July 30, 2016

MTSC PRODUCT RELEASE NEWS: The Latest Perry & Gripping Beast 28mm Plastic Sets

Latest 28mm plastic sets from Gripping Beast and Perry Miniatures.

Perry Miniatures
PRM-VLW01 British Infantry in Afghanistan and Sudan 1877-85
This box contains 36 plastic multipose British Infantry designed for the Second Afghan War, Sudan and the Third Anglo- Burmese War. It also includes unit bases and an information sheet with 8 flags.

These will be part of a new range ‘Victoria’s Little Wars’ (VLW) and include occasional dips into various smaller wars of her reign.

Gripping Beast
GBP-GBP09 Late Roman Infantry
44 figures in total. Inside you will find 8 frames from which you can build 16 unarmoured archers, 16 unarmoured spearmen and 8 armoured spearmen. There are also alternative parts to arm some of your spearmen with drawn swords (up to 8 armoured and 8 unarmoured). There are two frame each with and Officer and Standard Bearer/musician with your choice of Vexillium or Dracos! Also contains plastic bases, enough for all 44 figures.

Gripping Beast Saga
GBP-SRB06 Saga: Age of the Wolf Campaign Book
Age Of The Wolf is a complete system for 2 or more players with each player leading a 4 point war band, (from any of the dark age factions), in an ongoing struggle to gain land and wealth and build reputation. Contesting the ultimate prize of becoming king. 
View to Pre-order HERE

July 29, 2016

"I'M SAYIN' WHAT?" Contest #19 Winner + This week's teaser for "I 'M SAYIN' WHAT?" #20

"I'm Sayin' What?" #19 WINNER
It's Thursday so...we have a winner for last weeks “I’m Saying What” contest. Mark Sizemore has snagged one of the most coveted prizes on earth...which is of course is a $25.00 Gift Card from Michigan Toy Soldier.

"I'm Sayin' What?" #20 Teaser
Here's our image for this weeks contest. All you have to do is come up with the wittiest quote for the word bubble and you will win a $25.00 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’ 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.

July 26, 2016

FIGURE OF THE WEEK #124: "PRESENT ARMS" by Old Northwest Trading Company

Inspired by the cover of 'YANK' Magazine this two figure vignette from the Old Northwest Images of War series was issued in limited quantities in 2010. At the time we didn't know the background or have any concrete information of the soldier behind the photo. Having recently been contacted by his daughter we now have the backstory on one of our favorite images from WWII. 

The image was first published in YANK magazine Continental Edition of January 14, 1945, entitled "PRESENT ARMS" That happy-hunting grin is on the face of Pfc. Robert Leigh who has accumulated a rather sizeable collection of enemy guns including a MP.38, MP.40's, MG.34 and an MG42 that he took from Germans who were routed out of basements in Duren, Germany, by the men of the 83d Division during the bloody Battle of the Hürtgen Forest. The picture was taken in Gurzenich (Düren), Germany, probably just after the 1st and 2nd Battalion of the 329th Infantry Regiment had cleared the city.

Pfc. Robert E. Leigh
Pfc. Robert E. Leigh, from Washington DC, was born on September 15, 1919. He had a Grammar school education and his occupation was listed as "Plumbers, gas fitters and steam fitters". Robert Leigh (#33044651) enlisted in the service on May 22, 1941 in Richmond, Virginia. In the European Theatre of Operation (ETO), he was a Rifleman, Private First Class in the 83rd Infantry Division, 329st. Infantry Regiment, 1st Battalion, B Company, where he was assigned on July 24, 1944, while the Company was in the vicinity of Sainteny, Normandy, France. Robert E. Leigh died at age 76, on January 26, 1996

We Buy-Sell-Trade AeroArt - St. Petersburg Collection Russian Miniatures

We Buy Collections and Accumulations of New & Old Toy Soldiers, Action Figures, Military Die-cast, Historical Miniatures, Historical Reference Books, Militaria, Vintage Toys and Related items. We also accept consignments. Please call toll free 1-888-642-4869 or email michtoystaff@michtoy.com to get a quote or for our consignment terms and conditions.

