Sunday, May 27, 2018

From Revolution To Modern - Big Box Reveal 2!

With a few oddities thrown in for good measure! Also, after trying (unsuccessfully) to fully catalog the Science Fiction and Fantasy licensed figures (which amounted to a shocking half of the collection!) I realized I will have to split them into 2 parts. Even with that, because certain sci/fantasy franchises are so prominent in my collection, I had to move some of the smaller groups of sci-fi/fantasy/weird stuff into this installment. This means it is now a four part series instead of three. Rejoice! More Content! More Figures! More Work for Me! Wait, that last one isn't good...

Anyway, one with the show. Remember, these pictures can be clicked to enlarge for glorious (or obnoxious, depending on your bandwidth specifications) detail!

These are Barzso figures. I believe they were from the Eastern Woodland Indians set, though I cannot remember specifically. These were put out around 2000. I think I got them with the little surplus I made from buying up everyone's Y2K disaster survival supplies, once that panic turned out to be a big nothing. The reason I bought these is because I love me some warclubs. You don't see them that often in toy soldiers, and these fellows have a couple. Also, flintlocks. When you see Indians in a set with guns, they are, almost invariably, lever actions. These guys have war clubs, tomahawks, and long rifles. Glory be. This is not all the poses, sadly, some of these seem to have got away from me. I think there were 12 figures.

 Accurate American Militian Men (Revolutionary War). This is both sets #1 and #2. I seem to have only lost one of these guys. I must have been planning to wargame with these at some point, though I don't remember what. It's a bit surprising to have found so many of these, since AWI is not a period I'm usually that into. Though frankly, American militia did not change much between the French and Indian war and the War of 1812, so I might have got them for some utility purpose such as that.

Accurate British Infantry. Now I seem to have only got one set of these fellows for some reason. I don't remember which set, though the flag bearer seems to tell me this is set one. I did generally like the poses of the militia better, which is why the number disparity might be there. Also, I seem to recall intending to get A Call To Arms grenadiers to match up with these guys.

Jean Hoefler Napoleonic Cavalry Recasts. This one spooks and terrifies me. I bought a set of 20 of these guys, because there were not a lot of other good ways to get lancers at the time (there are much better, cheaper, and more detailed ways now). I remember them being a little pricey at the time. When I went to look up what they were, they seem to have jumped in price to what I deem unreasonable levels. Sigh. Wish I knew what happened to the other 15 of them.

Recast of Lido WWII US Infantry! Okay backstory time, folks. When I was little, back when rocks were still soft, I dearly loved me some army men. Surprise, right? So, when I turned 6 or 7, when I had my first 'big boy' birthday party, where I got my own friends to come over instead of neighbors and my parents' friends, my mom threw me an Army Men themed birthday party. It was great! So, there was a forest themed cake, with a tank centerpiece, decorated with real plastic army men. It was these charming, chunky, flat, un-based Lido figures, one of each pose. I kept them for years, never finding any others. It was hard to even look, not knowing who made them or when. Years later still, I found some. I bought as many as the store had, since I didn't know when I'd be able to find more. I don't know what company was recasting these at the time, this was in 2008 maybe? My wife, bless her, was understanding. The great news is that now these are being recast by a known entity, BMC, and can be had from online sellers of known quality. These are the good old days for Army Men collecting.

BMC Iwo Jima US Marines. These are simply some of the best WWII figures ever made, in my opinion. They are detailed, clean, durable, come in interesting poses. They just hit a lot of the boxes on an army builders' checklist. I think I am missing a few bits here and there. I still have the flag raising scene (which came packaged separately), somewhere I think. I firmly believe that the BMC flamethrower (seen front right)is the best of its kind.

I also have the BMC Bazooka team. Just never opened them. Sigh.

BMC Iwo Jima Japanese Army. In general, my feelings on these guys are the same as the BMC Marines. Truly this set was when BMC 'arrived' as a purveyor for serious collectors. I loved the San Juan Hill set and all (I'd love to find mine, you'll notice it was not in this box), but these were simply several levels higher in quality. You'll notice my one beef with this set, however. Look at the mortar men in the back. The bases were a separate piece, which was supposed to have little holes to fit the little pegs on the figure's foot and knee. Well, it never worked. It looks like the holes never got really cast/drilled/formed/whatever correctly. You can see where the holes should be, but they still have material. I suppose I could fix that, but it's never been a priority for me. As a result, I've never seen that figure completed.

