Civil War toys remain fascinating to me, perhaps because I have so many fond childhood memories with my motley collection of soldiers, cannons, and accessories, which formed the genesis of my hobby of miniature wargaming. I used to set up elaborate battlefields in my Dad’s apple orchard, with defensive lines snaking into the garden. I would pile up rocks for Devil’s Den, and create earthworks and breastworks, using piled up sticks. Battles would be fought by tossing marbles until one side was decimated.
Most of my ourdoors battles were in 54mm, but during the winter or during rainstorms, I often moved my battles indoors with my HO scale Airfix figures. I had 4 or 5 boxes of them, acquired as birthday gifts or as rewards for good grades. I had infantry, cavalry, and artillery. Although the layouts were far less elaborate and I had far less figures in this scale, the fighting was just as ferocious. The targets were smaller and harder to hit. My Mom kept a very large planter on the living room coffee table for many years, and it made a wonderul place to set up the tiny Airfix ACW figures, augmented by Giant figures (HO scale versions of the 54mm Marx poses). Perhaps the array of green plants made it seem more like Guadalacanal than Gettysburg, but an eight-year-old didn’t care. It was war, and I was the commander.
Anyone else play army? What are some of your memories of battles of long ago?