November 26, 2015

Happy Thanksgiving from All of us at Michigan Toy Soldier!

Thanksgiving is a wonderful time of the year to think about all the things we are thankful for and to spend time with family and friends. Take some time out and enjoy the holidays. We want to thank you for your support, faith and trust in our products and services throughout the past year. 


MTSC's Caption This Image #107 Winner + This week's photo for Caption This Image #108

Caption This Image #107 Winner


It's Thursday so...we have a winner for last weeks image contest. John P. Gulyas who entered via Facebook has snagged one of the most coveted prize in the sport of Image Captioning which is of course is a $50.00 Gift Card from Michigan Toy Soldier.
- - - - - - - - - - - - - 
CAPTION THIS IMAGE #108 TEASER


Here is this weeks image. Come up with the wittiest caption for this image you will win a $50.00 gift card from Michigan Toy Soldier Company. Just think... you get free stuff and you get show off your comedic charms that will fly around the world via ‘Over The Top’ , ‘News From The Front’ Blog, Google+ & Facebook pages. We will post the winning entry right here next Thursday.

Email your entries to: michtoystaff@michtoy.com

FYI- Have a cool image you'd like to get captioned? Send it to us at michtoystaff@michtoy.com and we will give you $25.00 gift card for any images used.

November 24, 2015

FIGURE OF THE WEEK #93: Remco's Hamilton's Invaders Playset


The Hamilton's Invaders was a 1964 series of plastic toys of giant insect type monsters, toy soldiers and vehicles. The toyline was conceived and marketed by Remco on television during the early 1960s, inspired by the giant insect genre that were popular from the 1950s, that were in reruns on TV. I should mention this was back in the day when large retail department stores had 'exclusive' toy items and as such this playset was available only at Sears.



Remco's Hamilton's Invaders series of toys enables children to explore the age old question: "What would happen if the earth were attacked by giant bugs?" Remember, this was 1964.
Horrible Hamilton and his yellow friend The Spider were the two antagonists in this line. They were spring-motored which allowed them to walk and bite with their pinchers. The good guys were blue army-men sized soldiers in varying poses of shooting these pests. They were additionally equipped with a wind-up jeep, tank and helicopter.


Remco also made a few child-sized pieces - the Grenade Pistol and Bug Helmet so you could play the part of bug killer while outfitted for the part!. The vehicles and the child-sized toys all had a sticker with Hamilton's Invaders and the pincher logo on them.



Meet our newest Trench Runner Steve Lowenthal

We welcome our newest Trench Runner Steve Lowenthal who as his bio below shows has been modeling a long long time. Steve will bring a the insight of a seasoned modeler who is happy to share his experiences with everyone.

I started modeling as a kid, back in the days when TV's and phones had dials, kids read comic books and they played outside. My favorite kits to build were airplanes and the occasional auto. I took the inevitable detour when I became a teenager and went off to college. After school, while working in the arts, my attentions returned to modeling. I have been building ever since. Today I live with my wife and two daughters on Long Island in New York. Where I own a firm that builds custom computers.

While my interests have mainly stayed with aircraft, usually 1/48, with 1/32 coming in a close second, I have expanded my builds to include 1/35 armor and 1/350 ships. In addition, my tastes also include Fantasy and Super Hero figure painting in 72mm and 1/6. I enjoy all aspects of modeling, from construction, painting and weathering. I am particularly interested in the extra detail aftermarket and scratch building lends to the hobby. I haven't built "out of the box" since discovering Verlinden Productions back in the '80's. Using both aftermarket and scratch, I enjoy the challenge of fitting as much detail into a project as I can.

My goal, in participating in this blog, is to pass along my experiences in this hobby. Part of what makes modeling interesting is that, generally, there is no "right" way of doing things. It was only by trial and error that I developed different methods that gave me the results I was looking for. However, if you are building "Out of the Box" to building "Super Detailed" wonders, my "musings" should be only one stop in researching your skills. I am "just a guy making models". I hope to convey this in my writings. 

There are several modeling web sites I follow daily. All have excellent information and have a worldwide community to share your hobby with. Most are free, but some do require a membership fee for full site access. I recommend you check them out if you haven't already.

Hypercale.com
Internationalscalemodeller.com
Florymodels.com
Genessis-models.co.uk
Aircraftresourcecenter.com
Largescaleplanes.com
The Kitmaker Network at kitmaker.com
Modelwarships.com
Modelingmadness.com
Scalemodellingnow.com

Most of these allow people to share their work with others in the community. Personally, I post work on International Scale Modeller and occasionally on Flory Models. I can also be found on the International Scale Modeller Facebook page putting my 2 cents in answering people's questions.