The Weird Stuff. Some odds and ends and what I think they might be. From top left: Tonka Mad Martigan from Willow the movie, Hospitaller with axe, ogre with axe and catchpole, viking berserker with spear and axe, armored knight with flail. I think the last four are all Papo or Schleich, but I'm not sure. Picking up on the second row, there's a Timpo Swoppit Indian, some random Roman figure, an adorable skeleton horse, A strange skeleton spearman. An even stranger samurai with battle axe. A metal crouching Indian with rifle I got from a gift shop in Oakdale near the Hershey factory, and some weird ancients archer. In the third row, there's another Timpo Swoppits Indian, a trio of New Ray modern infantry that came with die cast military vehicles my son bought. A napoleonic curassier with no horse. An unknown Arab (a la Lawrence of Arabia or Foreign Legion) with no horse/camel. Last, there is what looks like a pikeman with no pike.

A lot of these were add ins on orders, like the roman, arab, pikeman, and Napoleonic guy. ATS in particular use to do that. Some were 'friendly' buys from this cool store we used to have in town called "Toy Knights." You know, you get to chatting with the owner for a while, and buy a few extra things. All the Schliech/Papo stuff on the top row is that. The swoppits were from a phase where I was desperately trying to get Timpo stuff, and could find them as cake decorations in party stores. The Samurai was a weird story where I bought a whole bag of loose toys from Goodwill because it had the weird Samurai and a weird LEGO Samurai to boot. No regrets! The skeletons? No idea. The Tonka Mad Martigan, strangely enough, is one of my own. Bought from a KB toys in Santa Maria when the movie was in theaters. It might be the oldest toy I own.

Minotaur, Minoboar, and weird goblingthings. These were from the Chronicles of Narnia. I miss this period where every adventure movie seemed to have a line of painted miniatures. This is the only one I cared about from the Narnia series, but the Pirates of the Caribbean toys snuck by me unnoticed.

Halo Heroic figures. These bother me, as I bought I think 4 sets, and have only parts of two sets here. All of the running marine figures ended up like that, sadly. They were never attached well to their bases.

Saturday, May 26, 2018

From The Dawn Of Time To The Age Of Reason - Big Box Reveal 1

Well, I spent the majority of my waking hours yesterday unearthing and sorting these figures from the giant box in order to actually use them in my wargaming (you know, their intended purpose?). There were some surprises, some things that were sadly missing, and some that gave more questions than answers. Here's about a third of it, from what I call history's "poky" phase. Which means less guns, more swords and spears.

Edit: I was trying to do a rough chronological order here, but realized when I was done I had some pirates between the ancients and middle ages. Please just don't notice that...m'kay? 

Cherilea recast Egyptians. I got these for a couple reasons. The first being I had just read "River God" and really wanted to wargame some Ancient Egyptian battles. The second being that the set came with the Cleopatra figure, which I thought was wild, as female army men, as the nomenclature implies, are exceedingly rare. These are good sculpts, though working with these now reminds me that the bases are a bit fiddly, and I had a difficult time working with them on carpets back when I got them (circa, I dunno 1999?)

Jecsan Recast Egyptians. I got these because they matched well (in terms other than color) with the Cherilea set above. Also, these guys had a greater variety of poses, and were more combat oriented in general. These had the same balance problem, and were quite prone to broken spears, as you can see in the photo. Also, I never did find horses that matched the rider poses well.

Marx Recast Pirates. I got these because I thought rival pirate crews would be great for Harold's Rangers, which was a wargame put out by (I think it can still be had, thought in it's second edition). This is where I start getting paranoid. I had more of these. In all the poses. There were 20 figures in 7 poses. Where are the rest?

