Monday, March 30, 2009

Gen. George Patton by Marx Toys

I was digging through my collection 2 weekends ago and found these guys. This set of Marx WWII 5 star generals was originally released sometime before 1954. My collection doesn't include Eisenhower's miniature, but I know one existed. These models are reproductions, cast from the original molds. I purchased the set 10 years ago from the Toy Soldier Company, back when they had a printed catalog. They don't seem to be on their current website catalog.

Marx Toys was an immensely popular company supplying 1/32 scale plastic play sets to the youth of the 1950s and 60s. Toy tycoon owner, Louis Marx, was a good friend of Dwight Eisenhower, and was an all around patriotic American. His typical play sets featured excellently sculpted army men from the Revolutionary War, Civil War, and WWII. There was a caveman set, animals, a circus, astronauts, townspeople, etc. This set of generals, a similar set of US Presidents (and a set of dancing girls!) seem to have been made for his own amusement and interest, rather than profit.

The men stand around 60mm tall from the bottom of their fee to the tops of their heads.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

St. Patrick of Ireland, by Philip Freeman

If you like Dark Age British/Irish history, then you'll enjoy this book.

"Everyone has heard of St. Patrick, of course, but the man most people know is little more than an icon who drove the snakes out of Ireland. This lack of knowledge about the real Patrick is truly regrettable, because he has such an amazing story to tell: a tale of slavery and brutality, pain and self-doubt, sorrow and constant struggle, but ultimately of perseverance, hope, and faith."
—from St. Patrick of Ireland

Like most people I knew only two things about St. Patrick: he drove the snakes out of Ireland, and his day is a time for drinking vast amounts of alcohol (whether you're Irish or not). Last month I read online somewhere that Patrick was a Romano-British patrician kidnapped by Irish raiders in the 4th century. After 6 years as a slave he escaped, returned home to Britain, trained to become a priest, then traveled back to preach to the Irish. Intrigued, I went to, typed in "St. Patrick" and found this book. I then checked it out from my local library.

Philip Freeman writes for those who have little previous knowledge of Late Roman, Pagan Irish, or early Christian history. This makes his book a breeze to read. He tells this true-life adventure story using Patrick's own surviving letters and general facts about the time and place in which he lived. It's really a fascinating tale. This March 17th before you celebrate with your mint McDonald's milkshake or your pint of Irish stout read up on the historic St. Patrick!

Monday, March 16, 2009

Merry Monks

My shelf diorama is usually a small scene of 28mm villagers, of which these monks are a part. The monk with the big gold cross and the one with the food are from Old Glory Miniatures. The others are from Black Tree Design.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Celtic slinger unit for WAB

Here's my 10-man slinger unit for Warhammer Ancient Battles. For my first 1/72 barbarian army I am simply following the sample list provided in the back of the rule book. Hat's set 8089 Gallic Warband provided two slinger poses, but one box has only 8 of these. To fill in the last two posts I converted an Itlaeri/Zvezda swordsman (on left), and a auxiliary clubman from Hat's 8074 Roman Auxiliaries box. I bent back his club to look like more like a sling. I have a bunch of old Airfix British celt slingers, but they are much too small compared to the rest.

The sculpting on Hat's Gallic Warband slingers really isn't that great. The legs don't have a very natural appearance, and the faces have barely any detail. Still, I'm pleased with the overall look.

You can only see two of the shields in this photo, but for the painted designs I used the book, Celtic Designs from the British Museum, by Ian Stead. The designs in this book are from pottery, weapons, etc. I picked out small parts within the larger designs to paint as La Tene style shield blazons. Also see, Early Celtic Designs, by the same author. This was the British edition of the same book. Ian Stead is a archaeologist specializing in Iron Age Britain.

Sunday, March 1, 2009

28mm Townsfolk by Old Glory

Here are some villagers from Old Glory Miniatures' Revolting Peasants set. Many of the peasants aren't revolting at all, rather they seem to be going about their daily business.

I sold these fine fellows on eBay last year. (The tipsy chap on the right is from Mega Miniatures)