Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Learning About Russian WWII Uniforms

Like many miniature gamers, I have been amassing a collection of Osprey books over the years. Needing information on uniforms so I can paint my 25mm WWII Russian infantry, which I began prepping this evening,I checked the three main Osprey books dealing with the subject: The Red Army of the Great Patriotic War 1941-1945, World War II Soviet Armed Forces 1, and Soviet Rifleman 1941-45. The books cover the subject in great detail and eventually should find their way into your library if gaming the Eastern Front.

I also like looking at reenactor websites. They usually give a history of their real-life unit along with all sorts of detailed info and photos. The 39th Guards Rifle Division was the first Russian group I stumbled upon. It's pretty nice.

Online vendors selling replica uniforms also are a nice help. I never knew there was so much info about the classic Russian winter hat, the ushanka, until I visited The Ushanka Hat Store's website. Though I could have used one of those hats the last few nights here in Central Florida (we've been going down into the 20's at night!), I passed on hitting the 'buy' buttons. I just wanted the photos. Their blog also is a wealth of info about uniform hats. (They sell more than just ushankas!)

My best find online is a free 115 page PDF Russian uniform guide the video game designer Dennis Schwarz wrote for a WWII game. The guide is like a simplified Osprey with history, lots of detailed photos from buttons to tunics (I noticed some are from Trident Military supply), and info about how to replicate proper Russian uniforms in the game, info that can help miniature gamers as well. Every piece of kit. A big help! His weapon loadout PDF is also interesting in a more esoteric way. Check them out at his website here.

Here is his intro for the PDF: "This guide generally divides Russian troops into various time-dependent model sets. There are five sets total: Winter War units ('39-'40), early war soldiers ('41-'43), early war reservists ('41-'43), mid war soldiers ('43-'45) and mid war reservists ('43-'45). The difference between soldiers and reservists basically devides troops in front-line troops, issued the best equipment available and second-line troops, which were issued a lot of surplus wargear. Each of these sets of course requires proper summer, winter and to some extend - camouflaged models."

So that wraps it up for today. Just a quick look at how to find some historical info on Russian WWII uniforms. I'll pass on more info in an organize manner as I find it. Until next time, break out the ushankas and stay warm!

Friday, December 10, 2010

Inspirational Photos For Splintered Light Hares

After scouring the web, these are the photos of hares I've been using as a reference. I also have been using the Redwall covers as a reference, but I've never read the books. I watched a few episodes of the TV show online earlier this year, but it just never grabbed my attention. I just love the Bob Olley figures and am a sucker for anthropomorphic stuff, especially rabbits and mice. Oh, and notice that the inner ears and the nose are not pink!

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Painting Splintered Light Hares Again

This afternoon, I once again began working on my Splintered Light hares. It's been several months since I started them and then stopped. The last time I worked on them, I was trying to find the right colors and technique. I did several test figures with varying results. Either the colors just didn't look right, or when they did look good the drybrushing killed my hands. In pain and frustrated, I shelved the figures. Plus, I did not want to start a technique and then change midway.

Having a few spare hours today, I was going to work on the pirates but pulled out the hares instead. Darn it, I love those figures and wanted to figure them out! I think I did. The painting has been going well and the fur looks pretty good. I'll post some photos. My holiday break starts tomorrow and runs about a month, so my goal is to relax a bit and do some modeling/gaming.

The Forces
Below are the figures I bought earlier this year, taking advantage of a 50%-60% off sale. The hares I mentioned above. The rats are primed and up next. I bought some additional figures at Cold Wars since this order, but I can't recall what off the top of my head. The figs will be based for skirmish gaming.

Druid's Children: The Faithful
1x The Faithful Boxed Set Item # DRFA01
1x The Faithful Heroes Item # DRFA02
1x The Faithful Otter Spears Item # DRFA03
2x The Faithful Hare Spears Item # DRFA04
2x The Faithful Hare Archers DRFA05
2x The Faithful Mouse Warriors Item # DRFA07
1x Mouse Spears Item # DRFA08   
1x Hare Swords Item # DRFA14
1x Mole Miners Item # DRFA15
1x Hedgehog Warriors Item # DRFA16
1x Badger Lords Item # DRFA17
1x Heroes Item # DRFA18
1x Mouse Warriors 3 Item # DRFA24
1x Badger Lord in Plate Item # DRFA28
1x Hare Command Item # DRFA20
1x Mouse Command Item # DRFA22

