Sunday, August 31, 2008

Blogger friends visit Toy Haven

As a continuation of the first visit (which was sort of a House Cooling because we were moving to a bigger place), I had the pleasure of Shaun, TED, Michelle and Tim, Kenny and hAiLee, Roy and XiaoHong, Marcus and Ivy visiting my new place today :) Thanks all, hope it was as fun for you all as it was for Daisy and me. 

Blogging has its privileges IV

Got featured again but in the English papers this time. Today's Sunday Times did a small segment on us but the photographer was able to capture a very nice picture of the house - great angle shot - makes the place look BIG :)

Picture shows the living room where I display most of my military themed 1/6 scale action figures, from the Crusader Knights to soldiers of the Napoleonic War, World War I, World War II, Vietnam War, Gulf War 1 - Desert Storm, Gulf War 2 - Iraq War and modern warriors. Visit my place to see more including Star Wars and movie plus manga/anime related action figures.

To view the whole house which is like a toy museum, go HERE

101st Airborne NCO (Staff Sergeant), WWII

Another head sculpt of Barry Pepper was produced some years back by Dragon. This figure was released in 2004 and depicts a 101st Airborne NCO from the 327th Glider Infantry Regiment at Bastogne during the Battle of the Bulge around December of 1944. "Tab" as he's called, has on him the M1 hemet with inner lining and distinctive markings, wool neck scarf, wool shirt with 101st Airborne Division Patch and Staff Sergeant rank, trousers, M1942 1st pattern “Mackinaw” overcoat, M1936 pistol belt with M1923 Small Arms Ammunition Pouch with one spare clip, M1936 suspenders, M1911A1 .45 pistol in holster, Thompson SMG five-magazine pouch, M1910 canteen with cover, first aid pouch, M1936 Mussette/field bag, Thompson M1928 Sub-machine gun with two extra mags, and Arctic Overboots "Galoshes".

The Battle of the Ardennes, better known as the Battle of the Bulge because of the “bulge” that was created by the initial incursion the Germans put into the Allies’ line of advance, as seen in maps presented in contemporary newspapers, was the bloodiest of the battles that US forces experienced in World War II; the 19,000 American dead were unsurpassed by those of any other engagement. It was Germany's last desperate attempt to try to halt Allied advances on the entire Western Front by striking against the thinly-manned stretches of the Allied armies overextended line of advance - their positions ran from southern France to the Netherlands. Almost complete surprise against a weak section of the Allies’ line was achieved during heavy overcast weather, when the Allies’ strong air forces would be grounded. Due to the overstretched line and lack of supplies, many American troops were left with inadequate clothing to combat the foul weather and insufficient ammunition and rations but dig in they did and they were able to hold the line. When the German commander at Bastogne requested that the Americans surrender, General Anthony McAuliffe who was acting commander of the 101st Airborne replied "Nuts!"

Saturday, August 30, 2008

US Navy SEAL Recon (Nam)

Toy Soldier's 7th Anniversary figure, the USMC Force Recon Rifleman/Corpsman's other headsculpt of actor Barry Pepper, who acted as Private Daniel Jackson in "Saving Private Ryan (1998)" and Joseph L. Galloway in "We were Soldiers (2002)" and most recently, as Sergeant Mike Strank in "Flags of Our Fathers (2006)". This is my kitbashed Nam Navy SEAL. He's wearing M65 ERDL (Engineer Research & Development Laboratories) Leaf Pattern camouflage boonie hat, ERDL Tropical Combat Uniform - Jacket and locally made tiger stripes trousers, scarf, M1967 "H" Suspenders, M1956 equipment belt with "Davis" Quick-Release Buckle, four M1967 Small arms M16 20RD ammo pouches with eight M16 20RD Magazines, two M1967 1QT Canteen pouch and Canteens, M1967 "Butt Pack", M1967 compass/1st Aid dressing pouch, Jungle boots, and is armed with the XM177E1 Carbine with Para Cord Sling, Special Forces Knife with Black Leather Sheath, Smith & Wesson Mark 22 "Hush Puppy" pistol, four M67 hand/fragmentation grenades, two M18 Smoke grenades, one M34 WP (White Phospherous grenade)

A tired and weary looking Barry Pepper. War does that to people :(

That's why the SEAL motto is "The only easy day was yesterday."

As Colonel Hayes Hodges (played by Tommy Lee Jones) said to Major Mark Biggs (played by Guy Pearce) in the movie "Rules of Engagement (2000)": "I'll make you a deal right now. If you can tell me the average life expectancy of a Marine second lieutenant dropped into a hot LZ in Vietnam in 1967, I'll tell you everything I remember about Ca Lu."

