In June 2006 I attended Dragon Hobby Expo in Anaheim, California.
The hobby is 1/6-scale modeling, primarily World War II subjects. The event was sponsored by the hobby's leading manufacturer, Dragon Models Limited. My own contribution to the hobby is the 1/6 Diorama Depot.
A featured guest was Fred Treiber, a World War II vet who has the most unique wartime experience I've ever heard about. Dragon Models based a limited-edition figure on him and released it at the expo.

Fred was raised in New York City by German immigrant parents. While studying music in Berlin on a scholarship, he was drafted by the Third Reich.

He served in both the navy and army. As a Gebirgsjager (mountain trooper), Fred saw intense combat action on the Eastern Front. He received awards and commendations, including the Iron Cross.

During his military service he was court-martialed for insubordination, was pursued halfway across Europe by the Gestapo for giving up his trolley seat to a Jewish woman, and escaped from a French POW camp--twice.

As a major history buff, I was tremendously honored to spend time with Fred and hear dramatic true tales told by one of the good "bad guys" of WWII. Living history at its finest.

Here I am, wearing the expo's official T-shirt, with Patrick Kiser, a historian and re-creationist who serves as a consultant to Dragon Models. He's wearing a tropical version of the Gebirgsjager uniform. Patrick is not only a friend of Fred Treiber's, but also provided Dragon with the reference needed for the special figure (below).

Click on any image for a larger version.
Above is a kubelwagen, the German army's "jeep" (revived by Volkswagen circa 1970 as "the Thing"). It has been customized as a repair car with built-in tool boxes and a folding work table. The manuals seen in the drawers and on the tabletop are my creations, from the 1/6 Diorama Depot. The vehicle was modified by Die Werkstatt, one of the top accessory manufacturers in the hobby, which provides kits for turning Dragon's kubelwagen into a repair vehicle. Die Werkstatt is run by my two new pals, Alison and Rick Ivansek.
A wide assortment of figures, accessories, and vehicles were on display and available for purchase. How do you suppose folks got their massive 1/6-scale tanks home?
FedEx had a booth at the expo, of course.

The paint jobs on some of these vehicles are stunningly realistic. Note the obvious effort put into the Stuart tank treads and wheels seen below. (Click on any image for a larger version.)
In addition to the several 1/6-scale dioramas seen here, there were dioramas in 1/35 and other scales. Some of them were mind-blowing!

I've posted my favorite ones--

Official photos of the expo are onilne at the DX06 web site.