Druid's Children: The Rebels
1x Boxed Set Item # DRRE01
1x Heroes Item # DRRE02
1x Fox Spears Item # DRRE03 
1x Fox Warriors Item # DRRE04
2x Weasel Warriors 1 Item # DRRE05
2x Weasel Warriors 2 Item # DRRE06
2x Rat Warriors 1 Item # DRRE07
2x Rat Warriors 2 Item # DRRE08
1x Weasel Archers Item # DRRE11
1x Rat Slingers Item # DRRE12
1x Kobold Rangers Item # KOBO05
1x Kobold Skirmishers Item # KOBO04

Friday, October 29, 2010

A Quick Game of FUBAR

Last weekend, we gave the 1-page rules FUBAR a test spin using my 15mm WWII figures, which hadn't seen any action in well over a year. When they say FUBAR is rules-lite, they aren't kidding! They were fun for some quick knocking about, but we made some additions to help the game along. This weekend, they should be releasing Version 3 of the rules.

1. The overall table above. While I might have liked my Woodland Scenics trees a few years ago, I realized that I need to make bigger trees and better trees. I also need to work on a lot more scenery and buy more buildings, both of which have been keeping my miniatures in their boxes instead of on a table. For this game, the three US squads will come in from the right center of the table, while a German squad will hold down the row-home backyard in the center as two other units try to come in from the upper left of the table.

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2. The units are deployed. FUBAR does have cohesion, so the soldiers had to stay close to their squad leader.

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3. In FUBAR, players each roll a die for initiative. The highest-rolling player gets the initiative and then selects one of his units, rolling a single die to activate it. If the die meets or exceeds the unit's training, which for the Americans we set at 4+ while the Germans we set to 3+, the unit can perform an action, such as run or move-and-shoot. Simple enough. Since we were using 15mm instead of 28mm figures, we decided to halve all distances but keep them in inches. This worked better than using centimeters, which we first tried.

- - - - - - -

4. We're nearing the end game! The situation looks bleak for the Americans. Though they wiped out the original German squad defending the backyard, putting their 30cal machine gun to good use, two other German squads suddenly appeared. The tide of battle was about to shift to the Germans.

We made two changes here. First, FUBAR 2.0 lacks morale rules, allowing a unit to fight to the last man. We made a rather arbitrary decision about when a unit looked so suppressed and shot up that the leader had to make a leadership roll to keep the unit in the game, otherwise it routed. Every time the unit became suppressed or lost a soldier after that point, the leader had to make the roll. This really hurt the Americans, who were not as experienced as the Germans.

We also said that units could see 3" through "light woods," which is what the GI's were in in the last photo above. This allowed units to see farther than the rules allowed for normal woods.

The simple activation roll can really make a break a game. Even when no Germans were in sight, both American squads kept failing their activations, allowing the luckier Germans to move up and then wipe them out without so much as return fire. Some "narrating" during the game sought to explain the Americans' bad situation. In the end, the activation system determined the game. This caused mixed emotions. I did get frustrated as all my GI's just stood there for three turns in a row, doing nothing but get shot up.

Will we play FUBAR again? It depends how version 3 improves the game. FUBAR is a simple, fast game, but sometimes its simplicity works against it.

Monday, October 25, 2010

Copplestone OOP 25mm Halflings

Last week on TMP, I bought the complete set of out of production Copplestone halflings. I had never seen all of them until they arrived in the mail on Saturday--photos of them online are elusive. Frothers has a few of the miniatures in their halfling gallery.

I am extremely happy with these figures! Great characters. Not only are the LotR hobbits in these sets, but others as well. I like these hobbits more than the GW LotR figures. The little boxes they come in are really nifty as well.

Since there are no photos of the sets online, I snapped some today during a 15mm WWII game I set up for myself--hence the green cloth.

CF1 Halfling Adventurers

CF2 Halfling Heroes

CF3 Halfling Travellers

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Don't Talk To Me About Gulf Strike

Have you ever bought a wargame based on the weight of the box along, thinking that having 900+ counters and four maps must make it an awesome game? I thought this back in 1983 when I walked into the Complete Strategist and picked up a new copy of Victory Game's Gulf Strike.

Gulf Strike sets out to simulate modern combat in the Gulf region all "within" 360 minutes. It's been updated a few times and has been used to game every modern war have been fighting over there.

