Dan has been collecting toy soldiers since he can remember. Of course it always starts out with plastic army men in the dirt in the back yard, but it has since evolved into a basement full of tiny hand painted soldiers. He spends endless hours with a paintbrush the size of a three hairs in hand, painstakingly painting the proper uniforms on his Imperial Roman Praetorian Command. One would think it’s an odd pastime, however no more odd than hitting a tiny white golf ball with a long stick towards a tiny hole in the ground 300 yards away or for that matter watching race cars turn left around the same track all day, it’s just not as popular.
Dan also devours history books like snacks. I once discovered that given a random date in history Dan could tell me what war was happening and where and why in the world it was. I would randomly give him a number in the middle of a drive to the grocery store “1639!” and he would say “that’s easy… the 30 years war, but you know about that, how about I tell you about the Portuguese-Dutch Wars in the East Indies…”
A few times a year we drive into the Chicago suburbs to convene with other toy soldier enthusiast for the weekend. Actually Dan convenes and I shop at the local mall or swim in the hotel pool. It’s amazing to see thousands of regiments in miniature lined up on tables ready for battle, especially when you lean down to see each 20 mm figure has been hand painted right down to the eye balls. Dan always comes home after those weekends with and inspired desire to paint.
As pass times go it’s a good one, people ask if I mind that he has filled our basement with a tiny militia. I don’t mind, there are far worse pass times for a husband to have, beside he puts up with my obsession for antique dishes.
Toy Soldier Links:
UPNAway a good overview
One Guy's Toy Soldier Room (it looks alot like our basement)
Playset Addict awesome dioramas