About Me

Some of the most memorable moments of my childhood involve playing with Hot Wheels, Matchbox, Johnny Lightning, and other 1/64 scale diecast toys with my friends. Among my favorite vehicles were the Matchbox and Hot Wheels half-tracks, which coincidentally were very close to 1/72 scale. Throughout the years, miniatures have held a special attraction for me. Similarly, from the time I was 10 years old, I have been fascinated with WWII — a fascination that has only strengthened with time. Now a middle-aged man, I have found a way to meld my two interests. I have been seriously collecting 1/72 scale WWII planes, tanks, vehicles, and soldiers for the last 20 years and my collection includes well over 1,000 such items. This Blog is an attempt to document my obsession.

I intend to report on new acquisitions to my collection, provide reviews of vehicles, and generally document my musings on these miniatures. I have also been trying to recreate WWII photos in 1/72 scale. Sometimes the recreations look the part; sometimes not. At any rate, my goal is to post once a week — a modest but achievable goal. I do appreciate and welcome constructive comments.

    • Sebastian,

      Thank you for visiting the site and for the kind words. I visited your blog and was awed by the variety of excellent articles on different scales, time periods, and subjects. I’ve only explored a portion of your blog so far but already love the book and film reviews and have learned a number of modeling tricks that I’ll be using in the future. Having served in Portugal, the photo of the glass of port spoke to me and brought back pleasant memories of aisles and aisles of good but inexpensive wines.

      And you’re right, we’ve all followed the same pattern: precocious interest in history, joyful modeling as kids, long hiatus after high school, and eventual return in middle age to what once gave us great joy.

      Congratulations on a great site. I know how much effort is involved and the dedication you’ve put into yours is evident and exemplary. Keep up the great work. By the way, I’ve added your site to my blogroll. I hope you don’t mind.

      To anyone reading this comment, I encourage you to click on Sebastian’s blog. You’ll be richly rewarded.

      chules

  1. Wow chules !!! Great site. I need to spend a few days here to get caught up. My wife is constantly dismayed by my WW2 documentary fascination… that’s the part that impacts her the most: she can ignore the books and models. It’s good to see like-minded individuals sharing their knowledge and collections.

    • Hi Hans-Joachim,

      Thank you kindly for your comments and for visiting the website. It’s a real treat to hear from people in other countries. I visited your website last night and thought your dioramas were awesome. The stained glass on the church in “Pak 40 in Ruine” was a nice touch and I’ll be trying to do something similar in the future. Likewise, the “DUKW im Hafen” was superb. I’m curious about how you achieved the water effect. Anyhow, please feel free to link to my website. I’ll be including a link to your site in my blogroll as well.

      Best regards,

      chules

  2. Hi Chules,
    I landed by chance on your homepage today and was totally inspired by your work. Your models and dioramas are unique. Not only very well and detailed, but also the ideas that you pick up are very interesting. Perfectly staged!!!
    I also build military models and dioramas in 1:72 but I can not keep up with you. Visit my homepage and get inspired by my dioramas, bunkers and vehicles in 1:72.
    I’ve build since months Japanese bunkers and Defence Positions in 1:72 scale. Each is a unique piece and is made with the simplest of means.
    Last week I built a Japanese soldiers’ cemetery in 1:72. Unfortunately, I sold him a few days ago in Ebay. I regret that now because he was unique. But on my homepage you can admire him. (www.mustangmodellbau.com)
    Best greetings from Germany,
    Peter

    • Peter,

      Thanks for visiting the site and for the kind words. I spent a couple of hours on your website tonight enjoying your terrific dioramas. I particularly liked the “Erste Hilfe, Frankreich 1915” and “Ungarischer Spahtrupp, Russland 1942” vignettes.

      I’ve got to to say, you’re a man after my own heart. Like you, I built many Monogram and AMT 1/24 scale hot rods in my youth. And like you, I have hundreds of 1/64 scale diecast cars. A wonderful feature of the internet is that we can find people like ourselves in faraway lands.

      Regards,

      chules

  3. Hello Chules,

    I had a quick question about the 70th Tank Battalion Sherman you made which looks fantastic. Would you be able to drop me an email so I can explain more?

    Thanks,
    Bryan

  4. Great site, stumbled on it by chance, well done.

    Re the elephant by PaleoSculpt, I did a quick search for them, but couldn’t find them, could you point me in the right direction please?

