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"Who was your first military love....." Topic

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Uesugi Kenshin Supporting Member of TMP18 Sep 2020 1:54 p.m. PST

For those of you like me who developed an interest in all things military before the age of 10, what army was your first love.

I owned almost every army put out by Airfix as a child. Sometimes collecting the same army in both 1:35 AND 1:72.

The two that stick out the most though were the British 8th Army and the Africa Corps.

A close 2nd (thanks to Britains legendary toy soldiers) were the Crusaders and the Saracens.

Personal logo Herkybird Supporting Member of TMP18 Sep 2020 2:05 p.m. PST

Colonial British! I used Peter Laing 15mm figures against their Afghans on my bedroom carpet!

Irish Marine Supporting Member of TMP18 Sep 2020 2:10 p.m. PST

Probably American Rev war, after reading about the Swamp Fox, I had a ton of Marx figures.

Wackmole9 Supporting Member of TMP18 Sep 2020 2:55 p.m. PST

Beau Geste movie and Airfix plastic figures/fort

Dn Jackson18 Sep 2020 3:11 p.m. PST

I had a lot of fights between the 1/72 Atlantic Greeks and Egyptians. Loved those figures. Airfix Britons are a very close second.

Extrabio194718 Sep 2020 3:15 p.m. PST

ACW. From the Marx Playsets to Airfix .

Frederick Supporting Member of TMP18 Sep 2020 3:26 p.m. PST

Like Extrabio, ACW – my dad got me the Union and Confederate infantry and then those red artillerymen

Hlaven Supporting Member of TMP18 Sep 2020 3:28 p.m. PST

ACW toy soldiers. We could not afford Marx sets. So I pieced together what ever I could. Metal and plastic toy soldiers. If they were blue they were Yankees. If they were gray or brown they were Rebs. I even used pirates, A
rabs, Forein Legion, whatever if they were the right colors.

USAFpilot18 Sep 2020 3:30 p.m. PST

As a small child my parents bought me a set of toy soldiers of the British Life Guards. Scarlet tunic, silver cuirass, mounted on black horses; what's not to love.

Personal logo etotheipi Sponsoring Member of TMP18 Sep 2020 3:50 p.m. PST


The very first model I built.

It may not be an "army" in the traditional sense, but I believe it has more firepower than any listed yet.

It's also the closest thing we had to living in space at the time.

Perris070718 Sep 2020 3:52 p.m. PST

Marx ACW Set for Christmas one year. Sparked a lifelong love of miniatures. I coveted the Alamo set, but never got one.

Old Glory Sponsoring Member of TMP18 Sep 2020 4:01 p.m. PST


Russ Dunaway

robert piepenbrink Supporting Member of TMP18 Sep 2020 4:35 p.m. PST

I'm with Russ--the generic "Army" box, a Frontier set, a Wild West set, an Alamo set, AWI, ACW, WWII..

That said, there were some VERY early FFL and Arabs with a plastic terrain, and some cowboys and Indians bought one at a time for 29 cents each at the local dime store. Weapons and headgear separate. Airfix was much later.

Personal logo John the OFM Supporting Member of TMP18 Sep 2020 4:51 p.m. PST

My very first "wargaming" toys were a sheet metal Western fort, plastic Cowboys, firemen and dinosaurs.
I don't recall which rules we used.

Oberlindes Sol LIC Supporting Member of TMP18 Sep 2020 5:28 p.m. PST

Fort Apache playset, with soldiers sculpted so they stand or ride a horse.

WWII US Army men. They later made Germans, which made for great fights in the living room and backyard.

RudyNelson18 Sep 2020 5:42 p.m. PST

Toy soldiers dominated my childhood so this is a tough one. Our small stores did not carry Airfix.
I did get a Marx ACW set at 8. But that was the only one.
At about 10 my 5&10 started carrying German, Russians, Japanese and British. They came in a plastic box style case. I played with those until I found board gaming.

Personal logo Saber6 Supporting Member of TMP Fezian18 Sep 2020 6:11 p.m. PST

Marx Christmas sets from Sears. Then Airfix HO/OO. Then Micro Armor and now 15mm

Thresher01 Supporting Member of TMP18 Sep 2020 6:29 p.m. PST

Dimestore army men, green and tan, back in the day, with matching tanks, sometimes. Cowboys and indians of course, too.

When I got more sophisticated, the HO Airfix figs were nice I had British 8th Army, and Afrika Korps, since that's what was available at the time. Don't recall any US troops being available back then in this scale, at the time. Probably sold out due to limited runs or store inventory.

