Home Forums General Conventions and Shows Fall-In! at Lancaster Pennsylvania Reply To: Fall-In! at Lancaster Pennsylvania

Otto Schmidt

<p id=”yui_3_15_0_1_1447161163661_1932″><span id=”yui_3_15_0_5_1447161163661_8″>Dear List</span></p>

<span id=”yui_3_15_0_5_1447161163661_8″>The Flea-Market at Fall in, which the powers that be irreverentially and blasphemously call “Wally’s Basement” is really an event not to be missed. This time it was not very forthcoming in things I absolutely positively had to have, but there have been times when I have spent lots there and found real treasures.</span>
<p id=”yui_3_15_0_1_1447161163661_1934″><span id=”yui_3_15_0_5_1447161163661_12″>One of the aspects of the Flea Market is the barometer of the Hobby. If you want to know what’s out, what’s done, what’s on the decline, wander through the flea-market and take a gander.  If it shows up there on more than four tables, it’s about to die the death of a dog.  A few years ago people were dropping all their Rocco and minitanks and a lot of kits, and now those have pretty much cycled through into collections that want them.  Beyond that, the Flea Market is a good seminar in what not to buy.  </span></p>
<p id=”yui_3_15_0_1_1447161163661_1936″><span id=”yui_3_15_0_5_1447161163661_15″>Year after Year I see in the flea market the war game equivalent of  Girlie Magazines. These are things like “The Waffen SS In FULL  COLOR!!!!!” or tons of popular books on WWI, WWII, anything we got footage on, all of which attribute NOTHING to the hobby and NOTHING to the game, but feed, like girlie books flagging interest in the subject and perhaps a bit of a counterattack against the waning of interest which is the war gamers equivalent of impotence. </span></p>
<p id=”yui_3_15_0_1_1447161163661_1938″><span id=”yui_3_15_0_5_1447161163661_18″>I admit this might be my own prejudice, but I really have no need for a big folio book of color illustrations of tanks and planes and guns which has very little info in it and is only good for dragging down from the shelf and paging through now and then. I have books of pin-ups and sexy girls for that, and the interest is universal and … well neat. Kind of what God had in mind when he created women.  But other than that I can’t see a folio book “The Waffen SS In FULL  COLOR!!!!!” on my coffee table when company comes over or it being a good conversation starter. Of course if you’re a skin-head then perhaps… I once posted on this subject when I acquired piles and piles of popular magazines on WWII and history which obviously were rehashes of each other bought by people for impulse buys at the newsstands, and how there seemed to be an inexhaustible supply of these things.  </span></p>
<p id=”yui_3_15_0_1_1447161163661_1942″><span id=”yui_3_15_0_5_1447161163661_22″>Another thing about the Flea-Market is that a lot of terrain seems to be sold off here. I wonder what the table tops these things came from are going to do  for walls and trees and woods and fields and streams now that they are gone.  I have often seen some nice stuff, but always as I am looking at these things I begin to realize that they are “artifacts.” I realize they are not going to really “fit” with my stuff and if I buy them and use them they will look like something I bought and used at a flea market. I see this on table tops all the time. They are obviously collages of this or that terrain piece, which may be striking, clever, heroic, or just plain pretty, but they  rarely “fit” together. with the odd-lot jumble that gamers frequently use. Here I can afford to be snooty and condescending, having long ago made my hexagonal terrain, which once you put together the edges virtually disappear and rolls seamlessly from edge to edge, but  that’s a special case and not many will put that amount of work into it.  Some people make these things just to sell them, and it’s obvious they have never been in a game. The dead give away is they are still intact and haven’t been flattened, crushed, steam-rollered, folded, stapled, spindled, or mutilated by the vicissitudes of real life gaming.  A wry smile comes to my mouth when I see these things, obviously the creations from the Model Railroading guys, and I know how fragile they are.</span></p>
<p id=”yui_3_15_0_1_1447161163661_1959″><span id=”yui_3_15_0_5_1447161163661_25″>I did find at this flea-market several issues of the Avalon Hill General that I had sold off years ago. My first tip-off was the three ring holes in the magazines that I had punched to put them into binders, and the second was I found some of my own notes in the margins on one of them.  No, I did not buy them for old times sake.</span></p>
<p id=”yui_3_15_0_1_1447161163661_1961″><span id=”yui_3_15_0_5_1447161163661_29″>One thing that always is found in the flea market is the truly weird stuff. I can’t even begin to describe this as a class or genre, but can range from things like a 3′ long model of the Victory in a glass case, to super-hero action figures, to odd model kits and  even pottery and statuary.  Some of this you just have to ask “WHY!!!!???” and others might pique your interest now and then.  More particular you wonder how a wa rgamer got hold of it in the first place and why.</span></p>
<p id=”yui_3_15_0_1_1447161163661_1963″><span id=”yui_3_15_0_5_1447161163661_32″>A tour through the flea-market is like a bazaar of the bizarre. It can go from what you have been searching for with a passion for fifteen years, to stuff that you’d never buy in a million.</span></p>
<p id=”yui_3_15_0_1_1447161163661_1965″><span id=”yui_3_15_0_5_1447161163661_35″>Otto</span></p>