Welcome to the Strelets Forum.
Please feel free to discuss any aspect of 1/72 scale plastic figures, not simply Strelets.
If you have any questions about our products then we will answer them here.
Donald states my views nicely -- I love to see the new sets arrive, but on the other hand I'm a painter, and I've got a life outside little soldiers, and with what I've got stockpiled now I won't finish painting them before I'm dead. I've already decided (painfully) to limit my purchases to conflicts between 1500 and 1900, leaving out such increasingly well-covered eras like the 100-Years War on one end and WWI on the other. So even if production stopped immediately -- which I'm sure it won't -- I'd be set for life and happy.
Not to say that I want to see the Golden Age end -- every new product is a moment of excitement, and for guys whose dreams have yet to be fulfilled (viz. Hank and the Crimean War), you've got my wholehearted sympathy.
I remember when (some 30 years ago) only a few sets from the likes of airfix and Atlantic were available (plastic) and the hours of fun trying to convert them to create new army types, the cutting and bending (of the figures that is) these days one can have what ever regiment, race etc that one wants, the fun of conversion is nearly gone.(Look at Thomas Willers roman conversions on Toys are more by Winterkamp, excellent and I bet he had endless fun thinking them up) Don´t get me wrong, I like and look forward to new sets coming out, and that we are in a golden age at the moment is good, look at the stats on PSR. Maybe it´s just the fact that a lot of duff firms have jumped on the band wagon and market forces will force them out in the end. Basically, more the better, but,..ahh!, the days when one had to strive to MAKE what one wanted rather than relying on someone else to provide it.
i THINK LIKE AMERICAN ECONOMY YOU CANT SINK US.wE ARE ON CREST OF A WAVE ALTHOUGH TEH FIGURES SLOW DOWN ,MARKET IS STILL HUNGRY.
Certainly when I began, there wasn't a set I wouldn't buy, Paul.
But like you I now can afford to be more discriminating.
I think it bad manners to publicly slate the manufacturers I don't think are up to scratch. I just don't buy their wares.
One of the joys of a forum like this is the opportunity to see your posts misinterpreted. In my prior post I did not say the golden age of the entire 1/72 plastic figures as a whole was past. What I said was that for some eras/subjects the golden era was past, for some the golden era is probably here today and for some it appears still to be coming.
As to thee overall status of the hobby I would say that it is maturing rather than declining. Hannibal (or was it Maggie the Basset) is reputed to have said "We will either find a way or make one", and there was a time when that spirit seemed to infuse the 1/72 industry. HaT chose to explore the untouched areas of the Punic Wars and Alexander the Great's campaigns in addition to reproducing Airfix classic sets, and adding to the Nap era. Zvezda jumped into the era of Alexander Nevsky. Emhar came out with a line of WW1 figures and tanks, and Strelets came out with a line of "dark ages" warriors before diving into the hertofore uncovered GNW and the abandoned CW. IMEX came out with a line of Texas independence figures, support equipment for the ACW plus several "interesting" early American subjects. Slightly later you had the likes of Caesar coming out with a strong line of ancient near east figures.
Today we are still seeing plenty of new sets and the occassional new manufacturer, and you do still see some signs of this old daring spirit such as RedBox's line of eastern subjects, and BuM pursuing previously neglected Spanish subjects. However for the most part new products seem to be of the "safer" variety. Zvezda has turned out some excellent ca. 1700 sets, but in the 2 years since they released their Strelets they have so far only released a total of 4 sets, 3 of which repeat subjects done in the last decade by Strelets or Orion. Of their 3 announced 17th century sets the Imperial infantry is an unnkown quantity, the Polish Winged Hussars are a repeat of what was probably Orion's best set, and only the Turkish horse represents a clearly new subject. With the exception of their 3 Spanish New World sets much of Caesar's activity seems to have concentrated its recent activity on augmenting its Near East line rather than breaking new ground in their other announced subjects. HaT is breaking into the colonial era and MIGHT actually produce reconquista figures, but for the most part has thrown most of its energy and production into safer Naps, Roman subjects and WW2. Emhar's production of Franco-Prussian subjects would be more exciting if it had been more than 3 sets in 2 years, and that after a couple of years of no new production. Italeri-well what can I say. And how many of us remember the discussions that certain manufacturers had agreed on which would produce certain subjects/eras?
I could go on, but this post has been long enough as is. Make of it what you will. After all, that is the fun of a forum such as this.
Bill your lengthy posts are always worth reading.
May your typing finger (I only use one) continue to strengthen.
Peter not that I wouldn't be happy to see, say, Dutch & Belgian carabiniers for Waterloo appear.And a lot of others.
Jason has asked a very pertinent question here,the big 3 as he calls them are still maintaining a steady output of figure sets but overall the output has slowed drastically since 2005/6.In replying to the post various people have mentioned the future releases promised by each manufacturer but many of these sets have been supposedly in developement,with little if any progress for the whole 2 years since I connected to the internet and began looking at hobby-related sites,and I think it's safe to assume some of them will never see the light of day.
I'm not trying to go out of my way to be pessimistic but as the world economy falters,I think production will contract further,some manufacturers will drop out of the market and the trend towards more mainstream subjects such as Romans,WW2 etc will outstrip less popular campaigns.