When I found my 6mm Samurai I noticed that they were all on cardboard bases. This got me thinking as to things that have changed over the years.

I hated basing armies as you had to cut out your own bases out of either beer mats or mounting card. It took forever and I for one could never get the bases at ninety degrees all of the time. Jump forwards a few years and voila, you pay someone pennies to cut you some out of MDF. These can really be any size that you want.

Then there was the paint, highly smelly humbrol enamels. Or oil paints. I only ever tried oil paints once on a 54mm Airfix model. I don’t think it ever dried. The enamel wasn’t much better. Now we have a plethora of paints, from airbrush paints right the way through to the oils and the enamels. Of course there is my favourite go to paint in the Contrast Paints… I really must try painting with other ones again before I forget how.

Models themselves were sometimes blobs of metal or there was plastic in the terms of Airfix. My first armies were of course these. unpainted as I didn’t have the knowledge or inclinations paint them. My first ‘real’ war games army were the old Donnington 15mm Early Germans. my mate went Imperial Roman. Compared to 15mm miniatures today they are so dated… but funnily enough here I am using them and adding to them for my HOTT army.

With regards to that, here I am with Tin soldier 15mm Aztecs and conquistadors, original army sold years ago. I seem to be rebuilding all of my armies from my youth. All I need now are Museum miniatures crusaders, Two Dragon Samurai and Essex Miniatures early imperial Roman and I am there. Oh and a pile of ACW confederate troops from Essex I think.

I suppose one of the biggest changes now is the internet. I can now talk to manufactures or sellers in real time. If I want to compare miniature sizes someone out there will have done some pictures. There are so many different manufacturers out there too, so the Magpie approach to ‘my’ hobby is really bad for my wallet. It used to be the case I went to a convention and saw some great games and go and get enthused and come away with an army of Goblin Monkey riding ninja, which would end up in the bring and buy three years later …unopened! Now I can buy them whilst sat on the toilet! YouTube let’s me watch other people painting things or even playing the rules of my ‘new game’ all great stuff.

Blogging… yep it is great. I have met (virtually) some amazing people in all parts of the world. Without this here blog I never would have had the privilege of meeting them. I can honestly say that the people that are following my blog Are extremely supportive, and I hope I am for them. I have had only a couple of problems, and that is mainly people posting dodgy links as messages, they get deleted as soon as I see them.

And finally for me especially… the elephant in the room (although I haven’t printed it yet) is my 3D Printer. I remember many years ago my mate and I talking about how great it would be to get someone to make an us an army of our choosing. We talked about how much it would cost to get a sculptor to do it and then to get someone to cast them up. We did think about Prince August moulds at the time, but it never really got off the ground. Roll forward 30 years and I am printing my own miniatures and terrain in my shed. I pay for a file and print as many as I want for pennies. It gets even better than that. I can get things free and print them for pennies.

The down side of the printer is that it is sometimes too easy and cheap and I have printed so much crap that I will never use! My next consideration is to move into resin printing and give that a bash. Maybe Christmas next year.

The one thing that I do miss is going to conventions. Yeah I could go to some in time, and I did think about going to one of the Scottish ones next year just for the hell of it … If I manage it no doubt I will come back with some Goblin, Monkey riding ninja!

There are bucket loads of other things that have changed so much, but these are the ones that really just popped into my head. So what do you reckon are the big changes

15 thoughts on “Changes in Wargaming

  1. Wow, cutting your own bases out of beer mats? That’s one that pre-dates me, I’ve made my own bases but only through choice – not through necessity. For me the biggest change in my “hobby lifetime” has been the shift from metal to plastic. No more spending days blunting your only hobby knife cutting through a block of lead, then resculpting half of it to end up with something slightly shitter than what you started with! 😛 I do still paint the odd metal figure but the sheer variety that plastic makes possible has been revolutionary for me.

    Liked by 6 people

  2. I’m younger than you I believe but I’ve still seen a lot of big changes in wargaming.

    There is an overwhelming amount of games out there you can play that makes it hard to stay focused on just one.

