Saturday, September 13, 2014

Adventures on the West Coast...

My job sent me to San Francisco for the week. While the days were long and the work was engaging, I was fortunate to be able to break away one evening and spend some time with Stephen Taylor owner/operator of Bay Area Yards and all round nice guy.
The National Maritime Museum has a great collection of sailing and steam vessels.

After meeting me for dinner, Stephen graciously invited me back to his place to hang out and shoot the breeze. This was easily the most fun I had the whole trip. The time flew by as we talked gaming, books, movies and reviewed miniatures from the collections of Stephen and his friends. Before I knew it, the evening was over and I had to return to my hotel across town.

It's always fun when how you imagine something to be runs into the reality of what it actually is. We often talk about many miniature wargaming manufacturers being 'cottage' industries. Stephen showed how true this was in the case of Bay Area Yards when he opened a case and said "This is Bay Area Yards" all the molds and some of the masters for casting all the models that BAY offers.

Bay Area Yards - this is where the magic happens.

Assorted 1/600 models ready to go! 

I used to think the Dunderburg was a large model! British casemate ironclads.

HMS Warrior...come out and play! The scale is in inches!

Stephen has a wonderful sense of humor and he carries this into many of his gaming projects. One example I'd wish I'd taken a picture of was his Kelly's Heroes Tiger tank....modeled after the Tiger tank in the movie.'s got the suspension of a T-34 and the turret of a Tiger, but mounted on the forward turret ring of the T-34 chassis. It's a great match to the prop from the movie.

Speaking of movies...this made me laugh! This was one of the more colorful command stands in Steve's collection. As it's not labeled, all we can say is that this is "the brigadier with no name."

You all remember the Rat Patrol, right? Willy's jeeps versus the wily Afrika Korps in the desert. Stephen's ready to game these actions with his custom figure conversions.

Pardon the blur, but this photo is supposed to show the Rat Patrol -with correctly modeled crews. The red kepi of the driver is obscured by the gun barrel.

And the classic "Germans" driving American kit conversions.

All in all - it was a great night meeting new people and having a great time bonding over miniature gaming. It was over all too quickly.

If  you find yourself in San Francisco - drop Stephen a line. He's a great guy happy to share information about his town and his hobby.

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