Sandy’s recent Design Diary is a treasure!
When I was a kid, I loved war movies — even more than cowboy movies. I can remember, at the age of 6, pretending to kill “Nazis” with my friends. I also remember, after playtime, going to my dad and asking him what “Nazis” were. I thought they were some kind of alien or a nasty animal of some kind. Since I was just a kid, he gave me an abbreviated answer. I was amazed to learn that Nazis were actually people.
I also knew that many Japanese were bad guys in the Second World War. But I adored my Uncle Mike (Mitsuru) Takeda and Aunt Lillian, both full-blooded Japanese. Our house was full of little Japanese knick-knacks thanks to them. They even taught me origami.
This didn’t stop me from playing battle games with my friends. Usually our guns were just sticks, and we’d take turns getting “killed” in action. Those were pretty active games. Sometimes we’d play with plastic army men instead, and that was also extremely fun.
In my early teens I learned of the existence of tabletop wargames, which used miniatures. 13 year old me couldn’t possibly afford metal figures and anyway the local wargaming group was into Napoleonics which I knew zero about. But I could use my allowance to buy Airfix figures, and then my friends and I created rules to play with them.