    Social media has really changed the hobby in that there are more resources out there but it also comes with a lot of the flaws of social media where connections are superficial. Some people are shameless self-promoters/endlessly seeking more likes. That’s what keeps me blogging, I think.

    Large scale battles in 28mm wargaming where you need hundreds of models in an army seems to be declining in favor of skirmish games. Warhammer Fantasy being replaced by Age of Sigmar is a good example of this.

    The overall skill of hobbyists is way higher than it used to be thanks to blogs and Youtube, etc. Its never been easier to learn and improve your skills.

    Liked by 6 people

  3. Great post Steve. I think you and others who have commented have probably covered everything I can think of off the top of my head. Certainly for me the hobby is the most exciting it has ever been. The industry has changed beyond all recognition and along with it my personal journey. I doubt I would have ever got into smaller scale figures but for the internet. The only down side for me is the danger that personal creativity is compromised. The days of scratch building and inovation are rapidly becoming a thing of the past because you can simply buy what you want.

    Liked by 4 people

      1. I think what’s different is you could build those roads if you wanted to but choose to print for cost and speed but kids growing up with what is available may never know and like a lot of skills they will become lost. That said the world moves on.

        Liked by 4 people

  4. I think that the biggest change is definately the 3D printer. I knew it would change things but I didn’t appreciate exactyly how much it could do until I got my own. So much potential and it will just keep getting better and better in terms of cost and what it can do.



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  5. Another great post Steve ,I’m probably the oldest of our mod at 65 so I think I would have seen so much improvement in my field of make dioramas ,Johnny beat with the superglue one, it beats the shit out of welding plastic figures with a hot pin on mums gas stove !! The biggest,like you said is the internet, the information I have gained from our younger ,more informed ,has helped me considerably and is probably why I can produce diorama of some quality.
    as for products it would have to be Foam board and the new fillers, far superior than the old plaster of Paris ,though don’t get me wrong I still use that old trooper.
    As Dave commented about 3-D printing I’ll be interested to see how far it goes, but for this old fellow it still the fun of scratch building most of my terrain.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Thanks for joining in Pat, I still enjoy scratch building, but just never seem to have the inclination to do so. My favourite things I have made are my Gladiator arena and my graveyard on the hill. These are on my blog somewhere

      Liked by 3 people

  6. Great post Steve, I don’t remember some of the points here I guess I’m a bit younger than some here. But things have change for me, gaming tables set up with videos for hills for example where common. Bases being green, solid flat green, even for games on worlds that did not have grass!
    Less info being about, but that also made the info that was there more precious, I think I can still remember the full army list for the dark elf army in the 1 white dwarf I had managed to get with my pocket money. Now I’m not even sure if I glanced at all the pages of the last rule book I bought.
    But for me the best think I’ve come across is the painting handle, how I painted without on I will never know.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. I got the chance to get a handle and never did. Wish I had, but in all honesty the fact that I don’t really paint 28’s now makes me wonder whether I should bother. I remember the go Goblin green edges. I causes havoc and chaos as I decided to paint mine brown for my goblins 😂

      Liked by 2 people

  7. For me, my first minis and paints were Minifigs and the old Humbrol Enamels. They changed to 28mm GW figures and paints within a few years for me though, so the biggest changes are the moves towards plastic (which was rare) and resin (military modellers use that stuff – ie Verlinden), as well as so many more and new types of “paint” within the acrylic realm, as well as pre-made washes (I used to use Inks from the Art supply shops) and weathering powders and all kinds of techniquest cribbed from the Model Railroaders and scale modellers and…
    Then, obviously, the internets.
    And in (my own) future, though clearly a big thing already – 3d printing.

    Liked by 2 people

  8. Great post and as I had a 33 year break in the hobby I have seen some major changes. I like to think that I’m a bit of a throwback in terms of outlook, but one who likes to incorporate new tools and techniques.

    Not sure 3D printing will be in my future- but so many are doing it who knows.

    Lastly – LOVE the Aztecs and am trying to find 28mm terrain as good as what you shared here!

    Liked by 2 people

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