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"Back to the beginning" Topic

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1,661 hits since 25 Feb 2015
©1994-2018 Bill Armintrout
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Black Hat Miniatures25 Feb 2015 10:08 a.m. PST

In 1974, when I started wargaming, the only book in the library on wargaming was Little Wars and so I started with that and 4 boxes of Airfix 1/32 Napoleonic Infantry and a couple of cannon.

My favourite box amongst those was the Old Guard Grenadiers and I bought a bunch on ebay for nostalgia reasons.


This is one painted up as a test. We played with them unpainted back in the day….


yoakley25 Feb 2015 10:25 a.m. PST

great set.
the officer is particularly dashing afair.

Skeets Supporting Member of TMP25 Feb 2015 10:51 a.m. PST

I started with Airfax XX years ago-British line and Highlanders.

21eRegt25 Feb 2015 11:09 a.m. PST

I'd dare say many of us impoverished types stated with Airfix and delighted when new brands came along. I still have almost every one of my old sets and once a year or so play with them.

Lets party with Cossacks Supporting Member of TMP25 Feb 2015 12:10 p.m. PST

In the mid 1970s I eventually got hold of French cavalry after saving up for a few infantry boxes. There was one figure, a double kettle drummer- I think it was a cuirassier- which amazed me: maddest charging cavalry fig I ever saw. Sadly I lost the whole set.

We had a go at painting them but frankly we would have been better off taking Black hat's approach; it was little more than a splodge fest!
Very nice nostalgia trip Black hat. Now all you need is the Airfix LHS to reach Nostalgia Central Station – or do you still have yours?

Very nicely painted Grenadier btw.

Black Hat Miniatures25 Feb 2015 1:50 p.m. PST

Never had La Haye Sainte we made do with building bricks in true Wells' fashion…

Wonder if they will reissue it in 1/32nd like they have with the other buildings?

I need to repair the officer before painting him as he is missing his sword blade…


Inkbiz Inactive Member25 Feb 2015 4:27 p.m. PST

Nicely painted. These Old Guard fellows and their opposite Airfix Brits were the tops as far as I was concerned in my younger days, indeed they still hold up very well vs many of today's manufacturers.


Steve W Inactive Member25 Feb 2015 4:35 p.m. PST

I had these as well. My best birthday present was getting up to find a box of Old Guard and box of British lined up on the mantelpiece fully painted by my mum and dad

Tin Man Inactive Member25 Feb 2015 8:15 p.m. PST


Black Hat, yes, played with them unpainted for a good while then moved on to "white below the waist, red (or blue) above, black hat, brown musket, pink face and hands." It looked surprisingly good for the day!


Marc the plastics fan27 Feb 2015 4:42 a.m. PST

And I have never really moved on, just changed manufacturers. Currentl trying to paint some 1806 Prussian artillery (made by HaT). the choices available now in 1/72 (and quality) make me sad that I could not have had these as a kid. But great nostalgia – a key reason why I use 1/72 nowadays – I love that "opening the box/field of dreams" moment – the "net of fish" from metals just does not do that for me.

But the Airfix Old Guard was a good set – just a tad small.

And teh kettledrummer was in the British hussars box, and teh French cuirassiers were equally disappointing (although not in those days to my youthful eyes). Nowadays, the Zvezda cuirassier are soooo much better.

Mac1638 Inactive Member27 Feb 2015 5:46 a.m. PST

If they had only made them out of hard plastic,

The enamel paint would not have chipped off so easy
and it would have helped when you did work on them,
swapping heads, glueing, filing and miliputing.

When you go into a good model shop now you are now spoilt for choice.

Part time gamer24 Mar 2017 9:28 p.m. PST

Black Hat Miniatures
1974,..I started wargaming, the only book ..was Little Wars ..started with that and ..Airfix 1/32 Napoleonic Infantry and a couple of cannon.

My favourite ..the Old Guard Grenadiers ..I bought a bunch ..for nostalgia reasons.

Thats "the best" reason I can think of.
Never let go of the memories of MUCH simpler times.
I'd dare say many of us impoverished types stated with Airfix ..I still have almost every one of my old sets and once a year or so play with them.
Good for you! Same here, though mine are long gone.
In those days, 'Airfix' was the end all for toy soldiers. It seemed whatever you wanted.. they had.
Back then (early 70's) I hadnt even thought of painting yet. But dear lord the fun (and 'casualties) I racked up w/ a cpl of boxes of Airfix 72s and nothing more than 'one die' at times.

Im smiling now just thinking of them. grin

Footslogger25 Mar 2017 2:16 a.m. PST

Started in the same way.

Then got on to converting, using only an old penknife and my mum's nail file.

Used plasticene coated in clear nail varnish to harden it.

Sent Mum to buy the nail varnish, though. You don't walk into a shop as a teenager and ask for nail varnish, at least, not without dying of embarrassment.

Oh the relief when I later discovered Milliput.

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