6mm-Minis is Maksim-Smelchak's blog to discuss gaming, miniatures, books, movies, food, Israel, Judaism, life in general and other funny crud. My favorite scale of miniatures is 6mm, which is also called 1/285 or 1/300 scale. I enjoy many different kinds of games including ancients, Napoleonics, WWI, WWII, the Arab-Israeli conflict, Car Wars AKA Autoduel (a sort of crash'n'derby automobile combat game), 6mm Godzilla AKA Kaiju games, and science fiction games. I'm open to everything though!

Thursday, September 28, 2006

WEIRD NEWS: You've never heard this before...

Hi Everyone,

My friend Larry sent me this the other day ago... FREAKY!

This guy can sing like a girl (four octave range)...


Apparently, his name is Vitas and he's Russian.

Here's one of his sites:


Some say that this performance is a "Milli Vanilli" performance AKA fake, but it sounds pretty good either way.

Have a good Thursday!


I found his official web site as well:

Here's a video of his tunes:

Notes regarding photos / pictures / videos: These are not all my images and videos. I am using various images and videos from around the web, mostly from public sources and/or private sources used with permission. I have tried to include only images and videos under public domain, creative commons, or fair use. If I have inadvertently violated any copyrights, please inform me and I will remove your image/s (if it is indeed an infringement).

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Wednesday, September 27, 2006

GAMING NEWS: I still play games! (5 August 2006)

. Hi Everyone,

It seems as lately I haven't posted enough about games... so I'm sneaking in this post.

A friend of mine recently (not really... it was some time ago!) updated a local gaming site and I found this photo on it that conclusively proves I still play games! Omayn!

The site can be found here:


I'm the dorky one on the left side of the photo with the light blue shirt. The ever noble Tony is on the top of the photo and the irrepressible Mike O'Brien is part of the cut-off image on the right. We had a good time that day!

And here's what that friend wrote:

Ticket To Ride: Europe:
I believe Maks brought this railroad building game set in Europe which we've played many times and which Maks almost invariably wins (only Dave Story and Kimbo seem able to keep Maks in check on this one).

In the first session Maksim schooled Mike O. and Tony Mark on the strategies involved in the game then I joined them for a second session - which Maks won on a technicality (he had the most points). It's really a fine game with the exception of it being set in countries that don't speak English or spell properly... ;-]

I've yet to play this and not have fun and teasing Maks about the foreign spellings just adds to the enjoyment (Maks speaks too many languages and lived in the area and so should be handicapped when playing games like this...).

Happy Wednesday!


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Tuesday, September 26, 2006

MINI WARGAMING: Shootout This Friday!


Hi Everyone,

This is a quick E-mail to let you know that there will be a Western game at Great Escape Games at 6:00pm, 29 September 2006. My good friend Mark is hosting and the game should be a hoot!



Last Friday we played a great game of Gunfight on new terrain from Arnica, a Mexican Hacienda. As usual, it was Hobbes who so truthfully said that a life without civilization is.... nasty, brutish and short. I ended up with a nickname of Lunger, and Joe got himself a "cool scar."

Next week I will be running a Legends of the Old West game. If you want to bring your own posse of $250 bucks, go for it. I have a number of ready made posses so all you have to do is show up, roll a few dice and enjoy the atmosphere.






If you're interested in some incredible 28mm Western gaming scenery, please check out Arnica Real Estate here:


And for some of the best Western gaming rules around, please check out the fine rulesets, gaming accoutrements and the fine gentlemen (Rod and Thomas) from Flagship Games here:


Happy gaming to everyone!


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HUMOUR: The Dysfunctional Section of a Hallmark Store!

. Hi Everyone,

I had a good weekend. Enjoyed Rosh Hoshanah, gamed a little on Saturday, visited my sister's family... had a wonderful date on Sunday. Life seems rather sunny side up despite an occasional overcast area or two.

My friend Larry shared this one with me:

The Dysfunctional Section of a Hallmark Store!

Card 1. I always wanted to have someone to hold, someone to love. And now that you've come into my life...
(Inside card) - I've changed my mind.

Card 2. I must admit, you brought religion into my life....
(Inside card) - I never believed in Hell until I met you.

