September 21, 2017

Chicago 2017 Toy Soldier Show Edition

We are attending the Chicago Toy Soldier Show once again (25th year!) Come See Us in Room 4401 Friday & Saturday for open room trading. We will be set up again in the lower level foyer right at the bottom of the stairs on Sunday. Displaying & Selling Morgan Miniatures, Two Trees Zinnfiguren + Vintage Toy Soldiers + Other Surprises. We will be back next week with more useless tidbits...

September 20, 2017

MTSC PRODUCT SPOTLIGHT: Aqualine by Wilder Weathering

NOW AVAILABLE>>>Tired of toxic, foul smelling, enamel thinner based weathering products, and looking for alternatives? Look no further! Wilder has developed the Aqualine, a unique water based acrylic product that can be reactivated at any point during your weathering process. The Aqualine range of products are non-toxic, dry quickly to a matt finish and you can still use your enamel products over them. Aqualine colors are very thick and this provides you with a wide range of opacities, also making them very cost-effective. You can also use enamels over the Aqualine colors after they dry.

AL01 - Brown Mud
This color is great for earth and mud effects, combine it with other Aqualine colors, Textured Earth or pigments to alter its colors and texture.

AL02 - Common Dust
This color is great for dust, earth and mud effects, combine it with other Aqualine colors, Textured Earth or pigments to alter its colors and texture.

AL03 - Dark Earth
This color is great for earth and mud effects, combine it with other Aqualine colors, Textured Earth or pigments to alter its colors and texture.

AL04 - Light Mud
This color is great for earth and mud effects, combine it with other Aqualine colors, Textured Earth or pigments to alter its colors and texture.

AL05 - Dry Earth
This color is great for earth and mud effects, combine it with other Aqualine colors, Textured Earth or pigments to alter its colors and texture

AL06 - Orange-Ochre Rust
This color is great for rust effects, combine it with other Aqualine colors or Gunpowder pigments to alter its colors and texture.

AL07 - Brown Rust
This color is great for rust effects, combine it with other Aqualine colors or Gunpowder pigments to alter its colors and texture.

AL08 - Dark Track Rust
This color is great for rust effects, combine it with other Aqualine colors or Gunpowder pigments to alter its colors and texture. You can also use enamels over the Aqualine colors after they dry.

AL09 - White Winter Camo
This color is great winter white wash and camo effects, combine it with other Aqualine colors, Textured Snow or Gunpowder pigments to alter its colors and texture.

AL10 - Black Smoke
This color is great for burnt or smoke effects, combine it with other Aqualine colors or Gunpowder pigments to alter its colors and texture. You can also use enamels over the Aqualine colors after they dry.

You Can order these from our site HERE

September 19, 2017

MATT KOLTONOW'S GAME ON! Historical Wargaming Quick Looks for September 2017

Now that I’m back from The World Expo in Chicago and IPMS Nationals in Omaha, it’s time to play catch up on my number one hobby, wargaming. Theres a lot of new stuff just released or just announced thats got me quite excited. Without further interruption lets jump right in.

New from Plastic Soldier Company is the first of their Cold War kits, the Soviet T55 (PSC-MOD V15001 1550) This is the first kit but PSC are eager to preview more kits for the range. Spotted on their Facebook page, there are plans to produce a box of Cold War Soviet infantry as well as a Leopard 1. Also brand new from PSC is the Stuart Honey tank kit (PSC-WW2 V5033-1553) available now, and preview for the next Battlegroup Rule supplement, Market Garden

Also on the World War 2 Front are 7 new kits from Rubicon.

RUM-280049 WWII Willys MB 1/4 ton 4x4 Truck (US Standard)
RUM-280050 WWII Willys MB 1/4 ton 4x4 Truck (Commonwealth)
RUM-280051 WWII German Motorcycle R75 with Sidecar (ETO)
RUM-280048 WWII German SdKfz 250/9 & 251/23 Expansion Set
RUM-280046 WWII German SdKfz 3a Maultier 2 ton Half-Track Cargo Truck
RUM-280052 WWII German Motorcycle R75 with Sidecar (DAK)

RUM-280047 WWII German SdKfz 305/3a Expansion Set - Box Body (Einheitskoffer)

These are great little kits with a ton of options and excellent detail. Rubicon is continuing to improve their crew figures with each new release and these new kits certainly show that.

