Saturday, January 14, 2017


Known to the locals of the Comoro Islands by the names of "Mame" or "Gombessa", the coelacanth was brought into public awareness after a specimen was discovered in the catch from a fishing trawler by museum curator Marjorie Courtenay Latimer in 1938.

The coelacanths are members of an order of ancient lobed-finned fish with primitive lungs, the majority of which became extinct in the Late Cretaceous period.

Modern coelacanths are about 2m long, but prehistoric specimens like Mawsonia could reach 4–6m in length.

Kaiyodo makes a model of Axelrodichthys in their UHA Dinotales line (series 1), but the fish of this genus are pretty small (~40cm long). However, I think these models can easily pass for the similar looking, but much larger Mawsonia which belongs to the same family of coelacanths.

The brown coelacanth is the standard color miniature, while the blue coelacanth is the alternate color version of the miniature.

Monday, January 9, 2017

The West Coaster Toy Soldier Show

The West Coaster Toy Soldier Show has been around for 28 years, but I've never had the chance to attend until this past weekend.

I've been aware of the show for a few years, but traditionally it has been held in March, and always conflicted with my schedule.

This year, the show took place in the ballroom of the Wyndham Hotel in Anaheim, and it looks lilke it had a decent turnout.

The primary focus of the show is definitely for large scale figures in metal.

Working toy cannon

There were vendors with vintage plastic figures as well, but very few had anything in 1/72 or "HO" scale.

Bins of plastics

I ended up buying one bag of random plastic animals just so that my trip would not be a complete wash. The figure that really caught my attention was the gray sabertooth cat in the upper right-hand corner.

I have no idea of who manufactured any of these miniatures.

The body is modeled after the much larger Marx figure, but the sculptor got lazy with the head which looks almost like something from a lion dance costume. I'd really be interested in knowing who the manufacturer was, and if they made any other similarly scaled creatures.

Some of the figures are also useful as references for sculpting as well. I don't know what this animal is supposed to be, but the sculptor really managed to convey the poofiness of the fur.

Marmot? Squirrel-dog?

Here are the remaining figures from the bag. I think there are some old Marx and Timmee items in there, but I have no idea of who the other manufacturers may be.

I think that the models that impressed me the most in the show were 54mm metal models made by Bruce Hebron of The Metal Shed.

The models are all hand crafted from sheet metal, and come with many moving parts. I'm not sure how long it took to construct the railway gun, but Bruce estimated that something like a Rolls Royce armored car would take him about 20 hours to put together.

12 inch railway gun

How I wish someone would make a Big Bertha in 1/72.

Big Bertha

Peoria scout car

Gotha G.V

I probably won't attend this show on any sort of regular basis, but I enjoyed my time there. There were a lot of friendly people who like to talk about old toys (and new) as both vendors and attendees. It was also nostalgic to see many of the toys I had as a child, and to see that the mistreated ones were damaged in the same way my own old toys were!

Sunday, January 8, 2017


I purchased the turret from the fictional IS-W dieselpunk walker tank created by Noah Li from Shapeways just because I thought it looked cool.

The IS-W model is supposed to be 1/100 scale, but it looked like it would work fine for 1/72 as well. I considered buying the full model for a second, but decided against it since the total price would have been close to US$100.

The design is very similar to the KV-2X Heavy Walking Tank made by the now defunct MIG Productions in 1/35 scale many years ago.

The turret looks a lot like the conning tower of a submarine.

I'm not going to use the gun that came with the turret because it is way oversized. Here is the turret with a D-10T barrel.

I originally envisioned the turret with a ML-20 barrel like the IS-152 designed by Kow Yokoyama for the Panzer Front game (not to be confused with the real life ISU-152).

Here's the turret on a IS-3 chassis.

I dunno, doesn't look very convincing. I wonder if the T-10 chassis might look better...

Here's the turret on an E-100 chassis for purposes of showing it on a larger hull.

A little better? Perhaps. The turret probably still looks best with it's original walking tank body.