A HO scale "Rat Patrol" model set, complete with a couple of realistic looking, plastic sand dunes, and some palm trees for the required oasis to get water at. Gotta have something to fight the Germans for out in the desert.

Got some of the larger 1/32 scale figs too, after that.

First proper "minis" for wargaming, other than these and model aircraft and ships were GHQ minis. A pack of Shermans and StuGs.

Tractics for the rules, once I found those in a book store that was in my early-mid teens.

Just Jack Supporting Member of TMP18 Sep 2020 6:30 p.m. PST

The Marx "Battleground" play set. 54mm tanks, half tracks, Jeeps, barbed wire, trees, an 88,' a GI running and getting shot, a German lying dead with his MG-42, an LCVP with a crew member you could remove and use as the jeep or halftrack driver, the American stretcher team.

Man, that stuff still has magic in it for me.


nsolomon9918 Sep 2020 6:31 p.m. PST

JagdPanthers – the cover of of the Avalon Hill Box for Panzer Blitz looked so cool in the toy shop window.

Turned out it was too expensive for my pocket money and I had to buy a copy of The African Campaign because it was printed locally and was less expensive but …

…have loved JagdPanthers for the 50 years since.

Thresher01 Supporting Member of TMP18 Sep 2020 6:33 p.m. PST

Was that one of their boxed sets Jack?

I always wanted one of those.

I recall seeing various plastic "footlocker' army sets listed in comic books and other publications, back in the day.

Just Jack Supporting Member of TMP18 Sep 2020 8:01 p.m. PST


Yes, it was, a big one, too! ;)


I bought some of those, too. If I recall correctly, I bought one that was WWI-looking plastic flats, and I bought "Tank Trap" and "Task Force."


rmaker18 Sep 2020 8:08 p.m. PST

The Marx Alamo Set.

TGerritsen Supporting Member of TMP18 Sep 2020 8:31 p.m. PST

Little green army men and then Revell model ships. I think the USS Missouri was my first.

ZULUPAUL Supporting Member of TMP19 Sep 2020 12:37 a.m. PST

WWII Americans & Germans in green/grey plastic. For wargaming later Airfix Napoleonic sets used "Hardtack" ACW rules.

parrskool Supporting Member of TMP19 Sep 2020 12:54 a.m. PST

Airfix original ww2 Brits & Germans…… funny little figs by todays standards!

paul liddle19 Sep 2020 2:15 a.m. PST

Herald khaki infantry, followed closely by Timpo crusaders.

FusilierDan19 Sep 2020 2:47 a.m. PST

I too had all the Airfix sets all were heavily used but my favorite period was the AWI and I had Timpo and at most six Britains for that period. Only recently have I built up enough figures in 28 to have a good game.

Personal logo Virtualscratchbuilder Supporting Member of TMP Fezian19 Sep 2020 3:49 a.m. PST



I vividly remember, 56 years ago, the sky blue plastic of the hurricane and even at the age of 5 thinking "That's a pretty thick wing".

After that:


Been no turning back. Did not hurt that my father had unbuilt models lying around.

Swampking19 Sep 2020 4:21 a.m. PST

Marx Vikings and knights. Then anything made by Marx, Airfix, Atlantic, Rocco, Giant – ACW, Am. Rev. War, Ww1 and 2 – it seems I had it all at one point or another.

Personal logo 20thmaine Supporting Member of TMP19 Sep 2020 5:30 a.m. PST

I had most of Airfix and played with them a lot as a child but for "proper" wargaming figures I never lost my love for these guys :



And now… I'm happy with Airfix and all the other 1/72nd plastic goodness we have these days. grin

14Bore19 Sep 2020 5:53 a.m. PST

WWII German armor 1/35 scale models
Then Airfix 1/72 WWII English desert set, wish I had all them stil

genew4919 Sep 2020 6:03 a.m. PST

Aside from green army my first figures were Britain's Civil War Union and Confederate infantry, they were a gift. The next year I received cavalry and artillery for both sides.Those metal shells for the guns could do some damage.
From there on it was all Airfix all the time. Started with German Infantry and the "British" Infantry Combat Group. My first metal figures were AB WW2 in 2005, they rekindled my interest in war gaming.

Col Durnford Supporting Member of TMP19 Sep 2020 6:55 a.m. PST

Marx as always.

