The Last Man Club blog is about historical war gaming and painting miniatures-primarily, but not limited to 1/72nd plastics. The name of the blog implies there are few of us left who use the old scale (HO) and are dedicated to plastic figures. This is in no way a knock to the producers of the excellent 28mm plastic figures. We’re simply nostalgic and wonder where you guys were in the 70s 🙂 when metal was becoming king!
So the blog is a return to our war gaming roots and the late 1960s early 70s when we first began to paint Airfix HO figures.
Airfix is just about all we had and WW2 was the primary period of interest. Tank models in 1/72 scale were not used and we supplemented our Airfix infantry with 1/87 Roco Minitanks. At the time there was about 1/2 dozen of us teenagers playing out WW2 games with crude rules on a massive sand table that one of our group provided.
The first serious attempt to war game with Airfix figures outside of WW2 came in the wake of the release of the movie Waterloo in 1970 or 1971.
At that time Airfix had released three sets of figures for the Waterloo period. You could get Highland infantry and French cavalry and artillery. Everything else had to be converted from those or other Airfix sets. Other Waterloo type sets would follow in the 1970s and we have a number of them. Watch this space for painted examples of these classic war game figures!
It wasn’t long before we discovered metal figures for the Napoleonic period. Our first purchases were from Der Kriegspielers who made a complete range of Napoleonic figures. It was then we learned of a much larger war gamer community and the plastic figures started to be regulated to secondary status.
The 70s and 80s were the years of expansion into many periods. Plastic miniatures became increasingly obsolete as the metal manufacturers like Minifigs, Hinchcliffe and Garrison flooded the market with excellent figures in the periods of history we were interested in.
By the mid-eighties one friend and I had thousands of metal wargame figures in many periods.
By the early 90s I had dropped out of war gaming and eventually lost contact with the members of the old group.
A chance meeting in 2014 changed all that as I reconnected with the man who had been my primary war gaming friend in the 70s and 80s. He had never quit and over the years had built up an impressive inventory of painted 1\72 plastic figures.
The irony was that back in the 90s as I was fading out I had met with my friend and remarked how I wished we had gotten back to simpler times and “just used plastic figures” for wargaming and for a Waterloo idea project in particular.
By the 90s a good number of manufactures were making excellent plastic war game figures and frankly I was a bit nostalgic for them. My friend became the plastic figure king and when we reconnected I too became interested in 1/72nd plastics as my main interests.
The Waterloo Project as we call it that was hatched way back then will become a reality as he and I are partnering to produce Waterloo using plastic 1/72 figures. The scale will be the brigade and will feature all the important features of this great battle. Watch this space for our progress.
Although the blog has a particular interest in 1/72 plastic war gaming figures I do plan to blog our other interests that will include 20mm metal figures, 25mm metal figures from our archives, 6mm gaming figures, WW2 armor in 1/72nd scale, Roco Minitanks and anything else of interest to our small group.
So, that’s it. After a long absence from the hobby I seek to post our interests and hope our readers enjoy the blog.
Contributors will be identified by initials.
It’s a great hobby!