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my mother in law says I am 12 and should grow up ?
I can't and won't but I am a bit older🤣😂🤣
Despite being 57 years old, when it comes to toy soldiers I feel the same pleasure as when I was 12 years old. My father once said that I would no longer play with toy soldiers when I became an adult. I think he was wrong!
Collector and painter of 28 here. I started collecting at the age of 14 or thereabout. I must admit that I discovered the hobby by accident. I have been interested in (military) history for as long as I remember but never really encountered this hobby as a child. At home we did have a collection of antique William Britain soldiers which once belonged to my great grandfather. These little colourful soldiers had always fascinated me. This resulted in me collecting statuettes of knights and soldiers of the kind you might find in souvenir shops at historic sightseeing places. Yet I remained oblivious of the fact that there were actually figures available at shops that you could paint yourself.
One day I happened to be in a model shop with my father, who's into collecting model railway stuff, when I noticed an Italeri box with some nice box artwork (Highlanders and British infantry). I have been painting and collecting figures ever since (admittedly with interruptions), mostly 1 72 Napoleonics, though I do occasionally dabble into other scales and periods as well.
I think that my story shows that much could be won with better marketing. In my case all the "ingredients" for a painter and collector to be were already there in early childhood, yet I had to accidently stumble upon the hobby in order to learn about its existence.
Some things could be easily improved. I recently introduced my younger brother into the hobby and taught him most of the little tricks that I picked up over the years. He did, however, rightfully remark that it is strange that manufacturers don't include some of these basic tips on modelling on the box. Why is there no information on how to prepare your model for painting on the box (washing in detergent, removing mould lines etc.)? I had to find out all of this stuff the hard way and with a lot of frustration which almost put me off the hobby after just starting it.
Visibility of the hobby is another thing, as my story shows. Had I not wandered into that model shop by accident, there would have been no other way for me to find out about the hobby. Would outreach programmes at schools be an idea? Perhaps there should also be more starter sets; a few sprues of soldiers, some paint and brushes and a set of simple wargame rules and painting instructions, all in attractive packaging and not too expensive.
Interesting what CW says, most of us older ones were drawn in by seeing shop displays but that doesn't really exist nowadays and we need to find news ways of creating awareness.
48, and on occasion my teenage sons will play a wargame with me.