Well I was going to blog about a couple of my favourite games today, but I shall fly in the face for the current vogue for Old School Gaming by going back, way back, before Old School, to Pre-School… And like almost my entire generation, pre-school soldiers meant plastic, and plastic meant Airfix.
|Airfix Nottingham connection|
Airfix were huge in the UK, and had been a staple of British boyhood for over 20 years when I got to them in them in the early 70’s.
Little did I know it at the time but the had 100’s of kits, and were Britain’s biggest toy company producing models as diverse at 1/144th scale airliners and 1/8th motor bikes… But all these kits were for older boys, and I, like so many others my age, started out with a box of their 1/72 scale ‘little men’.
|Astronauts first, well it was 1970|
Maybe it was the boxes, all the boxes had full colour art and Airfix were very good at showing you what you were going to get inside… Or maybe it was the models, 10 or 12 different little men with a few doubles, and little diorama, or a two or three part snap-fit kit… But whatever it was, there was everything in the box to create a tiny world, right there on the carpet in front of Mick Mcmanus or John Wayne.
Now I wasn’t daft I knew that Airfix, and say Action Man, weren’t going to be compilable together, but what on earth was this all about? Why make Soldiers like Airfix, and not make them the same size as Airfix. It was my first inkling that all was not right with the world of tiny troopers… and I didn’t like it…
|Bruce Quarrie’s rules for WW2|
Much later, at about 11 or 12, just before I got into D&D actually, I had come across Bruce Quarrie’s rules for WW2 games, published by Airfix. These were the first rules I’d ever seen and I was on the verge of getting a few mates together to play, when the D&D bug bit, and I (we all) moved over from plastic WW2, to metal Fantasy minis and gaming.