Saturday, July 28, 2007

HaT's Innovation, 300 DVD, and Harry.

I have to applaud the people running HaT. On their website they have set up the HaTwiki. You all know Wikipedia probably. But you might not have known that it is becoming easier and easier to set up your own wiki, which is exactly what HaT has done. It is a collection of links that users might find interesting. Granted, it is more to the interest of wargamers and painters, but still, seeing a company do something like this is satisfying. I'd like to see more of the companies use the Internet to get their products out there, to show them off a bit more, and to allow interaction with their customers. Forums, interactive photo galleries, pages that use flash technology, wikis... heck, set up a myspace page.

I sat down and watched 300 on DVD today (our library got a copy a bit earlier than the release date). It's as good as I remember it, though watching it for the second time, I was able to resist the uncontrollable urge to stand up and pump my fist in the air. Also, I want the soundtrack. There is a fine line between macho goofiness and supercool. And there are those that I know will disagree, but this movie definitely falls in the supercool category, and it's the music that gets it there.

I went and saw the 5th Harry Potter movie last night. well.... meh. I don't know. Sure, it was, you know, good. But after reading the 7th book, revelling in the Harry Potter mythology, the detail, the magic of the printed word, letting the author take my imagination on a vivid and elaborate ride, the movie felt... empty. A bit hollow. Kind of like reading the 2 paragraph summary of the American War for Independence that was in my 7th grade history textbook. Not to say that the actors weren't good. I think the actors used have been perfect. Harry, Hermione, and Ron all fit exactly what I had in mind when I read the books. My favorite has to be Alan Rickman as Snape. Perfect inflection of the voice, and he really gets the character. I loved him in Galaxy Quest too, and he rocked in Die Hard... but I'm getting off the point. When I need a Harry Potter fix, I will read the books, not watch the movies.

Friday, July 20, 2007

New Packaging Configuration from TSSD

TSSD is repackaging their civil war figures into different groups. There are some firing line groupings, charging groupings, ect. It's a good idea for collectors trying to make HUGE scenes where you will need every figure you can get to create 100 man companies and the like. I ain't got a big enough table for something like that... well, it might hold that many. Sounds like something fun to try out. But not for awhile...

I'm heading on Vacation starting tomorrow. Stephanie and I are going down to a lake cabin in Tenneessee. It's gonna be great. I'm just gonna sit around, eat cookies, and read Harry Potter #7, if I can find it for sell somewhere between here and Tenneessee. So yea, not need to check this page till Friday of next week.

Thursday, July 19, 2007

New WWI Weston Tank

Mr. Weston is showing off some pictures of his upcoming WWI German Tank. Looks like he's hitting a market that has been ignored for the most part. WWI just doesn't get much attention. Anyway, to view the pictures, go to his site, then go to regular stock, and then go to World War One. Looks good. I didn't get his World War I British tank, but I'll be looking for it at the Chicago show.

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Test Your History Knowledge...

To test your knowledge of history, look at this picture of Civil War soldiers and pick out the person that doesn't belong.

Actually this is my Civil War Reenacting Unit, the 49th Indiana, at the 4th of July Parade in Carmel, IN. Miss Indiana paid us a visit. I'm the guy with the drum.

Saturday, July 14, 2007

New Prussians from Waterloo 1815

Whoo diddley Doo!! Look at these fancy new figures from Waterloo!! We got ourselves some Prussian Infantry on the way. You can see a picture over at TSSD's Coming Attraction page. I like the mounted figure. The sculpting looks really awesome and precise. It makes no mention of what color they will be in.

The Shield

I was thinking about finally finishing up that organization scheme I had been working on... but instead I started watching The Shield. I know, what rock did I just crawl out from under. I went out and bought Season 1, and man, it's awesome. Now, I was a fan of Michael Chiklis from back in the Commish days. Me and my mom loved that show. Of course, I was 11 when I watched it. But I highly suggest The Shield. It sucked up my entire day off yesterday, and that's ok with me.

Sunday, July 8, 2007

Need a Hand?

