I was looking the other day at some of my son's Airfix figures. He has the Waterloo set and my mind rolled back the years to when I was more or less his age and the first box of Highlanders was produced. It is difficult to understand these days just how much of a leap forward these represented at that time as the low cost alternative to Minifigs and their drainpipe bayonets then selling at the outlandish rate of 6.5p per figure. No matter how crude they may look now Airfix's contribution to wargaming can never be overstated. I remember avidly collecting the marching French infantryman in the artillery set to create a Battalion of line infantry. The release of a pack of French infantry was simply too much - I scoured the streets of Southampton to find this new holy grail. If you simply look at Airfix and see them as small lumps of cheap plastic then you are too young to understand what I am talking about or you weren't there, man.
You talking about me?
With this in mind I saw the latest Perry 'Retreat from Moscow' figures today. If you haven't had the chance then check out their website. No superlative can be too super for this astonishing ensemble. And then I see that they are bringing out a box of 8th Army in plastic. Can there be anything apart from some obscure Principality that today's Napoleonic modeller or wargamer cannot access immediately at very high quality? How lucky we have become with a range of manufacturers in all periods and scales? But, and there's always a but, I bet nothing compares to the frisson of excitement I felt when those Airifx Napoleonics first marched out of their boxes.