Being a bit of a hoarder, I’ve kept nearly every wargaming magazine I’ve ever bought, right from when I was a teenager through to now in my late fifties.
I love occasionally leafing through an issue. I especially enjoy it when the authors of the time tried to predict the future of the hobby.
Recently I was browsing through the April 1981 issue of Military Modelling, and two predictions particularly interested me. One writer had got it totally wrong; the other was more spectacularly correct than he could conceive.
Firstly, here’s an excerpt from Terry Wise’s Observation Post column:
At one pound for two cavalry – and no doubt the price will go up again during 1981 – it is obvious to me that the days of big 25mm armies are numbered. In the years to come, the percentage of wargamers with 25mm armies must inevitably shrink, for this latest price rise must be the death knell of large armies of 25mm figures (I mean 500 and upwards) and of wargaming as I know it and love it. Those yet to join our ranks, or those buying additional armies, are almost certain to go for skirmish 25mm or armies in smaller scale figures. Before much longer I, and others like me, will be like the dinosaur – though very rich dinosaurs! The 25mm man will eventually become a collector, like those eccentric retired colonels and their 54mm armies of days gone by.
Well, 34 years later, I can certainly count at least 500 figures in my Napoleonic French army alone, despite it being by no means the largest 25mm army in my neighbourhood. And I hope I’m neither a dinosaur (I’m definitely not a rich one!) nor an eccentric retired colonel.
Now, here’s a sentence from R J Marrion’s report on the 50th Model Engineer Exhibition:
In retrospect, I believe the military classes reached their high point about four years ago with a number of up-and-coming young modellers such as the Perry twins delighting us with many of their scratchbuilt creations.
Well, Mr Marrion, who seemed to be a pretty tough critic of the military modelling entries submitted to the exhibition, was dead right about the ‘up-and-coming’ young Perry twins – but little did he know exactly how far up Alan and Michael Perry would come in the hobby, nor how much their modelling efforts would continue to delight so many of us.