Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Photo of the Week (9/30/12)

T23 Medium Tank
T23 Medium Tank with sand shields and fitted with 76 mm gun. One pilot model plus 10 additional vehicles for extended tests were built on the initial order

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Trio of Roco Minitanks

Three American vehicles from Roco.  M26 Dragon Wagon, Dodge Command Car, and M29 Weasel.

M26 Dragon wagon

Ivan is coming

F-Toys make a series of motorized tanks in 1/72 scale.  I was able to buy five - two T-34/85s, two Tigers, and a Jagdpanther.  Here is a video of the T-34.

The detail is pretty good, and it cost around $10.00.  

T34/85 by F-Toys

World War I Staff Cars

I went to a toy fair the other day and was able to pick up some reasonable priced World War I era cars.  They were not in their original packaging, but I believe that they were made by High Speed and were given away as part of a Reader's Digest promotion.  

1906 Rolls Royce (I believe - it could also be a Pierce Arrow)
Rolls Royce next to AHM kit 5801 "3 houses under construction"

Monday, September 24, 2012

Wind-up toys

I picked this up years ago and came across them during my cleaning.  Both of these are replicas of toys originally made by Paya of Spain.

Tin Toy
Battleship "Espana"
I love old ships, and this toy does a good job of evoking early 20th century battleships.  Maybe a little too whimsical, but I really like the way it looks.
Tin Toy
Forward turrets

Sunday, September 23, 2012

Photo of the Week, 9/23/12

France, October 13, 1944.  Japanese-American troops going through rugged terrain.  (National Archives photo 111-SC-195139)

Battle of the Bulge

Visited the Kruse Victory Museum in Auburn, IN.  The museum is impressive, holding over 150 vehicles from the major participants of World War 2.  Below is a diorama, artist unknown, that was of particular interest to me.  It is 1/35 scale, and, if I had to guess, about 20 feet by 10 feet in size, if not bigger.

Kruse Victory Museum
Description of the historical setting; the diorama depicts the final days of the battle.

Stuart (lower center) and Sherman (right) pass by a knocked out Panther.  
This photo does a nice job of showing the size of this diorama.

Kruse Victory Museum
Relief column entering the town.

Saturday, September 22, 2012

Photo of the Week, 9/16/2012

US corpsmen load a wounded American soldier from a Dodge WC54 on to hospital ship. (Acme photo by Norman Williams)

Saturday, September 15, 2012

Photo of the Week (9/9/2012)

M60 tank, belly up, after going off the side of the Bruckner Muehle stone bridge.  Amoenbuge, Germany, 11/4/63.  (National Archives 111-SC-607231)

Nat'l Archives 111-SC-607231

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Johnny Lightning (Part IV)

This is Johnny Lightning's WC-64 Ambulance. Goes well with 1/72 scale figures.  Shown are Forces of Valor's 29th Infantry medics, and a Dragon Ranger.

WC-64 with medics
Right side of Johnny Lightning WC-64
Rear of Johnny Lightning WC-64

Monday, September 3, 2012

Replacement tires for Ideal Motorific

One of my weaknesses is vintage toys.  I played with Motorific track when I was a kid.  It was a hand-me-down from an older brother and by the time it got to me it was just the track - no cars.  The track worked well as a 2 lane road for my Hotwheels and it was easy to build fairly elaborate roadways.  Flash forward to  adulthood when I started to search for toys of my youth.  I never knew the name of the toy as a kid but was finally able to find it on Ebay.  Now I have a modest collection of track and the cars (and trucks) that run on it.  Problem is, most of these toys were stored in hot attics and the tires are hard and crumbly and don't provide much traction.

Old Motorific tires
Above is a photo of the original tires.  Whatever rubber Ideal used, it doesn't react well to heat and age.  I wanted my cars to be 'runners' so I've searched for replacement tires for awhile now.  I finally found suitable replacements made by American Heritage Models.  It is part # AHM43-801, Automobile tires 1930's and 1940's (3 1/2 mm by 16 mm).  They come 20 to a pack, and I got them from Diecast Direct for $5.95. They are fiddly to put on, but once seated properly they do the trick.

Motorific T'Bird with new tires
I put them on the interchangeable chassis, shown here with the Ford Thunderbird body.  I painted the front tire with white acrylic paint to show the whitewall.  Needs some work, but looks presentable.

While I had the toy out I decided to try Novus plastic cleaner on it.  It cleaned it up nicely.  Unfortunately for me, the toy is missing the rear bumper.  I will need to try and sort that out.  Below is a video with the car running on new tires.

Mororific is about 'O' scale and the car looks good next to the 'O' scale gas station


I have been trying to organize, catalog, and pare down my collection of stuff.  I've done a pretty good job of cataloging what I have, and have started to sell off stuff I will never get around to building (I'm looking at you, 1/35 kits that seemed like a good idea at the time).  Finally did a good cleaning around the work bench.  Here's a view.

Barracks (in progress) is from Marx, and is about 1/72.  Trucks in lower left are by Pegasus, a bargain at 2 kits for $10.

Sunday, September 2, 2012

Photo of the Week (9/2/2012)

M3 halftrack.

