19 May 2016

It's been a while... (Part 1)

Haven't felt like blogging for a while. Over the last few months blogging as well as the hobby in general was put on a back burner. Well, to be honest I almost completely stopped anything hobby related as I felt I had to reconsider my whole approach to blogging, painting and gaming.

For several years now playing (or to be more precise painting) with little toy soldiers has become a integral part of my life and in consequence it also began to eat up more and more of my spare time.
I felt like I've somehow lost the balance between an enjoyable pastime and something akin more to an obsession.

To adress this matter I've put everything on hold, including painting, reading blogs and (for the most part) fora, in order to get my focus back. Since than I've spent most of my time cycling, reading and doing all those small things I've enjoyed in the past but had all but forgotten about.

Beeing back on track again (hopefully), I've some pics for you from our latest trip to Lido di Jesolo, Italy. We used to go there on an annual basis for about a decade now, but it was only this year that I've discovered there's actually a little more to the place than beach, vino and excellent pizza.
So I thought I might share a few impressions which are at least vaguely hobby related.

First I discovered what is a small, but nonetheless interesting and amiable, private military museum. Called "Museo Storico Militaire Vidotto" or "Case del Bersagliere" it's situated right at the main street leading from Jesolo to Lido di Jesolo near Venice. It's mostly about the history of Italian forces from 1914 to the present day. As such small private museums tend to be, it's rather crowded with stuff, due to both the collecting passion of the owner, as well as the restricted availability of display space.

Nonetheless it's definitely well worth the visit and someone looking for inspiration to finally get that Italian WW2 project started, will most certainly walk out with a head full of ideas. In fact I haven't had any inclination to do Italians in WW2 but since then I find myself coming back to that particulart theme time and again.

Parked in front of the museum there are several vehicles, a helicopter and two anti-tank guns. Truth be told I was a little overwhelmed to find such a little gem in a place I thought to know well enough, so I forgot to take any suitable pictures except for the two below.

Inside you'll first find a motley collection of memorabilia mostly dating to the German occupation of Italy after the fall of the fascist regime in 1943.

Than it was down into the basement where a large collection of (demilitarised) war gear awaits the visitor.

Hidden in a corner I also found something which proved to be an american flamethrower, complete with canvas cover for the tube.

Back at ground level there's a huge collection of uniforms from before WW2 to today. Due to the sheer number I only took a few shots of those most likely to feature in a potential upcoming project...

At the very end of the official part of the museum there was of course a little shop in which I spent a few minutes looking through the shelves. Unfortunately most of it was in Italian (of course), of which I only have a rudimentary grasp (enough to order foot and beverage and ask for the way but not much more regrettably), but I found this little book about the Italian front during World War 1. Beeing on a discount from 24,-€ to 18,-€ I of course had to get my grubby hands on it.

There the official tour was at an end but the owner Mr. Vidotto (who spoke reasonably German) kindly asked me if I still had a few minutes time. So he led me into the garden of his private house where there was quite some heavy ordnance on diplay. Two big Italian pieces of ship artilllery (90mm if I remember correctly), a Bofors 40mm anti aircraft gun, a M113 APC as well as an American made M60 MBT were on display. Beeing impressed without end (after all who actually has that much firepower in his backyard) I completely forgot to take any pictures of the assembled awesomeness.
But here's a Google Streetview screenshot which shows the M60 as well as the helicopter which is now situated in front of the museum.

So this was that part of the holiday but Mr. Vidotto told me about two other places I might want to visit, so stay tuned.


  1. Anyone who does a hobby long enough always needs to take a break and re-charge their batteries. For myself I think blogs and forums are always something that can take a back seat, but painting allows for relaxation and gives a sense of moving in a direction and gaming with my friends is important to have a laugh and just enjoy myself and shut out the hectic world for a little bit.

    I have friend who likes the Italians in WWII so I'm pretty sure he would be keen to see what you do.

    Great looking museum btw! You really don't know what you will find these days!


  2. Greate to ser you keep blogging. I hope you Will continue painting to as your work are very inspirational !

  3. Good to hear from you again Nick! I too have suffered from that very same hobbby fatigue bug, and basically locked all my metal and paints away since november. They are starting to sneak out again now, but at a more resonable proportion in my life than previous... Like Michael said, your work really inspires, you are an artist in the true sense of the word, and I'm sure inspiration will hit you again, after you allow yourself to breathe a little. But biking, man don't get me started. I'm spending my afternoons at Café Le Mond here in Stockholm watching the Giro. Good performance from the German riders so far - soon it'll be time for Le Tour :0) Take care buddy, Jesper (Hamburg) sends his regards too.

  4. I have to confess that I have something similar on occasion. Last year I needed to change focus due to issues at work and went quiet for a good while. Ultimately it is your hobby and your decisions, but from as purely selfish point of view I hope that you find some time to start painting as I love to see what you are doing. All the best and take care.

  5. You are not alone Nick, I think the hobby can be so addictive that it creeps up on you without realising and sometimes you have to take a step back to get the balance right. Good for you in doing this but it will be a big loss for the hobby if you pack it in completely.

  6. I find my head shoved so far up my own hobby that I don't think more about getting out and about into the real world... That is an inspiring collection of stuff and well worth a visit! Feel free to tour the world and share more such pictures... or do whatever else takes your fancy :)

  7. Nice to see you are back and thx for the great pictures of all the old ww2 stuff!

  8. Good to have you back, you are an inspiration, sir!

  9. Welcome back! It's good to take some time out and get balanced again :)

  10. Nice to see you back. Thanks for the awesome photos too!

  11. Sometimes a break is the best thing for you. That being said, it's good to have you back Nick :)

  12. Comprehensible to me as I also have these moments realising that my hobby is more duty than fun-->months of absence and 187 half-done miniatures.
    Thanks for sharing your impressions from Museo Storico Militaire Vidotto or Case del Bersagliere. I like those small location because they seem to be so...old fashioned. In a beautyful way and with respect, of course. Everytime I stumble over such a location I have to take a visit...for hours.