Finally, I often see people new to the hobby admiring the work others post and bemoaning how their work will never look as good. I've even seen people say they were giving up on modeling because they thought they could never produce similar quality models. If there is one thing I can tell novice modelers, don't look at other peoples work as unobtainable. Remember, the reason these people can produce such enviable models is because of their experience. It's only through building many models, that you will develop the skills and knowledge to produce such results. And yes, they failed. They more than likely failed multiple times. Failure is knowledge too, so the key is not being afraid to fail. As you continue to build, the failures will become far and few between. Experience builds great models. One last thing I would add is never stop learning. I am constantly buying new books, watching others work and modifying my methods. Watching how others accomplish tasks and use products will lead you to new methods, new ways and sometimes, better ways.

November 21, 2015

Get free stuff!



We are looking for people to contribute to our Blog & Collectors Area. Tutorials, Quick Tips, Step-by-Step articles, Interviews, Show reports and details and reviews on new releases, out-of-the-box (unboxing) features. If you are interested in contributing please contact us at michtoystaff@michtoy.com

Matt Koltonow Review's Painting Wargaming Figures by Javier Gomez Review

Painting Wargaming Figures by Javier Gomez
Pen & Sword Books

 When it comes to buying reference material for painting, gaming, or history I’m usually looking for something specific. The books that end up staying on the shelf near my desk tend to be books I know I’ll thumb through again 6 months down the road. Painting Wargaming Figures by Javier Gomez is definitely one of these. This 218 page book covers pretty much all these basics from start to finish.

The book is broken down into 4 main sections. Basics, Colours, Themes, and Other Scales. The basics section covers what brands of paints to use, what tools to obtain, and some general tips. Included in here is a brief discussion on what color primer to use as well as an overview of different techniques such as Drybrushing and washes. Theres a few things in here that I’ve heard called other names but everything is explained thoroughly enough that I could tell what the author was trying to convey.

The next two sections focus on actually painting figures. Section two is done by color and section three is done by theme. The author does a good job identifying which figures he’s painting and uses almost all vallejo paints. This makes it easy to follow along which helps quite a bit. I’m all for using different product lines in my painting but sometimes it can be hard to follow if the painter jumps all over the place. Each chapter covers a different color and shows more than one method of painting each color. The figures range from ancient to modern and include some fantasy figures.

The third section is organized by theme. Each of these chapters covers a different theme such as Flesh or Horses. This section also includes a rather extensive section on basing as well as chapters on hand painted flags and shields. Again all the information is easy to follow. Each chapter has charts to tell you the exact colors to use and where mixing is required. As I mentioned earlier the author uses all kinds of techniques including washes and dry brushing and these are all labeled in these charts.
The final section of the book briefly covers painting in other scales with guides to paint in 54mm, 20mm, 15mm, 10mm, and 6mm. This section is significantly shorter than the others but that’s fine as the focus really is on 28mm figures.

Overall this book is fantastic. All the information in here is easy to find and very easy to follow. The photos are great very detailed. The individual paint charts tend to use a lot of mixing however its a good guide for picking colors and in most cases the color choice is explained in the text. The author covers a huge variety of subject matters, techniques, and tips in a very easy to follow format. I absolutely recommend this book to wargamers of any paint level.
View Product Here

Sample Pages:
...

Product Spotlight: Revell Unleashes 'Star Wars: The Force Awakens' Kits


Revell, an Elk Grove Village, Il. based maker of model kits has released nine new model kits for 'Star Wars: The Force Awakens' - all entry-level ships from the movie — joining the hordes of licensed “The Force Awakens” products from various companies in advance of the film’s Dec. 18 U.S. release.

Aimed at ages 6 and up, the first four kits in the series deliver hyper-realistic replicas of the new movie's Millennium Falcon™, Poe's X-Wing Fighter™, Resistance X-Wing Fighter™ and First Order Special Forces Tie Fighter™ – complete with moving parts like retractable landing gear, open/close cockpit hatches, wings that open into attack mode, and even battle action lights and sounds.
Star Wars The Force Awakens SnapTite Build & Play™
RMX-1632 Star Wars The Force Awakens: Resistance X-Wing Fighter w/Sound (Snap) 
RMX-1633 Star Wars The Force Awakens: Millennium Falcon w/Sound & Lights (Snap) 
RMX-1634 Star Wars The Force Awakens: First Order Special Forces Tie Fighter w/Sound & Lights (Snap) 
RMX-1635 Star Wars The Force Awakens: Poes X-Wing Fighter w/Sound (Snap)
Order HereEach of the four SnapTite Build & Play™ model kits has 15 to 20 pre-decorated parts with no need for glue, paint or tools, takes roughly 30 minutes to assemble, and can keep kids engaged for hours after the last piece is clicked into place. They are also the first to use Revell's new DuraMod™ snap design, an innovation in the model market highlighted by extra durability, easy handling and assembly, a high level of detail, and interactivity not available in traditional models.