PB50W Carthaginian War Elephant

4021 Roman Scorpion & Figures

Always looking for quality collections including but not exclusive to:
Barclay, Manoil, American Metal, Elastolin, Lineol, Marx, Timpo, Airfix, ESCI, Xiloplasto, Cromoplasto, Chialu, Nardi, Britains, Deetail, Herald, Timpo, Starlux, Reamsa, Cherilea, Jecsan, JoHillco, Durso, Ducal, Tradition, Imperial Productions, Conte Collectibles, Mignot, Clairet, Trophy of Wales, King & Country, Aeroart & The St. Petersburg Collection, John Jenkins, Collectors Showcase and all other makers of metal and plastic figures any in any scale.

July 25, 2016

MTSC PRODUCT SPOTLIGHT: Magic Water by Unreal Details

Magic Water by Unreal Details
Year in and Year out Magic Water is one of our best selling products. It's hands down the best product out there for simulating water in just about any type of scenario. It's uses for modelers and dioramas are endless.

Unreal Details is a one man show by Dave Williams and is based here in Michigan. As the 'About Us' from Unreal Dave says...After a long search for the ideal water modeling resin, Magic Water came to be. Magic Water will not yellow, shrink, crack, or bubble when you add debris. It is user-friendly, not needing to be heated or layered and leaving ample working time before setting up. Magic Water sets up in as little as 12 hours and not more than 24, depending on the atmospheric conditions. Each carton of Magic Water contains enough resin (18 ounces) to make any average-sized project. It comes complete with a multi-page color booklet and instruction guide loaded with water modeling tips and techniques on making ponds, lakes, streams, rivers, rapids, waterfalls, swamps, swimming pools, mud puddles, and more! We are sure you will find Magic Water to be the easiest and most realistic product you have tried

Click Here to View Our Magic Water Demo on You Tube

July 23, 2016

TRENCH RUNNER Nathan Hutchison takes a look at the Scale 75 Shades of Doom Paint Set

All images can be enlarged by clicking on them
View to order Scale75 paint  HERE

This is a review of Scale75’s Shades of Doom (ref.SSE-019) paint-set. This set is a part of their Fantasy and Games range, for Scalecolor (the title of their Acrylics line). A range produced and marketed for fantasy figure painting. Therefore, the hues that you’ll find in this range are more saturated, and are generally difficult to find in “naturally”.

There are 8 colors in the set, in 17 ML dropper bottles. S75 Markets them as high durability, high saturation, and valid for brush and airbrush Other consumers have noted the matte finish of the paint. I can attest to this, it dries very matte. Not as matte as Reaper Master Series, in my opinion, but much more matte than Vallejo Model Color.

The colors included are formulated to work together to create distinct tones. Rich blacks, deep blues with green tints and red shadows, seem to be the most prominent applications. 

  However, that does not mean that these paints do not have their individual capabilities. I find most of them to be fantastic colors on their own. Especially, Miskatonic Grey, and Necro Grey.

This is Tindalos Red straight
out of the bottle,
with a few seconds of shaking.
It came out thick and goopy.
Just to start, I dropped some Tindalos Red on a piece of palette paper. 
 - Initially the paint is rather gelatinous. There seems to be a significant amount of binder deposited with the pigment. Meaning, you need to shake the dickens out of these paints to get them smooth, out of the bottle.
- I decided to shake in intervals to see how long it would take to get the paint well mixed.
- The first splotch, starting from the left, is 30 seconds. A lot of binder in this one. The second is minute, and is not satisfactory yet. The third is 2 minutes, and I am satisfied. But two. Two whole minutes of shaking. That’s quite a long time. Definitely a drawback of the line, as I found this to be a problem with all of the colors. 
- For a little reference, I placed similar colors in Model Color, and Reaper Master Series next to Tindalos Red
- The S75 color is richer than the two. Good balance of saturation and intensity.
- To get more familiar, I pulled out the paints and applied them individually to a piece of palette paper. I stretched them out the see their consistency out of the bottle, and mixed them with a little white (at the bottom) to see what other hues are hidden in the mix.
The colors are laid, from left to right, in the same order as the back of the box. 
- They spread nicely, cover well, and have very nice hues. This is why I love working with “fantasy” colors, they are rich and full of versatility. A lot of fun. 
- The colors are all pretty much along the same saturation level. That’s to create consistency. However, despair green (3rd from the right) is heavily saturated. 
- That’s because this color is intended for glazing. Just to create tints of green, to help coordinate the blue, with the red shades. 
- Something that stands out the most is that all the colors have hints of blue. When mixed with white, each color shows margins of blue. This, I believe, is also a uniformity measure.