Back in late 1983, I was at the height of my wargaming and roleplaying life. I was 20 years old, earning a decent living and preparing to go off to college the next year. (I worked for a few years between high school and college.) I had a large collection of wargames from Avalon Hill, SPI, GDW, Victory Games, Games Workshop, and others.

Well, several times I tried to play Gulf Strike to no avail. I read the rules as best I could. I even set it up several times just to motivate myself, thinking that looking at it all ready to go on my game table in my room would do the trick. Never happened. I mean, come on. I was an SPI veteran! I played plenty of "Complexity 10" games like AH's Third Reich. I even "tried" Squad Leader! So Gulf Strike should have been a breeze. Nope. Never happened.

So what is the moral of the story, boys and girls? I don't know. Just last night at Cool Stuff I almost bought Federation Commander: Klingon Border. Almost. So maybe I did learn something 27 years ago? Nah, I doubt it.

Friday, October 15, 2010

Fly's Studio: Part 8 - The Sign

Last summer, I began chronicling how I prepped and painted Fly's Studio from Old Glory's line of 25mm Western buildings. I enjoyed the project, learning a great deal usually from mistakes. Even though I declared the project finished in Part 7 , I always knew it wasn't. Two unfinished bits have been bugging me: the building needed a sign and it needed porch roof posts.

As in all the older Old Glory buildings in their Western line, the main roof over the building, the building's upper false front, and the porch roof are one solid piece, forcing the porch roof to sit on any posts I might add. A year ago, I avoided adding the roof posts because I was unsure how to add them, afraid they would break off during a game. Building the Hartley House project taught me otherwise. It also taught me to paint the posts before gluing them in place--a mistake I will not make again!

But this article isn't about adding the roof posts. This article is about adding a sign. So let's get to it!

A Bit Of Tombstone History
Camillus Fly was a frontier photographer during the height of the Wild West in the late 1800's . He spent the best years of his career living in Tombstone, AZ, where he ran the small photography gallery in the above photo. The building entered into legend after the famous gunfight at the O.K. Corral took place in a 15-foot-wide empty lot between Fly's building and the Harwood House.

Comparing the vintage photo of the real photography gallery to Old Glory's model, you can see the Old Glory building only has a passing resemblance to it. This doesn't bother me one bit, since I'm not modeling the city of Tombstone.

Freehand v Transfers v Photo?
You might notice that Fly had his "sign" painted onto the building's false front, a common practice at the time. For the past year, I debated if I wanted to hand paint my sign on the Old Glory model. One slip of the brush, however, would ruin the entire model! So hand painting a sign was out of the question.

I then considered using dry transfer lettering, which I've done before on other models. Unfortunately, finding Western-looking dry transfer lettering is difficult in my area and online. What I did find was a too expensive. So no dry transfers this time.

Instead, I settled on using a photo of a real sign. After searching the Internet, I came across the sign you see here. It's a photo of a real sign from a real building, but not the real Fly's Photography Gallery. It's a sneaky imitation trading on the famous name--perfect for me! So in my world of Gun Town, the gallery belongs to the second-rate photographer Martin Fly, Camillus Fly's distant cousin. Like any good greedy relative with little talent of his own, Martin relies on his cousin's famous name for an income.

Resize The Sign The Right Way
Loading the sign into Paint Shop Pro, I cleaned up the original photo until all that remains is what you see here. I then shrank it to fit the model.

The first instinct many people have is to hit the "resize" button to shrink an image. Don't do this!!! Don't even use the higher quality "bilinear resample" function to resize the image. Both techniques will compress the image leaving squiggly "artifacts" in it--not good when printing signs.

Instead, increase the photo's dots per inch, its DPI. The higher the DPI, the smaller the photo will print while keeping the text sharp without artifacts. I knew I wanted my sign to print at a specific size in inches, so I increased the DPI from 72 upwards, clicking the DPI button until it matched the printed size I wanted. The photo above is the actual gif I printed. I left the ball trim in place in case people would like it.

Print The Sign
I printed the sign on good plain paper using the high quality setting on my printer. Since the paper needed more thickness to look like wood, I glued it to a handy scrap of thick cardstock. This combination looked better than printing the sign directly to cardstock printer paper, which still would have been too thin.

