***WARNING - RANT ALERT***
Eventually someone took pity and spoke to me. He asked me what I played, and I showed him some of the 1/72 ancient armies for DBA I had brought along. A look of disgust crossed his face, as he told me the club didn't touch 1/72 plastics as they had no 'heft'. I naturally assumed he was mad, edged away to the door, ran for the car and considered myself lucky to escape.
Fast forward twenty or so years, and an older, wiser Dux has learned that it is by no means uncommon for some wargamers to go on about 'heft'. We live in a golden age of cheap, highly detailed plastic figures in 1/72 scale, 28mm and increasingly 15mm. The majority of these figures are well sculpted, anatomically accurate, and carry weapons that are truer to scale than many of their metal cousins. And yet for some in the hobby the sticking point is that they have no 'heft'. Some people remain perfectly happy to deploy lumpen little figures that bear a passing resemblance to human beings carrying telegraph poles on the tabletop so long as they feel heavy. This is of course completely fine, but it irritating when this is presented as the norm, or the way the hobby should be.
A case in point. In Issue 61 of Wargames, Soldiers and Strategy (brilliant magazine, btw), someone reviewed a couple of new tank releases from Plastic Soldier Company. The review includes the comment 'The finished models do feel a little light, so we recommend adding some ballast internally to give the model more "heft"'. What madness is this?? A little light for what?? Are people buying wargames figures in the hope that they are heavy enough to batter their opponents to death with if things turn ugly? Are people commonly playing games in strong gales? Or perhaps, given the common 'wargamer physique' that our hobby seems to attract, there is a psychological explanation, perhaps a tendency to look down on those who are lighter to validate the heaviness of oneself? I can't help thinking that these are the same people who went on and on about how CDs were rubbish because vinyl records had a 'warmer' sound.
Despite the Dux's strong views on this, he does magnanimously acknowledge that the hobby is a broad church, and that we must offer solutions for those who require 'heft'. To that end, I suggest the simple and elegant basing suggestion above.