Re: How old where you when you bought your first set of soldiers?
When I was 3 I was fascinated by my dad's books about ww2. at school I always painted military vehicles, especially german ones - I guess my teachers thought my parents were nazis or goths because I painted balcan crosses everywere well i also loved dinosaurs, but that's another story.
So I was 3 when I received my first toy soldiers - some hong kong cheapies, more or less 1/32. I think they were copies of airfix marines. soon followed many other cheapies, most "big" but also "small ones" (more or less 1/72, all copies of airfix or matchbox sets). I was amazed when my mother presented me a box of Esci british paratroopers- i think i was 4 years old back then, the year was possibly 1987. they were so much better than hong kong ones, I fell in love with them. since then I always tried to get as many esci sets as possible. of course I liked airfix too, but they were more difficult to find, only a few shops had them, while esci were available in most toy shops. I never really quit the hobby since then