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Old 06-18-2019, 04:57 AM   #1
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Happy 20th Birthday Hans

G'day all,

Today I was going over some of my shelf stock (trying to find that little piece that I put aside in a place not forgotten - but months later - cannot find (surely we've all been there?). I did find the piece but also stumbled upon 'Hans'...that German feldwebel that started me down the rabbit hole of 1/6th modelling 20 years ago.

Dragon Models Limited (DML) 'Hans' was the model company's first dabble into what was then a relatively niche market and came out on March 15th 1999. Renowned for their plastic scale model kits, the figure broke new ground with regards to 1/6th figures and advertised them as 'New Generation - Life Action Figures'. What set them apart from the classic staples of the day (Side Show, Blue Box International and 21st Century Toys) was not the detail (which some of the other companies had done better in some areas) but the range which expanded greatly over a 13 year period in terms of both head sculpts, body mechanics and uniform/equipment detail. Then there's the wide-ranging accessories (a whole other thread in itself).

But, for me, it all kicked-off with 'Hans', a figure that I purchased largely because - being a drawer - I thought why not buy one and base drawings from its poses rather than rely on the small wooden mannequin. By doing so, I was able to accurately draw to scale the clothing and equipment.

But then came 'Klaus'...and so on...and so on...and so on...I then tried what every budding collector tried to do and keep pace with new releases and whilst that syphoned-off my pay it also began to creep into my shelf space. Later I concentrated (due to the increase in releases) on just figures that suited my wants rather than needs.

20 years on (and long after the demise of DML's 1/6th effort), some 13 years of collecting now sits in tubs in my garage wrapped in bubble-wrap, their accessories (weapons, helmets and such) in separate zip-lock bags and so-named. I barely look into them now given the various large-scale projects over the past several years however today I dug down to pull out and reassemble the figure that set me on my wild ride...'Hans'. I have a whole swag of spares still in their boxes which suits my kit-bashing requirements (such as the current Project 'CURRAHEE').

So a quick question to all on the SAG - what figure started you off???

Happy Birthday Hans - you are indeed the gift that keeps on giving (now if I can just explain that to my wife and credit card).
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Old 06-18-2019, 08:45 PM   #2
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Re: Happy 20th Birthday Hans

Setting to one side the childhood Action Men toys I had, the first modern 1/6 that got me addicted was the 21st C Fallschirmjager, the start of a slippery slope of dolly madness!
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Old 06-18-2019, 10:50 PM   #3
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Re: Happy 20th Birthday Hans

I first came in contact with 1/6 figures when I attended the 60th memorial events in Bastogne. My very first figure was Erwin Rommel, the Westwall version with the scissor-binoculars on tripod. I used him in my 'Kriegspiele' diorama for one of the MDFC-contests.
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Old 06-19-2019, 12:08 PM   #4
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Re: Happy 20th Birthday Hans

Sans my childhood, my first action figure as an adult was the 21st Century TUS German Soldier and Motorcycle w/Side car, I had been getting my son a bunch of the TUS GI's and my wife at the time thought he needed some bad guys to battle, so Xmass 1999 they got me the Motorcycle set as a present...about a year later I followed the web link on the box and was introduced to the wonderful world of 1/6th scale customizing and modeling
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Old 06-24-2019, 02:06 PM   #5
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Re: Happy 20th Birthday Hans

My first was a TUS FJ. He's still around somewhere.
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Old 06-25-2019, 06:35 PM   #6
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Re: Happy 20th Birthday Hans

For WWII its was DML Volker; loved the 44 Dot Parka but knew absolutely doing else about WWII beside what I saw in the movies and the few weeks spent on it in school. Fast forward 19 years and I mostly confine my studies to the ETO namely the Normandy/Rhine Campaign for my father's side of the family where they served and the Eastern Front, Army Group South (later Army Group Ukraine) where I found out I had relatives from my wife side had fought there.
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Old 07-16-2019, 04:47 PM   #7
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Re: Happy 20th Birthday Hans

The 21st Century 101st Airborne Market Garden boxed figure and the carded US 3rd Infantry Division riflemen were my first two figures around the turn of the millennium.

My first Dragon figure was Volker... damn, that takes me back!

Great thread!

Hope we all have at least 20 more years in the hobby - or at least until all the pleather finally goes!

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