Star Wars The Force Awakens SnapTiteMax Build & Play™
RMX-1822 Star Wars The Force Awakens: Millennium Falcon (Snap Max) 
RMX-1823 Star Wars The Force Awakens: Resistance X-Wing Fighter (Snap Max) 
RMX-1824 Star Wars The Force Awakens: First Order Special Forces Tie Fighter (Snap Max) 
RMX-1825 Star Wars The Force Awakens: Poes X-Wing Fighter (Snap Max) 
RMX-1826 Star Wars The Force Awakens: Kylo Rens Command Shuttle (Snap Max)
Order HereThe second wave of five SnapTite Max Build & Play™model kits are for for ages 8 and up and contain 35- to 65 pieces that require no glue or paint.

December will see Revell's introduction of The Master Series consisting of three classic Star Wars paint and glue kits from Fine Molds for serious Star Wars model enthusiasts. The Master Series Fine Molds line will include 1:48 scale X-Wing fighter and Tie Fighter and 1:72 scale Millennium Falcon models with piece counts up to 900, providing the highest degree of detail of any model kit available


The Master Series™
RMX-5091 Star Wars Master Series X-Wing Fighter 1:72
RMX- Star Wars Master Series Tie Fighter 1:72
RMX-5093 Star Wars Master Series Millennium Falcon 1:72
Pre-order HERE


...

November 19, 2015

MTSC's Caption This Image #106 Winner + This week's photo for Caption This Image #107

Caption This Image #106 Winner


It's Thursday so...we have a winner for last weeks image contest. R. Jay Kirkman who entered via email has snagged one of the most coveted prize in the sport of Image Captioning which is of course is a $50.00 Gift Card from Michigan Toy Soldier.
- - - - - - - - - - - - - 
CAPTION THIS IMAGE #107 TEASER


Here is this weeks image. Come up with the wittiest caption for this image you will win a $50.00 gift card from Michigan Toy Soldier Company. Just think... you get free stuff and you get show off your comedic charms that will fly around the world via ‘Over The Top’ , ‘News From The Front’ Blog, Google+ & Facebook pages. We will post the winning entry right here next Thursday.

Email your entries to: michtoystaff@michtoy.com

FYI- Have a cool image you'd like to get captioned? Send it to us at michtoystaff@michtoy.com and we will give you $25.00 gift card for any images used.

November 18, 2015

Another Somewhat Daily Dose of Useless Tidbits for November 18, 2015

Links & Web Gems:
Tabletop Gaming — Modeling Tips and Tricks
on the Make website
Nice article on all facets of working with miniatures including basing models, creating fur, tool tips, painting tips etc.. Nice overview By Gareth Branwyn 


Duh! Random Funny Stuff
Awesome images....


Too cool History...
Robert Hardy, 89, is a military enthusiast who studied English literature under J.R.R. Tolkien. He is selling off a huge collection of books, artwork and furniture. Among the objects is a huge 3D diorama of the Battle of Agincourt. The 3D model was commissioned specially by Mr Hardy from artist L.M. Rendall in the 1960s. The piece was rendered in amazing detail showing the progress of the battle in 1415


MichToy Quick Tip: Razor wire made simple....
and don't forget...

November 17, 2015

FIGURE OF THE WEEK #92: ATLANTIC COWBOY, 60mm Plastic Circa 1970s

ATLANTIC COWBOY, 60mm Plastic Circa 1970s
If it's Tuesday then it's time for the Art of the Toy Soldier. This week’s offering comes from accomplish toy soldier author, painter and historian Tom Stark. A regular contributor to Playset and Plastic Warrior magazines as well as our blog and the owner of Two Trees miniatures, Tom knows his stuff so let’s see what he has to say: 

This is an Atlantic soft plastic cowboy of 1970s-80s vintage. Atlantic was an Italian maker producing most all of their figures in both 60 and 25mm (1/72nd scale). In their 60mm themed western sets you would typically get between 8 to 12 unique poses and often some accompanying accessory pieces. Typically mounted figures were separate from their horses but not this poor fellow. Measuring about 8 inches long it is an excellent example of how a talented sculptor could create a figure full of motion before the days of multi-piece figures glued together after molding. This one comes from from the ultra cool OutLaws & Sherriff's set.


November 16, 2015


Links & Web Gems: Off the Beaten Track..the Chubachus Library of Photographic History

A really cool blog from the Chubachus Library of Photographic History contains some great stereo views that have been animated. I couldn't find any other info on this blog other than...The place for the most fascinating photographs from history specializing in animating stereoscopic images. Below are some of the cool November postings.