- In the box, there is a step-by-step guide to create the blue-green armor on the cover. I decided to apply this to one of the Perry Agincourt Knight’s that I have also reviewed for Trenchrunner. I love the model I put together. He’s blind. We’ll call him Blinken! 
- This is just a “slap job” to get a feel for the paint. Better results can be achieved.
Step #1: Base-coat the entire model in Decay Black, then cover everything but the deepest recess with Necro Grey
Step #2:  Highlight/tint with glazes of Despair Green.
• Very thin, controlled, applications.

Step #3: Highlight with Innsmouth Blue

Step #4: Apply the last highlight of Miskatonic Grey, with smaller mixes of Purity White to bring to a “sheen”

I also decided to do try secondary color scheme. This is a white/blue-grey, with red shadows. This is achieved with a basecoat of Ryleh Grey, and gradually working your way up with mixes of Miskatonic Grey and Purity White. Finally, glaze the recesses with Tindalos Red, to create some contrast with the white, and blue armor. 

Please look closely for the tints of red! I think they pull everything together.)

Final thoughts: These are great paints, and a solid set. Not only can you achieve what S75 is marketing, but the paints are high quality and are versatile. You can wet-blend, glaze, use an airbrush, and then some. The only con I have found--so far--is the excessive amounts of binder that is deposited if the bottle isn’t shaken for 2 darn minutes. A good paint set. I know these paints are marketed for fantasy figures, but some of these end-of-spectrum tones are excellent all around. The Ryleh Grey and Miskatonic Grey are excellent applications for all kinds of shading and highlighting.  Hopefully I can get some more experience with this range under my belt, and get back to ya’ll. Thank you! 

Be sure to visit theforgottenturtle.com which was created to share Nathan's passion for miniature painting.

View to order HERE

July 22, 2016

Fridays with Farley...a Dose of Useless Tidbits

Links & Web Jems:
Atlas Obscura is the definitive guide to the world's wondrous and curious places…

In an age where everything seems to have been explored and there is nothing new to be found, Atlas Obscura celebrates a different way of looking at the world. If you're searching for miniature cities, glass flowers, books bound in human skin, gigantic flaming holes in the ground, bone churches, balancing pagodas, or homes built entirely out of paper, the Atlas Obscura is where you'll find them.

Atlas Obscura is a collaborative project that depends on a far-flung community of explorers to help discover amazing, hidden spots, and share them with the world.

Berserkers. Late 12th century

Some of my recent favorites featured on Atlas Obscura are The
Skrímslasetrið- The Icelandic Sea Monster Museum which explores the area's history of aquatic cryptid sightings. The Lost City of Heracleion- An ancient Egyptain city exhumed from the depths of the ocean and The Vikings from a Mass Grave and Their Warship Storm London.

Display is Everything! is a collection on our Facebook page that features some very imaginative ways to display figures and vignettes. I like to refer these types of displays as 'Breaking the Plane' and I just added a couple new ones to the album.
Click image to get in scale

Old school favorite!l
Summers before "PC"

July 21, 2016

"I'M SAYIN' WHAT?" Contest #18 Winner + This week's teaser for "I 'M SAYIN' WHAT?" #19

"I'm Sayin' What?" #18 WINNER
It's Thursday so...we have a winner for last weeks “I’m Saying What” contest. Bill Scarmiss  has snagged one of the most coveted prizes on earth...which is of course is a $25.00 Gift Card from Michigan Toy Soldier.
"I'm Sayin' What?" #19 Teaser
Here's our image for this weeks contest. All you have to do is come up with the wittiest quote for the word bubble and you will win a $25.00 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’ 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.