M3 halftrack moving through thick mud.
US Army photo courtesy of Patton Museum

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

World War II photos from my dad

My dad passed away recently and I was tasked with going through his photos.  Came across these, which were taken in France in the summer/fall of 1945.  None of the photos had captions, so I used the great and powerful Google to see if I could discover their location.

V2 Rocket on display
The only way to identify the location is the name of the business seen in the background, left.  It is "Pompes Fun├Ębres A. Galichet Fils".  It is a funeral home in Reims, France, and still exists almost 70 years after the photo was taken.  If this photo was taken in the U.S., I believe it would be unlikely that the business and area would remain as unchanged as it did in this case.  Europe has a better appreciation for its history.  The placard at the lower left states that it is a V2 Standard.

V2 Rocket on display
Here is another view of the V2 with funeral home in the background.

Sunday, August 26, 2012

Photo of the Week (8/26/12)

Photo from Military Vehicles, 9/94, Issue 45.  Nice photo of both the barracks and the WW II era vehicles.  
25 Signal Co, 25 Inf Div form a convoy in preparation for embarking to Korea
 (Japan, 7/50; National Archives, 111-SC-34952)

Friday, August 24, 2012

Guidance Town Toys

Guidance Town Toys manufactured a series of building toys back in the mid-60s.  The detail was fairly good, and the scale was about HO, or 1/87.  I remember playing with these as a kid myself, using them with my Hot Wheels and Atlantic toy figures.  I had forgotten all about them when I came across this website.  He does a really good job of painting them, and these can be used for a variety of eras and locations (Mongo's preference appears to be zombies).  I had to get a set, and Ebay came through for me.

Here are the directions:
Guidance Town, with FoV British Paras and Dragon HMMVs

Sunday, July 29, 2012

Indianapolis War Memorial

Went to the Indiana War Memorial.  General John Pershing laid the cornerstone of the memorial on July 4, 1927, saying he was "consecrating the edifice as a patriotic shrine".
Indiana War Memorial
This is the Shrine Room, built to honor the veterans of World War I.  It is clad in materials from all of the allied countries.
Shrine Room

Thursday, July 5, 2012

Happy 4th of July

At the Carmel, IN  4th of July parade.  Scottish bagpipe to celebrate American Independence - don't see the connection, but I like it anyway.  Pretty sure that if the Highlanders were involved in AWI, it wasn't on the side of the colonies.  A couple of A-10s did a fly-by at the end, so that was cool.

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Johnny Lightning (Part 3) M16 AA halftrack

This is Johnny Lightning's version of the M16 halftrack.  More toy-like than some of their other offerings.  It is close in scale to Matchbox's M16 kit, so it appears to be around 1/76 scale.

Monday, July 2, 2012

Johnny Lightning (Part 2) Trucks

Here are two examples of the GMC CCKW made by Johnny Lightning.  I got the open cab variant recently from Wal-Mart, and I'd like to get more, but supply is iffy at best.  I have only seen the one model at the 3-4 stores I have checked.  Also, I can't seem to find model numbers on-line for the various Johnny Lightning models.  These models appear to be around 1/87 scale.  The details are good for a toy, and I appreciate the fact that they released the open and closed cab versions.

CCKW with open cab.

Sunday, July 1, 2012

Johnny Lightning (Part 1)

Some examples of die-cast cars by Johnny Lightning.  If I remember correctly, these were released to coincide with the release of Pearl Harbor back in 2001.  That would explain the markings for Wheeler Field and Hickam Field.

1940 Ford truck, Wheeler Field, with FoV figures and a FoV CCKW in background

Dimestore Models

I've picked up a few slush cast vehicles at toy soldier shows.  I believe that these were manufactured by Barclay and Manoil.  Barclay is still in business, and are issuing (or re-issuing) the lead soldiers reminiscent of the 1930s as Dimestore Doughboys.
Barclay toy display (from their website)
Below is a Barclay tank, markings U.S.A. 4562.  The manufacturer's info, on underside, states "Barclay # 43" and "Made in U.S.A."

Sunday, June 17, 2012

Happy Fathers Day - litho aircraft carrier (manufacturer unknown)

Fathers Day gift from my daughter and son
My kids gave me a tin lithographed aircraft carrier for Father's Day, proudly displayed above.  I believe that it was made in Japan, but can't verify that.  It's big - 37 inches long, and about 10 inches wide.  Marked with "414".  The island has what appears to be a radar dish, marked as ± 3.  The elevator still works, and the whole toy is on wheels.

Saturday, June 9, 2012

A is for Ambulance

An array of die-cast ambulances.  Left to right: 1/64 WC-54 by Johnny Lightning; 1/43 jeep with trailer by Solido; 1/43 WC-54 by Solido; 1/32 Model T by New Ray; 1/32 White by Signature Models; and 1/32 Hawkeye by Kovap.

Monday, June 4, 2012

Deluxe Reading Operation X500

According to Wikipedia, Deluxe Reading was a toy manufacturer based in Elizabethtown, NJ, which produced toys under several names including: Deluxe Topper, Deluxe Toy Creations, Reading Deluxe, Topper Corp, Topper Toy Group, and Topper Toys. The Topper Toys brand was most used in print advertisement and television commercials (children's TV).

Operation X500 was manufactured in the early 1960s

The Children's Museum has one on display.