Here are three Views of Union Soldiers Posing in Front of a Lean-to Shelter During the Civil War Near Lewinsville, Virginia (1861)
"Picket guard on the alert, near Lewinsville, Va."
"Picket guard, Lewinsville, Va." Civil War-era colorization of the same stereoview
Higher resolution version of the scene
A line of bodies of dead Confederate soldiers gathered for burial the day after fighting on Alsop's Farm during the Battle of Spotsylvania Court House, May 20, 1864. By Timothy O'Sullivan. Animated stereo view.

American soldiers of the 79th Infantry Division posing with captured German POWs and machine guns during World War 1. From the Official History of the 315th Infantry.
Portrait of three unidentified Sanitary Commission nurses during the Civil War.
From Miller's Photographic History of the Civil War.

November 13, 2015

Another Somewhat Daily Dose of Useless Tidbits for November 13, 2015

Works of Art?

Random Funny Stuff

Just saw the Peanuts movie with my wife & loved it... brings back great memories & is a lot of fun. View Trailer


and..Snoppy takes on the Red Baron once again!

Which reminded me of the old Monogram kits...


Sneak Peek: The latest diorama tool for modelers..the ez-brick layer..coming soon

November 12, 2015

Tom Stark's Plastic Passions #5 Paragon American Civil War Figures

Our large scale plastic figure guru Tom Stark takes a look at the new Paragon ACW figures...


I'm back to new figures with this entry on the four, 60 mm American Civil War figures made by Paragon in both blue and grey soft plastic. At least some of these figures were produced with separate arms but these have been cemented in place at the factory and only the heads remain to be placed by you. There are a variety of heads including one kepi and about three styles of broad brimmed hat. The space between the arms of the thrusting overhead pose is a bit cramped for the brimmed hats but you can get one to fit in with a little stubbornness.  I like the poses which are what I’ll call close order combat poses. Hand to hand thrusting with bayonets or reacting/reeling backwards from the thrust of an opponent or the saber of a cavalryman. The running, one leg up and thrusting to the left figure, shown as a rebel in the photos is particularly well animated, dramatic and useful in a charging group although he does take a bit of straightening in hot water to stand up. Not uncommon these days, all the weapons need this treatment also.

Paragon with a CTS Confederate and mtd. TSSD figure
These fellows are a perfect scale match for the San Diego Toy Soldiers, Conte’s now seemingly defunct plastic and the larger CTS not to mention many of the old 60mm figures out there such as Reamsa. I’ve shown a TSSD cavalryman and infantryman for size and color comparisons. Of course this rebel grey fits in well with most all confederate greys. Something about greys that slight shade variations all seem to blend together well to my eyes. Not so much Union blues which by rights should be a deep navy but dark colors just don’t show the detail so the convention by makers seems to be a rather wide variety of medium to light blues.  Paragon’s is a light medium blue and just a touch darker than TSSD’s.

Paragon with TSSD figures
The sculpting style is bold with features such as pack straps and belts and equipment standing out from the base figure. At the same time, the figures have a softness to them almost as if the plastic was just the slightest bit warm when ejected from the mold and the edges of all the details slumped very slightly. It appears to be more a factor of the plastic used than the mold but I could be imagining this. It is a minor point and does not take away from the figures in any meaningful way or make them unsuitable for mixing with other makers but it is there as I think some of the close-up photos show. Perhaps I am turning into one of those overly-critical “experts” so feel free to send me some hate mail and shrink my swollen head!

The figures come packaged is sets of 12, so three of each pose at around $1.50 each so an excellent buy for adding to existing ACW battlefields.  And now I’ve talked myself into the topic for my next entry; a look at Reamsa today.

MTSC's Caption This Image #105 Winner + This week's photo for Caption This Image #106

Caption This Image #105 Winner

by McAndrew Redistill 

by Shawn Richard Peterson
It's Thursday so...we have a winner for last weeks image contest. McAndrew Redistill who entered via email has snagged one of the most coveted prize in the sport of Image Captioning which is of course is a $50.00 Gift Card from Michigan Toy Soldier. And we also have a runner up...Shawn Richard Peterson who entered right here on Facebook with "Extreme Rivet Counter" and snags a $25.00 MTSC Gift Card.
- - - - - - - - - - - - - 
CAPTION THIS IMAGE #106 TEASER



Here is this weeks image. Come up with the wittiest caption for this image you will win a $50.00 gift card from Michigan Toy Soldier Company. Just think... you get free stuff and you get show off your comedic charms that will fly around the world via ‘Over The Top’ , ‘News From The Front’ Blog, Google+ & Facebook pages. We will post the winning entry right here next Thursday.

Email your entries to: michtoystaff@michtoy.com

FYI- Have a cool image you'd like to get captioned? Send it to us at michtoystaff@michtoy.com and we will give you $25.00 gift card for any images used.