Mmmmmmm, mental soup!.
So what am i trying to cover with this soon to be a massive confusing mess of a post?, well that's a great question i can't quite answer as i'm not that sure either!....no, wait, come back....it'll be good....kinda....if, you know, you enjoy being left to unravel a stream of mind babble and.....sorry im rambling again...where was i?, oh yeah im not sure where im going........right, ignore this paragraph!!.
Sorry, i always struggle for a start. O.k. what this post is about (in the loosest sense) is fantasy gaming in 1:72 scale and the advances made within the industry regarding well, it.
As i have stated more than once my intro to the glories of toy soldering was two sets made by esci given to me as a gift by my Aunt and Uncle back in the eighties, these two as it goes:
Oooh the memories, me cockles are all warmed!.
As a young man well into Fighting Fantasy books and Eric the Viking, not to mention the legend of King Arthur they held so many possibilities!. I would go on to add Revell Celts and Romans to them as well as picking up Saxons and Normans and would have hours of fun as they faced off on the coffee table or bedroom floor. Then Warhammer came into my life and that was that.....
.......Well that was a short and pointless post, till nex.....hang on, Warhammer and all things 28mm may have taken over but the little plastic wonders were not forgotten. Well for a long while they were, you know how it goes, teenage years go on and hobbies are put aside to indulge in the 'cooler' past times, then girls become a thing and a job stomps into view. Then you go and get married (thats a good thing, love you Mrs Sprinks.....stop throwing up at the back!) and you need certain things like a house, car and *gulp* career. Once you get all that together and kids have sprung onto the scene the toy solder stuff may just try to creep back in!. Thats how it went for me, i re-discovered my love of gaming and playing out epic battles with tiny men (and orcs, and dragons and.....). First it was stumbling on several retro gaming blogs such as Realm of chaos 80s, Somewhere the tea's getting cold, and Oldhammer on a budget and i discovered a thing called Oldhammer was happening. Sure enough i was drawn back into the idea of getting some games on but doing so in the normal 28mm would be outside my budget and storage space, beside which, modern 28mm was a bit too...erm....bland for my tastes. Que the little fellas, or at least the memories of them. After perusing the interweb in an attempt to find out what they were (i didn't even know they were 1:72 at this point) i fell upon the wonder that is plastic soldier review, the undisputed king of all websites ever!.As i flicked around the pages the idea of making mass battles a reality was, well, a reality!. But something was missing. 1:72 was grand for human troops of all time periods and styles, if it was quazi-historical you were after you were a happy bunny and i was but where was the fantastic?, the bits and bobs that made fantasy 'pop', the Orcs, the Dwarves, the big slavering hell beasts of death? (i dont ask for much!). Ceaser miniatures were either mind readers or thinking along the same lines because not long after these beauties dropped:
(these images are from plastic soldier review, you should go there, you'd like it!)
Now i was in!. The range had everything i needed and at roughly £8 for 40 they hit the budget sweet spot too!. I was a gamer again!. Then Dark alliance happened and suddenly even more walls came down!. Ceaser would go on to make Dwarves, Goblins, Zombies, Adventurers, Rat Men and Lizardmen. Dark Alliance would take Peter Jacksons' vision for Lord of the rings and go mental with it!.
You read that right, bloody FIRE DEMONS!!!.
I love my 1:72 for fantasy, the price is great (as i said above boxes average out at about £8 for 40 minis), the sculpts vary in style from company to company so there is plenty of choice of 'feel', The scale itself is more practical for larger battles in my opinion but retain individuality so work just as well as 28mm for skirmish gaming.
Try doing this in 28mm!
Some folks have said they are harder to paint well and base, i would point you in this gentlemans direction (Bob will put you right). Another thing that has been great is that 28mm minis compare well if used as the larger fantasy creatures. For example orcs work well as trolls, i use games workshop Lotr orcs as ogres and think they are great size wise!. In addition big monsters in 28mm look truly massive when fielded alongside 1:72!.
28mm Reaper minis next to a 1:72 Viking, picture taken from the brilliant Cheep fantasy minis blog, i suggest you give it a look because its awesome!.
So why the post?, well i guess i have been wondering why more people have not got into 1:72 for fantasy (the historic sceen have been in the loop for decades). The reasons above are my reasons for enjoying them and i am in no way saying my way is 'right' as any hobby is about what works for the individual (and in terms of 'majority' im lagging behind a fair distance!) but with the cost of 28mm and the current ranges on the market i would have thought there would have been more buzz. The fantasy market has been cornered by 28mm over the years but i wanted to encourage anyone about to embark on a new project (maybe a new ruleset or army build) to give 1:72 fantasy a go to see how it compares. You can build a fair sized army for less than £25 and one box would cover all you would need for a skirmish force and storing them would be a doddle compared to the bigger boys. Why not pick up a cheep lot on ebay and see if they work for you?.
Anyway, thanks for wading through the mental soup, all that remains for me to do is to welcome Remco and Mr Chris Johnson to the weird and wired world of Wronghammer!, welcome gents great to have you along!.
......Anywhen, till next time.......