Now it's really time to show my age. Airfix Guards Colour Party. First painted figures and first figures that I war gamed with. Later they came out with ACW and I was thrilled. Waited every year for Christmas time when the local Woolworths would stock them. First metal were K&L purchased from Gilbert's hobby shop in Gettysburg PA.

Sgt Slag19 Sep 2020 7:28 a.m. PST

The 12" GI Joe's. Got my first around age 7, I think. Played with green and tan Army Men around the same time, but the Joe's dominated, without challenge. Began playing SL, around age 13. Cheers!

Personal logo Editor in Chief Bill The Editor of TMP Fezian19 Sep 2020 8:43 a.m. PST

Bendy yellow plastic ancients bought through ad in comic book.

And lots of army men with tanks.

Corporal Fagen19 Sep 2020 8:47 a.m. PST

Marx Fort Apache as well

Bobsyouruncle Supporting Member of TMP19 Sep 2020 8:48 a.m. PST

Definitely the Marx sets, ACW, WW2 and I don't remember who made them but there were ring-hand figures with separate weapons and hats, possibly MPC. They made them in blue and gray, same figures just different colors, they also did colonials and American Rev figures different sprues of weapons, rifles and pistols, kepis, hats, coon skin caps. I then discovered GIANT HO/OO figures at the local 5 and 10, they were much cheaper so you could get hundreds of them for the same price as one Marx set. Then I discovered Airfix at Kresges store in Jamaica. The addiction has not abated in the last 60 years.

IronDuke596 Supporting Member of TMP19 Sep 2020 8:56 a.m. PST

Airfix 1/72 8th Army and Afrika Korps followed by Germans etc. coupled with Airfix 1/76 armor. Happy days.

Shagnasty Supporting Member of TMP19 Sep 2020 10:22 a.m. PST

Marx Alamo set closely followed by the classic Green Army Men.

Palewarrior19 Sep 2020 10:52 a.m. PST

Britains knights, Timpo crusaders, then my brothers and I discovered Airfix 1/32nd scale soldiers :P

Personal logo John the Greater Supporting Member of TMP19 Sep 2020 11:25 a.m. PST

I had at least one of every Airfix set. Yes, even the Guards band.

I guess ACW was my first for historical gaming. A natural fit given the number of battlefields in my area.

Cmde Perry19 Sep 2020 11:26 a.m. PST

King Arthur's Castle from the J C Penney Christmas catalog, with its 54+mm knights, each marked "W. Germany" on the base. Yes, I played with regular army men before that, but these knights really captured my imagination. I even painted them, and weathered the castle! Dinosaurs, Er, I mean "dragons" attacked the castle and brave knights defended with mousetrap catapults and sinker-weighted trebuchets. Timpo jousters later joined the fun, and together they earned me extra points in history class for a diorama.

3rd5ODeuce Supporting Member of TMP19 Sep 2020 12:34 p.m. PST

Airfix 1/72 scale early war WWI Germans and British. Along with late war French.

7 year old me would spend hours and hours upon the field of battle that was my bedroom floor.

I distinctly remember my Mother asking my Dad where I was with a voice of concern.

myxemail19 Sep 2020 3:00 p.m. PST

As a kid I recall having the Airfix British and German WW I figures, and adding in some Roco WW II armor. When I was even younger I had a few 12" GI Joe's with various gear.
Lots of great battles on the floor, and even on the shelves of a bookcase


Personal logo Virtualscratchbuilder Supporting Member of TMP Fezian19 Sep 2020 3:02 p.m. PST

Not really a first love, but a definite turning point was one day in late 1971 I stumbled upon these funky bagged kits of Japanese warships with no lower hulls and in a funky scale. I only had enough with me to buy a Chikuma, and when I went back for more they were gone, but I was hooked. And yes, bagged. While the official first releases were boxed with cool artwork, there was a limited edition pre release of a few kits to a few hobby shops and I happened to get lucky.

Personal logo brass1 Supporting Member of TMP19 Sep 2020 9:40 p.m. PST

My first military love was the Air Force 2nd LT nurse on the Med-Evac plane that brought me back to the world.


Personal logo Virtualscratchbuilder Supporting Member of TMP Fezian20 Sep 2020 7:50 a.m. PST

1:1 miniatures rule!

Corporal Agarn21 Sep 2020 4:25 a.m. PST

Timpo crusaders and arabs.

Dukewilliam Supporting Member of TMP21 Sep 2020 9:10 a.m. PST

Roco! Airfix North Africa, ETO. We would use the boxes and empty sprues as rubble.

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