On the new rules front, Battlefront has released Red Thunder (FLW-FW909) and Fighting First (FOW-FW243) for Team Yankee and Flames of War 4th ed respectively. Red Thunder covers the Soviets in the Cold War and Fighting First brings the Americans into the fight for the desert in WWII.

Also new this month is Brigade Fire & Fury (MWB-FAF005). This is the newest book in the Fire & Fury American Civil War Family and is designed for battles where the basic unit is a brigade.

Finally, announced on Facebook this morning, Studio Tomahawk is publishing a second edition of the extremely popular SAGA rules. Theres not a lot of information currently available but it looks as though the main rulebook will cover all the settings of the game and there will be other books with additional scenarios and sourcebooks to cover different eras. The video shows samurai as well as referencing big characters like Joan of Arc and Achilles so it looks like the scope will be a bit bigger than the original game. This is due out sometime in 2018 and I’ll post more info as soon as it’s available.

September 18, 2017

TRENCH RUNNER REVIEW: Panzer Aces no.54 Special Issue Modern AFV

All the way from San Paolo Brazil our resident model geek Julian Conde gets his hands on a copy of Panzer Aces magazine for the first time!

This is my first copy of Panzer Aces Magazine, it came along with some other great publications I’ve received for review. Living in Brazil, which is a hard place to get cool and imported stuff (customs fees, exchange rate, politics, samba...etc) it’s very nice to finally get my hands on such great magazines from around the globe. I see them advertised on the web, every month a new magazine comes out with various subjects of interest and I wish I could get a subscription of all of them. I am a book and magazine lover. So, since this is my first contact with a series of new magazines, I will review it as a publication and not just this particular issue assuming that they follow this kind of layout and articles in past and future editions. This will be my look on as a first time reader.
click on images to enlarge them
The cover catches the eye right away. Very nicely weathered vehicles, printed with a nice matt finish. I love matt or satin finishes on books and magazines. I think it gives a better color rendition since there’s less artifacts from outside light and reflections. The feel of Panzer Aces is quite book-alike, but it stays a magazine with just 64 pages. They don’t say much on the cover, which is good since the photos speak for themselves.

On first page we get a index of articles. It's an good amount of subjects for a magazine, 5 total and a final modeling lesson. I've found that these days a magazine can follow two paths….one, they use just one subject and make it a step by step of weathering, building or super detailing a kit, and at most times they fail to do that with honor, because a magazine can’t fit all the processes used in a model in just one issue, being a magazine, not a book. This path also gets somewhat boring to read, you get a whole magazine about one thing, one subject, one example. That should not be a magazine but rather a specialized publication on a model, technique or whatever. The other path is the one Panzer Aces takes…various subjects, with great photos, and a general view and explanation on the techniques used for a given result. With less text and more photos we can get the idea. It’s like making a cake without seeing all the ingredients, but we know it tastes good afterwards. I like this way of rendering a magazine. So we can see various inspirational subjects, get to learn some new techniques, and see how the best-of-class modelers are building their stuff. It’s a bit of everything which makes a good read. They give you insights on scratch building, painting, weathering, etc. All the different process are covered, with more in-depth details here and there...

Here is a page showing the bare Luchs model ready for painting and weathering. We can see what was done with Voyager Photo Etched, the great DEF resin wheels (The best there is!) and some minor scratch details. As I mentioned, we get a small explanation on various details of the build. Quick hits and tips and not a step by step on every aspect...

We can see the great photo detail. It’s easy to understand a process with great images...

Below the subject is a U.S. Modern MTVR Truck, with quite a bit of scratch building. We can see in detail what was done and how it was achieved. I've been getting into scratch building these last couple years, making some parts out of green stuff and plasticard. It’s a good feeling to make something on your own. I recently made a canvas cover and seats for a Tamiya Simca 5, and it turned out great, and now it’s my Simca and is a signature project as there will be no 2 alike. Scratch building, converting models and parts follows this principle. Make it one of a kind, closer to the real thing and a true scale replica. Good to see this process in the magazine...

The result of the MTVR truck, great inspiration ! The modeler had a very nice idea with the cargo...

Th next subject, a Chinese Type 63 Tank, and here the modeler uses a technique to simulate rust areas that I’ve never seen before, and will try soon. It looks amazing!

