". The main building also comes with a centre eagle and a great set of LAH statues, based on the originals! Set up an entire parade with officers and as many enlisted marchers as you like, or perhaps the fabulous LAH band produced by King and Country. The options are limited only by your imagination!

The whole facade made up of a central building and two side pieces. Imagine that, centre stage on one of your bookshelves or display spaces. Yes please!
Below are some photographs of the actual building, courtesy of Third Reich in Ruins, so you can judge for yourself how good a job The Collectors Showcase have done with this project. I think they've done jolly well. What about you?

Monday, 3 January 2011

New Year Promise from Marushin

Towards the end of last month, even last year, I posted an item about the release of an airsoft replica of the M3A1 'Grease Gun'. Well, a WW2 airsoft acquaintance put me on to this but as things stand at the moment there's not an awful lot to say

Apparently, Marushin are set to release four new models of 6mm BB WW2 guns. They are posted on their website, together with the legend 'New release expected soon! Please stay tuned'

The iconic 'Broomhandle' Mauser 712

The Mauser Kar98 will most likely be a shell ejecting bolt loader like its 8mm cousin

The M1 and M2 carbines. There is also a reference on the site to a 6mm version of the M1 Garand

All of these guns are, of course, already available as 8mm BB gas blow back or shell ejecting shooters, but the idea that they will soon be available in 6mm is extremely appealing. I will certainly be 'staying tuned' over the next few weeks and months and do my best to keep you posted. In the meantime, if anyone knows any more, please feel free to post a comment

Over and out

Saturday, 1 January 2011

A Nostalgia Fix, from Airfix

I know, a painfully pitiful title, but please, I implore you, show me a little mercy. I am referring, of course, to the re-release by Airfix of their 1:32nd scale WW2 soldiers, in plastic

I remember, quite clearly and with some fondness, playing with the original plastic sets for hour upon hour as a child, lining them up against each other on the living or bedroom carpet or, when the weather was suitable, setting them up in the flower beds and hurling small handfuls of earth at them to simulate explosions. I wouldn't dream of doing that with them now of course, but I would think seriously about buying some and painting them if I wanted a small force of larger scale figures for a skirmish wargame. Talking of painting, the original figures were made of fairly soft plastic, polyurethane I believe, and if you've ever tried painting that you'll know how painstaking, and quite frankly not really all that worthwhile, an undertaking that could be. These new figures are made from sterner stuff, namely hard polystyrene plastic which takes the paint a lot more easily. Being harder, and therefore more brittle, however, you will have to be more careful not to damage any of the more delicate parts of the castings

As a child I had several sets including British Paratroopers, German Infantry, Australian Infantry, Afrika Korps, British Commandos, British 8th Army, British Infantry, Russian Infantry and American Infantry. All of these are available, along with 4 other sets, these being German Mountain Troops, American Paratroopers, German Paratroopers, and a British Infantry Support Set

This set contains 75 unpainted pieces. There are no details on the site about what the GMT set contains

The back of the GI and AK boxes showing the poses available and the painting guide, should you need one

The German Mountain Troops and British Infantry Support Set retail at £10.99 per box, the rest at £5.99 per box, each box containing 14 figures in a variety of poses, as you can see from the images above, and in my opinion, all the poses you really need for a 54mm scale WW2 skirmish game with soldiers depicted running, advancing, kneeling, firing, throwing grenades and officers directing or shouting orders

Good to see all these old favourites being made available to a new, and perhaps not so new, generation. I wonder if there are any more in the pipeline?