Card 3. As the days go by, I think how lucky I am....
(Inside card) - That you're not here to ruin it for me.

Card 4. Congratulations on your wedding day!...
(Inside card) - Too bad no one likes your husband.

Card 5. Someday I hope to marry...
(Inside card) - Someone other than you.

Card 6. Happy Birthday! You look great for your age....
(Inside card) - Almost lifelike!

Card 7. When we were together, you said you'd die for me...
(Inside card) - Now we've broken up, I think it's time to keep your promise.

Card 8. We've been friends for a very long time...
(Inside card) - What do you say we stop?

Card 9. I'm so miserable without you...
(Inside card) - It's almost like you're still here.

Card 10. Congratulations on your new bundle of joy....
(Inside card) - Did you ever find out who the father was?

Card 11. You are such a good friend. If we were on a sinking ship and there was only one life jacket...
(Inside card) - I'd miss you terribly and think of you often.

Card 12. Happy Birthday, Uncle Dad!
(Available only in Kentucky , Arkansas , Alabama , Mississippi , and West Virginia .)

Card 12&1/2. Looking back over the years we've been together, I can't help but wonder...
(Inside card) -What was I thinking?

Have a great Tuesday!

Obi Wan Katobi says so!

I found this graphic floating around the net as an example of a bad hair day, but I think he bares an amazing resemblance to that certain Star Wars character we all seem to recall with a little fondness.


Notes regarding photos / pictures: These are not all my images. I am using various images from around the web, mostly from public sources and/or private sources used with permission. I have tried to include only images under public domain, creative commons, or fair use. If I have inadvertently violated any copyrights, please inform me and I will remove your image/s (if it is indeed an infringement).

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Friday, September 22, 2006

PERSONAL NEWS: Shana Tova! Happy New Year!

.Hi Everyone,

I would like to take this opportunity to wish everyone a happy, safe and prosperous New Year!

I wish my Muslim readers a peaceful and enjoyable Ramadan with your family and friends.

And my Christian readers and everyone else... errrr, Happy Autumn!

The Jewish New Year begins at sundown tonight, Friday 22 September 2006.

The Jewish year is 5767 ...(Counting the years since the creation of Adam and Eve).

The proper greeting in Hebrew for the Jewish New Year is Shana Tova: Shana means year and Tova means good.

May we all have a Shana Tova!


You can learn more about the Jewish New Year holiday or Rosh Hoshanah here:


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Tuesday, September 19, 2006

HUMOUR: Talk Like a Pirate Day 2006!

Ahoy Mateys,

Avast me hearties... Ye best be rememberin that 19 September is thee annual Talk Like a Pirate Day! So's wherever ye are--at port, or out ta sea, or in the dungeon, don't ferget ta use yer best pirate voice at all times, or ye may end up tied to the yard arm, or in Davie Jone's locker at the bottum of da briney sea.

Aaarrrrr...ye scurvy dogs, ye best folla da Pirates code, or suffer yer fate.

Avast scum!!! Here be the link to the Talk Like a Pirate web site:

Aaargh... Remember, those that go there during ye work time will have to waaaalk the plaaaank!!!

Yo ho ho...

Cap'n Maksim "Peg-leg" Smelchak.

A hearty greet'ins to me mate, the right honurable Commander "Tas" out at sea with da Ozzie Navy!

Da wench below be fer all ye lecherus uns! Aaargh! Needs a meal, that wun does...

One more hearty greet'ins to me mate, Cap'n Stephan "Poopdeck" LeFeb... whatever! Ahoy, mate!

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Friday, September 15, 2006

NOVELS: The Book Meme Catches Up To Me...

Hi Everyone,

Awhile back, my friend Abba Gav, tagged me with the book meme and I'm finally catching up to it.

1. Name one book that changed your life:

"This is My God: The Jewish Way of Life" by Herman Wouk.
- This is one of Herman Wouk’s best books in myopinion, a very concise overview of Judaism and its’ meaning for secular Jews and just folks interested in knowing more about their Jewish neighbors from a religious or cultural viewpoint. An older lady friend of mine (as well as a former patient) gave it to me and I still use it at times when I want to re-clarify some point of interest for myself. It's one of my most valued books.