July 18, 2016

I finally found a Pokémon . . .

Ok...I finally found a Pokémon . . . how do I get it into my phone? Are they supposed to smell this bad? I'm so confused


MTSC TIPS & TRICKS: Making a Simple Cloud Background with Treeline by Charles Oldaugh

Trench Runner Charles Oldaugh tackles painting a simple background for your diorama or display Part 2

Last time we worked on a cloud background for dioramas. This time we will add a basic treeline to the background. 

We will start off painting the sky and the clouds just like we did in the last article.
In addition to the sky, I added a stripe of green to the bottom quarter of the panel to begin building up the treeline. I used a mixture of True Blue and Hunter Green.

I am going to use 3 different greens for the trees: Hunter Green, Clover, and Forest Moss. You could use more colors if you want, but this is a backdrop after all. If you make it too detailed it can take away from the figures.

When painting trees it is important to think of them as shapes. Don’t get bogged down trying to paint leaves and branches.
I started painting vague tree shapes with Clover.

I put some Forest Moss onto my palette and started painting in more tree shapes. Try to vary them in size and height.

Using Hunter Green, I started to fill in the gaps between the trees with evergreen trees. Paint some tall and skinny, some short and fat. Don’t be afraid to overlap the trees!

To finish off the painting I started filling in any area that didn’t get a tree. Just a few brushstrokes can help break up scene. Because I still had all three greens on the palette, I alternated and mixed them for the final trees.

July 15, 2016

Fridays with Farley...a Dose of Useless Tidbits

I recently came across this easy S-B-S on Creating Black Asphalt for Road Bases by Scratchmod

It's a simple Step-by-Step and shows just how easy it is to replicate asphalt using Vallejo products. 

...From Scratchmod
As the title of the website states, it's all about the art of creating realistic forms of rust effects and different forms of destroyed vehicles. By utilizing various techniques and mediums we can replicate or create interesting and hopefully realistic effects on our models. Have a look at his site HERE

I've had a chance to try out one of the all new products from Abteilung 502, ABT-114 Magic Gel for Brushes.This gel is used to keep the tips of your brushes sharp and in perfect condition. It keeps the brushes fibers compacted which helps keep them from getting deformed. If…as you should be, you use high quality brushes for you modeling work Magic Gel is the perfect conditioner to keep them like new. 

Also new is ABT-117 Magic Potion for Brushes This high quality cleaner and restorer for brushes contains no solvents no alcohols that can damage synthetic or natural brush´s hair.  This product will extend the life of your brushes more than any other cleaner.
View the Product Information sheet HERE

Favorite Time Wasters
The Diorama Dreams Facebook page contains a fantastic collection of models, figures and what not culled from many many different Face Book pages. 

Too cool...

The Toy and Action Figure Museum
The world's only museum devoted solely to the art and collecting of action figures. Located in the mild-mannered city of Paul's Valley, Oklahoma, The Toy and Action Figure Museum celebrates the bright, wild world of action figures with a cacophonous collection of plastic characters. The museum's collection is housed in a large room that is partitioned off into different sections including a collection of cartoon artwork from famous Oklahoma illustrators and a room known as the "Batcave" that features nothing but Batman-related figures and collectables. The museum holds over 13,000 separate action figures, many which, in true collector fashion, have never been taken out of their packages. The main attraction of the museum is the sprawling central diorama which features thousands of figures from every imaginable franchise posed in a phantasmagoric riot of licensed plastic. Spider-Man swings past a hanging X-Wing fighter while Psycho Man makes an entrance onto a Peewee's Playhouse playset. The net effect is a joyous sense of childish play.

