Last modified: Saturday, January 6, 2001 6:20 PM

Mike Leon posted a number of great photos at the Sandbox from shows he visited. These are some from the NorCal show, 1/98, along with excerpts of his accompanying text. This is a rare opportunity to see the work of some of the masters of customizing, since they don't have web sites with pictures.

"...Every year just like all the major Hasbro sponsored shows the NorCal club has an exclusive figure/uniform made with the cooperation of several of the top customizers. But, unlike the Hasbro overpriced junk exclusives, the Norcal gets better every year, and this year was no exception. This uniform was limited at first to only 15 but was extended to 23 because of all the people I got in on the buy, Leo Sutedja got in at the last minute. Hey Leo, it's on it's way.

This years was a fully equipped German Mountaineer. Even the box work was very nice, I almost hated taking it out of the box.

The figure was an Elite body with the head sculpt by our very own Scott Crowford (aka signalcorps)

Ammo pouches and insignia by Paul Walmsley ( he recently made the helmet for Cotswolds German)

Climbing boots by Polo Moreno (aka Ape-Joe)

Field pack, tunic, trousers, rucksack, load bearing harness and belt by Auggie Romero (aka Regimentals)

G43 automatic Rifle by Robert Nelson (aka Joe-Bros)

Way to go guys!!!!!..."

"...If you want the best in German Army and SS camo uniforms and accessories there is no one better than Tim Hamilton (aka Major Midnite) When it comes to vehicles, there is on one better. Check out the Tiger tank he bought to the show. Yes, someone did end up buying it for $1,400.00. Also check out the British paratrooper..."

"...I thought you guys might like to see just some of the nice items I got from the show. As I mentioned, the NorCal club is a showcase for some of the best customizers in the business.

Most of you know i'm a German militaria collector so that's were my majority of Joe money I spend goes to. The very best in uniform detail comes from Auggie and you've seen a lot of his work that I own. You've also seem some of my Major midnite camo uniforms and smocks I own. At this show he displayed some of his newer items he just added for sale, (a couple of them on my advice) and they are awesome.

I love every aspect of German uniforms of WW2. The first picture is of a Luftwaffe Oberleutnant of the field divisions. Goring was alarmed at the number of his troops being taken over for use by the Army, so he formed the field division. These divisions comprised mostly of support personal and flak units. The smock in the army splinter pattern, this is new from Major Midnite, the cost is 35.00, a very good deal with accurate color, pattern and detail.

The 2nd picture is of the new German uniform from Cotswold with Major midnites new Zeltbahn (quarter shelter). This piece is truly beautiful. Again, the Army splinter pattern with eyelets, snaps, ties and pins are accurate. A great deal for $35.00.

The 3rd picture (last pic) is of a type 2 smock in a spring mottled oakleaf pattern. The colors are almost there (a little on the light green), but a great effort. He is also wearing the wool lined cap and a heavy hooded sweater. $35.00 for the smock $10.00 each for the cap and dicky sweater.

The 4th picture is of a dress white Marine uniform by how else, Auggie Romero the head is of Lee Marvin from Polo Moreno. I need to complete this guys with officer insignias, gold wings and some ribbons. This guy is going to look so real when i'm done.

The 5th picture is of an SS officer in summer dress. This uniform is not as accurate, he should have pleaded pockets and other minor detail but I can't get Auggie to make one for me and I found this one by Bob Morandin (aka Worlds of Toys the maker of those Nazi Gi-Jane uniforms 0 posted earlier). Nether the less, he had one and he was impressed when I knew what the uniform was, no one else seemed to know when asked. For $60.00 not bad for everything pictured.

I just thought you would like to see what was out there and that if you wanted to make these uniforms up it wouldn't cost that much. most customizers like Major Midnite will sell you a piece at a time. ..."

"...Bob Morandin's (aka World of toys) is a relative new comer to customizing. I bought an SS summer White dress uniform from him last December. He's not a accurate or detailed as others but he fills a niche for his pricing.

Bob Morandin 510-742-0246 Tell him I sent ya! ..."