2. One book you've read more than once:

“Space Trilogy” by C.S. Lewis.
1. “Out of the Silent Planet”
2. “Perelandra”
3. “That Hideous Strength”
- I’ve had hankering lately to reread C.S. Lewis’“Space Trilogy” series… books as meaningful as Tolkien’s work or even C.S. Lewis’ better known works such as his “Narnia” children’s books. At times, his Space Trilogy reminds me of Burrough’s Barsoomian tales, Well’s Eloi from “The Time Machine” or even… the Traveller (classic sci-fi RPG) group called the Darrians.

3. One book you'd want on a desert island:

“Department of the Air Force, Search and Rescue Survival Manual, AFM 64-5”
- My father gave me a copy of either this manual or a related one as a boy and it was one of my favorite possessions. I still have it somewhere although it’s still packed away from my last move. It has instructions for everything from distilling water to finding food anywhere on the globe and more.

4. One book that made you laugh:

Anything by Dave Barry or Erma Bombeck:
- I can’t remember which one of these two authors I last read, but both Erma Bombeck and Dave Berry make my stomach hurt from laughing too much. Erma Bombeck, may she rest in peace, passed away a few years ago.

5. One book that made you cry:

“Genesis 1948: The First Arab-Israeli War” by Dan Kurzman.
- The struggle for Israel’s Independence in 1948 is a heart-wrenching true story of perserverance in the face of what must have seemed like insurmountable danger. There are so many stories of folks struggling bitterly just to survive, let alone prosper. What an amazing story.

6. One book you wish you'd written:

"Treason" by Orson Scott Card.
- Orson Scott Card made his break-through into the sci-fi industry with a short story named “Treason”that later turned into this book. It’s one of my favorites, a genius work that is fun to reread no matter how well you know the story. The story itslef is a classic sci-fi theme about evolution gone wild. I sometimes wonder if the classic fantasy RPG “Tekumel” and “Treason” are somehow related.

7. One book you wish had never been written:

“Orientalism” by Edward Said.
- This book, often considered a founding work in post-colonial theory, has been a huge contributor to the many misunderstandings and great difficulty that many academics, scholars and others have when trying to understand the differences between Western and Eastern cultures. The gist of the book is that Western authors can't critically judge Eastern culture because of their Western-slanted rose-coloured glasses. Meanwhile Said felt perfectly adequate to lay judgment down on Western literature. Moral equivalence and political correctness made great leaps forward when this book became disseminated.

8. One book you're currently reading:

“Mars” series by Kim Stanley Robinson.
- I’m currently on “Red Mars.” I never read the third book in this trilogy (it wasn’t written when I read the first two books in the series) and am looking forward to reading this series from beginning to end.
- I just finished reading David Brin's “Uplift” and“Uplift Storm” series.

9. One book you've been meaning to read:

“The Guide for the Perplexed” by Maimonides.
- I’ve always meant to read this book in its entirety rather than in excerpts sprinkled throughout other texts. The last book I had hankering to read in this manner was Plutarch’s “Lives,” which I enjoyed very much. It's sort of funny that Maimonides' "Guide For The Perplexed" is often mentioned in occult novels such as the Lovecraftian Cthulhu series and, interesting enough... in some of the Ghostbuster's movies.

10. Tag 5 people:

Andy Cowell

Patrick Smyrl

Paul James “Tas” O’Grady

PixelGeek (Zac Belado)

Yehuda Berlinger


Have a great Friday!


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Monday, September 11, 2006

HASBARA: Remembering 9/11 in 2006...


Hi Everyone,

Today is one of those landmarks of modern history... 9/11... September 11th...

This is the five year anniversary of the most devastating attack on American soil ever. 9-11 is my generation's Pearl Harbor. I only hope that we don't forget. I never will.

I post today in memory of the victims.

A poem by Wislawa Szymborska
Winner of the 1996 Nobel Prize for Literature.
(Hat tip: Canadian Lady.)
(Hat tip: Little Green Footballs.)


They jumped from the burning floors
one, two, a few more,
higher, lower.

The photograph halted them in life,
and now keeps them
above the earth toward the earth.

Each is still complete,
with a particular face
and blood well hidden.

There’s enough time
for hair to come loose,
for keys and coins
to fall from pockets.

