Friday, 3 February 2012

How it all started for me - Part Two


I can remember watching many war films as a youngster and one about the First World War. It is in that year that Airfix brought out the English and German figures for WW1. It was 1966, the year that England won the world cup, and again with just a one box of each (very easily pleased); I would spend many hours playing with these where the English troops went over the top. A hard thing to do indoors but once again I found that the garden was the biggest battle field I could ever want.
In the same year they made the French although I never had this set. In the following year Airfix made the Americans and in 1968 the Royal Horse artillery. Both of these I had in my collection. One of Airfix’s down falls was to be their cavalry sets as the horses would always pop out of their stands and this set was no different. By now I was losing interest in my Tempo toy soldiers although I would never part with them.
My Airfix collection was now starting to build up.
In September of 1968 I started in my Secondary School and once I had settled in and made some new friends I found that I was not the only one that were still playing with their toy soldiers. In our History classes again we were told about the First and Second World Wars but also something new, the Napoleonic Wars.
It was in that year or the following year that I had a mate Robert who had a sand table in his loft. Robert invited me over one sunny day to have a look at his collection. His mum would buy him a few painted and ready to go on his birthday and Christmas. Here he would play with his metal Napoleonic figures marching up and down the sand hills. He did not have any rules for playing so we made up a few with figures moving at such a distance and rolling a dice to see if we killed anyone. It was great fun but it did not last for long as his mum stopped him having friend’s coming in.


Still in 1969 Airfix brought out their first Waterloo set of figures, the Highlanders and they were quickly followed by the French Curassiers. They were made in the old cream coloured plastic which I still have today in my collection. I had one box of each to start with and then but it was not till 1971 two years later that Airfix brought out the French foot artillery But before then a year earlier in 1970 a big film came out in the cinema which made a big turning point in my life and a start to a wonderful hobby of wargaming.