BAYKO BARON 29
The Zengid Mosque at Al Jibba
A lighthouse on the shore of the sand-sea the Mosque of Zengi and its oasis offer refreshment of body and soul to the weary
Among my favorite Hollywood films are the three John Ford cavalry westerns released in 1948, 1949 and 1950—“Fort Apache,” “She Wore a Yellow Ribbon” and “Rio Grande,” all of which featured John Wayne and Victor McLaglen. Therefore, it’s understandable that when I came across two Minimen 75mm figures of John Wayne as an ageing Captain Nathan Brittles and Victor McLaglen as the brawling, hard-drinking Sergeant Quincannon at a toy soldier show I pounded on them.
The figures represent Wayne and McLaglen as they appeared in the second of cavalry trilogy, “She Wore A Yellow Ribbon,” in which Wayne plays a cavalry officer on the verge of retirement, who leads his troops in one last battle against the Cheyenne Indians, driving off their pony herd and averting a full-scale Indian war.
In the pair of figures illustrated below, Wayne is shown hatless in casual campaign garb, while a smiling Victor McLaglen (second of two photos) can be seen (side view) clutching a whiskey flask. For me, the figures recall the many enjoyable hours spent watching the cavalry films, as well as reenacting them with my Ralph Bussler “John Ford cavalrymen” and my Beton plastic Indians.
While on the subject of Napoleonic military types, I must mention three figures delicately assembled and exquisitely painted by the late Marc Caudill, whose work I celebrated in an earlier article.
These figures, shown below, were obtained from Ray Haradin’s “Toys of Yesteryear” and were originally part of the late Christopher Hammond’s collection. A personal friend of mine, Chris was a collector of impeccable taste, and his collection included figures by Berdou,Des Fontaines, Vanot and Courtenay.
A fierce but poorly-discipline cavalry unit, which the French first encountered during Napoleon’s Egyptian campaign and then recruited for service in the Imperial Guard, was the Mamelukes. Armed with pistols, sabers, carbines and lances, these exotically garbed soldiers specialized in the hell-for-leather cavalry charge such as the one made at Austerlitz (see two illustrations below).
Besides their cool museum, Italeri had lots of great new kits on display, as well as some very cool dioramas. Here's a sampling...
These guys really do do some great trucks: