Welcome to the Last Man Club

The Last Man Club blog is about historical war gaming and painting miniatures-primarily, but not limited to 1/72nd plastics.

The blog is a return to my war gaming roots and the late 1960s when I 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.

Other periods received some attention. We had Airfix Robin Hood figures and Sheriff of Nottingham figures. The first purchased rules were Gary Gygax's Chainmail. Gary lived in a nearby city. Little did we know he would go on to fame in authoring Dungeons and Dragons. Chainmail was his first step in that direction.

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 .


Airfix made (an still does) a great variety of 1/72sets by the 1970s. While we moved to 25mm metal there still was a place for Airfix. We'll be featuring pictures from our collections of historic Airfix 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 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.

The scale of the figures changed from 1/72nd to the large 25mm to the smaller 15mm as well as GHQ Micro Armor for WW2.

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 companion 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 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.

Airfix made three sets of 1/72 figures for the American Civil War period-Union Infantry, Confederate Infantry and an artillery set. Although Airfix discontinued the sets they are still available through outlets like eBay.
Since that chance meeting we've been gaming again. Games often include my son who was my only gaming partner. To keep gaming alive we played MEM44 by Days of Wonder and Battletech, a game I taught him when he was quite small. He's become quite an artist with Battletech but because it's not historical I won't be posting his work. That's for him to do someday.

So, that's it. After a long absence I seek to post our interests and hope our readers enjoy the blog.

Contributors will be identified by initials.

BRR-me
JZ
MS
JR

It's a great hobby!

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