July 31, 2015

Trench Runner Matt Koltonow's Historical Gaming Observations

Hey everyone, Matt here with my observations on historical gaming. Last Saturday, our local Warlord Games Ranger, Paul ran a Bolt Action Demo and Open Day. We had a good turnout with some great looking tables. If you live in the Metro-Detroit Area we encourage you to stop by on the shop on Thursday nights when we have open game night, with a different game every week. Recent games we've played include Gripping Beast Saga, Osprey's Fighting Sail, Wings of Glory and FOW The Great War. our club is always looking to try new games so if you have one you would like to run please let me know and we will set up a day to play it.

After Paul's Warlord demos, we played two games For the Warlord Games Summer Offensive Campaign. For those of you not receiving their newsletter, Warlord is currently running a worldwide campaign and tracking results here: http://campaign.boltaction.com. The way it works is everyone world wide plays their games and then reports which army won. The site then tracks which nationalities have been winning or losing. I think this is a great idea for people playing Bolt Action. The process itself is pretty simple but the effect is spectacular. Each week in the campaign represents a year of the war with special rules simulating that. For example In week one, Britain doesn’t have Artillery support and Germany gets some extra points to spend. If you’re playing BA on a regular basis I can’t see a reason not to give it a try.

All this Bolt Action has gotten me interested in gaming WW2 again. I’ve collected a modest army of both Soviets and Germans that I use for both Bolt Action and Chain of Command. Too Fat Lardies is doing a phenomenal job of supporting Chain of Command right now with their pint sized campaigns. These are relatively cheap, 5-8 game campaigns complete with army lists, scenarios, and historical background. I’m working my way through some Warlord British Paratroopers right now, trying to get enough finished to play the second Campaign, Kampfgruppe von Luck. I’ve really enjoyed the few games of Chain of Command I’ve played so far and look forward to playing more. The rules do a good job simulating WW2 tactics without being too dense. What’s really nice is that with just a modifications to your army list you can use the same forces for both Bolt Action and Chain of Command.
One of my Warlord British Paratroopers

Finally, I recently purchased the Battlegroup core rules. I’m still eagerly awaiting the Blitzkrieg supplement as I’ve always had a soft spot for Early War. Our group had a chance to demo the game with the Overlord supplement a while back and it was a hit. I think one of the big things that draws gamers to WW2 is all the cool toys, and boy does battlegroup have them. The system has a lot of interesting mechanics (enough to merit its own post) and unique ideas, especially in regards to its morale system. I’m always hesitant to start a new scale but a book like Blitzkrieg will probably provide the motivation. Now, if only Plastic Soldier Company made some French infantry…

Don't forget the MTSC Game Room is open all day Saturday for open gaming. 

July 30, 2015

FIGURE OF THE WEEK #83: Beach Bunny Catchin' Rays

Hot fun in the Summertime!
We are right smack in the middle of the dog days of summer and what better way to celebrate them then with this classic plastic 60s babe known as "Beach Bunny Catchin' Rays" This groovy gal hails from the Hawk Models Silly Surfer range an off shoot of the Weird-Ohs. Issued starting in 1964 the Silly Surfers were designed by Rueben Klamer. Who? You know...Rueben Klamer the guy who designed the Game of Life for Milton Bradley! The figures were sculpted by Bob Allen who was one of the creators of Tom & Jerry. Along with her beach pals Hodad Makin' The Scene, Hot Dogger & Surf Bunny Ridin' Tandum, Woodie on Surfari and Hot Dogger Hangin' Ten, Beach Bunny put a smile on many a baby boomer model builders face. Believe or not these classic kits are still available today in the form of Hawk reissues. So order up a Silly Surfer and start your own Endless Summer!

So to Beach Bunny we bestow the coveted Figure of the Week award and what a figure it is! Grrr....

