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Sunday, September 22, 2013

Action Report: National Capital Model Soldier Society 2013 Toy Soldier Show

After having missed several local Toy Soldier Shows, I had the opportunity and pleasure of attending the NCMSS 2013 Toy Soldier Show this past weekend. Besides being able to chat with the vendors and pick up missing or new items for the collection, what makes this show special is that it also contains an exhibit of dioramas built by the members of the society. Many of these dioramas are quite nice and even if they are on topics beyond WWII, they still manage to grab my attention and inspire me. In terms of vendor interaction, I was able to spend some time with Gary Green from Warstore Collectibles who, BTW, is one of the few vendors still carrying FOV vehicles and gave me a very nice deal on several of them. Now that FOV has increased its prices so much, their vehicles are becoming harder to find at the shows as dealers are hesitant to invest in them, aware of the lower demand given the higher prices. Quite unfortunate as I think that this will ultimately hurt FOV. Moving along, I also had a chance to stop by and chat with John Stengel, 'the Marx man'. His knowledge of the hobby and friendly character made it quite a pleasant experience, while I picked up from a couple of bins some figures which I had been hunting down for a long time. Hobby Bunker was also there, and George Guerreiro from Minute Men Toy Soldiers as well. All in all, quite a successful and enjoyable trip. Anyhow, here are some pictures from some of the sights, and in particular, some of the dioramas which caught my attention.

Getting to the show...
The parking lot was packed, so I was getting a bit nervous about things starting to sell out, in particular the Pegasus German Paras which was my main goal of the day... By the time I got in there, only Hobby Bunker had them left, but I got them!

A shot of the floor, showing about two thirds of the vendors.

A very nice diorama of the battle of the Alamo.

Here is another angle, depicting the battle outside the chapel.
Great figures, great building, great layout and composition.

I initially mistook this for a Napoleonic battle, but an alert reader -see comments below- identified it as the 'last stand of the 44th foot at Gandamak'. A battle that took place in Afghanistan in 1842. The amount of drama in this diorama is quite palpable! 

The perspective from the attacker's point of view. 

This ship was magnificent. Built from scratch, the level of detail was amazing, and on top of that, the engine and the propeller actually worked! You could see the pistons firing and moving up and down in the engine room and even though the propeller had its own separate electric motor, the illusion was quite impressive. I hope this guy won the prize... 

A WWII scene showing a couple of knocked out T-34s, allegedly taken out by some SS troopers. Nice job with the water and the grass.


  1. The "Napoleonic Battle" looks more like the "Last Stand" of the 44th Foot at GANDAMAK in Afghanistan in 1842 in the "Retreat from Kabul".Kuvaszsleepybear.

  2. Could very well be. I really wish I had slowed down to take notes... I was running out of time and neglected to document the facts properly. Would have also been good to give tha authors proper credit...

  3. Google "Last Stand of the 44th at Gandamak" painted by William Barnes Wollen.Kuvaszsleepybear.

  4. Yep, that must be it! Good eye. Thanks for the tip!