After playing in my room last night, and knocking my shelves about on accident, I've decided to make a list of some figures that have become notorious for not being able to stand up on their own. Some are worse than others, but all of these are "guilty" of being not so stable. Whether it's due to an ambitious pose that over-weights one side, or simply due to a skimpy base, these guys are always the first to fall in battle.
The Airfix American Bazooka guy. Nice compact figure, good sculpting, a tad small by today's new standard, but still a nice addition to a battle, except for the fact that you spend half the battle setting him back up. His left foot and right knee, the anchor points for the figure, are just a little too aligned. Sort of like a bicycle trying to stand by itself without a kickstand. Just doesn't work.

A part of CTS's Mexican army. Has a nice open stance, looking like he's getting ready for something. Not actually part of the fighting just yet, but getting ready to maybe climb a ladder, or bust through a door, 0r simply just a few steps behind the frontline of fighters. Problem is, before he can make his glorious debut into the fight, he usually falls flat on his face. All of my poses like this lean a bit to the front, causing him to be a just a bit overbalanced in the front.
Revell British Infantry... actually I think it's actually a Scottish themed set of some sort, but never mind those details for right now. Let's explore this character. A great pose, wonderful sculpting, and a lot of action. This guy is under fire, rushing for cover, hoping against hope that the next bullet isn't meant for him. But, he isn't going to make it to cover, because like the Mexican soldier above him, he's going to land flat on his face. Overbalanced and too small of a base are going to spell the end of this loyal Brit.
Now this is a real tragedy. This guy was really going someplace. You can tell, with one foot lifted off the ground, a satchel holding all important... stuff. It is imperative that this guy make his rounds. Under fire from Japanese snipers, he dodges through jungle brush and across sand dunes, but just before he makes it to his destination, he falls down on his left side. If he's lucky, he might find a palm tree to lean on to make it through the rest of the battle. His base is wonderfully sculpted, but just doesn't give him enough support on his left side.
Not quite as noticable as the others listed here, this guy is usually propped up by the wall he's throwing his rock over. Tricky, tricky. But as a ground fighter, you have to watch him. As he goes to bash that wounded guy over the head with a rock, he inexpicably changes his mind and decides to crush him with his entire body weight instead. Just a tad over balanced in the front, I think because the base thins out towards the front of the figure. Mine just might be a mis-mold on my two figures.
Next time we'll explore five more figures (mostly Marx) that can't quite seem to stay upright.

Thursday, July 5, 2007

Celebrating the 4th of July

It's a good holiday. Sitting around with family and friends, eating all-american food like hot dogs, hamburgers, brownies, and drinking ice-cold sweet tea. We all sat around, talked about cars, movies, music, and whatever else. Then we settled down to watch the local small town fireworks. And for being a small town, they always do em' up right. A local radio station plays patriotic music in the background while the fireworks go off, and I always get a bit of a chill when Johnny Cash sings about the Ragged Old Flag. It is a good holiday.

Tuesday, July 3, 2007

Playset Magazine Remembers the Alamo / The Bummer 80's

Whew... I just got done reading most of the way through the latest issue of Playset Magazine. I really enjoyed this issue. It was devoted entirely to the Alamo with pictures galore. I'm sure I've mentioned before that I'm not a big devotee of the Alamo era, but this sure got me interested in a hurry. Near the back of the magazine was an ad from TSC offering a set of recast Marx items for a really good price. Or at least it seems like a really good price. I've checked it against some other places and seems to be a steal actually. Anyway, it looks a whole lot like what you may have gotten back in the original Alamo sets. If you have the magazine, make sure to check it out.

The magazine actually comes to my parents house because my mail service likes to shred my magazines for some reason. My dad usually ignores them, but this one he kept skimming through. I think his generation (the baby boom generation) has a close relationship with the Alamo that my generation never picked up. When I was a kid (or, previously in my childhood), there were no Alamo movies. The John Wayne Alamo seemed dated to an 80's kid, and it didn't inspire the imagination that it did in kids of an earlier generation. Too bad really. The 80's were a bummer. Well, we had G.I. Joe cartoons and Star Wars movies, and those were the toys I chose to get. I had no historical heros. There were none to be had. There were baseball players, race car drivers, and plenty of He-Men and Transformers, but no actual historical personalities. I wonder if that could explain the apathy with which history is viewed today by guys and gals of my generation. Instead of having a cool movie like Ben Hur, we got Barbie and the Rockers. Meh.