July 27, 2015

Another Somewhat Daily Dose of Useless Tidbits for July 27, 2015

Good Reads
Figure Painter Magazine Issue 27
Is Now Available for Download

from the publisher..
Issue 27- We have a pretty cool issue for you this month, which kicks off with a fantastic Insight interview with Italian painter Francesco ‘Franciuus’ Farabi who, I’m sure you’ll all agree, is a true master of his art. We also have interviews with Marrow Production, the guys behind the new Journey, Wrath of Demons board game and someone whom I consider a really top bloke. Tommie Soule is this month’s focus in our Best of British series. We take a look at a new range of Mr. Color Metallic paints from GSO Creos and an in-depth look at some crackle mediums. Then we take a close look at products from DarkStar Miniatures, Pegaso Models, Marrow Production, Tiny Leads and the books by Laslo Adoba, as well as all of our other regular features.

STILL THE BEST DEAL ON THE WEB! FPM is available as a downloaded PDF for less then $2.00 a copy.  FPM is a independent magazine dedicated to sculpting, painting, displaying, collecting and gaming with miniature figures from all genre's. The magazine has details on new releases, reviews, interviews with the industries top painters and sculptors, show reports, tutorials and a user gallery.

Good Art!
Is it live or is it Memorex?
A Masterwork. 1/35th scale diorama titled 'Crete May 1941' by KarBor. more views HERE
Good God?
So many kits...So little time!
The Art of the of the Toy Soldier #86. 

July 23, 2015

Product Spotlight: New Deluxe Materials Strip Magic

Strip Magic
No we haven't started strip club to pay the bills. Instead we rely products from  innovative companies like Deluxe Materials the producers world class modeling products to come up new must have products like their new paint stripping formula that...
• Softens and removes paint from plastic in minutes.
 Stays where it is applied.
 May be used on plastic, resin, metals etc.
 Non-corrosive & Non-flammable.
 A fast acting, spreadable and controllable paint stripper that will soften and remove paints and primers, typically within 5-15 minutes according to paint type.

Instructions for use: Mask off area. Apply with brush or cotton bud and it goes to work straight away. Allow paint to soften and check progress frequently. Clean off softened paint residue as it forms with methylated spirit or isopropyl alcohol using a small brush or cotton bud. Do not leave Strip Magic on the bare surface of clean plastic for periods over ten minutes. Feel the Magic HERE

Have a look at this excellent product video Deluxe has provided.

But that's not all. Want the magic to never end? Then have a look at Brush Magic the fast acting brush cleaner from Deluxe. Brush Magic performs HERE

I can honestly say that I have used both of these products recently and it's true! They work like Magic!

July 21, 2015

Another Somewhat Daily Dose of Useless Tidbits for July 21, 2015

Found on Facebook
Panzermania AFV Modeling
Features the current work of one of the world’s top modelers Özgür Güner.
This Facebook Find in turn led me to his web site: Panzermania by Özgür Güner
Özgür has produced numerous articles on AFV building for many major modeling publications all listed on his site along with a Gallery of his incredible work. A truly inspirational, beautifully designed website for any modeler to visit. A Five* site.

Good Stuff
Drool worthy man-caves and game layouts for gamers! From Game On! our newest photo album now on Facebook. 

Gotta cool game board? A cool military man-cave? Got anything cool related to warming?? Send it to us and we will add it to our album.
Shameless Commercial Plug 

Good Art
Ramesh Bishop was commissioned to create a WWII D-Day diorama depicting invasion damage on Normandy Beach both on the beachhead and below the water. Scale: 1/48 scale, Plexi model overall dimensions: 20” deep x 29” wide x 10” high  >>> more views on our Facebook feed HERE
Is it live or is it Memorex?
A Masterwork in 1/35th scale!

The Parting Shot!

July 17, 2015

Another Somewhat Daily Dose of Useless Tidbits for July 17, 2015

Found on Facebook
Simple Tool To Engrave Bolts & Rivets
Nice quickie "photo tip" found on the Facebook page of JM.Villalba

Good Art
Rumpler C.VI by EricGalliers, 1/32nd scale Wingnut Wings kit.
>>> more views in our The Art of War - Modeling WWI Aircraft HERE

This is a massive Civil War diorama was created by the Playset Addict. Using commercially available figures and scenics from Britains, Old Northwest, Conte, TSSD, Collectors Showcase, Traverse Diorqmics, Formtech and figures the PA painted himself by TSSD and others. There are close to 100 images of this incredible work of art which have been divided into five different sections.

