Monday 24 January 2011

The kids are on the street!

Youth sub-culture in late seventies and early eighties Britain was, as you might expect, as mixed and varied as the music of the time - so let's use that as our starting point.

Disco was top of the pops in early 1979. The year began with YMCA from the Village People but disco was a spent force, giving way to New Wave, 2-Tone, Ska and Punk-Mod revival as the year progressed. New Romantics made an early appearance with Adam & the Ants releasing their debut album. Punk suffered a serious blow with the death of Sid Vicious in Feb 1979 from which it wouldn't recover, but would stagger on for a few more years.

Olivers' Army appeared on Elvis Costello's Armed Forces album. Blondie released Heart of Glass, The Boomtown Rats gamed a degree of notoriety with I Don't Like Mondays.

The Jam released Eton Rifles in November followed by The Clash with London Calling in December. Both overshadowed by Pink Floyd's rock-opera protest song "Another Brick in The Wall (Part II)", which struck a cord with youth expressing their rage against the establishment and would sit at No.1 in the UK for 5 weeks. It was a fitting musical finale for the 1970's.

For Winter of '79 I have tentative plans at this stage to concentrate on three of the most distinctive urban tribes, each readily identifiable by their music and dress; making them easily transferable into miniature and bringing character to our tabletop.

Skinheads / "Skins"
 Mods: "Mod-Revivalists"

What was the music of my life in 1979, where I came of age in an irish community in red brick suburbia...... Tom Robinson Band, Siouxsie and the Banshee's, Penetration, Rezillos, Boomtown Rats, The Jam, Clash, Elvis Costello.... and to a lesser degree Blondie. I read NME, bought coloured vinyl, EPs and imports such as The Cramps.

More on the Mods later in the week, as I think they'll be the easiest to get into 20mm and aim to have a go at some conversions using Platoon 20 Argentinians in parkas.



  1. a year or so younger than Mark, I was investing my limited funds into skytrex micro tanks not vinyl. But the arrival of a cassette player changed that - happy hours spent hunched to the radio, ready to press "record", thats how i got my first Springsteen music. Then, cassettes of Cream/Clapton, Blondie, Ultravox (a bit later of course).

  2. Armed Forces was the first album I bought, still have it to this day. It would be another two years later before I discover Citadel's Spacefarer figures in a local model shop.

    For your Punks you might wantlike to take a look at GW's old Dark Future figures. They compare quite well height wise, with Liberation Miniatures.

  3. Great times, great musik...a feeling of something happening.
    I look forward to seeing these.

  4. Well, in '79, I was a wee nipper of 7 years.

    You should totally have the punks thrash the Mods. Or some disco queens. That would be great.

  5. Mark:

    I agree with Ivan above about the GW Dark Future figures. Several of them would probably work for the punks. But several has future looking weapons.


  6. I think Stan Johansen has some post-apoc types, too. Might be about 20mm - I think they were scaled to fit with Matchbox cars for a Car Wars-y kind of game.

  7. Look at Elheim's FSSF figures they have mod style parkas and are armed with Rifles/Carbines/Thompsons (though the Johnny gun would be somewhat anachronistic) I used them in an Italy skirmish and as soon as I had them on the table everyone cracked mod jokes....