Major Mark Biggs: "One week?"

Colonel Hayes Hodges: "Negative. Sixteen minutes. Sixteen fucking minutes, that's all I remember about Ca Lu."

My other NAVY SEAL Nam figures - M60 shorty machine gunner and Stoner machine gunner.

Friday, August 29, 2008

USMC Force Recon Rifleman/Corpsman, Vietnam 1970

This was Toy Soldier's 7th Anniversary figure - a USMC Force Recon Rifleman/Corpsman in Vietnam 1970. He came with tons of stuff - so much that you could actually bash another figure from the leftover accessories, which I did. He comes with M65 ERDL (Engineer Research & Development Laboratories) Leaf Pattern camouflage boonie hat, ERDL Beret, ERDL Tropical Combat Uniform- Jacket and Pants, Olive Green T-shirt, Tropical Combat Boots (Jungle boots) - Improved 1966 version, XM177E1 Carbine with Para Cord Sling, M14 Rifle with Olive Drab Sling, K-bar Utility Knife with Black Leather Sheath, eight M16 20RD Magazines, eight M14 20RD Magazines, four M67 hand/fragmentation grenades, two M18 Smoke grenades, one M34 WP (White Phospherous grenade), M1967 "H" Suspenders, M1956 equipment belt with "Davis" Quick-Release Buckle, four M1967 Small arms M16 20RD ammo pouches, two M1967 1QT Canteen pouch and Canteen, M1967 "Butt Pack", M1967 compass/1st Aid dressing pouch, Canvas Marine Jungle 1st Aid Kit, Strobe Light Pouch (early version), Tropical Survival Kit (Operational), four M1967 Small arms M14 20RD ammo pouches, M1967 "H" Suspender for USMC Combat Field Pack (with Quick-Release Buckle), M1967 USMC Nylon Combat Field Pack, Canvas Medic Bag and two heads, one camouflaged and one clean version of actor Barry Pepper, who acted as Private Daniel Jackson in "Saving Private Ryan (1998)" and Joseph L. Galloway in "We were Soldiers (2002)" and most recently, as Sergeant Mike Strank in "Flags of Our Fathers (2006)".

You can't really tell that it's Barry Pepper under the camouflage paint, you have to see the unpainted head sculpt which is in the next post.

USMC Force Recon with M65 ERDL Leaf Pattern Tropical BDU and beret

One of the beauties of this set - the medical pouch. 

Just like the real thing

His M14 rifle - no modifications yet. Now you have the M14 EBR.

USMC Force Recon Corpsman ready for his recon patrol

Check out the M14 ammo pouches stuffed with M14 20RD magazines and the USMC K-Bar knife

He carries the M1967 USMC nylon combat field pack

His Canvas Marine Jungle 1st Aid Kit

His jungle boots - another nice accessory

He's wearing the M1967 "H" Suspender for USMC Combat Field Pack (with Quick-Release Buckle) - all these minor details make you appreciate this set even more

Thursday, August 28, 2008

US Army 75th Ranger Regiment "Tim"

Last but not least, "Tim", a US Army 75th Ranger Regiment M240B Machine Gunner with Kevlar PASGT helmet with Woodlands camouflage cover and mounting bracket for his NVG, Bolle T800 tactical goggles, Ranger Body Armor (RBA), M81 Woodlands camouflage BDU, RACK (Ranger Assault Carrying Kit) with ammo & utility pouches, M9 bayonet with scabbard, AN/PRC-126 Radio with handset, Camelbak Hydration System, elbow and kneepads, M240B Medium Machine Gun with integrated optical feed cover and heat-shielded handguard, boots and Ranger beret.

The M240B is the US designation for the Belgian FN MAG 58 (General Purpose Machine Gun) machine gun or GPMG in Great Britain and Singapore. It replaced the M60 as the medium machine gun in the US Army. It fires most types of 7.62mm NATO ammunition, and is heavier and bigger than the M249 SAW. That said, I find that Hot Toys 1/6 weapons are a tad bigger than most 1/6 scale weapons, their SAW is huge in comparison with actual pictures of infantryman handling the same weapon. Their MP5s are also bigger in scale coz for a weapon that fires the 9x19mm Parabellum cartridge and is essentially a machine pistol, it shouldn't be that big! Somebody in Hot Toys is feeling mighty inadequate IMHO.