View Part Five

 It's Finally Friday!!! Join the party at Michigan Toy Soldier. We have been offering History Thru Hobbies Since 1996! We are open Friday's 11-6 ET and 11-5 ET Saturday & Sunday. Too far? Our website www.michtoy.com is 24/7. We have everything you need to to make your project AMAZING! And..our crack staff is ready to help.

July 13, 2015

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

Found on Facebook

How to use AK Chrome Xtreme Metal  
Nice quickie "photo tip" look at this great new product in use.

"The Civil War Part 1"
This is a massive Civil War diorama created by the Playset Addict. Using commercially available figures and scenics from Britains, Old Northwest, Conte, TSSD, Collectors Showcase, Traverse Diorqmics, Formtech and figures the PA painted himself by TSSD and others. This is just Part One! There are 5 parts and we will feature them all here. View all 13 images of this piece 
Good Art
Monday Mind Blower is this WWII 1/35th scale diorama by Roger Pirtle >>>more views HERE

Good Stuff
'Images of War - The Color of War' Album >>> HERE

(All In )Good Fun

The Parting Shot!

July 10, 2015

Another Somewhat Daily Dose of Useless Tidbits for July 10, 2015

Good Links
Jordi Bru  is a military/historical professional photographer who portrays armies and battles with images from real recreations of the Napoleonic wars. The realization of this work requires an exhaustive preliminary documentation, both through literature and direct consultations with military museums. After collecting all the photographic materials, field and studio, composition of the final images is done using digital retouching. As a result, you get an artistic representation of the famous scenes from military history.

This site is in Spanish but a quick Google Translation made it easy to read and understand.

Good Art
The Tirpitz, sister of the Bismarck Battleship, made of 71.000 matches.
>>>detail views HERE
Good Art
'Remains of an Empire'
A stunning 1/72nd scale diorama by Rene Hieronymus. >>>more views HERE

Good Stuff
'The Art of the of the Toy Soldier" #83 >>>view our complete collection HERE

Good Stuff
Images of War - The American Civil War Collection >>> HERE
(All In )Good Fun
The Parting Shot!

July 07, 2015

Another Somewhat Daily Dose of Useless Tidbits for July 7, 2015

 Good Reads
Lens of War: Exploring Iconic Photographs of the Civil War by J. Matthew Gallman

In terms of both concept and content, Lens of War is unlike any other title in Civil War scholarship. Editors J. Matthew Gallman and Gary Gallagher began with a simple equation: one photograph + one historian = one essay. They asked several scholars to choose a photograph from the conflict. Whether the image is iconic or obscure, a personal favorite or a scholarly inspiration, or one that most encapsulates an interpretation of the war, authors were then tasked with writing a relatively brief essay about it. Images I’ve stared at since boyhood—and others I’d never seen—come into fresh focus through the scholarly yet personal gaze of leading historians. This revelatory and highly readable book will captivate longtime students of the Civil War.
  The UnCivil Wars series at the University of Georgia Press describes itself as “dedicated to new ways of seeing and telling the American Civil War.” Lens of War actually manages to tell the war by seeing it. Moreover, it illuminates not only how photographs shape our understandings and memories of the war, but also how we teach it, and how images—even in black and white—will always hold a special power the written world alone simply cannot supply.

Good Images
for July 7, 2015

Good Information
InScale.org is an international community of modelers founded by modelers. Its aim is to to bring the community reviews, news and feature articles to modelers and for them to show progress with their latest work, ask for help, and to be able to share ideas and tips.
Good God... WTF?
Model stash..you're doing it right!

Good Art
Corporal, 5th Regiment New York Volunteers 
54mm by Masahiro Fukaya
more views HERE