Saturday, August 6, 2016

Introducing the Colonel

At the end of July, my family and I spent a wonderful two weeks in Malta, where my ever enduring wife's family is from.  Prior to my trip over, I had looked into war gaming groups and resources on the islands but apart from one club, there appeared to be nothing much. I did pick up a number of Malta specific military history books and a couple of toy buses for conversions, but other than that (and the usual plastic tourist tat Knights of St John figures), the islands appeared to be lead free.

In the very last hour of our last trip to the main city of Valetta, I was on the search for bottled water - it was 35 C in the shade - when on a side street, I saw an unassuming looking shop with some toy cars in the window. I went in and found I was in Pace Models on Old Theatre street in Valletta. They had cars and busses and figures....  hand painted 54mm figures.  I looked at the prices but at 15 Euros a pop, my Scots blood rebelled and I left empty handed.

After not acquiring water at less than ruinous prices, I linked back up with the family and yet there was a restlessness and incompleteness in my soul that only fellow gamers would understand.  With less than 20 minutes left before we had to catch the bus out of Valetta, I ran through the heat and back to the store. I resolved to just buy one figure as purchasing the whole set could have lethal consequences, and this is what I came away with:

Colonel, Cacciatori Maltesi
The Colonel is 54mm and hand painted.  He is but one figure in a good, if very specialized, range of Maltese related figures produced in Malta by  David Grech of DeGree Miniatures.

There are several more in the series of Maltese themed display and toy soldier figures on their website and many more not pictured on the web yet. DeGree also has a line of Maltese politicians, including a dog, and transportation themed miniatures.

I am very proud of my acquisition and while he may never be part of an army (though I am working on that), he will take pride of place in the Wargames Room. I am very sad I did not have more time to spend at Pace Models looking at more of their offerings.


Michael Awdry said...

Great story, far too many times I have walked away empty handed only to regret later - glad to see the Colonel made it home.

Michael Peterson said...

He is a very handsome figure and I am glad you listened to that inner voice. I had a similar experience in a games store in Florence, though sad to say I never heeded my inner voice that time.
I hope we will see some Malta photos?