Ode to the Tamiya Lee
Modeling the U.S. Army in WWII

March, 2006

So the rumor of Academy's withdrawal of their M3 Lee has produced a lot of wailing and gnashing of teeth. Our pulse quickened last fall when we heard she was coming into town. We got some eye candy from the Toy Fair and she looked pretty damn hot, didn't she? And then what happens? A Dear John message on a website.

Come on, guys! Is this the first time you've been left high and dry? You've never had the door slammed on your nose as you were waiting for the invite to come inside for a nightcap? We've all been there, and what did we do?

We all went back to our girlfriends and spouses, right?

Nooooo. This was before girlfriends and spouses! We went right out there and tried to find the next best thing! And what would that be? ABM's resin M3? Well, I can't say for myself, because I've never met her face to face. I've heard a lot of good things about her, she's got style, class. But she's resin. And resin can be fickle. And we all know something else about Ms. ABM Lee: she's not always around when you need her, if you know what I mean.

Okay, friends, where does that leave us? Uh-huh. Yup. I know what you're thinking. I know what you're going to say. Tsk!

I grant you, she's not as well rounded as the others. She may come up a little bit short in some respects. Some parts might not be just right for her type. Her links might not all be as well connected as, oh, you know, what's-her-name. Yes, she's a bit older than these young hotties. Okay, quite a bit older.

But you HAVE thought about her, haven't you?

You see Ms. Tamiya Lee every time you go into your LHS, lying there between the Stuarts and the Dingos. You've maybe exchanged some shy glances, a quick smile. You might have even fantasized about her. Huh? Huh? U-huh. Thought so.

But you were always looking for action, not a commitment. You were after the hot new thing, the easy score. A quick weekend tumble. Go to work Monday morning, with paint stains on your fingers and an emptiness in the pit of your very being, or somewhere near there.

Come Friday night you're at the shelves again, slack-jawed, jingling your car keys in your pocket. It's the one place you can go without having to suck your gut up under your armpits. And you scuff your way sideways down the aisle, bobble-headed. Suddenly your spine snaps tighter than the cap on a bottle of Testors. Your eyes reel back in their sockets.

Ms. Tamiya Lee is---gone!

She's not there between the Dingos and the Stuarts! Not near the Shermans or Jacksons or even the Tigers or Panthers. Not even under the Sturmgeschutz (Oh, the horror!!).

Gone. Vanished. Sold!

And you can't help but think, wow, now there's a hole in my marrow, or something like that. I thought she'd always be here for me. I didn't think. Didn't know.

Well, pal, I knew. I bought her, took her out of that store where no one else appreciated her. Yes, I knew I'd have to spend some money on her. Get her some sexy accessories. Brighten her up with a bit of make up. Okay, a lot of make up.

Alright, so she's not perfect. Look in the mirror, my friend. If you're not George Clooney or Harrison Ford, shut up. If you don't want to drop 10 or 40 pounds and ponder that hair weave infomercial again, shut up and be grateful that you have one more chance and listen cuz I'm going to tell you a secret:

You can get your own Ms. Tamiya Lee! They make LOTS of them. Most guys haven't caught on yet. But they will, once it starts sinking in what a tease Ms. Academy Lee is! Ms. Academy Lee. We don't neeed no steenkin' Ms. Academy Lee.

And I'm going to let you in on something else, and this is the killer: it's incredible when you get Ms. Tamiya Grant to join you--partee!! And for you guys who like a little inside action--if you know what I mean--there's always Mr. Verlinden!

And the thing is, Ms. Tamiya Lee loves it all. And she loves YOU baby, if you're good to her and love her back.

Now I'm going to be straight with you here. It's not always easy. But what is, huh? You'll have your share of misunderstandings. Your directions might not always be clear. You'll probably have to learn some new tricks--and what's so bad about that, making yourself a little better person along the way? The key here is to just not rush it. Take your time. It's more fun when you take your time. It won't be long until you find yourself awakening in the mornings and looking over at her and whispering, "What more can I give you, my love? For I am truly blessed."

So what do you want, guys, a weekend fling or something for the long haul? The quick and easy "shake-and-bake" thrill, or a deep and abiding relationship that you can still look back on with warmth and affection when the old X-acto blade has dulled and you can't get your bristles stiff?

Ms. Tamiya Lee. She will always be there for you. Because she's plastic, and plastic is forever.

Tim Streeter



Modeling the U.S. Army in WWII © 2002—2007 Timothy S. Streeter