Farly Mitchell's Quickies

PanzerWrecks PWS-133 
In Focus 1: Jagdpanzer 38
Just about anyone who builds armor model, more specifically German armor, has thumbed their way through one of the twenty plus Panzerwrecks books at one time or another. They are a fantastic pictorial display with a focus on wrecked armor from the Second World War.

The hallmark of Panzerwrecks publications is the exquisite detail found in large, landscape format photographs normally reproduced one to a page. Added to these photos are informative captions that provide the who, what, when and where to the story: some of the most knowledgeable experts in the field weigh in with their insights and expertise to insure the facts are accurate and complete. Every aspect of the production of Panzerwrecks is carried out in-house, from the acquisition of material to production of the files for printing.

Panzer wrecks now has a new series of books called In Focus starting with In Focus 1 – Jagdpanzer 38, by Lee Archer; one of the founding authors to the Panzerwrecks Series of books. This new series, In Focus, spotlights a particular vehicles and as the secondary series title implies, Men and Machines of World War 2. As you might have guessed by now, In Focus 1 – Jagdpanzer 38 is all about the German Jagdpanzer 38. Lee Archer has spent the better part of the last twenty years collecting a vast amount of information and photographs about the Jagdpanzer 38 and compiled it all into one book. This first edition in the series is bound in a softcover, landscape configuration containing 113-pages of the Jagdpanzer 38 in both operational and knocked-out forms. In addition to the 117 black and white period photographs Mr. Archer has collected for this book, there are 7 color profile drawings from Felipe Rodna which help shed some light to the color schemes of some of these vehicles.

Each of the photographs contained within the book are supported with text to give the reader a little insight to key points in the photos. Along with the textual insets, there is a four page passage from 5 Jahre in Russische Kriegsgefangenschaft, the published works of Karl-Heinz Sommerfeld from 1993, which gives valuable insight into what it was like to serve inside one of these Jagdpanzer 38’s. The intention of the author with this publication is to showcase the spectacular collection of period photographs of this tank all in one place.

Lee Archer continues to present the history enthusiasts and modelers alike, with high quality publications focusing on armor of the Second World War. This first book in the series, In Focus 1 – Jagdpanzer 38, is an incredible look at one of Germany’s late-war production tanks. This book appears to be the most comprehensive collection of photographs on this subject and is filled with over a hundred period black and white photographs showing this Jagdpanzer in both operational and wrecked settings. The photographs have been beautifully reproduced for this publication and the provided color drawings give the reader a little perspective on what these vehicles might have looked like in color at the time. If you are expecting a for a full listing of technical specifications on the Jagdpanzer 38, then this book may not be the book you are looking for. Although the captions associated with each of the phonographs do give plenty of insight into key focal points of the pictures shown, the intentions of the author is not to provide a Spec Manual for this tank, but rather, to provide the modeler and armor enthusiast with a comprehensive photographic display of Jagdpanzer 38 tanks all in one publication. So, if you’re a fan of any of the Panzerwrecks Series of books, a modeler of armor related subjects or simply an enthusiast of the history surrounding the Second World War, In Focus 1 – Jagdpanzer 38 is a definite must have.

Sometimes modelers have a tendency to take the hobby a bit too seriously. We can complain about the accuracy of a new kit, or get bogged down trying to add some tiny detail that probably won't be seen after all our hard work. With all of the spectrum splitting and rivet counting and having a go at anything that “doesn’t look right” - what about modeling for fun? The “Egg Plane” movement is growing in numbers as even the most serious of and most talented modelers get on board to either relieve stress or just to make something without having to conform to hard to a predetermined standard.

Occasionally, it's a good idea to take a step back, and remember that, first and foremost, modeling should be fun, and that's where these kits from Meng come in. They're branded as 'Meng Kids' and they're essentially cartoon versions of WWII aircraft. As the name implies, they are a great way to introduce kids to the hobby, but they're also perfect for anyone who wants to just have some fun between bigger projects. These are ultra-simple models, with just a handful of parts, moulded in the appropriate colors, which can be snapped together without glue. You can either build them strait from the box (they can be built up in 10-15 minutes), or you can go to town on them, painting them up like a regular model and adding additional detail.

Until next time...