Wednesday, March 21, 2018

Laser cut buildings

  I have been curious about these buildings since they first came out.  They look good, and are less expensive then the cast ones.  So that was a big plus for me;  the frugal wargamer.  At Cold Wars this year I picked up two buildings in the flea markets. At $10 each They were  a bargin. They were wooden buildings that could fit into my Rev War and 1812 games.  Again more bang for my buck.

  The first was by Battlefield Accessories from Australia.  It looked very basic and simple so I choose this one to start with.  I used Arlene's tacky glue to put it together.  Similarly white glue.  The cabin went together quickly and was the definition of simple.  The final project will look good on my table top.

  The cabin from Sally 4th was much more detailed and comprehensive.  Fortunately for me they provided a goid, illustrated set of instructions.  These helped with the construction.  In fact I would have been lost without them.

  As a final improvement i think I will base these buildings.  Add a few items like fences and possibly a tree would provide a neat little mini diorama on my table.  A few civilian figures would be nice also.  Of course then I should add a few farm animals.........

Tuesday, March 20, 2018

USS Olympia

  While in Philadelphia we went to visit the USS Olympia.  This cruiser from the Spanish American war served as Admiral Dewey's  flagship at Manila Bay.

Because it was off season there were no interpretation on the ship and everything was self guided.  Much of the ship is not available to walk through . Just the main deck inside and a little top side.  But what is open is well maintained and interesting.  Best of all how often do you get a chance to walk the deck of a ship of this time period.  Very inspiring and highly recommend.

Looking forward towards the 8" gun turret

 Looking aft

5" gun
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Looking down into the engine room

Must be good to be an officer!

Museum of the American Revolution

 In planning my trip to Cold Wars this year I set aside time to visit the new Museum of the American Revolution in Philadelphia.  I am very glad I did.

On entering on the museum there is a delightful diorama of the Battle of Trenton.  Buildings are well done as is the terrain.  The figures are collector type 54mm figures and really nicely painted.

   After paying our admission we looked about to get our bearings.  On The first floor is the book store (more later), a restaurant and a locker room where you can lead your coat and bags.  There is a introduction movie which we skipped due to the large school grouos.  Instead we moved up the stairs to the exhibit halls.

  We started by watching a movie about The history of George Washington 's tent.  It was well done and tied The tent to the museum story.  At the end the curtain lifted and you got to see The tent itself.

   The exhibit hall was well played out and progressed in a logical manner.  The pre war and rise ofrevolution.  How the American colonies went from loyal empire members to fighting for independence.  There are numerous exhibits with portraits and artifacts that complement the text. It then followed the campaigns to the end of the war.

   One outstanding item was the life size dioramas scattered throughout.  The clothing on the models are outstanding and reflex The latest research.  Clothing is well sewed and tailored.

   There are numerous portraits many of which I have never seen. While I have been a serious student of the period and the war during my time with The National Park Service I thought I was well read.   Here I saw numerous portraits and artifacts I had no idea existed.  It blew Me Away.

  One exhibit I found was a panorama painting of the British fleet in New York harbour in 1776.  Especially interesting were the barges landing soldiers.  I had seen this before.  But when blown up the details of the soldiers and The uniforms was amazing.

One of the most dramatic exhibits occurred near the end as you turn a corner.  You are confronted with members of The British Legion riding you down.  Very effective!

  Another interesting items were colors from The period.  The so called Foster flag and The Monmouth color were in display.

The museum store is very well lighted, and items placed with care. There is enough room to move about without feeling crowded. There are evan a few benches to relax on.  Items are chosen to appeal to all ages and tastes.  The selection of books is wide and broad and just outstanding.

If you get the chance to visit the MAR please do so.  The museum is outstanding.  It is well layed out, interesting and a joy to visit.  Exhibit cases are not over stuffed with items. They are carefully chosen and add to your knowledge.  For the long time student of the war there are new and exciting items.  I cannot recommend this museum enough.  It was an exciting experience and I look forward to going again.

Sunday, March 18, 2018

Cold Wars 2018 part 2

 We arrived on Thursday to register and were pleasantly surprised.  The Lancaster Host has been bought by a new owner who is renovating the old building.  Yes there is construction going on.  New walls, wiring and carpets.  Rooms being given a face lift.  Next year this place will be unrecognized.

  And so too was the convention.  A new board of directors has shaken things up and improved things.  Registration was a surprise.  There was a small army of attentive volunteers who helped direct you where to go.  If you are registered there was a kiosk to print out your badge.  Next to it was a table where friendly people handed out handbags of goodies for attending.  The entire procedure took two minutes instead of the usual fourth five minutes.  Outstanding!

Old registration

New registration

  The dealers area was likewise changed.  I liked the main building for the dealers hall.  The hall was large, well lighted and bright.  Not too noisy;  you could be heard without shouting.  Plenty of room to walk and not get knocked over.  Dealers were friendly and talkative.  Very nice! No pictures, too busy to much to see!

Games were abundent.  And all looked good.  People were having fun.  Could be me but it appeared to be very few fantasy type games and more historical.

WW1 game .Great visual of a artillery bombardment.

Someone is having a bad day!

War of 1812 game.  British raid in the Chessapeak.

I really like these landing barges.

Great looking farm. I would like to add items to my table.
Beautiful 6mm game.  Italy 1859.

Beautiful Rev War game ruined by the beer bottle.

Love little details on the board.

WW2 game.  Nice terrain!

The flea market Friday night was held from 9:00 on to midnight .Again I liked the new room.  Lots of room to walk and still see everything.

  All in all a wonderful  weelend!  My compliments to management. They have improved Cold Wars. We have booked our rooms for  2019 and are looking forward to next year.

Monday, March 12, 2018

Cold Wars 2018


   Oh joy! Oh rapture!   Yes folks, it that time of the year again. The annual trip to Cold Wars.  This is the third of the trioka of the Historical Miniatures Gaming society's conventions.  Because it is held in the off season it usually has a slightly lower attendance then the other two events.  This translates into a calmer and more relaxed atmosphere which I like. It also does not interfere with family vacations. It is a time to indulge myself and enjoy all that is wonderful about this great hobby.  Fun, games, shopping, socializing and learning.

     Each year myself and my friend George take time off to drive down for the long weekend. We have been doing this for I cannot remember when.  This year we are leaving early (Wednesday) to get there and get settled. Then we will take in the New Museum of the American Revolution in Philadelpia for a day.  I have heard it is incredible and have been looking forward to visiting.

Mark and George on the way to Cold Wars 2018