Wednesday, November 9, 2011
Ebay yielded, in time, two more - one of them a practically mint condition structure, complete with flag pole, flag and all the crucial "connecting" rafter ends on the middle floor (which are inserted into holes in the three walls).
From there, I became more or less obsessed with constructing the most immense Fort Apache possible. I'm not sure what exactly spurred this. Maybe, it was just a need to dial back the life clock to better times. I became dangerously familiar with Ebay. Stockade walls were shipped in in their dozens, as were six of the excellent 'early' pallisade 'fighting cabins' that Marx produced for its '50s forts. Bigger and with roofs that simply lifted off to allow for the easy placement of fighting men, these were superior in every way to Marx's later, and much smaller, structures that never seemed to sit properly on the walls. (The smaller cabins came in two pieces, which, after being connected, forced you to awkwardly position your soldiers through the too-small windows.) Below: a comparison of the two, with the older cabin on the left. The second photo shows the older version, de-roofed: plenty of room for fighters.
Posted by Basil Duke at 2:18 PM
After cracking open the tin litho fort, the addiction was instantaneous and permanent. A plastic avalanche of 54mm fixes followed through the years - Knights and Vikings, Guns of Navarone, Marx's Civil War, Marx's Battleground, The Alamo, Timpo's WWII playset (with the weird tanks and Bren gun carrier), Marx's Blockhouse Fort Apache, Fort Cheyenne, Marx's "Pacific" playset, and so on. Today, I'm closer to 50 than I am to 40, and indulge myself with the shamelessness that can only come after you've been through a very rough spot and come out of it more or less sane - and understand that life is short. And that if you want to play with toy soldiers, go for it.
Structural upgrades are as enjoyable as "piece" acquisitions. Above, it's clear that the timber supports of the fighting cabin behind the American flag are unsafe.
So I replaced them with Roy Toys - square, flat and immune to tipping and earthquakes. (Supersize Fort Apache is located on the New Madrid Fault.)
Posted by Basil Duke at 12:36 PM