The last subject of this edition is a small, quite tiny, almost Yugo-like BM-30 Smerch from Russia. This in 1/35th scale is almost the size of a hotel room. Maybe a Las Vegas Venetian Junior Suite. In real life this truck has it's own zip code for sure. The photos that show the assembly of the chassis, engine and suspension are awesome. Great engineering to make this kind of kit. We can see they list all the paints used, which is a very nice addition, sometimes we know how to make something, just not sure what colors to use. Great subject and very nice build…

The last pages had a great surprise for me... A quick “modeling lesson” on how to paint and weather exhausts for vehicles. This is a great guide and a true step by step on 3 different techniques. Loved this section…every issue of Panzer Aces now contains modeling lessons on a different topic each issue...

Conclusion : A very 'eye candy' magazine to look at. We get great current subjects, made by experienced modelers, that enlightens us with ideas on conversions, scratch building, painting and weathering our models. It’s also ad-free magazine, just pages of models and techniques. This means more of what we want! Very nice layout, great looking. Sometimes we don’t want a step by step article, we just want some inspiration, and this magazine delivers that. Can’t wait for the next issue!
You can order this issue from MTSC HERE

A MTSC SneaK PeeK: Panzer Aces Magazine no.55 Paper Panzers

Panzer Aces is a scale military vehicle magazine produced in Spain by Euro Modelismo/Accion Press and features high quality pictures and excellent step by step procedures by the most prestigious hobbyists on the international scene. The magazine also includes pretty unique visuals of the vehicles enhanced with numerous profiles by outstanding illustrators in the scale military hobby. Tricks, techniques, scenery tips, scale figure painting and photographic reviews about the real vehicles as these appear in the magazine. One of the best there is!

Click on all images to enlarge
Panzer Aces no.55
Special Issue Paper Panzers
Paper panzers, what if´s, prototypes, oddities, one-offs, and other marvellous vehicles are featured in this issue of Panzer Aces. Within this issue, you will find an insightful display of imagination, technique mastering and color useful for the highly attractive kits which have popped up on the market. Five vehicles are shown with highly detailed images, text and step-by-step guides sharing techniques, painting camouflages and weathering effects. This time, the Modelling Lessons chapter is how to paint tracks. 64 pages.
You can pre-order this issue from MTSC HERE

This is one of those vehicles known only by three or four extant photographs of which two units were made at most. In this article you will find an easy albeit laborious method for making a highly attractive circular camouflage scheme. Both the assembly and paintjob are very well executed and stand out because of its efficiency and simplicity. Oscar has succeeded in giving this vehicle a captivating finish.

This is a mid-run AFV from the Entwicklung series. David has made a few improvements which can be easily duplicated by anyone interested, adding a lot of interest to this kit. In this case, the highlight of this article resides in the paintjob and all the techniques and processes which David clearly explains: lights, hairspray technique, camouflage executed with masking, paint chips, dirt, splashes... He not only explains this clearly, he also shows us a highly attractive kit. We're sure that you will learn a lot from him.

This magnificent kit comes from the other end of the world. Such spectacular kits are quite uncommon. Kreangkrai makes a tantalizing display of imagination, technique mastering and color. The result is this incredible Maus. As you know only two units were made and only one of these had an armed turret. This incredibly talented author was forced to leave historical fidelity aside in order to avoid choking his inspiration and he gives us this visual delight of a Maus in the "what if" domain which we hope that you'll enjoy as much as we did.
The older brother of the Paper Panzer saga has fallen into the hands of José Brito. Expert hands like his' have gotten the most out of this beast. This article is quite interesting because José has made two different turret versions. As usual, he has placed his vehicle in a simple, yet beautiful diorama, full of different elements and small details which are quite relevant. Here you'll find all his "secrets" perfectly well explained with text and pictures. This is without question, well rounded work.

In spite of the consensus against works with more than one author, Xavi and Michel decided to unite their talents to create this project. We can readily see how much fun they had with it. Xavi took care of the assembly and Michel painted this kit. This is also a latter vehicle made in a very few units, and very little information is found dealing with it. However its attractive lines and its uncommon shapes make this a highly attractive piece for many modelers. Even if the part dealing with its assembly isn't very long, the assembly work wasn't easy and the painting section has been dealt with here step by step. The weathering and micro painting work needs to be singled out. This is another highly instructive article and we hope that you get the most out of it.

This time, we're dealing with how tracks can be painted. This is a crucial feature on AFV's and sadly many modelers don't pay enough attention and effort to it, failing to match the work made here with the work made on the rest of the vehicle. We show here two different approaches that will lead you to a similar result.

