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"Movies", first, then "Uniforms", and thirdly, "could I imagaine being there and doing that" and surviving. I prefer infantry and cavalry and limited accessories/equipment. Late WWI and WWII are a little too mechanized for me to be focused on soldiers as the first priority.
* Ben Hur then later Gladiator for Romans
* Waterloo movie and Napoleonic Wars
* Zulu and Zulu Dawn for British Scarlet Red Colonial uniforms
* Lives of a Bengal Lancer great movie
* The Four Feathers and Young Winston for later Colonial British Uniforms
* Fort Apache for U.S. Cavalry
* Field of Honor for Franco-Prussian War
* 55 Days at Peking for Boxer Rebellion
* Rough Riders for Spanish-American War
* Beau Geste (1966) for FFL
* All Quiet on the Western Front for early WWI
Thanks for asking.
I buy mainly ancients/'Dark Ages' figures and this goes back to grammar school.
Of course hollywood influenced me with some epics like 'The Warlord', but a bigger influence was a number of books I found in classrooms back in the 1970s. The books themselves would have dated from the 1930s-1950s. One was an old yellow book with a crusader on the cover titled "Long Ago in the Old World". It was a textbook aimed at 5-6th graders and was filled with the military exploits of the Greeks, Romans, Goths, Franks, Vikings.... It featured a number of Victorian-era heroic paintings. These were inaccurate but filled a youth with inspiration
Another great book -I forget the title-concerned the history of knights and chivalry. Each chapter was a short story going back to the era of Charlemagne with the last chapter on the War of the Roses. Great pen and ink type drawings that would still be fairly accurate. Of course I've long since lost these books
I buy EVERYTHING because I've long been a military history buff & get a kick out of seeing the soldiers I read or seen in movies about made in plastic.
I like the big "evil" empires: Ancient Romans, French napoleonic, WW2 Germans mainly.
And I like the big battles, Greek vs Persia, French vs Britain(100years war), ACW.
Rome and her enemies, gallic wars to the late empire, what other period has such a long range, WWII etc are too short and possibly too recent for my liking.
Ok, as spanish and direct cultural heir of the "evil" roman empire (which allowed us to WRITE in this forum with its alphabet), along with all the italian, french, romanian, portuguese...I found your comment really funny...
As we are in 1808, 2nd cnetnary of Napoleons´invasion on Spain I agree about the "evil" napoleonic empire, but now it is turn of the french to answer!
PD: Answering to Mike, I buy whatever is related to dark ages, ancient, renaissance, middle age or mediaval-fantasy. All swords, horses and bows around to emule!
When I first started buying toy soldiers as an adult I would pick up what looked to be cool sets. Now I tend to concentrate on the few subjects/eras that have held my interest the longest.
i have gone thru so many different reasons since reentering as an adult that i guess it is just an excuse to play with toy soldiers.
1. for nostalgias sake.started picking up all that i had as a kid.
2.after the explosian,began picking up others to compare different figures to each other.
3.then i tried convincing myself i will only collect pre gunpowder sets.
4. now i use it as a learning tool.i pick up interesting figures and read about the subject,or vice versa.
now i wonder what the next excuse will be.
Lots of varied motivations - reading history, some fiction and films or I just fall in love with the figures. Just in the process of getting Strelets' new Muslim warriors ready for painting and keep falling in love with the figures every time I pick them up!
Just ordered Emhar's Prussians, Italeri's Mongols, Zvezda's Turks and Russian knights, Strelets Russian WWI infantry and the Heavy Brigade, Red Box Chinese with Hat's Camel colonials on back order.
Criteria - sculpting, authenticity, excellent poses and the X factor. The X factor is my personal taste basically what lights my fire, goads me into research, fired by others efforts and so on.
If some (say Ukrainian) company did Napoleonic French scruffed up infantry cutting cabbages or uprooting beetroot (12 poses six of each) I would buy them. Stock poses; fine like a staple food which I may buy because they are necessary sometimes but normally I leave them until last to buy or never. The Italeri Mongol warrior with a hawk now that gets me going. A squadron of those hunting for Chinese carrier/messenger pigeons - drop everything that sounds like fun.
The theme I'm into at any given time can vary, and is often influenced by movies and documentarires. Currently the theme is Napoleonics, but I've finished watching all the Sharpe and Hornblower DVDs so the theme may soon change.
The fact that Napoleonics are easy to find, usually cheep and have much variations. I've an Italeri French army in Silver, half in blue and now they are coming out in Tan. I often collect by color.
There are several styles of French as well. I find Hat, Streletes and Airfix fit well, while ESCI goes better with Italeri and Zvezda.
As every addict: ´cause I wonna HAVE them....that they exist is reason enough...once I´ll paint them all...making a private expositin for sure...but I like to HAVE them...
Why? Well, mainly for I'm interested in a particular period, and read about it. (my interest being quite large, the fall of Rome till the fall of Berlin, I do collect quite a lot.) Recently we had to do an essay for school on Ernest Hemingway, which got me into buying some Spanish civil war sets. And this weekend I decided to focus my ww2 efforts on Italy for the coming months, just because I like the country.