Monday, December 11, 2006


While I'm getting a lot done, not all of it is miniature or art related. Although it's neat to see in progress work or a figure done step-by-step , finished work is nice to see also. So while the wheels of progress turn slowly, I thought to share a few things with you. We all have things that inspired or fostered passion in our hobbies. There were two distinct things that fueled my interests for American military history, especially uniforms. The first was the American Heritage book of the Civil war. In addition to having period photos and artwork, the maps drawn by David Greenspan more than captured my imagination. I'm sure many a boy remembers these fantastic "bird's eye" views of the Civil War's major battles. I would sit for hours looking at these maps populated with hundreds of little Union and Confederate soldiers fighting one another at places like Little Round Top or Antietam's Dunker Church. The maps also served as a great reference for recreating these battles with toy soldiers. Around 1973-74 my parent's bought me the Marx Toys Blue & Gray playset that was sold by Sears. This was the other thing that had me hooked for life. Long gone are the days where you will get a building made of tin, or cannons that actually fire little projectiles. A year or two later I was also the proud owner of Marx's Sons of Liberty playset. Needless to say the Civil War and American Revolution became my two most favorite periods of history. What I find amazing is the number of people that not only owned but were inspired by the very same things.


Brian Downey said...

Hi Gary,

Lovely work you're doing. I'll be a regular, now that I've stumbled on your blog.

The map you've excerpted from the AH Civil War volume is one of my earliest memories, too, and a fond one.

best wishes,

Jason said...

Hope you don't mind me using your snowman image for Christmas cards. LOL! Great work!
Yes, those Greenspan maps are awesome. I would sit for hours playing with the Airfix 1/72 CW figures (remember the Pringles containers we stored them in?) and re-creating those scenes. Ahh, the memories...Thanks for bringing them back.


Peter said...

It seems like we all started the same way! The maps, play sets, I too remember the whole thing. I actually had 2 Blue and Gray sets. One I got for Christmas and the other I found in a trash pile out in the woods. That was like finding buried treasure! Great memories!