Trim The Bottom Of The Sign
Using a steel ruler, I trimmed the straight bottom section of the sign. Cutting this portion of the sign before gluing it to the cardstock is easier I feel. I then freehand cut the "Gallery" portion of the sign using a sharp Xacto knife. I tried keeping the small balls in each corner but decided to cut them off. Freehand cutting a teeny circle is difficult!

Glue The Sign To Cardboard
Next, I sprayed the back of the sign with 3M Super 77 glue. Super 77 may be a bit more expensive but is the best spray glue out there. I aligned the bottom of the sign with the straight cut on the cardstock and pressed it in place.

Trim The Entire Sign
Using the metal ruler and Xacto knife, I then trimmed the entire sign.

Color The Edges
Once the glue dried, I trimmed the entire sign. Since I didn't want the white edges of the paper showing, I grabbed a colored pencil ("carmine") that matched the sign's color. Believe it or not, I bought the pencil in the photo is 30 years ago!

Affix The Sign
I did not glue the sign to the building. Instead I used small bits of blue tack to affix the sign to the building. The tack holds the sign perfectly while allowing me to swap it out with other signs when needed. Nifty, eh?

I experimented with putting the sign on the false front and hanging it from the porch roof. I like both ways. Affixing it to the false front, however, might be safer during a game than affixing it to the porch roof. We'll see how it holds up either way. (You can also see the new posts test-fitted in the right-hand photo. I'm also finishing the bases on my Western figures this weekend, so no more 'naked' metal!)


Printing your own custom signs is easy and adds realism to buildings with little work. Some modelers are taking photos of actual buildings, scaling them to size, printing them on photo paper, and creating actual models that look amazingly real. A couple fellows are building an entire HO layout of modern Miami this way!

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Top 50 Animated Features of All Time

The following is a list of The Top 50 Animated Features of All Time comprised by me, J. R. Waller. I have been a fan of animation/anime for years and it is my pleasure to share with you a list of those shows that I believe to be the best examples of their craft. They each standalone on their own merits, setting the standard for all to follow. These shows and movies display the boundless creativity of their creators and showcase a wide variety of styles and genres. From “cartoons” to “anime” the list feature the best there is. From exceptional writing and direction, to captivating stories, to inspiring artistic direction and much more, these are the best and these are not just my personal favorites either but what I believe to be the essential animated features of all time. Enjoy!

1. Honey & Clover II, 2006, J.C. Staff
2. Mushishi, 2005, Artland
3. Fullmetal Alchemist, 2003, BONES
4. Honey and Clover, 2005, J.C. Staff
5. Millennium Actress, 2001, Madhouse
6. Haibane Renmei, 2002, Radix
7. Kino’s Journey, 2003, A.C.G.T
8. Nausicaa of the Valley of the Wind, 1984, Topcraft
9. Spirited Away, 2001, Studio Ghibli
10. 5cm Per Second, 2007, CoMix Wave Inc.
11. Planetes, 2003, Sunrise
12. Eureka Seven, 2005, BONES
13. The Girl Who Leapt through Time, 2006, Madhouse
14. Princess Mononoke, 1997, Studio Ghibli
15. My Neighbor Totoro, 1988, Studio Ghibli
16. Spongebob Squarepants, 1999, United Plankton Pictures
17. Porco Rosso, 1992, Studio Ghibli
18. The Big O, 1999, Sunrise
19. Last Exile, 2003, Gonzo
20. Trigun, 1998, Madhouse
21. Rocko’s Modern Life, 1993, Joe Murray Productions and Games Productions
22. Kiki’s Delivery Service, 1989, Studio Ghibli
23. Howl’s Moving Castle, 2004, Studio Ghibli
24. Fantastic Mr. Fox, 2009, Regency Enterprises and Indian Paintbrush
25. The Triplets of Belleville, 2003, France 3 Cinema, Les Armateurs, Production Champion, RGP France, and Vivi Film
26. The Big O II, 2003, Sunrise
27. Samurai Jack, 2001, Genndy Tartakovsky
28. The Iron Giant, 1999, Warner Bros. Animation
29. Rugrats, 1991, Klasky Csupo
30. Whisper of the Heart, 1995, Studio Ghibli
31. Castle in the Sky, 1986, Studio Ghibli
32. The Place Promised in Our Early Days, 2004, CoMix Wave Inc.
33. Voices of a Distant Star, 2002, CoMix Wave Inc.
34. Batman: The Animated Series, 1992, Warner Bros. Animation
35. Hey Arnold!, 1996, Snee-Oosh, Inc.
36. The Twelve Kingdoms, 2002, Studio Pierrot
37. Ponyo on the Cliff by the Sea, 2008, Studio Ghibli
38. Justice League Unlimited, 2004, Warner Bros. Animation
39. Aria the Animation, 2005, Hal Film Maker
40. Rahxephon, 2002, Bones
41. The Cat Returns, 2002, Studio Ghibli
42. Doug, 1991, Jumbo Pictures
43. Rurouni Kenshin, 1996, Studio Gallop, Studio Deen, and SPE Visual Works
44. Steamboy, 2004, Sunrise
45. The Castle of Cagliostro, 1979, Tokyo Movie Shinsha, and Topcraft
46. Mobile Suit Gundam, 1979, Sunrise
47. Dexter’s Laboratory, 1996, Cartoon Network Studios and Hanna-Barbera
48. Justice League, 2001, Warner Bros. Animation
49. Wolverine and the X-Men, Marvel Animation, Toonz Entertainment, First Serve International, Noxxon Entertainment Inc., 2008
50. Mobile Suit Gundam 0080: War in the Pocket, 1989, Sunrise