They’re still within the air’s reach,
within the compass of places
that have just now opened.

I can do only two things for them
describe this flight
and not add a last line.

Here's a list of the victims:

Here's a film from MEMRI showing part of the world's reaction to the horrific events of 9/11:

Cox & Forkum have an incredible number of 9/11 links you can access:

And lastly my friend Abba Gav is participating in a program to commemorate each of the 2,996 victims and he pays his respects to Angel Pabon, one of the 9/11 victims:

May this never happen again.


Notes regarding photos / pictures / videos: These are not all my images and videos. I am using various images and videos from around the web, mostly from public sources and/or private sources used with permission. I have tried to include only images and videos under public domain, creative commons, or fair use. If I have inadvertently violated any copyrights, please inform me and I will remove your image/s (if it is indeed an infringement).

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Monday, September 04, 2006

GAMING NEWS: Return of Super Mario Bros, Life & ConQuest SF Snippets (4 September 2006)...

Hi Everyone,

Well... it's been a bit since I last posted, BUT I have great news to share...

I finally got the full-time, fully benefitted job that I've been struggling to get for a little over a year since I left my career as a public educator. I started a job with the State of California as a policy analyst this past week (28 August 2006). The contracts are signed, I've been performing my job well and I feel secure enough to publicly announce it.

The new job will involve a few changes for me and one of the most saddening for me on a personal level is that I'm going to have to give up my Wednesday night gaming group at A-1 Comics. Last Wednesday was my last evening with the guys and I took them all out to dinner as a parting gift. I still hope to see Dave, Dick and Kimbo around, but circumstances will keep me from enjoying their company on Wednesdays for awhile.


Life's been pretty hectic for me recently too... between aggressively looking for better work, working up to three jobs at a time, trying to support an ailing now-ex-girlfriend, moving to a new apartment, seeing my friend Jon & my baby sister get married, and otherwise having the carpet jerked out from under my feet more times than I can remember.... things have been crazy!

The new job promises for a little more stability and chance to see things right again. Amen!

I went this past weekend to ConQuest SF, which was a shadow of its former self... the Bay Bridge received some much needed emergency earthquake refitting and I think that drove away a lot of potential convention attendees. I still had a good time, but there was a lot of work as well... I hope to write about it sometime in the next week or two... but I have a more important task ahead of me... I need to finish writing a few game reviews and make good to a very patient magazine editor.


At the convention, I met a number of cool folks:

- Dave Arneson, the father of D&D along with Gary Gyax.


- Ken Hite, author of numerous RPG & gaming books / article sover the years including Chaosium Cthulhu products, GURPs and more.


- James Ernest, the genius behind Cheapass Games and other cool stuff...


More information about those folks can be found here:



I also met many others including:

- Matthew "Judas" Sicarii, the famed gamer behind the design of Striker III.


- Aron Clark, well-known Bay Area gamer known for ASQL (Alien Squad Leader), who threw a great Dirtside II game tourney at the con.


- Ron Plunk, maestro of the cult gaming classic "B-17: Queen of the Skies" from Avalon Hill, who has been transforming a relatively simple number-generating game into a social experience that has been a local favorite for twenty-one plus years!

- Charles Gomez, local gamer extaordinaor, who ran an outstanding Monster Island game... had a blast playing it!


- Mark Steinberg & Mike McGraw, who ran some of the coolest spaghetti Western gunfight games in recent history...


- Lawrence Golinowski, who ran the classic convention favorite: Aerodrome.


- The Flagship Games guys, Rod & Thomas who made their well expected and respected magic...


- Terry Matheny and his friend Harry, who brought Screaming G.I.s III to the convention...


- Chad & Alex, who brought Company Commander to the con, which is soon to be published by GMT Games...


- Peter Bauer, who brought the magic of Starguard to the convention...


- Simon from Aberrant Games...


- Eric from Conquest Miniatures...


- Don from Wartorn Worlds...


- And so many others!

I'll have to write up a big post later.

But... in the mean time, a little treat for my readers...

Check out this link for Hard Rock Super Mario Brothers!

If you remember, it wasn't so long ago that I wrote about Socialist Super Mario Brothers, so it seemed only fair to share Hard Rock Super Mario Brothers! Enjoy!


I wish everyone the best!


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