Greek Soldiers and Cavalry. I don't know who made these or their provenance. My mom bought these for a project she did during her Latin class after she retired. This would have been 2-3 years ago in Southern California. I didn't have the heart to tell her they weren't Romans at all. Still, they are neat figures. I am a sucker for pre-painted figs, and the removable shields are nifty. Also, the cavalry fit their horses without too much aggravation, which always makes me happy.

Marx Recast King Arthur Knights. I don't remember when or where I got these, though I remember the primary motivation being the set had knights with weapons other than swords. Look, there's an ax guy, a flail guy, and the dude with what has to be the heaviest headed short spear in Europe. I do remember there being more of these fellows. Concern.

Accurate Medieval Men At Arms. At the time they were marketed as 100 Years War English Men At Arms, but this is what I see them marked as now. This purchase was inspired by Medieval Total War, which I played a lot of, because I was frustrated at how hard it was to find any middle ages soldiers who weren't knights in full plate. They are 1/35, which is frustratingly under-scale for most other makers, though I always rationalized it as being they were the only dudes not in full plate, which bulks you up, of course. These are troubling as well, since there were more, and some poses are missing. Specifically all the arches with angled anti-cavalry stakes. Looking up the info on these shows they have gone up in price...considerably, since I bought them.

Marx recast Robin Hood/Sherwood Foresters/ Merry Men. Again, middle ages figures that were not knights. Also, there was a Maid Marian, though she seems to have been lost. There were a LOT more of these guys as I recall. Though I am glad I managed to keep at least one copy of the guy running off with the treasure chest.

Monarch recast conquistadors. I got these chaps for wargaming as well. Primarily to go against Elizabethans and Musketeers, but they would have been good against Pirates, as well. Also, I at one point planned to get Aztec or some such figures for them to fight, though that never materialized. You will note, from his base, that the running guy is named 'Ned.' I have no memory of why.

Cherilea Elizabethans. I had a LOT more of these, as you can tell from the photo they are numbered into the 30s. That was for volley shot wound allocation, as I recall. Also, I only have 5 of the six poses. Though, the pose I am missing is a fellow with both hands in the air that I don't remember ever having. Still, if the rest ever turn up, we'll see if he's there. My favorite pose is the guy parrying with his hat. That was an honest to god fencing strategy in a time when hats were big and formed with wires!

Jecsan French Musketeers. Boy did I ever love these guys! I never understood why there was not more competition in this niche. Were kids in our era ever not excited by The Three Musketeers? I always thought it was pretty cool. These were great figures, heavy, solid, stood well. Durable too. I think I had 20, so a few are absent, but I seem to have all the poses here. Never did figure out what the guy on the far left, middle row was up to. Dancing? Again, never found the right horses for these garcons.

Cherilea English Civil War. I got these because you don't see a lot of swashbuckler type figures wearing period authentic armor, nor carrying polearms. The pose of the guy lunging with rapier, however, will not stand, carpet, hardwood, or otherwise. He will fall to his left. Every time. He is the reason I took all of these photos with the figures laying flat. Blame him, not me.

 Ideal recast pirates. I'm pretty sure these are all I had. I bought fewer on purpose because there were so few poses. I seem to not have got any of the guy sitting in the crow's nest, which is curious. Still, I remember these guys being some of my favorite figures for my early, small scale wargaming with toy soldier experiments. Though their lack of bases made for some frustrating times on carpeting.

That's about it for now, folks. I plan on Part 2 being Age of Revolution to Modern, and Part 3 be Sci-Fi, Fantasy, and Weird Stuff. Look forward to it!

Friday, May 25, 2018

A Big Box of Toys - The Best Kind of Problem

Well, loyal, intelligent, kind-hearted, no doubt attractive might have noticed it's been a bit since I posted the next installment of the Green Hippos/Chaos Campaign. There's a good reason for that. The reason being I was hoping to be able to access this box full of toy soldiers. Now, I still have to go through and organize it, so expect a little more delay on the Hippos post.

Still though. Look at all that swag! I have only vague memories of what could be below the top layer of this glorious cache of Lostech. Will my clutch of 20+- Timmee M48 tanks be at the bottom? Maybe. Will my lost chivalric host be there, awaiting their final charge? Maybe. Will my Barzso Last of the Mohicans be setting one last ambush? Maybe. Rough Riders? You know the score. I know for certain there are Star Wars, Lord of the Rings, Lido soldiers, Cherilea English Civil War, Swashbucklers, Jecsan Egyptians, and more, and that's just scratching the surface!