Friday, October 1, 2010

P3 Modeling & Painting Vol 1 Briefly Reviewed

The DVD arrived earlier this week. Having some free time this afternoon, I enjoyed watching it. The video has several chapters for the new painter, covering basics such as cleaning a mini, picking the right tools, setting up a work area, and picking the right brushes.

The video also explains the basics of pinning and filling in gaps with modeling putty. Since I've never had to do this, this section was new to me, though I knew it in theory. I was a bit disappointed that they did not mention what size brass rod to use and its corresponding drill bit size. Looks like a quick post to TMP will be in order when I must cross that bridge.

The rest of the video shows the basics of painting--base coating, drybrushing, washes, and then layering. You get to see three figures from start to finish using the techniques. I was disappointed that blending was not covered. I guess that's an advanced technique. On the other hand, I cannot really do blending anymore since the rapid back and forth with the brush hurt my wrist and hands. (Just rinsing brushes in my cleaning jar can hurt my hand! I have to move my entire arm left to right to clean the brush between paint strokes--an odd sight that feels more like exercising than painting.)

I find the video inspirational and useful for anyone beginning painting. It makes everyone realize they can do a nice job with a little patience and practice. Even Jeremy realized he could paint a nice mini following these instructions. I can see me lending this to a few friends in my Sunday school class. For what it sets out to do, the video gets a A from me.

Monday, September 20, 2010

Gettysburg And Some Updates

Life and work has been a bit hectic, which is why not many posts of any significance lately. After 90+ days in the hospital, my dad finally came home last week. My wife and Jeremy are flying up to PA on Wednesday and coming home on Sunday. I'm staying home to work and maybe go to Hurricon this weekend. I'm still debating because I always like going with Jeremy. I'll have to see how I feel later in the week. Below are some quick updates. I'll save my internal debate on starting 28mm WWII versus finishing my 15mm WWII figures for a later date!

Blue Moon Pirates
It's been a couple of weeks since I last worked on my Blue Moon pirates, finishing the shadow and base coats of flesh on both packs. Next is to paint the highlights. Painting the flesh similar to 25mm figures has been paying off. Many of the figures are bare chested, taking a lot of work. My goal is to work on these later this week. I've been doing some research into painting and detailing the pirate ships.

Last week, I finished another West Wind Western figure, a preacher with Bible and revolver. This was an experiment in painting brown hair and beard and it turned out great. I'll snap some photos later. Got a box of Pegasus Cactus to work on as well. Old Glory will be using my photo of the bearskin rug on their website! Finally, I need some time to finish my article on printing and making signs.

Always buying more back issues than I can read. I'm on an old Justice Society and Captain America kick, getting some nice deals. Last week, Jeremy bought the entire run of Superman titles from 1997-1999 just for some fun reading. Though I have SuperSystem 1st Edition, I'm looking into Superhero rules as well.

Gettysburg Photos
Here are the last few photos from Gettysburg.  Jeremy shot all of them as we drove down from Little Round Top and around the battlefield. Bushman Farm is the middle photo, with Little Round Top in the background. Not sure about the names of the other buildings. Seeing them just now, he said he has no idea how the photos came out so well. (Just a little modest!) It was a great trip.