You can pre-order this issue from MTSC HERE
View all issue of Panzer Aces HERE
View our previous Panzer Aces Spotlight HERE

September 16, 2017

FRIDAY'S WITH FARLEY: Chicago 2017 Toy Soldier Show Edition

• The Good Stuff...

I can't wait The Vietnam War starts this Sunday on PBS. I've loved every documentary Ken Burns has made and this one promises to just as good if not better. I just picked up the book The Vietnam War: An Intimate History by Geoffrey C. Ward & Ken Burns that accompanies the series and it is fantastic. Everything you need to know about this series is on the PBS website

Ken Burns and Lynn Novick’s ten-part, 18-hour documentary series, THE VIETNAM WAR, tells the epic story of one of the most consequential, divisive, and controversial events in American history as it has never before been told on film. Visceral and immersive, the series explores the human dimensions of the war through revelatory testimony of nearly 80 witnesses from all sides—Americans who fought in the war and others who opposed it, as well as combatants and civilians from North and South Vietnam. Ten years in the making, the series includes rarely seen and digitally re-mastered archival footage from sources around the globe, photographs taken by some of the most celebrated photojournalists of the 20th Century, historic television broadcasts, evocative home movies, and secret audio recordings from inside the Kennedy, Johnson, and Nixon administrations. THE VIETNAM WAR features more than 100 iconic musical recordings from greatest artists of the era and haunting original music from Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross as well as the Silk Road Ensemble featuring Yo-Yo Ma.

The book...
The Vietnam War: An Intimate History by Geoffrey C. Ward & Ken Burns 
from PBS... More than forty years after it ended, the Vietnam War continues to haunt our country. We still argue over why we were there, whether we could have won, and who was right and wrong in their response to the conflict. When the war divided the country, it created deep political fault lines that continue to divide us today. Now, continuing in the tradition of their critically acclaimed collaborations, the authors draw on dozens and dozens of interviews in America and Vietnam to give us the perspectives of people involved at all levels of the war: U.S. and Vietnamese soldiers and their families, high-level officials in America and Vietnam, antiwar protestors, POWs, and many more. The book plunges us into the chaos and intensity of combat, even as it explains the rationale that got us into Vietnam and kept us there for so many years. Rather than taking sides, the book seeks to understand why the war happened the way it did, and to clarify its complicated legacy. Beautifully written and richly illustrated, this is a tour de force that is certain to launch a new national conversation.

• Knowledge Wins...

by Rusty Kern

A must have for any baby boomer who grew up with Marx playsets...this fantastic new book is being released at the Chicago Toy Soldier Show next week. You can also order it direct from the publisher Playset Magazine HERE. While your at it grab last years  book Fort Apache - The King of Playsets

This important toy soldier book is written for Marx collectors who want to straighten out the facts about the myriad of Marx Battle of the Blue & Gray playsets with their hundreds of pieces, for sellers who need to know precisely what goes in each set, or if you just want to relive the excitement of owning a Marx Civil War set. It is a book of broad toy soldier appeal. 

Marx Civil War features fresh, ALL-NEW INFORMATION, photos and contents lists and details on Marx Civil War playsets from throughout the company’s timeline 1955 – 1978, starting fresh from the Famous Americans through the 1960’s to Heritage and Storage Box sets. It’s all here in clear, authoritative detail. 

Bonus! OTHER MAKERS TOO! There’s also a special section on 1961-'65 Centennial-era Toys made by Marx and other makers: Beautiful vintage packaging in abundance for Lido, Timmee & MPC / Britain’s Civil War / Marx Cap Guns / Remco / Johnny Reb / Giant Civil War / Marx Warriors of the World / Vintage MPC / Remco / Lido / Timmee & other Civil War Toys much more. Includes cohesive historical notes of the day.

Every Civil War Playset - For the very first time, all in one place! 
Written by Rusty Kern with commentary by the World’s greatest Content Authorities.

Profusely illustrated:

100's of photos & big two-page spread photos
Every Marx playset, figure groups, colors and mold groups
Accessories, artillery and horses
Instructions, boxes, bags & vintage advertisements
Mint in box contents lists
Factory records and other documentation
This is a very complete, authoritative approach with easily extracted information for those who enjoy vintage Civil War toys and want more than just the facts. Discusses how sets are alike and how they are different. 

it's NEXT WEEK! Details HERE

Also debuting at the Chicago Show and we are bringing them back with us!