    • Paul,

      Thanks for visiting the site and for the kind words.

      I’ve sent you an email with contact information for PaleoSculpt. Don’t hesitate to contact me if you have other questions or comments.

      Best,

      chules

  5. Stanley Tang says:

    OMG Chules, the attention to detail on your website really makes my jaw drop. My knowledge of WWII military history is not even close to what you’re presenting on your website. Great work, man, and please keep it up.

    • Stanley,

      Thanks for the kind words. I’ve found that I’ve learned a lot more since starting this blog as it forces me to check information I took for granted since I was a kid. Also, thanks for diligently collecting and meticulously saving these wonderful pieces we hold dear. Without serious collectors like you, lots of these pieces would disappear forever.

      Regards,

      chules

  6. Your admirable passion for historical accuracy far exceeds mine, so if you ever spend a moment looking at my site there will be much you’ll have to overlook! 😉

    • Hi Chris,

      I just checked out your website. It’s awesome, man! I especially loved the “A Bit o Lace” diorama. But it was your incredibly thoughtful essays on why we do this that struck a chord with me. It’s as if you had a window into my personal world. Yet another man after my own heart. At the moment I mostly collect, with an occasional build, which usually takes me forever. I’ve been working on an Aunt Jemima in fits and starts for more than a year so I have tremendous respect for guys like you who actually build. I hope you don’t mind that I’ve added your superb site to my Blogroll. Regards.

  7. I like the way you’re doing this. I share your fascination with miniatures (especially relating to WWII), and I get the satisfaction of “doing something with it all” by expressing it here. Well done!

  8. Bob Falcetti says:

    Hi Chules,
    I am just getting into war gaming and modeling and am trying to find WWII figures for US and Japanese in the Philippine theater. Specifically US Ranger raid on Cabanatuan POW camp. Was wondering if you know of companies that make figures that would work for this? The US Rangers wore soft caps not helmets during this raid. Thank you very much for any assistance.

    • Hi Bob,

      Welcome to the hobby. Forgive the late response. I usually read my emails on the weekend.

      I’m pretty familiar with WWII 1/72 plastic soldiers but not so much with resin and white metal figures. As far as plastic, I don’t know of any that would meet your needs.

      I suspect your only option is to create them, which is not anywhere near as difficult as you might think. If you haven’t done so already, please check out http://www.plasticsoldierreview.com/Index.aspx — by far the best 1/72 plastic soldier site on the web.

      You would start with the Pegasus 7351 U.S. Rangers (or some other WWII U.S. infantry set) and lop off their heads.

      Rangers

      You would then replace those heads with the heads of figures with soft caps, such as those from the Imex 530 Korean Troops set.

      Koreans

      I think some of the Rangers at Cabanatuan also used the floppy bush cap, which you could get from the ESCI 229 North Vietnamese set.

      Vietnamese

      The result would be more than acceptable — and actually pretty neat. I mean it when I say it’s not that hard: 1) lop off the wrong head: 2) drill a hole on the top of the torso; 3) drill a hole on the base of the donor head; 4) superglue a tiny metal pin in the torso hole; and 5) superglue the donor head in place. Presto!

      I’ve been working on a similar modification project that I’ll post soon.

      At any rate, if you do find the figures you’re looking for in resin or white metal or if you create your own using the simple method above, let me know. I’d be interested in seeing the result. By the way, I visited Cabanatuan years ago — well worth the trip if you’re ever in the Philippines.

      Regards,

      chules

      • Bob Falcetti says:

        Chules,

        Thank you so very much for this information. This is exactly what I was looking for. I like this scale very much and it is much more affordable than many of the more expensive metal figures. Thank you again and thank you for your blog. It is a great resource.

        Bob

  9. Chules, let me be the first to congratulate you on your site. You now have a dedicated venue for your stagings, where your armor models, figures and accessories find their way out of their boxes and into realistic scenes, painstakingly created by you. A man and his collection, driven by an interest that’s rooted in his childhood dreams. Wonderful!

    • Ara, you more than anybody or anything else have been the catalyst I needed to quit planning and start doing. Your constant encouragement and guidance have kept me going the last year. A better internet friend one could not find.

      • Very nice for you to say. You have made the hobby a social event, which is appreciated because so much of the work we collectors / hobbyists do is in isolation. I am fortunate to have a friend in you.

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