Saturday, September 4, 2010

Blue Moon Pirates: Part 1 - Base & Shadow Flesh

Today, I finished the first coat of flesh on two packs of Blue Moon 15mm pirates seen below. I use P3 paints for flesh. Since these figures are more detailed and will be individually based, I'm treating them more like 25mm figures than 18mm figures.

The first three photos below show the first coat of paint, which is P3 Khardic Flesh. I apply it rather sloppily to get in all the nooks and crannies. I do this because people notice flesh and faces more than clothing. Later, I will trim away all the excess flesh paint using black and then paint the rest of the figure.

I used P3 Idrian Flesh as the base for the African fellows below. There is only one figure in the pack that looks African, which is a bit disappointing. I would have liked a couple others as well for variety. This guy looks suitably tough!

With all the bare chests and legs in each pack, these figures took a lot longer to paint than I expected! With the Khardic flesh done, I set out to paint in the shadow colors. Using a 00 brush, I painted P3 Idrian Flesh into the muscle shadows such as this fellow's six-pack and biceps. I also paint the eyes, the shadow under the cheek bone, under the nose, and under the chin and neck area. When done, I go back and touch that up with Khardic again to make everything neat. You don't want thick lines of Idrian slapped on the figure!

You can see the finished result below. The figure to the right has the Idrian painted in the shadows. The fellow on the left is just the base Khardic. The difference under normal light a couple feet away is dramatic.

Even though painting the flesh has been been an experiment, I am liking the results so far. It is taking longer than normal 15mm figures and is a bit trickier than painting 25mm figures because these pirates are smaller. But I am not done yet.

Next step will be to highlight the muscles using P3 Midlund Flesh. I am thinking of mixing 50/50 Midlund/Khardic but might go straight Midlund for a more dramatic effect with these smaller figures. Then maybe some extreme highlights here and there using P3 Ryn Flesh if I feel it looks good. I think it will be worth the effort. Then I have to return to my Splintered Light hares, which is turning out to be an eternal project due to the drybrushing method I started. Always something to work on in our hobby!

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Gettysburg: Little Round Top

Instead of rambling on about my lack of free time and how I hate Microsoft for changing PowerPoint 10 so some things in the 07 don't work the same and rambling how my college gave us new computers with PP10 over the summer, sending out an email letting us know of the change when most of the faculty including myself was off for summer vacation just so we couldn't save our old files.

Instead of rambling about that, here are a few photos from Gettysburg's Little Round Top. This is a spot that always brings chills to me. It moves many people.

Jeremy shot all these photos. He did a nice job I think. He doesn't take many photos, so it's always nice when he wants to try his hand. The photos are sized for 1680x1080 wallpaper.

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Gettysburg: Something For The Family

I just discovered a folder of Gettysburg photos that I thought I had posted but did not. So over the next few posts, I will get them online. I took them when we visited during Christmas week 2008. The park was dead, and the weather was clear. And cold and windy. No, bitter cold and almost tropical storm windy is a better description. (We've been living in Florida too long!)

Keeping with the blog's bear theme the past week or so, below are some photos of the enormous Boyds Bear Country barn, which is part tourist attraction, part teddy bear museum, and mostly Boyds store. The attraction is only several minutes south of the battlefield. Jeremy and I had a blast. He loves teddy bears, and his mommy likes collecting Boyds bears. She couldn't come with us because she had to go back to work in Florida. So Jeremy got her a small bear and promised lots of photos--he had to call her as soon as we got there. After the battlefield and Boyds, we headed north to visit Hershey Park's Chocolate World at night. It was a long day! Anyway...

A Trip To Make Them Happy
If you visit the battlefield with kids or a wife who really could care less about clomping about another bunch of hills, fences, and statues, I suggest cutting a deal. They "suffer" through the history of the battlefield with the promise that tomorrow they get to go to Boyds. Or drop them there while you clomp around the battlefield. They will love you for it.

Is It Really A Barn?
Why is the building a barn? Good question! The idea for the attraction didn't start out as a barn but quickly became one. You see, Boyds took advantage of a loophole in PA tax and zoning laws. Because they built the museum as a barn, Boyds got off paying a lot of taxes on the property. Locals told me that Boyds built the biggest "barn" ever, pushing it to the legal limit. After the PA taxmen realized their mistake, PA changed the law so it would never happen again. Of course, Boyds was not affected and is still laughing to the bank I'm told.