Saturday, May 19, 2018

Chaos Campaign VI - Green Hippos In The Wasteland

So, after our defense of the airbase, and our 'off camera' acquisition of the PARAMUS weapon system. the Green Hippo Rangers are ready to accept their next contract. We select the 'Vacationing in the Wasteland' track next, for what appears to be at first glance, a milk run. Guarding mines on the wasteland world of Acamar. Ruins and lava plains as far as the eye can see. The mines, while valuable, don't have the 'cash and carry' appeal of nearby high-tech targets, so threat is expected to be low. Then the warning for inbound pirates came.

The Hippos intercept the pirates at some ruins between their LZ and the mines. Impromptu sandbag revetments and a combination of masonry and mining equipment are deemed sufficient for some jumped up periphery pirates. Here we see the PARAMUS deployed in a decent firing position, as well as the Rangers' sections of rifle infantry, laser infantry, and short range missile infantry. Note the cunningly sourced 'lava wastes.'

Aforementioned periphery pirates. Hey, is that a Sirocco? How did a bunch of jumped up periphery pirates get a late model Marik assault mech? Well, chalk it up to some secret Word Of Blake support, I guess. Need to have another talk with the employer about these 'low threat' deployments. Seems the mech has a bit of an odd weapons configuration. Maybe call this the SRC-3AT model?

Nevertheless, after a hard infantry fight, as well as an intense laser duel, the Sirocco is disabled, and the pirate rifle sections routed.

Another shot, because I felt so clever staging this scene. It's my first time using cotton balls to mark a disabled unit. It went...okay. Comment if you have any tips to make this work better next time.

Anyway, the Hippos triumph again, with two of the three bonus objectives fulfilled.

  1. None of the enemies escaped the defender edge.
  2. An enemy unit was captured for interrogation (the Sirocco pilot lived, and was captured).
  3. Unfortunately, I was unable to prevent the last rifle infantry section from escaping the attacker edge, and missed out on the full completion bonus payout. Can't win them all, I suppose.

Friday, May 18, 2018

Amiibo customs- Sable

Sable got sculpt changes, base changes, nfs changes, new display with clay sewing machine, and it will be painted and mounted onto wood base when finished so it can be used/ displayed in the "client's" twitch room. So this custom has been fairly intense in the steps needed to create her. But it's been some of my best work as well. I miss doing customs on a more regular basis.

So I had started out with making some incisions to re sculpt the face. I had stared with a base coat of white acyrlic. Then I cut and taped off for a true base coat.
 which happened to be khaki cause that's what we had on hand.
 Looks good. I cut off the base thinking of sculpting a special base but wasnt sure what kind yet. It's a thought in process.
 Then I painted her on stream at

I also scuplted and painted out a clay sewing machine during off stream time for a special bonus add on. She's never without her machine after all!

Then I scuplted a base for the amiibo as well as the display. I did it out of air dry clay. Here's what my thought was for that...

I undid the nfc from the card,

I was thinking display, but I didn't like how it looked after drying. It screamed that it wasn't quite right. So I went back to thinking, but it took half a sec before something better came to mind.
So I cut her off the base and threw those parts away.

Meanwhile I win the internet for most adorable Animal crossing picture ever! Sable in a teacup! You're welcome internet!

So I coated the bases green gloss, we had it on hand too and it worked with her card color and machine color. Thanks universe!
 I placed the nfc chip on and used a old card for the cover which I then glued down.

 Things got a glass modpodge cover on it as well. And I glued the card down. I super glued the machine down as well onto the display.

Then I super glued the sable onto her base. And supported her while she cures.

 The mabel into sable is now complete and I am so happy with it! It looks so good and pro. It's off to it's forever home!

 So now I can do even more customs. I still need to remake a sable and labelle for myself. But I will be doing a few more custom jobs. I really do enjoy doing this, and I look forward to doing even more!